We’ve got waxing on the mind, and with bikini season just around the corner, can you blame us? Now that we’ve schooled you on the best natural hair removal options, it’s time to talk facts—weird facts. You might think you know how to make your wax less painful, or all that’s new in the world of hair removal, but do you know why the skin in your bikini area can darken after a wax, or why you shouldn’t wax if you’re taking blood thinners? Didn’t think so. We got the scoop from esthetician and waxing extraordinaire Jodi Shays, who was more than happy to divulge five wonderfully weird facts about waxing.
“Here it is in a nutshell,” Shays says. “Waxing is a form of exfoliation, so always put on SPF if you’re going outdoors afterwards.” Just like how you would never go SPF-free after a peel, the same mentality applies to waxing—protect your skin!
Avoid hot baths or hot tubs after a wax for at least 24 hours. Why? “Your freshly waxed, compromised skin is susceptible to bacteria infections for the first 24 hours after,” Shays says. “Tight clothing, hot yoga, and spin class are not advisable after a wax either.” She suggests making sure that your skin can breathe post-wax. After the first 24 hours, you can start using a mild antibacterial soap. “It helps keep the follicles free and clear of debris!” Shays says.
Shays says to avoid waxing if you’re currently taking any prescription blood thinners. Why? Blood thinners, like Coumadin and Plavix, can cause you to bleed more easily, which is not ideal when you’re stripping off your hair follicles with hot wax (to put it lightly). Also, if you’re going to take a painkiller before you wax, stick with an Ibuprofen, like Advil or Motrin, because it has less of a blood-thinning effect than aspirin.
Ever wonder why the skin in your bikini area can darken over time? Shays says it can be caused by friction, shaving, or—you guessed it—wax. “Wax that is too hot—such as honey wax—can cause the skin in your bikini area to darken,” Shays says. Luckily, the hyperpigmentation that results from these culprits can be treated with natural ingredients, like licorice, kojic acid, or AHAs and BHAs.
Here’s a disconcerting fact—most panty liners and pads are made with bleached wood pulp. Key word: bleached. To keep the chemicals from irritating your freshly-waxed lady parts, Shays recommends choosing all-natural panty liners, or at least applying a light layer of barrier cream, like Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming Barrier Repair ($42), on your bikini area to protect the delicate skin.