I Tried Sugaring Brazilian On My Bikini Area and I’m here to share that experience with you because it’s my job! This post is so awkward to write and definitely a bit of TMI (hello Mom in Law and gym friends!). If I know you in real life, just don’t read this. Mind yo bidness! If you read this, pretend like you didn’t. For the rest of you, I’m posting this for you because I care about you and your bikini area deeply and I want you to get in the pool this summer.

Sugaring Hair Removal

With summer officially here I decided to take the plunge and get my ‘bikini area’, sugared for the first time.  By the way, I’m 38. You are never too old for new things, right? Actually, I’ve never even had that area waxed before – I’ve shaved or used horrible Nair products and neither of them is a good option, but I’ve tolerated them as the least complicated alternative.  Hello, chemical and razor burns!! I was reading tons of reviews in a mom group I’m in about a nearby sugaring salon that is fantastic. So many people were sharing such positive experiences that it made me want to give it a try, especially since it was traditional sugaring and not waxing. I was doubtful because at one time I did try a store purchased sugaring kit but it’s not the same thing. This is not a liquid that you use the same way as wax with fillers that give it the property of wax.  It’s one ball of sugar (made of melted sugar, lemon, water) that gets reused for the entire duration of your hair removal. It grips your hair, but not your skin. This also makes it very sanitary since there is no cross-contamination with the same jar of wax being reused between customers.

What really intrigued me when I started reading about traditional sugaring is how it actually reduces hair growth if you time the treatments right so that the hair is removed in a certain growth stage (about every 4 weeks in the anagan stage), and it changes the quality of the hair regrowth and reduces ingrowns. The thing that makes sugaring different from waxing is that it pulls the hair out by the root (instead of snapping the majority of the hair) and, it’s very gentle on the skin. You are still ripping out hair roots mind you so it’s not exactly ‘comfortable’ but you don’t have that skin damage trauma and post-wax burn. I’ve had horrific experiences with waxing my eyebrows before so I am very careful.  My skin is so delicate that waxing my eyebrows has caused my skin to rip right off, and I also get bad bruising from the constant lifting of the skin. I even have some permanent redness on my upper lip from threading. Scabby eyebrows and a red upper lip area is not a cute look! Both soft and hard wax seems to stick to my skin in a way that the sugaring ball doesn’t.  Another huge bonus is that the regrowth takes a lot longer. I’m going on three weeks post sugaring and I’m just starting to get regrowth, and the hair coming in is very fine. Normally if I shave, I get regrowth the next day. Same with Nair hair removal.

I wanted to share this experience with you guys because I spent most of my adult life starting from puberty in a hateful relationship with my ‘down there’ hair. I’m Mediterranean so I’m a hairy hairy beast and I have dark coarse hair. I have been plagued by really bad ingrowns all of my adult life and I’ve really hated dealing with hair removal (even hair acceptance). I know, I’ve painted quite the picture for the online world. Trust me, if you’re not plagued by the Mediterranian curse (or you’ve been waxing since Sex And The City made the Brazilian  Wax popular) this will seem like such a silly thing to fret about and you’re probably telling me to ‘grow up and deal with that shit like a proper lady!’.  Just imagine running a few half marathons while dealing with this issue, and what a miserable experience that alone would be, OR, having to go on a swimming field trip and having major razor burn at 13.  My hair situation can be downright painful, embarrassing and prevents me from living my best life. It’s made me feel awkward and embarrassed about something I shouldn’t have been embarrassed about. Believe me when I tell you that sugaring has been revolutionary for me and has helped in more ways than I anticipated. My skin is smoother and exfoliated, it surprisingly makes a big difference in temperature and perspiration, and I like being able to go swimming spontaneously. I really don’t have a preference for the aesthetics one way or another, but it has made working out much more comfortable. I just generally feel less sweaty in that region.

via GIPHY

 

The Appointment

I am a wuss when it comes to pain. Sometimes. I have a high pain tolerance but I also really go to great lengths to avoid pain.  Since this was my first time and I’ve read horror stories about first-time Brazilian wax pain, I decided to prepare for this appointment by taking Advil and Tylenol 20 minutes before and getting a skin numbing lotion from the pharmacy (over the counter, but you need to ask the pharmacist). It’s called Emla and it’s used for kids getting IV’s or skin treatments like biopsies. It’s a lidocaine cream that you smooth onto your skin about 30 minutes before, and cover your skin with the cream on it with an occlusive dressing (saran wrap worked perfect and stuck well), and then put your undies over it.  Then right before your appointment in the treatment room you clean everything off with soap and water. Guys, I researched this all for you! This Emla cream worked a charm! It worked so well that I had no pain in some of the more painful areas to remove hair, but in one patch that I missed, I felt exactly what the ripping of the hair felt like. It was spicey! It felt like a bad slap, so although not as bad as I thought it would be, I prefer to save myself any of the pain and I will continue using the Emla. It’s expensive but worth it to me. I suspect my next appointment would be less painful anyways because my hair is growing in very fine now and the roots are always most stubborn the first time, but I like to be kind to myself.  Another thing to do for pain prevention is not drinking caffeine before your appointment. Caffeine causes vasoconstriction and will make pain on your skin more intense.

