The Truth About Skin Burns In Waxing...

Every so often we will get a client in for brow waxing, who a day or so after their treatment will contact us to say that small scabs or burn marks have appeared below their eyebrows. This is terrible for the client for obvious reasons, and it is also terrible for us as a waxing specialist business.

Mobile Waxing Services in Manchester

In my 10 years of being in the Nail & Beauty industry, nothing is more disheartening when things 'go wrong'. Starting out as a waxing therapist (first job) leaving beauty college, I was so excited to have the opportunity to get my foot in the industry! I was a wax therapist for 3 years, it was hard work & long hours but good pay. I learnt a lot in 3 years but eventually as my skill level exceeded I needed something a bit more than just waxing skills, so I broadened my horizons.

Over the years I have come across various different companies, good and bad waxing services. one time (in Manchester) I was working at a beauty salon in Didsbury. There was this new employee just started who was still finishing off her level 2 in beauty therapy. When the salon was quiet we would practise on each other. However this one time the new girl asked me if she could practise on me...."sure" I said. So she started applying the wax on my arm (bingo wings area) and as she placed the wax strip on that area, I advised that its really important that you stretch the skin and pull the strip in the right direction.

She pulled it off and it really hurt. She forgot to stretch the excess skin! this resulted in bruising on my which over a couple days turned pink/purple (different to a skin burn/skinning) throughout the treatment I had skin come off etc (this isn't to put you off) its to understand the techniques in which some places don't properly follow which can result in a poor waxing treatment. However its not always the therapist that is in the wrong, many factors can case issues in waxing treatments.

By the end of it my arm was black and blue!...My point is your waxing therapist needs to be confident, competent, and have the knowledge to be able to provide a excellent service. Things can go wrong and there are many reasons for this (however don't get this mixed up with a therapist who has poor training and forgets to stretch!

Brow Waxing


The natural assumption of the client in these instances is invariably that their therapist has burnt their brows because the wax was too hot. We totally understand this way of thinking, and if we were customers of our business, without the knowledge we have, we would come to the same conclusion.

But the truth of the matter is that often the problem isn’t actually caused by wax that is too hot (and when that is the problem, the client would have likely felt the wax burning their skin during the treatment). Instead, it can be caused by the use of face moisturisers or other skincare products containing certain ingredients which can make your skin more susceptible to a temporary skinning effect from waxing.  (Skinning refers to when the wax lifts the top layer of the skin, making it red and giving it a burn-like appearance. This is a temporary reaction, which disappears completely after a few days and is very different to an actual burn from heat.

The main “culprits” in terms of these ingredients, are AHAs (including lactic acid and glycolic acid), Vitamin A and Vitamin A derivatives (including Retinol, Retinoid and Retinaldehyde) and BHA (salicylic acid). Due to the incredible benefits they have and their proven results in terms of improving the appearance and quality of skin cells, such ingredients are being more and more widely used these days in facial moisturisers and other skincare products.

The use of some of these ingredients can make your skin more susceptible to damage from waxing.

AHA'S and your skin

“While AHA's are fantastic because of its ability to plump skin up and reverse skin damage, at the same time Vitamin A and its derivatives compact the top layer of the epidermis which protects the skin and provides a healthy barrier. Meanwhile, the deeper layers of your skin are thickened, which is good.  As your skin becomes more healthy, however, it anchors the hairs into a firmer base. Although this is an indication of healthy skin, the downside is that the act of removing deep-set hair, especially from the sensitive eye skin, can cause skinning.”

Meanwhile, AHA's reduce the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. When used correctly, they increase collagen production and plump up the skin over time. But because they are exfoliating the top layers of the skin, it means the skin may not cope with waxing so well.”


Generally speaking, the problems with brow waxing seem to occur when certain professional brands and products are used because of the increased amount of active ingredients contained in them.

The salon brands I am aware of that use AHA's and various forms of Retinol are Obagi, Dermaquest, Dermalogica and Environ. These are the main ones. But if a person has been prescribed a professional skincare product by a skin therapist, hopefully they will have been told as part of their consultation about the risks of facial waxing when using these products.”


So if you are a client reading this, what can be done to avoid this problem? Absolutely critically, you need to keep us informed. If you switch facial moisturisers or any other facial skincare product to one which contains any of the mentioned ingredients and you are booked in for any facial waxing, please tell us about it.

If you are an existing client who has already filled in a consultation card with us, we will amend this accordingly.

Once we have been informed of this, we will give you a few options:

* Have a thread instead of a wax on your face, or have your brows plucked.

* Proceed with a different type of wax (non-strip wax) which we wouldn’t normally use for face-waxing (and the results of which may not be quite as effective)

* Stop using the cream for 1 week before and 1 week after your wax

* You take the risk and proceed with the treatment in the knowledge that some temporary burn-like marks may appear after your treatment.


It’s important to point out at this stage that many people do use the afore-mentioned professional skincare brands and never experience an issue with face waxing. Likewise, some clients have experienced it on the back of using some of high-street Vitamin A-or AHA/BHA-containing brands.

The important thing is though that you are knowledgeable about the key ingredients of any products you apply to your face and body, and that you have an awareness, for your own sake and that of your therapist, of the knock-on effects these may have when you visit a salon for treatments.



A clean luxurious warm wax in a gorgeous golden honey colour, with gold mica for a subtle shimmer. The high performance Honey Gold formula applies smoothly and thinly and leaves no residue.

* Applies smoothly and thinly, without dragging

* Non-sticky and leaves no residue which means you will use less strips during each treatment

* Non-stringy-uplifting signature Peppermint fragrance

* Infused with purifying Tea Tree Oil and protecting Echinacea

* 100% Cruelty Free and Vegan Friendly

* Suitable for sensitive skin


I hope this article has helped. If anybody is unsure or has any questions about waxing or getting a wax for the first time please do not hesitate to contact me


Thank you xx


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