Numbing Cream for Waxing, Does it Work?

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We suffer for our beauty — think Spanx and high heels that make our feet scream just thinking about them. Beauty can hurt. A lot! And waxing is one of the most painful beauty processes out there.

Still, many of us love waxing because of the smooth and long-lasting results. The pain feels worth it.

However, if you find yourself dreading your next hair removal appointment, then using a numbing cream for waxing may just be the thing that will make it a more pleasant experience.


Using Numbing Cream for Waxing

Waxing process

There’s no doubting that waxing, like other hair removal processes like epilation, hurts. This is particularly true on the very sensitive skin on the face and bikini line, but it is the case for the legs and underarms, too.

This is because, unlike shaving, waxing pulls the hair out its bulb, or root.

With repeated treatments, this damages the hair follicle enough so that hair becomes less strong and thinner, making waxing less painful the more you do it. 

Waxing can lead to blood spotting, redness, etc. It’s not a fun experience!

However, when done efficiently by a certified beauty therapist, it shouldn’t be so painful. The proswill use quality waxes and have experience in stretching the skin to make it tight when removing the wax to minimize pulling or bruising. 

But you may have to deal with the awkwardness and embarrassment of getting a Brazilian wax.

Everyone has a different pain threshold. What may be a barely noticeable irritation for some may cause unbearable pain for others.

So if you still want to try a numbing cream, then read on and find out what products to look out for.

Ease The Ouch!

Epilation and Waxing Numbing Oil

If you’d rather not suffer through your next waxing appointment, using a skin-numbing cream can help to ease the pain. Numbing creams work by stopping the skin’s sodium channels from interacting with the nerves that send pain signals to your brain.

Waxing hair on private areas (and chests for the boys) can be excruciating. Because this hair is coarser and thicker than the hair on your legs, and they have deeper follicles. It takes more power to pull them out.

Hair growth is also more concentrated in these areas, which makes the skin more sensitive, to begin with.

No Scream Waxing Cream

So, is there anything you should know before applying numbing creams?

Although skin-numbing creams do work to reduce waxing pain, they’re not something you should use all the time, because of the drug used to desensitize the skin.

Lidocaine is usually the active ingredient found in most brands, and it is very effective at providing pain relief. Although there are many numbing creams on the market, due to the proliferation of tattooing, most are not suitable for use on, shall we say, the more delicate areas of the body. 

They should be applied at least 30 minutes before your treatment in order for the product to be absorbed into your skin and for the pain relief to activate.

Rinse off any excess so that it doesn’t leave a residue that the wax won’t adhere to.

The following are some numbing creams that are safer to use for places like your bikini line and face:

No Scream Cream Relax and Wax 

No Scream Cream Relax and Wax is a topical numbing cream that has approval for use on all areas of the body, including the bikini area, underarms, legs, and even the face, and can temporarily prevent pain from waxing.

This FDA-approved cream’s active ingredient is benzocaine, which when used as directed, can relieve waxing discomfort between 50-80%. 

It is suggested that No Scream Cream Relax and Wax is applied at least 30 minutes, and up to 45 minutes before your waxing treatment. The product is water-based so is easily absorbed into the skin and makes it suitable for wherever you need to remove hair. 

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GiGi’s Anesthetic Numbing Spray works by gently desensitizing the skin before waxing. Containing 4% lidocaine, it penetrates the skin’s surface and makes it numb within minutes.

This helps to minimize any of the discomfort that’s typically associated with waxing. It takes away the sting, while also soothing the skin.

Clean + Easy Prep Pre-Epilation Oil 

Clean + Easy Pre Wax Oil - Prepares the Skin for Hard Wax Application - Pre Waxing Treatment with Soybean and Grapeseed Oil, 5 oz
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Although not technically a skin-numbing cream, Clean + Easy Prep’s Pre-Epilation Oil is a pre-waxing skin treatment that will condition, moisturize and soften your skin to protect it from irritation due to waxing.

