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Staying smooth down there

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

Bikini line care: Waxing, shaving, sugaring & lasering

Almost all girls start out with the traditional razor and shaving cream hair removal method but over the years other techniques have surfaced; We all remember those Nair commercials. These methods appeal to women consumers for one main reason: we want to get rid of the hair without leaving behind razor bumps and rough skin. Is that so much to ask? Here are the latest hair removal techniques to help you update your skincare routine and make sure your bikini line is groomed and pampered.

Woman with smooth legs, hair removal methods, close shave

Laser on, Laser off

Many girls will try bikini waxes, do some sugaring, and ultimately decide on a more permanent solution. (No, not death.)

According to Joyce Carboni, expert esthetician and founder/director of the Skinsational Skin + Body Spa, "Laser hair removal is a growing trend in annihilating unwanted hair, especially in the bikini area." Dr Stuart Kaplan, a medical consultant to such programs as Baywatch, agrees. "I feel laser hair removal is the most effective treatment for hair removal. Lasers have improved over the past few years, so even patients with blonde hair or African Americans can have this done safely and effectively."

As laser therapy becomes increasingly affordable, what was only an option for the rich and self-absorbed is now popular among everyone from those craving a cleaner bikini line to those going bare.

A holistic wax job

"A man will go to war, fight and die for his country. But he won't get a bikini wax." - Rita Rudner

Since laser isn't for everyone many have found happiness with waxing and swear allegiance to certain salons. Floridians flock to the Maui Spa and Wellness Center (themauispa.com) in Boca Raton, which offers a holistic approach to hair removal.

Their line of wax products seek to maintain the integrity of the skin. The Maui bikini wax treatment begins with a rose water cleansing of the skin. Then, a thin layer of jasmine oil is applied -- this is not to rest on the hair, but the oil actually absorbs into the skin as a protective layer.

Following the absorption of the rose oil, the aromatherapy rose wax is applied; the wax is kept at a very low temperature so that it does not damage the skin. The rose wax used by the Maui contains natural ingredients that encapsulate the hair, and can actually grab shorter hair better than average waxing products. To complete the treatment, a cooling aloe gel is applied to calm the skin.

More waxing tips

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." - Auguste Renoir

We all know though that some degree of pain will be a part of the game. "Many new improved waxing techniques have been introduced that reduce client discomfort and prolong results," says skin expert Annet King. Look for a skin therapist that has been trained in a technique called "Original Speed Waxing." Speed Waxing involves a unique application and removal method that saves time and minimizes discomfort by using specially cut strips of cotton pellon for faster depilation with less hair breakage.

No matter where you wax, be sure your skin is prepared.

"If choosing the waxing option, try not to shave in between sessions, it is very difficult to wax stubble caused by shaving and hair needs to grow to a certain length to wax all hair evenly. Exfoliating with loofah or body scrub in circular motion going upward away from hair growth helps prevent ingrown hair and leaves skin smooth -- exfoliate at least 2-3 times a week.

Expert shaving tip

Apply a lotion with AHAs or use product like PFB Vanish, a roll on that heals and prevents ingrown hair and helps heal razor burns/bumps," suggests Nia Molina, certified esthetician of North Shore Day Spa in Illinois.

Exfoliation for the smoothest skin results

Try this Purifying Salt Scrub by Earth Therapeutics for you next at-home exfolation. Aromatherapy and botanical based, this purifying scrub formula contains mineral-rich salts straight from the Dead Sea suspended in a healing base of essential oils and organic tea tree oil. Massaged over the skin, the sea salts stimulate circulation and slough away surface impurities and dead skin cells.

Pair the salt scrub with Dr Dennis Gross' MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Body Peel, which retextures extremely dry skin, exfoliating and releasing ingrown hairs while enhancing skin's moisture. Follow up with a good lotion, such as Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Gloss. We were also wild for Kiehl's Aloe Massage Cream, which has a buttery texture that will do wonders to soothe your skin, no matter how dry it may be. 

"Ah, sugar…!"

Perhaps you want a little…sugar. Sugaring is an ancient method of hair removal, dating back to the Greeks and the Egyptians. It is similar to waxing but is considered gentler and less painful, and provides instantaneous results.

More recently, it has become all the rage in London and other European capitals, and has only recently begun to catch on with American audiences.


"Hair is one of the sexiest differences between women and men," says author April Masini. "Men love lots of it on your head, and very little of it everywhere else. Maintain your hair because it is one of your greatest assets."

Not ready to take the plunge into waxing and lasering your hair away? Read more about How to get the closet shave >>> 


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