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Facial Waxing Basics : How to wax your face, chin and upper lip

Waxing is one of the most popular methods for removing unsightly facial hair. It is quick, cheap and convenient to do yourself at home. While other DIY methods for removing facial hair such as depilatory creams and shaving leave you with stubble and the problem of regrowth within days if not hours, waxing will leave your face hair free for two to six weeks at a time.

Not only that but hairs tend to grow in finer and over time you will find the growth of hair getting sparser.

Having said all that it doesn't suit everyone. Most people will get a temporary reaction to facial waxing which brings them out in small red spots and skin with be sore and red for a couple of hours after waxing. But if you have particularly sensitive delicate skin you may find that you come out in a rash which refuses to budge and your skin may even bleed. Also darker skinned women may suffer some discoloration from waxing and if you have been using retinols or acne preparations such as Accutane which thin the skin you should avoid waxing altogether until a month or so after you stop using them (check with a beauty therapist and your doctor if you're unsure). Always proceed cautiously, in any case, when you begin and try waxing a small area to start with.

You may find that some parts of your face are more suitable for waxing than others with sideburns being the least sensitive and other parts of your face being the most difficult to wax. While the chin is not particularly sensitive, hairs here are quite stubborn so you may find waxing there difficult for that reason.

It's a case of finding out what works for your particular face and skin.

There's no doubt about it waxing hurts a bit but most people find it pretty tolerable if a good technique as described here is used. Above all be sure and pull the skin taut when removing the wax and after yanking off the strip of wax apply pressure to the area to soothe it. If your pain threshold is low you could take over the counter pain relief medication an hour or so before removing hair and that should help reduce the pain. Cool compresses or a mild hydrocortisone cream after waxing may also help soothe the skin.

If, after reading this, you're still a bit nervous about waxing your face (and even if you're not) it's a good idea to have facial waxing first of all at a beauty salon where you will get a much better idea of what is involved and how a professional goes about removing your unwanted hair.

How to Wax Your Unwanted Facial Hair

  1. Choose a wax which has been specially formulated for excess facial hair
  2. Ensure the wax is not too hot so that you do not burn yourself - follow the recommended heating guidelines in your home waxing kit and test on the back of your hand before putting the wax anywhere near your face.
  3. Spread the wax thinly onto a small area in the direction of hair growth with the spatula provided in one smooth movement and apply the cotton strip rubbing down firmly in the direction of hair growth
  4. After a few seconds when the wax has adhered to the hair, pull the skin taut and taking the edge of the strip pull the wax off in one swift movement in the opposite direction to hair growth. Do not pull the strip upwards as this can cause hair to break off and grow back stubbly, pull the strip as closely to the skin as possible. Apply immediate pressure to the area with your hand to minimise discomfort.
  5. You should treat each area just once in a single waxing session to avoid damaging the skin and bruising. If you have a few stray stubborn hairs you can remove these by plucking with tweezers.
  6. After waxing apply a soothing lotion and leave the redness to subside of its own accord.
  7. Once skin has calmed down after a day or two, help prevent ingrown hairs by using a gentle exfoliating product every day on the treated area.

Upper Lip Waxing

Follow the directions for facial waxing but be extremely careful in this sensitive area to avoid injury. Hair on the upper lip generally grows downwards but check the direction of hair growth before you begin. Apply the wax in a small strip from nose to mouth and ensure that you pull the skin taut before removing the strip. It usually helps to pull your upper lip taut by pulling your lip inwards over your upper teeth. Also tighten by pulling the skin on either side of the area you are waxing with the thumb and forefinger of your hand. Do only one strip at a time.

Chin Waxing

To ensure the chin are is taut, tilt your head back otherwise follow directions as for facial waxing.

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Facial Hair Threading
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Permanent Facial Hair Removal: Electrolysis or Laser Treatment?
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