By Karen RobockUpdated Jun 18, 2013
Get silky smooth skin from the comfort of home this season. "DIY options are better than ever and there is something that will work for everyone — but it may take a bit of trial and error to find the method that's right for you," says Toronto aesthetician Leslie Ferranti.
Click through this gallery for expert tips and tools for DIY hair removal.
A version of this article was published in our July 2012 issue with the headline "Bare essentials," p. 32.
The quickest, cheapest and easiest way to get smooth skin is with a razor. Start by applying a shave gel or cream to damp skin. "Either will work well, but avoid soap — it's too drying, especially if you have sensitive skin," says Ferranti. Doing this in the shower works best since the warm water will soften your skin and there's no mess to clean up afterwards. Glide the razor along your skin in the opposite direction of hair growth at a 45-degree angle for the closest shave.
TIP: For a smooth, knick-free shave, replace your blade every four weeks.
Schick Hydro Silk Razor, $16, well.ca
Waxing requires more time and effort, but it's worth it for the long-lasting results — no stubble for up to four weeks. Start when hair is a quarter to half an inch long. Next, smooth wax or preloaded strips onto skin in the direction of hair growth. Hold the skin taut and pull the wax away quickly in the opposite direction. Apply pressure with your hand to subdue the sting. Post wax your skin will be sensitive, so avoid sun exposure, and use an unscented lotion.
TIP: Moisturize and exfoliate regularly to prevent ingrown hairs. Or if you're prone to them, try an ingrown hair serum.
Baléa Legs and Body Ready-to-Use Wax Strips, $9, shoppersdrugmart.ca
These creams dissolve hair at the surface of the skin and will keep you smooth for up to three days. Do a patch test before you start to make sure your skin doesn't react to the product. When you know it's safe to go ahead, start by washing your skin thoroughly in the shower to remove any trace of perspiration or lotion, which can contribute to irritation. Next make sure your hair is no longer than a quarter of an inch and apply the cream according to the package directions.
TIP: If you have sensitive skin, you might want to use another method on really tender spots, like your bikini line.
Nair Brazilian Spa Clay hair removal cream, $10, naircare.ca
Professional laser hair removal diminishes hair growth permanently, though it rarely eliminates every strand, by killing the follicle. But, it's not for everyone: Laser works best on the combination of fair skin and dark hair and requires an investment of time and money. Treating a small area like your underarms will require six to eight visits to the salon every four to eight weeks, and costs between $300 and $800, depending on the dermatologist, salon or brand of laser used. Ferranti's advice? "Make sure you do your homework. Not all lasers are created equal, and not all technicians are trained properly," she says. Book a consultation before you commit and ask for recommendations from your friends.Photo: Oktay Ortakcioglu/iStockphoto