What to do if your skin is torn during a wash


I am very, very special about my eyebrows. I never let anyone touch them. No make-up artists (I always ask to do mine). No threaders. No washers. I brush them myself with a light hand. However, when a reputable LA celebrity brow-shaper recently came to New York, I decided to break my rule because her Instagram photos showed incredibly thick, precise, arches and deeply satisfying predecessors and afters.

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Everything went well until we reached the area between my eyebrows and yanked a thin layer of skin, causing stabbing, swollen and reddish spots. It was my fault, not hers – I suspected it happened because I used retinol (more about that later) and I also did not reveal that I used retinol products (wrong mistake). I left loving the new shape of my eyebrows, but with two small, rough areas of the skin on top of my nose and under my right forehead. I panicked and wondered if I would scar or that everyone would stare at the blinding wounds in my face. The happy ending here is that it recovered in just four days and left zero marks. My skin is smooth and good as new. But I made sure that I took every possible measure to ensure that I did not damage my skin. Forward, I interrupt everything I did – and add advice from two experts, dermatologist Dr. Melissa K. Levin, founder of Entiere Dermatology, and dermatologist, Dr. Dendy Engelman, in case you are in the same unhappy position.


My eyebrows look great, but the raw skin … not so much!

The Mistake: use of Retinol products for my laundry

What I did: Continue to use prescription strength retinol even until the evening before my washing appointment instead of taking a break. What the experts say: "Topic skin that makes the skin thin must absolutely be avoided before a wash, which includes strong acids and topical retinol / retinoids one to two weeks before," says Levin. Engelman agrees, suggesting not only to use retinoids on prescription, but also products that are available without prescription with retinol. "If you're just starting with a retinoid or retinol, I recommend avoiding the first two weeks of waxing when the skin acclimatises."

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"If you receive in-office treatments such as microdermabrasion, acid peelings, you must also let your esthetician know," adds Levin.

Immediately after washing: protect the skin

What I did: Shortly after my appointment I cleaned the area with regular water and went to a pharmacy to get Neosporin (after all, it is an open wound). I wanted to avoid infections in the first place, so I looked at the problem areas with a thin layer of antibiotic. Then I made sure that I did not apply make-up – which was the case so difficult for me! I felt self-conscious about the redness, but I gave more to cover my long-term goals for the skin instead of directly. On top of the antibiotic, which I & # 39; s in the morning and & # 39; at night, I also made sure that sufficient sunscreen is used at the affected places (and of course everywhere). My current favorite is Superscreen Daily Moisturizer from Supergoop, which feels creamy and super moisturizing and not at all like a chalky white sun block.

Thanks to the brand

SuperScreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40


US $ 45.69

What the experts say: "Immediately clean the affected area with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and apply an antibacterial cream (bacitracin or mupirocin), oral NSAIDs for pain, a topical barrier such as Aquaphor," suggests Levin. She also warns against the use of fragrant products that can further irritate the skin. Engelman adds that you have to apply a moisturizing ointment like Vaseline Petrolatum on a layer.

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Thanks to the brand

Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm

As expected, both derms emphasized the importance of sunscreen. Engelman says that strict sunburn and avoiding the sun will "prevent scars and post-inflammatory discoloration".

Days 1-3 After washing: keep the skin moist

What I did: I relied heavily on a visual mist and kept spitting the waxy spots all day long. I have used Avéne Thermal Spring Water in particular, which is known not only to be refreshing, but also to have incredible healing properties.

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Eau Thermal Avene Water Spray

My colleague Angel has become poetic about the way in which beehives, itching and flare-ups are simulated at the beginning, and there have been studies showing how the water helps to speed up skin repair for burns and eczema. I decided to add it to the routine, did not hurt, and it caused a lot of relief when the burnt skin started to itch.

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What the experts say: Apparently I was right when I thought it was important to keep the skin moist. "Keep the area moist and if a new skin appears, you can apply Bio Oil to prevent scarring", says Engelman.

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Days 1-3 After washing: avoid make-up

What I did: As I said above, I hated this, but I was not sure to use make-up on the raw skin. More than three days the skin started to rub and I applied a little bit of concealer with clean hands, but honestly it would look better without it. The concealer on a crust (ew) was not a cute look and I removed it at midnight. At each meeting or meeting I always said: "I ripped off my skin during a wax, therefore my face looks like this," but everyone told me they did not notice anything. Maybe they were just nice. Anyway, because of your skin. you have to take a DGAF attitude.

What the experts say:
"I would avoid make-up to prevent infection or inflammation until the skin is completely healed," says Engelman. Levin repeated her statement and said the ingredients could be irritating and "your make-up aids and brushes might contain bacteria that could infect the area," she adds. "Like you must, apply a concealer for minerals with clean fingertips. "After following these steps, here's how my skin looked completely healed a week later, without make-up." As for the eyebrows, well, they're still looking forward to saying it myself: