Brazillian Waxing and damaging claims of pigmentation

Lilliane Caron discusses hyperpigmentation and why it’s an avoidable and unacceptable side effect of waxing.

You may have read that waxing can cause darkening and darker skin patches called hyperpigmentation. The facts are, with superior product and expert technique, waxing won’t cause hyperpigmentation at all. Products or packages on offer that include serums claiming to reduce hyperpigmentation after waxing are essentially degrading to the wax industry. Skin damage due to waxing is unacceptable. A client shouldn’t leave a wax treatment feeling anything less than amazing, let alone loaded up with after-care products for an avoidable condition. Hyperpigmentation can occur after skin lifting, burning, irritation and bruising, all of which are completely unacceptable during the waxing process. Promoting a product/cure to treat an avoidable occurrence is simply lowering industry standards and that’s just not good enough for clients or our salons.

Hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin forms deposits under the lower layer of the epidermis and darker patches begin to appear. There are two types of hyperpigmentation, Passive Pigmentationand Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).

Passive Pigmentation occurs when an internal imbalance stimulates our melanin producing hormones and generally occurs in women around times of hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, contraceptive medication, and menopause.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, is the result of skin trauma. When our skin is in distress, our melanocyte cell is stimulated to send melanin to the skin’s surface (between the dermis and the epidermis). Where waxing is concerned, the preventable trauma associated with hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin layers have been damaged due to lifting, burning, irritation and subsequent bruising. The occurrence of ingrown hair can be lessened during waxing when using the correct techniques. The scarring and darkening of the skin due to an infected ingrown is similar to acne scarring and can occur when the hair diverts while growing back through the surface of the skin.

Our products are best sellers because they are trusted to deliver a smooth and efficient Brazilian waxing treatment, without any side effects. Our kits offer every in-treatment product required delivering the entire service from pre-waxing hygiene, to post wax treatment and even room hygiene once the client has left the treatment. We’ve never considered wholesaling or retailing unnecessary after-care products because our waxes and pre & post products are superior and we care about your salon’s bottom line.

But it’s not just inferior products that are damaging the industry. Improper technique, speed waxing, 7 minute Brazilians, and the like are all grounds for skin trauma and un-happy clients. My article The Truth About The 7 Minute Brazilian goes into more detail about the importance of looking after our clients and taking the time to make sure we use gentle techniques.

Again, hyperpigmentation is an avoidable side effect so let’s talk about prevention…

Prevention is better than a cure

• Conducting a thorough skin analysis is imperative to getting to know your client’s requirements. Observations to consider include skin tone (darker tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation upon damage), the client’s age and any medications he/she may be using, as well as topical skin care products and ingredients. Each of these factors can determine skin health and elasticity and what wax treatments are most suitable. For all skin types, when waxing sensitive and intimate areas, we recommend Brilliance Hard Wax. It contains Titanium Dioxide to reduce skin redness.

A skin analysis is also a GREAT time to cross-promote your services. Whilst talking to the client on the condition of their skin you can upsell a suitable facial or body wrap to improve the health and appearance of their skin.

• Skin preparation is imperative to an effective and trauma-free wax. Micro Defence Foam is ideal for facial and intimate areas as it is an alcohol and chemical free biocide that eliminates germs, removes oils, surface dirt, moisture and makeup. Caronlab’s Pre Waxing Skin Cleanser is ideal for the body. Prepping the skin ensures that the area is clean and the wax grips the hair first time every time so no need to repeat waxing the same area which can lead to skin lifting.

• If you use an inferior product or you haven’t considered a suitable wax for your client’s skin type, it can lead to skin lifting, burning, pulling and bruising which as we know can lead to hyperpigmentation during the healing process.

When you’re assessing your wax ask yourself the following; does it grip the hairs? Is the consistency stringy? Does it smell of resin or chemicals? Does it lift the skin? Does it cause redness and irritation? Does it cause ingrown hairs or pimples? Does it require the use of a pre-wax oil to protect the skin? If you answered yes to one or more of these you definitely need to rethink your wax.

Consider a wax that is pliable, consistent, nourishing on the skin, has a subtle aroma, and of course, is removing hair properly. Brilliance the original white wax has been the number 1 selling wax in Australia for 10 years. If you are using a superior wax with a good reputation and still experience difficulty, it may be your technique. Don’t hesitate to ask the manufacturer. They can provide some tips on the best consistency and technique for using their wax. After all, they know it best!

