Are you one of those people who finds threading or waxing causes them to break out? Yeah, us too. It's highly annoying to spend a small fortune for someone to inflict pain on you only to walk away fearing that by tomorrow, you'll be waking up with great brows or a smooth upper lip but a couple of spots too. Le sigh. The thing is that it doesn't have to play out like that. With a little preparation and some aftercare, you can avoid those dreaded pimples with relative ease. We've rounded up some tips from team Byrdie as well as some tricks from the UK's leading hair-removal experts to ensure you get smooth, hair-free and spot-free skin every single time.
Keep scrolling for their expert hair-removal advice.
• Wash your face before your waxing or threading appointment; otherwise bacteria can be pressed into the skin around your eyebrows (or upper lip) and clog your pores.
• "Exfoliate the skin around the brow hairs," advises Vanita Parti, founder of Blink Brow Bar. "This will help slough away dead skin and ingrown hairs for beautifully smooth brows." Try using Blink Brow Bar Brow Exfoliator (£17); it works on the upper lip too.
• "You should never go into a threading session with unwashed hands," says brow expert Suman. "All the dirt and pollution from commuting during the day sticks to your hands. When you're asked to pull back your skin during threading, the dirt is transferred to your skin, which can lead to breakouts."
• Heading for a wax? "Ensure the area isn’t too soft—avoid using a moisturiser the night before a treatment," suggests waxing specialist Vanya Volovse. "This will loosen the grip on the wax, which can cause bruising and redness."
• Waxing at home? Apply baby powder to your eyebrows or upper lip beforehand. The powder will make it easier for the wax to grab your hairs while simultaneously absorbing excess oil and reducing contact irritation.
• "Make sure you do not overwax the same area; this can cause the skin to be highly irritated, which then can lead to breakouts," says Nichola Joss, Nair skin expert. Try using Nair's Nourish Japanese Cherry Blossom 7-in-1 Ultra Facial Wax Strips (£6).
• No touching! Avoid poking and feeling your newly hair-free skin. This will only clog pores and transfer the bacteria on your hands onto your face.
• "Don't use any perfumed products or actives (such as retinol, antioxidants or glycolic acid) on the skin for 24 hours [after hair removal]," advises Joss. "Don't expose your skin to damaging UVA or UVB rays, and avoid using fake tan or facial masks for up to 24 hours afterward too."
• "Your pores are open and susceptible to irritation for 24 hours after hair removal," says Parti. Plan your workout accordingly, as sweat can lead to breakouts and ingrown hairs. "Avoid swimming pools and excessive exercise," she adds. In other words, head to that spin class before your waxing or threading appointment.
• If your skin is particularly sensitive, Suman recommends using Avene Skin Recovery Cream (£17): "It's lightweight and calms redness," she says.
• Consistency is key. If you book in for a wax or threading appointment every four to six weeks, you should build up a tolerance, which means you're less likely to break out. Leave it any longer before appointments and you'll be back to square one.
Do you typically suffer from hair-removal breakouts? What’s your favourite method for hair removal?
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