sensitive skin and hair removal

I have extremely sensitive skin. I break out in ugly red welts from strong wind, cold, certain beauty products… and when I try to remove my body hair.

This is a more recent development, the sensitive skin. It started about a year or two ago. I’d like to resolve it somehow.

Sometimes I can shave my legs and underarms without getting angry red bumps and sore splotches. I cannot use products like Nair–it’s like having a chemical burn (I have actually bled from using Nair before). I tried waxing a small area of my skin once but it didn’t remove the hair (it could have been me–I’ve never used wax before) so I didn’t bother to try it all over.

Does anyone have any help? (I’ll bring it up with my dermatologist but I’d also like opinions here.)

I can’t afford anything expensive like laser hair removal.


Hey, I feel for you Jane. You should try an electric shaver. you don’t need to pull anything or use harsh creams or anything like that.
I have trouble with my skin, it gets really dry and sometimes cracks, really awful. especially my feet. not sure what to do about that.
Sorry to hear about your dilemma.

plain_jane, I like the Mach III razors for sensitive skin. They work well and I don’t get ugly red bumps anymore.

starrymoon, I just bought a paraffin spa, and that has really helped with my dry feet/ankles and hands. (In case you don’t know, its a big electric bowl that heats up paraffin wax until its melted. Then you dip your hands and feet in it, wait for the wax to dry, then peel it off.) Its awesome.

Just go cavewoman.

Wax works like crap for removing hair from sensitive areas, IMO. I used to get the red, gross bumps from shaving and my dermatologist told me to take a nice hot bath, then shave, then moisturize immediately after the bath. It seems to work fairly well. I also second the idea of using shavers for sensitive skin.

Thanks for the responses, all!

Starrymoon: I’m wondering two things here: what kind should I buy for the closest, less-irritating shave? And can an electric shaver get rid of everything, or does it leave a bit of stubble? (I’m specifically thinking of my bikini area here–I bought a really fabulous bikini for this summer!

Sperfur, thanks for the tip. I will try it. I’ve never bought a razor that’s specifically for sensitive skin before.

Rubystreak: thanks for filling me in about wax. I’m probably very glad I only did a small area then! I do normally soak in a tub before shaving and it does seem to make a difference on my legs. Thus far, I haven’t been able to apply moisturizer afterwards because my skin is so sensitive after shaving that lotions/creams bother it. Even the ones specifically for sensitive skin. Sometimes I actually put cortisone cream on afterwards and it seems to make a difference (I’m red and sore for a shorter period of time.)

Texican, I normally do go cavewoman. I’m fair and not very hairy. But sometimes I do want to wear a short skirt, or a bathing suit, or go to bed with someone! Most of my body hair is blonde and if I’m in a short skirt outside, the sun makes the little hairs shiny and golden! Not the look I’m after! lol (I know being clean shaven isn’t a requirement for nookie but sometimes I feel sexier clean-shaven.)

A long soak of the area you’re planning to do in hot water, a mosturizing shave gel and a new blade in any of the major brand triple bladed razors (I own five of them, this is kind of a hobby). It gives a closer shave than I’ve ever been able to get with an electric, and the irritation is pretty minimal.

what about an epilator?
it’s basically an electric tweezing machine.
no chemicals, blades or wax.

my flatmate swears by hers.
fast, effective (lasts as long as waxing, less mess, quicker),only one financial outlay.

i’m too wussy to deal with the pain element, but if you’ve tried waxing, she says it hurts less than that, and you can rub ice over it before hand.

After I shave the “bikini area,” I put hydrocortisone cream all over the area, which prevents the red bumps.

jane, I can’t recall where I heard this from (could have been these forums!) but one girl mentioned shaving her sensitive skin with neosporin. Said it worked well… shrug take it FWIW.

If you are talking bikini area, I’d say go to a salon and have it waxed. It will be over in 5 minutes, cost approx $30, and last for weeks (varies from person to person just how long). Don’t write off waxing just cause you tried a home version and couldn’t make it work.

Have you tried to find a moisturizer that doesn’t contain alcohol? I searched high and low and finally found one at the health food store in the bulk section. I find it doesn’t burn or give me any rashes. Worth a try, anyway.

And Hello Again, you’re probably right-- a professional waxing would be more effective than a home version. I’ve tried the home version and it doesn’t work too well, and also, it hurts.

I too have sensitive skin (like a premature albino baby) and I get waxed professionally. It’s the best way.

I have a question about professional bikini waxing–do you have to, uhm, get nekkid or can you wear a thong or something? As nice as the Korean guys are at my salon, I don’t know about giving them the full monty, as it were.

You wear whatever you want them to wax around. Like, I wax just to my panty line, I wear my panties. If you had a particular bathing suit you wanted to “match” you’d wear that. Of course if you want to get 100% hairless than you gotta show it all. :slight_smile:

Basically you take off your pants, show them where you want them to wax to, they spread heated paste wax on it, lay a strip of cloth over the wax, and blammo, they do it. It hurts, but just for a second, and it is over really fast. You might be red/irritated for a day. For some reason, whatever “handed” you are is the side it hurts more on.

I’ve never met a waxing lady who wasn’t a… well, lady, though. I don’t think I’d be comfortable with a man doing it. But, really, it’s just a job – they don’t get a thrill, any more than your gynecologist does.

Hey Jane, I used to use the electric shaver and I found it to be affective. But it may cost more to buy one. That is the only draw back. But I got lazy and now I just use a razor, which is probably a bad idea cuz my skin is very fair and I get those little red bumps once in a while. The cream doesn’t do much, it works but it grows back just as quickly as if I had shaved it. As for the dry skin problem, thanks for the tip sperfur, never heard of a paraffin spa before. I will look into it though.
I do have a question for anyone out there though. What is a really good brand of skin cream that is not tested on animals and isn’t full of chemicals and isn’t made by some nasty company that pollutes the environment and also isn’t greasy? I know that is a lot to ask for but I am picky about stuff like that, it is my skin afterall :slight_smile:


Professional salon usually have wax for sensitive skins, all natural made of sugar.
I believe it would be the best option for you, and keep it hydrated by putting cream/lotion on every day…

Cetaphil is a very good skin cream, it was recommended by my dermatologist.

I will look into waxing/sugaring professionally, then, since it doesn’t hurt (permanently! <g>) to try it.

Again, thank you for all the responses. I’m starting to feel better about this problem.

You might also consider a beta-hydroxy product like Tend Skin, which many consumers (myself included) find helps to reduce irritation from hair removal: