7 Bikini Wax Prep & Aftercare Tips You Must Know This Summer
Summer’s time to shine is almost officially here and gives you a full season to spend at the beach or pool. With sunny weather and swimsuits as our second skin, it’s time to master proper full body skincare and share an equal level of consideration for your bikini area and hair down there.
Bikini waxes are typically a more regular practice during this time of year. While this grooming treatment has been known to symbolize the sentiment, ‘beauty is pain’, the results can be empowering to feel more confident, clean and comfortable in a bathing suit. Waxing, unlike shaving, pulls the hair out of the follicle for a smoother look and feel. While it may initially test your pain threshold, this hair removal process requires significantly less upkeep than shaving. Razor burn and bumps are also common drawbacks of this hair removal method. And waxing, unlike laser treatments, provides instant smoothing results and is more cost-effective in the short term.
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time on the waxing table, here are some simple yet essential tips to prep for your session and aftercare practices to maintain the best results.
Preparing For Your Bikini Wax
Once you’ve booked a vacation or mentally-prepared for your session, make sure to plan your bikini wax ahead of time. Provide yourself with two to three weeks for a lengthy enough window to properly prep and ensure that you’re following all of the necessary guidelines.
Grow Out Your Hair
Most waxers require your hair to be at least one-quarter inch to a half-inch in length before waxing. For those with coarser hair, it is recommended to let it grow to around the half-inch mark. After a few waxes, the hair should be finer and you can forgo this additional length in between wax appointments. The wax will not be able to properly grip onto the hairs if it is any shorter than the one-quarter inch standard.
It is also recommended that you do not shave for at least two to three weeks before your appointment. This precaution ensures that the hair is long enough and maintains a soft texture. Hair length aside, refraining from shaving a few weeks before your waxing appointment allows any razor bumps or irritation to subside for a less painful experience. If your hair is longer than half an inch, don’t hesitate to shave the area and book your session for two to three weeks later.
Pay Attention To Your Cycle
It is recommended to avoid a waxing appointment when you believe mother nature will call. A woman’s tolerance to pain often declines her menstrual cycle and increases skin sensitivity. Therefore, a waxing session may cause more intense discomfort on the days surrounding and during your period. Aside from pain concerns, this scheduling practice makes the entire – already intimate experience – feel more hygenic and is a standard courtesy to your technician. Book an appointment at least five days before or after your expected period.
Take Proper Pain Precautions
On a similar note, there are several pre-appointment habits that can prepare you for a more pleasant waxing experience. Avoid alcohol 24 hours before your appointment. While a cocktail might feel like a suitable way to take the edge off, alcohol thins your blood and makes your skin more vulnerable to bleeding during the removal process. Certain topical exfoliants with vitamin A, oral acne medications and other prescriptions can also cause similar blood-thinning effects. Speak with your doctor if you’re using any of these products or similar medications to ensure that waxing is a suitable option for you.
Numbing products can significantly reduce the pain during your wax session. Zensa Numbing Creamcontains 5% lidocaine for maximum strength and has a natural PH formula, making it safe to use on the bikini area. This product also contains vitamin E, known for its anti-inflammatory benefits to promote healing, and is a vegan, steroid-free option.
Apply a thick layer of the numbing cream 30-40 minutes before your waxing appointment. For the best effect, wrap the cream with an airtight dressing, such as saran wrap, while it sits. Then remove the dressing and wipe off the excess ahead of the session. Zensa Numbing Cream’s effects should last for two to three hours after its initial application.
Cleanse Your Body Beforehand
Showing up to your session freshly cleaned is both for the courtesy of your technician and a smoother waxing experience. Sweat, any natural body oils or lotions all can prevent the wax from properly bonding to your skin. Schedule your workout accordingly (and not on the day of your appointment.
Take a shower before coming into the salon, but avoid standing in steamy water if you’re washing off within an hour or so of your appointment. A hot shower or a sauna can dry out your skin and encourage irritation – which is not optimal before waxing. A quick rinse in room temperature or lukewarm water is a great option to cleanse off before getting waxed.
If you are commuting from work or have no time to shower, the technician should provide you with a cleansing wipe.
Exfoliate 24-48 hours before your waxing appointment to prep the hair and remove any dry skin from the area. Scrubbing the skin makes it temporarily more sensitive and dehydrates the area. So, if you exfoliate too close to your session, your skin is left without its naturally protective barrier and becomes more vulnerable to irritation. Also, make sure to keep the area hydrated and moisturize the skin daily up until 24 hours prior to the session. If you apply lotion right before your appointment, the product could prevent the wax from properly sticking to your skin.
Bikini Wax Aftercare
For the few days following your waxing session, your skin will be more sensitive than usual. Taking certain hygienic precautions and temporary lifestyle modifications will ensure that the area stays clean, calm and protected.
Comfort Is Key
When dressing for your appointment, keep in mind that the area needs room to breathe. Both immediately and for several days after your bikini wax, it is essential to wear loose fitting clothing to avoid irritating the region. Tight-fitting garments or non-breathable fabrics can constrict the area that can trap moisture and potentially lead to an infection. Choose flowy skirts, dresses or wider-leg pants if possible for at least the first 48 hours.
Keep Sweating To A Minimum
As previously mentioned, sweating leaves the skin vulnerable to infection. Intense exercise, saunas, hot yoga, baths (opt for showers instead) or any similarly steamy activities (yes, this includes sex too). Movement along with moisture can lead to friction and create a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria growth. Additionally, the heat opens your pores and can make any hairs from under the skin come to the surface.
On the bright side, bikini waxes provide a built in rest period every month.
Embrace A Gentle Skin Routine
Incorporate simple skincare products and avoid chemically-laden practices throughout the healing process. Carefully washing and moisturizing the area is key for smooth bikini wax results.
For your beauty regimen, refrain from using any soap, lotion or similar products with fragrances or artificial colors. Zensa Healing Cream is a soothing option to integrate into your post-waxing routine. This moisturizing product contains ingredients including shea butter and cucumber extract to calm and hydrate the area. It also features calendula and grapefruit oil, which are known to reduce irritation and accelerate the skin repairing process.
A few days after your bikini wax, ease back into your exfoliation routine with a mild scrub. Removing the dead skin cells helps to prevent ingrown hairs. However, reintroducing this practice too quickly or abrasively can irritate highly sensitive skin.
Similarly, self-tanning should be avoided for the days following your bikini wax as the chemicals involved could irritate your skin and likely will leave you with an uneven skin tone. Swimming in a pool also poses a dual risk. The chlorine might inflame your skin and the communal water leaves you susceptible to potential bacterial or fungal infections. (Avoid touching the area, as well, to keep germs away from the skin.)
Staying out of the sun also is essential to safeguard your skin. Fight the urge to immediately throw on a swimsuit and avoid the sun for at least 48 hours after your waxing session. Make sure to plan your first pool or beach outing for several days later. Exposing this fresh skin to UV rays any sooner leaves you vulnerable to permanent skin damage or discoloration.
Waxing Quick Facts
Bikini wax appointments are recommended to be scheduled every three to four weeks. Each session for a bikini line to a full Brazillian wax costs approximately between $25-$75, depending on your local area, the salon, the types of products used and its general ambiance.
Most wax types fall into two categories: hard and soft waxes. Technicians use hard wax options for hair removal in sensitive areas, such as the bikini line. Hard wax is applied warm on the skin and hardens as it cools to create a flexible texture. The consistency allows the wax to be pulled off as strips and more precisely removes the hair, preventing any potential breakage. This process must be done in the direction of your hair growth to prevent ingrown hairs.