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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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