With your skin being the largest organ that your body has, it is important to take care of it effectively and comprehensively. However, taking care of your skin does not have to be expensive, complicated, and shouldn’t have to add a lot of time to your daily routine.
While waxing is a wonderfully efficient method of hair removal, its effects on the skin can vary depending on your skin type, as well as the skill of the esthetician performing the treatment. With any method of hair removal, both adequate skin preparation and aftercare can help to ensure the effectiveness of your wax, the health, and appearance of your skin, as well as help to prepare your skin for your next treatment.
As has been discussed in other articles on this site <Link: What are the Pros and cons of waxing?><link: Are there any side effects to waxing?>, waxing can have a number of side effects that may result from improper preparation or aftercare. Even side effects that are not related to aftercare, but instead the waxing itself (such as possible burns or skin sensitivity), appropriate aftercare can still be instrumental in maintaining your comfort and reducing any further damage to your skin.
Here are some of the most commonly recommended inclusions to waxing aftercare routine;
- Cool the skin
Waxing treatments (regardless of whether using hot or cold wax) can sometimes leave skin feeling heated, or even a little bit inflamed. As this may be uncomfortable for you, it is recommended you cool your skin as quickly and gently as possible after treatment. This may involve taking a cool shower, applying a cool cloth to the area, or applying a specified cooling cream, designed for use after waxing. While cooling the skin can be remarkably soothing, it is not always needed. If you are a seasoned waxing client or do not mind the slightly heated feeling after a wax, this step may be skipped.
- Keep the area clean, dry, and free from unnecessary exposure
As your skin has been through a lot, having had all of the hair removed by the root, it is important to allow it time to “calm down” after a waxing treatment, to allow any opened pores to return to their usual size and to allow any inflamed hair follicles to revert to their usual state. Keeping the area clean, dry and free from any heavy creams or sun exposure can assist in preventing any skin infections, which could be unsightly or even painful.
In order to keep your skin clean and dry, the following precautions are advised as part of your immediate after-care post-wax;
- No sunbathing for at least 12-24 hours, as sensitized skin may be more easily damaged by the sun
- No swimming in chlorinated pools for 24 hours
- Avoid spas, saunas or steam rooms for at least 24 hours
- Avoid applying any creams, lotions or sunscreen to the skin immediately after treatment, unless advised by your esthetician.
- Avoid touching the freshly-waxed area, to avoid spreading bacteria
- Avoid tight or restrictive clothing for a day or so (including gym gear); to allow your skin to breathe. It’s recommended that you wear natural fabrics such as cotton, to allow air flow and breathability
- Avoid heavy friction on the waxed area for 12-24 hours
When cleaning the skin, specific products are not strictly necessary as part of your skin routine. However, oftentimes cleansers or creams based with tea tree oil are very beneficial, as the oil is known for its antibacterial properties.
- Exfoliate regularly.
This does not mean exfoliate immediately after your treatment, or even on the same day. Allow a few days to pass after your waxing treatment for your skin to settle and for pores to close. Then start a routine of gentle exfoliation every two to three days. This will help minimize the buildup of any dead/damaged skin cells, as well as assist with reducing ingrown hairs. Exfoliation should not be extremely harsh or painful; simply using a firm loofah or exfoliation cloth is suitable. It is also advisable not to exfoliate every single day, as this may also increase skin sensitivity and irritation. In addition to removing any dead skin cells and aiding in the prevention of ingrown hair, exfoliation will help your hair look at feeling smoother, and will also assist in making your next waxing treatment more effective, as it helps to loosen any hairs that may be caught flat against your skin.
- Moisturize regularly
Keeping your skin hydrated between waxes will help to ensure softer, smoother skin with each waxing treatment. As hairs are much easier to remove from healthy skin, there is the added benefit that regular skin hydration may help with making subsequent waxes easier and less painful. In addition to this, the sensation of softer skin may give the impression of your hairless, post-wax lasting even longer.
All of the above-mentioned tips can easily be incorporated into your regular daily routine, without much inconvenience. While some may seem burdensome at first, such as regularly moisturizing or exfoliating, the benefits that can be reaped through their regular occurrence is significant, and can greatly influence the turnout of your waxing treatments, as well as the condition of your skin. Some people with extremely sensitive skin may require additional care and attention after waxing, and some people with more resilient skin may be able to get by with less. However, for the sake of your skin, personal comfort, and the effectiveness of your waxes, we recommend you experiment and commit to a routine that works for you in order to ensure the best results possible.