First and foremost, it is important to note that no salon should EVER be recycling waxing agents. Any wax that is applied to your body will be contaminated with bacteria from the surface of your skin and hair, and to reuse this wax on another client, no matter how hot the product has been re-heated, is both unhygienic and unethical. If you visit a salon that does this, it is recommended that you report them to your local hygiene authority or local council.
Why might salons consider recycling wax?
Depending on where your salon is located, waxing products may be expensive or difficult to come by. If you live in a remote area, receiving new supplies may take longer than the salon can afford to go without. Alternatively, they may be looking for a way to reduce costs, or reduce their outgoing waste; opting to recycle wax and to wash and reuse cloth strips.
Another possible reason for recycling wax is that the salon’s training methods are not up to date, and staff have become complacent about hygiene standards. Uninformed staff members may feel that it is not harmful to reuse wax, as many people share the misconception that heating the wax kills any bacteria or bugs that may be present after use. It is also possible that they are not aware that recycling wax is not advised, and may consider it a business norm.
What are the consequences if my salon uses recycled wax?
If you are treated with recycled wax, there is an increased risk of skin infections or allergic reactions. As discussed in numerous other articles on this site, waxing opens up your pores and makes your body susceptible to infection. Applying a product to the skin that is not sterile actively introduces various forms of bacteria and contaminants to the skin’s surface, and this may have a negative effect on your skin’s appearance, recovery, or long-term health. Depending on who has been treated before you, it may also expose you to long-term health risks such as STD’s. Think about if you go in for a Brazilian wax, and then that wax is recycled and used on the next client who is coming in for a lip wax – yikes!
How should a salon dispose of waxing agents properly?
Wax that has been applied to a client’s skin should be disposed of immediately after use. Depending on where you live, your local council may have specific requirements relating to the disposal, and whether or not it can be discarded as part of regular trash, or should be disposed of in a similar fashion to medical equipment such as needles. While this may be seen as extreme, waxing can occasionally break the skin, and residual wax may contain traces of blood which may be considered hazardous.
As waxing techniques improve, the recipes and formulas for waxing agents are also set to improve, meaning that wax becomes more natural and more hygienic as time goes on. This may influence the method of disposal used; with waxing methods such as sugaring being so natural and water soluble that its residue can be washed off in the shower.
If you are interested in learning more about various types of waxing, consider reading other articles on the topic. Popular topics include; <link: Does waxing hurt?>, <link: What are the different types of hair removal wax treatment?> and <link: Who should avoid waxing?>.