1. Use a wax that is marked “low-temperature”. (Waxes that are intended for other parts of the body can burn the face). The best methods for all types of skin and hair (except very coarse) are kits that come with strips. Try Completely Bare Wax Works Kit. It includes the salon’s Ouchless wax, a professional warmer, pre-and post-wax products, and an instructional DVD.
The GiGi Facial Honee Kit has pre-cut strips to save time. Microwave waxes such as Avon Skin So Soft Fresh & Smooth Hair Removal Microwave Wax are convenient, inexpensive, and widely available, but because a microwave can heat wax unevenly, be sure to stir it thoroughly and test it on your wrist (completelybare.com; GiGi, folica.com; avon.com).
2. Women with very coarse hair should go with stripless wax. The Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit comes with a skin cleanser and pre-and post-waxing oil, and it can remove the shortest hairs. Sally Hansen Microwaveable Eyebrow, Face & Lip Wax comes with tweezers and an after-wax lotion with 5 percent benzoc aine to numb stinging (blissworld.com; sallyhansen.com).
3. For convenience, especially when traveling, try cold wax strips such as Parissa Wax Strips Face & Bikini or Clean + Easy Facial Strip Wax. The downside: Cold waxes sometimes break the hair rather than removing it (parissa.com, cleaneasybeauty.com.)
1. Exfoliating can prevent ingrowns. Clean and Clear Oxgenating Facial Scrub and Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Refiner for Face won’t irritate sensitive skin. The day after waxing, exfoliate again with salicyclic-acid pads such as Neutrogena Rapid Clear Daily Treatment Pads or Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads, which won’t irritate freshly waxed skin (cleanandclear.com; Clarins, nordstrom.com; neutrogena.com; peterthomasroth.com).
2. If your kit doesn’t come with a pre-wax toner, try a classic astringent such as Sea Breeze or L’Oreal Paris Pure Zone Astringent, which removes excess oils from the skin that can keep wax from sticking (Sea Breez, drugstore.com; lorealparisusa.com).
3. Johnson’s Baby Powder allows the wax to adhere to tiny hairs rather than to the skin (johnsonsbaby.com).
4. Apply a skin-calming lotion such as Cream 100 Calming Balm, which contains aloe to reduce redness; Nad’s Depileze Soothing Balm, which has vitamins A and E; or Tend Skin, a liquid with acetyl salicyclid acid to reduce stinging (Cream 100, amphoraworldwide.com; nads.com; tendskin.com).
5. For lone hairs that remain after waxing , use tweezers with slanted tips, such as Tweezerman Slant Tweezers or Revlon Vision Tweezers (tweezerman.com; revlon.com).
1. Pull your hair back in a ponytail, then exfoliate your skin with a scrub. Women who have peach fuzz can skip the exfoliation. Coat the area you’re about to wax with astringent, which absorbs oil and moisture, then dab baby powder on top of it.
2. Follow the heating directions on your kit carefully . Some come with a warmer; others must be microwaved. As the wax heats, cut the muslin strips into one-inch pieces if they’re not already cut. Once the wax is ready, stir it and test it on the inside of your wrist to be sure it isn’t too hot.
3. With the spatula that comes with your kit , spread a thin layer over a one-inch section of your face in the direction of the hair growth. Smooth a strip over the wax in the same direction. (If you’re using stripless wax, spread a layer about as thick as a stick of gum).
4. Once wax has cooled, hold your skin taut and rip the wax off in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Repeat on other sections until all unwanted hair is gone. Don’t wax the same area twice- it can irritate skin.
5. Apply a cool washcloth until pain subsides, then a post-wax calming lotion. Tweeze any remaining hair. If your hair is coarse, exfoliate skin with a salicyclic-acid pad the next day to prevent ingrowns.
1. In general, hair grows downward on the cheeks, chin, and sideburns, and at an angle above the lip.
2. If your skin is sensitive, hold a cool washcloth over it for five minutes after waxing to reduce redness.
3. If you have just one or two stray hairs, it’s fineto tweeze them, but doing it the wrong way can irritate the follicle. Wash your face with warm water, grip the hair with the tweezer near the root, and then gently pull the hair in the direction of the hair growth. Make sure you stop plucking at least a week before waxing so hair is long enough for the wax to grip.
4. Women with dark, coarse hair may have to wax as often as once a week. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are good options if hair grows quickly or is very dark and visible, says Doris J. Day, a dermatologist in New York City. Both require multiple tretments and can be costly.
5. Day recommends threading for women with ultra-sensitive skin and fine hair: It causes less trauma to the skin, and there’s a lower chance of irritation.
6. Depilatory creams can be used if waxing is too painful,but the results won’t be as thorough or as long-lasting.
7. Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare Spas in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, warns against using bleaching creams: White hairs are just as noticeable as dark
ones on a mustache.