If you’ve been shaving for a while, you might be doing it on auto pilot and not shaving correctly. Hair and beauty expert Geoff Mahanay for Schick Silk Effects shares his guide to proper shaving techniques to get that silky smooth, close shave.

1. Splash warm water on the skin, or soak for a few minutes, before shaving to soften the skin.

2. Apply a shaving cream or gel and allow to soften the skin for a few minutes before you start to shave.

3. Some people find it easiest to sit on the edge of the bathtub with legs inside the tub.

4. Press lightly in an upward motion towards your knee (shave in the direction against hair growth). Use short smooth strokes with a steady, even pressure.

5. Don’t rush or press down too hard. It’s important to shave slowly and gently. Let the razor blade do the work.

6. Make sure you use a new and sharp razor. A dull blade can irritate the skin, causes razor rash, and you can cut skin more easily with a dull blade. Also, use your own razor, don’t share a razor with others.

7. Use extra caution around the knee, shin and ankle. These areas are trickier to navigate and easier to nick. Again, go slow.

8. Most girls prefer to shave their legs and bikini area upward, because this provides a closer shave, but underarm hair grown in lots of directions. To get a close shave, you may need to shave side to side, up and down. Just be careful.

9. After shaving underarm hair, don’t apply antiperspirant for several hours until natural barrier oils return to protect the skin.

10. Remember to rinse the razor under water after each stroke to get rid of the hair stuck in the razor.

11. Thoroughly wash the skin with water after shaving, and moisturise after to keep skin soft and hydrated. This minimises the chance of ingrown hairs.

Shave, wax or laser? What is your favourite hair removal technique?