It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your… hair! Only if you want to, of course – feel free to go au natural if that’s your jam. But for those of you who do enjoy being silky smooth for the summer, there are some tips and tricks that your skin will thank you for. You know the kinda problems we’re talkin’ about… from ingrown hairs to stubble rash, bothersome bristles can be the bane of our lives once the temperature cranks up or a holiday is on the cards. That’s why we’re here to give you the ins ’n’ outs and dos ’n’ don’ts of banishing body hair. Welcome to the masterclass, ladies…
What to use and where
Use tools you feel comfortable and confident with – but there are a few ground rules that could help you pick your product. And if your shaving routine has fallen into a funk, it might be time to try something new. ‘The key to beauty is finding what works for you,’ says Venus ambassador and all-round skincare expert Dr Anita Sturnham. ‘It’s about getting the foundations right and establishing products, techniques and routines that suit your skin type and your lifestyle.’ That’s where we come in…
This may seem like an afterthought for a lot of people (especially if the hair isn’t dark or thick) but using a razor or trimmer for a quick fix could make the hair grow back coarser and only provide a short-term fix. That’s why when managing the moustache, it’s best to go for a specially formulated facial hair-removal cream like Veet Facial Hair Cream Kit. This comes with a sensitive hair-removal cream and an aftercare lotion that’ll soothe and moisturise your skin. Remember, just because it’s a small area doesn’t mean it deserves any less attention…
For this area, our picks are a razor or wax. If you opt for shaving, use a good quality multi-blade razor to ensure a smoother shave and prevent irritation. Disposable razors might be tempting, but our blade of choice is the Venus Comfort Glide Vanilla Creme Razor. With three-blade technology and flexible moisture bars that release soothing body butters with every stroke, this’ll help you say see ya to any post-shave irritation. If you’re leaning more towards waxing, Superdrug Wax Strips For Short Hair are a great option.
Most of us have tried shaving and waxing our legs, but there are downsides to both methods. When you use a razor, it feels as if your hairs start to grow back almost immediately, while waxing can be tricky if you’re new to the game. Enter the epilator! Put simply, an epilator is a machine with lots of tiny, tweezer-like hair removers, which roll over the skin and banish bristles right from the root. This leaves you with a smoother, longer-lasting shave and helps hair grow back thinner – sounds like a winner to us. We can’t recommend the Braun Silk-épil 7 Epilator enough. It might seem an expensive option, but when you factor in buying razor heads and waxing strips or making appointments at the salon, £150 for something that’s gonna last for years seems like a bargain. Trust us, it’s worth a try.
When it comes to your bits, sorting the stubble can be a real challenge. Crevices and folds make it hard to get a smooth finish, and regrowth can be itchy and uncomfortable. It’s also an area of hair that women are taking more control over in recent years, ditching salon styles for more personal results, so there isn’t really a one-product-fits-all solution. We suggest using a bikini trimmer, like the Philips Bikini Genie, if you want more control over the length and shape of the final result. However, if you find cutting the hairs results in too much discomfort or ingrowns, opt for a depilatory cream like Nair Bikini Brush On Hair Removal Cream.
Tips and tricks for a smoother shave
If you’ve found a process and products you like, but feel you could be getting smoother results, there are a couple tricks of the trade that you can add to your routine.
For a quick fix, it’s easy to just run your razor under water and do a rush job of your hair removal, but this is going to give you a substandard shave. According to Dr Anita, we need to hydrate the hairs ‘so they are up to 60% easier to cut’. To do this, stay in the bath or shower for about two minutes, to allow the hairs to soak in some moisture before you begin shaving. It’ll make the world of difference…
2. Prep properly
It might sound obvious, but if you’re skipping the prep, you’re never gonna get the best results. When shaving, Gillette Venus Satin Care Pure & Delicate Shave Gel, enriched with eucalyptus oil, is the perfect option. And before you reach for other shower items like conditioner or shower gel – don’t! Dr Anita warns, ‘This increases your risk of redness and irritation – and can also blunt the razor.’ So steer clear. If you’re waxing, be sure to dry your skin thoroughly with baby powder.
3. Make sure the skin is pulled taut
This is especially true in the bikini and armpit area, where the skin isn’t level. ‘To counter this, pull the skin taut while grooming,’ says Dr Anita. This will mean your wax/razor can get as close as possible to the skin.
Stubble rash, ingrown hairs and regrowth that’s faster than Usain Bolt – we’ve all been there. If you’re looking for ways to prevent hair-grooming problems, keep on reading…
Ingrown hairs are caused by hairs that don’t grow up and out of the skin but, instead, curl back into the skin during regrowth. Prevent this by exfoliating to get rid of any dead skin cells, which could block the hair follicle. If you’re still suffering from the little pests, when you need to shave again, replace your razor with hair-removal cream or wax. Cutting the hairs leaves the end of each hair sharper than if you’d removed it from the root, which makes it easier for hairs to grow back under the skin, especially in the bikini and armpit areas.
The main causes are dodgy blades and substandard aftercare (or total lack thereof). If you use razors, switch out the blades regularly. If you decide to try the Venus Comfort Glide we suggested above, use Vanilla Crème Blades. For aftercare, Dr Anita suggests using ‘a moisturiser with calming ingredients such as aloe’. We recommend Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Lotion, which will soothe your skin instantly and reduce the chances of redness and irritation.
Most of us love a trusty razor, but the bottom line is they’re never gonna give long-lasting results. When you shave, you cut the hairs rather than removing them from the root, which slows down the regrowth process. If you want thorough removal that’ll last for more than a week, you’re going to have to try waxing or epilating – simple!