Depilatory Cream: Pros and Cons of Hair Removal Creams

depilatory cream pros and cons

Depilatory cream as we know it nowadays dates to 1940s. That was the time when Nair released its first hair removal cream, and they continue to sell their products improving them throughout the years. However, the usage of depilating substances dates back to 4000 to 3000 B.C. That’s probably because women were generally interested in hair reduction and were trying different things out. Anyway, depilatory creams nowadays offer an interesting way to remove hair and that’s something anyone can appreciate.

What is a Depilatory Cream?

Depilatory cream is a substance that contains alkaline chemicals. They react with keratin that your hair is made of and dissolve it. It leaves hair in a jelly-like state and makes it easy to get rid of them.

How to Use It?

Simply apply the cream to the area you want to remove your hair from, wait for around 10 minutes (it’s best to check instructions for that) and remove the cream with a spatula. Since the product weakens the hairs, it should be easy to get them away from your skin. Afterwards, wash the leftover cream with cold water and apply a bit of moisturizing cream.

What Parts Is It Safe to Use On?

I’m sure many of you are wondering how safe it is to use this cream on some of your parts. Generally, any part is ok. Except for bikini line or face. Always check instructions! Obviously, the more sensitive areas might get easily irritated due to chemicals. Other than that, you should be fine with whatever you’re comfortable with. Make sure to test out what feels ok.

Advantages of Hair Removal Creams

As any hair removal products, these ones have their pros too. Here are some of them.

Easy to Use

While waxing or laser hair removal can be hard to master, depilatory creams don’t challenge us in that way at all. They are simple to use, and anyone can do it without causing too much mess or trouble.

Read More: Best Depilatory Creams


Now, that’s something I love, and everyone else should too! Any depilatory cream, if used properly, is painless. Unless, you have an allergic reaction and get your skin irritated. That’s the reason why depilatory creams might be better for someone who’s just starting out with hair removal and trying out their limits. It’s a nice way to remove that hair if you tend to cut yourself with a razor quite often too.

Cheap if Used Occasionally

Hair removal creams are about $8 a tube. That’s relatively cheap. Also, whenever you’re buying more tubes, you can get a discount too. It’s totally one of the cheaper choices if you’re looking to remove hair only from time to time. Buying the whole waxing kit, epilator or electric razor for a couple times might not be worth it.

Not Messy

Unlike some other hair removal methods like waxing, this one is not messy at all. Even though applying cream can seem like a daunting task that requires skills and then getting rid of it might seem hard, it’s not really that way. Once you apply the cream, you can take it off while still in the shower or bath and just wash off whatever is left. On the other hand, when you wax, everything just ends up being sticky. Therefore, that’s definitely something one could appreciate.

Disadvantages of Hair Removal Creams

As good as some of these advantages sound, we simply must embrace the fact that hair removal creams aren’t perfect. Here are some of the things, I believe, you should consider before removing your hair that way.

Not Permanent

Unfortunately, depilatory cream lasts for up to 5 days only. Sometimes even for a shorter period of time. I’ve personally experienced situations where my hair would grow back after 2 days. When you put so much work into removing that hair, getting them back in 2 days is quite disappointing. Putting all that cream on your body, waiting for 10 minutes and using a spatula to get that hair off can be time consuming and not worth it in the end. Therefore, consider that before buying any hair removal cream.

Often Cause Irritations

Let’s be honest, depilatory creams burn out the hairs. To do that, they need to contain strong chemicals. Some of them: sodium and calcium thioglycolates, water-soluble soap and other ingredients. Thioglycolates cause irritations and generally dry out your skin. In case you want to read more on the composition of these products, you can do it here. It would be ok to use these creams just on the hairs. However, skin contact is simply something you cannot avoid.

Smell Quite Bad

The reason behind the smell is sulfur in thioglycolates that I’ve mentioned before. It’s been a long battle for manufacturers who have been trying to hide that smell. However, they’re failing to do it so far. Obviously, they’ve managed to hide some of that smell with various aromas. Therefore, some depilatory creams smell better than the others. You most likely just need to accept the fact that removing your hair this way will be smelly. The smell will stick to your skin for around 5-7 hours too. It’s not deadly or anything just a little bit unpleasant.

Expensive if Used Regularly

I know I’ve talked all about how cheap a tube can be. However, if you do choose to depilate your body regularly, that can become costly. First, you’ll need to use these creams every 3-5 days if you truly want to stay hairless. Second, depending on the body part you’re going to treat, you might need more than a one tube for one procedure. Therefore, you should truly ask yourself whether it’s worth it and cost effective in the long run. Most likely the answer is no.

Not Environmentally Friendly

Buying hundreds of tubes that come with separate spatulas is pretty much a waste of resources. Unless you collect spatulas and find a way to reuse tubes. But hundreds of them? I don’t think so. I believe that’s something that anyone should consider. We create enough waste already.

Summary of Pros and Cons

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    Relatively easy to use
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    Doesn’t cause any pain
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    A cheap method if used occasionally
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    Not messy at all
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    Can cause irritations
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    Can prove to be expensive if used regularly
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    Produces unpleasant smell
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    Not environmentally friendly
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    Only lasts for up to 5 days


I hope you now have an idea of depilatory creams are! If you have any questions, comment below and I’ll make sure to answer them! Also, share what hair removal methods you’ve been using and how successful you’ve been!


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