It's common to get pimples after a wax, whether it's tiny little bumps, whiteheads, or rather large monsters. Waxing causes breakouts due to allergies to the wax itself, skin sensitivity, touching the area, or getting a mild burn. When you get a wax, some of your skin on the surface gets removed. Thus, the pores are left exposed. Anything that touches the area during this time, including soothing agents, can cause pimples. Typically, that involves dirt and oils from your hands and fingernails that get into the pores.
Luckily, you can minimize post-wax breakouts so that you can have clear and smooth skin.
Prevent Pimples With Proper Preparation
One thing you can do to prevent pimples is to get rid of dead skin cells. Simply take a gentle exfoliator (or washcloth with warm water) prior to waxing to make sure all make-up and oil are removed. You can also use a pre-wax cleanser on the skin that has anti-microbial properties, like the product Gigi Pre Hon. If you go to a salon or spa, a professional will use a pre-wax cleanser. If they don't, however, make sure to ask them to, or start looking for another provider.
Keeping all areas clean is important as well. If you're at home, scrub your hands and nails thoroughly with warm water and soap. Then, put on disposable gloves to keep things more sanitary. When you make an appointment, it's important that the tech wears gloves (at least on the one hand that's in contact with the skin). If you're getting a Brazilian, and they ask you to help hold the skin during the service, ask for a pair of gloves for yourself.
When it comes to waxing, the most important thing is to not double dip. Even if it's your own wax pot, you should only dip the applicator once and throw it away. Using a fresh stick each time ensures that you don't introduce any bacteria into the product. If you go to the pros, it's even more important that the salon or spa practices this precaution. If you notice that the salon is dirty, you should cancel your appointment and find a new provider.
Using a tea tree based wax can help prevent pimples. Tea tree has antiseptic properties frequently used in acne skin care products. Those prone to breakouts after waxing tend to get fewer pimples if, along with other precautions, you use a wax that contains the essential oil from these native Australian plants. Satin Smooth, for example, is a great professional company that makes a tea tree wax that you can use at home.
Post Care After Waxing
If you're at home, apply witch hazel with a cotton ball or square. Its antiseptic and soothing properties can help ward off infection. You can also try Finipil, which is specifically made to be used after removing hair. It's said to kill 99.999% of germs which can prevent infection in the empty hair follicle. As always, it's important to not touch the area after waxing. While many people enjoy the smooth hair-free feeling, you're most susceptible to infection after removing the hair.
After you've cleansed at home, you can lightly exfoliate the area again the next day (unless you're red or tender). Continuing to exfoliate regularly will help ward off pimples and ingrown hair in general. In the next two days, you'll want to stay away from pedicures if you had a leg wax, including saunas and whirlpools with any type of waxing. If you had body waxing, stick to a shower rather than a bath.
Additionally, you'll want to avoid any type of exercise or activity that will make you sweat a lot the day of your service. Be sure to wear loose clothing around the area you got waxed for a few days.
Don't Pop Any Pimples
If you're still breaking out after waxing, consider using another method that removes the entire hair from the follicle. Threading is wonderful for the face (especially the eyebrows) and hardly touches the skin. Sugaring is another method you can try, which is made up of natural ingredients. Plus, it doesn't remove live skin cells like waxing does. Other issues from waxing like ingrown hairs, pain, bumps, bruising, and more are also possible but can be avoided and treated.
Whatever you do, don't pop your pimples. This spreads the bacteria and can encourage even more pimples to appear. Instead, apply a tiny bit of tea tree oil or your other favorite pimple-killing product to the outside area only.