Stores & Services
Find a Sephora

Happening at Sephora

View all


From makeovers to personalized skincare consultations

Free Classes

Get inspired, play with products & learn new skills

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Post in Age Defiers

Retinol use and Waxing

I started using a retinol about a year ago (prescription strength), used it for about a month , and then went to my waxing appointment only to have strips of skin removed from my eyebrow area. I  learned after this is due to retinol thinning the skin because of the high cell turnover, and that waxing needs a small layer of dead skin as to not damage healthy skin.I should also mention this was the day before my wedding.

Needless to say, I stopped using retinol immediately.


So my question to all of you retinol pro's out there is, can you use retinol and still wax ever, or is it just a no go? Can you apply it in areas where you aren't waxing, or does the bit of migration still cause this horrible skin damage?


Not waxing is not an option, I have crazy eyebrows and I've only found one person who as ever made them look great, and she uses wax. I only wax about once ever 2 months.


Re: Retinol use and Waxing

An aesthetician told me to wait like 3 days on retinol before waxing.  Try backing off the retinol for 3 days prior and then get waxed.  I hope that works for you!

Re: Retinol use and Waxing

I've used retinoids/retinols for years and get my brows threaded now. Waxing is a no-go if you're using them. Hopefully you can find someone who does just as good a job as your current brow-person but who uses threading or plucking instead. Or, maybe your current person could learn a new technique. 

Re: Retinol use and Waxing

@jesrose Did she ask if you were using actives? They should. 


You can wax, but need to stop all actives a few weeks prior to the appointment and make sure they know. No, you can't wax where the active isn't applied, topicals address the entire surface. There's also threading. 


I've waxed for years and use prescription topicals, also have had skin removed as well. Communication is key, on both parts.

Re: Retinol use and Waxing

She did not ask, but I had been going to her for a number of years and I did not mention I started something new (my bad). She told me she would not wax any less than 3 months after stopping the retinol. I know I could switch to threading but I've been so many places and she is the only one who does my brows perfectly, so I have such a hard time giving her up!


When you say a few weeks, do you mean closer to 2  weeks or 3 weeks?

I don't wax that often, as I tweeze in between, and can easily go 2 1/2 months in between appointments, so I could definitely stop using for 2 weeks prior.


Thanks for your reply! It's almost impossible to find information about waxing and retinol use, other than "don't do it, tweeze or thread instead". 

1 Reply
Conversation Stats
  • 4 replies
  • 0 Hearts Given
  • 4 Contributors