A Brazilian wax is a hair removal method that removes all the unwanted hair on your vulva. Your waxer will ask you to lay down on a table, and then apply the clean wax in different sections of your vulva.
Having sex too soon after waxing can lead to complications like infection and folliculitis, which looks like red bumps. The solution is simple: wait 24 hours.
Wait 24 Hours After Waxing
The skin can feel raw, tender, and red after waxing – like a light sunburn. This is normal, and should disappear in 24-48 hours. You might also experience some red speckling (pin point bleeding) where the hair was pulled out, and in rare cases, histamine reactions (this can show up as hives).
The main thing to remember is to be very gentle with the area and avoid applying heat, friction, or chemical products to it. This includes avoiding scented body lotions and scrubs, as well as heavily scented deodorants or anti-perspirants. It’s also a good idea to take an over-the-counter antihistamine if a histamine reaction shows up on your skin after waxing. This can help reduce the severity of a histamine reaction, but it won’t numb the pain.
It’s also a good idea to wait at least 24 hours to shower or bathe the waxed area, and to avoid hot tubs and saunas. Putting the area in hot water will open up the hair follicles, which makes them more susceptible to infection. And touching the area with your fingers can introduce bacteria into the open follicles, leading to irritation and even infection.
It’s also a good idea to skip the gym, that long bike ride, and any other activity that involves sweating. Sweat causes bacteria build-up on the surface of the skin, and rubbing the freshly waxed area can cause irritated or ingrown hairs.
When you’re waxing your bikini area, you want to avoid any kind of friction, as it can irritate your skin. The same goes for anything that could potentially introduce bacteria into your open hair follicles. That means not exfoliating the area for a day or two post-wax and avoiding rubbing it. Instead, just use a little lotion or baby powder down there to keep the area soft and prevent irritation.
Similarly, you should also skip sweaty activities, such as working out or a long swim in the ocean or pool. The salt in your sweat can irritate the freshly waxed areas and lead to infection. Plus, wearing tight-fitting clothing can rub against the sensitive area and cause chafing. Instead, opt for maxi dresses and flowy pants made from cotton fabrics.
If you absolutely must do some sweaty exercise, like a bike ride, just be sure to bring a change of clothes and don’t go back into the waxed area immediately afterwards. Again, this will prevent any potential infections from bacteria.
If you need to scratch that itchy itch in the meantime, lipner recommends using cool compresses several times a day or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. She adds that any itching or rash that doesn’t resolve within one to two weeks should be treated by a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.
After getting waxed the skin is sensitive and sweating can cause irritation, rashes, breakouts and other issues. The best way to avoid this is by wearing loose clothes and cotton underwear (especially for a Brazilian or bikini wax) that will allow the area to breathe. This also means it’s best to avoid vigorous exercise after a wax, especially in hot weather.
If you are adamant about hitting the gym after a wax, then it’s probably best to skip the intense cardio sessions and opt for some light weight training instead. Excessive sweating can clog the pores of freshly waxed skin and lead to an infection. It’s also a good idea to avoid spray tanning right after a wax as the chemicals can irritate the skin and cause redness and blotchiness.
If you are waxing your legs, arms or face it’s a good idea to wear loose clothing, use a shower cap and only apply gentle/sensitive body wash after a shower (we love Bushbalm’s Nude Body Wash) to the waxed areas. This will keep the skin clean and dry, helping it to heal faster. Remember, the hair follicles on the newly waxed area are still open and vulnerable, so it’s important to protect them for up to 24 hours. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wait until the day after your wax to go to the beach or swim in a public pool.
Avoid Contacting the Waxed Area
It’s important to avoid contact with the waxed area for 24 hours after a wax because hair follicles are open and susceptible to germs. Getting your hands, socks, or shoes dirty and then touching the area can introduce bacteria which can lead to irritation and infection. This includes avoiding wearing tight clothing (even underwear) that can rub against the area.
Fragrant soaps and body wash can also irritate the area, so it’s best to stick with a natural, unscented bar of soap. If you absolutely must shower, opt for lukewarm water. Avoid hot or warm water as it could cause the area to redden and swell. Ingrown hairs are another thing to keep an eye out for after a wax, and the best way to prevent them is to always trim your legs and bikini area with a sharp pair of scissors (not a razor) before you get them waxed.
And finally, if you’re planning on a Brazilian wax, don’t have sex for two to three days before you go in for it. Not only can sex aggravate redness, itching and bumps in the area, but having sex too soon can increase your risk of an STD infection like folliculitis, which appears as red bumps on the skin. Plus, it can make the waxing process even more painful if you’re already dealing with irritation.