Getting your eyebrows professionally waxed is a surefire way to achieve and maintain perfect arches, especially since many of us tend to over-tweeze or create a shape that’s not flattering for our face. However, a common complaint we hear from many women is that they suffer from breakouts between the brows or under the arch after a waxing session-a conundrum that’s in need of an expert’s opinion. That’s why we spoke with Red Bank, NJ, dermatologist Glenn Kolansky, MD, and Los Angeles celebrity brow expert Kelley Baker to find out what the link is, if any, between waxing and breakouts. Here’s what they had to say:
“There are two different kinds of skin irritations that seem to appear in many of my patients after a wax,” says Dr. Kolansky. “Sometimes, the wax is too hot and if you have sensitive skin, it can burn easily.” This might look like a breakout or redness, but really it’s a mild burn.
The other irritation-an actual breakout-might also occur from the ingredients of the wax itself or ingredients applied post-wax. Wax removes the top superficial layer of the skin, and pores are open so anything (wax, lotions, creams, soothing agents) touching that area of the skin can lead to breakouts.
“Also, if you are using any acne medicine that has retinol in it, that also makes the skin a little bit more sensitive to wax, and can cause your skin to become inflamed or breakout,” says Dr. Kolansky.
If you do suffer breakouts post wax, Baker suggests washing your face with a mild cleanser immediately after your waxing and to leave the area bare for 24 hours (no makeup or brow powder). The doctor suggests applying a mild hydrocortisone cream (one percent, over-the-counter) post-wax as well, to sooth the skin and keep a breakout at bay.
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