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Photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio

Ever notice how you can go the entire winter season without shaving (or even thinking about shaving) but once summer comes in hot, it’s on the brain for pretty much the entirety of #99days? Same. With all of this hair removal afoot, it did make me wonder if there was a perfect timespan that I should be aiming for between shaves, so I phoned a dermatologist to get the 411.

“It’s safe to shave your legs, bikini area, and armpits every day if necessary,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. “It’s not unhealthy, it just needs to be done properly.” So, in short: It comes down to your personal preference and the routine you like to keep.

There’s just one scenario in which you would want to avoid taking your razor to your skin: If your legs have open cuts, scrapes, or if anything, in general, looks out of the ordinary. “One should not shave over a sore,” advises Dr. Fusco. “And never shave over skin that appears infected or rashy.”

That means, if you’re ambitious and want to stay smooth on the reg, there are a few things to remember in order to avoid burn and things like ingrown hairs.

“The first thing to remember is that you should never share razors,” says Dr. Fusco. “Also, never dry shave. Your skin should be lathered with a rich soap or a shaving cream that’s specifically formulated for your skin type.” Dry shaving can be tempting when you’re trying to get bare legs in a pinch, but remember to use some sort of product—even coconut oil works.

Another thing that’s key? Don’t just let your razor gather dust on your shower shelf—switch it out. “Change your razor at least once a week,” notes Dr. Fusco.

To keep things smooth, shave in the right direction (yes, there’s a right way). “If you tend to get ingrown hairs, shaving in the direction that the hair grows will minimize it,” she says. “For a close shave, it helps to exfoliate your skin prior to shaving.” In this case, a physical exfoliant is the better option because a chemical one could later leach into pores and cause burning (which you def don’t want). Other than that, it should be smooth operating from here…until winter, of course.

For other hair info, this is how often you should trim your hair if you’re growing it out. And these are 10 supplements for thicker, fuller hair

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