Whether it's acne, small scabs or even a full blown rash, chances are that you've noticed some extent of skin irritation after waxing or plucking your eyebrows. Maybe you're not visiting the best salon. Maybe your choice of products or technique could use a tiny tweak. No matter what your specific issue, the solution is likely much easier than you may think. Just follow a few straight-forward rules and your 'brows will likely clear up in no time.
Common Skin Irritations Caused by Waxing
- Unwashed skin often presents fairly complex problems in terms of waxing your eyebrows. Whether you're visiting a salon or waxing at home, it is absolutely necessary to wash your entire face with an antibacterial facial soap both before and after waxing. This super sanitation is needed in order to remove dead skin cells, natural oils and cosmetics that can harbor various forms of bacteria. If these bacteria enter the vacant hair follicles, an obnoxious condition known as folliculitis can occur.
- Much like food additives and ingredients in medications, allergies to topical products can pop up at virtually any time. If you're suddenly noticing a rash or redness with inflammation that won't go away for hours after waxing, it's time to switch to a product designed specifically for sensitive skin. If specially-formulated hypoallergenic products fail to improve irritation, give plucking a try or consult a dermatologist for advice.
- It's no surprise to learn that skin irritation and actual damage to the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, can be caused by overheated wax products. It's important to follow specific instructions on every wax product when heating - and to apply a certain level of common sense in terms of those instructions. A full container of wax may take four minutes to heat thoroughly, and those may be the only instructions listed. A container with only a few tablespoons left, however, should not require the same heating time as that of a full container. Products that fail to work properly unless heated to dangerous levels should be avoided altogether.
Common Skin Irritations Caused by Plucking
- The sanitary measures required before and after waxing apply to plucking as well: always wash your entire face with an antibacterial facial soap before and after plucking your eyebrows. In addition, tweezers must be sanitized before and after the process of plucking in order to avoid the spread of bacteria. The best bet for removing bacteria from your tweezers is to wash them in a solution of bleach diluted with water, though hydrogen peroxide will also do in a pinch. Be sure to thoroughly rinse tweezers in warm water after using any sanitizing product.
- As most women well know, tweezers come in all shapes and sizes, complete with various angled and sharpened tips, which are designed for different uses. Round, slightly angled tweezers spell trouble for plucking all too often due to the difficulty presented in easily grabbing and smoothly removing individual hairs. This in turn can lead to the need to dig at particularly dark, pesky hairs, which can lead to bleeding and the formation of small wounds and scabs. The best tweezers for plucking should have a nice pointed tip with a rather sharp angle and a long, slip-resistant handle for both safety and ease of use.
Hair follicles are best described as small round depressions in the skin. Each follicle is capable of producing a single hair at a time. When that hair is suddenly removed from the follicle, the depression remains empty until a new hair root is produced. It is during that time, and often after a too-close shave, that folliculitis typically occurs. Folliculitis is presented by the formation of pus pockets within the follicle, inflammation and even infection in one or more individual hair follicles.
If you suspect folliculitis, it is important to consult a physician immediately, as treatment with oral and/or topical medications may be required.