When a unibrow starts to form above your eyes, or you notice a little peach fuzz growing above your upper lip, you might want to turn to waxing as a quick way to remove the unwanted hair. Soft wax is frequently used to wax larger areas like the legs, but hard wax is better suited for smaller areas that sprout facial hair or underarm hair, and more sensitive areas, like the bikini line. But don’t just slap the wax on and yank it off. There’s a bit of skill required to effectively use hard wax for hair removal.
Exfoliate the skin you want to wax one day prior to waxing, using an exfoliating scrub or loofah. This will help the wax to adhere properly. Don’t use lotion the day you are planning to wax.
Heat the wax according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some waxes will require the use of a wax warmer, while others can be heated in the microwave or in a double boiler. Heat the wax for the time recommended on the label, as different waxes will require different heating times. The temperature of the wax should be between 125- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit. Use a heat-proof thermometer to get the wax to the appropriate temperature.
Spread the wax onto the unwanted hair using a small spatula. Most waxing kits will come with a spatula; if there is no spatula in your kit, a craft stick will work. Apply the wax first in the direction the hair is growing, then go back over it in the opposite direction. The layer of wax on your skin should be about the thickness of a nickel. Make the area at the end of the layer of wax a bit thicker so it’s easier to pull off.
Wait about three minutes for the wax to set. The wax is shiny when it is first applied. Once it becomes opaque and you can leave a fingerprint on it, it’s ready to be removed.
Press down on the skin next to the wax with your non-dominant hand. Lift the end of the wax off your skin using your dominant hand's thumb and forefinger. Pull the wax off in one quick motion in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Press down on the freshly waxed area to help with the pain. Repeat this process on the other areas of skin that you want to remove hair. Avoid waxing the same area more than twice, as this can lead to skin irritation.
Wipe the skin with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil to remove extra wax.
Rub a small amount of aloe vera gel onto the freshly waxed skin to soothe the area.
Avoid sunbathing, tanning, extremely hot baths or showers, saunas and working out for at least 24 hours after waxing.
Do not exfoliate the freshly-waxed skin for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol in the few hours prior to waxing. This will make the skin more sensitive and waxing more painful.
Do not wax if you’re using strong acne medication, your skin is sunburned or sensitive, or if you have any circulation or immune system issues.
Avoid waxing facial hair if you use skin-care products that contain retinoids or similar ingredients. These ingredients make the skin thinner, therefore it’s more likely to be removed along with the wax.
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