Hair removal can be incredibly hard on the skin. All removal processes affect the skin’s appearance and texture. Shaving leaves tiny cuts and nicks. Waxing tears and the top layer of skin, often ripping it entirely away. Electrolysis singes the walls of the pores, and laser treatments can cause mild burns. They all lead to ingrown hairs.

The most immediate effect that hair removal has on the skin is red coloration. Waxing, electrolysis and laser treatments leave telltale redness that can last for hours. This redness is embarrassing. At best, it looks like a severe rash. At worst, it lets other savvy women know that hair has just been removed. No woman likes to admit that she has to go to great lengths to remove her facial or body hair.


During the Appointment

The aesthetician will apply a soothing lotion at the end of the appointment. This helps the pores shrink back to their normal size after the hairs have been pulled out. The creams sometimes have healing or cooling properties to relieve the discomfort from the procedure. Each aesthetician has her own favorite brands and processes, but it is important that she use something to inject moisture and nutrients back into the skin after it has endured so much stress.


Five Minutes Later

Once the cream has absorbed into the skin, it is helpful to apply an ice pack to the red areas. Some clinics keep small refrigerators full of ice packs in their waiting rooms for their clients to use. In any case, it is helpful to use ice or cooling cloths at home for the next few hours. Electrolysis and lasers literally burn the hair follicles into disuse. Cooling agents are the best way to reduce swelling and prevent scabbing.

Later That Night

The skin should be washed very gently with a smooth gel cleanser to remove the remnants of the soothing cream and to clear away any dead skin cells that may have become lodged in the pores while the hair was being removed. Exfoliants should be avoided. Anything that scratches or pulls at the skin, even something as gentle as a warm washcloth, can cause permanent scars while the skin is still in this sensitive state. Gently massaging the cleanser into the skin increases circulation and encourages cell repair. A very gentle moisturizer will close the pores.

It will take a few days for the redness to fade completely, depending on the natural sensitivity and dryness of the skin. Makeup can be worn during this time, though it may cause breakouts, since the pores might still be slightly enlarged. More information about hair removal and its effect on the skin can be obtained at

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