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After Waxing Care: What To Do After Waxing Your Face & Body

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My grandmother used to like to say “to be beautiful you must suffer”. And this never ringed truer than when talking about waxing. I mean, ouch! If you’ve ever waxed before, then you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve at least experienced the pain vicariously through friends or movies.

Yet waxing isn’t all bad. After all, we pay money to go to a salon to get waxed or to buy the supplies to do it ourselves. So there must be something that keeps us coming back for more. Listen, it’s all about the hair. Some of us were blessed with super-thin hairs on our face and body that blend in with our skin. Yet for the rest of us, grooming can be an absolute nightmare. No one wants an unwanted ‘stache, wild eyebrows, or legs with stubble.

Of course, there’s always shaving as an option for removing unwanted hair, but that usually doesn’t last as long. As it doesn’t work as well in the first place, leaving the roots still visible and making it seem like you haven’t groomed in a few days. I always feel that by the time I finish shaving, I can already see my hair growing back. Laser works well for some but not for everyone, and it’s more of a long-term commitment.

It seems that waxing is a necessary evil in the beauty world. As they say- can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Well, if you’re gonna do it, you may as well do it right. Waxing can be harsh on your skin, which is evidenced by the redness that you’ll experience afterward. So it’s essential that you know what to do after waxing your face and body so that you take proper care of your skin.

Irritation After Waxing Explained

Regardless of whether or not you experience pain during the actual process of waxing, you’re almost certain to experience some pain, redness, and irritation afterward. This is the result of a combination of pulling your hair out of the follicle and aggravating the surrounding skin in the process.

Depending on how sensitive your skin is, you might notice mild irritation or a lot of redness. Luckily, irritation after waxing is nothing to be concerned about. It’s nothing dangerous, and it should gradually go away. Yet itching after waxing can be unpleasant, as can the appearance of redness if you’re going to be around people after your appointment.

While there are different things you can do after waxing in order to address irritation, there are also things you can do before in order to prevent it. For starters, make sure that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients in the waxing supplies. You should also always make sure to be on top of moisturizing your skin so that extra stress on it does not cause cracking. Lastly, take a leaf out of Goldilocks’ book and make sure that the temperature of the wax is juuuuuust right.  

What To Do For Bumps After Waxing

Birds eye view of feet in bath.

Cleansing your legs after waxing can reduce bumps.

If you’re prepping for a waxing sesh before a night out on the town, you’re probably wondering “how long do red bumps last after waxing?” The good answer is that they will fade, and within a few days max you should be bump-free. But here are a few tips if you want to speed the process along.

First, make sure to cleanse the area after waxing. Use warm water and gentle soap so as not to further worsen the irritation. Cleansing can rid the area of any remaining irritants, giving your skin time to heal. Once you’re ready to cover the area with clothes, wear loose-fitting clothing so that the material doesn’t rub against your skin.

Compresses can also work wonders when it comes to treating bumps after waxing. A cold compress can soothe the irritation and minimize bumps, while warm compresses can help open up pores to reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs.

Additionally, you can use other products on your skin to help treat it after you wax. Moisturizers without added fragrances can soothe your skin and treat inflammation. Cortisone cream can also serve to address swelling and inflammation.

No matter which method you try, the most important thing to remember is to not further irritate the bumps. This means letting them be and not picking at them, in order to ensure that they have time to heal properly.

Should You Be Exfoliating After Waxing?

If you want to exfoliate, make sure to wait at least 2 or 3 days after waxing to do so. This will let the redness and irritation go down first and let your pores close up. You don’t want to add irritation to irritation, which is why it’s better to wait a few days.

After a wax, your hair might start to grow back after a week or two. If pores are clogged, the new hair might start to curl in on themselves, because the tips of the hair are fine. Therefore, by exfoliating your skin regularly, your hair is more likely to grow in properly and not be ingrown. Your skin will also look better and have more of a glow.

