Can I Wax My Legs While Pregnant?

Woman getting leg waxed

dardespot / iStock Getty Images

Preferences for at-home leg hair removal vary from person to person, but most people either shave or wax. Of course, when you’re pregnant, everything you do may (rightly) come into question. While in-office treatments such as laser hair removal are generally discouraged during pregnancy, you may wonder if something as seemingly benign as waxing your legs is OK. 

To clear the air of any lingering questions regarding waxing your legs while pregnant, we asked two board-certified dermatologists for their professional opinions. Read on to learn whether or not it’s safe to wax your legs while expecting, as well as any safety precautions to be aware of.

Waxing Your Legs During Pregnancy

People of all ages have waxed their legs to enjoy smooth, hair-free skin. For best results, the hair on your legs should be around 1-to-3/4 inch long, so that the wax can optimally latch onto it and pull it out from the root. Waxing at home is economical, but that’s not to say there aren’t certain precautions you should take—pregnant or not.

Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about waxing your legs while pregnant.

Is It Safe for Baby?

Waxing your legs while pregnant is generally safe to do while pregnant—especially if it’s usually your preferred method of hair removal. “It is absolutely safe to wax your legs while pregnant,” concurs Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC.

That said, keep in mind that your hormones are fluctuating and you have more blood flowing in your system (your heart is beating for two, after all!), so you may be more sensitive to pain from waxing. A good rule of thumb is always to do a patch test first, to get a sneak peek into what the experience will be like on a larger area.

For this reason, if that patch test is a little too intense for your desires, Mary Lupo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at the Lupo Center for Aesthetic & General Dermatology in New Orleans, recommends waiting until after you deliver your little one. After all, shaving is a good and safe alternative to waxing. Bottom line: If the pain is too much, there’s nothing wrong with going old school and grabbing that razor instead.

Benefits of Waxing Your Legs During Pregnancy

There are benefits to waxing over shaving, however, while pregnant. Peruse the below to find out why.

Exfoliation

When you wax your legs, along with the hair, you’re also removing the outermost layer of skin on your legs. This exfoliation can make your skin feel smoother and, over time, become healthier looking.

More Coverage, Less Effort

“A large area can be treated relatively quickly, and you can have it done by a professional,” advises Dr. Nazarian. “This avoids the stretching or contorting of your own body that is often required when shaving.” As your baby bump grows, so too do your physical limitations—especially when it comes to bending down when removing hair from your legs or even tying your shoes—which can become more and more difficult and uncomfortable to do as you progress through your pregnancy. 

Longer-Lasting Results

Because you’re pulling hair out by the root—as opposed to chopping it off mid-growth—waxing can leave your legs looking and feeling smoother longer than shaving.

Safety Precautions of Waxing Your Legs While Pregnant

Alas, even pregnancy-safe activities like waxing your legs require some precautions for best results—and the best experience. 

Give Waxing Your Legs a Try Before Pregnancy

If possible, try giving waxing your legs a go prior to becoming pregnant. “It’s best to have tried waxing before you’re pregnant,” recommends Dr. Nazarian. “This ensures that you won’t have any irritation or you don’t have any allergies to ingredients that are used during the process.”

See a licensed professional and give the salon a good look to be sure it’s sanitary. “There’s a small risk of irritation or infection if waxing is done improperly,” Dr. Nazarian says. So if you choose to go the salon route, be sure their cleanliness is up to par. 

Pamper Your Skin Pre- and Post-Wax

Your skin is more sensitive while you’re pregnant. For this reason, Dr. Nazarian offers a multipronged approach. “I always recommend that women apply a calming moisturizing cream following their wax, and to avoid any irritants for a day after waxing.” This includes avoiding scented cleansers and perfumes as well as any potential irritants like alcohol.

Dr. Lupo also stresses the importance of an everyday skincare staple—especially after waxing. “Be sure you are using SPF,” she says. This will help protect your skin from any further irritation or possible sun damage.

Try to Get Ahead of Any Discomfort

Easier said than done, we know. But, if possible, try applying cold packs to your legs on and off for about 30 minutes prior to waxing (just be sure you leave your legs completely dry), as well as post-wax. Avoid hot showers or baths, apply a moisturizer that won’t clog your pores, and wear loose clothing. You can also always ask your healthcare provider if there are any pregnancy-safe analgesics you can take beforehand to help reduce any discomfort.

Keep the Heat in Check

The wax you use on your legs should be warm but not scalding. Dr. Lupo explains, “A burn will be slow to heal and more likely to lead to hyperpigmentation.” Remember: The goal here is hairless legs, so try your best to avoid damaging them with excessively heated wax.

A Word From Verywell

Whether or not you choose to wax your legs at home while pregnant is a purely personal choice. There are many benefits, such as softer, smoother skin for longer. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t take safety precautions to avoid any risks, like irritation or infection. Of course, if you’re unsure whether or not waxing your legs while pregnant is right for you, be sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Dermatology. 2021. Hair Removal: How To Wax.

  2. 1st 1,000 Days, New Parent Support. Which Beauty Treatment Are Safe During Pregnancy?

  3. Cleveland Clinic. 2021. Shaving vs. Waxing: What’s Better for Your Skin?

By Cat Matta
Cat is a linguistic alchemist and expert wordsmith who has written and edited for some of the world's biggest brands. However, she particularly enjoys the medical, aesthetic, pharma, mental health, and beauty realms. She works full-time as a senior content manager at a multinational digital agency.