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Hair Removal Creams – Problems, Benefits and Some Practical Tips

Probably the majority of people remove body hair simply by shaving. Yet, unlike other hair removal techniques, such as the use of hair removal creams, the effects of shaving unfortunately don’t last very long and it can be quite challenging to reach certain spots, like for example your back. Also, shaving can cause skin irritation and make you more susceptible to cuts.

There are of course many other hair removal solutions, such as: Electrolysis, laser hair removal, plucking, waxing and of course hair removal creams – also known as depilatories.

Each of these solutions has it’s advantages and disadvantages. If you want a permanent hair removal and if you don’t mind spending several hundred dollars per session, laser hair removal might be the right solution for. If you are looking for a cheaper and less permanent solution, you might try one of the hair removal creams available in most of the stores.

How do hair removal creams work?

Hair removal lotions break down the hair’s protein structure, which allows the hair to come out of the skin easily when you rub off the cream. So, you put on the cream, you wait a moment and you wipe off the cream. This sounds very simple and straightforward, however, not all products are of equal quality and sometime you may want to try different products to find the one that works best for you. Also, depending on your hair- and skin type it’s important to chose the right product that’s best suitable for your type.

Depilatories are available as creams, gels, lotions, aerosols and roll-ons. Once put onto the skin, the substances contained in the hair removal cream break down the protein structure (keratin) of your hair. Once the keratin is dissolved, the hair falls loose from its follicle and comes out easily.

Some of the major advantages of hair removal creams and lotions

  • Using a hair removal cream is probably the easiest solution to get rid of unwanted hair. Simply spread the cream over a patch of hair, wait a few minutes, and then use a washcloth soaked in warm water to take off the cream.
  • Depilatories work quickly, they are available in most drugstores and grocery stores, and are relatively cheap.
  • Unlike waxing, the use of a hair removal lotion is also pain-free (as long as you follow the directions and avoid sensitive areas).
  • An additional benefit is that when you rub off the cream, you’re exfoliating your skin at the same time. That means, dead cells that build up on the surface of your skin are removed.
  • Another big advantage of using hair removal creams is that the hair is removed from just below the surface, which means that you won’t feel stubbles for quite a while.

Possible problems and disadvantages of hair removal creams

  • Depilatory creams contain chemicals, and some of these substances can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions. That’s why it’s really important to choose the right kind of product. Below, you can find some safety tips that should allow you to avoid most of the problems associated with the use of hair removal creams.
  • If you are prone to rashes and breakouts, you may want to check with your doctor before choosing any hair removal lotion. There are hair removal creams that are formulated specifically for sensitive skin. However, these products won’t work very well if you have coarser hair.
  • Also, you can find hair removal creams that specifically designed for your back and others that are designed for more sensitive areas. For example, you should by all means avoid the use a hair removal cream that is designed for the back on your pubic area.
  • In general, depilatories may not be as effective on people with coarse hair.

Some safety tips for the use of hair removal creams

  • Before applying any hair removal cream on a larger skin area, test it first on a small skin area for 24 hours. This way, if you do have a reaction, it’s localized and won’t affect any large areas.
  • Always follow the usage directions included with any depilatory. Some hair removal lotions are specifically designed to use for your arms, others are defined to be used on your back… so, make sure to check the package label to select the appropriate product for the intended body area.
  • Don’t use the hair removal cream more often than indicated on the package – more is not necessarily better! Also, avoid leaving the product longer on your skin as indicated in the package description otherwise your skin may get burnt.
  • Never use hair removal cream on damaged or cut skin surface and be very careful when applying depilatory products near eyes, mouth, genitals, ears, etc.
  • If you have very sensitive skin, you should ask a doctor or dermatologist to help you choosing the most appropriate product.