How to Avoid and Treat Pimples After Waxing

Woman receiving waxing treatment
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Pimples after waxing are a common side effect, whether it prompts tiny little bumps and whiteheads or rather large monsters. We have some steps to help you minimize your post-wax breakouts, so you don't have to choose between seeing hair and having clear skin.

Prepping to Prevent 

  • Rid dead skin cells. Take a gentle exfoliator or wash cloth with warm water prior waxing to make sure all make-up and oil is removed.
  • Cleanse. Use a pre-wax cleanser on the skin with anti-microbal properties like Gigi Pre Hon (compare prices) . If you go to a salon or spa, a professional should always use a pre-wax cleanser. If they don't, ask them to or find another provider.
  • Keep it clean. If you're at home, scrub your hands and nails thoroughly with warm water and soap. Put on disposable gloves which will keep things more sanitary and make less clean up.
    If you make an appointment, it's very important the tech wears gloves at least on the one hand that's in contact with skin. And if you're getting a Brazilian and they ask you to help hold skin during the service, ask for a pair of gloves for yourself.
  • No double dipping. Even if it's your own wax pot, only dip the applicator once and throw it away. Use a fresh stick each time. Then you won't be introducing any bacteria into the product. If you go to the pros, it's even more important that the salon or spa practices this precaution (See: Is the Salon Clean or Dirty?).
  • Use a tea tree based wax. Tea tree has antiseptic properties which is why it's often used in acne skincare products. Those prone to breakouts after waxing tend to get less pimples if, along with other precautions, you use a wax that contains the essential oil from these native Australian plants. Satin Smooth, a great professional company makes a tea tree wax that I use at home myself (compare prices).

    Post Care after Waxing

    • Cleanse again. If you're at home, apply witch hazel with a cotton ball or square. Its antiseptic and soothing properties can help ward off infection.
    • Try this. Finipil is specifically made to be used after removing hair. It's said to kill 99.999% of germs therefore preventing infection in the empty hair follicle. (Compare prices on Amazon)
    • Don't touch. We're sure you love the feeling of your smooth hair-free results. More susceptible to infection after removing the hair, fingers will put oil and bacteria on the skin.
    • Exfoliate again. Lightly exfoliate the next day, unless you're red or tender. Continuing to exfoliate regularly will help ward off pimples and ingrown hair.
    • Beware of your spa habits. Stay away from pedicures if you had a leg wax, including saunas and whirlpools with any type of waxing for the next two days. If you had body waxing, stick to a shower rather than a bath for the rest of the day.
    • Don't exercise. Doing anything that is going to make you sweat alot that day should be avoided.
    • Tight isn't good. Stay clear of constricting clothing where you had the waxing for the next few days.
    • Don't even think of popping. If you do get a pimple, resist the urge to pop it as this spreads the bacteria and can encourage more pimples. Instead apply a tiny bit of tea tree oil, or your other favorite pimple-killing product.

      If you're still breaking out after waxing, consider using another method that removes the entire hair from the follicle. Threading is wonderful for the face, especially the eyebrows and hardly touches the skin using a string. Sugaring is made up of natural ingredients and doesn't remove live skin cells like waxing.

      Other issues from waxing like ingrown hairs, pain, bumps, bruising and more are also possible. See: How to Avoid and Treat Side Effects of Waxing