8 Top Tips to Minimise Pain while Waxing

Waxing is one of the most affordable methods of hair removal, but it's by far one of the most painful. There's just something about having your hair ripped out in large swaths by a piece of dried wax that makes you cringe every time you think about it.

But did you know that waxing doesn't have to be painful? You'll never truly get rid of the pain, but you'll find that you can reduce it by doing a few simple things! Read on to find out the secrets for minimizing pain while waxing.

How to Reduce Waxing Pain

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the pain of waxing your body:

Man getting his back waxed in a spa

1. Scrub your skin ahead of time.

Popular exfoliating product

Exfoliating your skin may seem like a silly way to reduce waxing pain, but the truth is that it works! When you wax, you are pulling the hairs out of their follicles by the roots. If the follicles are filled with debris--like dead skin cells, dried skin oils, and dirt--the root of the hair is harder to pull out. The debris clumps up around the root of the hair, making it larger and thus more painful when it is finally yanked out.

If you want to cut waxing pain, give your skin a good scrub before you wax. Use an exfoliating scrub to open your pores, clear out debris, and eliminate any dead skin cells. When you finally do get around to waxing, it will be less painful. Just make sure to do it a couple of hours before waxing to give your skin time to recover.

2. Say "No" to alcohol and coffee.

Picture of coffee in cup

There's nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee to start off the day, or a glass of wine with lunch or dinner. However, you need to realize that both of these things will cause your skin to be more sensitive throughout the day, meaning you will feel the pain even more strongly when you wax. Alcohol and caffeine also increase acidity in your body, which helps your body to be more receptive to pain signals.

On the day when you're going to the waxing salon or doing it at home yourself, skip that cup of coffee in the morning and wait until after the waxing session to have a soothing glass of wine. It will help to minimize pain during the session.

3. Numb the pain

Stimulants may be a no-no before a waxing session, but it's highly recommended that you use a numbing cream to help dull the pain. Numbing creams come in all strengths and formulations, so it should be no problem to find a cream that will help to dull the pain that you feel as your hairs are yanked out by their roots.

Click here for a list of our recommended numbing products for waxing.

You can also take ibuprofen or paracetamol in order to reduce the pain. Both of these will help to desensitize your skin, so you should take one an hour or so before the waxing begins. This is especially important for at-home/DIY waxing newbies.

Recommended Products to Ease the Pain

Clean + Easy Numb Anesthetic Solution 4oz

Quality brand solution, ideal to numb skin prior waxing.

Vienna's Lavender Face and Body Mist

100% natural product that calms and relaxes skin. Also ideal to relieve sunburn.

Advil Liqui-gel 200 mg

Quick and effective solution to temporarily relieve minor pains and aches. Contains ibuprofen.

4. Apply baby powder

Did you know that a coating of baby powder can help to prevent the wax from pulling on your skin as you rip it off? You want the wax to stick to the hairs, but you definitely don't want it yanking on your very sensitive skin. Dust your skin down with baby powder a few minutes before applying the wax, and it will soak up any skin oils and moisture that the wax could stick to. It not only helps to protect your skin, but it will actually help the wax grip your hairs better.

Generic, cheap baby powder works as well as the fancy, brand-name stuff!

5. Get your skin hot

Image of a hot shower

Many people tell you to take a cold shower in anticipation of a waxing session, but that is foolishness. Cold will cause your skin pores to shrink, gripping those hairs even more tightly and making the waxing session more painful.

Instead, take a warm shower or bath. The heat will cause your pores to open, loosening your follicles' grip on your hair and making it much easier to yank the hairs out by their roots.

6. Avoid smoking

If you're a smoker, you'll need to go cold turkey for at least 12 hours before you wax if you want to reduce the pain. Smoking causes acidity in your body, which increases nerve sensitivity to pain signals.

7. Relax

Woman in front of sea relaxing

If you are anticipating a lot of pain during your waxing session, you'll probably be all tense and nervous when you walk into the salon. When you lay down on the bed, you will no doubt tighten your muscles in anticipation of the strips of wax being yanked off. This will just make the session more painful, as tightening your muscles pulls the skin taut as well.

Instead, breathe through the fear of pain and make it a point to relax. Listen to the soothing music, and try to unclench your muscles. The more you relax, the less painful it will be!

Man having his chest waxed

8. Wax the right places at the right time.

There are certain parts of your body that will always be painful to wax, such as your genitals, around your nipples, and inside your nose and ears (yes, people do wax these places!). There are other hair removal methods to consider for these places, and you should avoid waxing them unless absolutely necessary.

Also, don't wax around open cuts or wounds, or if your skin is sunburned or burned. Waxing over bruised skin can be very painful, and the same goes for waxing over moles, pimples, skin tags, and warts.

The Pain Diminishes in Time

As you are walking into your first waxing session, keep this in mind: the pain fades in time.

Your first waxing session will usually be fairly painful, but with regular waxing your skin will become accustomed to having its hair pulled out by its roots. You'll find that it will be much easier to handle the waxing sessions simply because the nerve endings of your skin will become less sensitive to the pain.

It will never truly go away, but it will become less painful with each session!


I'm a computer science graduate, have a passion for self development and created this site as a side project due to the lack of complete, understandable, helpful and truthful information about hair removal available online.

  • Avatar ShiresLaw says:

    It’s a nice article.
    If anyone gets waxing from there beauty parlor then its parlor’s responsibility to follow the safety guidelines.

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