Bikini Waxing 101
What you need to know before, during and after a bikini wax
-Paige Herman Axel
You’ve got to love summer … Barbecues, long weekends, trips to the beach — and bikini waxes. We might not be able to make waxing pain-free, but there are a few pointers you can follow to ensure your health — and your results.
Before Your Wax
Time it right: The skin around your bikini line is more sensitive around the time you get your period (just like your mood!), so try to avoid waxing a few days before and a few days after it starts.
Check credentials: Aestheticians and other waxing professionals must be licensed, and they are supposed to display their license in their place of business. If you don’t see it, ask for it.
Dress appropriately: Wear loose, comfortable clothing to minimize chafing or irritation after your wax.
At the Spa or Salon
Look around: Before you drop trou, consider the cleanliness of the waxing room. You wouldn’t get a manicure or pedicure without sterile tools, and it’s important that your aesthetician take steps to help prevent infection. Make sure that disposable applicators are used, and that tweezers are housed in disinfectant.
Say no to double dipping: Hot wax can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Do you want wax that has been contaminated by the person whose appointment was before yours?
Spot test: If it’s your first wax, or you have especially sensitive skin and have never used that particular type of wax, ask if you can pop in to test a small area — then make an appointment for 48 hours later. This way, if your skin reacts, you’ll know before you subject your entire bikini area to the stuff.
After You Wax
Give your skin TLC: Give your post-wax skin some special treatment, in the form of a cold compress and hydrocortisone cream if you’re especially tender.
Avoid heat: Hold off on bathing for two hours after waxing, but definitely take a lukewarm shower or bath to cleanse away excess wax or creams that day. For the first 48 hours after a bikini wax, steer clear of hot showers, baths, saunas and steam rooms.
No nookie: As much as you may want to show off your meticulously maintained va-jay-jay, experts recommend abstaining from sex for the first 48 hours after waxing since the skin is especially susceptible to bacteria. The choice is yours …
Cover up: Exposure to UV light is a no-no for the first 48 hours after waxing, so plan accordingly. No last minute appointments on your way to the beach.
Eliminate ingrown hairs: Begin exfoliating 48 hours after waxing. (If you don’t wait this long, you’re in for a not-so-pleasant experience.) Whether you opt for a loofah or a product that contains glycolic or salicylic acid, it’s a great way to get rid of pore-clogging dead skin cells — and keep your bikini line looking fabulous.