So you’ve decided to get waxed, but aren’t sure if you should shower before or after your appointment? This is a hot debate in waxing circles. As someone who has been getting Brazilians for over 10 years, let me walk you through everything you need to know to make the best choice for your skin and comfort.

The Great Pre- vs Post-Wax Shower Debate

Some estheticians strongly believe clients should shower before waxing. They cite reasons like:

– It’s more hygienic for the technician
– The steam opens your pores to release hairs
– It prevents lotion or oil buildup that could hinder wax adherence

Meanwhile, others argue showering afterwards is best because:

– Your esthetician will clean and soothe the area afterwards anyway
– It avoids exposing freshly waxed skin to excess moisture
– Shower stream pressure could irritate sensitive skin

So who’s right? The truth is, **there are good arguments on both sides of this shower timing debate.** Rather than a universal rule, the ideal practice depends on your personal preferences and skin needs.

Getting Your Skin Wax-Ready

While a pre-wax prep routine isn’t mandatory, it can optimize your experience. About 48 hours before your booking, start taking steps to get wax-ready.

Smart Pre-Wax Showering

If you opt to shower before waxing, proper technique is key:

– **Time it:** Shower either several hours before or 30 minutes prior—not right before. This prevents irritation from damp skin during waxing.
– **Temperature:** Lukewarm, not steaming hot, to avoid pore swelling and redness.
– **Exfoliate:** Gently scrub dead skin 2 days before, not day-of, to avoid sensitivity.
– **Moisturize:** Hydrate with gentle cleansers and body wash afterwards.

Caring For Sensitive Skin

The 2 days before waxing, it’s also wise to avoid:

– Retinols, glycolics, acne creams — These can thin the skin.
– Deodorants, fragrances, oils — These can block wax adhesion.

And remember to let your hair grow out adequately. Estheticians recommend at least 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch of growth for best results.

Prepping For Discomfort

Since waxing does involve some degree of discomfort, you can additionally:

– Take OTC pain medication beforehand
– Wear loose, breathable fabrics
– Mentally prepare with slow breathing

According to experts, first-timers may want to start with less sensitive areas like arms or legs.

Special Considerations

If you are or could be pregnant, the hormone changes may heighten skin sensitivity. Discuss options with both your OBGYN and esthetician beforehand.

Those under 18 should also have a parent present to consent to Brazilian or bikini waxes.

Your Ideal Waxing Experience

The actual waxing process only takes 15-20 minutes for Brazilian or bikini services. Your technician will apply wax in thin uniform layers, adhere cloth strips in the direction of hair growth, then quickly pull those strips off to remove hair.

Though it feels unusual, estheticians are trained to make this as comfortable, customized and conversation-free as the client prefers. Do speak up if you need them to stop or adjust their technique at any point! Open communication is key.

Caring For Skin Post-Wax

After waxing, your esthetician will likely apply a soothing lotion and provide aftercare advice. Here’s what dermatologists recommend for continuing that skin TLC at home:

Smart Post-Wax Showering

If you prefer showering after, wait 1-2 hours before exposing freshly waxed skin to water. Then keep it a brief, tepid temp shower with no harsh scrubbing. Pat skin dry rather than rubbing it with a towel to avoid irritation.

Continue avoiding retinols, fragrances and deodorant on treated areas for 24-48 hours as your pores close. This prevents painful pimples or breakouts.

Staying Comfortable

Post-wax skin needs breathability, so wear loose cotton undies and linens while the area fully heals. This takes 24-48 hours for moisturized skin, possibly longer if you’re extra sensitive.

In the day or two following waxing, minimize friction and sweat by avoiding tight clothes, exercise, hot tubs, swimming pools, and hot baths. If you simply must, apply petroleum jelly to waxed skin first to form a protective barrier.

Making Your Shower Timing Choice

Now that you know the full wax prep and aftercare process, let’s weigh the pro’s and con’s of shower timing so you can decide what works best.

To Shower Pre-Wax or Not Shower Pre-Wax


– Open pores release hairs
– Prevents oil and dirt buildup
– Warm steam softens hairs


– Risk of moisturizing too much
– Can irritate freshly exposed hair follicles
– Requires longer grow-out period

To Shower Post-Wax or Not Shower Post-Wax


– Avoids moisture exposure initially
– Esthetician cleans and soothes skin anyway


– You may feel sticky from wax residue
– Built up sweat can cause breakouts
– Delayed pore cleansing

As you can see, both options are reasonable. Just avoid showering right before or after waxing when skin is most prone to inflammation.

Making the Choice That’s Right For You

Ultimately there’s no universal right answer, just your personal preference! Figure out if you prioritize:

– Ultra clean pores going in
– Soothing sensitive skin after
– Maximizing hair removal on first rip

And chat with your esthetician about what they recommend for your skin type.

The key is committing to the proper prep and aftercare around that choice. Done effectively, you can safely wax with minimal discomfort either before or after a shower!

Over time you may decide you like one approach better than the other. Or that certain areas prefer different timing. Trust your gut, speak up politely, and work with your esthetician to customize the experience to your comfort.