Beauty

10 ways to make waxing less painful

Author: Canadian Living

Beauty

10 ways to make waxing less painful

While you might love the warm weather of a Canadian summer, the season's revealing outfits come with a burden, too – hair removal. Waxing offers an affordable way to keep skin smooth for longer periods than shaving, but that doesn’t mean it’s without drawbacks, and pain is certainly one of them.

Check out these 10 ways to make waxing less painful and you’ll be sipping sangria in a sundress before you can say, "Ready, set, rip!"

1. Within 24 hours prior to your waxing appointment, "avoid any kind of exfoliation," says Paola Girotti, owner of Sugar Moon, a body-sugaring boutique with two locations in Toronto. Exfoliation can irritate your skin, says Girotti.

2. Always start with clean, dry skin. Soaking in a warm bath prior to waxing can help soften hair and slightly open your pores. Skip the lotion, though, as "body oils can seep into the hair follicles," says Girotti. And oils interfere with wax's ability to grip hair.

3. Avoid waxing within a week before your period, when you’re extra-sensitive to pain. Instead, aim to have it done a week or two after, when your pain threshold is higher.

4. Try taking an ibuprofen pain reliever (such as Advil), about an hour before waxing. This can help control the pain, as well as any resulting inflammation.

5. If you plan to wax your bikini area, change into a pair of loose-fitting, clean cotton underwear post-wax. Synthetic fibres or too-tight pairs can irritate your freshly wax skin and lead to clogged pores, which can develop into painful ingrown hairs. You can skip the gym that day, too!

6. Leave ingrown hairs alone, says Girotti. And please, don’t pinch the skin! This will leave you bruised, and can worsen the situation. Instead, try smoothing an over-the-counter antibacterial ointment, such as Polysporin, over the affected area.

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7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Wax strips

It is essential to keep moisture in, even when hair is coming out. These easy-to-use wax strips are 30 percent more moisturizing than the average wax strip, and are effective on hair as short as 1.5 millimetres. Nair Moroccan Argan Oil PerfectTemp Wax Strips, $15, naircare.ca. For more info on achieving the perfect at-home wax, click here.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: Nair

7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Shave gel

If you shave dry, you’re pretty much asking for ingrown hairs. Create a barrier between your skin and your razorblade by lathering up with this supremely hydrating shave gel. Gillette Satin Care Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel, $4, shoppersdrugmart.ca.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: Gillette

7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Exfoliating pads

Chemical exfoliation is the way to go if your skin is too sensitive for rough scrubs. These handy one-time-use pads are soaked in a solution of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, as well as antioxidant actives, which means your skin stays smooth until hair grows in. Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads, $45 for 50 pads, sephora.ca.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: Sephora

7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Body scrub

These scrubs contain sugarcane extract, which cleanses and exfoliates, leaving skin soft and free of flakes and bumps. Plus, each scent is perfectly suited to summer, so your morning shower feels more “tropical vacation” than “daily routine.” Mark body scrub, $14, avon.ca. To make your own scrubs, click here.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: Mark

7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Scrub mitt

Use this all-natural cactus scrub mitt to dry brush your body before a shower, working upward in small, circular motions. The Body Shop Cactus Scrub Mitt, $10, thebodyshop.ca.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: The Body Shop

7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Moisturizing lotion

This lotion is noncomedogenic, nonirritating and fragrance-free, so it helps keep ingrowns out and moisture in. It might not be sexy, but your bump-free bikini line will be. Cerave Moisturizing Lotion, $15, cerave.ca.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: Cerave

7 great products to treat and prevent ingrown hairs

Tweezers

Ingrown hair removal calls for some serious detail work! While angled tweezers are great for eyebrows, this pointed pair ensures you always pluck out the ingrown—and never your skin (ouch!). Quo Classic Point Tweezer, $4, shoppersdrugmart.ca. For more beauty advice, visit our Style Desk blog.

Image by: Canadian Living By: Sarah Feldman Source: Quo


Page 1 of 2 – How long should you wait before exfoliating post-wax? Find the answer, plus four more great tips, on page 2.

7. Always pull skin taut, and pull the wax strip in the opposite direction of hair growth. This dramatically increases the effectiveness of the waxing and also dramatically reduces the pain.

8. You know how you take a quick, short breath after being injured? It’s your body’s natural way of helping manage pain. Take a deep breath when applying wax, and a short, strong exhale when you pull the strip off your skin.

9. Post-wax, avoid anything to do with heat, such as hot baths. "Heading out into the sun after a sugaring or waxing is one of the biggest mistakes people make," says Girotti. Your skin is in an irritated and raw state, so make sure you protect it.

10. To keep skin smooth, exfoliate the area two days after you wax, and every second day thereafter. Aloe and water-based lotions are safe to use, but avoid applying deodorant if you’ve just banished hair from your underarms, "otherwise you’re applying it directly into an open cuticle," says Girotti.

Once you get the hang of these tips, you’ll find that controlling waxing pain is surprisingly easy. You might even be looking forward to your next waxing appointment.


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