All of us dream of having a super smooth skin that would feel like silk running through your hands. And to achieve that velvety feeling, we first should get rid of the hair on our skin. In addition to shaving, exfoliating your skin brings out the best smoothness that one could feel on their skin. But you might be thinking “Do I exfoliate before or after I shave?”. This article is aimed to clear your doubts on whether you should exfoliate before or after shaving.

Should I Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving

should i exfoliate before or after shaving my face
Exfoliating before shaving unclogs the pores on your skin and removes the layer of dead skin on top of it.

You might have questions like “Should I exfoliate before or after shaving my face” or “should I exfoliate my legs before or after shaving”. The first thing to consider is the blade you are using for shaving off your hair. If you are using a single bladed razor, you are actually exfoliating while you are shaving. Single bladed razors scrape off the dead skin along with the hair and hence leaving the skin refreshed and smooth. So if you are using a single bladed razor, then you basically don’t require exfoliating your skin.

If you are using a cartridge razor, then it is always recommended to exfoliate before you shave. Exfoliating unclogs the pores on your skin. This helps remove the layer of dead skin and toxins on top of your skin. Therefore, exfoliating your skin before shaving allows your blade to have a clean skin to act upon and shave off the hair. Also, exfoliating before shaving gives the shave butter or shave latter the chance to work properly on your skin and provide more protection against irritation and shaving bumps.

do you exfoliate before or after you shave
Exfoliating immediately after shaving might cause skin irritation.

Whereas if you exfoliate immediately after shaving, it might cause irritation to your skin. The skin just after shaving is quite sensitive and also it might have some minor cuts. Exfoliating on such skin would cause irritation and redness. So it is recommended to have a proper exfoliation before you shave so as to achieve silky smooth skin. Also after you exfoliate and shave, pat dry your skin using a clean washcloth. This helps remove any leftover skin or dead skin that weren’t rinsed off.

What To Use To Exfoliate Before Shaving

should i exfoliate my legs before or after shaving
The easiest way to exfoliate would be using an exfoliating scrub or brush.

There are a variety of options for exfoliating tools just like there are several options for shaving tools. It all depends on the right type of tool that would be suitable for you.

Use an exfoliating scrub – The easiest way to exfoliate your skin, in my opinion, would be to buy an exfoliating scrub. Exfoliating scrubs are gel-based creams that you can use by rubbing it onto the skin with just your hands.

Use an exfoliating brush – For much better results, you can also opt for an exfoliating brush that has small bristles on it. These bristles help to break down the dead cells on the skin. This is a great way to ensure that the dead skin is properly removed and you can use this in combination to the exfoliating scrub. If your aim is to exfoliate your face, then buy a brush which is small in size and is not too coarse. If you want to exfoliate your body with the brush, then go for one with a bigger handle or else opt for a loofah which is strictly to be used only on the body and not on the face.

How To Exfoliate Before Shaving

do i exfoliate before or after i shave my face
Gently scrub in a circular fashion over your skin with an exfoliating cream.

Now how to exfoliate before shaving? Follow these simple steps to exfoliate before shaving-

  • First of all, buy the exfoliating scrub according to your skin sensitivity. If your skin is sensitive, then it is recommended to go for a mild exfoliating scrub.
  • To exfoliate your skin, first, splash some warm water over the targeted area. This will help in loosening up the dry and dead skin.
  • Then, using your fingers or a brush or a loofah, try to gently scrub in a circular fashion over your skin with an exfoliating cream. Apply pressure according to your comfort. Make sure that you don’t scrub the skin too gently as it won’t help in removing the dead skin.
  • If the exfoliated area of skin turns red, don’t panic. This happens as a result of scrubbing the skin and removing off the dead skin cells. After exfoliation is done properly, use cold water to rinse off the dirt from your skin. This will help lessen the redness and remove any lingering dead cells and dirt.
  • At last, a pro tip would be that you go for creams that contain natural exfoliators like walnut shell or coconut oil. I would recommend not opting for micro-bead exfoliators as they are not eco-friendly.

I believe you now know the answer to the question “should i exfoliate before or after shaving my face”. Do let us know your opinions in the comments down below, and whether you like to exfoliate before or after shaving. And since you are here, you might also want to check out our post on whether to cleanse or exfoliate first.


  1. Finally, an answer to should I exfoliate before or after shaving! Always exfoliate BEFORE shaving, and NOT AFTER shaving, or else experience nasty rashes!

  2. I too always had this question – do you exfoliate before or after you shave? Glad to know that I have been doing it right till now, by exfoliating the night before shaving. The one time I tried exfoliating immediately after shaving, I developed rashes.

  3. I was always confused whether should I exfoliate before or after shaving. I then ended up doing exfoliation both before and after shaving. Needless to say, I developed really bad rashes. Exfoliating immediately after shaving will result in rashes, since the skin is still tender after the shaving. I wish I had seen this before.


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