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Hair Removal Products

Depilatories for Hair Removal

Depilatories offer almost every user smooth, hair free skin for up to 3-5 days. For those of you who have ever wondered exactly how depilatories work, we'd be happy to explain it to you. It's quite simple really: These hair removal products actually melt the hair through chemical ingredients such as sodium calcium, titanium dioxide, and calcium thioglycolate.

Depilatory Instructions

The instructions for using depilatories seem rather straightforward on the surface. Buy the product, spread it on thick, and leave it on between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the coarseness of the hair. However, because depilatories only remove the hair at the surface, it's worth the effort to get it right the first time. For best results, manufacturers of depilatory products recommend that you apply a warm washcloth to the area to be treated as the heat will open your pores and soften your hair. Next, spread a thick layer of the depilatory on the treatment area and let it sit on the skin for the recommended number of minutes. Use the same washcloth to rub off the depilatory and melted hair. It is very important to firmly rub the skin after treatment to get rid of as much of the hair shaft as possible.

Popular Depilatory Brands

Today's depilatory products generally come in cream, mousse, and gel form, and some of the most popular drugstore depilatory brands include Veet, Nair, and the Sally Hansen Hair Removal System. Let's look at these products one at a time:

Veet™ - This depilatory product hit the market in 2003, and is considered the newest depilatory product. You can purchase it in cream, gel or mousse form. Veet hair removal creams and lotions are supposed to last up to two weeks longer than regular shaving; however; now its manufacturer, Reckitt Benckisher has introduced Veet wax for home use, which claims to offer hair free skin for up to 4 weeks. Veet's most popular product is known as the Veet 3 Minute Hair Removal gel which includes a "bladeless" razor instrument for a closer application and is reportedly very effective on bikini lines and legs.

Veet™ for Men - No matter what form of at-home hair removal products you're interested in, chances are they're being heavily marketed to men. Veet™ for Men is now available in almost every drugstore and is being purchased by men who want to quickly get rid of back hair, chest hair, uni-brows, and more. Predominantly used by swimmers and weight lifters in the past, Veet's products for men include convenient applications such as lotions and mousse that can be rinsed off in the shower, as well as disposable wax strips. Above all, at-home hair removal systems like Veet offers men and women the privacy they prefer compared to the spa or laser clinic experience.

Nair™ - Very similar to Veet's creams, lotions, and mousse, Nair promises smooth skin for up to twice as long as shaving. In fact, deciding whether Veet works better than Nair really boils down to personal preference, which often has to do with the smell (see our side effects section). Both manufacturers have come out with virtually identical product lines, including standard hair removal creams and lotions, facial hair removal cream, at-home waxing strips, and hair bleaching cream. Nair does offer convenient roll-on packaging for its creams and waxes.

Salley Hansen Hair Removal System - While Salley Hansen does offer a wide variety of hair removal gels, creams, and waxes, one of the more popular products of the line is the hair removal system. This depilatory product (or bladeless hair removal system) is different from Veet and Nair in that it comes in a spray-on, no drip form. This product also has natural botanicals such as orchid and marine extracts. The manufacturer, Del Laboratories, Inc. also claims that this hair removal product has been dermatologist tested.

Side Effects of Depilatories -

What's that Smell?
The first thing most people who have tried depilatory creams or lotions would tell is, quite frankly, they stink. Stink as in smell, that is. While they are very effective at home hair removal treatments, the harsh chemicals used to dissolve and break down the bonds of the hair do not go unnoticed. Both Nair and Veet have made great pains to mask the odor of their products. Nair, in particular has come out with scented versions of their original product that include Cucumber Melon, Aloe and Lanolin, Cocoa Butter, and Baby Oil.

This Might Sting a Little
While many people use hair removal creams and have no side effects, a large number of people have reported irritation and burning. Let's face it, depilatories are made up of harsh chemicals, many of which are found in cleaning products…so if you're a purist, this method of hair removal may not be right for you. In order to appeal to this sensitive market, depilatory brands have created their own "Sensitive Formula" which apparently offers a more pleasant experience, especially on those more delicate areas like the bikini line and underarms.

Two Words: Test Patch
Everyone's body chemistry is different. That's why it's very important to test a small, inconspicuous area of skin for any type of allergic or chemical reaction before you treat an entire area with a depilatory. If you experience swelling, moderate to severe redness, or burning, do not use your depilatory product and seek treatment if the irritation persists or if this skin is broken. Also, it is not recommended that depilatories are used on anyone under the age of 12.

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