Body hair removal is today an essential part of grooming, especially, for women. It all started with armpit hair removal, then with legs, and today many women remove the hair from their legs, arms, lower back, belly, bikini area, armpits and some hairs from the face.
While hair removal seems to be necessary for modern women, it is no secret that it can be uncomfortable and invasive for the skin, especially for sensitive skin. Of course, different hair removal methods have different effect on the skin, but waxing is the most popular and at the same time the most skin-damaging method. However, preparing the skin before removing the hair can help a lot, reduce pain, swelling and redness and make the procedure shorter and more long lasting.
Three essential steps in preparing for hair removal are exfoliating, hydrating and moisturizing.
Exfoliating basically means removing dead skin cells. Those cells can block hair growth and cause ingrown hair. When the skin is free from dead skin cells, it allows a closer shave, if using a razor, and a better pull in waxing. Exfoliation can be done in many ways, and the simplest one is to use a wet, soapy washcloth or loofah, using circular motions. There are also specially designed exfoliating gels and creams that contain different exfoliating ingredients. Harsh sea salt or kosher salt can also be used for this purpose, just like corn flour or even sand. It is important, though, not to rub too hard and irritate the skin.
After exfoliating, the next step in preparation for hair removal is hydrating. This step softens the hairs and plumps them up so they are more easily removed. Hydrating can be done by wetting the area with warm water for three to five minutes before shaving or waxing. The hair absorbs the water, becomes thicker and stands slightly up from the skin, so it is easier to remove. Hydrating also opens the hair shafts so the hair is pulled with less effort, and it makes the max adhere better.
Moisturizing is always important, not just before hair removal. Using a moisturizing lotion or body milk prior to removing the body hair will lubricate the skin and cause less irritation. It reduces razor friction which can cause pain and redness, along with unsightly lines and marks on the skin. There are also specially designed moisturizers that are meant to be applied before waxing. They reduce the sticking of the wax to the skin and prevent abrasions and tearing of the skin.