Hopefully, the worst part is over and you're enjoying your smooth hair-free bikini zone. Now, what do you do after the bikini wax to keep it soft, smooth and a healthy shade of pink?
The goal is to maintain the hair-free bikini line for as long as possible without irritating skin and getting ingrown hair, pimples or bumps.
What bothers the skin varies slightly from person to person. Some people may be more prone to ingrown hair because of the extreme thickness or curliness of their hair. Other people have sensitive skin that can become extremely touchy after waxing, and it can get irritated or red at the slightest amount of heat or friction. Whatever your case may be, here are some things that you should and shouldn't do post-waxing (for both men and women):
- Avoid the sun. Stay clear of the sun's direct rays for at least 48 hours or until the redness has gone away. Waxing exfoliates, removing skin cells that offer protection from the sun. I know you've just had the hair removed so you can rock the bikini, but two things can happen. First, burning is easier than before because of the exfoliation combined with the removal of the hair that would provide somewhat of a physical block. Second, you may be more sensitive to the sun and end up with dark skin spots, (also called hyperpigmentation) especially if you're taking certain medications.
- Let your skin breathe. This is very important. Do not slip on skintight clothing because this will cause upset skin at the very least, and possibly ingrown hair. Also, don't touch the area. Yes, we know, it's very tempting to touch our hair-free skin. However, we use our hands to do almost everything and those germs would love to jump onto our freshly waxed skin and live happily causing irritation, pimples or infection.
- Soaking and steam isn't good. When hair is removed, the empty follicle is more prone to bacteria entering. Shower, but please do not take a bath or get in any type pool for the rest of day after the service, as any bacteria or chlorine in the pool water can cause irritation. The extreme heat of saunas and steam rooms can also disturb skin and need to be avoided after waxing. It might be wise to stay away longer if you have extremely sensitive skin or it was your first bikini wax.
- No body lotion until the redness goes away. Redness is a sign of irritation. If you have a problem with overly red or stinging skin try Relax and Wax No Trauma Momma. It's specially made to be used post-waxing to help soothe skin. Regular lotions can irritate your skin more than it already is — especially if it's fragranced. So wait until the redness disappears, which varies from person to person. And be sure to keep all lotions on the outside of your body only when applying in the bikini zone.
- Exfoliate. The bikini area is notorious for getting ingrown hairs after waxing. Keep that dead skin from ruining your bikini wax by clogging pores and causing ingrown hair. Exfoliating helps skin look healthy and may also encourage hair to point up, growing in the correct direction.
- Have products ready. If you have a problem with ingrown hair, keep a bump-fighting product on hand, like Relax and Wax Get the Bump Outta Here, Shobha Ingrown Relief Lotion or GiGi No Bump Rx Skin Treatment. You can use these products for prevention and treatment of the bumps.
Refrain from exercising right after waxing. Sweating excessively can make newly waxed skin susceptible to breakouts.
Be sure to read the tips for what to do before a bikini wax and between appointments to keep irritation, redness and ingrown hair to a minimum.
NHS. Ingrown hairs. Updated August 7, 2019.
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Public Health Ontario. At a glance: personal services and infection risks.
Cleveland Clinic. Pigmentation: abnormal pigmentation. Updated March 29, 2016.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. Hair removal: how to wax.
Khanna N, Chandramohan K, Khaitan BK, Singh MK. Post waxing folliculitis: a clinicopathological evaluation. Int J Dermatol. 2014;53(7):849-854. doi:10.1111/ijd.12056
Ayer J, Burrows N. Acne: more than skin deep. Postgrad Med J. 2006;82(970):500-506. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.045377