Looking for the best hair removal cream for your unwanted hair?
Do they work or are they permanent?
If you want to know the answers, you have come to the right place. Hair removal has become an integral part of our society, and almost everyone is always looking for the best and safest way to remove unwanted hair.
There are a plethora of ways to remove hair, but one of the most underrated is using a depilatory or hair removal cream.
Depilatory creams often get a bad reputation because of the potential for chemical burns or skin damage from using an unsafe or untested product. However, there are wide varieties of safe depilatory creams on the market.
Finding these products, however, can be intimidating. With the plethora of brands, prices, sizes, and ingredients, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Below, we have done a lot of the legwork into various depilatory creams to help you find the best product for you.
What are Hair Removal/Depilatory Creams?
Hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, are a beauty product designed to remove hair. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these creams are alkaline based, and they turn hair into a substance that is not unlike jelly.
The hair turns into a jellylike substance because the depilatory cream destroys the proteins in the hair. It should be noted that the follicle itself is not destroyed.
List of Best Hair Removal Creams for 2019
1. Veet Gel Hair Removal Cream review
Veet is a hair removal cream that is designed to dissolve the hair near to the root. According to the Global Nielsen Unit Share Data in 2016, Veet was the number one depilatory brand internationally.
Veet is primarily marketed to women but can be used by anyone. You can use veet anywhere in the body except the face.
Veet contains both Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, which are used to soothe the skin and moisturize. It takes around five minutes to work, making it one of the faster-acting products on the market.
Veet is officially backed by dermatologists as a successful depilatory cream.
Veet is especially praised by men for making hair removal in genital areas easier and painless, specifying a noticeable lack of chemical burn that is present in other similar products. They also have hair removal creams for sensitive skin.
Other consumers report that Veet does not remove all hair, and may require another form of hair removal to get rid of any remaining patches.
2. Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo review
This product by Olay is a hair removal cream for your face. This makes their product stand out from other depilatory creams, which often are not safe or effective for use on the face.
This is a two-step kit that is effective on medium to coarse facial hair. However, like all depilatory creams, this should not be used around the eyes.
The treatment window for this product is about eight minutes long. The smell is not too intense, but there is a definite odor from the chemicals.
The treatment starts out with a balm to protect the skin from the hair removal formula. After the balm is applied, the actual depilatory cream is applied lightly to remove the hair.
Overall, the Olay depilatory cream does well in removing almost all light and medium facial hair. However, some customers express that this product is not very effective for the darker or coarser hair.
3. Nair Cocoa Butter Hair Remover Lotion review
Nair is one of the biggest names in the hair removal industry. This specific product is marketed as a hair removal lotion.
Nair boasts an impressively quick removal time, claiming that it takes as little as three minutes to dissolve hair. This product should not be left on the skin for longer than ten minutes.
This product differs from other options because it requires a thick coating of cream over the hair, without rubbing it in. This thicker layer means that you go through the product faster than others.
It is a dermatologist tested lotion and has cocoa butter and Vitamin E in it to moisturize the skin as well. Unlike other products, the Nair hair removal lotion smells fresh and clean, with no chemical odor.
It cannot be used on the face but is safe for use anywhere else. Consumers are generally pleased with this specific formula because it does not irritate sensitive skin like other products with stronger chemicals may. The only caveat is that leaving it on much over three minutes in sensitive areas can cause significant irritation.
4. StopHair Natural Hair Growth Inhibitor review
StopHair is a type of hair removal spray that specializes in preventing regrowth, not eliminating existing hair. A topical spray is applied after hair has been removed by another method.
StopHair is a unisex product, meaning that it works for anyone. The formula is designed to mimic male pattern baldness and tends to work within a few applications.
This is an all-natural product that is composed of purified citrus and plant extracts, along with antibacterial agents and moisturizers. This stands out from other similar products, which are often made of harsh chemicals.
StopHair is advertised as a permanent hair removal product, but that is not entirely accurate. StopHair does inhibit hair regrowth but is unable to completely remove all hair permanently.
Results are real but may take some time to fully develop. For most customers, StopHair makes hair grow back much thinner and finer than it would otherwise appear.
5. Revitol Hair Removal Cream review
Revitol focuses primarily on the gentle removal of hair from the follicle bulb. It is considered to be a unisex hair removal product, working on both coarse and thin hair.
Over a period of up to four months, the treatments can cause hair to grow back finer and thinner. A large number of consumers report that with ongoing treatments, their hair stops growing almost entirely.
However, Revitol is reported to cause intense skin burns from the chemicals in the product. Revitol is advertised as being made with natural plant extracts, aloe vera, and plenty of vitamins, but the reality does not seem to match this description.
The product is also boasted to be usable anywhere on the body, but customers report that using Revitol on sensitive areas such as the face or bikini line can be incredibly painful. Revitol is not approved by the FDA.
6. Gigi Hair Removal Lotion review
Gigi is a hair removal lotion that is specific for use on arms, legs, and the bikini line. It is fast acting, requiring around seven minutes for complete removal.
