Monobrow-ow-ow-ow: eyebrow wax tears my skin
May 27, 2012 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Eyebrow waxing (professional) usually tears off a layer of my skin, ow - alternatives?

Well, there is always plucking...

Eyebrow waxing usually tears off the layer of skin under my eyebrows. Say about 80-95% of the time, whether or not it's professionally done or I do it myself, and even if I warn the aesthetician beforehand. Then I develop a scab as the tear heals.

I think it is because I'm using Differin acne creme (though not under the brow where it tears) which tends to be drying and recommends to avoid waxing. Though a year or so ago I was able to wax more successfully. Maybe one bad tear has made me very sensitive now. Argh.

I've tried a few different professionals in the city, and regular wax and cream wax. I've tried taking a break for 2-3 months. Nope.

For those of you with similar problems: would sugar wax be better (sounds risky)? Should I try threading? Should I give up and just pluck them?
posted by SarahbytheSea to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total)
I like threading a lot. It hurts more the first time, but subsequent times it gets better. Or I just got used to it. It seems to last longer, too.

In conclusion, threading.
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:13 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding threading.
posted by newpotato at 4:18 PM on May 27, 2012

I will third threading. But be sure to get someone who knows what they are doing.
posted by jadepearl at 4:23 PM on May 27, 2012

Have you heard of sugaring?
posted by HotPatatta at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fourthing threading, but make sure you go to a place that has been recommended or gets good reviews on Yelp; someone who is bad at threading is a million times worse than someone who is bad at waxing.
posted by shamash at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

i never have any problems with marking or burning from waxing or threading. except for when i was using differin- the area i waxed was burned and i had to walk around with burn marks for some time. i would try threading and if it doesn't work the first time, you might want to see if you can use something else besides differin.

on another note, i used to have more acne until i got laser hair removal. that seemed to improve the quality of my skin while taking care of the hair. won't help with your eyebrows since you can't laser them, except that you may not need the differin anymore so you may be able to go back to waxing them.

memail me if this isn't clear or you have questions and i can be helpful...
posted by saraindc at 4:46 PM on May 27, 2012

Yup, you cannot be using Differin and getting your eyebrows waxed! Differin causes the top layer of your skin to shed super easily, and it is definitely the reason why you're experiencing ouch-age! :( I'm actually sort of appalled that your aesthetician doesn't refuse to go forward with the procedure entirely; they're supposed to ask if you're using any topical agents that could interfere with any cosmetic procedures like eyebrow waxing. If you were to stop using the creme around your forehead and eyebrows (the chemicals in the creme actually seep downward, hence the need to only use it below your eyes), you may experience less sensitivity and be able to get your brows waxed.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 4:48 PM on May 27, 2012

And beware of sugaring - I have this problem naturally (super sensitive skin) and while the effect is less with sugaring, I have, on occasion, lost skin that way as well.
posted by scrute at 4:55 PM on May 27, 2012

I see a professional who plucks my eyebrows to shape them. It only takes about 10 minutes. She does an amazing job and spares my (also due to acne medicine) sensitive facial skin. As an added bonus, the shaping is more precise. You can often find aestheticians who do this at higher end salons.
posted by telegraph at 5:02 PM on May 27, 2012

I also get my eyebrows threaded. The result is 100x better than any result I ever got from waxing but I also think it hurts much MORE than waxing. Waxing hurt the first couple of times I got it done but then I got used to it and it didn't bother me at all. I've been getting threaded regularly for a few years now and it is still eye-wateringly painful for me.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:10 PM on May 27, 2012

Threading. I didn't have a problem as extreme as yours, but my skin would often remain irritated, puffy, and very sore for a few days post-waxing. Any irritation with threading only takes, at most, a couple of hours to cease, and it's not very pronounced to begin with.
posted by skybluepink at 5:10 PM on May 27, 2012

You can put a little anbesol (oral numbing gel for, like, cankersores) on your eyebrows before you pluck, the plucking hurts less. For some people it also works for threading. And if you're going to pluck, get some high-quality tweezers, it makes a HUGE difference. Plucking the same hair enough times usually eventually kills the hair's root and that hair quits coming back. (I don't know about threading or waxing.)

If you drive, the place to pluck your eyebrows is 100% in the car. Great natural light, conveniently-situated mirror. Do a dozen when you pull in to a parking lot. A dozen at a time every time you park makes it go fast!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:31 PM on May 27, 2012

Threading - I had the same problem and usually get burned if I get mine waxed.

When I started getting them threaded I actually had random strangers come up to me to compliment my eyebrows. It only happened a few times, but they were complimenting me on my eyebrows. So I recommend it.

I've been getting my eyebrows threaded off and on for about 10 years and it doesn't really hurt me but my eyes still tear up sometimes.
posted by fromageball at 6:37 PM on May 27, 2012

Threading hurts much more (not terribly but it's slower and like plucking a bunch of individual hairs in quick succession) but it looks sooooooo perfect, I love it. Defo go to a place with good reviews, but it totally changed my relationship to my eyebrows (which have a good natural shape but are way too crazy).

Threading supposedly will also kill the root. My advice is to put a hot compress on your eyebrows before you get to the salon. In my experience that makes it hurt less, but the beauticians usually won't do this before they thread. (Maybe this is bad advice, idk?)
posted by stoneandstar at 8:13 PM on May 27, 2012

Threading is great... I have had the same issues with waxing (in my case, my upper lip) with regards to scabs forming, but threading does not cause this problem.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:46 AM on May 28, 2012

Another threading vote. I'm using a retinoid and don't have problems with threading. It's also far more precise than waxing and lasts a lot longer.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 1:29 PM on May 28, 2012

Are you mainly trying to get rid of a monobrow? If so, just shave between the brows. Takes seconds, and no side effects.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 3:44 PM on May 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone! I will give threading a try!

@Perodicticus - I have classic French Canadian thick hairs above, below, and between my brows, and around my temples. I used to shave between though :)

@Eyebrows McGee, haha, you made me smile! My hubby will think I'm bonkers because we commute together, but indeed it's a convenient mirror in the car. Neat idea for numbing gel, check on high quality tweezers.

* Raises hand to hairy eyebrows to salute you all! *
posted by SarahbytheSea at 5:59 PM on May 28, 2012

Threading for sure. Are you in Toronto? If so, I recommend Forever Young on Gerrard at Coxwell. Only 3 bucks to boot.
posted by Go Banana at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2012

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