Regardless of the time and place, women have long been on the pursuit of beauty, unfortunately sometimes as a result of societal pressure. This pursuit of beauty included a variety of beauty rituals from the completely harmless (such as Cleopatra’s famous usage of milk in her bath) to the downright fatal (like the ancient Greek women’s practice of applying white lead on their faces to create a pale complexion).
In this modern age, women are still subjecting themselves to a plethora of beauty routines in order to reflect their society’s standard of what is considered beautiful. We apply makeup to conceal our facial imperfections, experiment with one diet after another to achieve the figures of Victoria’s Secret models, and remove our body hair because society deems it as unattractive when found on a woman’s body.
The Bane of Beauty: Sensitive Skin
Of course, not every woman goes through these extensive beauty routines just for the sake of pleasing society. If you do them because these routines give you joy, then go right ahead. However, one thing that can make beauty routines a pain — sometimes literally — is when you have sensitive skin.
Living with sensitive skin that reacts adversely to the slightest change in environmental conditions or an ingredient in a new beauty product can be irritating (pun intended). It puts a damper on your eagerness to experiment with the latest skincare or cosmetic product launch, knowing that you have to be extra careful with what your skin is directly exposed to.
Basic Beauty for Sensitive Skin: Hair Removal
A beauty ritual that can be especially tough to deal with for those with sensitive skin is body hair removal. Regular hair removal techniques such as shaving and waxing tend to be too harsh for skin that is sensitive as they can lead to rashes and itchiness. Depilatory creams are often formulated with ingredients that are irritating to sensitive skin. Laser hair removal can also be an unfavourable option for those whose skin cannot take the laser pain.
So, does that mean there are no options left for sensitive skin sufferers who wish to have their body hair removed?
Fortunately, there are ways for you to minimise your skin’s reaction to hair removal procedures if you have sensitive skin. Just follow these tips and you will not have to worry about post hair removal skin flare-ups again.
Exfoliate Before, Not After
If you are shaving your body hair, exfoliate your skin a few days to a week before you actually do it. This will help get rid of the build-up of dead skin cells on your body, which will allow you to get a closer shave. This will then allow you to achieve much smoother skin compared to when you do not exfoliate at all. Be sure to not exfoliate your skin after you shave as this will increase the risk of your skin becoming much more irritated. Skin that has just been shaved is already more delicate, to begin with, and when you already have an existing skin sensitivity condition, exfoliating after shaving will just worsen the condition of your skin. The next thing you know, your skin will be covered in red bumps and rashes, and you will be itching all over.
Avoid Removing Hair During Your Period
It is not unusual for some women to experience skin sensitivity during their menstrual cycle. This is caused by a hormone called prostaglandin which is produced by the body during a woman’s period. Apart from increasing your skin’s sensitivity, this hormone is also responsible for those dreaded menstrual cramps. Therefore, you should avoid removing your hair when you are in the midst of your cycle as your skin might have a higher likelihood of reacting negatively after this process. This applies to any sort of hair removal technique you go for, whether it is shaving, waxing, epilating or laser hair removal.
Apply a Hydrating Shaving Cream
Shaving your skin when it is dry is never a good idea when you have sensitive skin as you might increase your risk of getting cuts as well as razor burns. To prevent this from happening, apply shaving cream to help create a smooth and soft surface for your razor to glide on. Opt for a shaving cream with emollient ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter as these ingredients will provide your skin with sufficient hydration. Pure coconut oil is another option if you prefer to apply something that is all-natural on your skin.
Moisturise After Removing Your Hair
After any hair removal procedure, it is important for you to moisturise your skin, whether you have sensitive skin or not. The tips we mentioned above might not necessarily remove the after-effects of hair removal such as redness and bumps completely. Thus, this makes moisturising your skin a vital step to finish off your hair removal process as it can help to calm down these after-effects. Applying a layer of moisturiser will also help to replace any loss of moisture your skin might have had from the hair removal.