How to Soothe Itchy Skin and Bumps 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 lotion and body wash, can also help skin feel extra 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 itchy skin and 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.
While it does take some patience, there are ways to help soothe itchy skin and bumps after waxing. If you find yourself suffering from post-wax bumps and itchy skin, read on for tips that may help soothe your skin after waxing.
HOW TO SOOTHE BUMPS 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 picked out two of our favorite moisturizing body washes from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands, below!
Kiehl’s Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser
This gentle body cleanser helps skin maintain its natural moisture. After using this in the shower or bath, your skin will be left with a lovely texture.
Kiehl’s Bath and Shower Liquid Cleanser, $20 MSRP
CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
Formulated with three ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this moisturizing body wash can cleanse the skin your body without drying it out.
CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash, $10.99 MSRP
STEP #2: LATHER ON SOME GEL
Applying gel to your skin can help reduce the appearance of skin 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.
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. Kiehl’s Musk Shower Gel provides a gentle yet effective cleanse. Your skin will be left feeling soft and supple. This gel is also formulated with aloe vera, one of our favorite ingredients to soothe skin.
Kiehl’s Musk Shower Gel, $20 MSRP
STEP #3: 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 #4: 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 post-waxing bumps.
STEP #5: 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 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. Plus, covering your itchy skin in a compress may help keep you from itching the area.
STEP #2: 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 #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 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 #5: REACH FOR AN ANTI-ITCH CREAM
If your itchy skin becomes unbearable, talk to your skin care provider about using an anti-itch cream on your 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 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 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.
If you’re looking for a recommendation for a gentle yet effective exfoliator, we love the Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Oatmeal Bar Soap. This bar soap provides a soothing exfoliation experience while also helping to soften dry skin. Made with ingredients such as almond oil and oatmeal, your skin will be feeling smooth and fully prepped for your waxing session.
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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