Specially formulated for Brazilian waxes, it helps make the removal of wax easier by helping it stick to the hairs, not the skin, for pain-free removal.

It includes grapeseed oil, which helps to make your skin more elastic, and its gentle formula is suited for all skin types. It’s also not tested on animals and made in the USA.

Safety Issues

Numbing creams are generally safe to use. However, some people experience the following side effects or allergic reactions when using numbing cream products: 

  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Chest pains or breathing problems
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Itchy skin rash 
  • Swollen face, throat or lips

If any of the above happen to you after using numbing cream, then call 911 or visit an emergency room, as these reactions can lead to further problems.

You want to make sure that when you do use numbing cream for waxing, you haven’t numbed your skin so much that you can’t feel the heat of the wax, especially if you’re waxing yourself.

You do not want to burn your delicate skin with hot wax!

Don’t apply numbing cream to any areas of the skin that is scratched or have small cuts or abrasions. And if it’s only a small area of stray hairs that need removal, get your tweezers out.

Wax Easy

There are a few things that you would be wise to consider before you book your waxing appointment. For starters, you need to make sure that the hair to be removed is long enough, at least the length of a grain of rice.

If your hair is too short, the top layer of skin can come away along with any hair on the waxing strip… ouch!

If your hair is too long, then it may need a trim beforehand. Waxing shorter hair will be less painful during removal. This is especially important when waxing areas with denser growth, such as Brazilians.

Your waxing technician will trim your hair if it’s needed.

You also probably don’t want to do any waxing if it’s your time of the month. This is because, during your period, you may become more sensitive to pain.

You may also be likely to feel more tired or stressed, which would make your waxing process more torture than treatment. And if you’re feeling sick or run down, you’ll be more sensitive as well.

If you’re a coffee-lover, then you may want to lay off the java a bit. Caffeine can stimulate your nerves by increasing your heart rate, which can make your waxing treatment more painful.

Therefore, you should avoid Starbucks for at least four hours before meeting with your beautician.

Do your best to relax. Regulating your breath with deep breathing will help your body, muscles and nervous system to relax, which will make any pain more bearable.

Your waxing technician has done this many times before, so there’s really no need to worry. And you can always let her know or ask her questions if you feel uncomfortable.

Finally, you might be pleased to know that the more frequent your waxing treatments are, the less painful they will become over time.

If you have sessions every 4-6 weeks, eventually new hair growth will thin out and reduce, so your results will be smoother and your treatments will be less painful.

Aprés Wax

Clean+Easy Azulene Oil

Now that you’ve had your wax, there are a couple of things you can do to help the skin recover from your treatment. For starters, you’ll want to make sure that your skin is nurtured so that it calms down and the hairless follicles heal faster.

Clean+Easy’s Azulene Oil  is a post-waxing skin conditioner that can be used on your face, arms, armpits, legs and bikini line. It provides instant relief after waxing because of its anti-inflammatory ingredients. 

These include vitamin E, aloe vera, rosemary, and Azulene, which is a natural botanical oil derived from chamomile, yarrow, or blue tansy, all known for their anti-inflammatory properties. This means skin is soothed, redness is repaired and ingrown hairs are prevented, making this oil great for sensitive skin. 

Clean+Easy’s Azulene Oil also works at removing any leftover bits of wax or grime leftover from your waxing procedure. It’s 100% cruelty-free and vegan, and is made in the USA.

Clean + Easy Calm - Azulene Oil, Use To Soothe Sore Irritated Skin, Remove Wax Residue After Hair Removal - Post Waxing Care Solution For Sensitive Skin, 2 oz
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The final thing you should keep in mind is that it is best to avoid tight clothing or exercise immediately after your waxing treatment.

This is because your skin is more susceptible to absorbing bacteria from the open pores. The friction resulting from working out can cause irritation, while tight clothes won’t allow your skin to breathe.


Now you know the best ways to make your next waxing treatment more comfortable. And if you still want a numbing cream for waxing, you have all the information you’ll ever need.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).