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WAXING 101: What To Know And Ask For When Getting A Wax

One of the most effective ways to get smooth, hair-free skin is through waxing. If you haven't tried it and would like to, read our primer.

Whatever the season, rain or shine, smooth, hair-free skin is in. As a matter of fact, even if you won't be flaunting your bikini bod again for months to come, you should start working toward and maintaining healthy, hair-free skin now.

Each time you wax (remove hair from the root), you are actually continually managing hair growth, causing your hair to thin and grow more slowly. Come next summer--or any skin-baring ocassion, for that matter!--you'll be ready with healthy, flawless skin.

Depileve, the world's leading hair removal system based in Spain with over 30 years of experience in the field, offers wax and paraffin products and services. In the Philippines, Depileve is the leading choice for these, and their products are exclusively distributed to all the professional salons and spas in Manila. You can head over to your favorite spa or salon and ask about the Depileve products and services they offer.

In the meantime, we'll tell you all the waxing know-how we learned from Patricia Jurado, an international trainer for Depileve.

HOW TO PREP YOUR SKIN FOR HAIR REMOVAL

The beauty protocol for achieving flawlessly fuzz-free skin requires that you take note of these things even before you go to the salon.

Know when to get a wax--by understanding the cycles of hair growth.

Before coming in for your wax, make sure that you give your hair time to grow out--meaning you haven't used any hair removal method for at least a month. Otherwise, there could be hairs still growing beneath the skin, that will only emerge soon after you wax. (This is why some women have to come in every two weeks--which is too often.) Not all hairs will be at the same growth stage at one time.

"Ideally, you wax only once a month," says Patricia, "because you have to give it time to grow." In about three weeks, all the hairs should be visible above the skin. Then give them an extra week to grow out. The ideal strand length for waxing is about one centimeter.

But what if, in the period between waxes when your hair has begun to reappear, "you have a date with Johnny Depp?" says Patricia. Well if you simply can't wait the full month, "you can shave once or twice, no problem." As long as you give it one to two weeks to grow afterward, then you may wax again. "It's just a trick, " she says, "but not a requirement."

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Take note of these pre-wax red flags. Don't wax if...

  • you have a fever. Your body is weak and extra sensitive.
  • you have your period. Waxing can be much more painful--in any area, not just the bikini line--because you, in general, are more sensitive.
  • your skin is inflamed/irritated, or you have a wound (you may instruct them to wax aroundthe area, avoiding any contact.)
  • your skin is sunburned. Avoid sun exposure 24 hours before (and after) waxing (your waxing practicioner will recognize sunburn at a glance.) Burned skin is sensitive, and can peel off in the waxing process (ouch!)


AT THE SALON: Techniques And Products Your Waxing Specialist Should Use

It's good to put your beauty needs in the hands of a professional, but just so you know the basics of what they're doing, read below.

PRE-WAX Stage: Clean And Disinfect

This beginning step is essential, so make sure they don't skip it! Cleaning and disinfecting the skin makes waxing less painful. They should also add the right kind of moisturizer--something that will still allow the hairs to adhere when wax is applied.

WAXING Stage: Using The Right Kind The Right Way

Your waxing practitioner should already know this, but just in case, always make sure they apply the wax in the direction of hair growth, and then remove in the opposite direction. Otherwise, you'll be left with hairs that are severed at the surface, not plucked from the root.

It may also result in peeling off patches of skin (and we do not want that!) In these rare cases, Patricia advises to "apply a regenerating product, and always, always apply sunscreen on that area afterward." If not, you could be left with a permanent dark spot. Yikes!

1. Traditional Hot Waxes. This isn't the number one hair removal method anymore, but if you want to stick with it, why not? It's effective, and can be used on all areas. Depileve's traditional waxes are made from natural pine rosin (tree sap) from Brazil, modified paraffins (which make the wax softer), and natural ingredients--the only thing that changes per wax type, such as their Olive Oil, Karite, and Rose Petal traditional waxes.

2. Disposable Soft Waxes (Removed With Strips)
. This kind is just as effective as traditional waxes, but applied in a thinner layer, and removed with strips. There are larger strips for big areas (like legs or back), and smaller ones for areas like the face. The natural ingredients also vary. Depileve's Pearl Wax for example is anti-inflamatory, while a special one called Crystal Marine wax has no pine rosin, just paraffin, for those with sensitive skin, or who may be allergic to pine rosin.

