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Whether you have cheek, chin, or lip fuzz, if you want to get rid of it the right way, you have to be aware of what can go wrong. Fortunately, waxing at home can be very easy once you know what to do and what not to do. To help you get rid of unwanted hair, learn the dos and don’ts of waxing facial hair.

Do: Loosen Hair Follicles

In order to ensure you’re getting off as much hair as possible, you’ll need to open your pores and get rid of any free edge hairs. To do this, you’ll first want to steam your face. Not only will this open your pores, but the hairs will become softer and more pliable. Then, you’ll want to gently exfoliate the area. Any free edges of the hair will pop up, and when you press in the wax, they won’t go back in and curl downward, causing ingrown hairs.

Don’t: Wax Broken Skin or Acne

If you have any lesions or cuts, you want to avoid waxing those areas entirely. Not only will waxing them make the process incredibly painful, but you’ll also take off new skin or scabs that protect the wound. Even if you have a pimple that has closed or scabbed over, you don’t want to rip into inflamed or healing skin. This can make your acne worse and cause scarring.

Do: Apply Wax in the Direction of Hair Growth

Applying the wax in the direction of your hair growth will also help ensure you’re removing as much of the hair as you can while preventing ingrown hairs. Once you’ve applied the wax in the right direction, you’re actually going to pull the wax in the opposite direction. This motion will pull the root of the hair out instead of just the top, meaning you won’t have to wax as often.

Don’t: Wax Short Hair

If your hair is too short to wax (less than ¼ of an inch), the wax won’t have anything to grab onto, and you won’t get the follicle out. If you wax while your hair is too short, all you’ll do is pull at your skin. In these cases, it’s best to wait about two weeks so that the hair can grow to a better length.

Do: Protect Your Skin

When you wax your skin, you’re not just pulling out the hair—you’re pulling off dead skin, leaving the fresh cells underneath exposed and your pores open. At this time, your skin will be very vulnerable and sensitive, so avoid going to the beach, getting in the pool, or staying in the sun for at least 24 hours. You should also avoid excessive sweating during this period. You can help your pores close by gently rubbing ice on the waxed area to help them shrink back.

If your skin feels irritated, you can apply fragrance and alcohol-free moisturizers to help soothe the area. Aloe vera gel has many skin care benefits, and in this case, it’s the best and most natural way to soothe inflamed skin without causing further irritation or clogging your pores.

With this guide to the dos and don’ts of waxing facial hair, you can ensure you get smooth, non-irritating wax the first time so that you look and feel your best.

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