Before your appointment, you need to clip your hair down to 1/8 inch growth (or 7-10 days growth), or about the length of a grain of rice. Also, be freshly showered for your appointment. I like to take wipes with me too just so I feel confidently tidy (but that wasn’t necessary since the esthetician had two types of wipes available). The one drawback to sugaring is between sugaring appointments you need to let your hair grow out.

The ‘positions’ you need to get into are actually not so bad. I’ve heard horror stories about that too but in my case, I was on my back the entire time and draped by a towel with only the areas being worked on exposed, section by section. I also thought the appointment would take an hour and that I’d be sitting there with hair being ripped out painfully, and my sole exposed for the world to see for a long duration of time, but the appointment was approximately 20 minutes long, and it was thorough. I don’t even think I can shave that fast.

 

The aesthetician was so lovely throughout it all and so professional. Her salon has a focus on body positivity and really caters to moms so not only does she have body positive messages and pictures throughout her salon, she’s making sure you are comfortable and relaxed the entire time. She explained every detail of the appointment to me and talked about aftercare and what to expect. Girl knew her stuff! She even texted me a few days later to see how I was healing and if I had any questions. If you are in Vancouver and want a recommendation, just message me!

After The Appointment

With waxing (on my face), I always experience intense redness and swelling that lasts for days and days. I didn’t have that with sugaring. I was definitely slightly tender (1 out of 10 on the discomfort scale), but didn’t need a pack of frozen peas or any more Tylenol, I did wear granny panties after just to avoid the friction. You are supposed to avoid hot showers, swimming, intimate activities and exercise for at least 24 hours. This is because your hair follicles are all open and if you introduce bacteria or heat from a hot shower, you are much more likely to get irritation or folliculitis.   You cannot exfoliate for 48 hours, but then you are supposed to exfoliate every other day until your next appointment in order to prevent ingrowns. I have followed this advice and I have had smooth skin for the past three weeks with no signs of ingrown or rashes at all. I can’t tell you how happy I am about that. Actually, the real test for me was the constant walking in New York. Typically, that is something that would 100% lead to ingrown hairs for me thanks to the friction of a 10-mile sweaty walk, but I was perfectly fine. My hair is growing back now and absolutely the texture has changed. Even if I only ever did this once, it’s worth it just to have a more skin-friendly hair texture. I always read about marathon runners getting pedicures before their races but I really think that a good thorough bikini sugaring is the spa experience you should treat yourself to.

 

Post Hair Removal Care

These are my post care recommendations. You can use a small dry body brush to exfoliate the area, or a sugar or salt scrub. Because I was traveling I picked up something called ‘Tend Skin‘ which is a chemical exfoliator. Basically, Tend Skin is liquid aspirin with a really good delivery system. I’m a huge fan of it. I would exfoliate with a small dry brush, and then post shower I would swipe on some tend skin. The next essential step to ingrown prevention is to moisturize. Dry skin clogs pores so you really need to keep your skin well moisturized, especially after exfoliating. Now that I’m home from the trip I’m using a sugar scrub and alternating with the tend skin used less frequently.  This one is good, and so is this one. The Tend Skin can be drying and as I said, you need moisturized skin. Use a body oil like Nuxe or the Herbivore one.

Post Hair Removal Care Products To Try

Will I Go Back?

A resounding yes. I intend to do the recommended three appointments every 4 weeks during the summer, and then I’ll probably just maintain this periodically. Like I mentioned above, the most important thing for me is my comfort and caring for my skin and not so much the aesthetics. Once the sugaring in that area becomes less frequent I’d love to try my underarms and legs. My underarms are another area that I get a lot of aggravating hair related irritations. I’ve been using Tend Skin in that area post shaving and it also really helps me there.

 

Since you guys get the benefit of posting anonymously if you like, I’d love it if you shared your experiences in the comments. Do you deal with this ingrown hair issue? Have you been waxing/sugaring for years? Share your expert tips if you have! 

