Wax on a wooden stick

Getting A Wax Soon? Here’s How To Best Prepare Your Skin

Correctly preparing your skin before a wax can significantly improve results and skin recovery. Here's our guide.
Updated: November 9, 2022
Share article:
Article Contents

Love it or hate it, waxing has become a staple of beauty and skincare. More people than ever are choosing to power through the pain in the pursuit of super smooth skin.

However, learning how to correctly prepare the skin before a waxing session can help to ease the process along, and potentially reduce certain side effects.

Here’s our guide on how to get your skin fighting fit before a wax.

The different methods of waxing

Before we go on, it’s important to understand the two main methods of waxing that exist. Choosing the right procedure for you is the initial step in having a successful experience.

Hot wax

Hot wax is exactly what it sounds like. The wax is heated to between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius before it is applied to the skin. The therapist then waits for the wax to cool and harden, before tearing off the strips.

The idea behind hot wax is the heat allows the pores to widen more, increasing the likelihood of a successful hair removal treatment. The popularity of hot wax only backs up this theory, as women consistently head to the spa to achieve their desired results.

Cold wax

Alternatively, there is cold wax. In general, cold wax is intended to be used at home, therefore considered to be less efficient than hot wax. Often, cold waxing needs to be repeated more than once in order to remove all the targeted hairs. This means more pain and can increase the chances of skin damage and other forms of irritation.

How to prepare your skin for a waxing

Now that you’ve settled on either a hot wax carried out by a professional or a DIY cold wax from the comfort of your own bathroom, it’s time to prepare your skin for the turbulence it is about to face.

The following guide has been formulated through our own experiences and from chatting with experts, and we reckon it’s pretty solid.

Allow your hair to grow

Okay, this seems obvious, but there’s an important point here. Waxing can be particularly impactful on your skin, so it’s smart to only have it done when it’s absolutely necessary. We’d suggest leaving at least 3 weeks between waxing sessions, as doing them more frequently can really irritate the skin. So, a good rule of thumb is to allow the hair to grow to a certain length before deciding to wax it off. The longer the hair, the easier the process will be, and it might actually be less painful too.

Make sure your skin isn’t sensitive

Sensitive skin can be a real headache for many, and it’s certainly not recommended to get a wax while it is at its peak. We all go through phases of sensitivity, but we can really help ourselves by choosing certain times when our skin is feeling less volatile to go for a wax. In women, this time is usually a week after your menstrual cycle, as your pain threshold will be at its highest point. Ladies, do not book a waxing appointment during your period, trust us.

Avoid tanning

Following on from the sensitivity point above, it’s recommended that you refrain from tanning or spending too much time in the sun in the days leading up to your appointment. Again, the harsh sun rays can make the skin more sensitive, and my lord you don’t want to risk getting a sunburn! Look, this is just common sense, so be smart.

Exfoliate your skin

In order to help the tanning process be more successful, exfoliating the skin at home before the session can be a big benefit. Exfoliators, like face and body scrubs, work to wipe away dirt and dead cells from the outermost layer of the skin. This will ensure your skin is in a nice, neutral, and clean state for the waxing, and it will reduce the chances of ingrown hairs after the appointment. Happy scrubbing!

Hydrate the skin with a warm bath

We never need an excuse to have ourselves s a nice warm bubble bath, but beyond the pleasure, it’s actually a great way to prepare for a waxing session. This is because the warm water relaxes and widens the pores, which will only help the wax latch onto the hairs to remove them. Personal tip from us – use bath salts. Trust us.

Apply moisturizer

Finally, after your bath, apply a nice gentle moisturizer to the skin to hydrate it before the waxing appointment. We’d recommend using a water-based moisturizer that doesn’t contain oil for a lighter and softer finish. The moisturizer will also go some way to protect the skin from burning from the hot wax, so it’s definitely worthwhile.

How long should I wait in between waxes?

Generally speaking, we’d suggest leaving about 3 weeks in between waxing sessions. More regular appointments could irritate the skin and even cause damage due to repeated stress and pressure. Also, there’s no point in getting a harsh wax if the hair isn’t at a substantial length.

In terms of waxing results, the common consensus is you can expect to enjoy smooth legs for up to 6 weeks after the waxing. Depending on the area of your body you get waxed, hair might grow at different speeds. Bikini lines for example may grow hair quicker than legs, but eyebrows may take much longer to grow back than everywhere else.

If your skin has suffered any damage from waxing, check out our article on the best ways to heal it.

Conclusion

Waxing is super effective but can be painful. Preparing your skin using the guide above will really help make the treatment easier, and possibly reduce uncomfortable side effects afterward.

Only schedule a waxing appointment if you really think it’s necessary, and take appropriate steps to properly manage and care for your skin before and after the procedure in order to get the best results.

Read more:
Let's take this to the inbox!
Get our latest skincare news, best product recommendations & brand-exclusive discount codes directly to your inbox.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Staying Medically Accurate!
This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.