Have you ever experienced folliculitis after waxing? There’s no worse feeling than finally getting smooth, hair-free skin, only to then have inflamed, painful bumps pop up a few days later. The good news is that there’s an effective way to treat this skin reaction and prevent it from happening again.
What is Folliculitis?
Maybe you’ve experienced folliculitis without even knowing the proper name for it. Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles become inflamed and infected. This leads to the formation of small, red bumps on the skin. It’s typically itchy, tender, and can sometimes be filled with pus. Occasionally, the bumps will turn into larger, painful cysts. Folliculitis commonly occurs on the legs, arms, bikini line, and face.
What Causes Folliculitis After Waxing?
Waxing can lead to the development of ingrown hairs. When new hair begins to grow, it can become trapped beneath the skin and later result in red bumps and inflammation. Ingrown hairs are common in people with curly or coarse hair.
Hair breakage is a common cause of folliculitis. When the hair is pulled from the root during waxing, it sometimes breaks off below the skin’s surface. The trapped hair can cause inflammation and ultimately result in folliculitis.
Hair follicles are easily susceptible to bacterial infections if the skin is not properly cleansed before a waxing treatment. Once bacteria is on the skin’s surface, it can enter the hair follicles and lead to an infection or folliculitis.
It is important to go to an experienced and licensed wax esthetician for treatments. If you are waxing yourself then make sure to wax in the right direction. Pulling the wax strip in the wrong direction, not cleansing your skin and tools first, or using low-quality wax can irritate the skin and lead to inflammation of the hair follicles.
3-Steps for Treating and Preventing Folliculitis
1. Cleanse the Skin
Make sure that your skin is clean before a waxing treatment. This minimizes the risk of bacterial infection. Use a gentle and mild cleanser or alcohol wipes to remove any dirt or bacteria from the skin’s surface.
Post-waxing, make sure to gently cleanse the skin twice a day. Use a clean washcloth and a gentle gel cleanser like Almond Clear’s Face & Body Wash. It’s powered by 2% Mandelic Acid, which helps to kill the microbes that cause skin infections while also gently exfoliating the skin (more on that below). For the first few days post-waxing, it’s especially important to cleanse the skin after exercising because sweat and oil trapped against the skin can trigger folliculitis.
Regular exfoliation is the #1 key to preventing folliculitis post-waxing. A gentle exfoliating product can slough off the dead skin cells that clog hair follicles and reduce the likelihood of hairs getting trapped beneath the skin’s surface. To prevent folliculitis from ocurring post-waxing, apply a chemical exfoliant once per day.
What’s the best exfoliating product to prevent ingrown hairs? We recommend Almond Clear’s Level 1 Exfoliating Serum or our Level 1 Exfoliating Pads! These Mandelic Acid-powered products pack a triple punch against folliculitis and ingrown hairs:
- Almond Clear products dissolve the dead skin cells and oil that cause ingrown hairs to get trapped inside the follicles. With no blockages of dead skin and oil, the follicles can remain open and function normally
- Mandelic Acid is naturally anti-inflammatory, so it relieves the swelling and redness in folliculitis cysts.
- Mandelic Acid is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, allowing it to kill the microbes that cause folliculitis.
Plus, Mandelic acid is safe to be used daily and can be applied to sensitive skin!
After waxing, your skin can easily get dehydrated because the protective barrier is disturbed, so it’s important to moisturizer. Lotions with soothing ingredients can also help reduce inflammation and redness. We recommend Almond Clear’s Soothing Daily Moisturizer. Its key ingredients are aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, squalane, and comfrey extracts. These ingredients soothe skin, lock in moisture, reduce dryness, and aid in cell growth.