Body hair is totally normal, but that doesn’t stop a lot of us from going to great lengths to get rid of it.
The reality is that the majority of us like to have smoother-as-silk legs and bikini line when we’re sunning it on holiday or enjoying the shorts weather.
But aside from knowing how to run a razor along your shins, you might not be so clued up on how to avoid that rash, or the other possible methods of hair removal out there.
Below Dr Anita Sturnham, skin expert and Venus ambassador, shares her tips and tricks for ensuring a smooth and (almost) pain free hair removal session, whether you’re armed with hot wax or a razor.
The key to a good shave is all in the planning. ‘Don’t skimp on shave prep; soaking the skin for a couple of minutes hydrates the hair and makes it around 60% easier to cut. Two to three minutes is optimum soaking time,’ explains Dr Sturnham. ‘After soaking always use a shave prep, like
‘These products are designed to reduce friction to minimise irritation, like shaving rash. It also creates a light foam which acts as a guide to avoid over-stroking, which can contribute to skin irritation.’
Whatever you do, you should never dry shave, even if you’re in a rush. ‘The risk of irritation isn’t worth the time it may save,’ our doctor adds.
How to stop ingrown hairs
A recent study by Venus revealed almost 30% of women consider ingrown hairs to be their biggest hair removal bug bear when it comes to the bikini line – closely trimming them may help, using the new
‘It’s important to find a hair removal solution that works best for you, but there are a few simple things to keep in mind that can help prevent ingrown hairs from making an unwelcome appearance,’ explains Dr Sturnham.
‘Gently exfoliating skin is the best way to prevent these, as the gentle scrubbing action removes the upper layer of skin and hair can get through to the surface. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to use a gentle exfoliator’
‘For those looking for a longer lasting form of hair removal try the Braun Silk-epil 5 Starter kit. When used with the beginner cap 60% of the hair is epilated whilst 40% is shaved making it a gentler form of root hair removal that offers some exfoliation during use and can help prevent ingrown hairs.’
‘Also remember to hydrate your hairs first, by soaking in lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes, when shaving. This improves the efficacy of your hair removal by up to 60%. Hydrating the skin also plumps up your epidermal barriers (the top skin layer) so that you have a smoother surface to glide the razor along.’
Those red bumps on your skin you get after hair removal might look like acne, but they’re actually more likely to be folliculitus, an infection of the hair follicle.
‘Treatments for folliculitis depend on the type and severity of your condition, what self-care measures you’ve already tried and your preferences,’ explains Anita. ‘If you have mild eosinophilic folliculitis, your doctor may suggest you try a steroid cream to ease the itching.
Rather than moisturising in a circular motion, dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk recommends you smooth it downwards in the direction of hair growth to avoid irritation.