Searches For Eyebrow Wax Recipes Are Up 321% on Pinterest, but Are They Safe to Do at Home?
Strange times call for strange measures — and we're not talking about panic-buying craft supplies and chocolate. In the beauty sphere, this involves DIYing products and services you'd normally buy or leave to the pros. Case in point: Pinterest searches for "homemade eyebrow wax recipes" were up 321 percent last week.
It's one thing to impulsively cut your own bangs (ahem, Miley Cyrus). It's another to dye your hair (and if you do, please do it safely). Concocting your own body wax and actually using it are a different ballgame. Ingredients matter, hot wax can be dangerous, and, although temporary — hair grows back — you run the risk of mistakes that could change the shape of your brows, or worse.
While the spike in beauty DIYs is no surprise given the current circumstances, it's always important to do your research. And whether you contributed to that statistic last week or have been wondering what you should (and shouldn't) do between brow appointments, we're here to help. In fact, we tapped Beata Chyla, lead aesthetician at Bliss Spa, to give you the full lowdown. Should you focus on maintenance for the time being or is there a safe way to get the job done? Keep reading to find out — and discover an easy, three-ingredient wax recipe using ingredients you already have at home.
Is At-Home Waxing Safe?
The short answer: yes. But don't skip over the fine print. "Generally, waxing at home is safe if it's done properly," Chyla told POPSUGAR. In this case, proper protocol would involve a clean, well-prepared work space, freshly-washed and moisturized hands (the latter prevents wax from sticking), and evaluating the current state of your skin — including what you may already be using on it. Pay special attention to the type of wax you use, too. If you're looking for something pre-made, Bliss's Poetic Waxing Kit ($23) will get the job done. The rosin, lanolin, and paraffin wax formula is made with soothing chamomile flower oil and moisturizing apricot oil.
"I would recommend using hard wax versus strip wax," Chyla said. "Before you do that make sure that you have not been using any topical retinol products for at least two weeks, skin bleaching products, acids, or peels. [And wait] at least three months for oral or topical skin acne antibiotics." You should also avoid waxing skin that's already compromised in any way — inflammation, sunburns, and the like.
What’s the Best Way to Wax Your Eyebrows at Home?
In other words, how can you go about waxing your own brows in the safest way possible — with the least amount of unwanted mishaps. "At-home eyebrow waxing can be a bit more difficult than waxing other areas," Chyla said. "By waxing a few hairs only, you can easily mess up the shape of your eyebrows."Just keep it to a minimum — general cleanup versus reshaping.
If you're being extra-meticulous or are a veteran waxer, the very first thing Chyla recommends is exfoliating 24 to 48 hours in advance to prevent ingrown hairs. Then it's about making sure both your work area and skin are prepped. To begin, secure your hairline with a headband and clean the brow area with tea tree, rose, or lavender-based toner. If you're using hard wax, you'll also want to apply some pre-waxing oil. For strip wax, the skin should be dry.
Next up: temperature check. Test a bit of wax to the back of your hand before applying to your brow area. Then you're ready to start.
Chyla suggests starting at the top. "Brush the brows down and apply wax on top of the brow in the direction of hair growth, usually toward the temple." Then, pull the wax off in the opposite direction. Use a similar technique under your brow, but brush the hair up instead of down.
Find yourself in a sticky situation? If the wax attaches to unwanted areas, just apply warm olive oil or pre-waxing oil to remove.
Once you get to a good stopping point (remember, less is more), be sure to follow up with a good aftercare routine. This can include cleaning the skin well and applying a soothing lotion, like aloe vera or rose-, chamomile-, or calendula-based products. For redness, use a cold compress to calm the skin.
Beyond topical suggestions, Chyla cautions against sweating for 24 hours. "Your pores widen allowing sweat to get in easier, which could lead to infection," she said. You should also avoid direct sun exposure, saunas, and steaming hot showers.
Want to Make Your Own Wax? Try This Recipe
Now that you're fully equipped with all of the info you need, it's time to get waxing. If you're feeling extra savvy and want to get the job done with what you have at home, this DIY sugar wax recipe might be what you're looking for. All you need are water, lemon juice, and sugar.
Are There Any Alternatives to Waxing?
Decided not to try your hand at waxing? A pair of tweezers can get the job done on your brows, plus other small areas like the lip and chin. The one thing Chyla recommends not to do, however, is shaving. "It completely defeats the purpose of waxing," she said. "It stimulates hair growth, makes the skin itchy and bumpy, and makes the next waxing experience more painful as the hair that grows back is coarser."