Monday 15 May 2017

Hair Removal - No More Irritation/Shaving Rash!

The warmer weather is finally coming, which means it's time to ditch the jeans and pull out the shorts and skirts. You might even be jetting off with a suitcase full of bikinis instead of outfits. All great for most, but for some of us it can cause a bit of a worry. Sensitive skin and hair removal are two things that don't always get on very well, leaving some people feeling either self conscious or low. Today's post is for those who are looking for tips or product recommendations to help soothe this irritation so that you too can have smooth legs, underarms or bikini line with no irritation, ingrown hairs or shaving rash to show off during the summer.

Pfft, unachievable perfect legs

Let's be blunt from the start though - hair removal isn't a necessity. It's okay to go natural if you want to go natural. This post is not about telling you to conform to any certain beauty standards, that goes against what I believe in here on Beautifinous. This post is for those that simply just prefer to remove hair out of personal choice and would like to achieve it without the rash, itching, ingrown hairs or discomfort that can come with it. 

It has taken me a long time to find the right products that actually help with shaving irritation, so I hope that for those of you are still searching for a solution manage to find something within this post that may help. Also, if you have any more tips or tricks, please feel free to share them in the comments!

I've split this post into sections to discuss each stage of the process in more detail: pre-hair removal, hair removal and post-hair removal. During each section I'll mention a few of my favourite products, but to make it easier and clearer I will add a list of the mentioned products from each section at the end of said section for you to purchase them if you wish.

Let's dive on in.

Pre-Hair Removal

Rituals Ayurveda Scrub
Rituals Ayurveda Scrub
Let's begin by discussing what we can do for our skin pre-hair removal. If you're here, I'm sure you've likely read up on this topic before, and everywhere will say pretty much the same: exfoliation.

Where the advice tends to differ is how/when you should exfoliate. The day before, right before, precisely 7 minutes and 43 seconds before and so on. What I have found personally is that the type of exfoliator also counts just as much as the length of time beforehand. Either way, I'm going to discuss the things products and tips that have personally worked for me.

I find that soaking in a warm/hot bath or waiting a few minutes in a warm/hot shower before exfoliating is the first step. Then it's time to exfoliate, again around 5-10 minutes before you decide to shave/try another method of hair removal.

Australian Bodycare Body Scrub
Australian Bodycare Body Scrub
My personal favourite body exfoliators for this job are the Australian Bodycare Exfoliating Body Scrub and the Rituals Ayurveda Scrub. The Australian Bodycare Body Scrub contains Tea Tree and this helps to heal any irritation or prevent it. The Rituals Ayurveda Scrub is also a body mask. You can leave it on the legs for around 10 minutes and it leaves the skin feeling super smooth and dirt that can clog up pores is also withdrawn, helping to prevent irritation.

Another favourite exfoliator of mine is one that you use post-shaving, but I'll be discussing that more in depth further into the post in the post-hair removal section.

Product Recommendations:

Australian Bodycare Body Scrub - Look Fantastic
Rituals Ayurveda Scrub - Birchbox

Hair Removal

There are lots of methods of hair removal, but there are some that tend to cause my sensitive skin more issues than they help. Those are hair removal creams (which burn), waxing (I can only successfully wax my eyebrows) and epilation (it just never seemed to work without leaving my skin bleeding). So for this post I'm going to be mentioning the things I'm able to use and therefore feel to be in a better position to share tips about: shaving (with a normal razor and an electric shaver) and sugaring.

Shaving is likely to be the most popular of hair removal, so let's discuss tips for that first.

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil
L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil
A lot of people recommend using oil for shaving, which I agree with. However, if you're using a regular razor, it can also clog the bejesus out of the blades which isn't nice at all. My suggestion is to meet in the middle. I love the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil for shaving as it works great and doesn't clog the blade. It also doubles up as a body wash oil so it's a win win.

