How to Prevent Bumps and Acne After Waxing?


    Waxing hair removal is unpleasant, especially if a person has sensitive skin. Pulling the hair out with wax strips makes it more susceptible to acne after waxing. It also increases the chances of having ingrown hair, making this entire process more problematic.

    Waxing bumps are also a problem that makes a wax treatment annoying and complicated. Fortunately, following some easy tips and tricks can reduce the risk of these complications for body and facial waxing.

    So, no worries if you are not a professional, following these tips will make waxing at home easy and better, hopefully.

    Before we get to the solutions, let’s first understand what causes bumps and acne after waxing.

    What to know about bumps, acne, and rashes after waxing?

    Understanding what causes these common issues after a wax treatment will help everyone to understand the challenges in front of them. It will help to pick and try any of the tips which suit their skin best. Here are a few things about wax treatment that everyone should know.

    • Skin bumps are normal

    It may sound strange to some people, but the appearance of those tiny bumps after waxing is not abnormal. Waxing, in general, irritates the skin, as a result of which, skin triggers an inflammation. This inflammatory reaction can be a rash or bump based on an individual skin type.

    Facial waxing is more sensitive than the body, so the chances of post-waxing acne, rashes, and bumps are highest after facial waxing. Some people also experience them after a bikini wax, but these signs go away on their own. If you choose to itch or rub it, there are high risks of contamination, inviting bacteria to invade these bumps, resulting in folliculitis.

    • Ingrown hair can trigger infections

    Even if the bumps are healed, there is also a possibility of getting an infection after a few days of waxing. It is because of the ingrown hair that becomes inflamed and fluid-filled. The ingrown hairs are those tiny hair follicles that grow inside the skin instead of growing out of the skin.

    Ingrown hair due to waxing

    Every person has a different hair growth rate and direction, which affects the chances of ingrown hair. The infected ingrown hair is also called ingrown pimples, and there is no such reason which triggers ingrown hair. It is more relevant to the natural hair growth pattern of a person. These ingrown hair are more common after a Brazilian wax, and itching can initiate an infection.

    • Post waxing allergy is real

    Though many people don’t believe it allergic reactions after waxing are an actual thing. This allergy shows up as redness and swelling on the site of freshly waxed skin. If this inflammation and rash lasts for more than a couple of days and feels itchy, it is a sign of an allergy.

    Usually, allergic reactions show up after the first experience with waxing. In that case, it is necessary to try a different waxing company or salon for waxing treatment next time to see if the allergy shows up again.

    Most people changing the waxing brand company solves this problem because they are only allergic to a particular ingredient. Also, change the post-waxing lotion or moisturizer if you suspect that they are triggering this allergy.

    • Acne, bumps, and cold sores are different

    Facial waxing is more complicated than body waxing. While upper lip waxing, sometimes a pimple or bump appears near the lips, which looks like a cold sore. But post waxing breakouts and cold sores are two different things with different causes and treatments. Using the cold compress is best to get rid of the upper lips bumps after waxing.

    When to see a doctor?

    If any allergic reaction or acne breakouts don’t go away after several days or weeks of the last waxing appointment, it is best to consult a doctor. Take all your waxing products with you to explain your history better. Never try any acne medication on the post waxing breakouts.

    Not all bumps and acne bring bad news. Most of them go away on their own, and in case they don’t, the doctor will provide the best treatment plan for them.

    Natural Remedies for waxing bumps

    If you often experience post-waxing facial and body bumps, many natural remedies can help. Here is a quick check on the best remedies for acne after waxing.

    Make a sugar scrub

    Not many people know, but simple sugar can make the best natural scrub to remove dead skin cells and clogged pores. Exfoliation is exceptionally helpful to prevent facial bumps after waxing and Brazilian wax or bikini wax, the two most common areas for bumps and acne breakouts.

    Credits: GettyImages/Byrdie

    For making a sugar scrub at home, mix 1/4cup sugar in an equal amount of any carrier oil, i.e., olive oil or coconut oil, whichever suits your skin. Add it into a consistency that it becomes a paste. Apply it on clean skin and rub for a few minutes and wash it. Do not add essential oils to make a sugar scrub.

    Apply aloe vera gel

    Aloe vera is a natural skin healer, especially for dry skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it the best choice as a post-waxing lotion. Ditch your regular post-waxing lotion and moisturizer and grow an aloe vera plant in your house. After waxing, cut a small part of the leaf and open it. Squeeze its inner part into a bowl and use it directly on the freshly waxed skin. Use it as many times as necessary; there are no side effects of using it.

    Use tea tree oil

    Tree tea oil is an essential oil that offers miraculous skin benefits, especially if you have oily skin. It cleanses the skin, removes dead skin cells, clears the clogged pores, and calms skin irritation. But don’t apply tea tree oil directly to the skin as it may burn it. Add a few drops of tea tree oil into any carrier oil available, i.e., coconut oil, and rub it gently on the skin. Alternatively, you can use post-waxing products and skin cleaners, which has tea tree oil in it.

    Try witch hazel

    Witch hazel has natural calming effects for the skin, and it also saves from folliculitis. Get any commercially available witch hazel solution and soak a cotton pad into it. Apply and dab on the skin directly. Use it up to three times a day for as long as it seems necessary.

    Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

    Apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits for skin and hair. It is an antiseptic solution that clears the skin, prevents hair follicle infections, and calms the irritation. After waxing, dilute it into a sufficient amount of water and apply it with a cotton pad for using it on irritation or acne. Rinse it after a few minutes.

    Tips to prevent pimples and acne after waxing

    Most of the time, understanding that post-waxing problems are common, and they go away on their own can make this whole experience better. But if a person frequently suffers from these complications, understanding the skin and information about the products in use can minimize the risks.

    People working in the beauty industry know that waxing treatment is never a pleasing experience for any client. And if the client is new to it, it gets trickier. Most salons educate their clients about the expectations, complications, pre-waxing, and post-waxing tips to follow. This waxing awareness saves a person from unpleasant surprises in acne breakouts, folliculitis, and bumps.

    1. Before going for a waxing appointment, clean the waxing area from makeup and skincare products. Exfoliation before waxing makes waxing easy. It is better to wash it with water and a mild exfoliant, which will remove the dead skin cells and prevent redness, irritation, and clogged pores.
    2. Pick a wax that goes well with your skin type. For example, all those who have sensitive skin should pick a suitable product for sensitive skin people. People with dry skin should pick the wax for dry skin type. Oily skin people should only choose those waxing companies that make wax for oily skin. If you are getting a wax session from a salon, make sure to communicate your skin type to the waxing person to use gentle waxing products on your skin. The best is to discuss all these matters before choosing a salon or making a waxing appointment.
    3. Try using baby powder before waxing. This is a simple trick that is even waxing professionals use. Applying baby powder on the skin absorbs the excess oil from skin pores and allows the wax to grab the hair completely. The pulling off waxing strips adds less force on the skin and the chances of waxing bumps and acne breakouts reduce after hair removal.
    4. Cold compresses can prevent inflammation, redness, and irritation that appears right after waxing. It also saves the skin from pimples, bumps, and acne. Use cold compress right after waxing for up to 20 minutes. The results of a cold compress on the skin after waxing calms it. But if a person uses an inappropriate waxing/post-waxing product or does the waxing wrong, cold compresses alone can’t completely help to prevent complications.
    5. Do not go near heat after waxing. Just like how cold can improve inflammation, and exposure to heat can make it inflamed again. It includes a hot water bath, stoves, heaters, and steam treatments after waxing hair removal. In addition to this, avoid any activity that may result in sweating for the next 24 hours. Heat and sweat are worst for already irritated skin and increase the chances of acne breakouts and bumps.
    6. Avoid touching the skin after hair removal as it may infect or inflame the skin pores. Touching the skin frequently, even to feel how smooth and soft it has become, can irritate it. Unclean hands add up to the risk of transmitting bacteria, which invade a hair follicle and cause folliculitis.

    Never use a skin bleaching treatment or use products with active bleaching agents before or after a wax appointment. Even if you are using natural skin bleaching agents such as lemon or honey, the risk of acne remains.

    Schedule your waxing treatment as per your skin type. Typically, a four to the six-week interval in waxing is the best, making skin adaptable to this whole procedure. Eventually, the skin accepts waxing as a regular part, and the chances of breakouts reduce to zero.

    Do not use perfume or makeup right after waxing. As skin becomes sensitive after waxing, using a perfume, makeup, or any other chemical-based product can trigger a reaction. Avoid using all chemical-rich products for the next 24 hours after waxing.

    Over the counter treatments for post-wax acne

    There are so many options in over the counter (OTC) ointments for acne. But choosing the best one depends upon skin type and requirements. Not just the acne gels but also cleanser, toners, and astringents that help control acne breakouts after waxing are also useful.

    Choose a product based on your skin type. For oily skin, anything from astringents, gels, and lotions can help. But for normal or dry skin, prefer non-foaming cream-based cleansers and non-alcoholic toners.

    Narrowing down all the available options also requires to check the active ingredients inside an acne medication. The best anti-acne products contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in them.

    Salicylic acid-infused products work better on mild acne, whiteheads that turn into acne, and fine lines. Whereas benzoyl peroxide infused ointments are better for mild to moderate pimples and acne. Acne ointments infused with salicylic acid work best for oily skin. Whatever product you pick, try it a few times and see if it helps. In case it doesn’t, try another product. If you are into natural products, any skincare product that contains tea tree oil, chamomile, or witch hazel.

    Many hyaluronic acid-infused ointments and gels are also used for treating acne; however, they don’t directly control acne but prevent from drying of the skin.

    For severe acne, a doctor may recommend using tretinoin or Accutane, based on the skin condition.

    Alternatives of waxing

    If a person finds waxing too painful or uneasy, laser hair removal is a better and advanced hair removal method. However, laser hair removal can be too expensive and requires long sessions to eliminate the hair.

    The final word

    Hair removal by waxing can irritate the skin and cause waxing bumps, rashes, and acne. The pre-waxing skin preparation and post-waxing care can reduce the chances of all these complications, but to be sure, natural remedies are the best to use. Aloe vera gel, witch hazel, and tea tree oil are among the best products to calm inflamed and irritated skin. If the bumps grow in size or skin becomes itchy and infected, the best is to get medical help. The typical acne medication may not work on acne breakouts after waxing. But over the counter treatments such as hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid creams can help to control it.


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