In theory, I like keeping my bikini line free of hair, and everything else trimmed. I've tried shaving, waxing, Nair, and more. And every single time I end up with killer razor burn and painful ingrown hairs. I'd nearly given up and was ready to fully enter my Big Bush Era, but then I came across the Philips BikiniGenie ($20). It's a cordless trimmer that gave me the easiest, most painless bikini trim of my life.
Razor bumps and ingrown hairs are quite common reactions to hair removal, especially around areas with sensitive skin. "We are mammals and covered with hair follicles," says Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. "Razor bumps typically occur after shaving over hair follicles. The follicle then has inflammation, irritation, and possibly a micro-infection within it as the hair tries to grow back."
But, just because they're common doesn't mean that they have to happen. "If one hair removal method doesn’t work for your skin, try another," says Laura Schubert, CEO and co-founder of Fur. "Listen to your skin’s needs and make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to keep it healthy and happy—hair removal doesn’t have to be a painful process."
With this in mind, I was excited to try out a new method. I went in with low expectations and was thoroughly surprised by my results with the BikiniGenie.
What it's like using the Philips BikiniGenie
The Philips BikiniGenie uses an electric head to give you a nice shave without nicking or irritating your skin. It comes with two heads—a traditional trimmer and a mini epilator—and two guides to allow you to trim without going all the way to the skin.
You can use it on wet or dry skin, but it must be used in dry conditions. So I decided to use it in the comfort of my bedroom. I laid down a towel, got out my Nyssa VieVission Self-Check Mirror ($65), so I could get a close-up, illuminated view, and pulled out the BikiniGenie.
I started out with the trimmer head, and was shocked by how simple it was to use. This was my first time using an electric razor, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. I was a little nervous as I got started but quickly realized how much control the razor gave me. I was able to get everywhere I needed to get with precision. I then went over the areas I shaved completely with the epilator head to remove anything I didn't get. I finished off by using a guide on the trimmer head to shape and trim down the areas where I wanted to keep my hair. To finish off, I applied the European Wax Center Brightening Ingrown Hair Serum ($40) to hydrate and gently exfoliate my skin.
As much as I loved the process and results, I will say that using the BikiniGenie didn't leave my skin feeling as baby smooth as it'd feel after using a manual razor or getting a wax. But for me, that smoothness would only last a day before the razor bumps and ingrowns took over. I'm four days out from my shave and my skin feels great. No irritation and no bumps. It's safe to say I'm hooked—I will never use any other tool to shave my bikini area.
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