There's a reason professional waxing salons for brows and lady 'staches exist, and I am one of many women that have learned this lesson the hard way. For those of you that have DIY-tackled your own crazy hairs, you'll recognize all these things that go wrong when waxing your own facial hair. Luckily, my tragic trial-and-error process means I've learned a thing or two about how to fix all the struggles you're bound to encounter when pulling off those painful little strips.
I have incredibly sensitive skin and learned the hard way when I was 14 just how much wax can irritate skin if it's not used correctly. Here's how it went down: I bought a cheap package of waxing strips from the drugstore and hardly read the instructions before slapping them over the charming hint of mustache that occasionally grows around the sides of my lips. And then I ripped them off and felt all the burn.
Since I hadn't prepped or done any proper post-waxing care, I ended up with majorly tender red skin and a seriously unpleasant slew of ingrown hairs and angry pimples. I may have gotten rid of the little hairs, but the pain was definitely not worth the outcome.
Below are all the things that can go wrong when you try to wax your own face, along with hacks for how to avoid the struggles. Good luck, my fellow DIY waxers!
1. The "Ooh It BURNS" Allergic Reaction
Waxing is already painful. And there's nothing worse than making a painful experience more painful by using a wax your skin has a legit allergic reaction to. Yikes.
My dear friend, you have got to scan the ingredient list of whatever you're putting on your face. I would definitely recommended dabbing a bit of the wax on your arm a day before planning to use it on your face to make sure you're not allergic to any of the ingredients. To be on the extra safe side, always opt for waxes marked "hypo-allergenic" and "for sensitive skin."
2. Waxing Your Makeup Instead Of Hair
You finally got the courage to stick the dang strips on your face only to rip them off and realize they only took off a layer of makeup. Useless! Make sure you get all your makeup off before waxing.
3. The "Holy Hot Damn This Wax Is On Fire" Moment
Yes, you want hot wax to be hot, but burning your face isn't fun. To make sure the temperature of the wax is safe for your face, dab just a little on your wrist beforehand. If it makes you squeal, wait a few minutes for the wax to cool a little more.
4. Slip & Slide Strips
Sometimes, you'll slap wax on your face only to watch it drip down and slide off. This becomes a gloppy, unpleasant mess. To make sure your wax goes on smoothly, sprinkle a little baby powder over your freshly washed and exfoliated skin to help wax stick before you apply strips.
5. Ingrown Hair Monsters
Ugh, post-waxing ingrown hairs are the worst and you just have to wait them out to heal. To avoid this bummer of a situation, don't skip exfoliating the morning before you plan to wax. That way, all the dead skin cells will be gone and you'll get the closest, cleanest wax possible.
6. Tugging Hairs The Wrong Way
Hair grows in one direction, and you've got to pull it the other for wax to be effective. Waxing in the direction of hair growth means you get all of the tugging pain without any of the ripping benefits!
7. Major Breakout Struggles
Nothing is worse than being rewarded for your DIY waxing bravery with a slew of pimples. Byrdie explained that the major reason you breakout post DIY wax is because you're touching your freshly smooth face with unclean hands. Resist the urge and only touch the newly waxed areas to apply soothing aloe or zinc moisturizing cream. Then, step away.
8. Overwaxing The Same Area
Missing "that one hair" is super frustrating, but reapplying wax over and over in attempt to get it is not the answer. You'll only end up with super raw skin. Instead, if you have one very stubborn hair after waxing, reach for tweezers and just yank that sucker out.
9. Irritating Your Skin With Sweat
A workout sweat sesh is always great for your bod, but all that sweat over raw skin is another surefire way to get salty stinging pain and potential pimples. If you're planning to hit up bootcamp or barre class right after your DIY wax, consider holding off for at least a few hours to lessen the chances of sweat-caused breakouts.
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