Here's The Bikini Wax Mistake That Could Ruin All Your Trips This Summer

by Emily Arata

Bikini waxes terrify me. I know, I'm a grown adult beauty editor who's tried butt facials. I've got tattoos. At this point, there should be no body modification stone left unturned. But what I enjoy most about beauty is the relaxing self-care aspect, like the gentle focus it takes to pluck a few hairs and reveal a perfectly-arched eyebrow underneath.

Nothing — I repeat, nothing — is healing or meditative about body wax. Whether it's just a few wispy mustache hairs or ripping up the basement carpet entirely (shag rug is so 1970s, or so they tell me), I'd rather pluck out my problem areas hair by hair than ever succumb to manhandling in a salon. (No offense to the estheticians out there, but wax strips make me queasy.)

If you're one of the vocal minority who waxes her lady garden partially or entirely off — about 16 percent of American women, according to a 2014 survey — beware of summer pool season. Contact with germ-infested water can lead to downstairs infections for the unlucky few.

The problem is, your pubic hair is effectively nature's way of protecting your sensitive vulva and vagina from the environment. When you strip away that hair, you're exposing yourself to a whole new world of problems, including pool water.

Even worse, waxing can leave you with tiny, open wounds and a compromised barrier against that frighteningly turquoise swimming pool water. The same can happen with a razor, too. Plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that some germs can actually resist chlorine. You can't assume pool water is clean or safe, so all you can do is prepare yourself.

Lucky for you, there are easy solutions to the scary problem of infection: Either avoid touching your bikini line's hair (doubtful), use a depilatory cream or plan ahead. Give yourself a few days after a bikini wax to let any open wounds scab over before visiting the beach.

Oh, and be sure to remove your wet swimsuit immediately after you're done swimming. As cute as those Mara Hoffman bottoms are, you won't look at them fondly after they've given you a nasty yeast infection.

When all else fails, go full bush. It's definitely a statement.