Summer is approaching, which means swimsuit season is finally here. It can be a hassle to shave your bikini area every time you want to go to a pool party or spend the day at the beach, so consider opting for the longer-lasting effects of a bikini wax. While this popular waxing procedure is effective at removing hair, it can leave sensitive skin with irritation and ingrown hairs.
In esthetician programs, students are taught the appropriate practice for performing a bikini wax, but skin-care professionals should also be able to provide advice about pre- and post-wax care. Knowing these tips and tricks for bikini wax skin care can ensure your next wax gives you all the benefits without the discomfort.
What is the appropriate hair length?
Letting your hair grow to the correct length is crucial for an effective bikini wax. When hair is too long, it can make the process more painful, leaving the skin red and irritated. Short hair, on the other hand, won’t give the wax much to hold on to, and the hair removal effects won’t last as long. The Goldilocks, just-right length is about one-eighth of an inch. For our visual beauticians, that’s about the length of a long piece of rice.
While avoiding the razor for a few weeks can be difficult for women who are used to regular grooming, it is necessary in order to minimize skin problems.
Exfoliate the night before – Exfoliating your skin the night before your bikini wax can greatly reduce your chances of getting ingrown hairs or infections. By applying about a dime-sized amount of facial exfoliating scrub to your bikini area with a loofah, you can effectively remove bacteria and dead skin cells that could clog your pores.
Use water effectively – Hot water is your friend before the waxing, but definitely not after. By sitting in a warm bath or using a hot, wet compress a few hours before your waxing treatment, you can soften the hair follicles and relax your skin pores. This will make the hair-removal process a lot easier and minimize your risk for irritation. However, after the waxing, you should avoid hot water for at least 24 hours. Not only will the warm temperature irritate your sensitive skin, but it can also contribute to bacterial infections in your pores. If you can’t avoid showering, set the temperature much cooler than normal.
Alleviate the irritation – You can soothe your irritated skin after the waxing by applying salves like aloe vera or an antiseptic. There are also products made specifically for post-waxing treatment that not only alleviate the irritation but can also prevent ingrown hairs. Other products effective at reducing discomfort include lavender essential oil and witch hazel. The professional esthetician will always send clients home with after-care instructions and product recommendations.
Avoid further irritation – Certain activities should be avoided after a bikini wax in order to let your skin heal. Do not exercise for at least 24 hours after the treatment. The sweat and constant rubbing of clothes against your skin will potentially cause discomfort or infection. Additionally, wear loose clothing for the rest of the day, such as sweat pants or skirts.