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31 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    June 22, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    OMG I can’t believe how timely your post was!!! I’ve just had my third-ever sugaring treatment of my bikini area. My first treatment was at Easter. Like you I used to use Nair or Neet – which actually worked really well, but was messy and stinky. I had tried waxing once as a youngster (I’m now 45) but it was a BAD experience with irritation and then ingrowns. I have mixed feelings about the sugaring so far – but decided to press on with it and experiment with trying to fix a few issues. My big problem seems to be the development of a few little “pustules” each time. I definitely get a diffuse red rash immediately afterward that is completely gone by the end of day two (not a big deal). BUT unfortunately over the following few weeks I’ve seemed to get a few little pus-filled pimple-like spots. Unfortunately, trying to pop them like a pimple doesn’t seem to work -I was left with a purplish discolouration that seems to be taking forever to fade. Obviously not trying THAT anymore. They don’t seem to be ingrown hairs (unless the hair is so small that I can’t see it). I’m now trying to be more diligent about chemical exfoliation (trying Paula’s choice BHA – which must be similar to your ASA product I think) and physical exfoliation with a mitt in the shower. I think part of the issue might be that I’m a self-tanner addict, and that may clog the follicles? I’m also trying a fucidin-hydrocortisone cream this time around. Any other advice would be much appreciated!!! Als0-an embarrassing question if I might….Like you I lay on my back the entire time, and she (obviously) worked on my front. But I have a fair bit of hair on my upper thighs at the back. I was too shy to ask about this and she didn’t offer to do anything in this region. Your GIF of SJP in your post makes me think that a position like this would work. Is treatment of this area a normal thing to ask for or will she think I’m a (hairy) weirdo????

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 22, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      Bless you for being the first commenter. I was literally holding my breath worried when I posted this.

      It sounds like you have folliculitis. I bet you the exfoliation mit is causing this and maybe too rigourous physical exfoliation, even if the mit is on the gentler side. Try the Tend skin (I am finding that is healing the folliculitis I get in my armpits) and try not using the mit for a few days. I was using the mit shown in the banner of this post (the green one) which is gentle, but that caused a bit of redness in some hair follicles so I stopped using it.

      As for the second question, yes, the laying down position takes care of 90% of everything and then if you want that area done you move on to your side. She did most of that for me but that one patch I didn’t get the emla cream on was back there and it hurt so she opted to not do the rest and take care of it on the next appointment. She wanted me to have better healing and a better experience since I told her my skin concerns so decided it was best to not get that section. It’s definitely normal to ask for that area. Actually, she asked me if I wanted that area done and told me it was pretty common and the least painful area.

      • Anonymous
        June 22, 2018 / 7:52 pm

        lol -bless YOU for the post! So helpful to talk about this…. I wondered about folliculitis as well – so my current routine after this sugaring treatment is salicylic acid followed by Drunk Elephant marula oil at night, and Fucidin-HC in the morning. I haven’t used that mitt this time around (Thought about maybe using it in the upcoming weeks, but only gently as the hair is growing in….but maybe I’ll hold off this cycle as an experiment!). So far, so good, but it’s only day 4. I will be brave and ask about the posterior thighs next time. Thank you again.

        • Cristina
          Author
          June 22, 2018 / 7:57 pm

          Let us know how the new routine experiment works out. Maybe even dilute the salicylic a bit in case the exfoliation is too strong. The Marula oil should be perfect, and I bet you the fucidin HC is helping out a lot.

          • Anonymous
            June 23, 2018 / 12:22 pm

            Will do! And a footnote because others are asking about price – I also paid 60.00 (including tip). Also would totally have considered laser but I’m not a good candidate because my hair is pretty fair.

  2. Kate
    June 22, 2018 / 11:24 pm

    What was the cost.

    • buggie
      June 22, 2018 / 11:56 pm

      I am also curious about cost. I have never heard of this sugaring business!
      I have wondering for years now whether I should just pay up for the 6-8 permanent hair removal treatments and call it a day. I am the worst with ingrown hairs cause once I notice one I have this need to GET IT OUT, which then of course leaves a red little sore where I dug around in there…. sigh……….

      • Cristina
        Author
        June 23, 2018 / 9:04 am

        It was $60. It’s comparable to waxing price wise.

      • ANON
        June 23, 2018 / 9:13 am

        I also had several horrific experience with ingrown hairs ugh!!!!That is why I went with permanent.

        • Cristina
          Author
          June 23, 2018 / 9:15 am

          They are the worst. So painful. Has the permanent laser been effective for you? How long ago did you do it?

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 9:04 am

      $60

  3. Anon
    June 23, 2018 / 3:25 am

    I got permanent hair removal 5 years ago. I went into for about 10 treatments for bikini area and arm pits. Best money I ever spent. I don’t have to deal with sugaring or Brazilian bikini wax. I have 3 little kids and don’t have the time for monthly appts except for facials and once a week massages.

