Lots of gyms provide disposable razors (the one I go to even supplies shaving cream), so it's certainly an environment for removing your body hair, if you so desire. But this begs the question whether it's, well, a clean enough space to do your shaving. Think about it: When shaving, you're manually exfoliating your skin, opening pores with the steamy water, and even could be creating nicks where bacteria or fungus from the shower could fester.
To clear the air, I sought out a dermatologist's advice. "Certainly people are more exposed to other people's various types of bacteria, fungal infections, and yeast when using public places like the gym," says Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, and board-certified dermatologist at New York City's Schweiger Dermatology Group. "That being said, if the gym is incredibly clean and manages to wipe down surfaces and sterilize the showers daily, your risk should be minimized."
"Never reuse a blade or razor that you left at the gym, and definitely don't place it down on a public place." —Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD
Basically, if you're going to shave in your gym shower, just use some common sense—avoid any razors that are just lying around. "Never reuse a blade or razor that you left at the gym, and definitely don't place it down on a public surface at the gym in between use. This includes directly on shower shelves, for risk of picking up bacteria or fungus," says Dr. Nazarian. "The best way to shave while at the gym is to bring a new disposable shaver with you into the shower, keep the plastic cover on it until usage, and discard immediately after use. Don't allow it to rest anywhere on the shower surface during your time in the shower."
With the cautious green light from a derm, I decided to give it a go and see if I could indeed shave at my gym. Post-tread sesh, I picked up a disposable razor in the locker room and took to my gams (and even my big toes for good measure). I felt a little cringey doing this in such a public place where all sorts of naked people rinse off, but... I was fine. Lesson learned: You can indeed make yourself hairless in a gym shower, as long as you're savvy about it.
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