Woman waxing her leg
Image: PhotoMediaGroup / Shutterstock

Smooth skin doesn’t have to be just dreamt about. Waxing is a great way to remove hair from virtually any place on your body but has been a scary process since the beginning of time. Now, however, at-home waxing is easier than ever! Here are the basics so that you, too, can have dreamy smooth skin.

Be Sure to Set Aside Enough Time

Waxing is not a chore so don’t treat it as such. The worst thing you can do is rush through the process. If you do, you can end up with irritated skin, a waxy mess ,and worst of all, not-so-smooth skin. Set aside at least an hour for waxing so that you can relax and have a nice at-home-spa-like experience!

Avoid Waxing Under Sensitive Circumstances

If your skin is sunburned, irritated, scraped, or sensitive then it’s best to wait until your healthy and healed. This also includes the days surrounding your period! Aunt Flo can bring on a flush of sensitivities that make your skin even more irritable than normal, making it a potential nightmare for your sensitive skin.

Exfoliate and Clean First

Keeping an exfoliation routine can help remove dead layers of skin that would otherwise make waxing all the more difficult and not to mention cause nasty ingrown hairs!

It is best to exfoliate the skin several times a week leading up to the wax. Then, when it’s go-time, clean your skin with warm water and soap and pat dry. Let the skin dry fully before beginning.

Take Pain Medication

If you are sensitive to pain as it is then you might consider taking an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, ahead of time. Pop it 30 minutes before show time and your pain will be under control.

Apply Baby Powder

Once your skin is clean and your at-home spa is all set up then splash a little bit of baby powder on the area you’re about to wax. This will help the wax attach cleanly to the hairs without getting too much skin. When you pull the strip away from powdered skin it will be less painful and less messy!

Wax Types

There are many different wax types so research each one and choose the best for you. Cold wax strips are great for beginners because they come prepared with the exact right amount of wax per strip. All you need to do is warm the strip between your hands, apply it to your skin, and then pull. How easy is that?

Sugar wax is also a great option for at home waxing because it is water-soluble and washes away easily. When heated properly it smoothes onto the skin and latches onto the hairs perfectly. When you’re all finished, you just rinse with water and moisturize!

Roll-on wax is like a mix between traditional hot wax and pre-packaged wax strips. You heat the wax like normal and then roll on with the roller to get the perfect layer of wax. Apply the fabric strip and yank. It’s easy and great for beginners, as well.

Do a Test Run

Everybody’s skin is different so be sure to do a test run before jumping in, full. Put a small amount on your wrist to test the temperature and to make sure that there aren’t any potential allergies or irritations. Once you are in the clear then get down to business!

Test the Wax Temperature

Obviously you don’t want wax to be too cold but you also don’t want it to be too hot, either. Follow the instructions carefully and use the stick provided to poke the wax a bit. It should be thick enough to scoop up but loose enough to spread easily.

Apply Wax in the Right Direction

When applying the wax, you want to go with the hair, not against it (that’s for later). Spread it on evenly in one smooth layer in the direction that the hair grows.

Stray Hair Control

My general rule of thumb is to do one good wax and grab the stray hairs with tweezers. Some waxes, however, are gentle enough to do a second round for those pesky stray hairs but you definitely want to be careful here. Hairless skin is only smooth when the skin is calm!

Post Wax Care

Gently cleanse your skin in order to keep your raw skin bacteria free. Then use a nice oil to remove the wax and calm the skin. Azulene oil is great post-wax because it also helps reduce inflammation.

And there it is, girls: salon level smoothness from your own comfy home. Always remember, though, that at-home waxing is more than some hot wax and a cloth strip. It is all about maintenance and care pre- and post-wax. With these extra steps you will be able to master the wax in no time!