If you’re like most women, you probably keep a regular schedule of beauty appointments—and you’d never miss your monthly bikini wax, right? But when it comes to exercising, some of your favorite workouts—namely the sweat, dirt, and bacteria that can come along with them—could actually interfere with your beauty routine. So follow this advice for exercising post-wax, blow-out, and more.
Laser Hair Removal
Unlike shaving and waxing, laser hair treatments guarantee longer-lasting results. But after a session, your hair follicles become open, making your skin more susceptible to infection caused by dirt, sweat, and bacteria, says Adriana Martino, laser medical aesthetician and cofounder of Skinney Medspa in New York City. “I tell my clients to wait at least 24 hours before working out,” she says. “Although nothing usually happens after receiving such treatments, it’s best to give your skin a rest and keep it free from friction and heat.”
Especially popular during the summer months, bikini waxing ensures a hairless pubic line for up to five to six weeks. But after having your hair down there ripped out, you should definitely give your lady parts a break from physical activity, exercise or otherwise. “For bikini waxing, it’s best to wait at anywhere from 24 to 48 hours before you start working out” to avoid infection, says Holly Green, owner of Norabloom Botanicals & Beauty Lounge. Friction and sweat can irritate the skin, which is especially sensitive immediately after being waxed—and you’re more prone to bacteria getting in within the first 24 hours. “Brazilian treatments for example, can be hard on the skin, so it’s wise to give skin a break for a short period of time,” says Green. “To help speed up the healing process, use cool stones, ice packs, and aloe gel, as they close up the open follicles and reduce swelling.”
These pricey treatments make your skin glow—but sweat caused by vigorous workouts can irritate your complexion. “After receiving a facial, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours before resuming your exercise routine,” says Green. “When you steam or receive extractions, it’s important to let the skin heal before working out.” Meanwhile, if you’ve had microdermabrasion or a peel, you should wait at least 48 hours before hitting the gym, says Green, since these types of treatments can cause superficial peeling due to the amount of exfoliation used, leaving you susceptible to irritation.
You sat in the salon chair for an hour having your hair primped to perfection—and working up a major sweat too quickly afterward could leave your locks limp. “On the day of your blow-out, you might want to do light weights or low-intensity cardio,” says Jet Rhys, owner of Jet Rhys Salon in San Diego. “On the second day, you can do more intense workouts. To help preserve your blow-out, you can always wear super absorbent cotton headbands, as sweat is collected into the band and not your hair.” For a sweat-proof style, opt for a loose bun high off your face. “When working out, it’s important to keep your hair up,” says Rhys. “For a low-fuss style that volumizes your blow-out, simply pile the hair into a loose bun and secure with bobby bins. To avoid sweat from affecting your bun, make sure that your updo isn’t super tight.”
Even the most basic of pedicures may require you to take a workout break since it can take quite a bit longer than you really think for your nails to dry completely, depending on the topcoat used. And all that moving around in your sneakers could cause smudges. “For a basic safety rule, I would wait for at least an hour before starting to work out again,” says Donna Perillo, owner of Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa in New York City.