We asked Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, for the scoop on how to (and how not to) keep your bikini line groomed.
DO: Take care of your razor.
A smooth shave starts with keeping your razor in check. To keep the blades sharp, Dr. Tanzi suggests always keeping the cap on and to clean the razor, rinsing shaving cream and tapping away excess water before sliding the cap back on.
DON'T: Share your razor.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but sharing your razor with anyone (yes, even a family member or your partner) can spread bacteria. A worst-case scenario? You can get a bacterial infection like staph, Dr. Tanzi warns.
DO: Splurge on your razor.
Resist the siren call of cheap disposable razors! "Splurge to purchase the more expensive triple razors with the sensitive skin strip," Dr. Tanzi recommends. "This will give you a very close shave and reduce irritation." Cheap razors can cause trauma down there, which does not sound like a fun way to spend a beach weekend.
DON'T: Forget to prime your skin before shaving.
We've all done the quickie dry shave when in a pinch. Spoiler alert: They're not great for your skin. For the best and closest shave possible, prime your skin. Dr. Tanzi recommends softening skin with "very warm water" and lathering on a thick shaving cream, like EOS shaving cream.
Additionally, if you want to avoid razor burn or ingrown hairs, be sure to shave with a sharp, new razor, and not an old one you had lying around.
DO: Shave right before hitting the beach.
Duh! In order to achieve maximum smoothness, shave right before slipping into your bathing suit. Just whatever you do, don't dry shave!
DON'T: Ignore nicks.
It can happen to even the most seasoned shaving pro. A slight sting can turn into a Red Wedding-esque bloodbath if you don't attend to it quickly enough.
To combat a nick, Dr. Tanzi recommends holding pressure on the nick until it stops bleeding, then applying Aquaphor.