(Do’s and Don’ts From A Licensed Esthetician)
Whether you’re a regular at your local wax studio or are interested in getting waxed for the first time, there’s always something new to learn about how to care for your skin and prevent breakouts after a face wax.
After waxing a variety of skin types for over 4 years and answering FAQs from clients, I’ve collected a list of top waxing do’s and don’ts that I’m sharing with you to help you nail your results and rock healthy, silky smooth skin all year long.
DO: Schedule your appointment for a “chill” or relaxing day that doesn’t include many other activities.
DON’T: Plan to fit in a workout or do a full coverage makeup look within 24 hours after your wax.
After a wax, your follicles are open because we’ve removed alllll the little hairs from them. Therefore, any makeup, dirt, or bacteria from sweat will fill those open follicles and cause breakouts and irritation – definitely not the results we strive for after a wax, right?
DO: Keep your evening skincare routine light after your appointment.
DON’T: Exfoliate or use any harsh products on the waxed area(s) for the rest of the day.
Freshly-waxed skin is sensitive and doesn’t need a 5-step skincare routine. Instead, plan to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and use a light moisturizer to soothe the area(s) before bed.
DO: Use a toner right away to keep the pores as closed as possible.
DON’T: Use or spread a heavy moisturizer over waxed area(s) for at least 24 hours.
Heavy skincare products like sunblock or thick moisturizers will clog your open, post-wax pores and cause texture issues in the form of irritation or breakouts.
DO: Ask your waxer if they can use Cortizone (or a gentle toner) on your skin after they’re done waxing you.
DON’T: Use any thick serums or oils, especially if you are prone to breakouts.
Cortizone calms your immune system to reduce inflammation and relieve pain and swelling after a wax. Toner is also great to use on freshly waxed skin, as it will help zip pores right up and protect them from irritation and breakout-causing bacteria.
DO: Keep oil blotting pads handy for the next 48 hours.
DON’T: Let oil or sweat sit on waxed area(s) for extended periods.
Without the hairs, your pores are left open and empty after a wax, which means anything that enters them may form a pimple or breakout if not cleaned right away (so take this as your official permission to skip your workout the day of your wax – wink).
DO: Keep your hands away from your face.
DON’T: Touch waxed area(s) with your hands for the first several hours after a wax – no exceptions!
With everything we have to touch in a day (think doorknobs, car steering wheels, even our phones), our hands are DIRTY. Keep hand sanitizer and wipes close by and avoid touching any of your waxed areas for the first few hours after your appointment (especially vulnerable areas that may be particularly prone to breakouts).
DO: Use room temperature or cool water when you’re cleaning your face for 48 hours after your wax.
DON’T: Use super hot or cold water on your face after a wax.
Hot water weakens your skin and allows for more breakouts, whereas cold water shocks the skin and will typically leave it red and irritated when used after a wax.
DO: Make sure your waxer’s tweezers and scissors are sanitized and clean.
DON’T: Assume your waxer is always following proper sanitation protocols (we all know what happens when we assume – ‘nuff said).
The unfortunate truth is that not all wax studios (or waxers) follow the same protocols for sanitizing their tools. Before and during your wax, keep an eye out to see if the waxer has tools laid out on a sanitized surface (like a towel or a tray) or if they are taking tools out of a barbicide jar – eagle eyes, girl, eagle eyes.
If your waxer isn’t following the proper measures, someone else’s bacteria may be lingering on a dirty tweezer that could now infect YOUR skin (and let’s just hope a pimple is the worst outcome – EEK).
DO: Ask your waxer to wear gloves during your appointment.
DON’T: Feel bad asking them to do so.
Girl, your skin is precious, and any trained waxer that knows this will have plenty of gloves handy to wear while they perform your wax. Personally, I wear gloves for every service, but not every state requires gloves to be worn for face services.
So, if you notice your waxer touching your face with ungloved hands, don’t be nervous about kindly asking them to wear gloves. The extra protection will prevent dirt or bacteria from getting on your skin, and your results will be better for it.
DO: Plan to stay out of the sun for 48 hours after a wax.
DON’T: Visit a beach or anyplace where your waxed skin may be directly exposed to the sun for an extended period.
Extensive sun exposure or sunburns are especially uncomfortable after a wax when your skin is already sensitive. Being in the sun for too long following an appointment will cause irritation and make your skin more susceptible to pimples and breakouts.
Getting a face wax is the best way to achieve a smooth, even surface and texture, but there’s plenty of aftercare protocols you should follow to elevate and maintain your post-wax results.
By communicating with your licensed waxer/esthetician and following the do’s and don’ts I’ve learned from my years of experience as a face waxer, you can develop a custom post-wax skincare routine for your unique needs that maximizes your results and helps prevent breakouts and irritation after a wax.