Of all the ways we can remove unwanted facial and body hair at home, waxing is probably the most chaotic. Sure, shaving involves a sharp blade, and tweezing or epilating can be uncomfortable and tedious, but waxing takes skill, bravery, and in some cases, a total disregard for what a lot of experts recommend.
“Unless you are an experienced at-home waxer, I am always very cautious to recommend it,” board-certified dermatologist Chris G. Adigun previously told Allure. “There are many variables that can go awry with waxing at home, including managing the temperature of the wax, which requires heating, waxing off just the hair (and not the skin), and irritated reactions to components of the kits.”
The good news: There’s a way to wax at home with less worry. Wax strips take the temperature guesswork and area imprecision out of the waxing equation by offering pre-sized, ready-to-rip pieces. With the strips we’ve rounded up for you here, you’ll never have to deal with the mess — and the danger of potential burns — that comes with microwaving a vat of goo, nor the uneven distribution of it on the body part of your choice.
Although these strips make at-home waxing so much simpler, there are still some tips everyone should follow before yoinking out hair from the roots. “The hair should be between an eighth- and a quarter-inch long,” aesthetician Hannah Naranjo previously told Allure. Furthermore: “Make sure your skin is clean.” Moisturizing lotions, gels, and oils can make it harder for the wax to fully adhere to the hair you’re attempting to remove.
Naranjo recommends holding off on exfoliation in the day or so after waxing, but after that, regular exfoliation between waxing is a must. In addition to exfoliation preventing ingrown hairs, board-certified dermatologist Marie Hayag has told Allure, “Exfoliating also helps skin look healthy and encourages hair to point up, growing in the correct direction.”
Now that you’re ready for removal, check out our top picks for wax strips you can use at home.