The best DIY bikini hair removal products

The best DIY bikini hair removal products

I was in middle school the first time I wanted to shave. I was horrified at the first sight of stubble on my legs and begged my mom to buy me my first razor. Instead, she bought me a cream that I'd smooth on and scoop off with a bladeless applicator that guaranteed weeks of smooth skin. That was my first lesson — and the beginning of my obsession — with hair removal products.

First, it should be said that body hair removal is a personal choice. I personally prefer my body smooth and stubble-free — especially in the bikini area. Up until recently, though, I was using a standard razor to take care of hair down there. I decided it was high time I expanded my horizons and found the best bikini hair removal products on the market, mostly because I was tired of my oh-so-sensitive skin being irritated, but also so that you don't have to muddle through the same trial and error process yourself. Below, you'll find the best bikini hair removal products in every category based on hours of first-hand testing.

Here are the best bikini hair removal products you can buy:

The best for sensitive skin

The best for sensitive skin
DeoDoc's Intimate Shaving Kit puts skin first and shaving second with three gentle formulas that nourish and soothe the bikini area pre- and post-hair removal.

Your bikini area is sensitive as it is, but for those whose skin is especially delicate and prone to irritation, hair removal can be a challenge (and a painful one at that). The key is to find products that nourish and soothe the skin while simultaneously eliminating unwanted hair growth. DeoDoc's Intimate Shaving Kit does just that.

DeoDoc's bikini removal kit costs $55, which isn't exactly cheap, but you are getting what you pay for. The three-piece bundle includes a pre-shaving oil, shaving foam, and after-shave balm. The products are also sold separately on the Deodoc website for $25, $16, and $19.50, respectively, but I highly recommend that sensitive skin types treat themselves to the complete kit.

Each bottle in the kit is numbered in order of the three steps: The first is Pre-Shave Oil, a slightly thick serum made with ingredients like sunflower seed and shea oil that soften the skin and hair follicles, preparing them for the shaving process. Per the product's instructions, you'll massage four pumps into the hair and wait 2-3 minutes before shaving. Pro tip: Apply the oil, and then shave one of your legs to pass the time.

The second step is to apply DeoDoc Shaving Foam and use a razor to remove the hair. I love how fluffy the foam feels in my hands and how gentle it lies on the skin. The formula was developed for all skin types, but it's especially great for sensitive skin as it reduces redness and irritation.

Last but not least is the After Shave Balm. Trust me when I say that you do not want to skip this step. The directions say to apply immediately after shaving, but I found that the results are the same if you wait until after you get out of the shower (you know, once you shave that second leg). The final result is silky smooth skin that's soft to the touch and deeply moisturized.

Pros: Nourishes skin and makes the hair removal process easier, bottles are travel-friendly, formulas smell amazing, a little product goes a long way

Cons: Three-step process, have to wait 2-3 minutes after the first step

The best wax

The best wax
At-home waxing isn't as painful as it sounds with Nad's. The organic formula warms to body heat and is made with natural ingredients known to preemptively calm irritation.

My criteria for finding the best bikini hair removal wax included the following: a formula that's gentle on the skin and offers long-lasting results, a clean ingredients list, and easy clean-up. After many trials and errors, my search led me to the Nad's Original Hair Removal Gel Kit, and really, I shouldn't be surprised by my new obsession, given that the brand's eyebrow waxing kit is my go-to for at-home brow maintenance.

Nad's Original Hair Removal Gel is formulated with natural ingredients like date extract, honey, lemon juice, cocoa seed butter, and shea butter. The gentle formula is also made with vitamins A and E to nourish the skin and preemptively reduce irritation.

That isn't to say it won't hurt — waxing never feels great, no matter the formula (or who's performing the treatment), but I definitely found this option to be the least irritating. It was also by far the easiest to apply and remove.

The ingredients list alone was enough to sell me on this product, but what I loved most was that, unlike other formulas I'd tried, this one doesn't need to be heated up in the microwave. Nad's hair removal gel warms by way of your own body heat. It also washes off with water, so if you make a mistake, you can always rinse and repeat.

The complete kit costs just under $40 and includes six ounces of the Original Hair Removal Gel, four pre-wax cleansing wipes, 10 reusable cotton strips, six wooden applicators, and a tube of Nad's Moisture+ Soothing Balm. In my opinion, it's a high-quality drugstore product as it's made with natural ingredients, comes with pre- and post-wax skincare products, and has wax strips that can be cleaned and used again and again, which helps to reduce waste. It can also be used to remove hair from your legs, face, and underarms.

Pros: The formula is natural, gentle, and doesn't need to be heated up; rinses off with water; includes reusable cotton strips; can be used on other parts of the body

Cons: Even though it's less irritating than others, no wax kit is totally painless


The best cream

The best cream
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For a bladeless shave, grab Nair's hair removal cream. It applies like deodorant and comes off with a damp washcloth, so there's little risk of irritation.

Testing the Nair Glides Away Sensitive Formula felt like going back in time to my middle school days when I avoided razors and exclusively used hair removal creams. Nair was the competitor of the brand I was loyal to all those years ago, and now I know why: Its products smell 10 times better.

Aside from the scent, the first thing I noticed about Nair's bikini hair removal cream was the packaging. The formula comes bottled in the form of a deodorant stick, and applies similarly, too. Simply turn the dial at the bottom to dispense the cream.

From there, the cream is meant to be applied in thick layers over the bikini area and left on the skin for at least six minutes, or a maximum of 10 minutes. Remove the hair by gently wiping the cream off with a damp washcloth and rinsing the area thoroughly with warm water.

