Dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu shares her shaving tips and tricks

By Sarah Kinonen
August 05, 2016 08:21 AM
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Today is National Underwear Day! Before you get your panties in a bunch (sorry, had to) about celebrating yet another made-up national holiday — in your skivvies, no less — we’re here to say relax. There’s no right or wrong way to participate, aside from, well, wearing underwear.

But if you’re dying to really get into the spirit of the day and want to celebrate in style — no matter what look you’re rocking down below — we’ve tapped L.A.-based dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu for some of her easy-to-follow tips and tricks to help get your best bikini line shave yet, today and for the rest of your summer.

Before you dive in with a razor, determine which tools you really need to get the job done.
“If you do not shave the area regularly, or if you have more curly hair, always trim the hair in this area first, and then you can shave. This will give you a safer shave (since hairs can clog blades) and a closer, smoother shave. I recommend using a tool like the Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle, which is a bikini trimmer and razor in one.”

Once you’ve picked your tools, steam up before shaving up.
“In the shower or bath, let the warm water and steam soften the hair for a bit first for an easier shave. This means waiting toward the end of your shower routine to shave.”

RELATED VIDEO: 5 Ways to Look Instantly Slimmer

Always apply shaving cream.
“I recommend using a shave gel — not soap or hair conditioner, which tend to dull razor blades — to not only help you more clearly track where you have shaved so you never miss a spot, but [gels] also have specialized ingredients that soften the hair so your blade stays sharp. This is especially important because hair in the bikini area tends to be coarser.”

Switch out your blades regularly to avoid irritation.
“Always avoid dull razors, as they can cause an irregular shave instead of a smooth edge, leading to more ingrown hairs. You will be less likely to have minor cuts and irritations that can sting if you change out your blades about every five to seven shaves.

But if you do fall victim to in-grown hairs, leave them be!
“It’s vital to not pick or tweeze in-grown hairs — it’ll only aggravate the area. Gentle exfoliation and the use of a mild, over-the-counter hydrocortisone can help with bumps and irritation that may occasionally occur.”

RELATED PHOTOS: Customizable Makeup: Build-Your-Own-Beauty Is Happening

Now matter how often you shave (or wax!), you should feel confident in your own skin.
“Some people have faster growing cycles and would need to shave more often. Shaving cycles also vary seasonally, as we tend to do more shaving in the summer when we are in bikinis than in the winter. As long as you feel confident and comfortable, that is the most important thing, whatever shaving interval that may be.”

How are you celebrating National Underwear Day? Share below!