Even if you think you know everything you need about hair removal, you might be falling in a few common traps that end up hurting more than helping. If you’re ready to get the best results, then you need to avoid all the worst hair removal mistakes.

From the right way to exfoliate to getting ready for laser hair removal and protecting your skin after it, here’s what you need to know about hair removal errors to stay away from in order to get the best results without bad side-effects for your skin.

Not Exfoliating

Proper exfoliation will help you get rid of dead skin cells and reduce the risk of ingrown hairs. Because waxing and shaving also have an exfoliating effect, it’s important to do it 24 hours in advance. If you’re not a fan of body scrubs, use chemical exfoliators with AHAs or BHAs before going for the razor. Shaving after proper exfoliation also means a lower risk of cuts.

Using Chemical Exfoliation Before Waxing

While chemical exfoliants are safe before using a razor, they’re not so good for waxing. One of the worst hair removal mistakes is using AHAs or BHAs before waxing, especially if you’re doing it at home. The risk of damaging your skin is high, so avoid them for a week before waxing and try more traditional means of exfoliation to get your skin ready.

Shaving with a Dull Blade

Some cosmeticians recommend using a blade a single time, but if you think that’s too extreme, then stick to 3-4 uses before moving on to the next blade. Also, make sure to rinse the blade after every time it touches your skin. That way, you’ll get the closest and smoothness shave, while also being less prone to bumps and redness.

More: How to Cure a Razor Burn

Sunbathing Before Hair Removal

Getting a tan, whether it’s real or fake, should be reserved for after the hair removal process, especially when you’re waxing or going for laser hair removal. Sunbathing in the 24 hours before either is one of the worst hair removal mistakes. Stay out of the sun in order to avoid skin burns or pigment problems. It’s also very important to avoid direct exposure to UV radiation right after laser hair removal, when your skin might still be irritated.

Shaving In The Morning

Shaving in the Morning

If you plan on using a razor, it should never be in the morning or after a hot bath. Since your legs tend to swell overnight or when soaking in warm water, you won’t get the closest or smoothest shave. Instead, schedule your hair removal for the evening and if you want to do it in the bathtub, then be very quick.

Scheduling at the Wrong Time of the Month

Waxing and laser hair removal are more painful in the week before your period, but they’re not exactly comfortable during it or the week after either. One of the worst hair removal mistakes is ignoring your hormonal changes. If you want to feel less pain, aim for the time of the month when you’re ovulating.

Rushing into Laser Hair Removal

Before you actually get your first laser hair removal session, you need a consultation with an experienced technician. Don’t just show up and expect excellent results. You need to know what to expect and to provide a few details about your medical history before going under the laser.

Rushing Into Laser Hair Removal

Getting Laser Treatments without Shaving

One of the worst hair removal mistakes is skipping shaving before the laser treatment, just like you would for a waxing session. If you have a little stubble, the laser hair removal can end being more painful and less effective. Waxing and depilatory creams are not a good idea, since shaving provides the best contrast for the laser to do its job.

Using Bad Tweezers

If your tweezers often slide off hairs or break them, you’re just wasting a lot of time and energy with the wrong tool. Invest in a good pair of tweezers and your eyebrows will look better in less time.

Waxing Frequently

One of the worst hair removal mistakes is to expect good results from waxing without letting the hair actually grow. Coarse hair should be half an inch long in order for the wax to pull it out successfully, while fine hair shouldn’t be shorter than a quarter of an inch.