Bikini Wax Vs. Shaving: What Is Best For Your Skin?

How to best remove body hair? That's the question we've been asking ourselves for years. When it comes to hair removal techniques, the list is long and includes options for every need and budget. Shaving – which can include a variety of mistakes and slip-ups — is one of the most accessible choices, because it only requires a razor and shaving cream. Other options, such as lasers, require a professional technician and special equipment. Waxing is more expensive than shaving (and can be a little embarrassing), but it's become increasingly budget-friendly thanks to at-home kits. 

Besides the accessibility of each hair removal method, the quality of the results and the process itself are other factors to take into consideration. While shaving is a quick and simple procedure, there are a lot of questions. Should you exfoliate the area before or after shaving? What razor is the most effective? The list goes on, and the process itself can cause irritation. On top of that, the results may only last for a couple of days, according to the Cleveland Clinic. On the other hand, waxing comes with a pain element, but can have lasting results of up to a month.

So, if you have the chance of choosing between shaving or waxing your bikini area, which one is best for your skin?

Both shaving and waxing can have side effects on your skin

No matter the hair removal process, negative side effects are a given. Let's start with shaving. Some side effects include ingrown hair, itching, and cuts, all of which can be painful enough to keep your bikini area in discomfort for a couple of days. You also have to avoid a major shaving error that so many of us have made: waiting until the end of your shower to do the deed. An advantage of shaving, however, is that it causes little pain. Even the most sensitive skin types can use this method (via Byrdie). 

In the case of waxing, you might get rashes, bumps, and even develop an allergic reactions due to ingredients in the wax (via Healthline), which would not be fun for the bikini area. In this process's case, it's advised to do a waxing test on a small area of your body to see if the product is right for you. Another factor to take into consideration is that waxing should only be performed when the hair is between 1/4- to 1/2-inch long, which means you may do it once a month. Despite the moderate pain, a benefit of waxing is that it exfoliates your skin as it removes dead skin along with hair.

Both waxing and shaving have side effects, so it's up to you to decide which technique has the most pros and least cons. Go with whatever makes you comfortable.