This article does not provide medical advice. It does not examine the long-term effects of depilatory creams. Please consult with a doctor and read all instructions carefully.
What are depilatory creams?
The word depilatory simply means ‘hair removal’. Depilatory creams work in place of shaving, waxing or laser treatments to remove body hair. They can be quick and convenient, saving you from itchy razor burn or painful plucking.
These creams can be used at home, and have grown quite popular over the last few years. They work by breaking down the proteins within each hair until the hair is completely dissolved. Once the hair has been broken down, it can be wiped off the skin painlessly. Some popular brands of depilatory creams include Veet, Nair, and Olay. According to Veet’s website, their creams contain a mixture of alkaline chemicals formulated to dissolve hair at the roots without damaging the skin. This balance allows for softer, thinner hair and less stubble.
When used correctly, depilatory cream can be a convenient hair removal device!
Are depilatory creams safe to use?
So you’re thinking, “These creams sound like magic, but will they do more damage than good?” Excellent question. The answer is yes and no. Depilatory creams are generally safe when used correctly. However, it is easy to mess up and cause injury if you are not careful when using them. This is because these creams contain strong chemicals that can, in fact, cause damage to skin.
The main issue arises when the creams are left on for too long. When using a depilatory cream, read the instructions carefully and follow them meticulously. If left on the skin for longer than the recommended time, depilatory creams can cause rashes, skin peeling, stinging, pain, blisters, and even chemical burns. This makes proper use extremely important.
Additionally, depilatory creams can only be applied to specific areas of skin. Refer once more to the information provided with your chosen cream to see for which areas of the body it is approved. Generally speaking, it is not wise to use depilatory creams on more sensitive bodily areas. Avoid using the cream around your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you do happen to get the chemicals into your eyes, perform an eye rinse immediately, and contact poison control if necessary. It probably goes without saying, but do not eat the cream either!! If you are attempting to use the cream to remove unwanted hair in the bikini area, stay away from more sensitive areas, as these are more likely to burn.
Depilatory creams can be an awesome way to remove hair and leave your skin feeling smooth. However, if they are not used correctly, they can cause serious harm. Use only if you feel you are capable of following the directions carefully.
How do you use depilatory creams?
Ok, so you’re pretty sure you can follow the instructions. Now you just need to know how to use the cream itself! Don’t worry, it can be confusing, but you will figure it out.
First and perhaps most importantly, read the packaging to find directions for your hair and skin types. The effectiveness of the cream depends on hair thickness and skin sensitivity. Thicker hair will be easier to remove than thinner hair, and hair on different parts of the body may vary in ease of removal. Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, you may find the cream irritating.
Once you figure out if the cream is right for you, do a practice run. Place a small amount of cream on a test area and give it some time. Then wipe it off and see how it goes. You may have to do a few trials in several areas before figuring out how much cream to use and how long to leave it on.
When you’ve figured out how to use the cream, you’re ready to go! Just coat the area of skin from which you want to remove the hair, wait the allotted time, wipe the cream off, and boom. Hairless. Pro tip: make sure to wipe the hair off instead of rubbing it off. Use a washcloth or a sponge and wipe in the opposite direction of the hair’s growth. When you are finished, clean the area off with water and dry to remove any excess cream.
Pro Tips for Using Depilatory Creams
Here are a few tips and tricks to get the best results from depilatory creams.
- Prepare your skin before you apply the cream. Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells that can cause ingrown hairs. This will allow for smoother skin and better results.
- If you’ve already used the cream on your skin, and hair remains, wait 24-48 hours before reuse. This will prevent burning and irritation.
- In order to use the cream, you must completely and evenly cover the area on which you apply it.
- If you have sensitive skin, choose a cream that has soothing ingredients in it, like green tea or aloe.
- Keep the hair under quarter-inch long for best results
- Try different creams out and choose the one that suits you! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
- The cream will smell weird. Just go with it!
- Do not stress if your skin appears slightly irritated after proper usage. If necessary, adjust the time of use.
- Avoid tanning following depilatory cream use, as this can accentuate preexisting burns.
Depilatory creams can be awesome for quick and easy hair removal at home, and if used correctly, they are generally safe. People run into problems when they do not follow the instructions provided or fail to do a practice run on their skin before use to see how the chemicals will interact.
Remember, prep the skin before usage, apply carefully, wait the allotted time, and remove by wiping. Rinse the area thoroughly after use to prevent unwanted irritation. There you go, you know all there is to know about depilatory creams. If you’re sick of shaving or waxing, give them a try!