A woman getting her leg waxed

The Best Way To Heal Ripped Skin From Waxing

Waxing can be painful and cause damage to the skin. Here's what to do if the worst happens.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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The things we do for perfect, smooth skin, huh? Waxing has been a popular beauty procedure for decades, but there’s perhaps nothing else that personifies the saying “no pain, no gain” more.

Sometimes, however, you might feel a little bit more pain than you signed up for. Skin ripping can be a severely uncomfortable outcome of waxing, and it’s important to know how to treat it if it happens to you.

That’s why we’re here. Let’s dive in.

How waxing works

To better understand the risks involved, let’s cover what waxing is and how it works. Here are the two main forms of waxing techniques.

Hot wax

Hot wax is exactly what it sounds like. The wax is usually heated to between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius before being applied to the desired area of the skin. The therapist and customer then wait for the wax to cool and harden, before the tearing process begins.

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 undergo the procedure to achieve hairless, smooth skin.

Cold wax

On the flip side, there is cold wax. In general, cold wax is designed for home usage but is 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. Naturally, this can increase the chances of skin damage and irritation occurring.

From our perspective, we would always recommend a hot wax over the alternative due to the increased success rate, but that’s just our subjective opinion.

How much does waxing hurt?

That depends on your pain tolerance, but overall, it hurts quite a bit. This isn’t surprising, since waxing involves literally ripping the hairs out at their roots, which can be quite a jarring experience for newcomers. Over time, however, the process gets a little more familiar and easy to deal with (especially if you have a few drinks beforehand…).

How long do the results of waxing last?

Again, this can vary from person to person, but 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.

Why did my skin rip from waxing?

Okay, you’ve bitten the bullet and decided to get a good hot wax, but disaster strikes! You look down and see significant skin damage as a result of the tearing of the strip. In fact, some of your skin has been ripped right off! What do you do?

First of all, don’t panic! The chances are it looks worse than it actually is. So unclench your fist and get rid of the idea of punching your beauty therapist in the face, it’s probably not their fault.

It’s important to realize that waxing is a risky procedure in general. These things can happen and can actually be rather common. However, there are things you can do to better prevent your skin from ripping before you get a wax.

We’d recommend taking a look at your regular skincare routine and the products you use. If there’s a wax date coming up, it’s a good idea to reduce the use of harsher products such as retinol and exfoliators. These products can actually weaken the outer layer of the skin because of their potent ingredients and effects, making problems from waxing more likely. So plan your routine more carefully with this in mind.

How to heal your ripped skin after waxing

Skin rips and irritation as a result of waxing will usually go away on their own after a few days, but you’ll have to accept looking a bit beaten up for a while. But, if you don’t want to wait, you can immediately take action to help heal the affected area.

Gently rubbing the damaged skin with an antibacterial cleanser is a good start, as this will wash away any leftover wax and thoroughly clean the skin from any dirt. Afterward, the skin can be massaged with antibacterial ointment to soothe it. Finally, keeping the skin properly hydrated is essential. If possible, try and find a moisturizer with built-in SPF in order to add a layer of sun protection, as sun rays can really harm exposed and damaged skin.

With these simple steps, your skin should be fighting fit again within a matter of days. So stop fretting!

Check out our article on how to best prepare your skin before a wax to further protect the skin from damage.


Waxing is painful enough without the added blow of ripping your own skin off at the same time. Thankfully, while being very uncomfortable, it’s never as bad as it looks.

Always prepare the skin before a wax using gentler products over harsh exfoliants, as this will keep the outermost skin layer strong and ready.

If rips occur, proper aftercare with soft cleansers and hydrating moisturizers is the way to go to stimulate a swift recovery.

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