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3. "Third Generation" Extrafilm (Disposable Soft Waxes Without Strips). This kind of wax is now the most popular. It has "extra pull" and was especially formulated for Brazilian waxing and the underarms (where hair is usually thickest). It's got cacao butter and oat extract to protect and moisturize. As it is a soft wax, it's applied in a thin layer, but it removes like a traditional wax (no strip), and leaves no residues on your skin. Most importantly for you, this has more paraffins--making it softer, and the pull less painful.

POST-WAX Stage: Regenerate And Protect


When you wax, you remove both hair and dead skin cells. This means that your hair follicles are clean and empty--so it's the perfect time for them to recieve actives. Actives are the special ingredients that target specific problems, like ingrowns or thick, fast-growing hair. Your skin also loses its natural moisture, so post-wax products should help rehydrate.

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Cleanse and Protect Treatments: If you have normal (well-hydrated, not sensitive) skin, then you can opt for either of these products right after waxing: Depileve's Milk Cleanser or Oil Cleanser. If you're in a hurry, the Milk Cleanser does its job and penetrates fast. If you're up for a post-wax massage, you may ask your specialist to use the Oil Cleanser for it.

Take note: "Never use oil-based products on intimate areas--like the underarms, or bikini area--because you will sweat like mad!" says Patricia.

Regenerating Treatments
: If your skin is on the sensitive side (especially if it's your first wax), ask that your waxing practicioner use one of these products instead of Milk or Oil Cleanser. Depileve's Vitalderm pH soothes irritated skin, balances the skin's pH, and reduces redness. It can be used like a cream, or applied generously and left on (15 to 20 minutes) as if it were a mask. This is one of Patricia's personal favorites, which she uses on any case of skin redness or irritation. She says, you may even recommend it to your man if he has trouble with redness after shaving.

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You may also opt for their Soothing Cream, which is less regenerative, but provides a "makeup effect"--like a concealer to cover post-wax redness. It is ideal for the face or legs, but not necessary for the underarm and bikini line (as these aren't so exposed to the public eye).

SPECIAL POST-WAX TREATMENTS TO TARGET HAIR PROBLEMS

For girls with specific hair problems such as ingrowns or thick, coarse hair that is difficult to remove, your waxing specialist can apply these products right after waxing, and you may opt to buy them to continue using at home.

First, know that if you have/are prone to ingrowns, it is caused by one of two things: either your hair is too thin (to push through skin, hence it coils up inside), or your skin is too thick (to let hair come out). Either way, when the hair is stuck inside, all the sebum it produces stays inside with it. This attracts bacteria and leads to infection. So if you were wondering why ingrowns get red, it's because more blood rushes to the area to fight the infection.

You can ask for two different Depileve products to help with ingrowns. Folisan has acetysalic acid, which does two things: 1) it fights the bacteria, and 2) it makes a soft peeling on the skin so the hair can  get out. Apply it two to three times a day until the ingrowns disappear. You may also ask for Intimate Folisan, which is exactly the same, but less concentrated, thus ideal for sensitive areas and daily use. Intimate Folisan comes in a roll-on (for us lazy ladies) and you can keep using it for prevention.

When you want to weaken thick, strong hair, you can use these products right after waxing, and the days following. Depileve's Gold Concentrate has papaya enzymes and plant extracts that literally eat up the proteins meant to feed your hair--so it doesn't get as healthy, and grows smaller and slower. Use this right after, and four to five days after waxing. You can also try Depil Mousse, which is simply less concentrated and has moisturizing properties, so you can use it everyday after you shower.

How To Further Protect Your Skin After Waxing

Aside from using the right products, here's how you can protect your waxed skin:

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  • Stay away from chlorine/salt (that means the beach and the pool) for at least 24 hours after waxing, or else you could get itchy.
  • Don't scratch irritated skin. It is completely normal for you to experience some redness or irritation immediately after waxing. It should go away within a few hours, but don't irritate already irritated skin. According to Patricia, your pores sort of perceive hair removal as an "act of aggression" against them, so they may swell up. Don't impose another act of aggression (scratching)--they may swell even more. 


If you want to purchase any of the Depileve products, or inquire about prices, you can visit their headquarters at Unit 302 Quadstar Bldg. No. 80 Ortigas Ave. Greenhills, San Juan. For further information, you may call 7446210 or email sales@sprintasiabeauty.com.