Hair removal isn’t something that many of us can say we truly enjoy, even if we do like the end results. It can be awkward, painful and can potentially come with a whole host of complications like ingrown hairs and skin irritation.
While life would be easier if we could pop to the salon and have a spa-like experience each time we want to de-fuzz, the reality is, it takes time and it can be an expensive monthly outgoing.
Plus, it's not like we don't already have enough to worry about in the hair department. From getting your roots touched up to toners to deep conditioners - the list goes on. At the end of the day, we've already got a hell of a lot of hair-related products to pay for.
Whether, in an ideal world, you'd prefer sugaring, waxing or threading, sometimes our busy schedules don’t allow us that luxury, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the salon experience at home when you need it.
Top tip: Make sure to always patch test your skin before use and never leave the cream on longer than advised on the box.
CHECK OUT: the very best hair removal creams that are worth your £££
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Hair removal creams
As a market leader, it's no surprise that Veet's Hair Removal Cream features on this list. Working even on short hair, it's enriched with lotus milk, vitamin E and aloe vera to soften and hydrate the skin. Plus, it smells truly divine to mask any chemical odours. Included is a handy spatula to make light work of the task and it's suitable for use on legs, arms, underarms and bikini lines. Customer review: "Silky smooth results inside 5 minutes, definitely will continue to use this cream VERY HAPPY."
Made with soothing aloe vera and jojoba oil, WooWoo is specially designed for your intimate area, and it's great for those with sensitive skin. Suitable for use in the shower, it delivers silky smooth results in under six minutes, with no redness, soreness or bumps. A best-seller on Amazon with hundreds of great reviews, you can't go wrong here. Read our full review of WooWoo's hair removal cream. Want 10% off? Use the code HEATWORLD10 to treat yourself.
For a true at-home salon experience, look no further than Skin Doctors Hair No More Hair Removal System Pack. The removal cream dissolves the proteins found in hairs and the inhibitor spray enters the pores of the skin to saturate the hair bulb and prevent it from returning. This two-step system tackles longer hairs and stubble by discouraging hairs from growing back, meaning less work for you in the future.Customer review: "I didn't believe it but it actually worked and it took 2-3 weeks to my hair to grow back."
Created for coarse or dark hair, Nair's budget-friendly offering is dermatologically tested and can be used on legs, bikini and underarms. Enhanced with lily flower extract and cottonseed oil, it gently removes hair while soothing and nourishing the skin. Nair also has a clinical study to back up its claims, with 76% of 79 women seeing no visible hairs after use. Customer review: "Definitely works on stubborn hair! After reading recommendations from the comments I left it on for 15 minutes and it removed almost everything which was great!"
Although a relatively unknown brand, this cream has rave reviews on Amazon. The skin-safe formula contains aloe vera, vitamin E and baby oil to leave skin as soft as a baby's bottom. It removes hair in as little as five minutes and is suitable for underarms, bikini line, arms and legs - it's not recommended for use on your face.Customer review: "This product however works wonders! I put it on for 9 minutes cause my hair is coarse and voila! Hair came right off! The smell is not strong and my skin was super smooth and left me with no breakouts! Will be purchasing again!"
If you have sensitive skin, opt for a cream that's formulated just for you. This one from Veet promises up to a week of smoothness and hydrates skin for 24 hours after use. It's suitable for legs, bikini line, underarms and arms.Customer review: "This is very effective. First did a 1 inch patch test to make sure I wasn't allergic, I wasn't and after 4 mins washed it off and voila - smoooooooth !!!"
Another one for those with sensitive skin, this cream is specifically designed for underarms and bikini line, so it's extra gentle. The domed applicator follows the contours of the bikini and underarms, making it much easier to apply than some other variants. Customer review: "I left it for 9mins as I know I do have quite stubborn hair and ended up with all hair removed and a very smooth result."
How do hair removal creams work?
Hair removal creams are a quick, easy and effective way to feel silky smooth and they effortlessly fit into your weekly showering routine. Simply apply the cream, let the product go to work and wipe off all your unwanted hair - it couldn’t be easier. What’s more, they come jam-packed with nourishing skin ingredients to keep your skin feeling smoother for longer and help you avoid any nasty side effects.
Also known as depilatories, the lotions work by dissolving the hair close to the root and are completely painless and fuss-free. Lasting usually as long as shaving (if not longer), they provide skin exfoliation and a moisturising treatment all in one.
Can hair removal cream be used on private parts?
In short, kind of. You can use hair removal cream around your genitals but not on them.
According to Veet, you'll need to "take care not to make contact with your intimate areas [as] applying the product too close to the genital area can result in adverse reactions."
When used safely, the brand states that, after first patch testing, you just need to apply the removal cream around the pubic region (but not on the actual genitalia), leave for six minutes, washing hands after you apply, before removing/rinsing the hair away with lukewarm water. You may find a flannel helpful with the removal, but make sure not to rub or irritate the area.
Does hair removal cream hurt?
As long as you patch test your skin beforehand and don't leave the cream on for too long, you shouldn't have any reactions or feel a thing.
Also, don't use any products that are formulated for arms and legs on sensitive areas like the bikini line, underarms and face - make sure to invest in a cream that is specifically designed for those parts of the body. Essentially, using a hair removal cream should feel NOTHING like plucking your eyebrows, so if it starts to hurt or your skin reacts, you should stop using the product straightaway.
Because they are a mix of chemicals designed to literally degrade your hair, hair removal creams are strong so it’s probably best to give yourself a couple days’ break after two to three back-to-back rounds of use.
Is hair removal cream better than shaving?
We're on the fence here and there's no right or wrong answer, it generally goes on personal preference. In terms of long-lasting results, you'll have more luck with hair removal creams as they target really close to the root of the hair. Shaving is much more convenient but you'll see hair grow back quicker. As hair creams require a skin test before you use them, it's recommended that if you have sensitive skin, shaving is the better option.
Do you need to use anything after your apply hair removal cream?
It's important to exfoliate and moisturise your skin on a regular basis to help minimise the risk of ingrown hairs. However, as hair removal creams are made up of strong formula and most come with nourishing ingreadients to help the skin recover - you don't have to use anything immediately after apply hair removal cream.
However, if you do want to, it's advised that you use hydrocortisone cream used after any hair removal treatments to help reduce irritation as inflammation, as long as you have no medical reasons prohibiting its use.