It never occurred to me to sign up for a spa treatment for my bikini area. But (potential TMI alert!) it’s summer, I recently got a Brazilian, and let’s just say things were getting a bit irritated down there. So when I found out that Townhouse Spa in New York City offers a bikini facial that supposedly “diminish[es] spots and ingrown hairs,” I was game. And in the name of public service, I took mental notes the entire time. Here’s how it went down.
Things got off to a somewhat bizarre start when I was told to lie down and spread my legs. The facialist got out the steam wand and headed immediately south. That’s when it hit me that this might be just like a facial, except not on my face. She cleansed the area with a cream cleanser and then painted on a lactic-acid-and-green-tea peel, which she said would exfoliate and brighten dark spots. She left the room to let me and my nether region enjoy some R & R.
That was short! The facialist returned after ten minutes and told me the party was over; time for extractions. Let me tell you, getting extractions on your bikini line is a whole new level of terrible. It hurt like hell. My facialist even took out a lancet to help “open up my ingrown hairs.” About 15 minutes into the extraction phase, I was in so much pain, I had to ask her to stop and skip to the next part of the treatment, a camphor mask meant to soothe my inflamed, needle-poked skin.
The verdict? It may not have been such a great idea. I called dermatologist Jeannette Graf the next day, and she said, “It’s a tricky area, regarding the hygiene of using a needle to extract ingrown hairs. A licensed electrologist or cosmetologist can use sharp tweezers.” Though I did appreciate having fewer ingrown hairs, I didn’t notice much of a difference in terms of my skin’s appearance. The claim that the treatment would reduce dark spots didn’t hold up. “I don’t think lactic acid would prevent discoloration,” says Graf. “Lasers are more effective at removing discoloration in the bikini line.” If you’re considering getting a bikini facial (and you have a higher pain threshold than I do), take Graf’s advice and forgo the needle; good tweezers should do the job. Perhaps lasering my vagina will be my next adventure…or maybe I’ll just walk over hot coals, because I hear that’s superexfoliating.
Check out this million-dollar facial: