How to Prevent Pimples After Waxing
Let’s face it - no matter where you might be experiencing breakouts or pimples after waxing, it’s usually not exactly a welcome event. Especially if you’ve just been freshly waxed, you never want to then experience acne or skin inflammation soon after you’ve just achieved clear, smooth skin. Unfortunately, whiteheads after waxing can be a constant struggle for some people.
So is it worth it to continue getting waxed, even if you have to deal with unsightly and even sometimes painful whiteheads? Of course - because there are plenty of ways to avoid pimples after waxing!
When wondering how to prevent pimples after waxing, it’s best to first investigate why you’re experiencing acne after waxing, before we then dive into prevention and how to get rid of pimples after waxing, no matter which area you’re experiencing breakouts in.
Table of Contents
In this article, we’ll discuss everything from acne medication and waxing, to preventing breakouts right after services, as well as steps to take to keep your wax pimple-free and clear overall.
We’ll also go over proper skincare and lifestyle habits to keep skin clear and smooth while giving you some great tips on how to avoid acne after waxing.
Why Do I Get Pimples After Waxing?
Your skincare routine before, after, and in-between wax appointments (and in general!) is a major factor in avoiding breakouts after waxing.
Your lifestyle is also a key player in avoiding post-wax acne, including whether or not you’re using the best skincare for your skin type, and if you’re managing your diet and stress levels in a healthy manner.
Whether skin is oily, dry, or dehydrated, all skin and lifestyle types have similar things in common when it comes to preventing breakouts after acne or considering what to do if you get pimples after waxing. They need balanced levels of water and oil chemistry, and to limit inflammation and bacteria growth.
Dry skin lacks sebum or oil production, which is essential for retaining water moisture. Because dehydrated skin lacks moisture, even areas prone to excess sweating, like the bikini line or underarms can be dehydrated due to a lack of ability to retain water moisture deep within the skin.
Oily skin can be the result of enlarged pores and overactive oil glands, which can in turn attract bacteria. Oily or acne-prone skin can also be caused by dehydration due to a lack of water moisture.
Often, people will believe that their skin is oily due to its appearance, and then use harsh cleansers, exfoliants, and also skip-out on hydrating skincare measures because they believe it will make their oily skin or acne worse.
Unfortunately, this overcompensation leads to excess oil production as the skin tries to keep itself lubricated. This situation ends up, of course, backfiring and resulting in skin only becoming more inflamed and oily.
Dry, dehydrated, and oily skin can contribute to acne after waxing in the following ways:
- Dehydrated and dry skin can cause hair to become brittle, making it more prone to breakage when waxed. This in turn results in ingrown hairs and bacteria growth that leads to acne.
- Dry, flaky skin can accumulate in pores to block follicles and create conditions for bacteria growth leading to acne.
- Oily skin can be caused by enlarged pores and a vicious cycle of dehydration due to improper care, making it a breeding ground for bacteria.
High-stress levels and diet can play into skin being dry, dehydrated, or lead to excess oil production as far as lifestyle is concerned. These factors can also foster inflammation and reduce the body’s ability to fight off bacteria.
If your body is doing damage control on lifestyle and diet choices, it can weaken your ability to recover from waxing without acne breakouts.
Again, your goal to prevent breaking out after waxing is to keep skin balanced by maintaining the right oil and water chemistry levels while reducing inflammation and staying clear of pathogens (harmful bacteria).
Can You Wax with Acne?
Now that we’ve determined what the cause of experiencing pimples after waxing your face, pimples after a Brazilian wax, or other bodily surfaces, let’s figure out if it’s a good idea to continue with your regular waxing routine, or if you might have sensitivities that would be further inflamed by this process.
Inflammatory skin issues can be caused by stress, bacteria, and poor diet, among other things. It's common to experience inflammation after waxing, no matter if you use stripless hard wax or professional strip wax, so waxing on top of an inflamed skin disorder like acne isn’t in your best interest.
If you are currently treating acne with medications like Accutane, Retin A, Renova, Differin, or other skin thinning acne medications—steer clear from the wax salon or your home waxing kit until you've stopped taking them, as this can cause skin ripping or skin tearing from waxing.
Allergic Reactions to Waxing
For those who maybe haven’t been waxed before, or who aren’t familiar with the process at large, may go into a waxing service without being aware of their own skin allergies. Additionally, since waxing can shock the hair-follicle (especially for first-timers), it can be easy for those with sensitive skin to have a reaction to the process.
An allergic reaction to waxing is known as a histamine reaction, and can present itself in many different forms. If you’re experiencing bumps after waxing, it can sometimes be tough for people to know if they’re just experiencing waxing pimples, or if it’s actually an allergic reaction.
So what’s the difference between breakouts after waxing and histamine reactions after waxing?
Though they can sometimes look similar in appearance, as both post-waxing breakouts and histamine reactions can result in redness after waxing, or after-Brazilian wax bumps. However, if you’re experiencing particularly itchy pimples after waxing, you might actually have hives!
Fortunately, histamine reactions usually aren’t severe, and should subside in 24-48 hours after a waxing service. They can also be treated with regular allergy medications like Benadryl.
If the bumps after waxing that you’re experiencing have whiteheads, or are not particularly itchy or rash-like, you’re most likely just experiencing general pimples after waxing.
For complete information on histamine reactions to waxing, check out our guide, “What is a Histamine Reaction After Waxing?” to make sure your skin is taken care of properly.
How to Prevent Breakouts After Waxing
To prevent whiteheads after waxing, there are several strategies to take.
Before and after your waxing session, avoid excess sun exposure even if you're getting waxed in intimate areas. If you get a sunburn on your face, your whole body will be focused on healing that area and less on helping skin recover from your Brazilian wax, and therefore less focused on preventing your post-Brazilian wax bumps.
Use clean skincare products that are optimized for your skin, and stay hydrated, and moisturized. Pay attention to your diet, mostly right before and after waxing. Eat foods high in antioxidants and water content. Limit foods high in sugar, white flour, or meats filled with hormones.
The body focuses on defending against those “poisons'' and less on reducing inflammation and fighting off bacteria, leading to breakouts after waxing.
Regular, gentle exfoliation is essential for the skin's health at any given time during your wax cycle. No matter your skin type, being gentle with your at-home exfoliation is key to sloughing off dead skin cells and debris without tearing at the skin or causing inflammation.
Pre & Post-Wax Skincare
The best way to prevent acne after waxing is to also use pre & post-wax care items formulated specifically to ease and soothe inflammation, irritation, or any breakouts or ingrowns you might experience after a waxing service.
Whether you’re being serviced by a pro or performing a waxing service at home, always prep the skin by cleansing first.
We recommend Starpil Pre-Wax Care Gel to be applied with a cotton pad. Its astringent qualities gently cleanse to rid the skin of sweat, bacteria, oil, makeup, deodorant, or anything else that can get all up in an open, freshly waxed pore.
Never double-dip back into your wax pot even when waxing at home to avoid any potential bacteria transfer. Pros should always wear gloves, while at-home waxers should have clean hands when waxing.
You can even try an ultra-hygienic hair removal method like Starpil’s Roll-On Wax, which takes away the need for spatulas all together and allows users to apply wax directly to skin.
Whether you use stripless hard wax or professional strip wax, always use the right kind of wax formula for the specific skin type and area you plan on waxing.
For example, for clients or those with extremely sensitive skin, use Starsoft Hard Wax or Starsoft Soft Strip Wax to provide their skin with not only smooth, silky results, but also a soothing and moisturizing experience that will ease inflammation and deter breakouts after waxing.
In addition to the magic of Starsoft’s neurosensory waxing formulas, use Starsoft Pre-Wax Gel, Post-Wax Lotion, and Post-Wax Oil to lock in moisture and ease pain or irritation sensitive skin can experience due to waxing.
Another great option for pre and post waxing care to use on acne prone skin is the Calendula pre and post wax care bundle. Calendula extract has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and tea tree extract helps calm redness, swelling, and inflammation
Your pre and post-wax care routine, lifestyle, and diet should be attuned to cleanse, and hydrate skin, especially if skin is particularly sensitive. It should also limit ingrown hairs, inflammation, and bacteria.
To prevent pimples on more specific areas, continue reading!
Acne After Waxing Face
After waxing face bumps can go farther than just being pimples from waxing eyebrows or upper lip areas. Breakouts after waxing faces can be the result of sensitive skin reactions to waxing, and then form into breakouts.
To ease those reactions from developing into acne, your daily skincare routine should be to avoid harsh cleansers, or ingredients not optimized for sensitive face skin.
Your regular cleanser should use clean ingredients, and be done in the morning, at night, (or any time you get the face wet!).
After cleansing, spray the face with an all-natural hydrosol or toner filled with antioxidants to balance the skin's pH. Follow with mineral-oil-free skincare and a hydrating moisturizer.
Acne After Waxing Back
To avoid whiteheads after a Brazilian wax or any other body waxing service (especially the back!), discover a nourishing daily routine as follows.
Before showering, gently dry brush skin to exfoliate, then do a quick body massage with sesame oil to flush and nourish the skin (always massage toward the heart), followed by showering using clean products.
Apply a body lotion according to your skin type while the skin is still wet after showering. The trick is to lock-in moisture with your skincare products. Once a week, use a salt or sugar scrub to slough off dry skin.
Tips on How to Prevent Acne After Waxing
For Brazilian waxes, or more full-body waxing, there are also some extra steps you can take to prevent bumps after waxing.
For 24-48 hours after a waxing service, consider practicing the following:
- Wear loose fitting, cotton underwear
- Wear loose-fitting clothing over freshly waxed body areas
- Avoid sex, working out, saunas, or sunbathing
- Use Ingrown Hair Serum (Hair Puller) to flush the skin and stop ingrown hairs
- Apply Post-Wax Intensive Care Lotion to balance skin's pH levels and to reduce inflammation
No matter where you experience whiteheads after waxing, the most important thing to do is not to touch them! We know it might be incredibly tempting to pop those annoying white pimples, but it will only aggravate the area more!
Don’t touch any freshly waxed areas for 24-48 hours after your service, as your skin is much more sensitive than usual. The dirt, oil, or debris from your fingers can easily get into your sensitive, open pores, and only further inflame areas that may already be breakout-prone. Bottom line - don’t make it worse!
Practice proper pre and post-wax care, and make sure you’re using skincare attuned to the needs of your skin type. Additionally, take the steps we’ve outlined above to make sure you’re catering to your freshly waxed skin as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing breakouts after waxing, don’t worry! With the right changes, these pimples can be corrected, and you can experience smooth, hairless skin free of breakouts. It’s the best of both worlds!