|Our all-around choice for the average buyer, who wants one product to use everywhere.||A stronger formula for ladies with thicker, tougher body hair, but not for use on the face!||An excellent pair of products for gently removing (only) facial hair without damaging skin.|
Without a doubt, depilatory creams are one of the best ideas ever to come onto the beauty market! They make hair removal easier than ever, and give ladies a simple and effective way to get rid of unwanted body hair. At least, that’s true in theory!
In reality, plenty of depilatory creams are wildly ineffective. Many do little or nothing to remove hair. Instead, they just leave you with skin burns and frustration. Ugh! Don’t worry. After reading this guide, you’ll know which ones to buy, and which to steer clear of!
We’ve put Alice McLaughlin (our resident beauty and hygiene expert) to the task of finding the best depilatory creams, gels, and lotions available. Below, you can find all her recommendations, as well as comparison reviews and buying advice!
How Do Depilatory Creams Work?
For a lot of ladies, depilatory creams can seem like some kind of strange alchemy. They’re actually quite simple, though they can contain a wide range of ingredients.
At their most basic, depilatory creams break down hair proteins (keratin in particular). That weakens hair severely. Once the product has had a few minutes to work, your body hair will actually start falling apart. At that point, a good product will make it possible to wipe away hair easily.
Many depilatory creams that were sold in the past contained only the chemicals necessary to break down hair proteins, so they could be extremely harsh. All the decent products today contain some soothing agents to make the process a lot less aggressive on your skin. That’s where depilatory creams start to get a bit more complicated, but it’s also the reason why today’s offerings are so much better than their predecessors!
Best Depilatory Cream Reviews
Veet Gel Hair Remover Cream (Sensitive Formula)
One of the most popular depilatory products sold today is Veet’s Gel Cream. It’s popular for good reason: it works quickly, is very safe, and doesn’t cost a fortune. This one includes plenty of moisturizing agents, and declares all the ingredients clearly. You can use it anywhere on your body.
Nair Hair Removal Lotion
Nair’s Hair Removal Lotion is a classic, as far as depilatory creams are concerned. It’s been on the market for years, albeit with tweaks and changes along the way. This is specifically formulated for ladies with thicker body hair.
Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo
Olay’s Smooth Finish Duo is all delicacy, where the Nair is supercharged strength! It’s a face-only product which comes in a couple different formulations. You can get it made specifically for thicker or lighter hair types. It’s quite gentle, and also includes a skin-protecting balm to keep your facial skin from coming in contact with the actual depilatory cream!
Alice’s Advice For Using Depilatory Cream
Do a patch test before going full-bore! There’s no sure way to tell whether you’ll react to a particular product or not without using it, so always test a small amount of the cream on your forearm before applying it in quantities. Be sure to use your forearm or lower leg, never a sensitive area! Only use products on your face or pubic area after you’ve tested them and made sure they work well for your body.
Never leave depilatory products on your skin for longer than the instructions recommend. Most should only stay on your body for 15 minutes or so. Even safe products can cause skin burns and damage if they’re applied for longer periods.
These products aren’t for everybody! If you’re someone who’s fairly sensitive to chemicals contacting your skin, you may not find a depilatory cream that’s gentle enough to use regularly. Also, you should know that our recommendations break down hair right down to the root and follicle. That works well for most people, but if you have very dark hair, specks may still be visible. Depilatory creams aren’t as thorough as epilators or waxing, both of which remove the root and follicle as well. That’s something for dark-haired ladies to consider.
Why You Should Love Depilatory Creams
These products are absolutely perfect for hard to reach areas, since you just rub them on. You don’t have to worry about finding that awkward angle with a razor or trimmer. Anywhere you can reach with your hand, you can easily remove hair.
They’re very thorough. As long as you apply a decent amount of the product, you should get every last hair off with no problems. No worrying about stray hairs, like you would with a razor or trimmer!
While any depilatory cream will probably tingle a bit, they’re one of the most painless ways to remove hair. You don’t have to go through the yanking pain of using an epilator or a wax kit.
Likewise, there’s no risk of cuts or razor burn.
If we had to pick just one product to be the best depilatory cream overall, we’d say it’s the Veet Gel Hair Remover Cream (Sensitive Formula). Super gentle on your skin and highly effective, it’s a great choice all round.
Why You Need To Be Super Careful Choosing A Depilatory Cream
All of these products use a mix of chemicals to break down hair. Despite the fact that any good depilatory cream will be lab-tested to be harmless to the average person, you may have reactions to certain chemicals in the product. Always ask your dermatologist before using one. It’s also important to spot-test to check your sensitivity when you buy one of these products.
What’s more, there are all sorts of sketchy depilatory creams and products out there which are downright dangerous. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into finding creams, gels, and lotions to recommend which are safe for your body. We strongly recommend sticking with our recommendations, since many of the products on the market contain chemicals that will cause severe skin burns and lasting damage, even to people with low sensitivity!
Check out our guide to bikini trimmers, or our guide to the best epilators! You can also head to our homepage to see all of our reviews, guides, and blog posts.
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