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Depilatory cream

Published by cheree
Published on 5 November 2007

Quick, considerably less expensive than permanent hair removal, less painful than waxing and longer-lasting than shaving, depilatory creams provide a good compromise amongst the many methods of hair removal out there.

How it works
Unlike wax, depilatory cream doesn’t pull hairs out at the root: it dissolves them in a few minutes using sulphur-derived products (salts from thioglycolic acid) which attack keratin, the protein which makes up the hair.

How to apply
On dry skin, spread the cream on the desired area and wait for the length of time indicated on the packaging (a few minutes generally). This is the time it takes for the cream to act.

When time is up, rinse well. Warning: there is a risk of caustic burning if the application time isn’t respected.

Afterwards, moisturise your skin and restore its natural protection by applying body milk. Don’t use harsh products or any products containing alcohol.

Advantages
- It's completely painless
- You’ll feel no pain or prickling
- It’s quick and very easy
- It's not expensive: you can buy tubes of cream for a couple of pounds (enough to do half-legs twice).

Disadvantages
- The effect, which lasts for around 10 days, is certainly longer than that of a razor but hair regrowth is much quicker than with wax or electrolysis.
- Depilatory cream can also irritate skin.

What you need to know
We’ve been unenthusiastic about depilatory creams for many years because of the allergy risks, but today manufacturers have developed products that suit the most sensitive and fragile skins.

There is a whole range of depilatory products out there for all types of skin and hair.
We’ve equally been reluctant because of their odour, but again, progress has been made and many creams on the market smell fine (not like toilet cleaner!).

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