We know that bikini season causes borderline-hysteria (hello, crash diet). Since hair removal is at the top of the worry list, we did you a solid and asked hair removal expert Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare Hi-Tech Spa, for insider tips on shaving, waxing, depilatory and the big guns – laser hair removal. “It’s not about beauty,” Cindy explains, “It’s really about feeling good about yourself. If you have a bikini problem, it affects you.” So. true.
“If your hair is too coarse, shaving is not the avenue you should be taking,” Cindy explains. (Skip ahead to the waxing tips below.) If shaving is your MO, do it at least 5 minutes into a hot shower so that the pores are open.
Cindy says to exfoliate before shaving – we love Bliss’ Super Minty Soap ‘N Scrub ($30) for its refreshing minty scent – and to always use a fresh razor. For the bikini area, we love these specially-shaped Noxzema Shaving Bikini Shavers ($3.99). Insider tip: if you do reuse razors, dab on oil each time to refresh them.
After shaving, Bishop waits for the pores to close and applies Neutrogena’s Body Oil Original Light Sesame Formula ($9.99) to keep skin smooth. If you have acne-prone skin, try Kiss My Face Moisture Shave in Lavender & Shea ($8) – lavender’s calming affect is great for after-shaving and waxing.
Make sure the hair is about quarter inch long before waxing, and apply a little powder to ensure that the skin is dry.
“I always tell clients to Google and research their wax products. You want a low temperature wax – and avoid honey wax! We have progressed beyond it,” Cindy explains. The Poetic Waxing At-Home hair Removal Kit ($45) fits the bill – it heats evenly in the microwave. Apply the wax and the strip in the direction of the hair growth, and then peal it off like your turning the page in a book.
Between waxes, use the Completely Bare Razor Bump Blaster ($32.00) to keep ingrown hairs and bumps at bay. Or try the DIY technique: just exfoliate then apply salicylic acid (found in most acne creams in your medicine cabinet). This at-home recipe prevents and helps heal razor burn.
Hair removal creams always sound like the easiest way to go, but seem to fall short. Or so I thought. Sally Hansen’s Pure Scent-Sation ($8.49) for Face and Body is only one I’ve tried that actually works – and doesn’t stink to high heaven. Just don’t use soap or cleanser for 2 hours before or after using the cream.