Hello there! It’s been a while. You might remember me from when I waxed poetic about the time Emma Watson got me to buy oil for my pubes. And if you don’t that’s OK—at least now I have your attention.
I’m back because it’s officially Gemini season, which means two things of equal importance are just around the corner: 1) my birthday and 2) a handful of trips to the beach. As Glossier’s self-appointed bikini-area expert, it’s my legal duty to partake in the latter at length, which is why yours truly is the proprietor of an extensive bikini-area routine. But before I go any further, some caveats: Does it matter whether you groom your bikini line at all? (No.) Is it important if the skin down there is as smooth as Stanley Tucci’s head? (Of course not.) But should you be so inclined, allow me to walk you through the most effective and rewarding bikini-area maintenance process around. Cue the makeover montage music, we’re coming out brand new on the other side of this.
Step 1: Grooming
Last fall, I made the incredible decision to invest in laser hair removal and I could not recommend it enough. I see Alison at Satori Laser near Grand Central—she's the best! However, you’re not supposed to expose your just-lasered skin to the sun two weeks before and after each laser session, so if you’re interested, I don’t recommend starting now. Instead, wax any hairs you want to remove with a hard wax, which is better at grabbing hairs than pre-waxed strips. If you're looking for a quicker, more painless option, shaving works in a pinch. Or, you can keep things au natural—it's up to you. What's important is that you do whatever feels right.
Step 2: Exfoliation
No matter what step 1 entails for you, step 2 is CRUCIAL. Do. Not. Skimp. On. Exfoliation. It will help prevent in-growns (which can become infected if you don't watch out), reduce the appearance of scars from in-growns past that I KNOW YOU DIDN’T PICK AT, and will leave your skin suspiciously smooth. I’ve been using Fur Oil’s Silk Scrub about every other day and highly recommend it. It’s super gentle, smells amazing, and gets the job done. And then once a week I also use an exfoliating mitt to extend my insurance policy against in-grown hairs.
Step 3: Hydration
I know I’ve already sung Fur Oil’s praises, but I don’t think enough good things can be said about it. It's amazing, just get it. Alternatively, I’m a big fan of Neutrogena’s Sesame Body Oil (I use it all over my body in the summer months) and I guarantee you’ll get addicted to the lightly-toasted smell. I let the oil sink into my hairs and skin for a bit and then follow up with Aveeno lotion to add a layer of cushion-y hydration. Hello sweet supple baby skin, it’s nice to meet you.
Step 4: Protection
Now that you, me, and our bikini lines are ready to hit the beach, there is one final step—sunscreen. This one’s extra important since your skin will be more vulnerable to sun damage after all that exfoliation. Don't let that wonderful prep work go to waste with a fresh new sunburn, or any other sign of irritation—hyperpigmentation, redness, what have you. Proper care must be paid. Since I love a body oil, my go-to is Supergoop’s Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil. I spritz it on my hands first, and then rub it in. I’ve also been known to go for Invisible Shield, because if it’s good enough for my face it’s good enough for my bikini.
And that’s it. Just don’t ask me about brushing the hair on my head. Really, who has the time?
Photo via ITG