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 9:02 am

      I had thought about that. My friends have done that using Groupon but I think the results have been mixed for them and it is still a very big investment even with groupons. Eventually, I may go there and if I do I’ll definitely post about that too. The thing that swayed me towards sugaring over permanent is that I wanted to be hair free all at once

      • ANON
        June 23, 2018 / 9:11 am

        Cristina, yes it is indeed a long process and tedious. It is very $$. I think of it as never needing to spend time and money again on hair removal. I have friends who’ve also done it and not all of them had 100% success. However, it was more like 90% success. I’m so fricking glad it worked for me because I don’t have any more spare time. Thank you for sharing your experience with SUGARING!

      • T
        June 23, 2018 / 11:42 am

        Go to arbutus laser on west broadway and arbutus. They don’t charge upfront, they only charge per session (I only needed 3!). Worth all the pain. Best thing ever. No ingrown hairs!!!! I also used that Elma cream and it helped a lot with the pain. Each session was literally 5 minutes and cost under $150. So basically, I spent abt $450 and I’ve been Hair free for 5+ years. Waaaaay cheaper than getting waxes. Do it NOW.

        • T
          June 23, 2018 / 11:50 am

          Also: I posted my name because I’m a winner. Le sigh. Oh well. Anyway, been a long time reader of your blog. Looooove it. Thank you for all you do!

          • Cristina
            Author
            June 23, 2018 / 12:09 pm

            Haha! No worries, I just changed it for you. It’s a quick change on my end so if that happens just let me know.

        • Cristina
          Author
          June 23, 2018 / 12:10 pm

          This is an amazing tip, thank you!! How long between appointments do you go?

        • Cristina
          Author
          June 23, 2018 / 12:11 pm

          That’s my old work neighborhood so I’m familiar with that place. I actually looked into it for laser vein removal. I ended up going with a different treatment. Maybe that will be my next post.

          • T
            June 23, 2018 / 12:28 pm

            Arbutus laser is great! My friends also had laser hair removal, but at different places and they all go charged before all their appts. That means, they would get charged for a set of 10 appts even if they only needed 5! One friend paid $3000!!! I thought that was insane. Arbutus doesn’t tell u have many appts you will need. They will figure that out as you get more and more treatments (I promise I don’t work for them). I think I had to wait 10-12 weeks between appts. But, after the first appt there was already a huge difference. One caveat tho – I’m Asian so I don’t have much hair to begin with, BUT I had an Italian friend who went to Arbutus and had great success.

            The pain is no joke tho. The numbing cream definitely helps, but it basically feels like er, you’re on fire down there. So yeah, that part is no fun.

  4. Anonymous
    June 23, 2018 / 6:10 am

    I have been waxing for many years. I wish there had been a post like this back then, because I had no idea what I was in for. My hair was also very coarse and thick but the best thing about consistent waxing is that less and less hair grows back. It was very painful at first, but if you go consistently it’s much less painful. Also I’ve found that razor burn (if I shave instead) is much less than years ago, because I just have less hair. One thing you mentioned in your post about the regrowth hairs being thinner…this is true, but eventually they will thicken again if you were to only wax once and never again. So you can’t really do it just one time and expect thinner regrowth forever. Great post … you’ve done a great service to your readers!!

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Thanks!!! And thank you for letting me know about the regrowth. I was wondering about that.

  5. Christina
    June 23, 2018 / 6:57 am

    Thank you SO much for this post and especially all the tips! I rarely comment but I just want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I love your blog.

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 8:58 am

      Thank you!!! Thanks for reading.

  6. Anonymous
    June 23, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Thank you for posting – I’m going to seriously look into this…

  7. anonymous reader
    June 23, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    You’re very brave to post this and I thank you.

    I’m way older than you and I got my first sugaring a couple years ago. I admired some white running shorts on a girl I kept seeing but I live in the sweaty south- it looks like I took a shower in my running gear when I’m finished–and I knew it would not be wise to wear white shorts in my then-current state. So after a lunch including a glass of wine, I just went for it. Never looked back. Don’t know why it took me so long! I bought and wear the white shorts with confidence now! I feel way more comfortable when running and clean in general.

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 23, 2018 / 7:58 pm

      I love your comment so much! I’m glad you are wearing your white shorts!

  8. RP
    June 24, 2018 / 9:07 am

    Hey sis, I read your post and never thought that we shared the same experiences or that most women do as well. I just thought I was plagued and not normal. I recently looked into laser treatments but wasnt brave enough to go thru with the appointment. I have tried waxing before and oh so painful! How is sugaring any different. I may look into the numbing cream. I am glad I read your post and as many of your readers are …..relieved we share the same experiences.

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 24, 2018 / 9:13 am

      😂 just don’t bring it up at family dinner!
      Try the numbing cream and go to this place I go to. Sugaring is not a ton less painful than waxing I suspect but the difference for me is it’s not hurting my skin and it doesn’t hurt after.

  9. K
    June 25, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    This local reader definitely wants to know where you had such a fantastic experience!!

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 1:31 pm

      Sugaringchange in Port Moody, and see Chantal! She owns the shop.

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