Hair removal is a tricky and often painful process. Using a laser hair removal device at home has a lot of its own caveats, not to mention the cost. And if you’ve run out of all the best razors and wax strips at the drugstore, finding a depilatory cream may feel like your best option. We asked him to talk about everything, including how to use depilatory creams and precautions.
How do depilatory creams work?
different from razor, Epilators, or waxing kits, hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, offer a relatively painless way to remove hair in the comfort of your own bathroom. But how do they work? Dr. Lal explains that hair removal creams “contain chemical ingredients that break down the tight bonds of hair proteins, causing hair to break.”
Before diving into the best hair removal creams, it’s important to understand the differences in hair removal methods. Conventional razors cut off hair as close to the skin as possible. Wax strips pull the strands out by tearing them out of the hair follicle. (Please check this out for details Marie Claireguide to How to use wax stripsand a guide about how to shave legs When how to shave bikini line.)
Should I use hair removal cream?
If shaving or waxing suits you and your needs perfectly, that’s great! Depilatory creams are a great alternative to either option, especially for those who suffer from razor burn, says Dr. Lall. Creams are also good for people whose skin is too sensitive to be waxed, or if their skin “tears or splits” during the process.
As with many hair removal processes, using creams comes with its own set of risks, but it should be noted that they are very small. You should not use depilatory creams on These tend to be more sensitive than other parts of the body, so irritation can occur more easily.It is also important to leave the cream on for the allotted time, so read the directions carefully. If you leave it on for too long, you may develop redness, blisters, and/or painful chemical burns,” says Lal.
The products on this list have been vetted by Marie Claire’s. Commerce Editor, Julia Marzovilla (aka really yours), and Beauty Director Deena CampbellAll of them are highly rated by reviewers. The *best* hair removal cream for you depends on personal preference, but you can’t go wrong with one of the items on this list. Please check with your dermatologist.
best hair removal cream
Hair removal cream recommended by the best dermatologists
(opens in new tab)
Nia Hair Remover Sensitive Formula Shower Power Coconut Oil and Vitamin E
Dr. Lal loves this hair removal cream from the iconic brand Nair. “Coconut oil has a moisturizing effect and does not make the skin sticky after using it,” she says. Additionally, the formula is colorless and paraben free. Many of his 5-star reviews on Target’s site show how easily this cream removes and smoothes the skin. However, other reviews say that it causes irritation if left on too long.
Strong Points: Dermatologist Approved. The formula contains vitamin E.
Cons: Some reviewers said the scent was too strong. Some reviewers said they burned their skin if left on too long.
Customer review: “This has been a lifesaver. The smell associated with this product is mild and [has] Nonflammable. Just follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong.My feet have never been smoother.” — Target
best all purpose hair removal cream
(opens in new tab)
Veet Aloe Vera Leg & Body Hair Remover Gel Cream
This long-time favorite hair removal cream from Veet comes in a larger bottle than others on this list, so you know it will last longer. Some people point out that it works better with longer hair in the desired area, so you’ll have to wait longer between sessions. Plus, the pump dispenser makes application easy and mess-free.
Strong Points: The bottle will last a long time. The smell disappears in the shower. The scent is not strong.
Cons: Some users said they didn’t remove all the hair on the first pass.
Customer review: “I was hesitant because I have sensitive skin, but it felt great! The hair was removed immediately without any irritation, and my feet were moisturized. After taking a shower, the smell stopped bothering me, and it felt very light. .. but test it on a small part of your body first!” – Goal
Best depilatory cream for dry skin
(opens in new tab)
NADS 3-In-1 Body Butter Hair Removal Cream
This body butter and depilatory cream hybrid from Nads is perfect if you want to soothe dry winter skin and remove unwanted hair. It can be used in and out of the shower, according to the brand, and the moisturizing ingredients are made to be hypoallergenic and contain both cocoa and shea butter to help keep skin looking its best. If so, butter it a few minutes before it gets wet for best results.
Strong Points: The formula is not cruel. Suitable for sensitive skin.
Cons: Strong smell. Some reviewers say the cream should be left on for 10 minutes.