• The number one most crucial step to avoid the horror of skin damage during waxing is technique. Training and up-to-date knowledge is imperative to protect your clients and your salon’s reputation. Caronlab provides extensive training and support through hands-on workshops. Keeping informed and up to date on the latest products and techniques is paramount to running a successful salon. Innovations in products can change the way our industry performs treatments. We’ve seen a huge rise in the use of fi lm wax since our Brazilliant beaded fi lm wax hit the market. This new product has a lower melting point, unique application and removal technique and can be used all over the body.

• Soothing with an after wax treatment can nourish and cool the skin. Caronlab’s After Care lotions with Mango and Witchazel or Tea Tree Oil, have pharmaceutical properties that actively soothe skin after waxing.

Another factor to consider post waxing is that during the natural process of waxing, dead skin cells are lifted revealing fresh new skin cells. These new cells may be more sensitive and reactive to UV light which is something to be aware of for hyperpigmentation prone clients. We recommend all skin types to wear protective clothing and a SPF 50+ to protect their skin after waxing and beyond.

• Following up with appropriate and affordable aftercare advice is a great way to protect the integrity of your treatment. Breakouts can occur after waxing the lip for the fi rst time, to avoid this use Bump eRaiser Medi Paste. Also as a preventative measure, the entire range of Bump eRaiser (Cool Splash, Triple Action Lotion, Zesty Wash, Exfoliating Mitt) can counteract the possibility of ingrown hair. As a retail option you can make a great profit on-selling this necessary range to your clients and in-turn they’ll be wrapped with the results.

As Therapists, it is our job to do all we can to make a client’s waxing experience, including the treatment itself and the results afterwards as pleasant as possible. Globally, salons and aestheticians have a healthy, booming waxing industry. With IPL becoming increasingly popular we need to protect our client base from scaremongering about avoidable side effects. And if clients suffer from severe side effects because we aren’t using the right products or technique – they definitely won’t be back!

Contact us today if you’re considering a re-fresh in your training and skill set. We’d be more than happy to come and teach you more about our latest products and how they can lead to repeat business and happy clients.

Lilliane Caron is Owner & Director of Caronlab Australia and Waxxxpress

Waxing… How young is too young?

By Lilliane Caron

There are milestones in every mother-daughter relationship and hair removal is one of them. Once upon a time most mothers wouldn’t have had to worry about this until puberty, but these days the conversation may start a little earlier than expected. If you asked me to put an age limit on when waxing became acceptable, I couldn’t. I believe that some girls are too young to be waxed, but I also believe there is an exception to every rule. The real question is what is our duty of care as Beauty Therapists in these kinds of situations?

Times are changing

The general notion is that girls may start to be interested in hair removal once they hit puberty and hair growth spikes, but that is not always the case. While most young girls experience a small amount of hair on their bodies, I have seen firsthand, girls as young as seven with excessive hair growth on their legs, arms and face. This can be related to cultural and genetic factors, however I believe it is also a result of our changing environment. Children are physically developing a lot earlier than years gone by due to what we are eating and using in our day to day lives. Foods are full of hormones and as a result, girls are getting their periods younger – which means entering womanhood and everything that comes with it is also happening sooner. When I began my career, women would generally start waxing when they were about 18 but in today’s society girls are growing up faster than ever before.

Social Influence

With social media being so prominent in our lives, children are being exposed to more and more things that would have once been beyond their years. Kids are seeing models and celebrities acting, dressing and looking a certain way, and of course want to mimic that look. It’s not just celebrities that are influencing today’s youth; their friends and families are playing a big role too. Kids as young as 10 years old have blogs, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts. As adults, we can understand that most photos uploaded to social media are carefully styled, have filters applied and multiple photos were actually taken at slightly different angles, all for that ‘perfect’ shot. But young, susceptible minds don’t always understand this.

