This is the Right Way to Shave Your Bikini Line

Shannon Farrell
how to shave your bikini line

Photo: Antoine Arraou/Getty

Bikini season shouldn’t be a time for embarrassment: not for body reasons, and definitely not for hair removal reasons (if you know what we mean). Waxing is painful, so many of us turn to shaving our bikini lines; even though bumpy, red, itchy skin can be the result.

Well, worry no more: with the proper products, technique, and commitment (a quick swipe with the blade is not the way to go), your bikini line can be just as sleek and smooth as your legs. Dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine walks us through her simple five-step routine.

Choose the Right Razor
Replacing your razor consistently is imperative. “Razor burn, irritation and ingrown hairs can actually all be caused by using a dull razor and bad shaving habits, like pressing too hard and going over the same area multiple times,” Dr. Levine tells us. Opt to swipe out your cartridge at least every ten shaves to prevent dullness, and choose a razor with five blades, like the Venus Swirl ($13) or Gillette Venus Embrace Razor ($14) as this allows for a closer in only one swipe.

Start with Water
Real talk: pubic hair is more coarse than regular hair, and so shaving it dry is a definite no-no. Always wet the hair, even before applying shaving cream or gel. “This step hydrates your hair, helping to make your hair softer and easier to cut,” says Dr. Levine. Allow the warm water to sit for a few minutes before shaving.

Never Skip the Shaving Cream
Shaving cream or gel enhances that hydration and keeps skin supple after the shave. “Shave gel also helps you keep track where you’ve shaved, so you can stop shaving the same area over and over again,” says Dr. Levine.

Toner is Key
To prevent ingrown hairs, Dr. Levine recommends exfoliating the area twice daily using a toner. “An exfoliating toner gets rid of the dry, dead skin cells that make the outer layer of skin rough and dull.” Removing these cells prevents the skin from covering the hair and forcing it to grow inward, back into the skin. “It also decreases the chance of acne and other bumps that come from dead skin cells clogging the pores and the hair follicles,” Dr. Levine adds. If you already have ingrown hairs, she recommends using a toner and then following with an acne formula you normally use on your face—salicylic acid is great at nixing any ingrowns and ensuring a smooth bikini line.

Finish With Moisturizer

This is especially important to do after every shave. It turns out that applying moisturizer keeps dry skin at bay—which is another cause of ingrown pubic hairs. “If you prefer to wear a lighter moisturizer during the day, I recommend using a richer moisturizer at night to help skin reset,” says Dr. Levine. If it ensures a smooth bikini line, we’ll definitely do it.

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