If you’ve ever found yourself finishing up a wax, happy with the results, only to find red little bumps all over the waxed area the next day, you’re not alone! In fact, developing bumps after a wax is pretty normal and can happen for a number of reasons. If you’re interested in figuring out why this happens, as well as what you can do to prevent it, join us as we walk through how to fix even the bumpiest of situations.
The most common causes of bumps after a Brazilian wax
Generally, following a wax appointment, there are three main culprits that could be contributing to any bumps or irritation you encounter: folliculitis, ingrown hairs, and contact dermatitis. Since these bumps may visually seem the same, let’s take a look at what sets them apart so that you can better address what’s causing your breakouts.
Contact dermatitis can cause bumps and is typically triggered by an allergic reaction or skin irritation
For our sensitive skin babes, it’s no surprise that adding a new material to your skin may cause it to react negatively. If it’s your first time being waxed, or maybe your first time waxing in a sensitive area, like a Brazilian wax, your skin may be overwhelmed and react poorly. Contact dermatitis can be identified not only by little red bumps, but burning, stinging, itching, and swelling. If you think this may be the cause of your breakouts, speak with your esthetician about waxing options for sensitive skin.
Folliculitis occurs when damaged hair follicles are subject to bacteria that was present on the skin
During the waxing process, as your unwanted strands of hair are pulled from the root of your hair follicle, there is the potential for the exposed follicle to be introduced to bacteria. If the follicle is exposed to bacteria, dirt, and other contaminants, the development of acne-like bumps will appear on the skin.
If you’re looking to avoid folliculitis, cleanse regularly both before and after your appointment and avoid wearing tight clothes that do not allow your skin to breathe.
Ingrown hairs are a usual suspect in the world of body hair removal
In most cases, the culprit behind your unwanted bumps can be attributed to ingrown hairs. You can tell when ingrown hairs are the culprit as the follicle turns red and swollen about a week after your waxing appointment. Ingrown hairs are a direct result of your new growth getting trapped in the hair follicle as it tries to breach the surface of your skin. In order to avoid this potentially painful and truly annoying case of the bumps, ensure you’re exfoliating regularly both before and after your appointment. Wearing loose fitting clothing for a day or two following your waxing session can also reduce your risk.
Proactively avoiding post-wax bumps to keep your skin cool and calm
Regardless of which culprit is behind your outbreak, there are a few things you can do across the board to help reduce the likelihood of getting those red bumps.
Hold off on the gym and excessive sweating 24 hours prior to your appointment
Now, this is a big one: don’t participate in activities where you know you will be sweating for at least 24 hours before and 48 hours after your waxing session. Sweat is not only a great way to spread bacteria, but can irritate your hair follicles. Instead, try to wear loose clothing, stay out of the sun, and plan your waxing a few days before or after any trips or activities.
Immediately after waxing, apply a cold compress to the affected area
For those who seem to constantly be fighting with bumps, try using a cold compress immediately following your wax to expedite the closing of your pores. Additionally, if you find that bumps still occur, you can try and re-open your pores using a warm compress and try to clean out the affected area.
Applying a fragrance-free moisturizer
Whether you have sensitive skin or not, it is always best to use fragrance free moisturizers following your waxing session. Limiting the amount of potential irritants your newly waxed skin is exposed to can make a world of difference.
Ingredients and products for use after waxes to calm bumps
If you feel like you can't win against ingrown hairs and other waxing bumps, even after trying all these suggestions, we still have some good news for you! There are certain ingredients and products that help remedy any issues you may have.
Tea tree oil is a powerful essential oil
For those of you who have used tea tree oil in the past, you know what a powerful tool it can be. Loved for its antibacterial traits, tea tree oil can be useful post-wax. With that being said, if you aren’t using an existing product, be careful to use a diluted mixture. Tea tree oil is incredibly potent; just a few drops mixed with water, olive oil, or coconut oil will do the trick.
Aloe vera is one of nature’s most accessible and soothing treatments
Known for its soothing powers on sun burns, aloe vera also works wonders on cooling and soothing your skin following a wax. Additionally, witch hazel and apple cider vinegar are two other household items that help calm and soothe the skin following your wax. Your esthetician will recommend products that include these calming ingredients, depending on your skin type.
Your esthetician guides you through proper aftercare
Lastly, following every waxing session, your esthetician can provide helpful information on what products and what techniques to use to ensure your skin heals perfectly. If you ever have any skin care concerns, ask them for a customized plan that sets your skin up for success.
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