Caring For Your Most Sensitive Areas

Caring For Your Most Sensitive Areas

Whether you love it, hate it, or anything in between, it’s probably safe to say that we’ve all dealt with the dread of a less-than-perfect bikini line. Ingrown hairs, razor burn, bumps, discoloration… all reasons we might hide behind a cover-up rather than frolic freely.

The annoying truth is, our bikini area is very sensitive and will be affected by what we use around it and how we treat it. Growing up, nobody talked to me about the proper way to care for such a delicate part of my body, and I don’t recall any of my friends having that conversation either.
 
Anatomy 101

It’s important to note a few things anatomy-wise when tending to your sensitive area. Simply put, the vagina and vulva are not the same. Vagina = inside, vulva = outside. It’s pretty common knowledge these days that douching is a no-go and can disrupt the pH of the vagina. Well, the same is true for a lot of other products that are specifically marketed as formulated for use on the female genital area.
 

What NOT To Do


Fragrance, harsh soaps, and cleansers that contain perfumes and other chemical ingredients can be highly irritating to delicate tissues, further contributing to anything but an attractive bikini line.

So, you guessed it, step 1 in caring for your bikini line is to omit anything that might be irritating the overall area. In general, be wary of harsh chemical detergents, dryer sheets, synthetic fragrances, and dyes. More specifically, avoid perfumes and scented soaps/lotions. The New York Times offers helpful advice from Dr. Jen Gunter that reads:

“Vulvar pH is around 5.3 and water is 7.0. It is best that any soap or cleanser you use have a pH between 5.3 and 7.0 as regular exposure to a higher pH could damage the lipid layer on the surface of the vulva.”

“Soap can dry the skin and scents — even botanicals — can irritate it. A mild unscented soap, such as pure glycerin soap, or a cleanser (a nonsoap product) is best but use them sparingly. Special feminine cleansers are not needed and many have fragrances that could be irritating. A hypoallergenic facial cleanser can be used, but many women are also happy with just water.”

What Exactly Is An Ingrown Hair And How Is It Caused?


According to the Mayo Clinic, “an ingrown hair occurs when a shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin.” Being that our pubic hair is typically more coarse and curly, it has a higher chance of curling back into the skin when removed. What is the best way to avoid these pesty little guys? Keep reading!

Routine


Wash, exfoliate, dry, moisturize.
  • Dr. Gunter covered washing, but to sum it up once more, wash vulva daily with either water alone or a mild, unscented, pure soap or cleanser.
  • Regular exfoliating (3-4x/week) keeps skin healthy and pores clear and unclogged. It also gets rid of dead skin cells reducing the likeliness of ingrowns. You can use an exfoliating mitt, body brush, or a homemade sugar scrub made of equal parts sugar and oil. If you’re a product guru and would rather buy something, make sure to steer clear of those harsh ingredients we talked about and opts for a natural, mild, gentle, minimal ingredient exfoliant.
  • Yes, drying off should play a vital role in your grooming routine. Moist areas are particularly prone to bacterial growth, so whether you choose to wash with water alone or a mild cleanser, it’s imperative to make sure you’re completely dry before dressing!
  • Moisturizing: Be sure not to skip this step! It’s important to moisturize after shaving. Make sure to use an unscented, alcohol-free moisturizer. Aloe vera, pure shea butter, and coconut oil are all great natural options. An anti-inflammatory cream or oil with vitamin E would be a great option as well!

Other basic tips to prevent ingrown hairs:
  • Avoid tight workout clothes post grooming. Rubbing from tight clothing can create inflamed follicles.
  • Avoid tweezing.
  • Let it breathe. Don’t keep your bikini area trapped in tight underwear or clothing when it’s not necessary.
  • Wear 100% cotton underwear.
  • Stay hydrated!

Shaving


Pros: quick, easy, accessible at all times, essentially free

Cons: razor burn, ingrowns, bumps

Tips: Always use shaving cream. Reach for one with minimal and natural, moisturizing ingredients. This gives your skin the proper buffer it needs for your razor. Stoke the razor in the same direction of hair growth and make sure you’re using a SHARP blade by replacing the head every 2-3 uses if using disposable. Avoid hot water directly after shaving.

