How to Care for Skin When You’re Waxing or Shaving

Whether or not you choose to remove your hair, taking proper care of your skin is a must. Waxing, shaving, tweezing, whatever — giving skin a little TLC when you’re taking care of business on your face or body can go a long way to keeping skin calm and comfortable. The extra bonus of prep and post hair removal care? It can also help curb those pesky hair removal woes, like nicks, razor burn, and ingrown hairs. 

“Shaving and waxing — and basically all forms of hair removal — cause trauma to the skin,” says Toronto-based board-certified dermatologist Geeta Yadav, M.D. “With waxing and shaving specifically, the top dead layer of skin is being removed along with the hair. I think so many people see shaving as a one-step process, but seeing it as its own small regimen would serve most people well and result in a more effective shave with less irritation.” Here, the most important pre- and post-hair removal care tips to protect and keep skin smooth and happy from head to toe.

For Facial Hair Removal

First up, exfoliate gently

“Exfoliation is essential to any skincare routine to promote cellular turnover and enhance your skin’s radiance, but it’s also key to effective hair removal,” says Dr. Yadav. Remove dead skin cells with a gentle, exfoliating toner. Try Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner; it’s hydrating (thank you cactus water and hyaluronic acid) but also gently exfoliating with both PHA (to remove dead skin cells) and BHA (to decongest clogged pores).

For a relatively deeper exfoliation, consider a mask, like the Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial. Formulated with non-drying kaolin clay, it features a blend of watermelon enzymes, BHA, and PHA to clear out pores — along with micronized blueberry seed powder to slough off dead skin cells, giving you a super-smooth surface for hair removal. FYI: It’s incredibly important to use a gentle exfoliant prior to shaving — because you don’t want to cause additional trauma to the skin and then further irritate by shaving or waxing. 

Shave strategically

If shaving, ensure your razor blades are both clean and sharp. “A dull razor blade will further irritate the skin,” says Dr. Yadav. “When a blade is sharp, it’s actually gentler because it glides along the skin’s surface and easily cuts through hair. When a blade is dull, it drags along the skin and causes irritation. You may also try pressing harder or end up going over the same area several times to achieve the close shave you’re looking for, which can lead to nicks, cuts, and razor bumps.” 

Soothe and nourish

After hair removal, you can pat on more toner to keep ingrowns from forming. (And with the Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Toner, its hydrating properties also make for a refreshing feel.) Then, soothe skin with a calming serum like the Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum. The reparative serum cocoons skin in nutrient-rich avocado extract and butter, strengthening ceramides, and calming allantoin and rice milk to quickly heal and nourish sensitivity.

Lastly, follow up with a moisturizer to seal in hydration, like the Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream. The lightweight, whipped gel cream plumps and soothes with hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid, and ice willowherb for all-day hydration that doesn’t clog pores or feel heavy. 

For Body Hair Removal

Prep with exfoliation

Exfoliation is just as helpful for the body as it is for the face pre-hair removal. “Removing dull, dead skin cells will make it far easier for your hair removal method of choice to target the hair, rather than the skin,” says Dr. Yadav. “In many cases, exfoliation can help free hairs that may be trapped beneath the skin’s surface, either as it grows out of the skin or is beginning to form an ingrown hair, which occurs when a hair grows back into the skin. Freeing up those hairs makes them easier to remove.” 

Max out moisture

Afterward, hydrate and soothe your body with a smoothing body cream. Try our beloved Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream, which is perfect post-shave or wax thanks to the deep moisturizing formula. The whipped, lightweight cream may absorb instantly, but it also has a trio of powerful ingredients for long-lasting hydration: soothing watermelon seed butter, multi-weight hyaluronic acid, and bacuri butter.

Plus, the formula also features naturally smoothing hibiscus AHA for gentle yet effective exfoliating and smoothing. That can help keep ingrowns at bay, too, giving you the best of both worlds.

Bottom line? Treat your body with the same level of actives and care as you do your skin. Your glowing, hydrated skin will be thanks enough.

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