Facial skin is more sensitive than the rest of the body
South Asian women are more prone to be affected by facial and body hair than any other race. It doesn’t help that the hair is darker than the complexion which makes it more noticeable to the eye.
Removing hair is the norm for South Asian girls. Beauty salons can become very expensive, especially if you’re a Desi girl and hair grows at a faster rate, meaning you may have to remove hair more than twice a week.
Removing body hair at home is becoming more popular. However, many are not understanding the safety precautions needed to be taken to remove hair.
If facial and body hair is not removed safely with the right products and instructions this can cause third-degree burns, scars, rashes, ingrown hairs and so on. This affects the overall skin and causes long-term damage.
Many Desi girls are not aware of the dangers to the skin.
DESIblitz has come up with some tips to remove facial hair safely at home and why it is important to do so.
These are the most popular methods of removing hair and with help from a specialist, this is how to properly remove hair for better skin, and longer-lasting results.
Tweezing is a popular and effective hair removal method for the eyebrows. However, if done incorrectly this can result in ingrown hairs, lack of growth, badly shaped brows and so on.
It is important to wait until the hair reaches a certain length to avoid scarring as digging under the skin can open the skin to infection.
A step that should not be missed is disinfecting tweezers after every use.
This can be done by washing the tool with antibacterial hand soap and then using rubbing alcohol to get rid of any bacteria left in the tool.
Beauty specialist Pooja, who has been removing facial and body hairs for 25 years says:
“Although it sounds like a lot of effort to clean the tweezers after every use, I have clients come to me with bumps on top of their eyebrow hairs which are caused by serious bacteria buildup.
“Every counter you leave your supplies on contains bacteria’s, which transfer to the skin and can cause irritations, it’s a vital step.”
How to tweeze safely:
- Wash face with warm water to soften the skin
- Make sure tweezers are sterilised
- Pull skin on the area you want tweezing
- Grab hairs at the base and pull in the direction it grows
- Do not tweeze tiny hairs
- Splash cool water on the skin
- Apply Aloe Vera to the area
Tweezing should be done in a lit area, with a mirror. It is important to only pull one hair at a time as tweezing hair over large areas can cause ingrown hairs, scarring or rashes.
Applying a soothing cream after tweezing is important to reduce any inflammation and redness.
Those with sensitive skin may experience a lot of redness after tweezing hair. So, it is important to use a cool wet cloth over plucked areas and then apply Aloe Vera gel until redness reduces.
Waxing is a great way to remove hair. It also lasts longer than shaving as the hair is pulled from the roots, taking longer to grow back.
However, if waxing is not done safely, this can result in third-degree burns, scarring, bleeding, temporary bumps, and in some serious cases infections.
The first thing to do if you are a beginner to waxing is a patch test. This is when you apply wax to a small area to check the reaction of your skin to the product.
Dermatologists advise that it is safe to use if there is no rash within 24 hours.
Wax should also not be used if you experience red rashes, itchiness, burning sensations and hives after testing it out.
For facial waxing, there are several ways to prevent side effects.
It is important to note that minor pain, a tingly sensation and irritation are normal side effects for the first several minutes.
If choosing to use a box wax product from drugstores it is important to only use on the face if it is designed for it. Beautician Pooja shares:
“The wax I always recommend to try is any cream wax heated up in a pot as it is gentle and even great for those with sensitive skin.”
“For beginners, a great one to use is also Nads natural sugar wax which can be used on your face and body. This kit uses your body heat to warm up the wax which reduces the risk of burns.”
Tips to waxing your face safely:
- Wash hands with antibacterial soap
- Warm up the wax
- Apply wax to the skin depending on hair growth
- Let the wax sit for 15-30 seconds
- Pull the wax off in the opposite direction of your hair growth
- Use cool water towel on the waxed area
- Apply Aloe Vera gel
For facial waxing, it is important to not wax an area more than twice as this can irritate the skin more and cause side effects.
Those with acne or obvious rashes to the skin should try another method of hair removal as waxing may not be suitable.
Dermaplaning has become more popular over the years.
This hair removing technique uses a blade to remove peach fuzz from the face which is the small hairs growing all over the face many females experience.
This method improves the appearance of the skin as it exfoliates at the same time, and helps with makeup application.
However, using this technique incorrectly can be very dangerous as it involves holding a sharp object to the skin, increasing the chances of cuts.
Normal side effects include slight redness on the face for a couple of hours.
Some people develop whiteheads mainly around the nose and chin areas one or two days after dermaplaning.
How dermaplaning should be done at home:
- Wash face with a gentle cleanser
- Disinfect the dermablade
- Pat face dry (or can use with oil)
- Pull the skin tight and shave in a downwards motion, holding the razor at a 45-degree angle
- When the blade gets some peach fuzz, use a clean kitchen towel to remove hair
- Do not shave the hairline, eyelids and sides of the nose
- Use a gentle toner on face after dermaplaning
- Use a thick moisturiser and press into the skin in circular motions
Using the right dermablade is important when dermaplaning. The most popular and effective is an eyebrow shaper which can be found on Amazon or eBay.
Dermaplaning should not be done by individuals with the following:
- Dry skin
- Acne scars
- Sensitive skin
- Sun-damaged skin
- Dull skin
- Thick hair on the face
- Excessive spots
This is because the blade can cause more irritations such as rashes and red spots.
Hair Removal Cream
Hair removal cream is a quick and effective way to get rid of facial hair. But reading the instructions on the box is vital as if left too long it could cause burns on the skin.
A patch test is very important with hair removal creams as it contains many ingredients that some people with sensitive skin may not react well with.
For a patch test, you will need to apply a small amount on the skin at least 24 hours before using all over the face.
Although the process may seem easy and obvious, all instructions on the removal cream need to be read and understood.
For facial removal, it is key to purchase one specifically made for the face.
With most kits, you can find removal creams targeting specific areas e.g. upper lip, brows etc.
For best results, it is vital to do the following:
- Wash face with a gentle cleanser
- Apply the cream on a tool
- Apply to face generously
- Leave on for how long the cream states (every cream differs)
- Wash hands
- Remove the cream with a spatula
- Wipe excess cream off with a damp cloth
- Splash cool water on the face
- Apply Aloe Vera gel or a rich moisturiser
With hair removal creams, one main danger at home could be leaving it on for too long which can sometimes cause burns and red sensitive skin to touch.
To avoid this, a timer should be set and Aloe Vera gel should be applied as aftercare to soothe skin.
Those with sensitive skin should avoid hair removal creams, as it causes the skin to be more tender and this skin type may see prolonged red rashes.
Why it is important to safely remove facial hair?
Many skin problems can arise from not taking the proper precautions needed to remove hair which could cause long-term issues.
Facial skin is more sensitive than the rest of the body so it is important to care and take necessary steps to avoids issues such as rashes, burns and redness. Beautician Pooja says:
“When I am removing hair at the salon the most important steps are the before and aftercare, which not many people do.
“This can cause the facial skin to become more sensitive to sunburns”.
Many Desi girls suffer from skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation.
One of the reasons for this could be because they are exposing the face to the sun right after a hair removal procedure when the skin is at its most sensitive. Especially when using wax and hair removal cream.
The right aftercare steps can prevent these problems from increasing.
It is important to talk about how to safely remove hair as many Desi girls start at an early age.
Desi girls remove hair at an earlier age than any other race due to societal pressures and early puberty.
Bad habits of removing hair start young, so Desi girls need to be aware of the problems unsafe practice at home can result in.
Also, distinguishing your skin type is vital. Many sensitive skin individuals may find these hair removal techniques to be painful.
For those with sensitive skin, it is more important to follow a safe practice as side effects are more common and longer-lasting.
Unsafe practice can cause a build-up of bacteria which can cause infections and lead to acne which is not ideal.
So, removing facial hair should be done with caution. One key information to remember is to apply sun cream before going outside after a home hair removal to avoid sunburns and discolouration.