These new skin products and techniques make removing hair at home practically foolproof.
Shaving For certain areas, nothing beats a razor. "It's fast, cheap, and effective for shaving legs, underarms, and the bikini line," says Ranella Hirsh, M.D., a dermatologist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Besides a sharp blade, you need a handle with a good grip so you're less likely to drop it (try Gillette Venus Breeze, $11, drugstore.com). "Every time your razor hits the shower floor, the blade gets dinged and can nick your skin next time you use it," Hirsh says. To help prevent razor burn, shave with an antibacterial cleanser, such as Dial Antibacterial Moisturizing Body Wash ($5, drugstore.com).
Depilatories Use these creams for removing the fine hair on your arms, upper lip, and tummy, because they help hair grow back soft, not stubbly.
Find a formula that comes with a plastic scraper (like Veet spray-on hair-removal cream, $9, veet.us for stores) for effective and mess-free removal, says Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare Spas in New York City.
Waxing For results that last up to two weeks, the best beauty product is still wax. New kits with strips in different shapes and sizes help you target specific areas of your body. For hair on small spots like nipples and toes, try a cold wax like Sally Hansen Naturally Bare Waxing Strips for Faces and Little Spaces ($6, at drugstores).
Bikini lines call for a hot wax like Completely Bare Ouch-Less strip wax ($22, completelybare.com). Heat makes wax stickier—better for yanking out coarse hair. You melt the wax on your stove, spread it over the hair, layer on a removal strip, and swiftly rip it off.
Fifteen minutes prior to waxing, dull the sting with a numbing agent like PFB Numb-It Gel ($25, pfbvanish.com). Liana Mitrita, head aesthetician at Kimara Ahnert studio in New York City, has this advice: Lightly dust your skin with baby powder to absorb sweat or oil. (Wax clings best to dry hair, meaning fewer do-overs and less irritation.) When you pull off the strip, peel it backward: Yanking up to the ceiling traumatizes the hair follicles and can cause an uncomfortable rash, Mitrita says.
Look Better Naked The 6-week plan to your leanest, hottest body—ever!