How to Use Hair Removal Creams

Two Methods:Applying the CreamPreparing to Use the Cream

If you're tired of shaving all the time but you don't want to face the pain of waxing, a hair removal cream might be the perfect fit for your grooming needs. Also known as depilatory creams, they are quick, inexpensive, and easy to use. Read on to learn how to safely and effectively use a depilatory cream for smooth skin that can last up to a week.

Method 1
Applying the Cream

  1. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 6
    Read the directions that came with the cream and follow them exactly. Different brands and different products within that brand will have different instructions. One type of hair removal might take only three minutes, while another might take ten. Following the directions will give you the best results and help protect your skin.[1]
    • If you lost the directions that came with your cream, you can find them on the bottle or tube. Otherwise, check the company's website. They should have instructions for each kind of cream.
    • Check the "use by" date to make sure your cream is not expired. An expired depilatory cream will not work very well and give you poor results.
  2. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 7
    Apply a thick, even layer over the hair you want to remove. Use your fingers or a spatula, if provided. Do not rub the cream into your skin, just spread it.[2] Wash your hands immediately if you apply with your fingers.
    • Uneven application means your hair could come off in patches, leaving you with spots of hair, which is probably not the look you're going for.[3]
    • Never apply a hair removal cream to your nostrils, ears, the skin around your eyes (including your eyebrows), genitals, anus, or nipples.[4]
  3. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 8
    Leave the cream on for the amount of time recommended in the directions. This can be anywhere between three to ten minutes, though the time rarely exceeds ten minutes. Most directions recommend checking a small area about halfway through the process to see if hair comes off.[5] The shorter the amount of time the depilatory cream is in contact with your skin, the less likely you are to develop redness or irritation.
    • Because you can really harm your skin if you leave the cream on too long, set an egg timer or use the timer on your phone to make sure you don't exceed the limit.
    • Some tingling is normal, but if you start to feel burning, see redness or irritation, remove the cream immediately. Depending on your reaction, you may want to call your doctor for advice on how to treat your skin.
    • You may notice a bad smell while you are using the cream. That's a normal side effect of the chemical reaction that is breaking down your hair.[6]
  4. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 9
    Remove the cream with a damp washcloth or spatula if provided. Wipe gently--don't rub the cream. Rinse the area with warm water to make sure the cream has been removed entirely.[7] If you don't rinse off the residue, the chemicals could continue to react with your skin and cause a rash or chemical burn.
    • Pat, don't rub, your skin dry.[8]
    • Apply a moisturizer to the area to keep it smooth and hydrated.[9]
  5. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 10
    Don't worry if your skin is a little red or itchy after use--that's normal. Wear loose clothing right after using the cream and don't scratch the area. If the redness and discomfort continues after a few hours or gets worse, call your doctor.[10]
  6. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 11
    Observe any warnings in the directions, such as avoiding sunbathing, swimming, and tanning for 24 hours. You should also wait 24 hours to use anti-perspirant or products with fragrances.
    • You should not shave or use a hair removal cream in the same area for 72 hours after use.[11]

Method 2
Preparing to Use the Cream

  1. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 1
    Find the right cream for your skin. There are lots of different brands of hair removal cream, and lots of choices within those brands. When choosing a cream, think about your skin's sensitivity and where you plan on using the product.[12] Some companies even make a waterproof depilatory that can be applied in the shower.
    • If you are using the cream on your face or bikini area, make sure you choose formula specifically for those areas, as the skin is more sensitive.[13]
    • If you have sensitive skin, look for creams with ingredients like aloe and green tea. You may also want to speak with a doctor or dermatologist before use.[14]
    • Depilatory creams can come in different forms, from aerosols (or sprays), gels, and roll-ons.[15]
    • A roll-on won't be as messy as a cream or gel, but the creams and gels let you control how thick you apply them (and usually the thicker the better).[16]
    • If you are sensitive to smells, try a cream that has added a scent to cover the eggy smell of the cream reacting to your hair. Just remember that additional ingredients can increase the chances of irritation.[17]
  2. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 2
    Talk to your doctor if you have very sensitive skin, a skin condition, or take any medications that may affect your skin.[18] Because the cream is applied directly to the skin, the chemicals that break down the proteins in your hair will also interact with the proteins in your skin and could cause a reaction. Consult your doctor before using depilatory creams if:
    • You have developed rashes, hives, or allergic reactions to skin products in the past.[19]
    • You take a retinol, acne medication, or other medication that increases your skin's sensitivity.[20]
    • You have a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea.[21]
  3. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 3
    Do an allergy test 24 hours before using the cream, even if you've used it before. Your hormone levels are always changing, and they cause your skin to change, too. Even if you've never had a reaction to the hair removal cream before, your skin's chemistry may have changed slightly and could cause you to react.[22]
    • Apply a small amount of cream to the area where you plan to remove the hair. Follow the directions, leaving the cream on for the advised amount of time and removing properly.[23]
    • If the tested area does not react in the next 24 hours, it is safe to use the depilatory cream.[24]
  4. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 4
    Examine the area for any cuts, scrapes, moles, scars, cold sores, irritated or sunburnt skin.[25] You want to minimize your chances of having a bad reaction to the cream and potentially developing a rash or chemical burn. Don't apply the cream directly to any scars or moles, and if you have a sunburn, rash or cut, wait until you are completely healed before going ahead with the application.[26]
    • There may be tiny cuts on your skin if you have shaved recently--wait a day or two before applying the cream.[27]
  5. Image titled Use Hair Removal Creams Step 5
    Take a shower or bath, drying your skin thoroughly afterwards. This will ensure you don't have any lotions or anything on your skin that might interfere with the hair removal cream. Make sure your skin is dry afterwards, as most depilatory creams need to be applied to dry skin.[28]
    • Don't use hot water, as this can dry out your skin and may increase chances of irritation.[29]
    • Soaking in warm water can soften your hair, which may make it easier to break down. This is especially helpful for very coarse hair, like pubic hair.[30]

Sources and Citations

Show more... (28)

Article Info

Categories: Hair Removal