Not only are young girls being subjected to unrealistic body images but young boys are too. Early on, boys notice women being represented in a certain way – with flawless, hair-free, skin. Because of the portrayal of woman in the media, there is a stigma related to hair on the body. The ability to differentiate between women and girls is becoming blurry. Children at school are surrounded by others who all have their own thoughts on facial and body hair. Some are bullied and tormented for hair growth that is completely natural. Hair on our bodies is not a new revelation; it is a part of being a human. Children should never have to worry about this. As adults we spend far too much time criticising ourselves and our flaws and it’s upsetting to think that children are starting to do this from such a young age. With a whole new spotlight on hair removal and minors, we as therapists have to recognise and sympathise with this issue.

The Motive

We need to be able to spot the motive behind unwanted hair removal. If a child is being bullied or feels self-conscious about their body hair, I can completely understand the reason behind wanting to remove it. My concern is that children are simply jumping aboard the waxing train to be ‘cool’, not because they need to. When a child comes in with very little visible hair on their legs and without the supervision of an adult, this is where it gets tricky. In this type of situation I urge you to consider a few things. Does the child have extreme hair growth? Is the child suffering from bullying or peer pressure? Does the child participate in a sport or activity where it may be embarrassing for them to have hair showing? Swimming, gymnastics and dancing activities may require young girls to wear leotards or costumes that expose bikini, underarm and leg hair. It’s easy to see how this would be embarrassing for anyone, especially those lacking confidence as their body is changing. All these are important factors and I believe each individual needs to be looked at on a case by case manner.

Mother knows best

Most of the time the decision for a child to be waxed or not will come down to the mother – and some mothers want their children to start waxing early. Perhaps they have their own insecurities from when they were a child or perhaps they feel pressure to keep up with what the other mothers are doing. One mother may get her daughters eyebrows waxed, and she will tell another mother, and that mother will tell another, and then before you know it you have multiple children booked in who don’t even need their eyebrows waxed because the mothers think that it is a the normal thing to do. It can become a social norm in many circles. Mother’s competing with one another is becoming more and more apparent and no mother wants to feel like there child is getting left behind.

As a parent, your role is to identify issues, educate and guide your children along the right path. While it is not our place to judge any parent on these decisions, it is our place to be there as a guide for mothers and their daughters and offer them some advice and education about hair removal in particular. This goes for mothers who may be starting their daughters too early, or for mothers who are scared of letting their daughters start too young. Often mothers will call us in for backup; after all, who better to explain the hair removal process than us? Children don’t often realise that waxing requires regular maintenance and once they have started; they could be doing for the next 50 years. We need to highlight the bigger picture so they understand waxing is not just a once off thing, but a commitment they need to be ready to make.

Common Sense

I am a business woman, however when it comes to children I believe you need to set aside your business cap for just one moment. While we of course want to secure business, in these contentious cases we are dealing with young impressionable minds and it’s extremely important to remember that. Often my rule is that if I am standing two feet away and cannot see any hair, then in my opinion there is no hair that needs to be removed. It ultimately comes down to using your common sense. It is our right to say no if we don’t feel comfortable removing the hair, especially if the child is pre-pubescent or there is no guardian approval involved. You can always look at enforcing a policy for your salon such a ‘children under the age of 16 may not get waxed without parental consent.’ This way you and your staff are protected from any backlash you may receive from unaware parents.

The last thing any of us want are young girls sneaking around behind their parents backs or attempting shaving at home with no supervision or experience. At least if they are starting their hair removal routine with waxing, over time it will help to break down the hair follicle quicker and over time they will begin to notice less hair growth. Once they start, they should keep up with regular appointments. Generally with young clientele it is not necessary to wax every 4-6 weeks. Often every three or four months is sufficient – but again, this depends on the child’s hair growth.

If removing hair is going to make a someone feel better about themselves and give them the confidence to walk around happy, then I am all for it. Don’t forget that there is a slight discomfort involved with waxing, and some children simply do not have the pain threshold to cope with it, it often depends on their maturity levels. I would always use a hard wax for delicate areas such as face, bikini and underarms, and a creamy gentle strip wax for larger areas such as legs. Using a low temperature, high quality wax can help to reduce the pain associated with waxing. If you choose not to wax a minor, you could try to offer them a treatment other than waxing to boost their self-esteem, make them feel older and pampered. A mani or pedi, a facial or a massage is a lovely treat and could take their mind off wanting to wax.

