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Take the ‘ouch’ out of hair removal


No pain no gain is a beauty chant that has been whispered by thousands of women over decades of enduring painful procedures in the name of beauty. And perhaps one of the most eye watering that immediately springs to mind is hair removal.

BY Amy Anderson 10 July, 2007

As summer fast approaches and the prospect of getting our office bound bodies out on the beach looms, hair removal is the grime reality many women must face in order to risk donning that lovely little bikini they bought in the Spring.

Ultimately hair removal (unless you are shaving or using hair removal cream as a much more temporary solution), especially in sensitive areas such as the bikini line or under the arms, is always going to cause some degree of pain. Some methods, such as laser hair removal, are les painful than others but require a lot of expense and several visits to a hair removal clinic. Which is why waxing remains the hair removal option of choice for most busy practical people. However although waxing does hurt, there are ways that you can lessen the ‘ouch’ factor.

Grow your hair long enough

The longer the hair the quicker the hair extraction when waxing so try and make sure hair is at least 2mm in length before waxing.

Leave skin ‘unwashed’ before waxing

Although the skin should be clear of any obvious dirt or dust before waxing, you should not bath your skin before waxing as this opens up et pores and can make the skin more sensitive. Skin should ideally be cool and you should not wax any less than an hour after bathing.

Do not take painkillers

Some people take pain killers before waxing thinking it will help ‘dull’ the pain. In fact some painkillers such as Ibuprofen actually make the skin more sensitive to more prone to bruising. The only ‘pain relieving’ remedy may be s tiff drink before a wax to give you courage!

Avoid waxing near your menstrual cycle

Approximately three days before and after you begin your period is a time when your resilience to pain is lower than at other times of the month so try and avoid waxing just before and after your period.

Exfoliate, don’t squeeze

After enduring the pain of waxing, many of us then go on to suffer the indignity and pain of in growing hairs and infected follicles after waxing. Try and avoid squeezing infected follicles and instead exfoliate the skin daily for up to a week after waxing. Some soothing anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory remedies such as aloe vera lotions help to soothe irritated skin after waxing.

Protect from the sun

Skin that has just been waxed is more sensitive than normal skin so if you are heading straight out to the beach after waxing make sure you put an SPF cream (preferably one suitable for sensitive skin) over the area that had been recently waxed for 2-3 days after waxing.

Give skin an airing

Wearing looser cotton underwear and airy clothing the day after waxing can help minimise the risk of infection as sweat getting into pores of recently waxed skin is more likely to cause infection and inflammation.


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