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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
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210 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best hair removal creams for women

Last Updated November 2019

Are you tired of being caught up with regular shaving or turned off by the pain of waxing? It can be exhausting to manage unwanted hair growth, especially if you’re self-conscious about it. Women’s hair removal creams get rid of hair gently and effortlessly.

Hair removal creams target hair regrowth, breaking it down in a chemical reaction. They do the hard work while you sit and relax, then you can wipe them away within minutes. Not all creams are the same — there are specialized formulas for your face, body, and bikini areas. If you’re concerned about your sensitive skin, there are plenty of creams available to keep reactions and irritations at bay. Best of all, hair removal creams for women are infused with vitamins and ingredients that keep your skin smooth, healthy, and glowing after each application.

If you’re ready to try an alternative to shaving and waxing, check out our buying guide. Learn which product formulas are best for your skin in time for your next event or vacation. 

While women’s hair removal creams are intended to be convenient, don’t rush application. If you don’t apply enough cream or miss spots, you won’t be able to reapply safely for 48 to 72 hours.

Key considerations

How hair removal creams work

Hair removal creams contain alkaline chemicals that break down keratins, which are the proteins that make up hair. Once you apply the cream to the intended area, it takes between three and ten minutes for the chemical reaction to take place. During that time, the chemicals travel down the hair into the follicle, dissolving it along the way. Once the time’s up, you simply wipe away the cream and the unwanted hair. You’re left with smooth skin without breaking the surface layer, which often happens with shaving and waxing.

Hair removal creams vs. shaving or waxing

In terms of how long they last, hair removal creams fall right in between shaving and waxing. You can enjoy smooth skin for five to seven days before any signs of regrowth. With that said, these creams affect hair follicles long-term, so as you continue to use them, you may notice hair grows back finer and more slowly. As a result, you’re able to enjoy more time between applications.

Smooth and easy hair removal

This three-pack comes from the industry leader in facial depilatory creams and has a reputation for being effective without stripping or burning skin. Its fresh-scented formula contains aloe vera to soothe your skin and moisturize the area from start to finish. Its patented Easy Glide tool makes removal even easier, as it takes off strips of cream just like a razor. There’s even an aftercare lotion that comes with the package that continues to treat your skin and prevent reactions.

Types of creams


Facial cream

Facial cream has a unique formula adapted for the skin on your face, which is much more delicate than the rest of your body. While the most commonly targeted areas are the upper lip and chin, it’s also safe to use on the neck and jawline. Some people use it around the eyebrow area, but be careful when doing this — if you apply cream in the wrong spot, you’ll lose your eyebrows. These kits are usually the smallest as you’re only using a little product at a time.

Bikini cream

There are some specialized creams for the bikini area which have the gentleness of facial cream and the effectiveness of body cream. These formulas are designed to reduce unsightly irritation that’s common in the bikini area. They’re also formulated to be safe on sensitive parts of the body, so they contain a wealth of skin-calming ingredients to avoid burning these areas. Bikini creams come in bottles, though they’re on the smaller side as they’re limited to a specific area.

Body cream

Body cream is popular with women who are sick of shaving their legs, as it’s an easy way to remove hair from a large area. Body creams usually come in bigger bottles or pump bottles since you’re using a decent amount of product during each application. In addition to the legs, they’re recommended for use on arms, backs, and underarms. These formulas are noticeably harsher than bikini and facial formulas, so never apply them to either of those areas.

Using hair removal creams safely

Because hair removal creams are made up of chemicals, apply them as safely as possible. For one, it’s of the utmost importance to leave cream on for the designated time. If it stays on any longer, you may have irritated skin. Setting a timer is a good way to keep track of time, and you may wish to tackle certain areas in smaller pieces to make sure application time is even all around.
 

It’s also important to pay attention to your skin. Never apply cream over scars, moles, broken skin, or acne, as it may cause scarring. Sunburned skin is also a no-no, as cream can cause your skin to peel more, scar, or become infected. If you go tanning, it’s important to steer clear of tanning beds within 24 hours of cream application, as it can make any reactions much worse with additional UV exposure.

EXPERT TIP

Set a timer to avoid skin reactions. If you leave on the cream longer than the maximum recommended time, you could have a reaction to it, or worse, you could sustain a mild chemical burn.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Ingredients

Active ingredients in women’s hair removal creams include chemicals that break down proteins of the hair to dissolve them. Most formulas contain sodium hydroxide, titanium dioxide, barium sulfide, and sodium thioglycolate. That’s why the required application time is so specific — these formulas have been through rigorous testing to determine how long the reaction takes.

Some hair removal creams also contain ingredients that reduce irritation, redness, and itchiness, which are all common reactions. Vitamin E, aloe vera, argan oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter are often included in the formula, particularly in facial hair removal kits and sensitive skin varieties. These ingredients have natural, pleasant scents, which helps tone down the recognizable depilatory smell of creams.

