Sometimes, wax can stick stubbornly to your skin and not want to come off. Because wax is sticky and thick, it can be a tough product to work with. Most of the time, you can expect to remove the strip with a few attempts, leaving a small amount of residue or spots left behind. However, if most or all of the product is sticking to your skin like glue, there's probably something more serious going on.
Why It's Hard to Take Wax Off Your Skin
It's possible that your skin type is overly dry. Skin complexions that lack moisture might hold onto wax for dear life. While this can happen anywhere on the body, it usually happens in zones prone to dryness, like knees and elbows. One solution is to moisturize your skin right before cleansing and waxing.
It's also possible that the wax wasn't pulled fast enough. If it's not removed quickly, there's not enough force to remove the wax and hair properly. Additionally, hesitating or moving slowly will feel like you're gradually removing a band-aid (which is obviously not a pleasant experience).
Wax that's applied too thick can cause issues, too. Soft strip wax needs to cover the hair, but shouldn't be applied bulky. If so, it might just stay on the skin when the strip is removed. Another way it can get thick is when the heated wax isn't warm enough, causing it to not spread as easily on the skin. On the flip side, however, cold wax can also be a challenge to use. Although cold wax is made to be used in its room temperature state, it also can be more difficult to spread around.
There are several products to clean wax residue off the skin. Wax Off ($8) for example, is made for gently removing waxing product from the skin with the help of aloe vera. There are also products like Gigi Sure Clean ($17) which is made for cleaning up the pot and drips on clothes, countertops, carpets, and floors. That said, this a product that is not made for skin—it can burn and potentially cause allergic irritation or contact dermatitis, so be careful.
If you don't have a product on hand, or want to use something more natural, you can opt for olive, jojoba, or a body oil for the skin. Preferably, you should use something without fragrance so it doesn't cause any unnecessary redness or irritation on the skin. These types of oils will also work well on surfaces, but you have to be careful about stains that may appear depending on the material.
If for some reason you experience a major spill or tip of the pot, you may notice that your wax has cooled and hardened on a surface. First, warm the wax to make the cleaning much easier by using a low setting on a blow-dryer. Then, tidy up the area with your oil of choice.
Wax With Less Mess
Take a few minutes to set the stage before waxing. This can shave off loads of time scraping, scrubbing, and wiping off areas. First, consider getting some wax collars. They simply slide on wax pots and catch drips. Since they're made of cardboard, you just rip them off and place on a new one when they're coated.
Second, wipe the back of your application stick. When removing the stick from the wax, you only need product on the front. Any excess product is going to drip where you don't want it to, whether on your face, body, or personal items. Another simple tip is to place some newspaper or a disposable tablecloth down, whether you're waxing over the bathroom sink or in the kitchen. That way, any potential drips can be crumpled up and thrown away.
Tips and Alternative Wax
Every professional knows to wear gloves. Gloving up keeps bacteria at bay and keeps the overall process more hygienic. Plus, your hands are easily prone to getting sticky.
Finally, you can try a natural wax called sugaring. It's made from a mix of sugar, lemon, and hot water. Unlike waxing, real sugaring products are water soluble. That means that they can be cleaned up with simple soap and water. If you know how to wax, then you know how to use sugaring gel. It's applied and removed the same way as soft wax.