By Jennifer Latkiewicz
The rip-and-tear ritual of the bikini wax isn’t for the faint-of-heart, so if you plan to defuzz for Valentine’s Day, take the sting out of your wax job with these expert tips from Edna Ma, M.D., and creator of BareEase & Cream Painless Bikini Hair Removal Kit.
You pop some over-the-counter painkillers and do a few deep breathing exercises, but even with the pre-game pain-reducing strategy, a bikini wax can still feel like a roundhouse kick to the pubic region.
But Dr. Edna Ma feels our pain… which is why she used her knowledge and experience in anesthesiology to develop BareEase & Cream ($25), a prep kit that helps ease the inevitable pain that comes with ‘nether region’ hair removal.
Though topical anesthetic creams are now widely available, BareEase’s lidocaine cream gets a boost, thanks to the unique latex panty. The cream, formulated with the maximum amount of lidocaine available without a prescription, numbs the bikini area prior to waxing, while the BareEase panty ‘locks in’ the cream’s anesthetic power and protects your clothing.
But whether you leave to a professional (spas and salons everywhere are offering their services at a discount this month) or prefer to go DIY, a perfect (and hopefully, pain-free) bikini wax is possible. A few tips:
- Pop a painkiller beforehand. “A topical numbing cream makes more sense than orally administered painkillers because the effect is isolated to the applied area,” writes Dr. Ma. But if you don’t have a BareEase & Cream kit yet, help minimize the pain by taking a dose of over-the-counter painkillers about an hour prior to your waxing.
- Banish painful, ugly ingrown hairs. Prior to your waxing, exfoliate the area with a loofah or scrub. Once the deed is done, disinfect the area with an alcohol-free astringent and avoid exercise, hot tubs and tight clothing for the next day or so, as sweat and friction can irritate your newly bare skin.
- Plan your wax for after your period, Dr. Ma advises. Your skin is actually more sensitive during your cycle!
- Trim the hair prior to waxing. If the hair is too long, it will be more painful, but if it’s too short, the wax will not stick, says Dr. Ma. The ideal length? About ¼- ½ inch, which means you’ll need a wax about every two to four weeks.
Want to give him a sexy V-Day surprise? Consider bikini sculpting — the landing strip is so last year! When Allure magazine interviewed the country’s top waxers, they found V-Zone trends for V-Day do vary: Chicago dares to go completely bare, while New York City and Los Angeles keep it classic with the Tiny Triangle. But Dallas and Miami get really creative — lightning bolts, hearts, Cupid’s arrow and a guy’s initial are top requests.
Ah, proof that romance isn’t dead.