A Ranking of Beauty Treatments by Pain Level

Why, god? Why?!

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, to get the scoop on what to expect—and how to beat the discomfort/torture. (Hint: Alcohol is encouraged.)

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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:

  • Remind yourself that stinging is usually only at application and only lasts for a few minutes.
  • Use a cold compress after or use a cooling mask.
  • This is not recommended to do while the skin is sensitive, while you're PMSing, hungover, or after sun exposure.

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    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:

    • Make sure you have an experienced technician.
    • Mention before you start if you have a sensitive scalp.

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      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).

      To help alleviate the pain:

      • Use a calming agent or ice to help with inflammation
      • The right facial is key, so talk to your esthetician to see what would best soothe your skin after the procedure

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

        To help alleviate the pain:

        • Use a numbing cream beforehand

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          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:

          • DO NOT go for a Brazilian when you're premenstrual or during your first two days of your period, as you'll be much more sensitive in that area.
          • Use a numbing cream beforehand.
          • Have a drink or shot right before. (Seriously.)
          • Take an Advil.

            You should also check out:

            7 Reasons to Steal Your Boyfriend's Beauty Routine

            Picking at My Face Almost Ruined My Life

            Ready for a Skintervention?

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