What is the Best Depilatory Cream in 2023?

A sitting woman applying the best depilatory cream on her legs.

I don’t know if you’ve ever come across it, but there’s a fantastic old urban myth-type story about depilatory cream. I first heard it several years ago, and every time it does the rounds again, it just has me crying with laughter.

The story concerns a certain gentleman who, following some criticism from his wife, decided to use depilatory cream to prepare himself for a delightful surprise for her…can you see where this is going yet?

Anyway, having sent his wife to bed to await further instructions, he applies the cream to his nether region, but doesn’t have to wait long before an intense burning pain hits him, quite literally right between the legs!

The remainder of the story concerns itself with the lengths this man went to in an attempt to cool the area, and the events that transpired when, alerted by the muffled groans of pain, his wife came to see what the problem was…I think I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, or your googling skills!

The point is, while depilatory creams have had a bit of a bad press in the past, the preparations on the market today are much more gentle on the skin, and have many other advantages.

Let’s take a tour through the mysterious world of depilatory creams and find out what it’s all about…

What Is a Depilatory Cream?

A depilatory, or hair removal, cream is a cream, lotion or gel which is applied to the skin to remove the hair present in the area.

Depilatory creams are a good alternative to waxing, sugaring, shaving, threading, laser and epilation for hair removal.

How Do Depilatory Creams Work?

Hair removal creams work by using a specific mixture of chemical ingredients that break the chemical bonds in the hair at surface level.

Because depilatory creams don’t remove the hair at the root, like waxing does, hair regrowth happens more quickly than after waxing.

It does, however, weaken the hair at skin level, rather than cutting a strong hair off at surface level, which is what happens when shaving. Regrowth with a depilatory cream therefore takes longer than it does after shaving.

Most people can expect to see regrowth occurring within about a week of using depilatory cream, on average.

Advantages of Using a Depilatory Cream

There are many different hair removal methods to suit all body areas and skin types. Choosing one over another is largely a personal preference, but there are some distinct advantages of depilatory creams to take into consideration:

No Pain

This is a big one for some people. We all respond to pain differently, and for some people, the pain that goes hand in hand with waxing or epilating, and the discomfort of laser and threading is just too high a price to pay for hair removal.

Provided your skin is not sensitive to any of the ingredients in the depilatory cream, and the cream is only left on the skin for the correct amount of time, people generally find they cause no pain at all, which is a huge bonus for many people.

It’s Easy to Do

When using a depilatory cream, all you need to do is apply the cream for the specified amount of time, then scrape or shower it off, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

There’s no trying to reach around awkward angles with a razor, and ending up with numerous shaving nicks for your efforts, thank you very much!

It’s Convenient

Another big plus point for depilatory creams. It’s a method of hair removal that only takes a few minutes, and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

It’s Not Expensive

Hair removal methods like professional laser treatment, and regular salon waxing needs regular appointments, and the costs can really mount up over time.

While depilatory creams also need to be used at regular intervals as the hair grows back, the cost is usually a fraction of laser or waxing, and for most people is easily managed as part of the regular household shopping budget.

Can Help to Moisturize the Skin

Many of the various depilatory creams now available on the market incorporate ingredients to specifically moisturize the skin, making skin feel softer and in good condition.

If You Haven’t Used Depilatory Creams for a While (or Ever!)…

If, like me, you had a go at using a hair removal cream in your younger days, weren’t too impressed and you’ve used other hair removal methods since, now might be a good time to take a second look.

I well remember, on my first attempt, the intense chemical smell which got worse after I applied it to the skin, the thick, gloopy goo which just got everywhere, and the intense irritation I experienced—I won’t go into more details! Suffice it to say I wasn’t very impressed.

These days, depilatory creams are much kinder and more gentle on the skin, and much more pleasant and easy to use. Most of them have a more pleasant scent, or at the very least, a less offensive smell!

There are various kinds of hair removal creams available for different skin types—normal and sensitive skin, for example, plus lanolin-free creams, so there’s now a much wider choice of products.

Precautions for Use

Always read all of the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly and follow them exactly. In particular, don’t leave the cream in contact with your skin beyond the recommended time.

Always do a patch test every time you use depilatory cream. Skin sensitivity can change according to the time of month and other factors.

Make sure the cream you’re using is appropriate for a particular area of skin. Don’t use depilatory creams designed for use on the body to remove hair from the facial area. The hair removal creams for use on the body often have stronger or higher concentrations of chemicals than facial hair removal creams, and can cause irritation or damage.

Leave the cream on for the minimum amount of time the first time you use it, or if you change brands.

Never apply any depilatory cream to any broken skin and keep away from eyes, ears and mouth.

What Is the Best Depilatory Cream?

We’ve done our homework on depilatory creams, and compiled a list of five great-quality products, complete with their positive and negative points, so that you can easily identify the products which best suit your needs.

A minority of users for some of these product reported skin irritation after using depilatory cream. It’s important to remember, however, that the issue of skin irritation is concerned with how long the cream stays in contact with the skin as well as the chemicals used in any given brand of depilatory cream.

Our Choice

In our objective review of the five hair removal creams, the one which we thought was the best depilatory cream from a selection of very good products was the Veet Gel Hair Remover Cream, Sensitive Formula. Users liked pretty much everything about this product from a reputable brand name people felt they could trust.

Users really liked the pump dispenser which they found easy to use, less wasteful and not as messy to apply as other similar products. Most people were also impressed with the effectiveness of this cream, and with the lack of irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.

Most users commented on how silky smooth and soft their skin was after using this depilatory cream, and at the lowest priced product we reviewed, people were very happy with the excellent value for money.

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