Bikini Wax After-Care: Your Full Guide & Top Products To Use
While the worst part may be over, your bikini wax doesn’t end right after the hair is torn out. Proper after-care is essential after a bikini or (Brazilian) wax to keep your skin smooth, calm redness and prevent irritation, bumps, pimples, or ingrown hairs. Ultimately, you want your skin to stay cool, calm, clean and hydrated – especially for the first 48 hours after your bikini wax. Knowing the best practices and products to apply after a bikini wax can make all of the difference in avoiding pre-mature stubble or painful, itchy skin down there. These tips are particularly important if you have sensitive skin or coarser hair texture (two factors that make you more prone to experiencing red, itchy skin or ingrown hairs).
Here’s your full guide to what to do (and apply) after a bikini wax, what habits to avoid, when to exfoliate when waxing and more.
Do: Exfoliate The Night Before
The best after-care starts before your waxing session. Exfoliating the bikini area removes dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to ingrown hairs. Use a granulated body scrub (either purchased from the store or made at home) with a loofah, clean washcloth, or mitten to exfoliate before a Brazilian or bikini wax. Some of the best exfoliators for waxing include pre-packaged sugar scrubs with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, Himalayan salt scrubs, or AHA-containing scrubs with glycolic and lactic acids.
Exfoliate 24-48 hours before your bikini wax appointment. Don’t exfoliate on the day of your waxing session.
Don’t: Exfoliate After Waxing
While you should exfoliate in-between appointments, it’s important to give the skin barrier some time to repair right after a bikini wax. Wait at least 48 hours before exfoliating after a bikini wax. Some experts recommend waiting up to a week after a bikini wax to begin your post-waxing exfoliation routine. Once a week has passed, exfoliate 1-3 times a week in-between waxing sessions. It is recommended to schedule bikini wax appointments 4-6 weeks apart.
Do: Let Your Skin Breathe
Wear loose-fitting clothing for the first 48 hours after a bikini wax. Tight-fitting clothes can trap moisture and cause skin irritation, redness, bumps, or ingrown hairs. Choose breathable fabrics, like cotton, whenever possible. Remember to wear loose-fitting clothes to your appointment.
Keep your environment cool and comfortable. Some experts recommend going commando when sleeping at night (and wearing no underwear on your way home) for up to 4 days after a Brazilian wax. Wear cotton underwear to your appointment and for at least 48 hours after your wax (and always, if possible).
Don’t: Sweat, Soak, or Steam
After a bikini wax, the empty hair follicles leave your skin more susceptible to irritation or infection. Avoid any activities that involve sweating or friction, such as intense exercise (or activities like hot yoga), sex, saunas, steam rooms, baths or hot showers. Make sure to use lukewarm water when showering the same day after your wax session.
Avoid swimming in a pool, ocean, or other communal body of water after a bikini wax. Chemicals like chlorine have a drying effect and can irritate the skin. Ocean or lake water exposes your already vulnerable skin to microbes, bacteria and other pollutants – leaving you at high risk for infection.
Wait at least a few days to go for a swim after a bikini wax. This time frame gives your skin barrier around 48-72 hours to heal and rehydrate itself, so you don’t end up with painfully itchy or inflamed skin.
Do: Moisturize Generously
Moisturizer is the best way to prevent ingrown hairs after a bikini wax. Hydrated skin makes the hairs softer and allows them to grow out more easily. Keeping your skin moisturized also helps heal the skin barrier (which is compromised temporarily after waxing). A healthy skin barrier is essential to prevent skin dryness, irritation, infection and clogged pores (ingrown hairs).
Double up your moisturizing routine in the days following a bikini wax. Use a gentle oil (like baby oil or Fur oil) in the shower on the day of your wax appointment (and during your showers over the next 48-72 hours). Apply a lotion immediately after getting out of the shower to nourish and trap some of the standing water in the skin. When selecting a lotion, choose simple and natural products, like Zensa Healing Cream, to gently hydrate your skin.
Our Zensa Healing Cream contains medicinal-grade calendula oil and grapefruit essential oil, which offer many benefits to calm skin after a bikini wax. Calendula oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and collagen-stimulating properties to soothe any redness or inflammation, prevent bumps or clogged pores and repair the skin barrier to keep your skin feel smooth and hydrated during the bikini after-care process. Zensa Healing Cream also contains shea butter, cucumber, aloe vera, glycerin and more hydrating ingredients for a softer skin texture and fewer ingrown hairs.
Don’t: Use Skin Products With Fragrance
Products containing fragrance and other chemicals will irritate this already sensitive skin. This irritation can leave you with inflamed, itchy or bumpy skin texture. Simplify your skincare routine for the days following your bikini wax. Go back to the basics with a mild, antibacterial soap, gentle body oil and a natural lotion. Avoid self-tanning products for 2-3 days after a bikini wax. Let the redness and dryness subside, and make sure the skin feels well-hydrated (a sign of a healthy skin barrier) before introducing any potential irritants to the area.
Do: Apply A Cooling Gel or Compress (if needed)
It is common to have some redness, inflammation and swelling after a bikini wax. Calm the skin down with an ice pack, a homemade cold compress (a clean washcloth and cold water), or a naturally-cooling gel, like aloe vera. Ice the area for up to 20 minutes at a time. Keeping the skin cool and comfortable should reduce any inflammatory symptoms and helps prevent bumps after waxing. Aloe vera offers a natural cooling sensation and healing benefits to soothe skin after a bikini wax. The plant gel contains vitamins A, C, E and B12, among other antioxidants, minerals, and enzymes, to reduce inflammation, itchiness, dryness and burning on the skin. Aloe vera’s salicylic acid content also helps prevent breakouts and clogged pores.
Don’t: Go In Direct Sunlight (or Tanning)
While a fresh bikini wax might have you feeling swimsuit ready, take some time before tanning or heading to the beach. Avoid direct sun exposure for at least 48 hours after getting a bikini wax. Waxing temporarily damages the skin barrier, which gives your skin less natural protection against the sun. You also can’t apply high SPF sunscreen to freshly waxed skin for around 24 hours. This vulnerability makes the area more likely to sunburn, dry out or develop sunspots (hyperpigmentation).
Wait until post bikini wax irritation is gone to go out in the sun. Once the skin heals, make sure to apply at least SPF 50 sunscreen. Calendula oil, one of the main ingredients in Zensa Healing Cream, offers some sun protection – equivalent to SPF 14 – and can be layered under sunscreen for extra defense against harmful UV rays.