Don't Make These Common Mistakes During Hair Removal

Warm weather usually means more sun and less clothing. When you break out the shorts and tank tops, you might also bring out the razors and waxes. Body hair is normal on all bodies, and keeping it or not is a personal preference. If you do decide to remove it, there are some things you should know before starting your routine.

Luckily, there's a wealth of options for body hair removal, both at home and professionally. From shaving to waxing, from laser hair removal to depilatories, you've got options. No matter which method you choose, there are some things to keep in mind before getting started, according to Healthline. First, be sure to start with clean skin. Getting rid of any bacteria will help prevent bumps and irritation. Then, exfoliate using a loofah or gentle scrub, which will remove dead skin cells and allow for the best results. Avoid using any harsh chemical exfoliant, though. After removing the hair, don't forget to take care of your skin afterward. Avoid irritation by moisturizing or using products with salicylic acid to keep dead skin and bacteria away.

What a dermatologist says about hair removal

Dr. Tiffany Clay, a board-certified dermatologist, spoke to Mindbodygreen and shared common mistakes she sees at her practice. First, she recommends waiting until the end of your shower to shave. As the humidity in the shower increases, the hair follicles will open up, helping to achieve a better shave. Your skin will also be clean and you'll have some exfoliation going on, which will help prevent ingrown hairs. She stresses the importance of shaving on wet skin with a barrier, like shaving cream or a hydrating body wash — never shave your skin when it's dry.

Dr. Clay told Mindbodygreen that with any hair removal process, you should set reasonable expectations, particularly around laser hair removal (which she likes to call "laser hair reduction"). Lasers work differently for different people, depending on your hair color and skin tone. Furthermore, it doesn't always mean that hair is gone permanently — you may still need to come in for touch-ups once or twice a year.

Lastly, Dr. Clay warns against using body retinol before waxing. Retinol is becoming increasingly popular, but you should stop using it a few days before your appointment. Whether on your face or another body part, be sure to give the skin a break from retinol or other harsh exfoliants before going in for a wax.