This depilatory cream is a lotion, which means that you should shake the bottle before use to ensure that the product is properly mixed. Unlike traditional lotion, this product should not be rubbed into the skin.
It contains a good mix of cocoa butter, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and natural oils to reduce potential skin damage as well as provide a hydrating formula. The scent is not too overpowering but is not necessarily pleasant.
It is one of the cheapest products on the market. Consumers report an overall level of satisfaction with this product but stress the importance of following the instructions for use.
One of the most noticeable downsides to Gigi is that it does not keep hair away long term, and you have to reapply it almost as often as you would need to shave.
What are the benefits of Hair Removal Creams?
Speed: Many depilatory creams work within ten to fifteen minutes. Naturally, the smaller the area the less time it will take, but larger areas shouldn’t go much beyond the twenty-minute mark.
Stubble: When you shave, the hair is cut off, leaving the ends pointy or squared off. Either way, the stubble is prickly and can be itchy and irritating. Depilatory creams dissolve the proteins in hair, which leaves the ends tapered, which is significantly less uncomfortable.
No blades: Since depilatory creams are merely scraped or wiped off, there are no razors involved. This means that razor burn is a thing of the past, along with painful nicks and cuts
Simple: Using these products is very simple. You apply the cream or spray with a nozzle or your hand, leave it on for a specified amount of time, then wipe it off. There isn’t any learning curve or any complicated instructions.
Painless: Unless you have overly sensitive skin or are allergic to an ingredient in the cream, depilatory creams are completely painless. Always test the cream on a small patch of skin to check for any reactions before using it.
Need a Permanent Hair Removal Solution?Learn More
Chemicals: Depilatory creams are full of alkaline chemicals. Sarah Siddons, from HowStuffWorks, says that some common examples of these chemicals include sodium thioglycolate, strontium sulfide, and calcium thioglycolate.
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review states that sodium thioglycolate and calcium thioglycolate are safe when certain conditions are met- namely when formulated to be non-irritating and are used according to instructions.
As for strontium sulfide, the first recorded use of this substance and similar chemicals was in 1857 by a Dr. Redwood. Centuries of use with minimal complications make strontium sulfide a staple in the depilatory cream industry.
While these chemicals do appear to be generally safe, not everyone is a fan of using them. Some people do have severe allergic reactions to certain depilatory chemicals as well.
Frequency: Since depilatory creams only dissolve the hair above the skin and slightly underneath, regrowth is rapid. Unlike waxing or epilating, the hair follicle stays completely intact.
These creams may prevent regrowth for about a day longer than shaving. This still means most people have to redo their hair removal every three or four days.
How to Use Hair Removal Creams?
Although you should always read the instructions on your specific depilatory cream, most products are used in a very similar fashion. Always remember to test your depilatory cream on a small patch of skin prior to using it fully, to ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients.
According to Carly Cardellino of Cosmopolitan magazine, hydrated hair is easier to remove than dry hair. Dry hair is harder and less malleable than hydrated hair. Due to this, it may be most effective to use your depilatory cream immediately following a shower or bath.
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to shower or bathe, at least clean the area you wish to remove hair from. The area should be dry, clean, and not have any lotions or other products on it. Don’t use the cream on any broken or irritated skin.
When applying the cream to your skin, only put a thin layer on. You don’t need to rub the cream into your skin, just dab it on, making sure to thoroughly coat the skin.
Double check the instructions on your depilatory cream regarding how long you need to leave the cream on. Some products are meant to only be on your skin for five minutes, others may be as long as twenty.
Make sure not to go over the time instructed. Leaving the depilatory cream on for longer periods of time will most likely harm or irritate your skin. If the product starts to burn or itch, remove it immediately.
Many depilatory products come with something called a depilatory spatula. You can use this to remove the cream by scraping it off in a downwards motion.
However, some people recommend rinsing the cream off in a shower. This removes all the cream at once, preventing any burns or irritation. The spatula will not be able to remove all the cream at once, so rinsing it off is a method that is deserving of consideration.
No matter the method you choose to remove the cream, always rinse your skin off a second time to remove any left-over product.
Top 4 Best Alternatives to Depilatory Creams
There are wide varieties of options when it comes to hair removal. If you are on the fence about using a Depilatory cream, it may be worth considering some of the other options out there.
Waxing may be the most well-known alternative for hair removal. Waxing is a process that involves ripping the hair out by the roots.
Since the hair follicle is removed, waxing can last for four to six weeks. According to Sara Ipatenco from Livestrong, waxing is a semi-permanent hair removal method. If you choose to wax long-term, the hair may grow back weaker and weaker, eventually stopping altogether.
However, there is no guarantee that you will stop hair growth, and even if you technically can, it can take years. In the meantime, you’ll need upkeep waxes every 4-6 weeks to stay relatively hairless.
