If You Look Closer It’s Easy To Trace, The “Wax” Of My Tears
“Take a good look at my face. You’ll see my smile looks out of place.” Probably because you just got waxed. You’re loving the brows but not the “ow’s.” Waxing is one of the oldest forms of human grooming and beautification…so why the tears? Below are some of the reasons why waxing can be taxing, and some ways you can make it so those tears clear faster than normal.
Rip. Curl (into a fetal position, and cry).
This is what many of us remember of early waxing experiences — eyes closed and preemptive wincing (“make it end quickly, make it end quickly”).
What first pops into most people’s heads when they think of waxing is the ripping. No matter how beautifully, expertly and soothingly it’s done, it is what it is. You’re uprooting hair from skin and it sounds pretty much like it feels: schwfffftk.
Redness and bumps are next to come to mind. Inflammation, plain and simple. As innocuous as waxing is for most people, make no mistake: the ripping up of hairs by their follicles is a physical trauma, and that’s inflammatory. If your wax has allergens, the contact, however brief, is another source of possible inflammation.
Delayed bumps are folliculitis: hairs growing outwards through a distorted hair canal. This can also lead to follicular cyst bumps, which can be infected.
Feeling the Heat?
Because the heat in waxing is of a duration and temperature that’s normally acceptable to skin, it isn’t something that blips on your radar. But it can contribute to the ordeal. Heat usually aids in the absorption of anything applied on the skin. If your wax has allergens — fragrance, beeswax, lemon, for example — the heat could up the contact and sensitization. More rare, burns from hot wax can occur. Even if you don’t burn, heat emits infrared light, which research has shown to be a cause of dark spots, melasma and other hyperpigmentations. As common a practice as waxing is, anything dealing with heat should be handled with care.
I’ve Got … Something … Under My Skin.
Another unseen danger, and the most nefarious: infection. Infection is always a risk whenever there are openings in the skin. Heat opens pores (aka follicles). Waxing uproots hair which can be enough of a break to cause bleeding. Waxing also removes the top layer of skin. If your skin is very dry or sensitive, you could be more at risk as the skin’s barrier layer may be compromised, making it more susceptible to breaks or cracks.
What kind of infections are we talking? Everything from the simple (a topical antibiotic can treat it) to the life-threatening, antibiotic-resistant (MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). One can get the herpes virus from poorly sterilized equipment, or have underlying herpes infections flare-up due to the heat and physical trauma of a waxing session.
How To Wax, and Wane (the Pain, that is)
1. Spa, Not Salon.
Hair salons can be fantastic, star-birthing holy lands that make you wish you had your own purse-sized wind machine. But there’s a reason why hair conditions, follicles and scalps are handled by dermatologists: past these areas, hair basically consists of dead cells. This is why it hurts when you uproot hair at the follicle but not when you cut it at the shaft.
Although waxing is hair removal, it is primarily a skin-related practice. Particularly if you have sensitive skin or regularly have problems with waxing (redness, bumps, infection), choose a spa whose primary expertise is skin…and ideally, sensitive or complex skin.
Go to a licensed and experienced esthetician who is up-to-date with best practices and innovations in health care. A great waxer will also take the the time to ask you about your skin and examine your skin for breakage, infection or sensitivity.
If you’re going for more than just simple upkeep, choose an esthetician whose work you’ve seen and liked on others. You want someone who’ll listen to what you’re hoping to achieve and who has a good understanding of aesthetics and anatomy (brow shaping can be an art form and can change one’s look dramatically).
3. Clean Cut. Emphasis on CLEAN.
This time, we’re talking location. Go to a spa that’s known to be meticulous about hygiene and sterilization. One can’t ever be sure, of course, but if the place looks dirty even at a cursory glance, has used cotton, tissues, cloth, supplies or equipment laying about, or doesn’t change sheets and other disposables with each client, it’s probably safer to walk away. Another good gauge: pay attention to the questions you’re asked (if none, again, walk away) and information shared with you. A spa with infection-prevention on the brain might ask or tell you:
- Have you had an infection (a cold, flu, etc.) or wound recently, or do you have one now?
- Are you immuno-compromised?
- Do you have herpes or a similar condition that might require extra care?
- We’ll be applying a cream with an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial after your session.
- Apply a topical anti-microbial on the waxed areas for a few days after your session.
- Call us if signs of infection appear: pain, swelling, redness, bumps with pus, tender bumps, etc.
4. Pre and Post Care:
- Don’t go in when you’re feeling fluey.
- Don’t go in if you have wounds, flare-ups or active infections.
- After waxing, slather on Know-It-Oil virgin coconut oil or Essence Hand + Body Soother to reduce redness, repair the skin’s barrier, and prevent infection.
- For bumps or soreness, dab on Boo-Boo Balm to hasten healing.
- Skincare doesn’t end on the face: start caring for skin on waxed areas daily. Bathe with a non-drying body wash and moisturize daily.
5. Think: “AAH”: Anti-Inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Hypoallergenic
Check, check, check. Try our Hypoallergenic Waxing Services. Expert, safe, and allergen-free, our hair removal services use patch-tested wax plus our clinically-published (even awarded) anti-microbial, intensive moisturizing and anti-inflammatory remedies help heal compromised barriers and reduce redness, bumps and infection.
Call VMV Soho at (212) 216 2762 to book now.
Let us know: did you find this helpful? Have more questions?