If you're someone who enjoys a smooth, hairless nether region, chances are, you've reached for a razor at one point or another in hopes of achieving such. Of course, in doing so, you've likely experienced accidental nicks and annoying razor burn as a result—such is life. But it doesn't have to be that way. Just because shaving down there requires a certain level of patience, flexibility, and ultimate attention to care (you know, so as to not cut your clit in the process), doesn't mean that you have to automatically prepare yourself for discomfort post-shave. The trick? Knowing how to shave your vulva in the first place.
But, before we get into that, let's be clear: Pubic grooming is a personal decision. If you're into it, cool; if not, that's cool, too. Wherever you lie on the shaving spectrum, however, it helps to know how to shave your vulva in a pinch should you want to experiment. With that in mind, keep reading for everything there is to know about not nicking your nether bits.
How to Shave Your Vulva:
Apply shaving cream to damp skin. As is the case with legs, dermatologist Elyse M. Love, M.D. recommends shaving your vulva in the shower while the area is wet. "Apply shaving cream to the area and allow it to sit on the skin for 10 or more seconds," she instructs. "This allows the shaving cream to soften the skin and the hair."
Shave in the right direction. Once the cream has set in, Dr. Love says to shave the pubic hair in the direction it naturally grows with light pressure. "Avoid pressing down on the razor too firmly," she suggests, noting that doing so can lead to accidental nicks.
Be diligent about cleaning your blades. To achieve the closest (and cleanest) shave, she says to rinse the razor between each swipe to remove any dead skin or shaving cream debris from the blades.
What's the best razor for pubic hair removal?
While the actual shaving process is simple enough, it's the tools used to execute the technique that make the biggest impact on your shaving routine. Namely, the ultimate razor for the job. "The ideal razor should have minimal blades that are oriented to cut the hair swiftly without creating any tugging or pulling," says board-certified dermatologist and Tone Dermatology founder Caroline Robinson, M.D.
While there are plenty of razors that fit this description, none do so quite as well as the Venus for Pubic Hair & Skin Razor, which is specially designed with the vulva in mind. "It has a protection bar between the blades to prevent irritation by absorbing the pressure from the hand, so blades press even less on sensitive skin," Dr. Robinson explains, touting the razor for vulva use. Plus, she points out that the small cartridge helps maneuver tricky areas, like the curves of the pubic area.
- 18.29 Available at Target
No matter which razor you choose, however, the number-one most important thing to remember is that you should always shave with a new or clean blade. If you're able to remove all the hair, shaving cream residue, and dead skin cells from the blades, great, but if not, it's best to switch the blade altogether.
Additionally, Dr. Robinson says disinfecting your blades can play a role in avoiding razor burn and potential shaving-related infections. "Cleaning your non-disposable razor blade with rubbing alcohol or other disinfectants should be done before and after any shave," she recommends.
Do you need to use a shaving cream or gel when shaving your vulva?
In addition to choosing the right razor, Dr. Love says that picking the proper shaving cream for the job is important, too. "Shaving creams that soften the underlying skin and hair—like eos Shea Better Shave Cream—work best because they provide a glide for the razor and soften the skin and hair," she says, noting that all of this helps achieve a smooth and even shave with minimum irritation.
- 3.99 Available at Target
When looking for shaving cream or gel that fits the bill, Dr. Robinson says to opt for those formulated with hydrating ingredients (such as shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil) and without abrasive ingredients.
"I recommend Venus for Pubic Hair & Skin 2-in-1 Cleanser + Shave Gel while you're shaving because it is 100% soap-free and, as a clear gel formula, it increases visibility of delicate areas while shaving," she shares, noting that it can also be used as a daily cleanser!"
What's the best way to prevent irritation while shaving your vulva?
When you use a moisturizing shave cream and clean, high-quality razor on wet skin, you're already drastically minimizing your risk for razor burn and ingrown hairs. However, to even further avoid such, Dr. Robinson recommends reaching for an exfoliant designed specifically for the delicate area, such as the European Wax Center's Ingrown Hair Serum which uses glycolic acid and vitamin E to gently exfoliate the area while nourishing it, too. For best results, she says to exfoliate prior to shaving and in-between hair removal days to help protect against ingrown hairs.
- 29.50 Available at European Wax Center
What's the best way to take care of your vulva post-shave?
The final key aspect of perfecting your at-home pubic hair removal regimen is to know how to care for your skin post-shave. As with any other area you shave, it's important to adequately moisturize the skin afterward to prevent dryness and irritation. Since the pubic area is more delicate than, say, your legs, reach for a gentle, soothing lotion or body serum.