It is normal to be apprehensive about the discomfort that comes with waxing. By all accounts, it is not an entirely comfortable experience, and while the discomfort does diminish over time, many first-time waxing clients find themselves nervous about what to expect.

Numbing Creams

While numbing creams may seem like the most logical solution to concerns surrounding the pain of waxing by numbing the skin prior to treatment, they are often greasy and thick lotions, which will need to be washed off completely prior to the appointment. It is important that your skin and hair are completely clean and clear from any lotions or creams at the time of wax application so that the wax can grip the hair properly. If they are not removed completely, they may compromise the effectiveness of the waxing efforts, and result in unnecessary discomfort or unsatisfactory results.

Potential allergies and side effects

In addition to influencing the effectiveness of hair removal, numbing creams are chemical compounds and may contain ingredients that are, in themselves, irritants to your skin or incite allergic reactions. Some of these allergic reactions may only become apparent several hours or days after application (and removal), by which time your waxing will have already been performed; potentially on compromised skin. Allergic reactions may make your skin MORE sensitive, delicate, discolored or prone to bruising, or may result in itchy rashes. Should you develop any of these, it is sure to be uncomfortable for you, and if itchy, the waxed area runs the risk of further damage if you are unable to stop yourself from scratching at it.


If you are concerned about pain, some salons recommend taking a Tylenol or paracetamol 30 to 60 minutes prior to your treatment, to reduce some of the discomforts. While this does not carry the same topical side effects that numbing cream does, many pain medications have a mild anticoagulant effect, with extremely fragile skin at risk of slight bruising due to the pulling tension on the skin when the wax is removed. If this is not a concern to you, or you feel confident that your skin is resilient enough to handle this, taking a mild pain medication may be a viable option.

If you are nervous about the pain associated with waxing, especially if it is your first appointment, read our articles on <link: What should I do if I’m scared or nervous?> and <link: Does waxing hurt?>. These articles will be able to offer you some insight into the topic of discomfort associated with waxing, and our mini-series on <link: what will happen before waxing begins?>, <Link: what will happen during my appointment?> and <link: what will happen after the waxing is done?> will break down the steps involved in waxing so that you know exactly what to expect.

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