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Should I take pain medicine before waxing?

When it comes to waxing, many people anticipate the pain associated with the hair removal process. While waxing may provide long-lasting smoothness, the brief discomfort can be a deterrent for some individuals. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the pain and make the waxing experience more comfortable. One common method is to take pain medication before waxing. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of taking pain medicine prior to waxing, the types of pain medications suitable for this purpose, precautions and considerations to keep in mind, alternative pain management techniques, and tips for an effective waxing experience.

Benefits of Taking Pain Medicine Before Waxing

Minimizes pain during the waxing process

One of the primary benefits of taking pain medicine before waxing is the reduction of discomfort during the procedure. Pain medications such as Advil (Ibuprofen) can help alleviate the pain associated with waxing by reducing inflammation and blocking pain signals in the body. By taking a painkiller beforehand, you can significantly lessen the intensity of the pain experienced during waxing, making the process more tolerable.

Reduces swelling and inflammation

In addition to minimizing pain, taking pain medication before waxing can also help reduce post-waxing swelling and inflammation. Waxing involves the removal of hair from the root, which can sometimes lead to mild inflammation of the hair follicles. By taking a painkiller prior to your waxing appointment, you can potentially reduce the swelling and inflammation that may occur afterward. This can contribute to a faster recovery and a more comfortable experience overall.

Enhances the overall waxing experience

Taking pain medication before waxing can have a positive impact on the overall waxing experience. By minimizing pain and discomfort, individuals are more likely to feel relaxed and at ease during the procedure. This can lead to a smoother and quicker waxing process, benefiting both the esthetician and the client. When the fear of pain is reduced, individuals may also be more inclined to continue getting regular waxing treatments, ensuring long-lasting smoothness.

Types of Pain Medications Suitable for Waxing

Advil (Ibuprofen)

Advil, also known as Ibuprofen, is a common over-the-counter pain medication that can be effective in managing pain during waxing. It belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which work by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

When taking Advil before waxing, it is recommended to follow the recommended dosage and timing provided on the packaging. Typically, it is suggested to take Advil about 30 minutes before your scheduled waxing appointment for optimal pain relief. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional if you have any specific concerns or medical conditions.

Advil helps in pain management during waxing by reducing inflammation and blocking pain signals. It can help alleviate the discomfort associated with hair removal, making the process more bearable for individuals. However, it is important to note that Advil may not completely eliminate all pain during waxing, as pain tolerance varies from person to person.

Other over-the-counter painkillers (e.g., Tylenol)

In addition to Advil, there are other over-the-counter painkillers that can be suitable for managing pain during waxing. One example is Tylenol (acetaminophen), which is a pain reliever and fever reducer. While Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory like Advil, it can still provide temporary pain relief. However, it is important to note that Tylenol may not be as effective in reducing swelling and inflammation compared to NSAIDs like Advil.

When considering other pain medications, it is important to compare them with Advil and consider any potential considerations or limitations. It is advisable to read the packaging instructions and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Precautions and Considerations when Taking Pain Medication Before Waxing

Consultation with a healthcare professional

Before taking any pain medication prior to waxing, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any existing health conditions or are taking other medications. They can guide you on the suitability and dosage of pain medication based on your individual circumstances.

Allergies and potential side effects

It is important to be aware of any allergies you may have to certain pain medications before using them for waxing. Read the packaging labels and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about potential allergic reactions. Additionally, be mindful of the potential side effects of pain medication, such as stomach upset or drowsiness, which may affect your overall comfort during and after waxing.

Interaction with other medications

If you are currently taking any medications, it is important to check for potential interactions between those medications and painkillers like Advil or Tylenol. Some medications can have interactions that may affect their effectiveness or pose potential risks. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist to ensure the safe use of pain medication alongside other medications.

Personal health conditions and contraindications

Individuals with certain health conditions may need to exercise caution when taking pain medication before waxing. For example, those with liver or kidney problems may need to avoid certain pain medications or adjust the dosage. It is crucial to discuss any pre-existing conditions with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for pain management during waxing.

Tips for Effective Pain Management During Waxing

Choosing a reputable and skilled esthetician

To maximize comfort during waxing, it is important to choose a reputable and skilled esthetician. Look for professionals who have proper certifications and experience in performing waxing treatments. A well-trained esthetician will be able to minimize pain and discomfort through proper techniques and efficient hair removal.

Applying numbing creams or gels prior to waxing

Another option for pain management during waxing is the application of numbing creams or gels before the procedure. These topical products contain ingredients such as lidocaine or benzocaine, which help numb the skin and reduce pain sensations. It is recommended to follow the instructions provided with the numbing cream or gel and apply it at least 30 minutes before your waxing appointment for optimal results.

Using cold compresses or ice packs post-waxing

After waxing, using cold compresses or ice packs on the treated areas can help soothe the skin and reduce any residual pain or inflammation. The cold temperature can constrict blood vessels and provide temporary relief. However, it is important to wrap the cold compress or ice pack in a cloth to avoid direct contact with the skin and potential frostbite.

Following aftercare instructions for pain relief

To ensure pain relief and promote healing after waxing, it is essential to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your esthetician. This may include avoiding hot showers or baths, applying soothing lotions or aloe vera gel, and avoiding abrasive or irritating products on the waxed areas. Proper aftercare can help minimize any discomfort and reduce the likelihood of complications.

Alternatives to Pain Medication for Pain Management During Waxing

While pain medication can be effective in reducing discomfort during waxing, it is not the only option for pain management. Some individuals may prefer to explore natural remedies and soothing agents to alleviate pain. These can include using herbal remedies such as chamomile or lavender, applying natural oils like coconut or tea tree oil, or using soothing creams or balms specifically designed for post-waxing care.

Furthermore, practicing deep breathing and relaxation techniques during the waxing procedure can help individuals manage the pain and stress associated with it. Distraction methods like listening to music or engaging in conversation with the esthetician can also divert attention from the sensation of pain.


Pain management during waxing is an essential consideration for individuals seeking a comfortable hair removal experience. Taking pain medication such as Advil or Ibuprofen before waxing can help minimize pain, reduce swelling, and enhance the overall waxing experience. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, consider potential allergies or side effects, and evaluate any interactions with other medications. In addition to pain medication, alternative options like numbing creams, cold compresses, and natural remedies can also contribute to effective pain management. By making informed decisions and following proper aftercare, individuals can achieve a more comfortable and enjoyable waxing experience.


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