Why You Should Only Pluck Your Eyebrows After A Shower

From thin to thick, dark to barely-there, a lot of trends have come and gone in the last 100 years of eyebrows. Even within the last decade, we've seen a brow renaissance, with classic styles and experimental techniques vying for popularity. Maybe you like to go for the full, natural look, or maybe you like 'em super sculpted. These days, all's fair in love and eyebrows.

But no matter how you like to bring your brow game, one of the biggest challenges is keeping stray hairs in line. For many people, this means regular plucking to maintain the right shape and curvature. Even if you're a dedicated eyebrow waxer, threader, or microblader, there may be occasions where a rogue hair needs to be plucked.

As it turns out, though, it isn't always a good idea to pluck on the fly. In fact, tweezing hairs from unprepared skin could do more harm than good. Whether you're sticking with a tried-and-true eyebrow look or hopping on board one of 2023's trendiest eyebrow shapes, here's why you should only pluck your eyebrows after a shower.

Open follicles mean kinder, gentler brow plucking

Plucking may be one of the simplest, most direct ways to tackle wild eyebrows, but anyone who's tried it knows that it's not exactly comfortable. Tweezing each individual hair can be eye-wateringly painful, sometimes even drawing a pinpoint of blood to the surface of your skin. However, showering or bathing beforehand can help ease the way for kinder, gentler brow plucking.

"Hot water can change the structure of the skin, make it more pliable, and loosen up the material in it so it's more easily flushed out," dermatologist Sapna Palep tells Skincare.com, a site by L'Oréal. This boost of skin flexibility also makes it less difficult to pluck away hairs in your eyebrows or anywhere else, and less difficulty means less redness, less irritation, and less pain.

Even Anastasia Soare, founder of the beloved beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, is a believer in post-shower plucking. As she says to Allure, this method "will help open up the pores and ease discomfort." So if you're tired of brow plucking that feels more like slow torture, try relaxing your skin by luxuriating in a warm shower first.

Extra tips for easy eyebrow plucking

Bathing may be the most straightforward way to relax your skin with heat and steam, but what if you need to do a quick brow tidy without taking a full shower? In this situation, you can cut corners by simply washing your face with warm water or putting a hot, damp cloth over your brows for two minutes to open up the pores. Then, simply pat your skin dry and tweeze as normal.

For extra easy plucking, you can give even your skin a little additional prep. Regine Tweezers, purveyor of handmade Swiss tweezers, recommends exfoliating your skin a few hours before you want to pluck your eyebrows, as this will help get any pore-clogging gunk out of the way. They add that hydrating your skin with castor oil or a non-comedogenic, water-based moisturizer can smooth things even further — plus, it's good for your overall brow health.

Sometimes, your brows may still feel a little tender, even with proper preparation. For example, your skin can be extra sensitive during menstruation. ​​"Estrogen helps plump, thicken, and protect the skin," OB-GYN Christine Greves, M.D., explains to Health. But estrogen tends to plummet around your period, which could mean that "your skin might be predisposed to pain and sensitivity." Whatever the reason, if you're still feeling a little sore or inflamed after tweezing, you can also soothe those irritated brows post-plucking with a cool cloth or a little aloe vera.