Your Ultimate Guide To Bikini Wax Aftercare

The proper TLC post-wax can ensure the smoothest results.

Your Guide to Bikini Wax Aftercare

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Bad news first: Even if you've done the important skin prep before your bikini wax, there's still work to be done after the service, too. That's because your bikini wax aftercare is just as important for keeping skin smooth and ready for future waxes. The good news? A few easy guidelines can cut down on stubble, minimize ingrown hairs, and keep skin smooth.

Even though it can seem like an afterthought in skin care, the bikini area requires TLC. "The bikini area is often ignored from a care perspective, but remember that it’s a high-touch region — from the choice of your hair removal, underwear, exercise, et cetera," says Angelica Sele, a sexual-wellness advocate and waxing expert at Angelica B Beauty in San Diego, CA. "It's prone to bumps, irritation, and pigmentation."

And that's especially the case after you've gotten a bikini wax, since the sensitive skin can be extra vulnerable to these issues. With that in mind, here's what you need to know.

Prioritize Soothing Ingredients

Freshly waxed skin is super-sensitive, so it's imperative that you use soothing ingredients to actively calm it. For instance, Sele recommends using products such as tea tree oil and aloe vera for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Other winners include chamomile, green tea, and glycerin, which can help reduce redness and moisturize skin. She's a fan of Fur Oil or Lady Suite Rejuvenating Botanical Oil, which can help maintain and condition skin as it recovers.

Skip the Exfoliants

Since your skin needs to heal during the first few days after a wax, consider exfoliants off limits. "Using abrasive products on your skin in the first 48 hours after a wax service can cause irritation," says Nicole Sandoval, senior director of learning and development and field training at the European Wax Center. "Waxing naturally exfoliates your skin, so you should be good for a few days."

Once those few days have passed, she does recommend gently exfoliating (emphasis on "gently") between your wax appointments. Try the EWC Treat Face & Body Exfoliating Gel, which will not only keep skin smooth but is also non-comedogenic  — meaning it won't contribute to breakouts and bumps down there.

Don't Do Strenuous Activity

Bikini-wax newbies might not realize that some everyday habits and activities should be off-limits after a wax. To keep the area clean and bacteria-free, for instance, Sele says to not touch or apply any topical lotion on freshly waxed skin for at least 12 hours. She also says to skip any repetitive exercise (think: the elliptical), sun exposure, swimming, baths, and saunas for at least 24 hours, since the combo of moisture and heat could potentially worsen irritation.

If you can help it — although we know it's hard, so no judgment here — avoid shaving between waxing, as that can make you more susceptible to itchiness and ingrown hairs, says Sandoval.

Use Your Esthetician as a Resource

When in doubt, ask your esthetician for advice and product recommendations to ensure the best bikini wax aftercare for your specific skin needs. "When you follow the recommended aftercare of your wax specialist, you will have great results with smooth skin and hair growing thinner, softer, and finer," says Sandoval.

The good news? Although bikini wax aftercare is non-negotiable, it's not that difficult to keep up. By babying your skin for a few days and adjusting your routine, your newly smooth skin will last for weeks (and weeks, and weeks).

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