Exfoliation and waxing?

Hi all,

What is the wisdom for exfoliating in conjunction with waxing? I’ve had waxing done a couple times on underarms and lower legs and am curious about exfoliation of these areas. Should one exfoliate in preparation for waxing, and how long beforehand? Or should one exfoliate all the time in between waxing, and, if so, how often during the week? What type of exfoliator should be used and on what sites: I see many granular body exfolators (scrub creams) on the market and wonder if they should be used on the legs.

How does exfoliation benefit the waxing process?

I am intending to use waxing as a hair removal method on these areas (still reeling from yesterday’s laser test patch trauma) and want to maintain and encourage the best results. Any tips from experience?

Many thanks in advance.



My experience with waxing may be different, because I seem to have little trouble with ingrowns, I do get one or two, usually on the chest or abdominal area. I think the hair in these places does not grow perpendicular to the skin, so the hair tents to curl back on itself and become ingrown.

Now, I would not vigorously exfoliate for a few days before waxing, the skin will be tender when they apply the wax… instead, I would start exfoliating lightly about 48 hours after the waxing… provided your skin has settled down.

I recommend a few cooler showers post waxing, and then gentle exfoliating 3 or 4 times a week. You can buy all sorts of preparations, lotions etc, and some of these may be great, some not so great because of the chemicals or other irritants in them. What I find best to use is a pair of those slip on gloves, combined with some Dove or baby soap. Then you can vary the amount of pressure, more for the legs and arms, less on the more sensitive parts. The soap helps to clean and slide the gloves over the skin, and does not irritate the new skin underneath.

The principle is to stop the dead skin cells blocking the pores and thus preventing the hair pushing it’s way through. if the soft tip of a new hair finds resistance, it will curl over and grow under the skin, or back down the shaft, where ever there is less resistance. Normally the hair would be poking through the skin and the skin would not be bale to close over the follicle.

Gentle exfoliating every day or two, with a very mild soap, followed by a simple moisturiser will be just what you need.

Don’t exfoliate 48 hours either side of the waxing, and remember that the moisturiser is good for your shin, but will tend to increase the chances of ingrowns, so if you do moisturising every day, then exfoliate lightly every day. If you are swimming in saltwater, then that also helps the skin to dry out a little and to maintain it’s balance. If you use a Sauna, or are sweating from exercise… wash the body well, and exfoliate lightly…

Once the hairs are emergent, then the routine is not so important, but still nice and you should continue 2 or 3 times a week anyway, not all hairs will have surfaced…

Good luck,


[ May 09, 2003, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: IHH ]