A couple months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Cancun, Mexico for a week with some of my best friends. (It was my graduation present to myself - who needs a savings account anyway?) While I was preparing for the trip, I decided that I was going to get a Brazilian wax, my very first wax down there, so that I would be able to rock my teeny bikini with confidence.
Now, like I said, I had never had a wax down there before, only some eyebrow-scaping now and then, and I was completely terrified of what it would be like. The infamous waxing scene from "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" kept flashing through my head and I nearly called and cancelled my appointment about half a dozen times.
Finally, after nervously asking all of my friends for advice and doing some in-depth (and awkward) research online, I put together a list of tips for making a Brazilian wax less painful:
1. Slowly work your way up to a Brazilian wax
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of jumping right into the deep end without testing the waters first. You should start off with a simple bikini wax to see how you and your body react to waxing. If it's not so bad, you can make the next step towards a Brazilian. Plus, many professionals say that the more you wax an area, the less it hurts... or at least that's what I keep repeating to myself.
2. Don't make your wax an at-home, DIY project
Some girls are fine with waxing their legs and bikini lines at home, but a Brazilian wax is a whole different ball park. Getting a wax from a professional who is familiar with the technique and method will ensure much less pain than if you try and do it at home. Also, a professional will use their other hand to press down on the bikini area after it's waxed, which helps numb the sting, leaving your hands free for however you choose to cope with the pain. (Fist clenching and obscene finger gestures are some of my favorite options.)
3. Exfoliate your skin
Using a body scrub the day before your wax will help remove dead skin from around your bikini area. This allows the wax to grip shorter hairs and makes for an easier exit from the hair follicles. Exfoliating before-hand also helps to prevent ingrown hairs (yeah, no thanks).
4. Say no to stimulating beverages
When I first made my appointment, I had a preemptive bottle of wine set out specially for pre-gaming the event. However, stimulates such as alcohol and coffee can actually make your skin super sensitive. Instead, opt for some good ol' H20 to hydrate your skin and save the wine for celebrating your success afterwards.
5. Utilize pain-reducers
Yes, you are allowed to take pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol and they greatly help with the pain. Take them about 45 minutes before your appointment so that they have already kicked in by the time your wax starts. Also, there are various numbing lotions on the market that are specifically made for waxing. Products such as Dr. Numb and Relax and Wax No Scream Cream are the most highly recommended and are said to make the waxing process a lot more tolerable.
6. Relax and Breathe
I know this is easier said than done, but stressing yourself out will only make your experience worse. Engage in conversation with the esthetician in order to distract yourself, or, if you can, talk one of your close friends into coming along with you to keep you company and hold your hand - having a friend there to laugh and make light of the situation will do wonders for your relaxation.
All in all, I have to say that my waxing experience wasn't that bad. While there is pain, it only lasts while you're getting your wax and is gone as soon as you walk out of the room. Plus, now you get to go rock your itty-bitty bikini on the beach and not have to worry about waxing again for another month!