A depilatory cream is a topical chemical compound that is used to remove unwanted body and facial hair through dissolving the individual strands after application to the skin. The dissolution of keratin is extensive enough that hair can be simply wiped away with a damp cloth, or washed away in the shower. Ingredients often include chemicals such as sodium or calcium hydroxide, titanium dioxide, barium sulphide and calcium thioglycolate.
Typically applied as a thick cream, the formula works by dissolving the unwanted hair into a jelly-like substance, having broken down the protein of the individual hair strands, comprised of keratin. While some tougher hair may be more resistant to the cream’s effects than other areas of the body, most creams present effective results within 5-10 minutes of application, with most brands recommending an application and waiting time frame of no more than 15 minutes total. Unlike shaving, depilatory creams remove hair often to just below the skin’s surface; allowing for hair-free skin for up to four weeks before regrowth starts to appear. In addition to this impressive time frame, the regrowth commonly feels finer and softer than it would be from shaving, however depilatory creams are not known to affect the thickness of hair long term.
Due to the quick time frame and effective results, depilatory creams are a popular option for many people wanting hair free skin, with particular favorability on facial hair, as the removal process leaves no tell-tale stubble. In addition to this, the products are relatively inexpensive, and a wide range is available to suit most budgets and hair removal areas. One often unspoken benefit is that using these creams allows for easy hair removal at home in areas that are hard to reach; the bikini line is one example of an area that may be considered difficult to shave and painful to wax. Depilatory creams allow the same benefit of complete hair removal, without any of the inconvenience, pain or regrowth rashes that often accompany waxing and shaving of this area.
An added benefit to this method of hair removal is that it is completely painless, provided the instructions on the product are followed closely. Failure to follow the instructions carefully could result in unsightly skin damage, or even chemical burns as a result of product that has been left on for too long. Some customers complain of the smell emitted from the hair removal cream, however given the multitude of other benefits associated with this method of hair removal, it is clear to see why it is a popular choice.