Let’s take a moment to appreciate its nearly summer..my favourite season! We all want lovely smooth hair free legs, underarms and bikini lines for summer without the nasty red bumps so here are a few ways to achieve that when preparing for hair removal…..
Prior to Shaving – Hydration is the key to avoid razor burn and bumps, ensure you start hydrating your skin for about a week before and that you use moisturising products while shaving such as shaving gel. If you don’t have a shave gel then a cream shower will work, also hair conditioner makes a great shave gel! These all create a barrier between your skin and razor helping to prevent nicks and cuts.
Razor – There are a lot of razors nowadays that contain hydrating bars which are really great. I’ve used the Gillette Venus razor and it is really good, it’s a bit more expensive but it leaves the skin silky smooth. The most important thing to do is use a sharp blade, if the razor blade is old and has become blunt you are in for the world of pain! It will really drag and irritate your skin, leaving you with nasty razor burn and bumps. If you are doing larger areas then most razors are good for at about 5 shaves.
Technique – I know most of us will go against the grain for a really close shave but the best trick is to go with the grain to start and then finish by going against the grain. This will reduce chances of irritation
Prior to waxing – Well hydrated skin is again the key but ensure skin is free from all moisturisers, creams and lotions on day of waxing. Also no body scrubs or use of washes or creams containing AHA’s and salicylic acid as these can make the skin more prone to burn or irritation. Avoid coffee before your waxing as the caffeine and acid in coffee will make your skin hyper sensitive!
Wax – You can choose from either Hot wax ( for sensitive skin) or warm wax. Warm wax is removed with a paper or cloth wax strip and is a little harder on the skin. Ensure it is not too hot for the skin by patch testing on a smaller area and try not to use too much strength when pulling the strip as this can leave you with wax burn and very irritated skin. Remember your pulling a hair not a tooth! Hot wax is a hard wax, you use a thicker layer of it and once it has hardened then you pull the wax itself off. It is gentler because it pulls the hair out without pulling a layer of skin. It is amazing for bikini and underarms if you are sensitive but I find it too much trouble for larger areas like the legs. This is mainly because you have to wait for it to harden making it more time consuming.
After waxing – For most people the skin will be a bit pink and hot for 24 hours, ensure you use a very soothing moisturiser such as aloe vera gel or calendula cream. Both these will soothe and repair, helping your skin recover quicker. Also avoid really hot showers, swimming pools, steam rooms and saunas for 24 hours.
Prior to epilating – Hydration is important but it is more important in the aftercare of epilating as the epilator pulls just the hair without touching the skin.
The device – I have to say epilators are amazing, I have one and I bought it years ago and it’s still going strong. They work by gripping the hairs and plucking them out, they don’t touch the skin so you have no skin irritation. Also they will pull out really short hairs that waxing doesn’t work on and can leave behind.
After Epilating – Again because you have pulled the hair from the follicle then you still want to soothe. You can use the same products you would for after waxing such as aloe vera gel and calendula cream. Also avoid really hot showers, swimming pools, steam rooms and saunas for 24 hours as you would with waxing.
Avoiding ingrown hairs…
These nasty guys present themselves when the hair has been weakened and can’t push through the skin. The best way to avoid them is to exfoliate the skin between hair removal methods and moisturise daily. If a little pimple has formed around the ingrown hair then you can use a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in water and dab it on the spot. Tea tree oil is antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
So I hope this helps, all we need now is the sunshine!
Have a great day!x