Dermatologists share tips to avoid bumps

Even if you’re a pro at shaving other parts of your body, finding the best way to shave the bikini area can always be a little trickier.

“In the bikini area, that hair is coarser and a bit curlier, so it’s more prone to ingrown hairs,” UCLA Health board-certified dermatologist Dr. Emily Newsom told TODAY.

Skin in the bikini area also tends to be more sensitive than skin in other parts of the body, she said. So even if you are able to use a shaving product or technique on your legs without issue, it could cause irritation in the bikini area.

With a little more care and attention to this part of your body, you can get the cut you’re looking for without the redness, ingrown hairs, or razor bumps.

Take the time to prep and trim the area first

Before you shave your bikini area, it’s important to trim any excess hair, Dr. Shari Lipner, associate professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical Center, said today.

From there, you should wet the hair with lukewarm water to soften it, Lipner said. It will also help clean away dead skin cells and dirt that could otherwise clog the razor and lead to cuts.

Use only gentle, fragrance-free products

It’s always a good idea to use fragrance-free, skin-friendly shaving creams, experts say. And when working in the bikini area, where skin tends to be even more sensitive, it’s even more important to keep products simple.

When working in this sensitive area, Lipner says, aloe can be a nice soothing ingredient in shaving products. Oatmeal is another soothing ingredient that might be nice in this area, Newsom said.

Position yourself so that you do not have to pull the skin

Avoid the temptation to tug on the skin while shaving, Lipner said, as this can cause irritation. Instead, try to position yourself so you can access the area without firing, she said.

In particular, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends standing while grooming the bikini area. Standing up makes it easier to see what you’re doing than if you’re lying down, according to the AAD.

Perfect your shaving technique

It’s important to follow the same basic guidelines when shaving any part of your body. And with an area as sensitive as the jersey line, this is especially crucial.

  • To shave with grain, that is to say in the direction of hair growth. “You might be able to get away with going against the grain of the legs,” Newsom said, “but on the bikini area you should go with the grain because it’s a little softer.”
  • Rinse your razor to remove the hairs after each pass.
  • Give shaving your full attention in this area, says the AAD.

Doing these simple things will help prevent injury and irritation.

Finish with a gentle moisturizer

After shaving, moisturize the area with another gentle, fragrance-free product. This will help reduce dryness in the area and the chances of irritation, according to the AAD.

If your skin is sensitive or you’re prone to razor bumps, Newsom recommends using an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on the area to calm it down.

Replace your razor after five to seven uses

Replacing your razor regularly will help reduce bumps, cuts, redness, and other issues.

“You’ll know pretty quickly if it’s time to throw the razor away,” Lipner says, because you’ll start to notice increased redness and irritation after shaving. “But instead of waiting for that to happen, it’s better to buy a new one every five to seven shaves,” she said.

Consider keeping track of how often you use your razors so you know when to replace them. “It might even be worth making a little note in your phone’s notepad to record this,” Lipner suggested.

You might also consider investing in a bikini trimmer that’s small and designed specifically for use in this area, Newsom recommended. And, if you frequently experience bumps or redness after shaving (or just get sick of shaving), experts say it’s worth considering laser hair removal for a more permanent solution. .

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