A hot bowl of wax is an intimidating sight. If you’ve booked a waxing appointment, it’s probably in preparation for a significant life event where photographs are certain. Weddings, bachelorette parties, honeymoons, or tropical vacations are all common occasions for a wax.
As cringe-worthy as a bikini wax may sound, there are some things you can do to alleviate your anxiety, increase comfort, and promote lasting effects. Here’s our official breakdown of generally accepted Do’s and Don’ts of waxing.
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Shower before waxing
Taking a brief, warm (not hot) shower before your appointment will help relax your skin and open up your pores. The looser your skin is, the easier it will be to remove hair.
Exfoliate gently (before and after)
A standard tip that many waxing technicians will give you before your wax is to gently exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating your skin removes dead skin cells and any moisturizers/additional skincare products so the waxing strips can cling and nip hair quickly.
You’re usually clear to start exfoliating your skin again a few days after your wax. Especially if you have sensitive skin as it is, it’s important to wait long enough for the initial effects of the wax to subside before removing excess dead skin cells.
Take pain medications
Taking a dose of Ibuprofen, Advil, or any other mild over-the-counter pain meds at least 30 minutes before your wax will help relax your muscles and act early to lessen your pain.
Avoid harsh sunlight
After you’re fully waxed, it’s best to avoid extended time in the sun, as UV rays can be harmful in drying out or even blistering your skin. We understand you want a sunkissed look so you don’t look washed out in pictures, so if you want the best of both worlds, try to get your tan on plenty of time in advance. This kind of irritation could lead to infection in the waxed area, which is both unhealthy and uncomfortable!
Wear loose clothing
It is typically ill-advised to wear very tight, form-fitting clothing the first days after a wax. Clothing can cause inflammation if repeatedly rubbed against raw waxed areas.
Take showers instead of baths
In the initial stages of recovery from a wax, showers are recommended in place of baths. Running water from a shower is cleaner that sitting in bath water.
Drink caffeinated beverages before your wax
We completely understand the need for caffeine. But, perhaps hold off until after your appointment to fill up on your usual jolt. Drinking any kind of caffeine, even alcohol, can make your skin more sensitive and prone to irritation.
Ice your waxed spot
We’re not denying it, waxing does hurt in the moment. We, of all people, understand how tempting it is to numb the pain with ice. It makes sense, too: cold compresses and ice have been used to reduce pain for centuries. But, in this case, icing your skin can tighten your pores and make it more difficult to remove hairs.
Wait too long to wax again
The longer you wait to wax again, the harder it will be. The process will take longer and will be more painful because you’ll have more hair to remove. It’s a good idea to book your next wax once the hair reaches roughly a quarter of an inch.
Do extremely intense workouts
It’s great you’re taking care of yourself with proper exercise. But, maybe hold off on your most intense workouts until at least a few days after your wax. Sweat and friction will cause more discomfort and delay healing.
Get a spray tan immediately following a wax
The chemicals used in a spray tan are risky to put on freshly waxed areas. Also, the color may look uneven between waxed and unwaxed areas.
Use scented skincare products
Ingredients of scented lotions, soaps, body washes, essential oils, and other toiletry items are very irritating to newly waxed skin. Use generic or fragrance-free products for the first few days after your wax.