Retinol: Great For Anti-Aging, A Disaster For Waxing
A friend texted me the other day, a text I've received too many times:
A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is incredibly effective at treating acne, reducing wrinkles and sun damage, and at improving skin elasticity and firmness. For years it had only been available by prescription from a dermatologist but in 2016 it became available over the counter. Since then more and more skincare lines have added it to their formulations. A dream come true, right? Maybe.
The thing is, retinol is super effective, but as with anything that's super effective, there are things we need to know; warnings your dermatologist would have told you back when retinol was only available by prescription. A few of these very important things are: Do not use retinol if you are pregnant, have rosacea, or eczema. Do not go in the sun, and please, whatever you do, do not wax anywhere on your face while you are using your retinol cream.
Retinol works by exfoliating the skin, stimulating cell renewal and increasing cell turnover. That means the upper, dead skin cells are removed and replaced by underlaying fresh, newer skin helping to create a brighter, firmer, more youthful appearance.
While this process is going on, the new, fresh skin on the surface, for a time, will be thin and delicate. Too thin and too delicate to wax.
Because retinol works so great it really is being included in tons of products. If you are using a product touting ‘anti-aging benefits’ there is a good chance your product contains retinol. Skincare companies aren’t required to state the strength of the retinol on their product packaging, but I’m not sure that this matters in regards to this issue anyway. What is important to know is that any amount of retinol in your face cream can make your skin too delicate to wax.
As a body waxer, it is my job to ask every single facial waxing client every single time what they use on their skin and if they mention any retinol to stop the appointment and reschedule. Problem is, not all waxers do this every single time. Even if your waxer does ask but you are not aware that your face cream includes retinol, there is the possibility of detrimental results.
Waxing over skin made delicate by retinol rips the too delicate skin right off, exposing large, raw wounds that turn to scabs, that are then susceptible to infection and scarring. We do not want that!
So let’s work together. You promise to read the packaging and ingredients in your skincare products, especially those stating anti-aging benefits. If your product does contain retinol make sure to stop using it for 2 weeks before you book your waxing appointment . And I will always check in with you about what you are currently using. Together we can make sure your skin is properly cared for.