As the weather gets warmer and warmer, those of us shaving, plucking, or waxing unwanted hair are prone to making some mistakes when it comes to waxing. But to save us from a summer of red and rough skin, we asked dermatologists and estheticians to share the most common slips they see so we know how to do the opposite. Get all of their tips below.
6 common hair removal mistakes to avoid
1. Do not squeeze the skin while using tweezers
Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Washington, DC, is not a fan of tweezers because there’s a lot of room for user error. If you’re going to pluck, she says you should make sure you’re holding the skin right next to the hair you want to pluck before pulling it out.
“The hair follicles go deep into the fat layer in your skin. So if you keep the skin taut, it creates a thinner space for the hair to come out as you move the fat out,” she says. This makes it easier to remove the entire hair and causes less damage to the skin, which can lead to scarring. “Improper tweezers can cause severe scarring. So better hair removal.”
2. Forgot to stop retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) before waxing
But! If you’re going to wax, you’ll want to plan ahead. Ingredients like retinoids and AHAs help your skin get rid of dead cells so fresh skin can glow without a hitch. However, this makes the skin more sensitive and allows the wax strip to remove more than just hair.
“Retinoids reduce the thickness of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin,” explains Tiffany L. Clay, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Atlanta. “If you lack some of these layers of protection, your skin can be damaged by the waxing process. You can get burned or the wax can tear part of the skin, leading to scarring.”
You can still use these ingredients if waxing as long as you stop using the retinoids seven days before your appointment and the AHA two to five days before your appointment.
3. Shave against the grain
Caren Campbell, MD, a board of trustees, says: “Although you’ll shave closer when shaving against the direction of hair growth, you’re better off shaving in the direction of hair growth to avoid razor bumps, burns, and reductions in hair loss. the possibility of ingrown hairs”. certified dermatologist in Northern California.
However, it is difficult to determine the direction of hair growth if you have curly hair. “For some patients with curly hair, you can determine the direction when the hair is wet and it is best to shave when the hair is wet,” says Dr. Campbell. “You can always cut your hair with scissors instead of shaving if you can’t tell.”
4. Wax hair in the wrong direction
Natalie Ismiel, branding expert and ambassador at Nad’s, explains: Just like shaving, you want to include the direction of hair growth in your hair removal equation. She says you should apply the wax in the direction of hair growth, then pull the strip or hard wax in the opposite direction for best results. “Make sure you keep the skin tight, then pull the wax out in the opposite direction, this ensures that the hair is lifted quickly and comfortably from the root,” she says.
5. Don’t change razor blades often
“Make sure you change the blade every few shaves (five shaves or so) because the duller the blade, the more likely it is to irritate your skin,” says Dr.
6. Skip the post-waxing moisturizer
After waxing, you want to soothe and comfort your skin. “While skin is still damp, applying a light moisturizer to the face or body cream can help lock in moisture,” says Dr. Campbell.
Watch our senior beauty editor learn all about at-home waxing: