We got the lowdown on all the latest news in hair removal - plus some basic tricks you may not be aware of.
You Don't Have to Suffer (So Much) Anymore
Previously, you needed a prescription to get your hands skin-numbing products for waxing, but a new crop of topical creams and sprays containing lidocaine and benzocaine are now available over the counter. Applying 15 to 20 minutes before you're ready to rip - or be ripped - will significantly reduce the ouch factor. Try GiGi Anesthetic Numbing Spray, $12, and LMX 4%, $47.
Check out these bikini-ready beauty secrets.
Lasers Are Now for Everyone
It used to be that unless you had fair skin and dark hair, you risked scarring and pigmentation problems or, at the very least, poor results from laser hair removal. But lasers like YAG and EpiLight work better on a broader range of complexions and hair hues, says Teresa Battaglia, co-owner of the New York Center for Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation. Though time with beam machines is still expensive (averaging around $200 a session), one or two treatments can yield impressive results, and 12 salon waxes a year at $30 each equals $360, which is almost two laser sessions.
Should you get a Brazilian before a date? Read this first!
Hair Inhibitors Are Flooding the Market
Last year, soy was the word in the hair inhibitor market. Now people are buzzing about an ingredient called capislow. A slew of new products contain this plant extract, which reduces hair regrowth by slowing down the metabolic activity involved in the hair's anagen growth process. Clinical studies found that it's on par with the results from soy lotions. It won't make you totally hairless, but if applied twice a day for a month, you'll be able to shave or wax less often. New products that contain it: Completely Bare Completely Smooth, $80, and Noxzema Soothe and Smooth 3-in-1 Bikini Area Relief, $6.
Going for a superbare Brazilian effect? Steer clear of depilatory creams, says Ava Shamban, an L.A. dermatologist. "They're fine for the outer edges of your bikini line but can give the sensitive inner areas a chemical burn."
If You Decide to Shave
- Make sure your blade is sharp and clean. We like the new crop of high-performance tools: Gillette Venus Vibrance razor, $10, stimulates your hair to stand up (like goose bumps) so the blade slices the hair extra close to your skin.
- Try a transparent shaving gel. They allow you to see clearly where you're going. Some options: King of Shaves AlphaGel, $6, and Tend Skin Air Shave Gel, $16.
- To reduce irritation, shave in the direction of hair growth. It's also wise to defuzz at the end of your shower so that the steam has softened your hair and skin.
- Prevent razor rash with a toner containung witch hazel or rosemary. If you still get bumps, try the antibiotic ointment Neosporin; your follicles could be infected.
Read more at Cosmopolitan.com!
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