Shaving can be annoying and time-consuming. In addition, sensitive skin often reacts with unsightly redness and pustules. Problems that you are spared with a depilatory cream. You can find out from us what you need to consider when using a hair removal cream.
Whether summer is just around the corner or it’s just going to the nearest swimming pool: smooth, shaved skin is simply part of it for many women and men. And while there are countless hair removal options, one of the most popular is depilatory cream .
Why do we have hair?
Even if they can quickly become annoying and you do everything you can to get rid of them: hair does have its uses. In the days of our ancestors, who were still quite furry, their thick hair was able to protect them from the cold and unpleasant winds. Even today we still wear hair almost all over our bodies . Only the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and lips are free of the sometimes light, hardly noticeable down.
Above all, hair on the face, on the head, under the armpits and in the genital area has remained. Head hair is particularly important : it protects us from direct sunlight and at the same time from the cold. Because we lose most of the heat and energy through our heads.
Even your perhaps rather unloved body hair has a not so unimportant advantage. They increase the total surface area and make your skin more sensitive to touch. If an ant crawls up your arm, you will feel its tiny feet despite your size difference. That’s because every touch, no matter how small, on your skin – or rather on your hair – triggers a stimulus.
Hair under the armpits helps the body wick sweat better. On the other hand, this type of hair in particular, including in the intimate area, is often an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs .
How hair grows
You can pinch, squeeze, or break them, but you wo n’t feel any pain in your hair. This is simply because they consist of the horny substance keratin . This substance is also found in fingernails and toenails.
The hair itself grows from what is called a hair follicle. This tube-like sheath is located just below the skin, at the end of which is the hair root . In addition, there is a muscle on each individual hair that reacts to certain environmental influences. For example, if you freeze, the muscle straightens up and forms what is known as goosebumps . By the way, your hair grows about 0.4 millimeters a day , that’s about 15 centimeters a year.
How depilatory cream works
If you use a hair removal cream, it seems as if the hair is coming off the skin by itself. Behind this are the chemical substances sodium hydroxide and salts of thioglycolic acid .
Each hair consists of the connections of individual keratin fibers . This structure holds the hair together. The sodium hydroxide in the depilatory cream causes the skin’s pores to swell and breaks down its protective acid mantle. Then the thioglycolic acid can penetrate into the structure of the keratin compounds and dissolve the keratin’s attachments. As a result, the hair dissolves exactly on the skin surface, while the roots in the follicles remain.
For this reason, hair grows back at about the same rate after a shave and after using a depilatory cream . During waxing, for example, the hair root is also removed, which is why the first stubble only becomes noticeable after a few days or two weeks.
Benefits of hair removal cream
Inexpensive, simple, painless – a depilatory cream has a number of advantages over a normal shave or waxing. The cream can be bought quite cheaply in the online shop or in the drugstore. In addition, the application is fairly simple and often more precise than a shave. By applying cream, you can see exactly which areas you have forgotten. The depilatory cream is suitable for robust parts of the body such as legs, stomach and back. But there are also special products for the bikini zone and the face.
In contrast to epilation or waxing, using the hair removal cream is completely painless . The roots are not pulled out, the hair is only superficially separated from the skin. This is also the case with shaving, but the hair here often grows back quickly and stubbly. However, the sharply separating blade cut is missing in the depilatory cream. Instead, the gently separated hairs grow back much softer . The skin feels supple despite the regrowing hairs.
Depilatory creams for the bikini zone also have the great advantage that, unlike shaving, they do not leave any pimples or reddening .
Side effects of a depilatory cream
In addition to all the benefits, there are a few things you should consider before using a depilatory cream. After all, the hood components of this cream are chemical , which is why in rare cases, for example, an allergic reaction can occur.
Very sensitive skin may be sensitive to the chemical cream. There are now sensitive products for these skin types that you can usually use without hesitation.
Nevertheless, everyone who uses a hair removal cream for the first time should test it briefly on a small area beforehand . If the skin already reacts with redness or itching, you should not use hair removal cream. However, skin irritation can also occur if you leave the cream on longer than described in the leaflet. Then it can happen that the chemical substances also dissolve the keratin of the skin, which is why it reacts with redness. As I said, you can avoid these risks if you use the cream exactly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
One last thing to note as well: the ingredients in the hair removal cream are very alkaline . In order to rebalance the pH on the skin, you should wash your body thoroughly after use . You should then use a care lotion with an acidic pH value.
