Depilatory creams are somewhere between shaving and waxing in terms
of hair removal. They go slightly deeper than shaving does in removing
hair, but not as deep as waxing does and yet are on the whole painless
and don't cause stuble. So what are they?
A depilatory cream is a mixture of mildly caustic chemicals that contain
sodium and calcium thioglycolate. Scary as it may sound that these were
patented in the 1930s for removing
cattle hides, they are gentle and risk-free enough to be widely available
for home use. So you need not be a hairy cow to use them!
to the skin, they dissolve the keratin in any hair shafts, giving a
hair removal that goes just below the surface of the skin. They do tend
to smell pretty unpleasant, but you can clear large areas of hair quickly
and they'll stay hair free for longer than if you shaved.
If you are going to use a depilatory cream here is what to be on the
look out for:
Always clean the skin first to open the folicles and check that oils
are not preventing clean contact
Begin by trying a test patch on your forearm just in case you have
a reaction. It's fairly rare, but these are caustic chemicals and
you will need to aware that in some people they can cause skin irritation,
discolouration or allergy
Always read the instructions. They will state a maximum length of
time you should leave the cream on for. Don't exceed it.
When removing the product, use a damp wash cloth in downward strokes.
The extra pressure will help break away more hairs and you can shower
after you've cleared away as much hair as possible
Never apply depilatory cream anywhere near a cut or other skin break
If you are thinking of using them on your face, do be certain you've
chosen a depilatory cream that allows you to apply it there and keep
well away from the eyes. Depilatory creams for the face do tend to be
gentler (well it is only your face after all) and work better on soft,
fine hair. Those who can grow a beard in an afternoon may find that they
simply aren't effective on such resilient, coarse hair. Naturally, the
results are better for women who only have soft peach fuzz to remove
and for Orientals who also tend to be less heavily fuzzed.
Depilatories aren't for everyone as they are smelly, need regular application,
may not always be strong enough for coarse haired people and can be messy.
Yet for many, they are one of the quickest ways to remove large amounts
of hair in a pain free fashion without stuble. Worth a try once at least!