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I was on a run once with a group of women and the talk veered from the usual how our week went to, well, waxing down there (quite the jump, I know, but we had 10 miles and two hours to kill). I had never done it and was nervous hearing stories of runners who had gotten waxed and sweat so much that it let to ingrown hairs and horrible irritation.
Now, after being waxed, I find I prefer it to the razor burn that comes with shaving, but still in the back of my mind have always carried those waxing horror stories with me from that long run. So, I turned to an expert and talked with Angelea Mason, owner and waxing specialist at Brazilia Waxing Spa, to find out exactly what runners need to know before—and after—getting waxed.
Mason explains that it is safe for runners to get bikini and Brazilian waxes—even when running in the summer heat and sweating more—as long as you properly take care of the area.
“After receiving your waxing service we recommend no exercising until the following day,” she explains. “Avoid any public water areas, such as hot tubs, saunas, pools and spas, while the skin is healing to prevent infections and avoid tight clothing if the bikini area was waxed.”
When getting an area waxed you’ll want to keep the area out of the sun and tanning beds for two days—both before and after—and they recommend you use sunblock. Though you may default to thinking that this doesn’t apply for a bikini or Brazilian wax, often the inner thigh will be waxed, so it is best to wear longer shorts to keep the area from getting too much sun exposure (as your could shorts ride up and expose the skin).
During that post-run shower, there is some proper care to know about, including if you see a pesky ingrown hair or some bumps.
“Do not exfoliate any area that has been waxed until the redness and or sensitivity subsides,” urges Mason. “If you notice bumps, you should keep hands away from the waxed area and cleanse the area gently again. Another cause of bumps could be ingrown hairs, and once your skin has healed, exfoliation will help prevent those.”
Mason reiterates that waxing is safe and effective and most people will not experience side effects. However, the final thing to consider is that certain medications and skin types are more susceptible to problems than others. For this reason, she recommends consulting with a doctor should you have any concerns.
“For example, if you are prone to have Gastridious Heart Burn (gastric acid), this can change the skins pH level to be more acidic; sometimes resulting in a burn or causing the skin to lift during the waxing process,” Mason reveals. “We recommend that you take an antacid 45 minutes prior to your wax treatment to help prevent any side effects.”
Additionally, should you use Retin-A, Tazorac, or any other topical or oral medications, you should let them know prior to your appointment.
“Using certain medications and topical creams or gels may effect the outcome of a waxing service,” she adds. “For example, we cannot wax you if you are on Accutane or for at least six months after using Accutane.”
As long as you follow proper care instructions and keep your skin out of the sun, protected by sun block and treat the area sensitively pre- and post-waxing appointment, you should have few problems as a runner.