When considering depilatory hair creams, there are a number of factors that influence whether it is the right hair removal choice for you. These range across a number of topics such as cost, pain tolerance levels, as well as the condition of your skin.

Some commonly recognized pros and cons include the following;


– Inexpensive (compared to waxing and laser)

– Low time investment

– Effective for complete hair removal

– Painless


– Not always budget-friendly (as a long-term hair removal solution)

– Tricky to apply

– Unpleasant smell

– Risk of Possible skin irritation

– Not suitable for all skin types


Depilatory creams are relatively inexpensive, with a range of products and brands available to suit most budgets. While at USD$8 – $15 per tube of cream they are more expensive than shaving, they are still a budget-friendly item; certainly, far more affordable than waxing or laser hair removal. However, if you are looking for a method of hair removal to use consistently throughout the year, it may become unsuitable; in which case shaving may be a more affordable option.

When considering cost, it is important to remember that the brand of the product can have a large influence on the perceived value. Well established brands are often more popular than those less well-known, and this demand and reputation can drive up the price of the product. However, this reputation is usually well deserved; with popular products standing the test of thousands of customer reviews.

Time Investment

Depilatory creams are one of the quickest methods of hair removal available; with application and waiting time usually taking less than 15 minutes. When compared to the time investment required for shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal, the choice is an easy one.

For people looking for application on only a very small patch of hair (for example the face or underarms), the time commitment required differs significantly. For individuals looking to remove hair from these areas, it may be that shaving is more effective, as it can be done swiftly, and worked into one’s daily shower routine.


While the time taken to remove hair is minimal, it is important to take note of the effectiveness and longevity of results. Hair removed using depilatory cream will last several weeks, however, regrowth is inevitable. In addition to this, while waxing and laser result in gradual refining and thinning of hair over time, depilatory creams have no such effect; with each batch of regrowth returning as per normal. This may be of importance to people who are looking to consistently remove unwanted body hair, and whom might benefit from a method of removal that contributes towards permanent hair reduction.

Pain tolerance

Depilatory creams are one of only two methods of hair removal that are completely painless. When removing hair from sensitive areas such as the face, bikini line, or other areas of sensitive skin, pain management is just as important as achieving effective results. Because depilatory creams work on the surface of the skin and literally dissolve the hair, there is no pain from pulling out the hair strands, nor any risk of shaving rash or cuts

One aspect that you must be cautious of at all times when using depilatory creams is the prospect of chemical burns; a very real possibility if the instructions for application and removal of the cream is not followed closely. Chemical burns can range in their effects to damaging skin sensitivity, discoloration, or even permanent scarring; all influenced by how incorrectly the product is used. While most depilatory creams work in a similar fashion, reading the individual instructions for each product is vital to ensure appropriate treatment.

Skin Suitability

Depilatory creams are not a suitable hair removal option for all skin types, nor all kinds of hair removal. Removing hair from particularly delicate areas, such as eyebrows, with depilatory creams is not advised due to the high risk of contact with eyes and delicate mucous membranes. Similarly, people who have highly sensitive skin, open sores, and cuts, or acne are advised to choose alternative hair removal options, as these skin conditions may be aggravated by the chemicals in the depilatory creams. The same applies to individuals who are taking antibiotics, cortisone treatments, or other medications that affect the quality and sensitivity of their skin.

Are depilatory creams suitable for you?

These products are readily available over the counter, and perfectly suitable for a DIY application. However, if you have any concerns regarding their suitability for your skin and specific situation it is always best advised that you consult your dermatologist or doctor. If you have skin conditions or are on medication that may affect the thickness or sensitivity of your skin, it may be advised that you choose another method of hair removal that is not as astringent.

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