Same Same But Different – Waxing vs. Sugaring

Sugaring has been around for centuries and is an early form of waxing, however it has recently re-entered the beauty scene. While most therapists are well aware of sugaring and how long it has been around, Body Sugaring is becoming a popular request from clients.

So why, after centuries of flying under the radar and being outshone by waxing has sugaring started to make a comeback? These days’ consumers are looking for more natural alternatives for their food, skincare and cleaning products and are taking more notice of what we are putting on and in our bodies. Companies who only manufacture sugaring paste (no wax) have also made claims, such as ‘sugaring is less painful’, ‘sugaring doesn’t cause skin irritations’ and ‘sugaring provides longer lasting results’. They’ve put a spin on the technique to make it seem superior. While there are some very relevant advantages to sugaring, these claims are not all true. There is also a level of secrecy among many sugaring professionals which makes sugaring seem even more exclusive.

Firstly, let’s discuss what body sugaring actually is. The technique of sugaring uses a natural toffee-like substance that is kneaded into the skin repeatedly, removing the hair as it goes. The paste is spread or moulded onto the skin by hand or with a spatula against the direction of hair growth. It is said to seep down into the hair follicle and wrap itself around the shaft of the hair. When the sugaring paste is flicked off, the hair including the bulb slides out in the direction in which it grows. This technique differs to waxing which removes the hair in the opposite direction. One of my very first memories of hair removal is making my own sugar paste with my Lebanese friends and using it on each other! Back then sugaring was more common because you would actually make it yourself in a pot on the stove. How funny it is, that everything seems to work in a full circle!

While waxing and sugaring techniques are different, the results are much the same when performed correctly. Therapists who have been trained in waxing and decide to offer sugaring essentially need to “unlearn” everything they know about waxing to become a proficient body sugarer and perfect their technique.

Some clients will swear black and blue that sugaring hurts less than waxing, but just like any treatment it really comes down to the skill of the therapist. Both techniques remove hair from the follicle and that’s not going to tickle. They can however be substantially less painful if the therapist is performing the treatment with a good technique. For some clients, a bad wax from an inexperienced therapist can make a good sugaring treatment seem like the pinnacle of hair removal. Someone who has never experienced a good wax treatment won’t realise that waxing should be better, and unfortunately a bad experience can be enough to deter someone from waxing all together. Sugar addicts also claim that waxing can lead to more broken hairs, however without a proficient technique sugaring can too. If you are using your wax correctly; at the right temperature and not speed waxing, there should be no broken hairs in sight.

Anyone who has ever heard me talk about waxes, will know that the consistency of your wax is vital when it comes to delivering the perfect waxing treatment. Sugaring is no different. Sugaring paste is warmed only slightly, making it almost impossible to burn clients. The paste gains temperature through body heat and this can play a role in how it works. It can also work differently in warmer climates and spoil easily. It will crystallise if exposed to moisture – even the smallest amount of sanitising solution or water can affect the consistency and effectiveness of the product, and if it’s heated too much it will burn. A big advantage of sugaring is that generally only one ball of paste is required per body part, so there’s no going back and forth to the wax pot or risk of double dipping.

Sugaring pastes are available in different varieties. Firm pastes are ideal for beginners as they’re easier to control. They are designed to be used on warmer areas of the body like the Brazilian and underarm, are good for smaller areas of the body and for use in warmer climates. A soft paste is suited to a more experienced therapist and for use on larger areas such as legs and arms that normally aren’t as warm. I find using a sugar-based strip wax in conjunction with your sugaring paste can speed up the process of removing hair from the larger areas whilst still giving your clients an all-natural treatment.

Ingredients in waxes can vary greatly; they can be derived from unrefined resins (pine resin) or synthetic resins. There is much less room for variance when it comes to manufacturing sugaring pastes. Sugaring pastes or gels are essentially made from sugar, water and lemon juice. While all recipes are slightly different, it has been made from those same basic ingredients since it originated in the ancient Middle-Eastern practice centuries ago.

Because of the basic and natural formula, sugaring is gaining a high reputation for not causing skin irritations, which is backlash that waxing can sometimes cop. Sugaring can absolutely be a solution for clients that choose not to wax because they suffer from reactions and irritations from even the most sensitive waxes. However what bugs me about this perception of waxing is skin irritations are generally not normal. If clients are suffering from irritations, it usually comes down to the wax being used and the resins they contain.

