How to do it safely, according to experts

Matteo ScarpelliniImaxtree

If you’re looking to shape your eyebrows, remove stray hairs on your chin, or get rid of a fuzzy upper lip, you might have toyed with the idea of ​​facial waxing at home. And I understand! It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s convenient. But here’s what I don’t understand: how people muster up the courage to wax their own bodies at home (next-level bravery, really). But luckily, unlike waxing your arms and legs, or waxing your Brazilian bikini, removing facial hair seems pretty straightforward, right? You don’t have to strain your neck to reach every hair, because the area you’re working on is, literally, right in front of your face.

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But even though the process is less complex than waxing other parts of your body, we’re still talking about hot waxing, your precious face, and pulling hairs out from the root, so you have to be *extra * careful. To give you all the best tips for facial waxing and a list of products to help the process be as painless as possible (hint: get some ibuprofen), I turned to the people who know a lot more about it than you and me: Board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, and brow expert and brand founder Joey Healy. Keep this article handy the next time you try to wax your face at home.

Is it safe to remove facial hair?

Dr. King says it’s fairly safe to wax your face at home, as long as you use a safe technique and take all the proper precautions. That being said, you never, never you want to epilate sunburned, inflamed or very sensitive skin and should also avoid waxing if you’ve taken isotretinoin (aka Accutane) in the past six months or used a topical retinoid or retinol cream in the past five days. Healy even suggests getting a wax if you’ve recently had a chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment.

But just because something is safe doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good idea. If you don’t trust yourself to shape your eyebrows with tweezers, maybe you trust the waxing to a professional? Just a suggestion from someone who has already butchered their own eyebrows.

Which wax is the best for the face?

Generally speaking, hard wax (wax that doesn’t require an extra strip to remove) is better for the face than soft wax (a hot, liquid wax that requires a strip to remove) because it is softer, better for sensitive areas, and can grab short hairs, according to Healy. Also, hard wax isn’t as hot as soft wax (you burn hot wax on your face? Yeah, no thanks) and is easier to control in smaller areas, like your eyebrows or lips. .

Healy’s other favorite at-home wax kits for facial hair are wax strips designed for the face and do not require significant heat. “You peel them off like a band-aid,” Healy explains. “You apply it to the face without heat, so you’re not going to burn yourself. I like that they are small so you can use them on your upper lip, sideburns, [and] eyebrows.

What should I put on my face before waxing?

The night before waxing, Healy suggests a little light exfoliation and lots of moisturizer. Corn the day of a hair removal, you want almost nothing on your face. Gently wash your face to make sure your skin is clean of any product and dry the skin thoroughly. “Clean, dry skin allows the wax to adhere properly,” notes Dr. King. Healy also likes to wipe her face with Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner because “it’s great for cleansing and prepping the skin.” It’s also alcohol-free, so it won’t dry out.

This is your second friendly reminder to avoid retinoid and retinol creams for five days before waxing and definitely don’t put one on before waxing. Seriously, the wax might actually take the skin off with it, so if there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be that.

What is the best way to remove facial hair?

All hair removal methods have their pros and cons, but if waxing is your thing, here’s the best way to do it: Before waxing, make sure your hair ¼ inch long (about a month’s growth). If your hair is longer than that, cut it so the process isn’t as messy and painful. Once your hair is the right length, Dr. King highly recommends popping some ibuprofen and/or numbing the area a bit with ice packs to help reduce any further discomfort. Then choose your ~poison~ below and follow the steps.

Epilation of facial hair with hard wax:

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  1. Preperation. Once your face is clean and dry, heat the wax according to the instructions on the package. “Always test the temperature by applying a small amount to the inside of your wrist,” says Dr. King. “It should be warm but should not hurt or burn.”
  2. Spread the wax. Work on a small section at a time and spread the wax in the direction of hair growth.
  3. Remove the wax and your hair. Once the wax is slightly dry and sticky, use one hand to pull your skin taut and with the other hand quickly pull the wax in the opposite direction of hair growth.

      Facial hair removal with strips:

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      1. Preperation. Start by preparing your skin, then heat the wax according to the instructions on the package. With these strips, generally, the heat from rubbing your hands will warm the wax a lot.
      2. Separate the tape. Peel the strip off the backing, like a sticker, then press firmly against the area you’re epilating.
      3. Remove the wax and your hair. Hold your skin tight with one hand, use the other to grab the edge of the strip and pull it quickly against the direction of hair growth to remove hair.

        What should not be done after waxing?

        Yes when you experience any discomfort or tingling after facial hair removal (sorry, but this is going to hurt a little), Dr. King suggests soothing the skin with cold compresses and a light layer of moisturizer, but avoiding hot baths and showers (these won’t even feel good anyway). Healy also recommends wiping the area with FUR Ingrown Eliminator Wipes. “The lactic acid in them helps prevent ingrown hairs,” says Healy. “They also contain witch hazel and aloe, so you can both cleanse and soothe after waxing.”

        Is waxing better than shaving?

        Shaving your face is great for removing light peach fuzz or vellus hair, but if you’re looking to remove thicker hair or want hair removal that lasts longer than a day or two, waxing wax is the solution. Should you try it yourself? Just be sure to follow the tips above and, say it with me, no retinoids.

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