Waxing is one of those hair removal methods we all tend to have a love-hate relationship with. It takes a lot less time than shaving, and the grow-out process is so much smoother. But on the other hand, it’s painful, and it can get messy.
Chances are if you wax at home, you’ve had to deal with wax residue on your skin after you’ve removed all the hair that you wanted gone. There are plenty of wax-removal products on the market that are designed specifically to tackle this problem, and many of them work well, but they can get expensive.
So if you’d rather not shell out for one of those products, we’re here to lend a helping hand.
How to Remove Excess Wax from Your Skin
Okay, so there are a number of things that you can do to get rid of excess wax from your skin. But before you do that, we recommend that you moisturize your skin. Because waxy residue often remains because you have dry skin. Without further ado, let’s take a look at these amazing methods.
Removing Wax with Hot Water
In terms of wax removal methods, this one is about as simple as you can get. All you need is a clean washcloth and hot water. Soak the cloth in the water, and place it over the wax residue, leaving it there for about one minute.
Just as your wax warmer will melt the wax in the pot, the heat of the water will soften the residue on your skin, and after 60 seconds you should be able to use the washcloth to gently wipe it off of your skin.
Excess Wax Removal Using Oil
If hot water isn’t working as well as you’d like, try some oil. Any oil will work – you can use mineral oil or massage oil if you’d like, or even olive oil or vegetable oil from your kitchen, whatever you have on hand.
Even an oil-based lotion will work in a pinch. Soak a cotton ball or cotton pad in the oil and press it against the wax until it’s saturated, which takes about two minutes. Then use a clean cotton pad to wipe off the wax.
A word of caution: this method of wax removal can get a little messy in and of itself, and we recommend staying close to the shower so you can wash off any excess oil with soap and water when you’re done.
Remove Wax with Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly, commonly known by the brand name Vaseline, can also be used to remove excess wax.
Apply a generous layer of petroleum jelly to the waxy area, and let it sit for about five minutes. Then simply use a clean cotton pad or washcloth to wipe the area. This should remove both the wax and the petroleum jelly, but if not, a little soap and water can remove the rest of the residue.
If you have rubbing alcohol around the house, this is another method you can try. Dip a cotton ball or pad in the alcohol, and rub it over the wax residue in a circular motion.
Continue until the wax dissolves or peels off. An important note if you do use this method: alcohol can be drying to the skin, so be sure to apply a gentle, moisturizing lotion immediately after using the alcohol.
Your skin can be sensitive after waxing, so taking proper care of it is essential!
This is another extremely simple method, using something you probably already have available to you – ice cubes. And as an added bonus with this method, the ice can be soothing to any redness or inflammation that may have been caused by waxing. Simply hold an ice cube over the wax for about 30 seconds.
It should dry out and become brittle, so you can gently flake it off your skin, or use a clean cloth to wipe it away. Just make sure you don’t peel or scrape the wax off, as this can damage your skin. If the wax isn’t ready to flake off yet, try holding the ice against it a little longer.
Preventing Wax Residue
Of course, the easiest way to prevent excess wax is to simply prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips and tricks for preventing leftover bits of wax from happening in the first place.
As with so much in life, waxing becomes much easier if you take some time to prepare your skin beforehand. Exfoliate the area to be waxed the day before, to remove any loose dead skin particles for the wax to adhere to. Before you sit down to wax, take a shower and clean the area thoroughly. This washes away any sweat or oil that may interfere with the waxing process.
Once the skin is clean, moisturize the area using a water-based moisturizer. If your skin is dry when you wax, the skin may try to take moisture from the wax, which will cause it to stick to your skin and can result in the wax residue. Moisturized skin will let the wax go more easily. You may also want to apply some baby powder to the skin after the moisturizer has soaked in completely, to keep the area sweat-free.
Use Good Waxing Technique
There are a few things to keep in mind during the actual waxing process to assure a clean, mess-free wax. First, make sure the wax is warm enough when applied. If you’re using wax in a pot, it should have a thin, runny consistency. If you use pre-waxed strips, try warming them up between your hands, or using a hairdryer for a minute or two before applying to warm the wax-up and melt it a bit.
Once you apply the wax, hold your skin taut with the other hand while removing the strip. This not only assures a more thorough removal of hair but prevents any wax from getting caught in wrinkles or crevices in your skin. And finally, be sure to remove the wax in a quick movement, pulling parallel to the skin rather than up away from the skin.
The quick pull gives the waxless time to harden and adhere to the skin, and pulling parallel to the skin makes sure you’re pulling the wax off the skin, rather than pulling the paper strip off of the wax.
And there you have it! Several household products you can use to remove wax residue, as well as some steps you can take to prevent excess wax from sticking to your skin in the first place. We hope you found this article helpful, and that your future waxing sessions will be less sticky and messy.