You know the saying: beauty is pain. While that's often true, you don't always have to suffer through all of your beauty treatments — even when it's something like waxing. In order to avoid having a painful incident occur during your wax experience, many people choose to use a topical product like a numbing cream or a numbing spray to ease the pain. Although it won't take away the pain completely, topical numbing creams can certainly help make the experience a little more bearable.
Wax strips, hard wax, and sugar wax all share a relatively similar level of pain. A few other factors can determine how much your wax will hurt, including the thickness of your hair and, of course, your personal pain tolerance. While topical products like numbing creams will help, there's a bit more you should know before you go slathering yourself from head to toe if you're hoping to use this as a hack ahead of your next wax.
Keep reading to learn more about applying numbing creams before waxing.
Numbing Cream: Are Topical Numbing Creams Safe to Use on the Skin?
Generally, yes, but you should still be cautious. According to dermatologist Shari Sperling, MD, the risks of using these products can outweigh the benefits. "There have been reports of people using them on larger areas for a longer duration of time, which resulted in systemic absorption," she said. But that's not the only thing that makes it a bit of a gamble. Dr. Sperling said you should always be able to feel what temperature your wax is, especially if you're waxing yourself.
"You want to be able to feel the heat of the wax," she said. "If the temperature is too hot, it could potentially burn you." In general, you should avoid using these products on larger areas of your body, like your bikini area. If you do use them, Dr. Sperling recommends applying them 30 minutes prior to your wax and rinsing them off immediately after.
Numbing Cream: Do Numbing Creams Actually Work?
Numbing creams do work and can reduce pain when waxing, though you shouldn't make it a habit of using them too often, especially for smaller things like tweezing. "I wouldn't recommend using one for plucking, as the pain isn't usually severe enough in which you would need numbing cream," Dr. Sperling said.
Whether you're waxing yourself at home or dreading going to the appointment you have scheduled, two numbing products Dr. Sperling recommends using to relieve some of the pain are Lidocane Plus Pain Relieving Cream ($15) and Aspercreme Lidocaine Pain Relieving Crème ($12).