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What NOT to do before waxing day

04-20-12 woman having legs waxed


Yay! It’s that time of the month again and no I’m not talking about your mean Aunt Flow visiting!  It’s waxing time. You may not be as enthused as I am about “salon brutality” but maybe it’s just my higher threshold for pain.  It does help that I grow very little body hair. (Go ahead.  Hate me now.)   “If you don’t grow hair why should I take waxing advice from you?” you might ask.  Au contraire mon fraire, I am a licensed aesthetician and have been for years.  I’ve waxed a limb or two in my day.  I have a laundry list of dont’s before you wax.

Do not shave. I can’t even count the times I’ve had to endure an awkward moment of turning my client away because their hair was not long enough.  If the hair is too short, wax will not pull it out at its root. You will likely leave the salon with longer stubble.  No one wants that.

Do not use self-tanner/tanning beds. If you arrive to the spa golden delicious and allow hot wax to be slathered on various sections of your body then your going to have various sections of whiteness. Self-tanners stains the top layer of skin and wax removes a layer of skin. Make sense?   If you  tan in the sun or a tanning bed your skin will be inflamed already and waxing will irritate it even more.

Do not drink alcohol or caffeine. These are stimulants and may cause skin to be more sensitive and in turn will cause more inflammation and redness… oh and more pain.

Do not wax if your taking/using- Retin A, Accutane or any AHA’s  or topical acne treatments with  salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide.  These treatments are usually exfoliators.  This means that they remove layers of skin or thin the skin at an alarming rate.  Waxing is also an exfoliator.   If you wax over these areas then you may end up with a red, scabby patch of exposed flesh.  Even worse, it can “heal” to form a gigantic unattractive pigmentation.

If you’re on Accutane or Retin A and want to wax, you will need to discontinue use of these medications for more than six months.  If using AHA’s and topical acne treatments, stop using them a week prior to waxing.

Please heed these warnings and practice safe waxing.

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Amanda Upham
By: Amanda Upham

Amanda Upham is a working makeup artist and licensed Esthetician in the Los Angeles area. Amanda's career began in Seattle when in 2003 fresh out of beauty school with an estheticians license in hand Amanda honed her artistry skills working as a retail makeup artist and eventually went from being an on counter beauty advisor to holding several freelance makeup artist positions simultaneously with the likes of CHANEL, MAC and NARS. AFter working for nearly every major department store cosmetics line Amanda being a former stage actress used her contacts from the indie film and stage community to start her career in film and Tv makeup. Amanda's resume soon credited her with several indie film and local Tv positions as a key makeup artist. This eventually led Amanda to Los Angeles where she has since worked with FOX studios, Intertribal Entertainment, NGTV and has created looks for the red carpets of the Oscars, SAG awards, Indie Spirit awards and the Do something awards. Amanda has also been mentored by such industry heavy weights as Rudy Miles, Celeb makeup artists Julie Schiffer and Darrell Redleaf as well as the founder of the MAC Pro program and current VP of Makeup forever Pro division, Micheal DeVellis. Amanda is truely a passionate and seasoned beauty guru with an undeniable expertise in product, brands and technical skill in both skin and makeup.