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 bit trickier.

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

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

With a little extra care and attention to this part of your body, you can get the trim you’re after without the redness, ingrown hairs or razor bumps.

Take time to prep and trim the area first

Before shaving your bikini area, it’s important to trim any excess hair, Dr. Shari Lipner, associate professor of clinical dermatology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, told TODAY.

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

Use only gentle, fragrance-free products

It’s always a good idea to use shaving creams that are fragrance-free and gentler on skin, the experts said. And when you’re 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 calming ingredient that might feel nice in that area, Newsom said.

Position yourself so you don’t need to pull the skin

Avoid the temptation to pull the skin while shaving, Lipner said, because that can cause irritation. Instead, try to position yourself in a way that allows you to gain access to the area without tugging, she said.

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

Perfect your shaving technique

It’s important to follow the same basic guidelines when shaving any area of your body. And with an area that’s as sensitive as the bikini line, it’s especially crucial.

  • Shave with the grain, meaning in the direction hair grows. “You might be able to get away with going against the grain on the legs,” Newsom said, “but on the bikini area you should go with the grain because it’s a little gentler.”
  • Rinse your razor to remove hair after every stroke.
  • Give shaving in this area your full attention, the AAD says.

Doing these simple things will help prevent injuries and irritation.

Finish with a gentle moisturizer

After shaving, moisturize the area using another gentle, fragrance-free product. This will help reduce dryness in the area and the chances for irritation, the AAD says.

If your skin is feeling 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 out the razor,” Lipner said, because you’ll start to notice an increase in redness and irritation after shaving. “But instead of waiting for that to happen, it’s better to just get 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 may even be worth making a little note in the notepad on your phone to record that,” Lipner suggested.

You might also want to think about investing in a bikini trimmer that’s small and designed specifically to be used in that area, Newsom recommended. And, if you’re getting post-shave bumps or redness frequently (or you’re just sick of shaving), the experts said it’s worth looking into laser hair removal for a more permanent solution.