The summer is here and so the trend of shorts and sleeveless, but you cannot really dazzle in them without taking care of those unwanted hairs on your hands and legs. Waxing or shaving makes a vital part of self-grooming and unless you have opted for a permanent (electrolysis) or long term (laser hair removal) way for getting rid of the unwanted body hairs, waxing and shaving are certainly the best options you have at hand.
There is hardly any one of us who wax or shave routinely and has not ever suffered from the problem of pimples or bumps after waxing or shaving. The problem of razor bumps and pimple break outs are quite common for all the skin types, sensitive skin naturally being the most affected of the lot. This article intends to inform the smooth skin loving folks on how to get that buttery soft skin without those irritating bumps and break outs.
[ Hindi version ]
Prevention is always better than cure and the best way to avoid the pain and uncomfortableness of bumps and pimples after shaving or waxing is to follow the right ways, before, during and after the process. If you get it all right, there is minimum chance of getting those irritating bumps and pimples at the first place and if in case you get some by chance, here are also remedies and after care instructions that will ensure that you get rid of them first.
Shaving and waxing both the processes remove the unwanted hairs from skin but in different ways and hence the right ways to follow before and during the process differ from each other to some extent. However, the after cares are mostly alike. So, check out this complete guide to prevent pimples / bumps after waxing/shaving before you opt for the razor or the waxing strips next time,
Shaving is essentially carried out with a razor and it removes the hair shafts from above the skin surface. We will not get into the pros and cons of shaving here as in this article our main objective is something different. Here is what you should do before, during and after shaving your skin to prevent any kind of razor bumps or pimples.
Skin care – before and during shaving
According to the dermatologists a healthy and well hydrated skin can easily take up the burn of a careful shaving. So, your aim before starting the shaving should be to ensure that the skin to be shaved is healthy and well-hydrated.
Make this a thumb rule to not to shave the skin that seems to be inflamed or irritated. Shaving the already irritated skin will only worsen the problem in every way. Here is what you should do before and during shaving to prevent formation of any bumps or pimples afterwards,
Clean to avoid pimples
Clean the area to be shaved with a mild cleanser. Shaving the uncleaned skin is never a good option as it can increase the chance of infection in the hair follicles leading to pimples and other problems.
Soak skin to avoid razor rashes
After you have washed off the cleanser, soak the area in mild warm water for at least 7 minutes. It takes time for the hairs to absorb the water and to become really soft. Soaking the area of the skin in water for long will only make the job of shaving easier for you and less irritating for your skin.
Hydrate with glycerin or petroleum jelly to prevent skin irritation & bumps
Before you start with the razor, hydrate the skin with glycerin or petroleum jelly. Hydrating plays a key role in preventing any type of skin irritation caused due to shaving and hence if you are looking out for ways to prevent the bumps caused due to shaving, do not skip on this step.
Pick the right razor
When you are serious about preventing the razor bumps you have to be serious about picking the right razor and obviously the right blade. Your shaving razor should come with hydrating strips made of petroleum or glycerin that can moisturize the skin during shaving reducing any type of skin irritation. Also make sure that you use a blade that is at the peak of its sharpness. Changing the blade after every 3 usage is always a good option. When your blade loses the sharpness, it drags on the skin and causes more irritation which is often a primary reason of formation of razor bumps.
Shave in the right direction to avoid razor bumps
While shaving, getting the right direction to shave is always important. Always move your razor in the direction of the hair growth and not the opposite. Shaving in the opposite direction of the hair growth can give you a closer shave but it certainly multiplies the chance of getting razor bumps. If you are keen to get that close shave, by shaving in the opposite direction of the hair growth, at least make the first pass in the direction of the growth and then shave the other way. This will minimize the risk.
Avoid pimples/bumps after waxing
Waxing is the other effective way to remove unwanted skin hairs and as in this case the hairs are removed from the roots hence the chances of getting painful bumps is less if you can follow the right ways before, during and after waxing. In case of waxing as well keeping your skin well hydrated is a must.
Skin care – before and during waxing
Do not exfoliate
According to the skin specialists, exfoliating your skin before waxing is not a good idea, even though it is often suggested. When you use a physical or chemical exfoliator on the skin to be waxed, it irritates the skin somehow, which can be aggravated by the process of waxing. The specialists suggest to not to use chemical exfoliators like alpha hydroxyl acids, salicylic acids or beta hydroxyl acids on the skin to be waxed from at least 5 days prior to the day of waxing. Also stay away from physical exfoliation in this span to ensure that your skin is not over-sensitive or inflamed in any way.
While exfoliating before waxing is a strict no, cleaning it properly with a mild cleanser can actually be helpful as it will ensure that there is no dirt or bacteria on the skin that can cause infection or block the pores afterwards. Use a mild cleanser and make sure to wash it off really well with plenty of water.
Hydrate skin to avoid irritation and redness
Before you start waxing it is really important to ensure that your skin is well hydrated. In fact, it is said, that hydrating is the key to prevent bumps and pimples caused due to waxing. The best thing that you can use on the cleaned skin for hydration is baby oil. Apply some baby oil onto your hands and legs to be waxed and massage for 5 minutes. You should complete the application at least 20 minutes before waxing, so that the oil has enough time to get absorbed.
Pick the right type of wax
Just as it is important to pick the right kind of razor for shaving, it goes the same for waxing too. The right type of wax plays an important role in giving you the best results and also to prevent any waxing bumps or pimples. The soft waxes like the ones made with honey are often the first choice of many women, but these soft waxes do not only get attached to the hairs but also to the skin and increases the risk of ripping off some part of the nearby skin along with the hairs. According to dermatologists, opting for waxes that are firmer and resin based is the best way to prevent any kind of skin rashes or sensitivity due to waxing.
Watch the temperature
Hot wax makes the task of removing the hairs simpler and less painful but you need to ensure that the temperature is not too hot for your skin. Serious burns from hot wax are not very uncommon and using higher temperature wax on your skin can cause serious skin issues including bumps, pimples and patches. So, before you go, opt for a patch test to check the right temperature and then only use the wax on a wider part of the body.
After shaving/waxing skin care
The “after” skin care to ensure that there are no bumps or pimples on your skin due to shaving or waxing are similar for both the processes and hence we will illustrate it under the same heading.
Use ice after waxing/shaving to avoid redness
Rubbing ice cubes on the skin right after shaving/waxing is the best way to soothe the skin and to ensure that there are no bumps or pimples. Use the ice cube for as long as possible to avoid redness. The ice will close the open pores and ensure that any skin sensitivity is reduced. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent any type of skin irritation or sensitivity due to waxing/shaving.
[ Hindi version ]
Witch hazel toner to avoid waxing bumps
After applying ice to the skin, you can also opt for pampering your skin with a witch hazel toner. Witch hazel will soothe the skin and ensure that there are no infections that can cause pimples afterwards. Soak a fresh cotton ball in the witch hazel toner and dab it on the shaved/waxed skin. Do not rub. Pick a witch hazel toner that comes without alcohol.
Aloe vera gel to stop rashes and bumps
After waxing or shaving your skin needs immediate hydration to avoid bumps and rashes; and what can be better than some Aloe Vera gel to hydrate your skin without irritating it in anyway. It is best if you can use some Aloe Vera pulp made from fresh Aloe Vera leaves, because the Aloe Vera gels available in the market always come with additives. Apply the Aloe Vera pulp to the waxed and cleaned skin in excess, rub lightly and let it get absorbed into the skin.