Since hair has to be a certain length for waxing, about 1/8th of an inch long, you will have a window of time where you will have visible hair that you cannot remove. If you use another form of hair removal in between waxes, your wax will not work.
Waxing can be a painful process, but the pain levels vary greatly from person to person. Thicker hair or sensitive skin may experience more pain than thinner hair or tougher skin. Sensitive areas, like the face, private parts or bikini area, will hurt more than areas like your legs.
Staying hydrated before your wax, taking ibuprofen to reduce inflammation, and making sure the wax is being done professionally will all help reduce pain.
Epilating is similar to waxing in principle. Like waxing, epilating rips hair out, destroying or removing the follicle.
Epilators are handheld machines that consist of many tweezers, often upwards of 42 tweezers. These tweezers work in tandem to tear out the hair all at once as you move the epilator over your skin.
Some of the more advanced epilator models can remove hair that is much shorter than a wax can remove. Braun has pioneered much of the technology that is able to remove hair as short as .5mm long.
Epilation will rarely have any impact on your skin, unlike waxing may. Since the tweezers skim over the top of your skin, you will most likely not experience any irritation or damage to your skin.
Similar to waxing, epilating can be painful. However, the pain can also be reduced like in waxing. Epilators can be used anywhere on the body, but for more sensitive areas, specific attachments or designs may work better and reduce the pain you may experience.
Laser Hair Removal
According to Mayo Clinic, laser hair removal is a medical procedure, unlike waxing, epilating, shaving, or depilatory creams. Laser hair removal penetrates the skin and destroys or damages individual hair follicles.
When laser hair removal was first made popular, it was only effective on people with light skin and dark hair. However, according to the National Laser Institute, modern technology has developed other varieties of lasers that make this method of removal accessible to everyone.
Laser hair removal is one of the most expensive forms of hair removal available. This is because it needs to be performed by a trained medical professional, and the equipment needs to be a specific caliber of quality.
Laser hair removal is a semi-permanent form of hair removal as well. Over the course of 5 to 7 sessions, the hair follicles are destroyed. From then onwards, you will most likely require touch-up sessions twice a year, according to Dr. Michael Law.
Electrolysis is one of the lesser-known procedures for hair removal. However, it is the only permanent hair removal method currently available.
Electrolysis is the process of inserting a needle into the hair follicle and destroying it permanently using electricity. According to CosmetBeauty, electrolysis doesn’t need to treat the same area more than once, unlike laser hair removal.
Electrolysis is generally agreed to be painful, expensive, and a time-consuming method of hair removal. However, it is the only way for completely permanent hair removal. If you are serious about permanent hair removal, electrolysis is the only option available to you.
According to this study by the Greater Manchester Shared Services, laser hair removal is proven to achieve better short-term results but is not permanent. Electrolysis takes longer to achieve the desired results but is permanent.
Where Can I Use Depilatory Creams?
Often, finding a form of hair removal that you can use anywhere on your body is a frustrating and fruitless process. However, depilatory creams may offer you that opportunity.
Not all depilatory creams are designed to be used anywhere on your body, but there are some that are designed to be safe for everywhere, from armpits to the bikini line. The one caveat is that you should not use depilatory creams anywhere near the eyes- including your eyebrows.
Is Hair Removal Cream for You?
With the amount of hair removal products on the market, finding one that fit your criteria can be tough.
Price: Depilatory creams can be some of the cheapest options for hair removal on the market. If you’re on a budget, this may be an important factor.
Simplicity: There is nothing complicated when using depilatory creams. The instructions are simple to follow and there aren’t many ways for it to go wrong. You also can use depilatory creams by yourself and don’t need help like you do when waxing.
Permanency: Depilatory creams only last for a few days, so if you’re looking for a longer lasting form of hair removal, this may not be right for you. There is no permanent hair removal cream, unfortunately. Instead, you can use at home laser hair removal device for a permanent solution.
No Appointments: Some other forms of hair removal, like laser hair removal and electrolysis, require appointments with a beautician or doctor. For people who can’t fit appointments into a schedule, depilatory creams may be the answer.
Pain: Depilatory creams are mostly painless, unlike every other hair removal method. For people with a low pain threshold, these creams may be the perfect solution.
There are a wide variety of factors to consider when deciding on the best hair removal cream. Out of all the products we’ve reviewed, we believe that the Nair Cocoa Butter Hair Removal Lotion is the best one.
Of all the products, Nair is the least irritating for sensitive skin. It also is one of the fastest working options, taking around three minutes to remove hair.
The affordable price Nair makes it one of the best-priced options out there. You can use Nair on any part of the body with the exception of the face.
As we discussed in the value section, these creams are fast, simple, and safe. Nair fulfills all these requirements.
The biggest disadvantage of depilatory creams is the potential for the chemicals to be harmful to the body. However, Nair rarely will harm your skin unless you don't follow the directions correctly.
Overall, the best product we reviewed is Nair, as it is effective, safe, and dodges the biggest problem with depilatory creams.