Application tools

Some hair removal creams come with special application tools. These are typically small spatulas, plastic wedges, and mock razors. Certain tools are used to apply cream more evenly, whereas others are designed to help remove cream in a clean, mess-free manner. The tools are entirely optional, as you can apply and remove cream with your hands, tissues, or towels.

Coordinating products

Hair removal creams for women are usually part of a larger product line. Care both before and after use is recommended to keep skin healthy, moisturized, and as irritation-free as possible. Before-care products can include pretreatment lotions that coat the skin to prepare it for the cream’s chemicals. Aftercare products include lotions or oils infused with skin-calming ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal that keep post-application breakouts at bay. 

EXPERT TIP

Because hair removal creams contain chemicals, it’s a good idea to keep them out of reach of children and pets.


Staff  | BestReviews

Women’s hair removal cream prices

Hair removal creams for women cost between $5 and $90, depending on the formula and bottle size.

Inexpensive: There are budget-friendly hair removal creams priced between $5 and $10. These creams are usually for the body in full-size bottles between seven and 12 ounces or are smaller packages for facial hair removal.

Mid-range: If you’re looking for an improved, more effective formula, expect to spend between $10 and $30. These creams are either specialty formulas from mid-range beauty brands or come with multiple bottles in value packs.

Expensive: Premium hair removal creams cost between $40 and $90 and often include salon-quality creams. These are some of the most effective formulas on the market and include expensive, high-quality ingredients that cut down on skin irritation and redness.

EXPERT TIP

Use hair removal creams 72 hours before attending an event where pictures are taken so your skin has ample time to calm from any irritation.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Try new creams before beach season. If you’re trying out a new hair removal cream, give yourself ample time before a trip to the beach where your skin will be exposed. You want to know how your skin reacts to it instead of being stuck trying to cover up embarrassing irritation on your body.
  • Avoid touching your face and eyes. Never touch your face or eyes while you’re using hair removal creams.
  • Tie your hair back during application. To make sure the hair removal cream doesn’t accidentally remove hair it shouldn’t, tie yours back in a secure ponytail during application.

Fast-acting, cocoa butter infused formula

This cream is a favorite among those with sensitive noses, as its sweet cocoa butter scent is reminiscent of sunblock, lessening the unpleasant depilatory smell. You’ll save plenty of time with quick, easy application and a fast-acting formula that works in three minutes. Dispensing the cream is effortless as well, as the bottle is designed for one-handed application. As effective as this formula is, it’s gentle enough to keep redness and irritation to a minimum, even on sensitive skin.

Other products we considered

If you need a gentle but effective formula, AL’IVER Hair Removal Cream for Sensitive Skin is a great choice. Fast and effective, this remover works within eight minutes without burning the skin or causing redness. It’s easy to apply with a special curved spatula that keeps your hands clean while you use it. It’s just as easy to wipe off the cream with warm water and a soft cloth or sponge. This formula is effective for underarms, legs, arms, and backs and on hair of all thicknesses and colors, making it a worthwhile purchase.

If you’re concerned about dryness after using depilatory products, Nair Hair Remover Nourish Skin Renewal keeps your skin moisturized. Made with all-natural grapeseed oil, your skin will retain its natural glow and smoothness after using the cream. It works in less than four minutes, making it very convenient if you’re on the go or traveling. It works for legs, arms, and bikini areas, and since it’s packaged as a 7.9-ounce bottle, it will last you through a considerable number of applications.

Avoid body wash and abrasive soaps for 24 hours after using hair removal cream. It can be too rough for sensitive skin, which takes time to heal after application.

FAQ

Q. Can I use hair removal cream on other parts of my body besides the areas listed on the packaging?
A.
You can, but they are not as effective as creams dedicated to those areas. When a hair removal cream specifies the area for intended use, it’s because a different type of hair growth is targeted with the formula. Your skin could have a reaction as well, as certain formulas for legs or arms are usually too harsh to use on your face.

 

Q. Will hair removal cream bleach my skin or cause discoloration?
A.
No, hair removal creams are formulated only to remove hair. Their formulas are free from bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. They don’t contain any dyes that affect your skin’s pigmentation, although temporary redness is common with use. In fact, some users prefer hair removal creams because they’re a gentler alternative to bleaching creams or waxing.

 

Q. How quickly can I apply makeup if I just used facial hair remover cream?
A.
Wait as long as possible to avoid compounding skin irritations or clogging pores. If you intend to apply makeup soon after application, make sure you thoroughly wash your face with soap and water. Leave a moisturizer on for ten minutes, letting the skin soak it up. You can apply makeup on top of it, though there’s no guarantee you’ll be free of irritation that soon after application.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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