How to Avoid Leg Waxing Bruises

Let's face it. Removing unwanted hair from our bodies does not rank high on the fun meter. In fact, if you have sensitive skin, various hair removal techniques can be downright painful. Let's look at leg waxing bruises, for instance. Bruising commonly happens when taking out coarse hair, like those found on the inner leg around the bikini area. But subcutaneous bleeding—bruising that happens when blood vessels break under the skin—can happen anywhere during a home wax job.

With a few precautions and a little practice, even those with sensitive skin can emerge both hair and bruise-free.

Consider Your Biology

Many women claim a sensitivity to bruising during their periods. While there is no medical explanation for this phenomenon—maybe the blood vessels are just finicky during this time—the inner leg and bikini area are noted as problem spots. That said, it's best to wait until after your menses have passed before waxing yourself, especially if you've experienced leg waxing bruises before. Additionally, if you regularly take blood-thinning medication or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as Advil or Motrin, this can affect your blood's ability to clot, causing you to bruise more easily. In this instance, opt for another hair removal option until the medications are out of your system. 

Prep the Area

The key to a bomber wax job is a clean and oil-free surface to work on.

Think of your waxing area as an artist's canvas and pay as much attention to the prepping the surface as you do to the actual waxing. First, wash the area to be waxed with soap and water. For the bikini line and inner leg, it's best to do this in the shower and then wax right after. Next, remove excess skin oil with a gentle toner like witch hazel.

A clean, oil-free surface allows good adhesion of the wax for an easier and less painful removal. Conversely, a poorly prepped surface can cause too much or too little stick, resulting in a painful removal process that may further irritate skin.

Perfect Your Technique

If you’re a newbie to home waxing, have a girlfriend help you the first few times. Your helper can hold your skin taut (the key to bruise-free results) while you pull the wax at the same time. Make sure your wax is the perfect temperature for application. Too cool, and it will glob onto the skin, requiring more force to get it off. Too hot, and it will burn you. Always pull in the direction the hair is growing. Pulling straight up or against the grain almost always causes broken capillaries or bruising. If you go slowly and take your time with technique, your results will be stellar. 

Aftercare

Don't sweat it if you experience side effects from your first DIY waxing. Just break out an ice pack and apply it immediately to prevent bruising or bleeding. Natural aloe vera or homeopathic arnica gel (found at any health food store) also work great to soothe inflammation and heal unsightly marks. Or grab that witch hazel again to clean the area and prevent clogged pores or ingrown hairs.

A few days is all you need to heal minor bruising or irritation, so give yourself enough time in between waxing and beach going.