As much as I love summer, there’s one part that I absolutely despise. And that, my friends, is the constant bikini line irritation from trying to achieve 24/7 smoothness. “Try” is the key word here, because it seems the more I do so, the less smooth things become. Sure, I might be hair free, but in its place are tiny, painful, unsightly razor bumps that kind of defeat the whole aesthetic I’m striving for. You feel me?
Yes, I’ve waxed in the past and TBH, I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anyone. I completed a few months of laser, which helped to dramatically thin my hair to the point where I didn’t even really need to shave or wax. But ever since Covid, I haven’t been able to go back for my routine touch ups. And also because of Covid, I’ve been spending a lot more time outdoors in the fresh air, social distancing at the beach. I know, I know. Cry me a river—a summer at the beach is definitely something I’m grateful for, especially when my previous summers were spent sweating in the concrete jungle that is New York City. But the one thing that puts a damper on it all (aside from, you know, navigating a worldwide pandemic), is the persistent razor burn from having to resort to at-home hair removal.
I tried Flamingo’s new Pubic Hair Waxing Kit at the beginning of the summer, which led me to my greatest discovery of all time. The kit includes post-wax cloths, formulated with white willow bark extract to naturally exfoliate skin for fewer ingrowns. That’s when it hit me. Could I use other chemical exfoliants to alleviate ingrown hairs from shaving and the resulting painful, red bumps? So I turned to my beauty stash and pulled out Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel for a bit of an experiment.
The mid-strength peel pads are one of my go-tos when my skin is looking dull or is in need of some exfoliation. (Side note: The Alpha Beta Peel also comes in an Ultra Gentle formula for sensitive skin and an Extra Strength formula if your skin can handle it.) The product comes with two-step packets, one side being a pad saturated with a clinically-proven combination of five alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and on the other an anti-aging neutralizer to restore hydration and calm any irritation. I decided to go for it and swiped the acid pad over my bumpy bikini line (with zero stinging, mind you) and then two minutes later, followed with the anti-aging neutralizer.
Now, I will say that I’m definitely not a dermatologist, and I also have no idea if my derm would recommend that I use a face product on my bikini line. But I figured, if it doesn’t irritate my sensitive face, then it should be fine for my equally sensitive bikini line, right? I was at least right about that, because I had no adverse effects post-use.
The next morning, I woke up to bump-free skin, save for a few tiny spots. It felt smoother, it looked way less angry and the best part: It no longer hurt to wear a swimsuit. I’ve done this little trick as needed and got the same results every time. If you’re struggling with the at-home hair removal process and need a bit of relief, give it a try. Just be sure to spot test the product on a small section before going all in.