With the official start of summer coming up this week women’s lifestyle and beauty sites have begun their usual bikini body content. To accompany this trend I thought it might be helpful to explore how you can build yourself a skin care routine for your bikini area which, with the summer season, heavily involves hair removal. Let’s start with a few base rules: this post can also be applied to men and GNC individuals but speaking as a female I will be referring to this routine from the perspective of a bikini wearer. Secondly, please follow the general rule of not sticking anything inside of you to accomplish your bikini routine. Unless a doctor has advised you to do so, any skin care products shall stay on the outer skin of your body.
If you’re not interested in having weekly razor burn or getting hairs ripped off your body with hot wax maintaining your pubic hair is the option for you. Pubic hair is a terminal body hair which means it is thicker, darker, and longer than our vellus hair (tiny baby hairs all over our skin). Since most people don’t expose their pubic hair to UV rays, environmental conditions, hot tools, and hair dye it really does not need that much extra care. Washing your bikini area as you wash the rest of your body will be the first step. Secondly, including hair oil can help step up your pubic hair game. Pro tip: use the same oil that you use for your head hair, such as an argan oil, after showering when the hair is damp. This will help keep the hair and underlying skin nourished and soft – two drops of oil should do the job.
The cheapest form of hair removal for the bikini area is at-home shaving. While this method requires more frequent upkeep it’s free and isn’t painful like waxing. The shaving process will involve a mini skincare routine but it will definitely be worth it when you can avoid razor burn and folliculitis (in-grown inflamed hair). Start with a gentle physical scrub (like the Skinfood Black Sugar Exfoliating Mask) or a small exfoliating towel to remove any dead skin cells and help prevent future folliculitis. Next, use a product that will give you a slick surface for the razor to glide over – this can include a body oil, shaving cream, foamy shampoo/body wash, baby oil, etc. Working slowly and in small sections beginning at the top of the genital area shaving in the direction of hair growth. Unlike shaving your legs you’ll want to shave in the same direction your pubic hair grows. Since the area is very delicate and sensitive shaving in this manner can dramatically help reduce post-shave inflammation. Also, pulling the skin taught is a HUGE game changer, this tactic is done in many skincare procedures because it allows for a more focused shaving, and minimal error. Once the shaving is done gently exfoliating again can remove any dead skin cells or hair that were left over from the razor. After finishing the shaving routine you can continue on with your normal showering. Once you get out pat the area gently and follow up with a fragrance-free lotion, body oil, or aloe vera gel. This whole process can be repeated 1-2 times/week depending on how fast your hair grows – if it’s too short you’ll end up doing more damage by breaking all the hairs off prematurely. In order to maintain sanitation using a disposable or dedicating a razor to this practice will keep the hair and product build-up at a minimum.
Waxing is the most popular form of bikini hair removal and yet the most painful beauty treatment one can go through. The waxing routine should start about 2 days before the waxing actually occurs. Your waxer should inform you about the length required to wax hair ~1/4 inch or the length of a grain of rice. It’s also smart to exfoliate the area 2 days before the waxing occurs – this helps remove dead skin cells and lessens the chance of getting ingrown hairs once the hair growth begins after waxing. Every esthetician follows a different routine for how they prep the skin but the general routine involves starting with a gentle cleanser, followed by a powder or oil to help give the wax a surface to work with. Using hard wax, which only removes hair and not skin like soft wax, is the most popular wax used to give bikini waxes. The most important part of the waxing treatment is to ensure that your esthetician is following proper sanitation methods and that you feel comfortable with the methods they are using. There is a lot of controversy about the position that clients should be in for bikini waxes, however; speaking up about which position is most comfortable for you will fly with just about every esthetician out there. Much like the pre-wax routine, every esthetician has their own post-wax routine. Typically it will involve some form of an anti-inflammatory and healing serum or gel, following up with a tea tree oil solution or aloe vera gel can help calm the skin. The day of and the few following treat the area very gently by wearing loose clothing, light workouts, and minimal sun exposure.
With all the above haircare/removal methods a regular skin care routine for your bikini area isn’t extremely necessary. Again, unless your doctor has directed you to use certain products, showering regularly, using a gentle fragrance-free lotion and aggressively using sunscreen along your bikini line when in the sun is all one really needs to maintain this area. Hopefully, after reading my guide, you’ll be able to determine the routine that is best for your and your pubic hair so that you can have your best bikini bod!