Fess up: What mom doesn't save time in the winter by not shaving? But now we're in the hottest stretch of summer, when shorts and tank tops are lifesavers, so you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Here's our take on the various ways to get smooth skin:
If you have a certain amount of fearlessness (can you pull a Band-Aid off yourself without flinching?), wax-at-home kits, like Sally Hansen's Spa Wax Hair Removal Kit, can be worth trying. Start with skin that's thoroughly dry. Apply wax in the direction of hair growth, cover it with one of the included gauze strips, and press firmly. Then in one smooth, quick motion, remove the strip in the opposite direction. After, apply a calming gel. If your kit doesn't include one, try Brave Soldier Code Blue Cooling Aftershave and Afterwaxing Gel.
If you're traveling, lighten your load with this two-in-one razor-and-shaving-cream combo. When you wet the razor, it activates the attached shaving cream solid to produce a moisturizing lather.
It's a treat, specially formulated with soothing sunflower extract for shaving tender areas. It's also perfect if you've got sensitive skin.
The triple blade on this popular product produces an extremely close shave. The new "divine" version has an easy-to-grip handle for shaving hard-to-reach spots like the backs of your legs.
Use this soothing balm made with tea tree oil to eliminate ingrown hairs, redness, and razor burn.
You never need a refill for a take-and-toss shaver -- and this one comes in sunny shades to brighten your bathroom.
This gentle oatmeal-enriched shave gel also contains soy, which slows the regrowth of hair, so you shave less often.
These mini razors are specifically for the bikini line, which requires precision. A comb lifts long hair so it's easier to cut.
Nothing says summer like the smell of the ocean, and if you're not going to be beachside anytime soon, at least this gel's scent can give you the illusion.
The final secret to soft, smooth legs? Exfoliate several days after a shave, wax, or use of a hair-removal cream. You can make an ultra-effective body scrub with ingredients from your kitchen. Start with a palmful of salt or sugar (or fine-grain bath salts). Put them in a mixing bowl and add olive oil to make a thick paste. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon (citric acid is a great exfoliant) and rub the mixture into your skin before rinsing.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, July 2004.