There are few things as aggravating (and possibly mortifying…) as getting your bikini line perfectly trimmed-down and bikini-ready only to find yourself covered with red bumps. To find out exactly how the risk can be mitigated, we turned to shaving expert Anthony Sosnick, founder and CEO of Anthony and Shaveworks. Check out his tried-and-true three steps for a clean bikini shave!
Before you select a razor, ask yourself an important and possibly embarrassing question. How much do you have to lose down there? If your hair is more than ¼ of an inch long, you need to take your boyfriend’s mustache scissors to those bad boys or shaving/waxing will be a nightmare. Trim them down to ¼ of an inch (as short as you can get without cutting yourself) and then exfoliate the area with a gentle facial exfoliant. Rinse off.
You can certainly use your regular razor for the legs and underarms, but if you have sensitive skin, go to your local pharmacy or drugstore, and find a razor with lots of blades and some form of lubricating strip. You can even use a men’s razor as they’re very similar and will do the trick. It’s all personal preference so you may need to try a few different blades to get it right. Once you’ve picked out a good razor, cover the area with a generous layer of non-foaming shave cream/gel or your favorite wax. I recommend the Shaveworks Dual-Action Body Oil as it works as both a gentle cleanser and rich shave oil, and really allows for a close, smooth shave. Another trick to use to prep for shaving is to lather on a hair conditioner. It doesn’t have any foam which allows the blade to get closer to the shaving area. This helps avoid razor bumps and redness (remember: the cleaner the skin the closer the shave).
For years, the general rule was to shave “with the grain” (i.e. in the direction of hair growth) in order to avoid razor bumps/ingrown hairs, redness and irritation. This technique does avoid irritation if you’re extra sensitive and helps avoid razor burn and redness. Try this way first, but if no hair is coming off, a side-to-side shave works best. You’re not going against the grain, but you’re going enough against it to cut hair away and leave the area smooth.
Now that you’re finished, you have a hair-free bikini line, but you might be thinking “how long until I have ingrown hairs/razor bumps down there that look worse than the actual hair?” Razor bumps are ingrown hairs, and they happen more frequently down there because the skin is so thin and sensitive. To avoid this, try to add a little baby powder as soon as your done and dried off; this will prevent moisture and friction from irritating the skin. There are creams and lotions out there like Anthony No Sweat Body Defense or Shaveworks The Cool Fix that help prevent irritation after shaving or waxing your bikini line. As always, apply a good moisturizer that hydrates and nurses the skin after your wax or shave.