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  • Writer's pictureJane Rubin

Exfoliation in Times of Pandemic

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

I know, this is a dicey topic and ordinarily, I’d take a pass, but this morning was simply unforgettable. Today we greeted the first, truly sustainably warm weather of late spring. It was the type of day we turn over our closets, switching to summer clothes, and eye those shorts and bathing suits knowing we have to tidy a few choice areas.

Many people, like me, leave it to the South Korean nail and wax salons, where they take care of matters with complete expressionless efficiency. I was hoping by now, I could address hair color, cut, nails and waxing, but it seems not to be. This social distancing will be going on for a while longer.

Having anticipated the possible inconvenience, I sent away for Wax Strips, the Amazon Choice, as a matter of fact. The box says, “Effective Depilation - Fast and Easy Operation."

The word “Operation”, should have tipped me off. That word on its own, suggests serious business requiring experienced, capable, steady hands. Not mine.

"How hard can this possibly be?” I thought to myself. Reading and following the directions, I got to Step 2, “carefully tear and divide adhesive strips into two pieces.” There was no warning that the adhesive finish of each of the two sides, was so damn sticky, it would adhere to anything it touched. And touched it did - to the table, to my clothing, to Chapter 5 of my manuscript and finally to the desired location at the top of my thigh.

Step 4, “...tear off the waxed paper quickly and decisively” posed a problem. This adhesive was as sticky as super glue. When I exhaled to pull it off, it not only took off hair, but a layer of epidermis as well. Geezzz, it never hurt that badly in the salon.

Finally, making it to the end of the process, my hands were shaking, my skin raw and sticky and I was limping about the room attempting to work out a groin cramp, when I took a look at Step 5, the final insult. It suggested removing the residual wax with olive oil. Olive oil? Are they kidding? What do they think I am, a Greek Salad?

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