Going bare ‘down there’ is an increasingly popular option for women these days, but things can get seriously ugly if you don’t take care of your sensitive nether regions in the weeks post-wax.
The bumps after waxing within 24 hours are called folliculitis or inflammation of one or more hair follicles. Common symptoms of folliculitis include a rash, itching, or pimples. There may also be ingrown hairs that grow – either way, the treatment is similar.
So, how do you take care of the skin before and after a Brazilian wax?
- Your appointment shouldn’t be any closer than a couple of days before or after your period.
- Don’t use any lotions in your bikini area before waxing.
- You need 1/8″ hair growth for the wax to hold onto, no more – no less.
- Take your favorite pain reliever/anti-inflammatory 30- 45 minutes before your appointment.
- Prepare an after-care kit from the list below ahead of time, so you can begin caring for your waxed bikini area right away.
- You may not be a good waxing candidate if you have very sensitive skin, herpes, genital warts, an STD or any other skin condition or contagious disease. Regardless, the technician should be gloved and a thorough pre-wax interview and education should be done.
24-48 hours after
- Don’t take a hot bath (shower is OK).
- No tanning beds, saunas or steam rooms.
- Use a cold compress to soothe the area.
- Sexual activity should be avoided. Friction on the skin can cause it to become inflamed.
- Don’t use products with harsh chemicals, perfumes, or dyes.
- Apply only gentle moisturizers.
- Keep hands away from touching freshly waxed skin, as this can encourage irritation or small pimples.
- Avoid using a bar soap; it leaves a film on the body that could cause ingrown hairs.
- Use tea tree, lavender oil, antibiotic ointment or hydrocortisone cream. Clear-it and Peeling Cream by Tu’el are my favorites.
- Wear loose cotton undies.
48 hours +
- Exfoliate using a mold resistant material like Ayate (made in Mexico from the fiber of the agave plant) so you don’t introduce bacteria.
- Use an acne medication or AHA lotion.
- Try to gently tweeze out ingrown hairs.
What to do if “problems” occurs:
- Resist the temptation to pick. If ingrown hairs are not remedied with gentle tweezing, the use of regular exfoliation and the correct products, then it is a good idea to go back to see your waxing specialist who should be trained to extract stubborn hairs.
- Call your health care provider if symptoms last longer than 2 or 3 days or if the infection spreads. If the area is infected, a doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic lotion or a systemic antibiotic if it is severe.
- There are other reasons for bumps and redness, that may be unrelated to the waxing like warts, STDs, herpes, fungal infection etc. Practice safe sex, just in case it is communicable.
See you at the spa!
Shaping Your Eyebrows with Perfect Precision Part 3
See Part 1 and Part 2
Let’s get started:
1. Placement is first. Are the brows placed too high or low in relationship to the eyes? Is the head and tail of each brow sitting on the brow shelf? Adjust by removing hair on the top line to bring it down, and remove hair from the bottom line to bring it up. Over time this can improve as regrowth happens. Adjust only a few rows of hair at a time.
2. Trimming is next. Be conservative and cut following the angle you want the brow to move to. The brow hair should not be longer than the width of the brow base. Trim the hair by combing up and cutting, then comb down and cut. Be conservative and cut following the angle you want the brow to move to. The brow hair should not be longer than the width of the brow base.
3. Next, remove hair in between the two brow heads. A good rule of thumb is to line the brow head up with the inside edge of the nostril. If the brow starts at the tear duct it will draw attention to the “well” under the eye, as this creates a circle visually. You want the viewer’s eye to travel from the brow down the nose and into the aesthetic triangle or mid face triangle.
4. Shape the beginning of the brow first. The head lines up with the vertical nasal edge, closer to the bridge of the nose than the tear duct. It should be gauzy; I prefer a natural irregular border on the head of the brow. This is where hand tweezing comes in; several hairs can make all the difference. You may also need to ventilate the hair in the head. This is usually a thicker area and may be out of balance with the tail.
The width of the head should be 1/3 that of the arch (if from the crease of the lid to the high point of the arch is 1 inch; the head should be 1/3 of an inch). The head is the thickest part of the brow.
5. Now let’s shape the arch. The arch is proportionate to the structure of the face. It should echo the shape of the eye opening. The head of the brow should gradually taper to the high point of the arch which is located just outside the iris and is 2X the width of the lid. The arch moves into the tail slowly, without an abrupt angle.
6. Finally we shape the tail. The tail will end in a soothing airbrushed point in an imaginary line directed to the top of the ear, never toward the jaw. As you age you may prefer the tail lifting somewhat. The shape of the tail will echo the upper lip when properly placed. If the descent of the arch is too steep it will not be long enough to end on the brow shelf with the head.
The eyebrow should make a soft movement from thicker to thinner. No bows, swoops or extreme egg shapes at the arch. Fashion may dictate thicker or thinner, but the silhouette is always defined as what looks best on your own face.