The autumn season may be knocking on our doors which means fewer opportunities to step out in beautiful swimsuits, but grooming your nether regions never really goes out of vogue. That move is fashionable all year round!
A University of Texas study found that 77% of women cite shaving as their bikini line grooming go-to. And of course, with that, you can get bumps, redness and irritation. But, is it possible to shave AND avoid these? You bet! Check out these tips:
1. Invest in a good razor
When it comes to other beauty products, you go top of the line so why not do the same when choosing your razor? Picking the right one could make all the difference. “If there are more blades, it dispenses more pressure, allowing each blade to cut with less force but more effect,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York City. Remember, disposable razors are called disposable for a reason. “They’re not meant to be used for a month,” says Eileen Bischoff, esthetician and hair-removal specialist at Eve Salon in New York City. “Choosing a firm, sturdy razor with soothing strips will make a huge difference.”
2. Prep the area
If it has been a long time between shaves, you might want to consider trimming the hair first. It should be about a quarter inch long. Next, soak the area in warm water for 10 minutes. This will help you prevent razor burn by softening up the outer layer of skin and making the hair easier to remove. After the 10 minutes, pat the area dry to remove excess water. Then, it is time for a little light exfoliating action. “Using a wet washcloth or an exfoliating scrub teases out any stubborn ingrown hairs prior to shaving,” says Engelman.
3. Apply shaving cream
“When you shave, you’re shaving your skin, too,” says Bischoff. “If you don’t use enough shaving cream to create enough slip, you’ll lightly abrade your skin, leaving it irritated.” It is tempting to skip the cream or to buy something cheap but like choosing a razor, quality matters. “Use a good-quality shaving gel with a short list of moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil—these types of bases will give a proper buffer for your razor,” says Engelman. And don't lather up like crazy, just a thin layer is perfect. You should still be able to see the skin and hair follicle. “This is much safer, so there’s no need to move the blade back and forth on the skin,” says Fumi Ozaki, an esthetician and electrologist in Redondo Beach, California.
4. Shave smart
you shave can be really, really important, especially for people who are prone to bumps,” says Bischoff. “This is because if you shave against the hair growth, the razor will nick the follicle and almost always leave a red bump." Gently glide along the bikini line, keeping the blade downward. No need to apply pressure. “One pass should be fine, especially if you’re using a razor that has many blades,” says Ozaki. “The more blades used, the fewer times you should feel the need to re-shave over this sensitive area.”
5. Rinse immediately post shave
As soon as you put your razor down, wash and hold a compress to the area for 10 minutes. You can also apply an anti-redness serum -- preferably one without fragrance. “I recommend tea tree oil, both a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, which can help calm razor burn,” says Engelman. “If you’ve really caused some irritation, more intense creams, like topical steroids, can be prescribed to reduce redness, swelling, and pain."
6. Follow up with a moisturizer
Always hydrate and moisturize after shaving. “Apply an unscented, alcohol-free moisturizer to both sides of the bikini line to lock in the moisture and avoid over-drying, which leads to further irritation,” says Engelman. “Skip heavy creams, which can clog your skin’s pores.” Look for something that contains aloe or lavender oil as both have soothing properties.
7. Clean your razor
After each use, clean your razor blades with rubbing alcohol and warm water. If you see rust or have been using the same blade for a while, toss it. “Replace old blades—ones you’ve used for more than five to seven shaves,” says Engelman. Doing this can help prevent bacteria that can grow while the razor sits in the shower between uses.
Well, I've been shaving for years -- I'm too wimpy to wax, and I definitely learned a thing or two here. How about you? How do you keep your delicate areas looking soft and smooth?
Source: Women's Health
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