Waxing


Pros: lasting results, less shower time, gets hard to reach places

Cons: ingrowns, (temporarily) painful, can be costly, regrowth

Tips: Exfoliate before you go. Do not shave in-between visits (hair has to be grown out enough to be waxed, this is why regrowth can be a con). Dodge visits around your period, you will feel the pain much more.

Sugaring


Pros: all-natural, less painful, quick, can be done at home

Cons: can be difficult to find a place that offers this service, regrowth, can be pricey

Tips: Great option for those with sensitive skin. To make at home, all you need is sugar, water, and lemon juice.
 

Laser


Pros: drastically reduces hair growth

Cons: cost, longer process

Tips: Make sure your technician is certified to do the procedure, as laser treatment is not taught in medical school and requires further training.

How to Shave Vagina & Bikini Line Area


It‘s a great feeling when you reach for the shaver and really clear out that jungle down there. Your skin can breathe properly again. Moreover, with pubic hair shaving, everything feels more hygienic. But of course, it‘s not that easy to shave the bikini area and the intimate area.

So, how do I shave my intimate area? It‘s important to know how to proceed correctly so that your sensitive area stays healthy and you can avoid irritation and ingrown hair. This step-by-step guide provides you with valuable tips on how to shave your vagina and bikini line – safely and with smooth results!

Take a deep breath for intimate area shaving for a woman


Patience is the key to good intimate shaving for ladies. No, this is not something Confucius said. But it‘s important nevertheless: Take as much time for your intimate shave as you need. You should especially play it safe to avoid irritation or cuts.

Choose a shaver with a flexible head that conforms to your contours. Find a model with more than one blade and clean it thoroughly before intimate shaving. This way you avoid bacteria spreading on the blades and settling in your pores and stops shaving pimples from forming.

1. Before pubic hair shaving: clean skin, clean results


The cleaner your intimate area before shaving, the lower the risk of an infection afterwards. Shower or wash with warm water and a mild shower gel. If the water is too hot, it can irritate your skin. A little warmth however makes your skin smoother and ensures that your hair follicles – and you – can relax.

Instead of shower gel, you can also use a pH neutral wash. It removes dead skin cells that clog your pores and may lead to ingrown hair. Afterward, pat yourself dry with a clean towel so you can start with trimming and shaving of the bikini area.

2. Less is more: trimming hair and shaving the bikini area


Make sure to trim your pubic hairs first. This way you can see better when you’re shaving afterwards. It’s also better for your shaver. If your hair is short while shaving the bikini area, they won’t get stuck in the shaver. That saves you an uncomfortable pulling feeling and your skin potential irritation.

It’s best if you use a tool that has been developed to protect your sensitive bikini area. This way it avoids scratches and ensures an all-around comfortable trimming.

Afterwards it’s onto the bikini area. Make sure your skin is tight. One way you can do that is by placing your foot on a stool and turning your leg outwards. For uneven areas like the bikini line, it pays off to use a shaver with a flexible head like the Philips SatinShave Prestige. Along with its shaving head for the bikini area and the bikini area trimmer comb, its flexible joint ensures optimum skin contact.

3. How do I shave my intimate area? A clever woman proceeds like this ...


Now it’s time to shave the really sensitive areas. You know what we mean ladies, it’s time to shave the vagina. That, of course, is optional. If you are happy with a cleanly trimmed intimate area and shaved bikini line, great. Your skin will thank you for it.

If not, make sure you are standing in the light and can see everything clearly. Pull your skin taut while shaving to avoid scratches and achieve a smoother finish. First shave in the direction of hair growth, then, if necessary, against it. Ensure you don’t go over a particular area too often. Then you thoroughly rinse the area with lukewarm water and pat it dry. Voilà!

4. The best for last: after the intimate shaving of a woman


Now you can apply a mild balm that’s especially made for the intimate shaving of ladies and indulges your intimate area with soothing aloe vera or tea tree oil. Keep your tight synthetic underwear in the drawer for now. Cotton enables your skin to breathe better and doesn’t irritate it.

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