How to Deal With Your Unwelcome Mustache When a Pro Wax Isn’t an Option

Photo: Getty Images/AleksandarNakic
I’m going to level with you: it’s day seven of my self-quarantine, and my lady mustache is out of control. It’s the only thing I can see when I look in the mirror every morning, and I fall asleep dreaming of a day when this is all over and I can visit my professional waxer (after I hug my friends and family, and I guess go into the office). But until then, I am on my own to deal with it.

If you’re in the same boat (… this one goes out to all of the people who have DM'd me on Instagram lamenting about their own similar situation), fear not: there are a few things you can do at home to keep that peach fuzz in check that don’t require someone else touching your face. For help, I tapped Haven Spa co-founder Gabrielle Ophals and Flamingo Wax's Allie Melnick, to walk me through exactly how to properly wax your mustache at home. Read on for her step by-step guide.

1. Opt for pre-loaded strips

The first thing you want to do is make sure you’ve got the right equipment on hand. To avoid any major mess, Ophals suggests using a pre-loaded wax strip, like the Flamingo Women’s Face Wax Kit ($10). The kit comes with soft gel wax strips that are properly sized for different areas of your face, so all you really have to do is put them on and let it rip. If decide to go the DIY route with loose wax and your own cloth strips, be very careful with what temperature you heat it to—as you run the risk of burning yourself—and apply a thick layer of wax so that it will be able to grip all of the hair.

2. Prep the skin

In order to get the best results, you’ll need to apply the wax to clean, dry, skin. That means staying away from any lotions or creams immediately before your treatment—swiping your skin with toner or micellar water can also help rid it of any excess oils that might interfere with the wax. Additionally, there are certain skin-care ingredients that you want to be wary of if you're going to be doing any sort of facial waxing, at-home or otherwise. "Retinoids, vitamin C, and salicylic acids can make your skin more sensitive, so be extra careful," says Melnick. Lay off of the retinoids, in particular, for a few days pre-wax.

3. Patch test

Before going all in on your 'stache, make sure that your skin can handle the wax you're using by doing a patch test somewhere else on your body. Why? "[It will] make sure your skin doesn’t react poorly to anything in the formulas you’re using before fully diving in," says Melnick.

3. Get waxing

Place the strip on the area you want to de-fuzz—you'll want to be sure the hair is at least 1.5 mm long to get enough of a grip—and apply pressure. Then, rip opposite the direction of the hair growth. Do not wax over the same area twice, as you’ll run the risk of ripping your skin, which can lead to scarring.

4. Treat the skin

After you’ve removed the hair, treat the area with a cold compress, then apply a calming lotion like Sea Breeze Sensitive Skin Astringent ($6), rose water, or aloe vera to calm the skin, reduce swelling and redness, and keep infections at bay. You can also apply a healing facial oil, like Jojoba Oil ($16) to further nourish your skin. "The area will be sensitive for a bit, so try to not touch it and transfer bacteria from your hands," says Melnick. And if it's your first time, wax at night before you go to bed to give your skin the night to recover.

5. Consider another option

If the thought of ripping out your own facial hair has you thinking, "that's gonna be a 'no' from me, dawg," your other options for getting rid of it are either to shave or tweeze. Tweezing individual hairs can admittedly be painful and time consuming, though, and Ophals warns that shaving could leave you with a frustrating 5 o'clock shadow, so it's really a "pick your poison" type of situation. Your other choice? Embrace the fuzz, baby.

These are the longterm skin-care ingredients you should consider adding into your routine when you're hanging out at home. Plus, how to properly clean and disinfect your beauty products.

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