For women planning a winter getaway to a warm-weather destination, the bikini zone suddenly becomes a big concern! If you have a spa at your salon, your problem is solved; you can book an appointment with the esthetician. If you don’t, licensed esthetician Rachel Sharoff at Skintology Skin and Laser Center in New York City has some advice for you whether your preferred hair removal is shaving, laser or waxing.
- Note how your skin reacts normally reacts to shaving. If your bumps after a shave are few to none, just moisturize the area for a couple of days before and after you shave. However, if your skin is moderately or extremely sensitive, develop an exfoliating and moisturizing routine.
- Slow down. A lot of irritation can be caused by simply shaving too quickly. The friction of razor on skin can cause bumps, redness and ingrown hairs. Be patient as you slide the razor slowly but firmly, and you’ll be surprised at how much less irritation you’ll experience.
- Break out a new razor often. If you shave daily or every few days, throw out your razor every two to three weeks. A fresh, sharp razor is essential to a great shave.
- Shave the day before. A fresh shave helps the laser to locate the follicles. Use a clean, new razor to eliminate any lingering bacteria that could cause contact dermatitis (a delayed allergic reaction) after your laser treatment.
- Avoid caffeine. You may find that caffeine increases sensitivity.
- Be rested and hydrated. Your pain receptors will be higher if you're fatigued and dehydrated.
- Ask your technician to try different paces. Some technicians perform the laser service in quick bursts, while others use a slow, continuous pace. Ask to try both techniques in order to determine which feels better on your skin.
- Avoid tanning. Whether you tan in the sun or a tanning bed, the rays can be harmful after exposing your skin to laser. Avoid both, and apply SPF when you go outside.
- Prep your skin. Exfoliate and moisturize regularly for about a week until the day before your wax. Clean, moisturized skin is more flexible, making the waxing service less painful than waxing dry skin.
- Find the right wax. Hard wax—typically honey-colored and peeled by hand by the technician—is considered a less painful method and better for the skin than soft wax with paper strips. But it may take some trial and error for you to determine which you prefer. You also can try a third method, sugar wax.
- Work around your monthly cycle. Your skin tends to be more sensitive, and your pain threshold lower, right before and during your period.
- Make sure your hair is long enough. Hair should be at least a quarter of an inch long for wax to catch it. If you can grab it with your fingertips, you’re good to go!
- Don’t shave in between sessions. Because shaved hair grows back harder and coarser than waxed hair, which grows back thinner each time, shaving in between sessions compromises the benefits of waxing.