Summertime is here, which means we’re gearing up to hit the beach or go to a pool party and bask in some summer sunshine to tie us over all those long winter months. With more sun comes less clothes (and more tanning) and with less clothes comes body hair management.
Hair or no hair, whichever you choose is totally up to you! There’s no right or wrong way to rock body hair. But if you are going to go hairless on your legs, arms, underarms, or even your bikini line, it’s important to prep the very thing it grows on: your skin.
Skin care isn’t just for your face. Taking proper care of all of your skin can help hair growth, ensuring it grows back properly and can be removed correctly, too. Without proper prep, hair can irritate the skin and cause discomfort.
Here, we’ll go through some of the common woes that can happen to your skin if not cared for properly, and some tips to make sure you’re on the right track with your at-home hair removal routine.
What happens without proper skin prep?
Hair growth is different all over the body. It’s a neat trick of biology that certain parts of the body can have, say, coarse hair depending on the person and where it’s growing. Without proper hair removal prep or care, hair can grow back improperly, and hair follicles and pores can get clogged, and other worse factors like infections might become an issue.
Here are some common skin issues that can occur with hair removal.
Strawberry skin is when little dark spots appear on the skin, notably legs, after hair removal. This occurs largely from shaving, like using dull razors, and not properly cleansing skin. Oil, dirt, and hair growing back in can cause strawberry skin.
When hair grows back after hair removal, whether it’s removed from the strand like with hair removal creams or pulled right from the follicle like with waxing, it should grow back straight to the surface. Ingrown hairs happen when the hair curls and grows into the skin instead. Ingrown hairs can be caused by shaving or waxing. Ingrown hairs around the bikini line can cause small bumps to irritation to cysts that are painful to the touch.
Pulling the hair from the follicle from waxing causes irritation, and small, brief periods of redness or inflammation afterward are normal. Still, if you have sensitive skin, this can be particularly affecting, and last longer without choosing products such as Veet® Professional™ Wax Strips, Face, Bikini and Underarms, for Sensitive Skin*. With its new and improved EasyGrip™ tab, it can help you get the right angle and keep a firm grip for easy at-home waxing.
At-home hair removal skin prep tips
1. Wash and exfoliate 24 hours before hair removal.
Cleansing your skin before hair removal. Purge your body of any oil or dirt beforehand to minimize the risk of ingrown hairs.
2. Patch test.
It’s always recommended to test hair removal products, particularly hair removal cream, before doing a full removal. This is true of waxing, as well, if you have any skin sensitivities to hot or cold wax.
3. Stick to a timeline.
Don’t wax before you’re scheduled to. If you’ve got a good at-home hair removal routine going, avoid any other method of hair removal (e.g., shaving or hair removal creams) or waxing before you're supposed to. This can increase risk for ingrown hairs.
4. Pick the right product for you and your body.
Read the label of any at-home hair removal product before use. Hair removal creams are great for legs, bikini lines, or underarm and the same goes for waxing. For sensitive skin, try using at-home hair removal products specifically tailored for that area to minimize irritation on parts of the body that might be susceptible to irritation. Your hair situation is as unique as your body itself — ensure your hair removal product fits that, too.
5. If waxing, see our best skin prep tips here
*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the product label before use.