Silky-smooth legs: they’re so worth it this time of year. But summer is short—do you really want to waste hours over the course of the season dragging a razor up and down your calves just to look good in a pair of shorts? Wouldn’t that time be better spent—oh, I don’t know—poolside with a frozen slushy drink in hand?
If shaving is your go-to method for hair removal, it’s estimated you’ll spend 72 days (that’s 1,728 hours!) of your lifetime just getting rid of body hair. Sure, you can cut corners—opt for pants on cooler days, stay home where the stubble won’t be seen. But there’s a better option. Welcome to the world of waxing, ladies.
Before you cringe at the idea of ruthlessly ripping out thousands of hair strands for the sake of a short skirt, consider this: one waxing session will leave your legs luxuriously hair free for up to three weeks. That’s a lot of slushie-sipping free time—or at least the ticket to a speedier morning shower.
Plus, waxing won’t cause cuts, nicks or razor burn, and some say it makes hair grow back finer and sparser over time. Definite bonuses for those who aren’t apt with sharp tools, or anyone hindered with a lot of hair.
To get started, you’ll need to make one small sacrifice. Leg hair should be at least a quarter-inch long (about the length of a grain of rice) for wax to get its best grip. So cover up with capris for a couple of days, then it’s time to wax on!
What you’ll need:
Step 1 – Exfoliate
Give your legs a good scrubbing to slough away dead skin cells, loosen ingrown hairs and remove any excess oils that will prevent wax from sticking properly. The delicate, pure brown sugar crystals in Sunshine Spa Vanilla Orange Brown Sugar Body Scrub get the job done without scratching or stinging your skin.
Step 2 – Minimize moisture
Wax adheres best to dry, non-greasy hair strands, so sprinkle on a light layer of baby powder to absorb excess moisture or oil. Try California Baby Non-Talc powder, which is made with kaolin clay, tea tree and organic tapioca starch, for an especially cooling, soothing pre-wax prep.
Step 3 – Wax on
If you’re using wax strips, such as Parissa Quick & Easy Wax Strips, peel away the backing and smooth the strip down in the direction of your hair growth. Holding skin around the strip taut (brace yourself!), zip it off quickly. Do not pull the strip straight up; instead, use a book page-turning motion, in the opposite direction of your natural hair growth. Using a new strip, repeat (taking care not to overlap—double ouch!) until all sections of your legs are waxed.
A waxing kit, such as Parissa Warm Wax Hair Removal System, requires a little more work—but the results may last longer, up to eight weeks, and will be more effective if you have coarse or stubborn hair. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to heat the wax (most are microwaved), then apply it sparingly to your skin. Press the enclosed fabric strip to the warm wax, let it set and peel back quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth.
Burning? Stinging? Surprised? You shouldn’t be. If the pain gets to be too much, try applying light but firm pressure to freshly waxed areas. Some women swear by a layer of baby teething gel for numbing benefits before beginning, but normal waxing soreness is bound to linger a little, with redness and sensitivity lasting up to a few hours.
Step 4 – Clean up
A quick rinse with cool—not hot—water will remove any remaining wax and soothe your skin.
Step 5 – Moisturize
Finish off with a layer of smoothing, nourishing body lotion to calm skin and set in the softness. Go for a natural, hypoallergenic lotion such as Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive Aloe & Buttermilk Body Lotion if your skin is especially irritated, or bring out sexy sleekness and shine with Monoi Tiare coconut oil in Ylang Ylang or Sandalwood scents.
The Beauty Boss blogs are compiled by our staff editors Rebecca Chopin and Katie Kaleita, who work closely with the Vitacost.com beauty department experts to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information on natural beauty and anti-aging tips and trends.