How to Wax Your Own Vagina

When it comes to grooming your vulva, you have options — shaving, trimming, waxing — but gynecologists recommend avoiding all of them because they can lead to rash spots and ingrown hairs. Plus, shaved pubic hair is itchy.

But if you must wax, make sure you follow these 5 key tips before and afterward to protect your skin.

1. Prepare the Area

The first time you wax, it’s important to prepare your skin. Start with a clean, fresh face and shower before your appointment. Make sure to moisturize the area with a gentle lotion. You’ll also want to have tweezers on hand and an ice pack, which will help ease the pain and soothe the skin post-wax.

Avoid getting waxed at the peak of your menstrual cycle, during your period or immediately after, as this can irritate the sensitive skin in the intimate area. If you’re very sensitive, taking an over-the-counter painkiller like Advil 30 minutes prior to your waxing appointment can help with any discomfort.

Gunter advises clients to wear loose clothing, preferably an undergarment so the skin doesn’t rub or scratch during the waxing process. And she says it’s a good idea to avoid exercise and hot showers prior to your waxing session, as the heat can cause the skin to swell and can result in extra discomfort.

2. Warm the Wax

Whether you choose premade wax strips or wax that you heat up yourself, follow the heating instructions on the package. Failure to do so could result in a dangerous fire or burns. In addition, don’t store your wax warmer on a counter where it can collect germs. Instead, put it in a clean plastic bag or tin can and place it on a warmer plate.

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Unless your gynecologist advises against it, make sure to exfoliate the area about a day before you plan to wax it. This will help the strip or the wax adhere to the hair and skin more easily.

Also, it’s important to wait a day before running your hands all over the freshly waxed vulva. This will prevent the transfer of bacteria from your fingers to the sensitive area. You should also avoid sweaty activities like gym sessions and saunas.

3. Apply the Wax

Unlike shaving, waxing pulls hair from the root, which means that it takes much longer for your strands to grow back. It also reduces red rashes and ingrown hairs, which are a common problem for many women.

The waxing process can be a little painful, but it will be less painful if your skin is clean. Putting wax on dirty skin can irritate it and cause more pain, and it will also prevent the wax from sticking properly.

Melnick recommends exfoliating the vulva 2-3 times a week to remove dry, flaky skin before waxing. She also advises wearing loose, comfortable underwear after waxing to avoid friction. For the day after your wax, it is a good idea to avoid swimming or going to the beach, as this can open up your pores and lead to infection. You should also avoid using tight or synthetic underwear, as this can irritate the area and cause redness, bumps, and pain.

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4. Remove the Wax

While waxing is an effective and painless way to remove unwanted hair, it’s also important to care for your skin afterward. If you notice an open wound in the area, treat it gently and apply a layer of antibiotic ointment to keep the skin protected.

If you do have a little residual wax left over, you can use petroleum jelly to remove it from your skin. Just spread a thick layer on the area and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a cotton pad dipped in alcohol.

Unlike shaving, which leaves visible stragglers of hair under the surface, waxing removes the root and so takes longer for hair to grow back. But it’s still important to care for the area afterward and avoid overdoing it with exfoliating scrubs, which can irritate delicate skin. Instead, gynecologists recommend light exfoliation with a gentle cleanser like this one or this one.

5. Tweeze the Hairs

When it comes to removing unwanted hair, many people reach for tweezers. However, if you aren’t careful, tweezing can lead to ingrown hairs—which are painful, itchy, and can cause infection.

To prevent this, be sure to pluck only the very end of each hair. This will ensure that the hair is pulled from the root, preventing it from growing back for weeks.

Finally, make sure that you tweeze only clean skin. Sweat, discharge, and dirt on the area can irritate it and may even prevent the wax from sticking properly.

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It’s also a good idea to take a painkiller before you get started to help ease the pain. And be sure to use a post-wax soothing lotion to calm the skin and prevent ingrown hairs. It might also be a good idea to keep some tweezers handy after you finish so that you can pluck any stray hairs that you might have missed.

6. Clean the Area

After waxing, it’s important to keep the area clean. This is especially true if you’ve used a hard wax, which can leave behind a lot of residue. Wash the area with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser, then gently pat it dry with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing, which can irritate the sensitive skin.

Also, make sure to avoid any heat on the area for a few hours after waxing. That means no hot showers (stick with lukewarm), no hot baths and no saunas or steam treatments. This is because heat opens pores, which can increase sensitivity and cause irritation.

Finally, don’t wear tight-fitting clothes or underwear. This can irritate the skin and lead to chafing and irritation. And don’t go swimming in the ocean or the pool – salt water and chlorine can cause itching, redness and inflammation. If you must get wet, be sure to wear loose, cotton underwear.

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