Why am I getting breakouts after waxing?

Once you’ve been waxed your skin is smooth and ready to be flaunted. The last thing you want is to replace the hair you had with breakouts. Below is a summary of some of the causes of breakouts and how to avoid them.

The Wax Studio

If you are having a wax by an experienced esthetician who practises good hygiene in the studio and throughout the service you should have no problems. The problems do occur when the service table you are laid on is not properly sanitized. It could also be caused by the waxer double dipping. (Using the same stick in the wax each time.) Or by the cleanliness of other items used on you during the service. For example, did the tweezers come out of a sealed sterile pouch? Is that a freshly laundered towel you are laid on or being covered by?

You should also be asked to complete a consultation form before your wax. This should include a question asking about any allergies you have. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the wax or the pre / post products don’t take the risk. 

Not following the aftercare

It is important to ensure no sweat or bacteria touches your skin for at least 24 hours after your wax. Your follicles are OPEN so are very susceptible to bacteria entering the follicle. Below is a list of the important things to avoid:

  • No sweating (gym, hot yoga etc)
  • No excessive heat (sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, hot showers)
  • No lotions or creams (Unless recommended by your wax technician)
  • No touching (bacteria from hands can enter follicles)
  • No sex (for Bikini / Brazilian Wax) 
  • No tight clothing (loose clothing lets the skin breathe)

The above list is non exhaustive but you get the idea of the things you need to avoid. Be conscious about what is touching that area for 24hours after your wax. Use a fresh towel after a mild-warm shower, maybe change your bed sheets if they aren’t particularly fresh either. For a bikini / brazilian wax it may be worth bringing a fresh pair of underwear to put on after your wax. 

A Natural Skin Reaction

There is one cause of breakouts after wax that cannot be avoided. This doesn’t happen to everyone but it is worth being aware of. Especially if you plan on having an area waxed that you haven’t had waxed before and are having it done for a special occasion…

For some areas of the body they are more prone to breakouts after a wax. Especially face, chest and back for both men and women so it is important to follow the above list extra carefully. These areas have more oil glands and especially for men the hair is thicker. This means a larger follicle for bacteria to enter more easily..

If an area is being waxed for the first time. (Or the first time in a long time.) It is more susceptible to breakouts. This is due to the skin’s natural reaction thinking the area has been through some type of trauma. Red and white blood cells rush to heal the area. If you are wanting an area waxed for the first time for a special occasion it is recommended to have a trial wax first. Wanting your first lip and Brazilian wax? Plan in advance. Book your wax with enough time for it to grow back so you can have a second wax on the same areas before the event/occasion. This will give your skin time to get used to the wax and not to mention get a better result with more hairs in the same growth cycle!

I Already Have a Breakout!

If you are reading this because you have had a wax and already have a break out, firstly, don’t panic. They will disappear within a day or 2 but here are some tips to help speed the process up:

  • Keep the area clean (avoid further bacteria entering the skin)
  • Wear loose clothing on that area
  • Avoid applying lotions and cream to the area unless recommended by your esthetician. (Recommended creams usually have antibacterial properties such as tea tree and lavender.) 
  • Gently exfoliate the area in the shower
  • Avoid constantly touching the area

In summary breakouts with waxing are completely avoidable. Choose a reputable wax bar, follow the aftercare and be careful what is coming into contact with your skin. And if it’s your first wax and get a breakout, give it a chance. Try 1 or 2 more times and see your skin settle into the routine with less of a reaction each time.

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