Waxing. For some it’s a great option for removing unwanted hair. It leaves skin smooth and hair doesn’t grow back for weeks. However, if the wax is too hot, it can also cause unsightly facial burns. Of course, the best thing to do is prevent those burns from happening, but if they do happen, here are some ways to deal with them.

The first step to treating a wax burn is to run cool water over the burned skin. This must be done as quickly as possible once the burn is acquired. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends running water over the burned area for at least five minutes. If it is not possible to get the affected area under the running water, you can also apply a cool, wet washcloth.

Next you might want to wrap ice or an ice pack in a washcloth and hold it to your burned skin. This will reduce pain and swelling. Do not apply ice directly to burned skin.

Aloe vera can also be instrumental in soothing burned skin. Shelley Moore, health and beauty writer, recommends using 100 percent pure aloe vera gel only. Avoid additives which could further inflame and irritate skin. You can even remove a leaf from an aloe vera plant and use the gel from the inside. Gel should be applied with fingertips and should be gently dabbed onto the burned area. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends applying three or four times a day for maximum beneficial results. Moore also recommends refrigerating the gel before applying for added cooling effect.

To protect skin from further irritation, The NIH recommends covering the area with a sterile bandage or clean dressing. Over the counter pain medication can be used to reduce pain. Ibuprofen and naproxen serve as both pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.

If you have somewhere to go and are looking for a quick fix for burned skin, mineral makeup is your best bet. It’s light on the skin and allows skin to breathe more than cakey or liquid foundation. This will let skin heal and prevent further irritation.

Of course, preventing facial burns from waxing is ideal. Hair removal expert Naomi Torres offers this advice to protect skin from irritation.

  • Check the label to make sure the wax doesn’t contain any ingredients you might be allergic to. This includes products for prepping the skin, removing the wax and soothing the skin.
  • Apply powder or oil before waxing. These will act as a buffer so wax adheres to hair and not skin, protecting skin and lessening the amount of redness.
  • Use the right technique while waxing. Skin should be pulled taut while waxing to keep skin from being tugged too much.
  • Wax shouldn’t be too hot or cold. Check the temperature of the wax on the back of your hand before proceeding.
  • Sooth the skin after applying wax. This can be done with various wax cooling products available in local drug stores. Aloe vera, ice packs or cooled tea bags can also be effective.
  • If you choose to have your waxing done at a salon, find someone experienced. A more experienced technician will take steps to make sure skin is not left irritated.
  • Of course waxing is not for everyone. If you are finding your skin is too sensitive for waxing, threading and sugaring are some recommended alternatives.
  • If skin is painful for days, bleeds or scabs, something is not normal and medical attention should be sought.

Good luck and happy waxing!

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