Waxing your upper lip or eyebrows might eliminate those unwanted stray hairs, but the process can also bring with it an unwelcome rash. Freshly-waxed skin might feature tender or inflamed skin or even small, red bumps, which can be a sign of a simple skin reaction, an ingrown hair, or infection.

When hot wax is pulled off your skin to remove unwanted hair at the root, a reaction is seemingly inevitable. For many women, their upper lip or eyebrows will be red and streaky immediately following a wax. The force that your esthetician uses to pull the hair out from under your skin causes this inflammation.

For some women, an allergic reaction to the wax may be to blame. A rash caused by irritant dermatitis occurs immediately after the waxing session and lasts for 1-2 days. On the other hand, contact dermatitis results in a rash 1-2 days after the facial waxing, and it can last for a few days.

Ingrown hairs can develop at the waxing site as well. Symptoms include a red, tender and swollen bump. Redness will be more localized with an ingrown hair when compared to a typical post-waxing rash or allergic reaction.

While some redness is nearly unavoidable after facial waxing, you can avoid major problems by properly prepping your skin for waxing.

Tips

  • Ensure your skin is dry and free of any moisturizer before a waxing session.
  • Soothing the freshly-waxed skin immediately after the hair is removed and ensuring the skin remains healthy can reduce post-waxing redness.
  • Avoid waxing during your period. During this time of the month, your skin is more sensitive and likely to swell. Get waxed a week or two after your period and your skin will handle the treatment better.
  • Avoid waxing when you’re using any Retin-A-based products, which can result in serious skin reactions.
  • Women with sensitive or fair skin are more likely to notice red inflammation after facial waxing.