So, You Want to Wax Your Upper Lip at Home — Here's How to Do It, According to a Pro

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So, you want to wax your upper lip. There are a slew of events that could have led to this moment. Maybe you can't make it to your scheduled salon visit or you had enough of tweezing and want a faster solution for the teeny tiny hairs that have sprouted up over the past few weeks. Whatever has led you to this point in your hair removal journey, we're here to help. Some may say that taking matters into your own hands and waxing your upper lip is a right of passage — we all try it at least once in our lives. Whether or not we continue with the beauty service largely depends on how that first time goes.

Before you dive right in and find yourself with hot wax on the sensitive areas of your face, you want to make sure you're prepared, have done the right prep work, and know the best practices. Nad's brand ambassador Natalie Ismiel is sharing her pro tips.

A Step-by-Step on How to Wax Your Lip at Home

Step 1: Ensure the skin is clean, dry, and free of oils and moisturizers.

Step 2: Hair on the upper lip grows in two different directions, so prepare to treat it in two stages, as wax should be applied in the direction of the hair growth.

Step 3: If you are using a wax strip, like the Nad's Facial Wax Strips ($5) or the Flamingo Face Wax Kit ($10), rub the strip between your palms until it feels warm, then separate the strips. This warmth will help you get the best results.

Step 4: Starting with the first side of the upper lip, apply the strip with firm pressure using the palm of your hand or your fingertips, and firmly smooth over three or four times in the direction of the hair growth. Firmly smoothing the wax helps to distribute it evenly on the skin and grip the hair to prevent patchy spots.

Step 5: Holding skin taut with one hand, quickly pull the strip off in the opposite direction of hair growth. It's important to pull close and parallel to the skin rather than upward into the air.

Step 6: For the perfect finish, remove any residue with an oil wipe or baby oil.

Apply and Remove the Wax Correctly

One of the most common mistakes people make when waxing any area of the body is applying the wax incorrectly; you always want to go in the direction of the hair growth. "Another common mistake is not holding the skin taut with your free hand when removing the wax strip," said Ismiel. "This can result in bruising and make the process ineffective. Be sure to keep the wax strip as close to the skin as possible when removing it — don't pull it in an upward direction, as this will simply pull the skin, not the hair."

Temporarily Stop Using Skin Exfoliators to Allow Your Skin to Heal

Because waxing is a form of exfoliation, you'll want to stop using other exfoliating products on your face to lower your risk of irritation — especially oral and topical retinoids. "Waxing while using retinoids can cause abrasions or irritation to the skin, as both products act as exfoliators on dead skin cells, making your skin more sensitive," said Ismiel. "You should also discontinue skin peel dermabrasion or laser resurfacing treatments."

Leave the Area Alone Postwax

Freshly waxed skin can look and feel a little irritated — this is completely normal and should subside on its own in a short amount of time. However, this is not the time to do your full skincare routine or apply makeup. "Avoid touching the area to ensure any oils or bacteria on your hands don't irritate the skin," said Ismiel. "If you feel discomfort or a burning sensation, you can apply a cold compress to the area."