How to Calm Sensitive Red Skin After Waxing

Preventing and Treating Post-Wax Skin Irritation

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One of the most common waxing side effects is some degree redness or inflammation. It's not only the pulling of the hair out of the follicle that causes this red irritation but also tugging at skin which causes most of the redness. The redness will usually occur right after the waxing especially for the sensitive-prone but generally subsides over the course of the day. To relieve the redness faster, try these tips for calming sensitive skin and avoiding redness in the first place.

Check the Label

Let's start with prevention. Make sure the wax doesn't contain any ingredients you're allergic to that can leave you unnecessarily red. Often, waxes are made up of resin but may be based on a certain ingredient like tea tree, lavender, chocolate and so on.

Many also are made up of artificial colors, fragrances, and ingredients. While you can be allergic to almost anything—natural or not—artificial ingredients are allergic triggers for many. Don't forget about checking the products for prepping the skin, removing the wax and soothing the skin as well.

If you're getting it done professionally, you should be asked to fill out a form to make sure you're compatible with waxing and list any allergies. Don't be afraid to speak up before waxing and tell the technician of anything you're allergic to, and ask them to write it on your client profile to avoid future reactions.

Apply Powder or Oil

If you're waxing yourself, be sure to apply pre-epilation powder after cleansing if using soft wax and pre-epilation oil for hard wax.

These will act as a buffer, so the wax adheres more to the hair and not the skin. Thus, lessening the amount of redness. 

Use the Right Technique

Be sure you're holding the skin taut while pulling hair out to keep skin from being tugged on too much. Use a wax made for sensitive skin; cream-based products often work well.

Don't wax over an area more than once, as this can cause you to become very red and inflamed, not to mention removing your skin, too.                            

Use the Right Temperature

Wax that is too hot can burn skin. This can happen when there isn't that much wax left in a can and it gets overly hot or it's microwaved too long. Make sure to check the temperature by putting a bit on the backside of your hand first.

Wax that is too cool can also cause irritation. Wax that is supposed to be heated (as opposed to pre-made strips or cold wax) that isn't warm enough won't come off as easily when pulled and can cause unnecessary redness.

Soothe Your Skin

After removing hair and removing wax residue, apply an after-wax cooling product like Relax and Wax N Trauma Momma or an aloe based gel to help soothe skin and subdue the redness and inflammation. Tea bags brewed and then cooled placed on the eyes also helps after waxing the brows. Ice, an ice-pack, or a bag of frozen vegetables can also help reduce inflammation.

You may have heard that eye drops made to treat redness can be used to take the redness out of skin, as well, but we don't recommend this off-label use as the chemicals can actually irritate freshly-waxed skin.

Find an Experienced Professional

If you've opted to go to a salon or spa, remember that just because the person is licensed to remove hair doesn't necessarily mean that they are good at waxing. A crafty tech will properly prep skin, use the right type of wax for your skin and hair type, apply and remove the product correctly, and soothe skin immediately after the service. All of these things can make the difference between how red or irritated you become.

Cover It Up Safely

While the best thing to do with red, irritated skin is to treat it then leave it alone, you may not always feel comfortable leaving it be. If you have somewhere to go and don't want everyone there to know you got waxed, try applying some mineral makeup. It's light on the skin and allows it to breathe more than liquid or cakey foundation and concealer.

Know When It's Not Normal

If the skin is extremely painful for days, bleeds, is torn off or scabs, then something isn't right. Waxing isn't for everyone or every body or facial zone, read waxing precautions for the full list. See your doctor if your skin isn't healing on its own.

Try Another Method

No matter what you do, you may not be able to calm sensitive skin after waxing. It's just too hard on the skin for some skin types. Threading and sugaring are two other alternatives that also remove the hair follicle from the root but are much easier on the skin, and may lead to less redness.