A Ranking of Beauty Treatments by Pain Level

Why, god? Why?!

Ranking of Beauty Treatments by Pain Level
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Beauty is pain, or something. But which beauty treatments hurt the most? You know, for delay-the-appointment/take-five-Tylenol purposes?

We talked to Jamie Ahn, founder and creative director of Townhouse Spa (opens in new tab), to get the scoop on what to expect—and how to beat the discomfort/torture. (Hint: Alcohol is encouraged.)

Pain Levels - Facial Peels (5/10)

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Facial peels can fluctuate in pain depending on how sensitive your skin is. But basically, they remove dead skin cells by dissolving them or "burning" them. No, we're not joking.

To help alleviate the pain:

Pain Levels - Hair Extensions (5/10)

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Wait, this shouldn't hurt, right? Unfortunately no: If you're doing "weft" extensions, where your hair is braided and the new hair is sewn onto it, the process can be all kinds of intense. The braids have to be tight against your scalp, which means lots of pulling, and over time this can cause headaches and soreness.

To help alleviate the pain:

Pain Levels - Extractions (6/10)

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

If your pores are clogged or you have a breakout to focus on, the ouch factor here can be *high*. Skin is being squeezed to push out oil, sebum, and pus (yes, it's gross, but the results are worth it (opens in new tab)).

To help alleviate the pain:

Pain Levels - Threading (8/10)

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Yeah, multiple hairs are being ripped out at once, so if you're sensitive to pain, be aware.

To help alleviate the pain:

Pain Levels - Brazilian Wax (9/10)

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

It hurts because...duh. The good news: The more you do it, the less it hurts. The bad news? It hurts more if it's your first time or if your hair is abundant/thick/coarse. (#TheStruggle)

To help alleviate the pain:

You should also check out:

7 Reasons to Steal Your Boyfriend's Beauty Routine (opens in new tab)

Picking at My Face Almost Ruined My Life (opens in new tab)

Ready for a Skintervention? (opens in new tab)

Samantha Leal
Samantha Leal

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.