Not long ago the practice of anus bleaching was thought to be nothing more than a myth. Then, by the early 2000s, there were reports the procedure was taking off in LA. It was particularly popular with a number of female celebrities, the reports said. Now anus bleaching has taken the world by storm and is available at a beautician near you.

So what exactly is anus bleaching? We asked Wendy Gilbert-Grey, from Hairstop in Edgecliff, to give us the lowdown.

It’s like giving your anus or sphincter a bit of a facial, a bit of a cleanse, Gilbert-Grey said. And then we apply a lightening gel.

Depending on how dark the area of skin is, there may need to be a number of treatments -“ Gilbert-Grey suggested a minimum of four. Then the customer is given a cream to rub on every day.

Each treatment costs from $150, although it would be more expensive for those who wanted to bleach their whole crack area.

Darkness of the anus area can apparently increase with age, while Gilbert-Grey said hair can cause constant chafing which may also affect pigmentation of the skin.

You can get the area up to four or five shades lighter, she enthused about the procedure, adding that they can also lighten the clitoris area as well.

So who exactly would want to get their anus bleached? While a number of gay men have had it done at Hairstop since they started offering the service six months ago, the highest demand is from female customers.

It’s nice to see that part of the body looking clean, Gilbert-Grey said. It is often the darkest part of the body.

In the States it’s quite common, and a lot of celebrities are having it done. It’s also huge in the porn industry.

Demand in Sydney is increasing, she said, as everyone is so body conscious and into grooming.

According to Gilbert-Grey the process is safe and painless. She also likes to remove any hair from the area with laser because a hairless anus looks like a cleaner anus. I can’t really do treatment unless we do laser, she said.

The Bees Knees Salon in Sydney also offers anus bleaching and recently launched a do-it-yourself product called Bella Sydney Lightening Gel. A tube costs $95 and needs to be applied twice a day, preferably after cleansing and exfoliating the area.

Owner of The Bees Knees, Anna Marsiano, said her gel was completely safe and made from mostly natural ingredients.

It’s also fabulous in diminishing freckles and dreaded age spots on most parts of the body, she said.

Marsiano decided to create the lightening gel after requests from her customers. A client that I’ve known for eight years came in one day and asked if we had anything that could fix her problem. She had a pigmentation around both the anus and the vagina after having her first baby and she was too embarrassed to have sex with her new boyfriend.

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