While the Hollywood is a popular ask, Dr. Gohara cautions against smearing hot wax near those internal regions, since the tissue is so thin and more susceptible to damage. “Think about somebody waxing your eyeball or the inside of your mouth or any mucosal area,” Dr. Gohara says. Enough said.
Hey, bikini waxes aren’t just for people with vulvas. A full Brazilian for folks with penises will remove hair around the lower abdomen, above the shaft, and even on the scrotum (yes, the balls will be bald). If you’re clenching your nether regions just reading this, we’re here to remind you that such a sensitive body part requires careful attention (duh). That’s why, again, you should only visit a licensed and experienced esthetician—ideally, one who specializes in these types of waxes.
Okay, maybe the D-zilian sounds a little too intense (torturous?) for you. In that case, you could opt for a less invasive version that resembles a standard bikini wax: Your scrotum and butt will be left alone and the main focus will be on the strands along your inner thighs and lower abdomen. The goal, ultimately, is to remove any hair that would be visible if you were to wear skimpy briefs or a more revealing swimsuit.
How to care for your skin after a bikini wax
Arguably, what’s more important than what you do pre-wax is your aftercare routine. It’s pretty much inevitable to experience at least some inflammation, which might show up as redness (depending on your skin tone), itchiness, and/or bumps, Dr. Gohara says.
Mild irritation should dissipate naturally within one to two days, according to Dr. Garshick. If it doesn’t or you notice a more severe reaction like pustules, painful cysts, or skin flaking, see a primary care doctor or dermatologist as soon as you can, she adds, as these can be signs of an allergic reaction or infection.
To avoid those complications—and feel more comfortable overall—follow these three post-wax steps:
Apply hydrocortisone to minimize inflammation and itchiness.
An over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream, which contains anti-inflammatory properties, can help alleviate any discomfort, Dr. Gohara says. Not only will it calm down some of that initial irritation and swelling, but it can also reduce itchiness, which may show up in the days or weeks after your wax, as your hair starts slowly growing back, she adds.
Refrain from exercise the day of your appointment—and if you must work out, avoid tight-fitting clothing.
Gym lovers, we know how difficult it can be to take a day off from your precious workouts, but for the sake of your burning loins, sit this one out. Your sweat can mix with any leftover wax residue or bacteria on your skin, which may clog your hair follicles (potentially leading to infection) or exacerbate irritation, Dr. Gohara warns.
If you insist on getting your reps in (sigh), the least you can do, per Dr. Gohara, is wear loose-fitting clothes (think flowy athletic shorts instead of tight leggings or going commando in spandex). Otherwise, you won’t just have to worry about the sweat, but also the skin-tight material rubbing on and chafing your raw skin.
Avoid sex the day of—or at least opt for “safer” positions.
You might want to show off your new wax to your partner or fling, and hey, we don’t blame you. Keep in mind, though, that certain sex positions, like missionary or cowgirl, which involve a lot of, um, banging up against each other, can be irritating for people with labia, Dr. Gohara says.
Keeping your pants on for the first day is a smart idea, but that doesn’t mean have to abstain all week: “Ideally, you could minimize that irritation with other positions that may not be as likely to cause friction,” such as spooning. Oh, and if you shower beforehand, use cool water, since heat can make the area even more sensitive, according to Dr. Gohara
Again, as long as you see a well-trained pro, there’s no “right” or “wrong” choice if you decide to get a bikini wax. This experience is customizable, so pick your fave, prep accordingly, be gentle with yourself afterward, and rock your new look.