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, paired with the right body scrub, lotion and wash, can also keep skin feeling smooth and silky. But as many of us know, waxing is not without its pitfalls — and pain. While the pain of waxing usually fades within a few hours, sometimes we get caught in more complicated, sticky situations. It’s fairly common, especially for sensitive skin types, for waxing to lead to itchy skin and bumps that won’t seem to go away.
While it does take some patience, there are ways to help soothe irritation, itchy skin and bumps after waxing. If you find yourself suffering from post-wax irritation, read on for tips and tricks to combat the pain.
Waxing Tips For Soothing Bumps and Irritation
Waxing Tip #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. We like Kiehl’s Bath and Shower Liquid Cleanser or CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash.
Waxing Tip #2: Lather on Some Gel
Applying gel to your skin can help reduce the appearance of imperfections and bumps 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. 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.
Waxing Tip #3: Try a Tea Bag
Green tea has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe irritated skin. To give your skin a soothing boost, try using a soaked tea bag on the area — just make sure you give the tea bag enough time to cool off before applying it to your skin.
Waxing Tip #4: Grab an Anti-Inflammatory Cream
There are a ton of over-the-counter creams formulated to help minimize the appearance of mild to moderate redness or swelling. Try grabbing one of these to help soothe your post-waxing bumps.
Waxing Tip #5: Be Patient
We know that dealing with these bumps can be a 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 it 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 Soothe Itchy Skin After Waxing
Step #1: 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. This will give those sensitive, irritated areas a cooling sensation.
Step #2: Avoid Touching the Area
Touching your newly waxed skin with dirty hands 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 #3: 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, which can make itchy skin more uncomfortable.
Step #4: Do Not Cover With Makeup
If your upper lip, eyebrows, or any other part of your face is 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 using cosmetics.
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 make some changes to your waxing regimen. Follow these tips and tricks to help prevent itchy skin and bumps 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 to the wax.
Tip #2: Grab a Gentler Wax
Everyone, take note: Not all wax formulas are the same. There are waxes formulated specifically for sensitive skin types, so look into using a gentler wax if you experience frequent irritation. 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, as well as help loosen any ingrown hairs in the skin. Just make sure you exfoliate at least 12 hours beforehand.
If you’re looking for a recommendation for a gentle yet effective exfoliator, we love the L'Oréal Paris Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, made with crushed cocoa, luxurious coconut oil and rich cocoa butter.
Tip #4: Apply Powder or Oil Before Waxing
Slathering on wax without any oil or powder can lead to tugging 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 and avoid waxing any area more than once. Any leftover hairs can easily be plucked out with tweezers. And remember 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 before applying to the body.
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. To find a place, do some research and check reviews. When you’ve found one you’d like to try, consult with them on waxing tips prior to your appointment.