By Renee Jacques, Allure
Summer = bikini waxes. So, does summer = painful things like ingrown hairs and irritated skin? Not necessarily! Allow us to share the best bikini-wax insider secrets.
1. Exfoliate before and after. Slough the area two days before and the first three days after a wax to remove dead cells on the skin's surface and allow hairs to push through easily, suggests Cindy Barshop, a waxing expert. Chemical exfoliators with a large concentration of alcohol can be too irritating, so look for one that pairs mild sloughers with soothing ingredients, like aloe and soy. Our recommendation is Bliss Hot Salt Scrub.
2. After your wax, moisturize. Smooth on a lotion that includes alpha hydroxy acids, because they can loosen dead skin that could create ingrowns, says Stephen Webster, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota. Try Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Plus. You can also try applying a cream that inhibits hair growth, such as Jergens Naturally Smooth or Curél Smooth Legs.
3. OK, after all that, you still got ingrowns. Now what? Repeat after us: I will not pluck my ingrown hair. You could get scarring or an infection if you do. Instead, treat the ingrown hair with Tend Skin Liquid. It contains acetylsalicylic acid, which will exfoliate the skin around it and allow the hair to be set free.
4. Calm redness and inflammation. If your skin is irritated, douse it in a lotion or oil that has aloe in it to soothe and moisturize the bumps, like Johnson's Baby Oil Gel With Aloe & Vitamin E or Parissa Azulene Oil, which has a calming chamomile derivative. After that, if your bikini line is still angry as hell, try skim milk -- the lactic acid in it helps soothe skin. Soak a thin cloth or a paper towel in a mixture of half skim milk and half cold water, and hold it on your skin for ten minutes. Repeat this every few hours. If that doesn't help, try hydrocortisone cream on the area twice a day until it's healed.
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