Impact of Waxing on Skin
Waxing is an extremely effective and popular hair removal method. It can work wonders for the skin too, as it acts as a form of exfoliation. However, waxing can also cause a few adverse effects on the skin, but, most of these are rare.
Effects of Waxing on SkinThe short and long term effects of skin waxing are shown below:
- Smooth, glowing skin for a longer period - Waxing works by removing hair from the root, and in this process, cleanses the skin by removing a layer of dead skin too. This causes the waxed skin to attain a lovely fresh glow and an incredible smoothness that lasts for weeks. This is one of the reasons waxing is superior to other methods of hair removal.
- Loss of skin elasticity over long term - waxing, if done regularly over a period of many years, may lead to loosened skin and loss of skin suppleness and elasticity. This effect is mainly due to the procedure of ripping off the applied wax in waxing. Skin becomes more prone to develop wrinkles due to this effect.
The skin also runs the risk of some short term side-effects, which may occur if waxing is not performed properly, or if the individual is extremely sensitive to waxing.
- Redness and irritation - Most people undergoing waxing develop some skin redness and irritation immediately after waxing. This skin irritation resolves easily with the application of ice packs or cold compresses for a few minutes after waxing.
- Reddish bumps, skin rash or minor subcutaneous bleeding - This can occur in persons with extremely sensitive skin and also after waxing more vulnerable body parts like bikini area
- Skin burns and darkening - Waxing, done using overheated wax, has a high risk of causing skin burns and darkening. Reddish-brown spots of post-inflammatory pigmentation may appear on the skin due to application of overheated wax, which may take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to fade, depending on individual skin.
- Allergic reactions - An allergic reaction can occur in people allergic to wax products. This may consist of folliculitis which is an inflammation of the hair follicles, or a severe rash. Some people may even develop pustules in the waxed area if the skin is overtly sensitive. If any such reaction occurs, you should visit a doctor immediately for appropriate advice and medication. For this reason, you are advised to do a patch test of wax on your skin before waxing for the first time.
- Ingrown hairs - Ingrown hairs may develop after frequent waxing
- Skin infection - Rarely, skin infection can occur due to unclean or infected products or materials used for waxing. Diabetics should avoid waxing as they are much more susceptible to develop skin infections, especially by resistant and deadlier bacteria.
Tips to Avoid the Negative Effects of Waxing
- Skin should be absolutely dry and non-greasy for minimal side effects and a terrific result of waxing
- Protect the waxed skin from direct sunlight for at least 24 hours immediately after waxing. Do not wear tight clothing after waxing.
- Apply ice packs, cold compresses or a soothing lotion like aloe-vera gel immediately after waxing, especially if skin redness and irritation occurs
- Before applying the layer of hot wax, its temperature must be tested by applying a little on the back of the hand
- If you are taking any Vitamin A products like isoretinoin, Retin A, Accutane, Differin, etc. for acne or any other medical condition, you should not undergo waxing as the skin is very prone to tearing in this condition
- Waxing should not be done on irritated, sun-burnt, broken or infected skin
- Regular exfoliation about once a week after waxing greatly reduces the occurrence of ingrown hair. The first exfoliation after waxing should only be after at least 24-48 hours of waxing.