Can You Use Retinol After Epilation?

Can You Use Retinol After Epilation?

If you’re a regular waxer or use an epilator, chances are you may not have considered how waxing when using a retinol product can be a bad idea. Retinol works on the outer surface of the skin and provides several skin benefits, from reducing the signs of ageing, fading hyperpigmentation, and helping to boost collagen production. The snag in applying this potent form of vitamin A to a skin that has been freshly waxed or had some form of hair removal will cause irritation and flare-up in redness or allergic reaction. This is because with hair removal, you’re not only removing hair follicles but dead skin cells too. In a way hair removing acts like another form of exfoliation and using retinol on the top will increase sensitivity to the skin as well as being extremely painful.

Now that you have a little more understanding of using retinol after epilation, let’s dive in deeper to find out more about the dos and don’ts of hair removal and retinol to help you gain optimal results without any hair raising (get it?) skin disasters.

If you are still a little puzzled to what retinol actually does for the skin and how to introduce it to your skincare routine, check out our dedicated blog post.

Is it okay to use retinol after waxing?

Not really, only because of the skin’s increased sensitivity after waxing which when teamed with retinol can cause a lot of irritation. As I have already mentioned applying retinol after waxing can be too much for the skin as the exfoliation caused by waxing removes hair and skin cells revealing fresh, sensitive skin cells that will give the skin a brighter, glowing finish, but are too fragile for retinol to be applied, even if it’s already a well-established ingredient in your daily routine.

The best way of using retinol with waxing is to avoid applying retinol for seven nights before you plan to wax. Once you have performed your waxing switch to serums enriched in hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, for the next 72 hours. This will leave enough time for the skin to rebalance and strengthen ready for retinol application again.

What to do after waxing with retinol?

With any form of waxing comes some level of rawness left behind on the skin, but in some rare cases this can actually be a mild burn. It’s important to ensure that hygiene and cleanliness are followed, and you should hold off on any potent skincare formulations you already use in your daily routine. Here are some tips on how to speed up the healing process if you experience any rawness or burning.

  • Stop using retinol products 7 days before you plan to wax
  • Ensure your hands, skin and equipment are clean before use.
  • After waxing apply an antibiotic or antiseptic cream to ward off infection
  • Use a serum enriched in hyaluronic acid for the next 3 days after waxing
  • Hold off on using potent formulations, even if your skin has a tolerance for them
  • Always apply a daily sunscreen with a factor higher than 30 SPF every day, even when it's raining.

There you have some of the basic tips to use after waxing, however everyone’s skin is different and can react differently so if you have any concerns, consult with a doctor or dermatologist to give you some peace of mind.

How long do I need to stop using retinol before waxing?

To be on the safe side, it advised to stop using retinol about 7 days before waxing to prevent any risk of flare-up in redness or irritation.

One misconception of retinol is that it’s often thought it exfoliates the skin, when in fact it increases the skin cell turnover cycle pushing the new skin cells to the surface. Here lays the problem in using retinol prior to waxing. When you wax, you need a small layer of dead skin cells forming a protective layer over the fresh, new cells to avoid mild skin burns. If that layer isn’t there, it can lead to all manner of irritation, redness, rashes, and minor surface wounds on the skin.

Can you use retinol before laser hair removal?

No, it’s best to avoid using retinol before laser hair removal as there would be a similar problem as using retinol before waxing.

When fresh, new skin cells reach the surface of the skin you can expect the protective barrier to be fully functioning. However, these new cells are fragile and require a helping hand to strengthen. This ensures the barrier on the skin surface can combat exposure to free radicals, such a UV rays, pollution, and other environmental aggressors. If the skin barrier is depleted of the essential water and oil levels it needs, you’ll find that damage to the skin can occur, such as signs of ageing, like fine line and wrinkles becoming more prominent, increased areas of hyperpigmentation and skin sagging to name just a few.

What should I not do before waxing my face?

Here are some things to avoid before waxing your face.

  • Don’t tan 24 to 48 hours before you plan to wax. Stay out of the sun and don’t go on a sun bed to avoid the skin becoming more sensitive. You should also avoid tanning 48 hours after waxing as this will increase the risk of sunburn.
  • Don’t exfoliate 48 hours before waxing to avoid any irritation.
  • Don’t wear any makeup or skincare products when you wax as this will prevent the wax from sticking on the skin.
  • Don’t go to any saunas or steam rooms and avoid hot showers.
  • Don’t scratch the skin after waxing, as tempting as this may be as this will increase the potential risk of infection.

There you have some of the main “don’ts” when it comes to waxing, don’t forget however that if you have any concerns, big or small, its best to consult with a trained or medical professional.

If you have any other skincare questions, come and follow us on Instagram, you’ll find me in the direct messages, I’ll see you there!


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