In my experience, the effectiveness of hair removal cream is hit or miss. It depends on how much hair is being removed, and how long the hair is. For medium-length hair, I found that letting the formula set for eight minutes was the sweet spot. You'll want to do more for longer hair, and less for stubble. That being said, I wouldn't rely on this cream for deep hair removal; it's really best for touch-ups.

Pros: Great for touch-ups, smells good, travel-friendly, razor- and heat-free

Cons: Not for long, coarse hair; requires you to sit for a few minutes in a semi-uncomfortable position

The best razor

The best razor
Schick's all-in-one razor provides the blade and removal gel. It's the best option for travel, and saves you money on shaving cream.

I'm not being dramatic when I say it was love at first swipe the first time I used the Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor. This device does double duty as a razor and shaving cream in one.

Schick's 4-blade razor comes surrounded by a conditioning solid that's been infused with vitamin E and 100% natural aloe. When wet, the solid creates a gentle lather that nourishes and moisturizes skin while the blade shaves off unwanted hair. It sounds like magic because it kind of is.

As someone who used a standard razor to shave her bikini line for years, I can honestly say that the Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor is a dream by comparison. The conditioning solid's lather is so rich, you hardly feel the razor on your skin. Note that this doesn't mean you have to apply a lot of pressure to see results. The device is meant to provide a gentle yet highly effective shave and, in my experience, it does.

While the star feature is definitely the conditioning solid around the razor, the pivoting head deserves highlighting too. It follows the contours of your body to help minimize irritation, which is especially key along the bikini line. Plus, the ergonomic handle is covered with soft rubber for easy grip and precise control, reducing the odds of your hand slipping and causing painful nicks and scratches.

This is the perfect razor for travel. It doesn't need shaving cream (one less item to pack) and comes with an extra razor cartridge so you have a backup when the first becomes dull. It's also an excellent razor for using on the entire body. For around $9, I'd say this all-in-one hair removal device offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Pros: Affordable, super gentle, doesn't require cream or shave gel, great for travel

Cons: It's a razor, which means your bikini line won't stay smooth for weeks


The best trimmer

The best trimmer
With the Philips BikiniGenie, you control your hair removal experience with four accessories made to trim, shape, and shave your bikini area.

The classic handheld trimmer is another travel-friendly bikini hair removal product, and this small device from Philips made a big impact on me. The device is cordless and operates on two AA batteries, meaning you'll have to stock up on batteries, but you won't have to worry about whether or not you packed a charger when you go on vacation.

The BikiniGenie costs less than $20, which is a solid deal considering your purchase comes with a device, four accessories, and a travel pouch. The accessories include two click-on trimming combs you can swap out for different lengths of hair, a mini shaving head for an all-bare finish, and a miniature brush for cleaning your device.

What I really love about this device is its versatility. By offering users a choice of trimming combs and a shaving head, you're really in control of how long or short you want your bikini hair to be. It can also be used on wet or dry skin, so you can still groom when you don't have time to hop in the shower.

Pros: Cordless, travel-friendly, affordable, offers users more control over how they want to maintain/groom their bikini hair, easy to clean

Cons: Requires batteries

The best practices for bikini hair removal

The best practices for bikini hair removal
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When doing hair removal at home, there are a few best practices that can make the process more seamless. We asked board-certified dermatologist Dr. Stacy Chimento of Riverchase Dermatology to share some things to keep in mind.

1. Prep the area for hair removal
Chimento tells Insider the first step to bikini hair removal is to prep the area for the trauma by either taking a warm shower or soaking in the tub for at least five minutes to soften the skin and pubic hair. She also recommends using an exfoliant made without harsh ingredients, microbeads, or acids to gently remove any dead skin cells.

2. Patch test your product
If you're using a depilatory cream product to remove hair around the bikini area, Chimento strongly suggests patch testing the cream on the back of your hand before applying it to the pubic area.

3. Be very careful when using at-home kits
At-home wax kits can be dangerous as it's easy to burn or accidentally rip off the skin, Chimento warns. If you choose to use this kind of bikini hair removal product, make sure you "apply the wax in the direction of hair growth, pull the skin taut, and remove the wax against the direction of the growth," Chimento says, adding "it might be more comfortable to sit down with one leg up to reach the entire bikini area."

4. Read the ingredients list

This tip goes for any product you're putting on your body, be it creams, waxes, oils, etc. — but it's especially vital when dealing with products you'll be applying to such a sensitive area. "Some depilatory creams use harmful chemicals like sodium or calcium hydroxide (alkalis), sulfates, and thioglycolates, which are all very toxic," but hydrators like shea butter and cocoa butter are added as a buffer against these irritating elements, Chimento tells us.

As for at-home waxing kits, opt for safe, gentle formulas to avoid irritating, burning, and potentially scarring your skin, Chimento says. In addition, read the ingredients list carefully, do your own research, and avoid products with ingredients you know you have an allergy or sensitivity to.

5. Use products specifically designed for bikini hair removal

Pubic hair and leg hair are not one and the same. Public hair is thicker and more coarse, Chimento says. Therefore, you shouldn't use leg hair removal cream or waxing kits on the bikini area.

6. Look for ingredients that nourish the skin

Aloe vera and vitamin E nourish the skin and create a buffer against irritating agents, so you want to look for products with these types of skin-loving ingredients in creams. "For wax-kits, look for one that is water-soluble in case you can't get every piece of wax off," Chimento says, that way you can wash off the excess in hard-to-reach areas.

7. Remove hair in the shower whenever possible

It probably doesn't come as too much of a shocker, but the best place to remove hair, Chimento says, is in the shower with lukewarm water. "Warm water will open up the pores enough but will not irritate the skin as hot water could. After, make sure all product has been removed and rinse with water. Apply a gentle moisturizer or baby oil to the skin to prevent ingrown hairs. Avoid scented products as they may irritate the skin."