Every Bikini.com girl knows that hair removal is a top priority, especially in the – ahem – bikini area. But do you know how to properly take care of that sensitive skin? 

Thankfully esthetician Alexis Benveniste, who has more than a decade of experience in skin care, is here to give us some pointers. The Los Angeles native, who currently works out of Wax salon on trendy Melrose Avenue, started out as a makeup artist (she has worked with numerous fashion magazines, including Elle and Flaunt) before moving on to brow and body waxing. “I like the instant gratification,” she says.

Benveniste gave us her top five waxing tips. Follow these, and we’re sure your skin will be looking bikini-ready in no time.

  1. Wait Around 5 Weeks

    About a quarter of an inch is the ideal length. “Any shorter, and the wax won't pick it all up; any longer, and the roots get stronger,” she says. Stronger roots = more pain. Don’t hurt yourself.
  2. Know Your Cycle

    “Your skin is more sensitive to waxing a week before, during and two days after your monthly cycle,” Benveniste says. Those hormones are messing with you. Plan accordingly.
  3. Workout Before Your Wax

    Benveniste says working out before, and not after, waxing lessens the likelihood of getting those nasty in-growns. “Working out after waxing causes swelling, and moisture from sweating can invite bacteria into your freshly waxed follicles,” she says. So make sure you hit up that barre class before visiting the salon.
  4. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

    “Starting the day after the wax, exfoliate the skin daily with an apricot scrub, and then moisturize with clear aloe – no alcohol or dye – or virgin coconut oil,” she says. Exfoliating will get rid of any dead skin build-up, and moisturizing with aloe or coconut oil is better than using lotion, which is too thick and tends to clog pores. The two-step process is “like shampoo and conditioner,” Benveniste says.
  5. Leave Those In-Grown Hairs Alone

    “Do not pick at in-growns! They can rupture under the skin and spread bacteria,” she says. Also, picking can create scar tissue, which blocks future hairs from pushing out through the skin. Benveniste says not to touch them at all, but if you just can’t, then you can use sanitized tweezers to pull the hair out, but only if the hair is visible.

Got any good waxing tips of your own? Share them in the comment section below!