I've recently swapped over to an electric shaver (the Remington Cordless Electric Lady Shaver) which works a treat on both wet and dry skin. Admittedly it works better on wet skin, providing a closer shave. The downside? I find that it takes a lot longer. Sometimes you have to try harder to get the close shave that you're likely to be after. With that said, I also find that the finish seems to last for longer. So if you have more time, an electric shaver could be a good option for you. 

If you're rubbish with waxing like myself, sugaring could also be a good option to try. There are a couple of different methods of sugaring, but I have only tried the strip sugaring with the Sugar StripEase Hair Remover. The reason I prefer it to waxing is because it doesn't rip off the skin. It only adheres to the hair, so if you need time to practice your technique, you're not left with no skin at the end of it.

Sugar paste
It did take me a while to get the hang of it and yes, do set enough time aside the first few times until you master the technique because you could be there a while. However, it is worth it in the end for great results.

The downside of sugaring is the fact that it can be incredibly sticky, but thankfully it also washes off super easily with just water and a cloth. Nice!

If you have any trouble with getting the sugar to stick to the hair, talc can be your best friend. It helps to absorb any moisture around the area and helps the sugar stick to the hair. 

Product Recommendations:

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil - L'Occitane
Remington Cordless Electric Lady Shaver - Boots
Sugar StripEase Hair Removal - Amazon

Post-Hair Removal

Personally, this is the part that I find to be the most important. If you're here, you may have done all of the above things so many times and are probably sick of being told the same thing over and over. I was the exact same, but I'll explain what I do now in the hopes that it may work for you too.

Skin Doctors Ingrow Go and Hair No More
Skin Doctors Ingrow Go and Hair No More
As soon as you finish removing hair and cleaning up, pat dry the skin with a towel. Next, grab yourself a bottle of this lifesaver: the Ingrown Go lotion by Skin Doctors. Apply some to cotton wool, and apply it on all areas that you usually get irritation.

Yes, it may sting due to the high alcohol content, but it will pass and trust me, it's worth the sting. 

After applying the lotion and letting it dry, spray some Skin Doctors Hair No More hair inhibitor spray onto the same areas and massage into the skin. This product won't work instantly and will take months of use before you really start to notice some results and less hair growing through post-removal, but it does also add a cooling effect to the skin and soothes the area after applying the Ingrown Go lotion too,

Allow the spray to dry, and then if you have done your bikini area or underarms, apply a deodorant. I prefer natural deodorant so would recommend either the Native Unearthed Crystal Deodorant with Raw Curcumin or Aloe Vera (the one I use currently) or the AA Skincare Natural Deodorant

Jason 98% Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
Jason 98% Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
I'm not going to lie, I'm actually not sure why this tip works. I do need to research it more. However, I have seen this tip crop up all over the darn place on the internet and I thought, okay, let's just try it. And it worked. So, give it a go.

Once everything else is dry, apply some Aloe Vera Gel everywhere that you just shaved/sugared. I like the Jason 98% Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel which comes in a whole range of sizes.

And that's it.

Yes, it's a lengthy post-shaving routine, but it is the only thing I've found that works. 

After every bath/shower, make sure to apply the Ingrown Go lotion and the Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel. I don't find the Hair No More spray or deodorant to be necessary every day, so the routine is shorter on days that you don't remove hair.

The Ingrown Go lotion will sting less on each continuous day that you use it, but then will sting a fair amount again when you use it straight after hair removal.

Product Recommendations:

Skin Doctors Ingrown Go and Hair No More spray - Feel Unique
Native Unearthed Crystal Deodorant - Native Unearthed
AA Skincare Natural Deodorant - AA Skincare
Jason 98% Aloe Vera Gel - Look Fantastic

I really, really hope that if you've been struggling with hair removal irritation that you find something within this post that will help you. If I had to recommend one product over all of the others, it would 100% be the Skin Doctors Ingrown Go lotion. I cannot praise it highly enough even though it does come with some stinging discomfort. It is a bottle of magic for irritation prone skin.

Do you have any other tips for preventing or curing post-hair removal irritation? Please do share in the comments!

Zoe. @Beautifinous

*This post does include some products that I have received as sample reviews in the past, but all recommendations within this post are made by myself alone.

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