In the colder months of the year, you should exfoliate at least twice a week since your skin will be drier. During the summer, you can go down to at least once a week. Always make sure to moisturize after you exfoliate.

How To Avoid A Breakout After Waxing

Woman checking her skin in the mirror.

Woman checking skin in the mirror.

It’s not uncommon to experience a breakout after waxing. But if you plan properly, there are ways to avoid this happening.

You should make sure this is true no matter what treatment you’re doing- if you’re going to a salon, make sure that they’ve properly sterilized their equipment! Otherwise, other people’s germs and bacteria will get transferred onto you, making for some annoying acne and putting you at risk of infection. There should also be no double-dipping, as this can make bacteria enter the wax and then spread to other areas of your skin.

You might experience a breakout after waxing because of the bacteria, irritation, and inflammation that result. This is why it’s also a good idea to exfoliate before you wax since doing so can get rid of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt which would otherwise hang around and get into your pores during the waxing process.

A simple thing such as putting baby powder on your eyebrows before waxing them can help prevent acne by helping the wax easily grab your hair and absorb oil. 

After Face Wax Care

If you’re not taking proper care of your face after a face wax, it’s time to do an about-face. You need to make sure to treat yourself right!

A rule of thumb is that after a face wax, you should be using a post-depilatory lotion. This will remove any residue from the waxing, soothe your skin, and help with bumps and ingrown hairs.

Yet don’t let your thumbs, or any other parts of your hands, near the area that’s just been waxed! Your body’s natural oils will get transferred to the area and clog your pores, so leave your skin be!

Also make sure to avoid the sun for the first couple of days after waxing your face. Otherwise, you’re more likely to experience burns and scarring. When you wax your skin it becomes very sensitive, as the outer layer of skin has been stripped. This makes the sun all the more dangerous for your burn-prone skin and makes you more likely to develop hyperpigmentation. And as tempting as it might be to go swimming, stay away for a bit too. The salt from the ocean can make your skin more sensitive and lead to bumps. Furthermore, the chlorine in a pool will be harsh on your skin (and forget about the fact that in a pool you’re floating around in other people’s bacteria).

Natural DIY After Wax Oil Recipe & Guide

Womans hands pouring essential oil on cotton pad.

DIY after wax oil.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself after a wax is to apply a special after wax oil to your skin. But if you’re sick of buying all of your products and you want to make this one yourself, here is an easy, natural DIY after wax oil recipe and guide.

To start, you’ll need 8 tablespoons of rose hip oil, 8 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 6 drops of lavender essential oil. Before beginning, make sure that the coconut oil is melted. Then simply mix all of the ingredients together and apply the mixture to your skin after you wax.

Once you do this, enjoy the benefits of skin that is soothed and moisturized.

Retinol And Waxing Explained

Retinol is a type of retinoid, a compound derived from vitamin A. And because retinol is found in many skin care products, it’s important for us to understand the effects of using retinol before you wax.

Turns out that using retinol is not a good idea before a wax. This is because waxing, in general, removes skin cells in addition to hair. Retinol is generally used as part of chemical exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, so using it before a wax makes your skin especially sensitive and puts it at risk. Doing so might cause the skin to separate more during the process, and you might end up in more pain.

Waxing after using retinoids can lead to other side effects too such as discoloration, scarring, dryness, irritation, and redness. Waxing removes skin cells, yet you do need some dead skin cells to protect the other skin cells below. So stop using retinol several days before your waxing.


Well, there ya have it- the highs and lows of waxing. Don’t get me wrong, waxing is definitely a blessing. But with great power comes great responsibility, and the decision to wax your body should only come after you’ve done your research.

The irritation, bumps, and itchiness that comes with waxing are nothing to fret over too much, but they can be a nuisance. Luckily, if you know what you’re doing there are ways to soothe your skin or prevent problems altogether, which can make for a much more enjoyable experience.