You know the saying: beauty is pain. While that's often true, you don't always have to suffer through all of the beauty treatments — even when it's something like waxing. Using topical products like numbing creams is a good way to ease the pain, but there's a bit more you should know about it if you're hoping to use this as a hack ahead of your next wax. Here's what you should know before applying numbing creams.
Are Topical Numbing Creams Safe to Use on the Skin?
Generally, yes, but you should still be cautious. According to dermatologist Shari Sperling, MD, the risks of using these products can outweigh the benefits. "There have been reports of people using them on larger areas for a longer duration of time, which resulted in systemic absorption," she said. But that's not the only thing that makes it a bit of a gamble. Dr. Sperling said you should always be able to feel what temperature your wax is, especially if you're waxing yourself.
"You want to be able to feel the heat of the wax," she said. "If the temperature is too hot, it could potentially burn you." In general, you should avoid using these products on larger areas of your body, like your bikini area. If you do use them, Dr. Sperling recommends applying them 30 minutes prior to your wax and rinsing them off immediately after.
Do Numbing Creams Actually Work?
Numbing creams do work and can reduce pain when waxing, though you shouldn't make it a habit of using them too often, especially for smaller things like tweezing. "I wouldn't recommend using one for plucking, as the pain isn't usually severe enough in which you would need numbing cream," Dr. Sperling said.