With the heat comes short sleeves, skirts and (god help us) shorts. Yes, summer weather exposes us in all our glory. Here’s how to prep your skin before you show it off.

To shave or not to shave? If you decide to remove body hair — on your legs or face — there are some things to consider.

Seattle esthetician Elana Bruinsma, of Elana at Tangerine Spa Studio, prefers waxing to razors. Instead of removing hair at the surface, waxing removes hair by the root with lengthier results. “I always recommend that clients get on a cycle with waxing (every 4-5 weeks), which trains the hair to grow in together, so my client can have smoother skin longer,” she says.

Bruinsma also offers a beard facial treatment ($110) to address built up dead skin cells under facial hair, which can lead to dryness and ingrown hairs. “With a beard, it takes a bit of extra effort to get to that skin, but it is no less important than cleaning the scalp well to avoid buildup and irritation,” she says.

For a smooth shave, lather on plenty of pre-shave oil or cream.
For a smooth shave, lather on plenty of pre-shave oil or cream.

When it comes to shaving a beard at home, Bruinsma recommends “a very sharp blade for a clean shave, and a shave cream that has protecting agents and moisturizing.” She says to apply hot water to the face first to open the pores, then use a pre-shave oil or cream. After shaving, she advises splashing cold water on the face to close pores back up.

How to apply sunscreen (or self-tanner) when you’re really busy

If you’ve only used plastic cartridge razors, consider changing to a classic safety razor. Safety razors offer a close shave with less irritation, while also harboring less bacteria. With six blade exposure settings, Merkur’s Chrome Long Handle Progress Safety Razor ($90 at theartofshaving.com) gives you control without pulling and with more precision.

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You can also use a safety razor on your legs ¾ but be warned, it takes practice to avoid nicks!

Paula’s Choice’s Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA; Merkur’s Chrome Long Handle Progress Safety Razor
Paula’s Choice’s Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA; Merkur’s Chrome Long Handle Progress Safety Razor

Practice regular exfoliation and moisturizing to address issues such as ingrown hairs, body acne and rough patches. To visibly smooth your legs and arms fast, try Seattle-based Paula’s Choice’s Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA ($28 at paulaschoice.com), which sloughs away dead layers and leaves the skin smooth and hydrated.

Last, but not least, don’t forget about your feet and toenails! Feel good in sandals (ahem, gentlemen) by getting a pedicure to start the season, which will clear your feet of dead skin and leave your nails shaped and buffed. Quicky pedicure providers abound in all neighborhoods, or make it a day date someplace a bit more luxe, such as Habitude’s Ballard location, which offers pedicures starting at $48.