I Got a "Vajacial," and It Was Nothing Like I Expected
Over the last few weeks, I've come to the conclusion that I am POPSUGAR's resident vagina girl. Wait, stay with me. I have written about my (now ex) boyfriend giving me a Brazilian wax at home, experimented with "vabbing" (if you don't know what that is, consider yourself lucky), tried the "vagina" nails trend, and just last week got my first ever vagina facial, otherwise known as a "vajacial." Are we sensing a pattern?
For the unfamiliar — and I trust that there are a lot of you — a vajacial isn't actually a facial for your vagina. It's a facial for your vulva, the area that encompasses the external female genitalia. (The vagina is all internal.) The buzzy treatment has been all over my TikTok FYP, which left me intrigued enough that I decided to visit Sugaring NYC in Beverly Hills to test out its "v-facial."
What you can expect during said appointment varies depending on where you go. According to the brand's website, the process at this salon included hair removal, ingrown-hair extractions if needed, a chemical peel, a skin-care mask, and a treatment with a high-frequency machine.
When I arrived at my appointment, an aesthetician led me into a room, where I popped off my pants and hopped onto the treatment table, butterfly style. As someone who writes about weird beauty sh*t all the time, I wasn't concerned whatsoever about what was in store for me. I was feeling good. Even when the aesthetician explained that she would first be removing my hair via the sugaring method versus waxing, I still wasn't worried. I've been getting Brazilian waxes for years (I've even waxed myself), so I didn't think I needed to be concerned about the pain. I heard her say, "Alexa, play SZA," from behind, and I settled in for what I thought would be a quick and relaxing treatment.
I was wrong.
People, I cannot express to you how much sugaring hurts. I realize the hair-removal process is just a small piece of the vajacial, but since Sugaring NYC only performs its v-facial on hairless hoo-has, I feel it's worth mentioning. The process felt like it was moving at a snail's pace, and holy Jesus, it was no walk in the park. When she started on the "lips" is when I truly began questioning my sanity, as well as furiously texting my friends asking them if they thought I would exit the treatment room alive or on a stretcher. (I really need to invest in one of those "A little bit dramatic" T-shirts.) The entire hair-removal process should have taken 30 minutes, but I tacked on an extra 10 minutes of yelling expletives and trying to calm myself with deep breaths, which did not work whatsoever.
My aesthetician was nothing if not supportive — she told me when to breathe in and when to breathe out and even said, "Girl, you've got this!" multiple times, and yet the pain was all-encompassing. Think Steve Carell in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," except I was screaming way worse things than "Kelly Clarkson." Once the sugaring was (finally) over, it was time to move on to the real reason we've all gathered here today: the vajacial.
The first step was to steam the area, which she explained would soften the skin and allow the products she'd be applying later to more easily penetrate. To be honest, while I probably would have normally felt like hot air hitting my Pikachu sounded terrible, anything was better than having my pubic hair ripped out slowly and methodically.
After letting the steam do its thing for a few minutes, we moved on to the second step — a glycolic-acid chemical peel. I know what you're thinking — a chemical peel? Down there? After sugaring?! Trust me, I thought the same. The purpose is to exfoliate the skin and treat discoloration, but still, I was freaked the f*ck out. She applied it to my bikini line as well as the top area of my vulva, and although I thought it would sting or burn, we only left it on for a few minutes before wiping it off, so I barely noticed it.
Next, it was time for a mask. When the aesthetician asked me what kind of mask I wanted to do, I was stumped. "We have hydrating options, pore-refining options, and brightening options," she said. "What do you feel like the area needs?" As I gazed down at my naked lower half, the only descriptive word that came to mind was "perfect." I honestly didn't feel like the area needed much help, so I went with their most basic option: a lavender calming mask. Once applied, we let it sit for 10 minutes until it hardened, which was probably the most relaxing portion of the treatment.
The last step was a high-frequency machine, which the aesthetician said would help eliminate bacteria by pushing oxygen into my pores. She laid down some gauze before going over the area with a wand-like tool, which didn't feel like much of anything, but it looked like a torture device all the same. It also made scary zapping noises every so often, but ultimately, it wasn't bad.
By the end of the treatment, my slicked-back bun had fallen into disarray and the pillow I was initially resting my head on was on the floor, but my lower half looked damn good. Would I ever get another vajacial? If I could skip the sugaring process, abso-freaking-lutely. If not? Sorry, dear vulva, but you will just have to live without.