How To Treat Wax Burns On Your Face (When to Seek Help)

Key Takeaways –

  • Wax burns on the face can be treated at home by cooling the area with a cold compress and using an antibiotic ointment to reduce inflammation, pain, and scarring.
  • It is important to avoid picking or scratching at the wax, which can spread bacteria and cause further damage.
  • If there is persistent redness, swelling, warmth, or pus-like discharge around the area, medical attention should be sought to prevent infection.

As I recently discovered, waxing your face can be a painful experience – and not just in the moment. After my last wax session, I found myself with a nasty burn that was sore to touch and didn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

After some research, I realized that I had experienced what’s known as a ‘wax burn’ – something which is surprisingly common but also easily treatable (yes, it’s an actual burn, crazy right?).

In this article, I’ll cover how to recognize when you have Wax Burns on your face and how best to treat them so you don’t suffer unnecessarily. I will also discuss when it’s important for you to seek medical help too.

Uncovering the Causes of Facial Wax Mishaps

If you want to get a waxing treatment, you must be AWARE of the potential risks and issues associated with this procedure. While complications rarely occur during a waxing session, unfortunately, accidents can happen (it’s not all the time, try not to worry).

Knowing these facts will help ensure that your experience is as SAFE and comfortable as possible. Let’s look at the main causes of wax burns on the face.

Don’t Overheat the Wax

When you heat the wax until it’s too HOT, this can cause a nasty burn on your skin if applied. In general, the ideal temperature for wax is between 55°C and 65°C [1].

If you’re using at-home wax products, make sure to follow the instructions CAREFULLY and test the temperature of the wax on your wrist before applying it (just like you would with a baby’s bottle).

Not Testing Waxing Products

When it comes to waxing products, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Test a wax product on an inconspicuous area of skin (such as your inner arm) BEFORE going ahead and applying it to your face.

This will help you determine whether the product is SUITABLE for your skin type and won’t cause any adverse reactions.

Pro Tip: Remember everyone’s skin is different! If a product works for your friend, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.

Be Firm But Don’t Rush

When you’re waxing your face, it’s important to be FIRM and consistent with your movements but don’t rush through the process (slowly hurts more, trust me) [2]. This can cause the wax to be removed too quickly which can result in a burn on the skin due to friction.

Using Low-quality Products

Using low-quality waxing products that don’t meet the required standards can also cause issues such as burns, rashes, and other skin irritations. Always INVEST in high-quality waxing products from reputable brands to reduce the risk of complications.

I live by the motto “you get what you pay for” – so don’t be tempted by the cheaper options.

Lack Of Preparation

Before you start waxing your face, make sure to CLEANSE and exfoliate the skin [3]. This helps open up your pores and removes any debris or dirt which could cause a burn during the waxing process.

Pro Tip: It’s important to ensure that you’re using products that are suitable for facial waxing.

Step-by-Step Guide To Treat A Wax Burn On Your Face

Treating a wax burn isn’t complicated, but it is important to do things in the RIGHT order. By following the steps below, you should be able to reduce inflammation and get your skin back to normal in no time.

What You Need:

  • how-to-remove-buildup-in-hair-easily
    • Petroleum jelly
  • Healing creams such as aloe vera or tea tree oil
  • Ice Packs
  • how-to-remove-buildup-in-hair-easily

Step 1 – Using a Compress or Ice Pack

Your first step should be to apply an ice pack or a cold compress DIRECTLY onto the area as this can help soothe any irritation and reduce swelling. Keep it on for 5-10 minutes (no more than that) and then remove it.

Step 2 – Cleaning and Disinfecting the Area

Once you’ve taken the cold compress off, use a GENTLE cleanser to carefully clean the area. After that, apply an antiseptic cream or solution which can help prevent infection.

Step 3 – Apply Petroleum Jelly

This acts as a BARRIER between your skin and bacteria and can help reduce inflammation and pain. Keep this on for a few hours or overnight if possible.

Step 4 – Use Healing Creams & Ointments

Once the area is clean and free from infection, you can then apply HEALING creams such as aloe vera or tea tree oil to promote faster healing of the area.

I use Panthenol Plus, which is a burn ointment that contains Provitamin B5. You can find it on Amazon or at your local pharmacy.


If you find your burn is itchy or tender, you can also apply cortisone cream which will help reduce inflammation and itching. Read our guide about wether your should moisturize after waxing, this will help you understand which creams you should use and how often.

My favorite hydrocortisone cream is cortizone 10. This anti-itch creme goes on smoothly and works quickly for fast itch relief for burns.


Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t pick at any scab that forms – this can lead to infection and further skin damage.

Post Instructions For Looking After Your Wax Burn

Once you’ve gone through the steps above, it’s important to look after your wax burn in order to PREVENT any further complications. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should do:

1. Avoid touching, scratching, or picking at the area as this can disrupt healing

2. Keep your skin clean and moisturized by using gentle products such as petroleum jelly or oil-free/gentle creams

3. Avoid sun exposure as much as possible to prevent any further damage

4. Wear loose clothing to allow your skin to breathe

5. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins C & A as these can promote faster healing

treating wax burn

When to See a Doctor?

It is important to remember that wax burns, while not usually serious, can still cause complications if left UNTREATED or if the area becomes infected.

If you notice any signs of INFECTION such as redness, swelling, pus, or a strange odor, then it is important to see your doctor or seek medical advice.

Read Here: How To Calm Your Skin After Waxing Your Eyebrows?

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Heal A-Wax Burn On Upper Lip Fast?

One of the best ways to heal a wax burn on your upper lip fast is to apply an ice pack or cold compress directly onto the area for 5-10 minutes. This can help reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Afterward, clean the area with a gentle cleanser and apply an antiseptic cream/solution followed by petroleum jellies or healing creams such as aloe vera or tea tree oil.

What Can I Put On A Wax Burn At Home?

At home, you can use a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Afterward, clean the area with a gentle cleanser and apply an antiseptic cream/solution followed by petroleum jellies or healing creams such as aloe vera or tea tree oil.

How Long Does A Upper Lip Wax Burn Take To Heal?

The amount of time it takes for a wax burn to heal can vary between one and two weeks, but you don’t have to wait idly.

Aloe vera gel and hydrocortisone cream not only provide soothing relief from redness or inflammation but also accelerate the healing process so that you can enjoy your clear skin again much sooner.

How To Hide Wax Burns on Face?

If you want to hide wax burns on your face, use makeup. Choose a full-coverage foundation and concealer that can be used to cover the redness or discoloration caused by the burn.

You can also opt for a green-tinted primer before applying your foundation which will help neutralize any redness in the area.

Read here: Waxing VS Shaving – which will last longer?


Wax burns can be uncomfortable and annoying, but with the right products and a bit of patience, you should be able to reduce any discomfort quickly.

For more severe cases, it’s important to seek medical advice so that your skin can heal properly without further damage.

By following these steps, you should be able to get rid of any irritation caused by wax burns and return your skin to its former glory.

Sources –

  1. 5 Easy Steps for the Perfect Hard Wax Consistency. Nova Wax. Published April 5, 2022. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  2. Cherney K. What Are the Side Effects of Waxing Your Face? Healthline. Published March 16, 2018. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  3. Veazey K. Should a person cleanse or exfoliate first? Published May 31, 2022. Accessed February 6, 2023.

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