If you’re considering adding body sugaring to your treatment menu, there are some important things for you to think about. Firstly, ask your clients if they are happy with their waxing treatments? If they’re not happy, delve into the reasons why. Are your therapists lacking confidence or expertise? Rather than re-training your staff in a skill they have already learnt, maybe they would benefit from a refresher waxing workshop. Getting their waxing skills up to scratch will be a lot easier, quicker and cost effective than learning an entirely new technique.

You need to determine if sugaring fits your business model. Some salons and spas base all of their offerings around natural, vegan friendly and organic products and services, and this can be a real point of difference. There will always be a niche client market wanting a holistic and completely natural treatment, and business savvy salons can reap the benefits of this. Salons offering this exclusive service will generally charge more than a waxing treatment as it does take more time to perform and while cost effective, the paste does cost more per kilo than most waxes. In saying this, clients seeking natural alternatives are generally willing to pay that little bit extra.

If you have a mobile business, sugaring can be a great option, especially if you’d like to specialise in it. It requires little to no heating, making travelling and setting up for appointments easy and one ball will generally get you through an entire treatment. As sugaring paste can simply be washed off with warm water, no extra product is necessary during the treatment or for cleaning-up. Clients can be turned over quickly and efficiently. Just remember to clean your mobile station regularly as ants LOVE sugar!

You should also keep in mind personal preference, it’s no secret that I favour waxing, I find sugaring more taxing on my wrists. But everyone is different, I know therapists who find sugaring to be much easier on their body, so it really does come down to what you like doing and how your body works.

While sugar paste will not necessarily replace your waxes, there may be a place for it alongside the waxes on your trolley. However if you’re simply looking to jump on the sugaring band wagon ‘just because’ I strongly urge you to re-consider.

Wax Selection… It’s time to make up your own mind!

Choosing a wax sounds simple enough but it often comes with much confusion. What works for some therapists may not work for others. There is no ‘one fits all’ approach in either scenario.

At the end of the day it comes down to knowing what you want and what suits you best because the perfect fit for you could be completely unsuitable for another therapist. It is important to pinpoint the aspects you like and dislike in a wax. With your wax being your most important tool, it’s worth putting in a little effort! Word of mouth, education and wholesaler recommendations get you about half way, but the other half comes from your own research and testing.

YOUR LOCAL WHOLESALER

Wholesalers are a great avenue for therapists to be able to purchase all their waxing goodies. They stock a range of products from a variety of brands and generally, have everything you could possibly need. As a customer, it is good to seek help, and get advice on which product is best especially if you are new to the industry. Sometimes it can be restrictive if wholesalers are not stocking an entire brand range. This can be limiting as you may think you have tried all the waxes from that brand when in fact there are still a number of options you have not yet seen.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

These days marketing is much more than just flashes of low prices, terrible jingles, and SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! signs. This is a stereotypical and very out dated view of marketing. Not only is it no longer the case in most industries, but it also undermines all the hard work that actually goes into providing helpful and educational material for customers. It is now so easy to do your homework on the latest products and technology on the market before you even spend a penny. I may not be the most ‘tech savvy’ person out there but you will find me researching on the internet, reading reviews and joining discussion forums in order to stay up to date with the latest things going on in the beauty industry. There are passionate professionals all over the world sharing their thoughts and advice through channels such as LinkedIn, group forums and through webinars.

WORD OF MOUTH

Another great way to help you make up your mind is word of mouth. I am not saying everything you see or hear should be taken as gospel, but these days there are reviews on absolutely everything and there is nowhere for bad products to hide. Keep in mind that reviews are generally only written by people who either love or hate a product so while they can be very helpful, they can also be skewed. It is common sense to ask other therapists what works best for them and which wax on the market is their favourite. This is a quick way to find out which brands are leading the industry. Recommendations from friends and are great because you know they are not biased, it is simply their honest opinion. However as I said earlier and cannot stress enough, everyone is different and we all have our own relationship with the wax.

Because I started out as a therapist, I completely understand how frustrating it is if a wax doesn’t work for you, especially if it is known to be a good wax. But every wax is different; wax not performing could come down to a number of factors such as technique, a faulty heater, incorrect temperature, or that it’s not the best product for the job at hand. Some hard waxes require a core of harder wax in the centre when at the ideal temperature, whereas others are completely melted. If one therapist dislikes a wax that generally has a great reputation, it may be because they are using it wrong. To find what you like and don’t like requires testing, but you need to make sure you are testing it with all the accompanying knowledge in mind. Here is where speaking to the manufacturer comes in handy.

ASK THE MANUFACTURER

Manufacturers know their products better than anyone and can always provide helpful information and tips on how to use each product. They generally have a range that is made up of a variety of waxes and products all designed differently, so there is a perfect fit for everyone.

I cannot stress how important it is that you understand how a wax is best used; how thin/thick to apply it and the skin and hair types it is best for. Climate and the pre and post products you use (or don’t use) in conjunction with waxes can also play a part in how they perform. The manufacturer is the best contact for explaining all of this. Manufacturers that have a chemist, developer and fully qualified educators on site that are available to speak with you is very rare, but when given the opportunity to speak to them, you can be privy to a wealth of knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask to talk to the big guns if you would like additional technical information!

At Caronlab we will ask our customers a few simple questions to determine which products from our range best suits their preferences, with no agenda. My team would never recommend a product simply because it was new or was more expensive because our reputation is tarnished if the customer ends up dissatisfied with our recommendation. In saying this, there is only so much we can do, it all comes down to knowing what you want from your wax. Do you want a creamy wax? A clear wax? A wax that is gentle on the skin? A wax that removes every single hair in one go? A natural wax? A water soluble wax? A wax that doesn’t snap or go brittle? A hard and strip wax in one? What is your customer base like? What services do you do most of? Who are your clientele? These are the things you need to know. You need to work out which aspects are most important you; that is the key to making up your own mind.

CONCLUSION

If you do end up trying one product and find it’s not for you, don’t dismiss the whole brand. I know from my own company, that every wax we manufacture has a specific customer in mind; we certainly don’t follow the ‘one wax fits all’ approach. There are over 20 different hard and strip waxes in the Caronlab range for a reason. Choosing one might be daunting, but that’s when you need to speak up and ask questions, look for answers. I promise you, if you haven’t already, you will find the perfect wax for you!

Get Thrifty in the Wax Room

As the saying goes, time is money; especially when you are a therapist. There are only so many hours in a day and if a third of your time is taken up unnecessary tasks instead of servicing clients, then you are going to find your income suffering significantly. For beauty therapists running their own salon, difference in annual incomes can often come down to poor time management and senseless wastage.

Buy in bulk and save
I’m not saying you should go out and buy enough stock to last a lifetime, but buying bulk of items you use daily such as your pre and post ancillaries is a great way to save. Look at getting refillable bottles that have trigger spray handles. These triggers give you full control over how much product is used, plus you don’t have the risk of spilling and wasting the product during your treatment. Simply hang them off the side of the trolley so you have quick and easy access to each product.

Time saving waxes
There are lots of waxes on the market these days that a specifically designed to save therapists time. Waxes in the form of perfectly sized discs or Melts and powder waxes heat extremely fast and make it easy to top up your wax pot between clients. Microwaveable waxes with jars that fit in the wax heater is another innovation that has revolutionised the world of waxing. No mess, no fuss and a very quick and easy clean up at the end of the day! Roller wax cartridges can be a great addition if you have young or inexperienced therapists as they roll an even thin layer of wax and can significantly speed up treatments in relation to larger areas such as legs, arms, back and chest.

Quality not quantity
More often than not, cheap products will end up costing you more due to poor quality or performance issues. For example cheap strips tear easily and allow wax reside to seep through to the other side. You need to look at the bigger picture; if your strip rips you will need to use another. If your strip has wax seeping through to the other side, you need to throw it out sooner. If your gloves tear, you need a fresh one (and we all know it’s near impossible to get a fresh glove on a sweaty hand!) In all these instances not only are you wasting money using more consumables but you are also wasting precious time! This goes for your cleaning accessories too. You need good quality cleaning solution that requires very little physical exertion and gets the job done quickly.

