The dos and don'ts of waxing over tattoos
Can you wax over tattoos? Does this make it duller or brighter? How long should you wait before waxing over a tattoo?
We’ve got all the answers you’ve been looking for, but first, here’s a little explainer on the science of the skin and how tattoos are made.
The top layer of our skin (which provides us with a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone) is called the epidermis. Beneath that lies the dermis, which is home to our hair follicles and sweat glands. Further beneath that is the hypodermis, made up of the fat and connective tissue that keeps us warm. To make a tattoo, ink is injected into the dermis to create a permanent mark on the skin, sort of like a very deep scar.
Wax is applied solely to the epidermis during a waxing treatment so it doesn’t touch or affect any tattoos that may be lying beneath it in the dermis portion of the skin. That means you can wax freely over ink without worrying about damaging it. In fact, waxing is a form of exfoliation so it removes the dead cells on the surface of the skin. As a result, tattoos look fresher and more vibrant. Some people say waxing is a bit like cleaning a dirty window (the epidermis layer) that makes your tattoos (in the dermis layer) instantly look brighter.
However, you must never wax over a new tattoo or one that is still healing. A new tattoo can take anything from 4-6 weeks to heal fully. During that time, it will appear swollen and scab over. Waxing at this stage would be like waxing over an open wound.
Top tips for waxing over tattoos
- Wax over a healed tattoo to brighten the colours.
- Wait at least 4-6 weeks for your inkings to heal before waxing.
- Moisturise after your treatment to nourish your skin and maintain the vividness of your tats.
- Don’t wax over a fresh/partially healed tattoo ever! It will hurt, damage your design and cause infection.
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