Customer review: “Start with the ‘negatives’ first, then go to the positives (don’t worry, it really wasn’t that bad). I had to do it for 10 full minutes and my hair is not that thick or coarse. I think you have to use it anyway. You definitely need to use ALOT so there won’t be much use from the bottle. ” – Alter
Best Beauty Director Certified Hair Removal Cream
WooWoo Tame It! Vegan Shower Hair Removal
“I have sensitive spots and whenever I wax or shave with a razor, I (always) encounter red, irritated, irritated, bumpy skin the next day. The skin is baby-soft and has significantly less redness. I also like that it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs like most removal creams do. When Vegan — what’s better?” — Deena Campbell, Beauty Director
Strong Points: Beauty Director Approved. Has a vegan formula. No abuse. Formula contains Aloe Vera.
Cons: Some reviewers said it burned sensitive skin.
Customer review: “I have always suffered from razor bumps and this is a lifesaver!! My skin felt so smooth I didn’t need to use a soothing balm afterward, but to stop any potential tingling. I did anyway.I will definitely be ordering more!!” – Woo Woo
best hair removal cream for thick hair
(opens in new tab)
SoftSheen-Carson Magic Laserless Shaving Cream
This cult-favorite (and top-rated!) hair removal cream is Technically Designed for men, it works great even on thick, coarse hair. It has over 40,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, many of whom praise it for working quickly and effectively without irritating them. Also note that it should be washed off with warm water and a washcloth.
Strong Points: Works quickly.
Cons: May be too harsh for sensitive skin.
Customer review: “This cream removes unwanted facial hair quickly and gently, and is very affordable.” — CVS
Best depilatory cream for touch up
(opens in new tab)
Nad’s Hair Removal Cream – Gentle and Soothing Hair Removal
If you’re in a pinch to get rid of unwanted hair, try this gentle and soothing hair removal cream from Nuds.With over 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, it works within 10 minutes and at least 4 minutes. Designed to Results last up to a week and this formula is ruthless. Reviewers also noted that it smells stronger than other similar products and that it doesn’t remove all hair if your hair is on the thicker side of the spectrum.
Strong Points: Not stimulating. The formula is cruelty-free.
Cons: Some reviewers say it doesn’t remove all hair in one pass.
Customer review: “Doesn’t remove all hair. No major breakouts like other brands. Highly recommended!!” – Walmart
How to use hair removal cream
- Run a test strip. Rather than jumping in and using your favorite cream all over your legs or underarm area, Dr. Lal suggests testing the product on a small area of skin first. We recommend testing it on your upper thighs to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to the cream.
- Apply the cream to the remaining areas of concern. If the test strips don’t cause irritation, it’s time to apply the cream to the rest of the area.
- Leave the cream on: Dr. Lal says the depilatory cream should be left on for “no more than five minutes.”
- Remove cream: A microfiber towel can be used to gently remove the cream. For best results, run the towel against the direction of hair growth.
- Rinse and moisturize the affected area: Keep your skin healthy and cleanse the area with soap and water. Follow this up with a moisturizer. Dr. Lal also says you should wait three weeks before using any hair removal cream.
“Be sure you don’t have any rashes or irritations before applying hair removal cream,” says Lal. .
“Moisturize immediately and for a few days after treatment,” says Dr. Lal. “For redness and irritation, use 1% hydrocortisone. (opens in new tab) 2-3 times daily until redness and irritation disappear.
meet the experts
A native of New York City, he grew up in Queens and attended Hunter Science High School in Manhattan. He graduated with honors from New York Institute of Technology, where he completed his rigorous 7-year accelerated multidisciplinary medicine program. He was selected as a medical researcher at the university, during which he earned a Master of Science in Neuroscience and received a scholarship for three years of medical and postgraduate training. He was elected to the Sigma Sigma Phi and Psi Sigma Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut Medical Center, where he was named Intern of the Year. He completed a three-year dermatology residency at the University of Massachusetts and was elected Chief Resident. He went on to complete a Pediatric Dermatology Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts with an interest in vascular disorders, pediatric lasers, and skin surgery on pediatric patients. Dr. Lal specializes in Pediatric and Adult Dermatology, Laser Surgery, Soft Tissue Filler Augmentation, Body Sculpting, Melanocyte Keratinocyte Transplant Surgery for Vitiligo and Depigmentation, Skin Pigmentation Abnormalities, from patient birth. enjoying the treatment of He is an expert in atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, melasma, psoriasis and hidradenitis and has worked in specialist clinics. is a trained cosmetic dermatologist.