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Love the result that comes from a good wax, but not willing to schuck out hundreds of dollars each year in order to maintain silky skin? We get it. That’s why Sparklywax created a home wax kit so you can do the job yourself while saving some serious coin in the process! If the idea of a DIY wax job causes trepidation, not to worry.
While this instructional video will give you a general idea of what to expect, the following guide explains everything you need to know about at-home hair removal. Trust, you’ll be a pro in no time.
Before you start heating up that wax pot, there are some precautionary measures you’re going to want to take.
Assess: Do an assessment of the skin you’re going to be waxing over. If you’re currently experiencing a skin condition (think eczema, psoriasis, severe acne), you have extremely thin skin from age or illness, the skin is broken or raw, or you’re sunburnt or overly sensitive (to include being on a medication that increases sensitivity), avoid waxing at all costs.
Grow your hair out: To avoid excess pain or injury while ensuring a perfectly clean result, don’t wax until your hair is approximately a quarter of an inch long. Obviously, this rule does not apply to the hair on the lip, chin, brow, or fine facial fuzz, but you still want to make sure you’re actually waxing hair—not bare skin.
Plan accordingly: While you want to be bathing suit ready, don’t wax immediately before planning on spending a lot of time outdoors with exposed skin—like the day before a trip to Mexico, for example—as your skin will be more vulnerable to the sun. It’s best to wait at least 48 hours, and it’s always a good idea to wear sunscreen. Also, it’s best to avoid waxing when you’re in the midst of your menstrual cycle as your pain threshold isn’t as high.
Ditch the Retin-A and Accutane: If you’re using Retin-A on your face, stop using it for at least two weeks before waxing to prevent injury such as broken skin. The same applies to accutane, though you’ll have to stop taking it a month before, not just a couple of weeks. If you’re on any other medications, talk to your doctor about any potential side effects from waxing.
Do a patch test: Whether you’ve been waxing for years or you’re a complete newbie, it’s important to conduct a patch test first. Not only do you want to make sure you’re not allergic to something in the wax, but the skin can change over time, so it’s possible to develop a sensitivity. You’ll especially want to be cognizant of this step if you plan on waxing before a special occasion. Definitely test and wax a couple of weeks ahead of time in case you get a reaction.
Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate the area(s) you plan on waxing the day before—not the same day—to remove dead skin (you want to wax hair, not skin) and any potential ingrown hairs. Use a gentle formula to avoid irritation. Follow up with a moisturizer so your skin is hydrated come waxing time—dry skin can cause pain and discomfort during the process.
There are several considerations to take into account before and during the waxing process, so make sure you only wax if you have enough time as rushing the process can cause an injury or mishap.
Prep your pot: It can take 10-20 minutes for the wax beads to melt, so pour in the right beads for your skin type and turn the warmer on medium heat to prevent scalding. As the wax begins to melt, periodically stir it with a wooden stick to ensure the product melts evenly.
Consider taking ibuprofen: Reduce pain and inflammation by taking ibuprofen such as Advilat least one hour before you being waxing.
Take a warm bath or shower: If you have 10-15 minutes, soak in a warm bath immediately prior to waxing. This will help open up the pores so that the removal process is less painful. A shower is also an option providing you spent around the same amount of time letting the warm water and steam hit your skin.
Be mindful of moles, lesions, and beauty marks: Any of the aforementioned can be accidentally ripped off during the waxing process. Please make sure to cover any spots with a small, round Band-Aid.
Avoid moisturizer: Avoid applying any moisturizer or body oil after your bath or shower as this will hinder the wax from grabbing hair. Alternatively, apply a pre-epilation cleanser such as Gi-Gi Pre-Hon. It cleanses and prepares the skin while protecting it from irritation, thanks to anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Test the wax: Before slathering a large amount of wax on your skin, test the temperature of your wax by swiping only a small amount of wax. If you’re having trouble spreading it, turn the heat up slightly before testing again. If you can’t tolerate the heat, turn it down and test again in a few minutes.
Practice the application process: Before beginning, practice the application technique. Take the wooden stick/applicator and hold it against the skin at an angle—about 45 degrees, but not flat against the skin. Remember, the wax needs to be applied in the direction of your hair growth.
Try the real deal: Once you’ve got this down, try it with the wax (about the size of a gumball, a pea if you’re working on the face) over a small section of the areas you wish to wax. Since Sparklywax is hot, hard wax, you don’t need strips. As the formula cools, it adheres to the strands of hair. With that in mind, make sure you’re applying a thick enough layer (and an even one) to that it’s easier to remove. Simply let it dry until it’s firm enough to grab the edge (tug and create a lip/handle first) and pull off in the opposite direction of hair growth in a quick, steady, motion parallel to the skin—NEVER straight up as you’ll injure your skin and cause additional pain. Make sure you use your non-pulling hand to hold the skin taught near the area you’re working with. This is extremely important if you want to avoid bruising, pain, and broken skin.
Techniques For Various Areas Of The Face and Body
While the application and removal of the wax is relatively consistent, there are a few tricks of the trade that apply to specific areas of the face and body.
Legs: Your gambs are fairly straight-forward as the surface is long and relatively flat. To successfully remove hair on and around the knee, make sure you bend your leg first. When tackling calves, point your toes upward to make the surface as taut as possible. Use a mirror to help you see what you’re doing in the back of your legs. While you don’t want to make the sections of wax too small as that will make the process extremely time-consuming, don’t go trying to remove extremely large patches at once or you could tear the skin and cause increased pain.
Arms: This area is even easier than legs as the surface area is smaller. You simply work your way around the arm with sections that are approximately four inches in length and an inch in diameter.
Underarms: As with the bikini (more on that in a minute), the armpits are an extremely sensitive area, so you want to execute extreme diligence. Lift your arm high above your head to stretch the skin as much as possible. Here’s where it gets tricky: Arm hair tends to grow in more than one direction, so pay close attention to this as you’re applying the wax so it’s in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Not doing so can cause ingrown hairs and red bumps. Hold skin as taught as possible when removing.
Bikini: If you’re a beginner (or even an expert in some cases), we don’t recommend trying to do a DIY Brazilian for obvious reasons. If you simply want to clean up your bikini area, however, at-home waxing is completely doable. To help give you a proper guide, put on a pair of your typical underwear—just not a favorite in case you get wax on them, though you can protect your undies by tucking Kleenex around the edges. It doesn’t matter where you start as long as you have a plan of action as you’ll be working in sections. A mirror is your best friend in this case as it can be difficult to see every nook and cranny with the naked eye. Apply the wax in sections that are approximately one inch wide and three inches long. As with the underarms, hairs grow in various directions, so take notice of this before applying the wax. Hold the skin as taut as possible during the removal process and be prepared for the fact that it might hurt a bit more than other areas. Using sterilized tweezers, remove any stray hairs in the same direction of the hair growth to prevent ingrowns.
Lip: You’re going to want to do this in three sections: left, right, and then the middle, which is the hardest because your nose stands in the way of the removal process. To make things a bit easier, firmly press your tongue against your upper lip to extend the skin.
Eyebrows: Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is don’t use wax to shape your brows, rather, use it to remove the extraneous hairs that obviously don’t belong. It’s all too easy to remove a chunk of your brow if you get too close, so follow up your wax by shaping your brows with tweezers
Aftercare is just as important as the prep, so don’t forget these crucial steps.
Remove any wax residue while putting moisture back into your skin with a post-wax cleanser such as Depileve Milk Cleanser.
Prevent or treat any bumps (especially in bikini area) with a thin coating of Tend Skin. Note that while this product is a miracle worker, it can be extremely drying, so only use as directed.