You might be able to get the job done with a razor and some shaving cream in a pinch, and drugstore waxing kits can look convenient at first glance, but if you’re considering a body wax, a full Brazilian Bikini Wax, or already make regular appointments, then it’s likely you’ve become tired of devoting time and effort toward something that can easily be taken care of in a salon. Our estheticians receive extensive training to provide you with weeks of smooth, fuzz-free bliss between appointments for a result that simply can’t be duplicated at home, and follow strict protocols to ensure you feel minimal discomfort throughout the service. Whether you’re thinking of booking your first appointment, or are a recent waxing convert looking for some tips, we’ve put together a series of preparation and aftercare steps to help you make the most of your waxing experience and deliver the look you desire.
Are You a Brazilian or Body Wax Candidate?
There’s no doubt that deciding to take the plunge can be intimidating if you’re a waxing novice, but preparation is key, and educating yourself on the ins and outs will help alleviate any concerns you may have. The first, and most important action you should take is to determine whether you are an ideal candidate. It is crucial to communicate with your esthetician about any skin concerns, sensitivities, or allergies before your body or Brazilian bikini wax in order to help them tailor your service appropriately and avoid causing any irritation. If you want to err on the side of caution, consider scheduling a patch test before your appointment to rule out the possibility of a reaction.
Don’t forget to examine the areas you plan to wax, as rashes, breakouts, wounds and sunburns must be completely healed beforehand. Also, be sure to show your esthetician any moles or beauty marks you may have so that they can be adequately protected. If you are currently undergoing a round of Isotretinoin, don’t plan to come in for a wax until at least a year after you’ve finished treatment as this medication can cause the skin to thin somewhat, resulting in the potential for tearing. The use of prescription exfoliants such as Retin-A, Differin and Tazorac should be discontinued at least three months prior to a waxing session.
Make Your Plans Accordingly
Whether you’re a beginner or a regular, the timing of your appointment can matter quite a bit. Consider scheduling your waxing service in the days following your menstrual cycle, as your pain threshold will be at its highest. Something else to keep in mind is that our bodies are under less strain than usual upon just waking up, so it’s a good idea to book an appointment – especially your first – in the morning. Muscles can tighten considerably after a stressful day, making it harder and more painful to separate hair from the follicle. The good news is that every wax after the first one gets easier, and hair growth will diminish steadily over time as the follicle becomes weakened.
It’s best to avoid scheduling your first wax right before a special occasion in case you experience some redness or inflammation. Instead, visit our salon a few weeks beforehand so you’ll know what to expect, and any irritation can be given sufficient time to fade. Two weeks before your appointment, you’ll need to discontinue the use of any retinol-based products. While fabulous for treating acne, uneven tone and fine lines, this ingredient shares a similar, albeit less severe thinning effect on the skin as Isotretinoin. Alpha hydroxy acid topicals should be set aside at this point too. Now would also be the time to stop shaving, as ¼ – ½ inch of growth is necessary to achieve minimal discomfort and superior results. Too short, and your esthetician won’t be able to grip the follicle for proper removal – too long, and the wax won’t adhere correctly to the hair, causing unnecessary pain.
Refrain from doing any tanning during the week leading up to your appointment, as even if you don’t get burned, spending time in direct sunlight is certain to increase skin sensitivity. If you absolutely can’t avoid being outside for an extended period of time, be sure to wear SPF 50+ and don’t forget to re-apply every few hours. The week before is also a great time to commit to moisturizing daily, although you’ll see an incredible difference in the quality of your skin, and therefore your waxing experience, if you make this a part of your regular routine. A day prior, use your favorite scrub, brush, or loofah to gently exfoliate the body, focusing on the areas you want your esthetician to concentrate on. Doing so will help loosen dead skin cells and lift trapped hairs for the smoothest removal possible.
The Final Steps Before Your Wax
On the day of your body wax, consider taking a warm bath or shower to soften and hydrate the skin for a more effective hair removal process. Drinking plenty of water will help as well. Although it is crucial to moisturize throughout the week before you come in for an appointment, once the actual day arrives you should not apply any lotions, oils, creams or astringents to your body. Heavy products can prevent wax from adhering properly to the skin, and astringents will cause pores to tighten around the follicle, making hair that much harder to do away with.
Feeling comfortable is a huge factor toward making your experience a satisfactory one, so it’s best to arrive wearing loose, breathable clothing that you’re familiar with. Before your appointment, be sure to have a quick snack to maintain a steady blood sugar because, as in any other situation, you’ll find it much easier to tolerate discomfort. If you’re concerned about managing pain, try taking an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol thirty minutes before your wax. Numbing creams are available for especially sensitive individuals as well. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and exercise in close proximity to your appointment are also good ideas as all of these can increase blood circulation, and therefore pain. Once you arrive, don’t be afraid to communicate with your esthetician in order to determine the precise look you want to leave with. If you’re not sure exactly what that is, they can help you with that as well.
Helpful Brazilian Bikini Wax Tips
All of the preparation and aftercare steps that apply to body waxes are relevant to bikini waxes as well, but there are just a few extra things to keep in mind if you’re planning to focus on this area. It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit anxious about being exposed throughout the process, especially during your first Brazilian bikini wax, but wearing a skirt may help you feel more at ease, as you can simply pull it up and have a bit more coverage than you would otherwise. You should also expect your esthetician to ask you to assume some unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable body positions in order to access all of the necessary areas for hair removal. This is essential to guarantee a successful wax, but we do everything we can to provide a safe, professional environment and help you relax. Remember to wear soft, cotton panties to your Brazilian bikini wax appointment in order to avoid irritation, and don’t forget to breathe! Deep breathing techniques can make a huge difference in how you’re able to manage pain.
Aftercare Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t be concerned about a bit of redness after you leave, as this is normal and nothing to worry about. Aloe Vera gel, as well as creams and lotions specifically formulated to soothe skin post-wax, are excellent options for treating any irritation that occurs.
- Do maintain your wax and prevent ingrown hairs through regular exfoliation, the use of an antibacterial body wash, and a product which specifically targets ingrown hairs. Ask your esthetician for recommendations.
- Don’t exercise, go swimming, sunbathe, use a tanning bed, apply heavy, scented products, or use abrasive scrubs within 24-48 hours after your wax. Such activities will make any existing irritation worse.
- Do keep up with your daily moisturizing routine between waxes to keep skin supple and cut down on discomfort during your next appointment.
- Don’t apply deodorant for the rest of the day after an underarm wax, as hair follicles can remain open for up to 12 hours and shouldn’t be blocked.
- Do avoid touching recently-waxed areas to avoid introducing bacteria, which can encourage breakouts and irritation. Take a shower afterward instead of a bath for this same reason.
- Don’t shave between appointments! Depending on the rate of hair growth, it's best to leave three to six weeks between waxes, and you must refrain from shaving or trimming.