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Post-wax pimples are a thing!
Whether you're a stickler for smooth arches or a bikini line waxing fanatic, sometimes waxing comes with the price of a breakout - or several.
The good news is, you don't have to quit waxing altogether to see the back of breakouts. It's possible to prevent them from happening in the first place with a few adjustments in your preparation steps and skincare routine.
Here, we answer all your questions about post-wax acne breakouts and offer you some great solutions and alternatives.
Where do we begin? There are multiple reasons why this hair removal process could be leaving you with pimples.
For starters, you should know that the process of waxing removes a small amount of the skin on the surface, leaving your pores exposed to dirt, grime, and oil. As tempting as it is to touch the freshly waxed area, don't do it. The dirt and oils from your fingers can creep into your pores, leading to breakouts.
You may be prone to pimples if you have sensitive skin, as you could possibly be allergic to the wax.
Even getting a mild burn caused by wax that is too hot can look a lot like breakouts - especially on those with sensitive skin.
If you're using anti-aging products containing retinol, that could also be the culprit behind your post-wax zits, as these products can make the skin more sensitive.
Whether you're doing it yourself or heading to an appointment, make sure you prep beforehand to get your skin ready for waxing.
The best way to prevent pimples after waxing is to remove dead skin cells. To do this, use a gentle cleanser like Truly's CBD Jelly Body Cleanser followed by an exfoliator like Truly's Moon Rocks Scrub to remove any oil and grime from the area. This could be on your face (if you're having an eyebrow or upper lip wax) or down there (if you're going for a bikini wax).
Cleansing ensures the area is clean prior to waxing, minimizing your chances of getting pimples.
Exfoliation helps slough away dead skin cells, helping to prevent clogging and providing the perfect base for waxing. Another benefit of exfoliating pre-wax is that it prevents ingrown hairs - another frustrating side effect of waxing.
Tea tree oil is packed with antiseptic properties. That's why you'll often find it in acne skincare products.
Well, it works just as well in wax to prevent pimples.
So if you're prone to breakouts after waxing, take the necessary precautions and use a wax that contains this essential oil.
If you're sensitive to wax, try sprinkling a little baby powder over the area about to be waxed. It will absorb excess moisture in the area while making it easier for the wax to grab hairs and reduce contact irritation.
Resist the temptation of admiring your smooth, hair-free skin until it heals. Touching the affected area immediately after waxing may transfer the bacteria on your hands onto your skin and clog your open pores, leading to breakouts.
If you want to keep your freshly waxed skin as smooth and soft as possible, invest a little time into aftercare.
Try our Jelly Booster Pigment Treatment to soothe and repair your skin post-wax. Formulated with witch hazel, pomegranate extract, and eucalyptus, it's loaded with antiseptic and soothing properties to help heal the skin and ward off infection and ingrowns.
According to esthetician Shelby Galvan, you want to avoid using products containing oil after a wax.
"It’s best to moisturize with oil-free products that are all natural and don’t contain synthetic oils," she says, which can cause pimples.
Instead, try our skin-soothing treatment to help calm inflammation and reduce irritation.
Follow up with a lightweight lotion or moisturizing product to keep the area hydrated.
It's crucial to keep your freshly waxed area clean and free of dirt, debris, and sweat. While a relaxing sauna session or hot bath may sound like the perfect way to unwind after a painful waxing session, you should avoid baths, saunas, pools, and hot tubs to prevent an infection from occurring.
Finally, if you want to continue with your waxing sessions but you want to avoid breakouts, try to stay consistent with your waxing appointments.
"Receiving a wax every four to six weeks to help the area adjust to it can help prevent a reactionary breakout," says. "Any time longer than six weeks and you’re starting the process all over again."
To put it another way, you may need to train your skin by going for regular wax sessions.
Provided you prep properly and incorporate soothing skincare products, you really don't need to quit your waxing appointments to minimize those pesky pimples.
However, you can consider switching your hair removal method to shaving if you're looking for a change. But you still need to follow the proper shaving precautions like using a clean razor, always applying shaving cream beforehand, and following up with aloe vera gel or lotion to calm the area post-shave.
Try our Silky Smooth Shave Set if you want to give wet shaving a go.
Other great alternatives for removing unwanted hair include sugaring and threading which remove the entire hair from the follicle.
Breaking out after waxing is normal. In fact, it's really common. However, if you're noticing than even with the proper pre and post-waxing precautions you're still experiencing breakouts, it may be time to visit a dermatologist for professional advice. Alternatively, switch your hair removal method altogether.