Multipurpose products
One of my favourite money saving tricks is finding multiple uses for the one product. For example, I use the back of a used wax strip as a cleaning tool to remove wax residue. Simply fold your strip in on its self, spray the back with your after waxing oil or citrus cleaner and there you have it, something that was going into the bin now has a new purpose as your cleaning tool. There’s no need to waste money on these consumables, it all adds up!

The bare necessities
Have a good look at your treatment room and consider what a necessity is and what you could work without. I like to look at my disposables firstly – simple things such as rubbing in Pre Waxing Oil with your gloves on can save on tissues and cotton pads. Disposable G-strings serve no purpose other than to make clients feel more comfortable. Instead of placing one on the bed at the start of each treatment, ask them “are you happy to go without a g-string?” don’t ask them if they would like one because this makes them feel like you would be more comfortable if they wore one. Many people don’t actually mind whether they have one or not but if it’s there, or you make them feel like it’s a necessity they will feel obliged to use it.

Washing for days
Many therapists will add a modesty towel to their treatments. This idea is all well and good but at the end of the day it is just you and your clients in the room. Each towel you use, you need to wash! I personally place a plastic sheet over the bed, fold up one towel to create a headrest and place a sheet of perforated bedroll over the top (for Brazilians place one sheet under the clients’ backside also). This way there is no need to wash multiple towels at the end of the day and you can hopefully get away with just one big load! The same goes for your uniform also. Many uniforms that look great but at the end of the say you need something that is light weight, machine friendly and dries quickly!

All these things may seem minimal but over a financial year the results will amaze you. If you can save a dollar or a minute here and there, why wouldn’t you?

Top Facial Waxing Questions Answered

By Holly Hayes

What type of wax is best for facial waxing?

It is important that you always use hard wax for all facial waxing as strip wax can be quiet harsh on the delicate skin. Using a high quality wax is extremely important. Look for waxes that are made with a synthetic resin rather than a pine resin as these are more reliable from batch to batch and also cause less irritation. Also look for a wax that contains Titanium Dioxide as this ingredient actively reduces redness and irritation. Whilst some people will always experience a slight redness after waxing we want to make sure the reactions and irritations are as minimal as possible.

Is there a temperature you should keep your wax for facial waxing at?

No matter what area of the body you are waxing it should always be kept at the same temperature. Wax is more about finding the right consistency rather than a set temperature. Each heater is different so temperature and dial numbers are just a guide, not a rule of thumb. Not to mention waxes behave differently so there really is no blanket rule for all. You should be familiar with the brand of wax you are using and be able to tell if it is at a perfect working temperature just by looking at the consistency. If you are finding that you are having issues with temperature or performance, contact the manufacture and ask them for some extra information on how to best use their product.

What is the best method of applying wax to the face?

While the face is a small section of the body, there are still a few zones within the area that all need to be approached differently, for example; eyebrows. When waxing eyebrows it is imperative that we are able to create neat curve with the wax so we can give our clients the perfect arch they are seeking. For this reason Brow Beater Spatulas are the perfect choice – they are thin and extremely flexible allowing you enough movement when applying the wax. For the upper lip I suggest using a cotton bud. Cotton buds are great because you can roll the tip of the bud upwards from the corner of the lip to the bottom of the nose. By being able to roll the wax on, the layer of wax stays even and in a clean line.

What is a good product to clean skin prior and post wax?

Using Micro Defence Foam at the beginning of the treatment will protect both the client and therapist against germs and viruses, and using it to finish the treatment will ensure no bacteria, or infections can irritate the skin while it is still tender from waxing. Micro Defence is ideal for the face as it contains no alcohol which can sting and does not have a strong smell unlike After Waxing Oil. Finish off with an After Waxing Soothing Lotion; something with a delicious fragrance like Mango and Witch Hazel is a lovely end to a treatment. It will sooth and heal the skin post wax, without leaving it feeling oily or sticky.

Some areas of the face can get irritated by wax, how can I combat this?

Here is where you really need to look at your wax and your technique. There are other factors such as medications, lifestyle, beauty products etc. that can also play a role in how our skin reacts, but often side effects from waxing will be the result of a poor technique or an inferior wax that irritates the skin. If you have a client that is overly sensitive I would always recommend doing a test patch to make sure the wax you are using isn’t going to cause a reaction.