Could Olive Oil Be The Key To A Smooth Bikini Line? A TikTok Hack Claims So

To shave or not to shave: that is the question, and it's an eternal struggle. If you choose not to shave, it may be because you've read that removing body hair was pushed onto women by patriarchal advertising agencies in the early 20th century, per Vox. Unfortunately, society is generally not very kind to women who choose to go au naturelle. However, if you do decide to shave your legs, armpits, or your bikini zone because you like the look or feel of it, it still comes with a whole host of problems that can range from irritating to painful.

Shaving is inextricably linked with unsightly razor burn and ingrown hairs. Razor burn leaves the skin feeling raw and tender to the touch, while ingrown hairs can actually leave scars. Fortunately, there are lots of techniques we can employ to reduce irritation on the bikini line, though the best approach isn't always clear. Should we use lathering soap or shaving foam? Should we exfoliate or use conditioner on the hair first to soften it? YouTube influencer Jessie B even went viral for swearing by olive oil to shave her bikini zone. According to her, this regular pantry item is "amazing" because it softens the hair while moisturizing. She advises only using a small amount, allowing it to soak in, then shaving. Is this a hack you need to know? Let's investigate.

Olive oil can hydrate the skin pre-shave

Social media is abuzz with the idea of using olive oil to shave the bikini zone. Influencer Kate Murdock shared with her over 900,000 TikTok followers that she tried the olive oil shave hack and is now a convert. "I gave it a go," she gushed. "I am never, ever, ever, going back to anything else in my whole entire life." She picked up an inexpensive bottle of olive oil and a cheap Kmart spray bottle and exclaimed, "Bob's your uncle! Smooth! Soft! It's the best! pH [balance]? It's good!"

Some experts also support the idea of ditching the shaving foam and reaching for the EVOO. Speaking to The Olive Oil Source, pro stylist Michael Bertoldo said, "I always recommend using extra virgin olive oil to get a clean shave of the head, beard, legs or wherever." New York City dermatologist Sejal Shah told Allure that there is some science to back up the moisturizing and softening elements of olive oil. "Olive oil is hydrating and contains vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that can benefit the skin," she stated. However, before your rush to your pantry, be aware that using olive oil for shaving can be more irritating than razor burn, and there are some dangers to consider.

Olive oil can clog your pores

During a 2019 episode of "The Doctors," dermatologist Dr. Monika Kiripolsky discussed Jessie B's viral EVOO shaving claims. When asked if this was a helpful hack or not, Dr. Kiripolsky said, "So this one is actually whack," and shared her own experience experimenting with both California and Sicilian olive oil. "Oils clog our pores, we all know that, so the last thing we want in this area is to have clogged, itchy pores, which is exactly what I developed after doing this technique."

Kiripolsky developed skin irritation known as folliculitis, where hair follicles become inflamed, causing raised, painful bumps (via Mayo Clinic). Instead, Dr. Kiripolsky recommended using regular shaving cream and offered a technique that works: "Get in the shower, put the shaving cream on, let it sit. Soften the hair while you're washing your hair on your head, washing your body. Then at the end of your shower go back and shave the area."

Dr. Shah echoed this while speaking to Allure, stating, "Olive oil is slightly comedogenic, so it can clog pores and irritation and allergic reactions are also possible ... A small study found that using olive oil in the vagina could increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections." So while TikToker Kate Murdock said her pH balance was fine, and YouTuber Jessie B swears by EVOO, perhaps leave the oil in the pantry for now.