Areas of application of a hair removal cream
Even if there can be some side effects due to the chemical active ingredients, a depilatory cream is harmless if used correctly. Therefore, it is also important that you always read the instructions for use carefully before buying.
In the intimate area
Shaving can cause unsightly pustules, especially in the intimate area. The question of whether a depilatory cream is a suitable alternative is therefore obvious. Because it can actually be – if you pay attention to a few things.
Since the chemical agents can irritate the mucous membranes, normal hair removal creams are unsuitable for the intimate area. Mucous membranes are extremely sensitive and sometimes react with inflammatory changes when they come into contact with chemical substances.
But there are depilatory creams that have been specially developed for these zones. As a rule, they are provided with the addition ” Sensitive “. In most cases, there is a note on the packaging that the cream may be used on sensitive areas. If this is not the case, you should avoid this application when in doubt . Nevertheless, you should always avoid direct contact of the cream with the mucous membranes.
Incidentally, intimate zone and bikini zone mean two different things. So if the pack says “Suitable for the bikini area”, you should only use the cream for that and not in the intimate area.
For the face
You can also use depilatory creams on your face. Just as for the intimate zone, there should also be a note on the packaging here. If you are unsure, you can also contact the manufacturer and ask for more information .
Facial skin is very thin and sensitive in some places. Therefore, creams specifically designed for the face are mixed with soothing ingredients. Natural additives such as aloe vera or vegetable oils such as grape seed oil are particularly beneficial .
You should be particularly careful with the cream on your face – especially around the mouth and eyes. Under no circumstances should the cream get on your lips or be swallowed.
A depilatory cream can be a great alternative to shaving, especially for men. You can easily avoid cuts and redness. In addition, shaving the stomach and back areas is often very time-consuming – and not all areas are easy to reach.
Since men often have stronger and stronger hair growth, there are special depilatory creams for them . At the same time, they often contain some nourishing or very moisturizing ingredients.
The 3-step application
If you have decided to buy a hair removal cream and want to use it, the first thing you should do is read the package leaflet . Of course, this is time-consuming, but you really shouldn’t use a hair removal cream improperly. Since the hair is only superficially severed, it grows back accordingly quickly. You can use your depilatory cream regularly .
It doesn’t matter where you want to use the cream on your body – you should always test it before using it for the first time . This works best in the crook of your arm, for example. The most important thing when testing is that you really only apply the cream to a small area. To do this, apply a little of the depilatory cream to the crook of your arm and let it work for a short time – according to the instructions on the package. Then wash off the cream thoroughly and wait a few more hours. You need a little patience for this – after all, redness can only appear over time.
Use depilatory cream correctly
If you tolerate the cream well and no redness is noticeable, you can use the depilatory cream on your body. According to the package insert, this should only happen on the selected areas . The exposure time is very important in the application . Normally, you should not leave it for longer than a few minutes – five at the most.
Apply the cream as thinly as possible to the desired parts of the body, let it work for a short time and then wipe it off thoroughly. You can either do this with a cosmetic tissue or – if this is included in the package – with a spatula .
In order to rid your skin of chemical residues on the one hand and to balance your pH value on the other, you should wash your body thoroughly after use . Then apply a nourishing and soothing body lotion afterwards . Natural ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter , almond , grape seed or rose oil are particularly good for the skin.
Tips for skin irritation
If you have left the cream on for too long or sensitive areas react with slight skin irritation, you should take special care of your skin. First of all, do not use any products with alcohol content , or if so, then only in very small quantities.
Don’t over-care for your skin – it just needs hydrating and anti-inflammatory ingredients right now. With too much care, the redness can be intensified . Chamomile and natural oils are best for calming .
Buy hair removal cream
You can find hair removal creams in the drugstore , in the pharmacy or in the online shop . Often you can choose between depilatory foam, cream and gel. No matter which product you take, the mode of action is the same. Once you have found a well-tolerated product, it is worth sticking with it. Because the products often differ in the composition of individual active ingredients. Therefore, you may be more sensitive to other products.