Most everybody can attest that grooming eyebrows can be a big pain—in more ways than one. Ripping hairs from the root with hot wax, tweezers, or a thread isn’t the most relaxing experience out there, as you can imagine, and the ever-so-frequent (and necessary!) upkeep can be a real doozy. As if that weren’t bad enough, some of us are sent on our merry way post-grooming session with angry, red pimples dotting our eyebrow area. So not only are we stuck dealing with unruly strands, but pesky eye brow acne to go along with it. Not. Fun. Since we shouldn’t have to choose between rocking a furry unibrow and acne-laden skin, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali to share some helpful tips on how to keep unwanted breakouts to a minimum after getting our eyebrows done. Keep scrolling to learn what you can do!
WHY DO EYEBROW BREAKOUTS OCCUR POST-WAXING AND/OR THREADING?
Before we dive into the steps to take to keep blemishes close to our perfect arches at bay, it’s important to understand why this reaction is so common to begin with. “Similar to shaving and razor burn, trauma to any area can cause your skin to react,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “Combined with the possibility of a stray hair becoming ingrown, popular eyebrow hair removal techniques can lead some to experience unpleasant breakouts.”
OTHER FACTORS THAT CAN LEAD TO EYEBROW ACNE
Even if you never remove stray hairs, you may still experience pimples in your brow area. The main culprit? Using cosmetics that are comedogenic—meaning they can clog your pores. The gels, powders, and pencils used to give you that model-worthy bold brow can also lead to clogged pores and brow breakouts. Try to use non-comedogenic products and always cleanse your brows each night the way you would your skin. This will help to remove the product and any excess oils that may linger on skin and lead to clogged pores.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
Before you jet off to your appointment, gently exfoliate your face paying close attention to the brow area, or wherever treatment is taking place. This can help ensure that when the wax is applied onto your skin, it won’t press bacteria and dirt into your pores and cause a clog. We’ll be honest: There’s a chance your skin could still act up after your session, but giving your skin a good cleaning is never a bad thing. So, why not?
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR APPOINTMENT
This is obvious, but resist the urge to touch your newly-shaped eyebrows with your fingers. If your hands are dirty, bacteria can transfer onto your face and clog pores, which can lead to a breakout. “The first evening, icing 2-3 times per day for 2-3 minutes generally helps,” Dr. Bhanusali says. If all else fails and you do see any pimples post grooming, reach for a spot treatment formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur.