Getting Rid of Facial, Body Hair

Fuzzy lips, bushy brows and prickly legs have driven ladies over the edge for years.

While scientists in the world of beauty have made great progress when it comes to hair growth, hair dye and even hair straightening over the last decade, it seems little has changed when it comes to the painful and sometimes embarrassing task of hair removal.

Most American women, at one time or another, have tried ripping out their unwanted hair with hot wax, or melting it off with stinking depilatory creams. Some brave ladies even tried handheld devices designed to rip hair from its roots in the 1980s.

These at-home experiments often led ladies back to the traditional weapon of choice — the razor. In fact, Kristin Perrotta, the deputy editor and beauty director of Allure magazine, says 87 percent of women who participate in hair removal choose to shave their unwanted hair. It is a good choice for those with coarse hair, since it lessens the tendency for ingrown hairs because the hair follicle is only being cut at the surface.

Nonetheless, ladies who've been hurt by wax, cream or even handheld machines in the past, should give them a try again. She says the old products have been improved over the years, and so has the reliable razor.

Highly Rated Shaving Products

Perrotta says the following razors and shaving creams are her top choices:

Gillette Venus ($8.99): The razor has three blades for a very close shave.

New Schick Intuition ($7.99): The razor comes loaded with a shaving soap containing soothing aloe, moisturizing cocoa butter, and vitamin E. It lathers up as you drag the razor over skin and lasts for about nine shavings. The Schick Quatro, which has four blades, will be available in stores in September.

Noxzema Skin Fitness Bikini Size Razors: The razors are small with a single blade, which is less likely to nick the bikini line. These razors are designed to give ladies more control in hard-to-reach places.

Perrotta recommends that women replace their razor after every three shaves. Shaving removes hair for one to three days. If that's not possible, make sure your razor has three blades to insure it is sharp as possible. Never shave on dry skin. Always make sure your skin is moist and lubricated before you start shaving. The razor will glide over skin more easily, and when you add a coating to hair it helps it stick up. Also, remember that underarm hair can grow in many directions, so shave in all directions for the closest shave.

Perrotta advises ladies to shave with a rich creamy cleanser or products like Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel ($3.99), which contains soy, an ingredient clinically proven to make hair 50 percent finer by blocking the flow of nutrients to the hair. (It does not, however, inhibit hair growth.) Even though the gels are shaved off, they contain moisturizing agents that remain on the skin.

For the bikini line, Perrotta suggests using a product that soothes razor burn and prevents post-shaving infections. Keep lather to a minimum so you can see what you are doing and shave using antibacterial soap or cream. There is more bacteria in the bikini area, which leaves you prone to pimple-like infections.

After shaving the bikini area, try Sally Hansen Bikini Plus Antibacterial Pain Relief Gel ($5.99) to soothe raw skin and prevent infections, according to Perrotta. It contains soothing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile and antibacterial agents.

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