How Hair Removal Creams Work

Hair removal is one of those pesky things most women have to think about. There are several different ways to go about removing body hair: shaving, waxing, plucking, electrolysis, laser removal, or cream/lotion removers. Which one is best is up to you, but here’s the skinny on what seems to be the most mysterious to consumers: the cream or lotion hair removers.

Cream hair removers also know as depilatories, are a lotion or cream with a chemical base that dissolves hair on your skin’s surface. They contain an alkaline chemical, either sodium or calcium thioglycolate, that dissolves the hair shaft’s keratin, or protein structure, and breaks the hair at the root so that it can simply be wiped off the skin’s surface.

Some women with coarser or thicker hair don’t find cream hair removers to be effective, but there are a few different formulas on the market that are made for all types of hair, including coarse or fine. Popular and inexpensive brands of cream hair removers that you can find at most drug stores or grocery stores include Nair, Neet, Veet, and Sally Hansen.

Some people use cream hair removers because they are relatively quick, much easier than shaving, plucking or waxing, and much less expensive than electrolysis or laser removal. There are even formulas that are safe for use on facial hair.

However, some women don’t like to use cream hair removers or depilatories because they do have a chemical base and many women suffer from skin irritation as a result of using the product, like ingrown hairs, a rash or inflammation. Also, depilatories cannot be applied to skin that is already irritated, such as on cuts, scrapes, bug bites, or sunburn. Cream hair removers also cannot be used on eyebrows because it is too close to your eyes.

Though your skin may not become extremely irritated from depilatory use, but will be a little sensitive for a few days and should not be scrubbed with a washcloth or loofah. Hair must also be significantly longer for the product to work correctly and results only last about a week; so, creams are not useful in the long run.

Another reason some dislike using depilatories is the odor. Depilatory creams have a very strong and not very pleasant odor because of the chemicals in the product and the chemical reaction taking place on your skin. Hair must also be significantly longer for the product to work correctly and results only last about a week.

It is recommended that all formulas be tested on a small patch of your skin at least 24 hours before you use the cream all over to ensure your skin isn’t too sensitive and you aren’t allergic to the product. Your forearm is a good place to do a patch test. Use the product on a small patch of skin for the recommended time and see if there is a reaction.

You should keep an eye on it for about 24 hours to make sure nothing happens. If you do experience a reaction, simply apply ointment to the rash or inflamed area and do not use the product again. Also, be sure to carefully follow directions to prevent chemical burns, scarring, or other uncomfortable side effects.

Do not guess on the allotted time as it would be easy to leave the product on too long. Always set a timer and keep it with you while you wait.

Do not guess

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