The quest for a perfect bikini zone is for many women, an epic process of trial and error. The goal of course is to achieve a perfect, bump-free, baby-smooth bikini area. With so many hair removal options available it can take forever to find a routine that works. For many women laser hair removal has become the be all end all option to permanently remove unwanted bikini area hair, however it’s important to get the facts and find someone reputable to do it. Below, Jenya Titova, Instructor to Asthetic Mentors and Physician’s Assistant to Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Leonard Hochstein of Hochstein MedSpa in Miami, Florida dishes out the dos and don’ts for perfect bikini zone skin, whether you shave, wax or laser. Choose what’s right for you and stay in the zone!
· Do keep the razor sharp and new! Replace your razor every two to three weeks.
· Do go slow! Ingrowns and irritation comes with quick motion. You want to go slower around the bikini area given angles and harder to reach areas. Slide the razor slowly and irritation will lessen.
· “Pay attention to how you skin reacts when shaving. Do you get bumps and redness? If so you need an exfoliating and moisturizing routine,” suggests Jenya Titova.
Laser Hair Removal
· “You really want to shave the day before,” advises Jenya Titova whose skincare expertise spans over a decade. “The laser can locate the follicles easier when shaved. It’s very important to use a clean, new razor to avoid having any lingering bacteria that could cause contact dermatitis (a delayed allergic reaction) after your laser treatment,” she adds.
· Avoid coffee. Or anything with caffeine, really, it has been said to increase sensitivity.
· Be rested and hydrated. Your pain receptors will be higher if you’re fatigued and dehydrated.
· Ask your technician to try different paces. Each technician has his or her own technique. Some perform in quick bursts, while others use a slow, continuous pace. One technique may feel better on your skin than the next.
· Avoid tanning. Both tanning beds and the sun can be harmful after exposing your skin to laser, avoid both and put on SPF! “In warm weather climates, this is always a concern because women are always outside at the beach or pool. If you’re getting laser hair removal avoid the sun entirely for at least 3 days before your laser treatment,” cautions Ms. Titova.
The key to successful waxing is skin prep a week before the waxing is scheduled. Exfoliation and moisturizing are essential. “You want the skin to be supple and not dry. It’s much less painful to wax skin that is moist as opposed to dry,” explains Ms. Titova.
Find the right wax. Hard wax is usually a honey color and is peeled by the technician using her hand, as opposed to the paper strips used to remove soft wax. It is commonly said that hard wax is less painful and better for skin. There is also sugar wax, and many other varieties that boast different benefits.
Make sure your hair is long enough. “This is often a downside to waxing. Hair should be at least ¼ of an inch long for wax to catch it. Many women never allow hair to grow this long making waxing a more difficult option especially if hair is coarse,” advises Ms. Titova.
Don’t shave in between sessions. Shaved hair grows back harder and coarser, as opposed to waxed hair, which grows back thinner each time. Shaving in between sessions ruins the benefits of waxing.