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How Tweezing Unwanted Hair Can Damage Your Skin

can plucking and tweezing hair damage skin

Wondering whether or not your tweezing habits are causing your skin more harm than good? Keep reading to find out how tweezing unwanted hairs can affect your skin.

Let’s be honest: there’s nothing cute about removing unwanted hair. From sitting through a painfully uncomfortable Brazilian wax for the first time to walking out of the salon looking like someone just took a blowtorch to the dark brown hair of your brows, nearly every kind of hair removal can have some effect on the skin in some way…even when we do it at home! Hair removal can be tricky if not done properly.

And, no, we’re not just talking about dermablading, waxing, and shaving…we’re talking tweezing too! Believe it or not, tweezing the wrong hair, the wrong way, at the wrong time can potentially damage to your skin’s surface. We sat down with a top dermatologist to find out how tweezing can affect the skin—and what you can do about it. See what he had to say below. 

Can plucking and tweezing damage skin?

Here’s the thing: If you tweeze the stray hairs below—or between—your brows, once they are long enough to be plucked, that’s A-OK. If you’re frequently picking and plucking at ingrown hairs or hairs that haven’t yet reached the surface, we’re looking at you, because you may be doing more harm than good.

By practicing this bad tweezing habit often, you can put your complexion at risk. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, dermatologists see two things happen in patients who practice long-term tweezing: “dark spots called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring.”

Tweezers can be sharp so if you are constantly picking at an unwanted hair or two you could accidentally puncture the skin, which then could lead to one or both of the above over time.

When was the last time you cleaned your tweezers? The products you use on your skin—from makeup to skincare—can often accumulate on our unwanted hairs. When we pluck these strays, the buildup—and any germs along with it—can transfer to our tweezers.

So, when you’re going in for the kill—so to speak—on a new area of strays and you pierce the skin, you may end up transferring that bacteria-laden build up onto your skin. Brow breakouts are real, you guys! To avoid this issue, clean your tweezers before and after use with an alcohol swab. And always (always!) tweeze stray hairs when your skin is clean, you don’t want to give any impurities lingering on your skin’s surface a one way ticket into an open follicle, do you?

If you find that tweezing has been affecting your skin negatively, Dr. Bhanusali suggests you consider laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is an effective hair removal technique that requires a series of laser treatments to kill the root of the hair in areas of the body such as, your bikini area, legs, upper lip, and chin. While it’s not entirely permanent, over time laser-treated hair can grow back lighter and thinner and may only require an annual touch up after the initial treatments have taken place.

Interested in more expert tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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