How to Properly Use Wax Strips/Depilatory Paper

Leg wax

Waxing, for many, is an essential part of the weekly beauty routine. Yep, it’s a hassle and it hurts, but no pain, no gain, right?!

Wax strips or depilatory paper removes hairs that are otherwise hard to get to with razors and waxing cream. They’re pretty easy to use, relatively safe, cheap and of course, effective. That has made wax strips or depilatory paper the most popular choice when it comes to hair removal.

So, how can we get the most out of waxing to produce the best finish with the least pain and irritation?

There are a few steps and procedures you can take to really enhance your wax.

How to Improve your Waxing For Top-Quality Results

Wash thoroughly: Washing should always be the first step. Waxing does irritate the skin by its very nature so you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and free from dirt or pollutants. Wash in warm soapy water and give the target area a good scrub. This will also help dislodge dead skin from the pores and soften the skin so the strip sticks better.

Exfoliate: Gentle exfoliation will further prep the skin for waxing. Using a pumice stone softly on wet skin will pull hairs up and make it easier for the wax strip to grip them. Be careful, though, stick to a very gentle form of exfoliation!

Dry the Area: Wax strips won’t stick to wet skin so properly drying the area is crucial. Avoid scrubbing the area dry as this will squash your hairs down against your leg, preventing the wax strip from adequately gripping them. Instead, gently pat the area dry and use talcum powder to maximally absorb excess moisture if necessary.

Apply the Strip and Pull!: Wax strips need to be applied consistently and firmly. Always apply pressure along the grain of the hair, for example, leg hairs face downwards so you’ll want to compress the strip against the skin from top to bottom, in the opposite direction that you’ll be pulling it (bottom to top for legs). Pulling the strip against the grain hurts more but is generally preferred as it pulls the hair from the root and should ensure hairlessness for around 2 weeks.

Once in place, you know the drill! Some will have their rituals for bearing the pain, some are completely desensitised! Always pull the strip quickly and firmly, no half measures!

After Waxing

After waxing, the area will usually be pretty red and sore but hopefully not too bad. Apply cold water to the area to tighten the pores and reduce redness. Some people even choose to apply ice cubes directly to the area.

There are various after-wax creams and lotions available, some may be particularly useful for those with very sensitive skin that tends to react harshly to waxing. These lotions contain moisturisers and anti-septics to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Keep the skin free from irritants for 24 hours, avoid tight clothing and keep sweaty activities to a minimum.

Always keep an eye on your skin when you use a new wax product to check for signs of allergy or other adverse reaction, regardless of whether its depilatory strips, hot wax or wax cream.