Using Hair Removal Creams

by April Reinhardt
(last updated September 23, 2020)

Hair removal creams are a popular form of ridding the body of unwanted hair. Also known as depilatories, hair removal creams consist of a chemical cosmetic application applied to topical hair. The active chemical ingredient in depilatories weakens the hair so that it can be scraped or brushed off just above the hair follicle at the skin's surface.

To use a hair removal cream, follow these simple steps:

  1. Test a small area of skin for an allergic or uncomfortable reaction.
  2. Soften the hair you want to remove before applying the cream. Take a hot shower or use a washcloth soaked with hot water and apply to the hair.
  3. Apply a thick layer of cream to the hair and allow the cream to process for the time outlined in the manufacturer's instructions – usually 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. After the allotted time elapses, wipe a small patch to determine if the hair has been removed. Thicker or coarser hair will take longer, but do not leave the product on your skin for more than 10 minutes, as a rash may develop.
  5. Remove the cream firmly in downward stokes in the direction of hair growth with a washcloth or scraper, but do not scrub the skin.
  6. Rinse the skin thoroughly.
  7. Always refer to the manufacturer's directions.

Some advantages for using hair removal creams are:

  • You can use them at home.
  • They are easily available for purchase in any drugstore or department store.
  • They are fast and inexpensive.
  • Various strengths are available for different hair types.

There are also a few disadvantages for using hair removal creams:

  • They usually have a foul odor and sometimes the odor lingers after use.
  • They have been known to cause severe allergic reactions and skin irritations.
  • Hair re-growth occurs in 2 to 5 days, so the effect is short.

Read the manufacturer's directions before use to determine if you should use hair removal cream on certain parts of the body. Some products are not intended for use except on legs, arms, and armpits. Other products are geared specifically for the bikini area and face.

Two popular over-the-counter hair removal creams are Nair and Veet. All-natural alternatives are the brand names Hair No More Advanced Hair Removal Cream and Ultra HairStop Hair Removal Cream.

No matter the brand you choose, you should always follow the directions on the package and note that the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages for using a hair removal cream. If so, examine other methods for removing unwanted body hair.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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