How to Soothe Irritation After Waxing
Waxing is a fast and easy way to get rid of unwanted body hair for weeks at a time. The removal of coarse hair can also help skin feel smooth and silky. But as they say, beauty comes at a price, and waxing is not without its pitfalls (and pain). While the pain usually fades within a few hours, sometimes we get caught in sticky situations with our wax. For some, waxing can lead to red, itchy bumps on the skin that won’t seem to fade away. It’s fairly common, especially for sensitive skin types, but nonetheless less than ideal.
HOW TO SOOTHE YOUR SKIN AFTER WAXING
While it does take some patience, there are ways to help soothe your irritated skin. If you find yourself suffering from post-wax bumps, read on for tips that may help soothe your skin after waxing.
STEP #1: TAKE A SHOWER
After getting waxed, you’ll want to avoid scrubbing the area with any harsh products or exfoliating creams, especially if there are any bumps present. Instead, take a lukewarm shower—make sure the water is not too hot—with a hydrating, creamy body cleanser to wash and soothe affected skin. Need a rec? We're sharing a few of our favorite body washes here.
STEP #2: LATHER ON SOME GEL
Applying gel to your skin can help reduce the appearance of skin imperfections following a waxing procedure, as well as soothe and refresh the skin. Using clean hands, apply a thin layer of your favorite body gel onto the affected areas immediately after hair removal and continue daily as needed.
Pro tip: Reach for a formula that boasts skin-comforting ingredients like aloe vera and lipids, and steer clear of those formulated with harsh, drying alcohols or parabens.
STEP #3: APPLY A COLD COMPRESS
Applying ice or a cold compress to the waxed area multiple times per day may help to provide some comfort. Use an ice pack or wrap ice in a clean cloth.
STEP #4: TRY A TEA BAG
Studies have shown that green tea can have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. So, to give your skin a soothing boost, try using a soaked tea bag on the area. Make sure you give the tea bag time to cool off before applying it to your skin.
STEP #5: GRAB AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY CREAM
There are tons of over-the-counter creams formulated to help minimize the appearance of mild to moderate redness or swelling. Try grabbing one of these creams to help soothe your skin irritation.
STEP #6: AVOID TOUCHING THE AREA
Touching your newly hair-free skin with hands that are not clean can run the risk of further damage by introducing dirt and bacteria into open pores. To avoid clogging your pores, try not to touch the area. And while it is tempting to pick at any red bumps or ingrown hairs, leave them alone. Picking at them could lead to infection or scarring, which will only prolong the healing process.
STEP #7: WEAR LOOSE CLOTHING
Let your skin breathe by wearing loose-fitted clothing after waxing. This will help prevent additional rubbing and possible irritation to the skin.
STEP #8: DO NOT COVER WITH MAKEUP
If your upper lip, eyebrows, or any other part of your face has gotten irritated after a wax session, it’s tempting to try and cover it up with some concealer or foundation. But you should drop the makeup. Putting makeup on newly-waxed skin can cause further irritation or breakouts to ensue. Ask your hair removal provider how long you should wait before reaching for cosmetics.
STEP #9: BE PATIENT
We know that dealing with these bumps can be a real pain, but it’s important to be patient during the healing process. Everyone is different, so it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If your skin is still looking red and bumpy after some time has passed—or starts to get worse—head over to your dermatologist’s office. He or she can help give you additional suggestions on how to care for your irritated skin.
HOW TO PREVENT POST-WAX IRRITATION
If your skin is particularly sensitive and you find yourself breaking out in small bumps each time you wax, then you should probably make some changes to your waxing regimen. Follow these tips and tricks to help prevent irritation during your next waxing session.
TIP #1: LET YOUR HAIR GROW OUT
Give your hair time to grow out so you can get a cleaner, smoother wax. It’s also extremely important to grow out your hair in order to prevent your skin from getting stuck onto the wax.
TIP #2: GRAB A GENTLER WAX
Everyone, take note: not all wax is created equal. There are waxes that are formulated for sensitive skin types, so look into using a gentler wax. If you opt for professional waxing, ask your waxing technician if they have sensitive skin-friendly options available for you.
TIP #3: PRE-WAX EXFOLIATION
Lightly exfoliating the skin prior to a waxing appointment can help eliminate any lingering dirt and bacteria that can be pressed into your pores with the wax. Exfoliating before a waxing appointment can also help loosen any ingrown hairs in the skin. Just make sure you exfoliate at least 12 hours beforehand.
TIP #4: APPLY POWDER OR OIL BEFORE WAXING
Slathering on wax without any oil or powder can lead to yanking of the skin and irritation. If you’re using soft wax, try applying a pre-epilation powder beforehand. For those of you using hard wax, use a pre-epilation oil. These act as buffers between the skin and wax.
TIP #5: LESS IS MORE
When applying wax, go with a thin layer on a small area. Also, avoid waxing any area more than once. Any leftover hairs can easily be plucked out with tweezers, and ingrown hairs should be left alone.
TIP #6: USE THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
If you’re using soft wax, make sure it’s not too hot. Using extremely hot wax can cause burns, so it’s best to follow the instructions and use the correct temperature. Wax that’s too cold can also cause irritation, and is much harder to peel off. Test out the temperature by applying a small amount of wax on the outside of your hand first, and let it cool if it’s too hot.
TIP #7: GO TO A PROFESSIONAL
If you feel like you’re not doing the best job, then try going to a professional waxing salon. Doing some research and checking reviews is a great place to start. When you’ve found one you’d like to try, consult with them on waxing tips prior to your appointment.
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