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Where hair may have once served a greater purpose when it came to things like camouflage, protection and regulating body temperature, in modern society, hair, for the most part, is something to be cut back and manipulated. There are few, if any, hairy areas on a human body that do not receive some kind of attention in the multi-billion dollar hair removal industry. Whether that’s grooming, cutting or removal altogether, getting rid of your unwanted body hair is likely a big part of your beauty regimen.
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One of the best ways to achieve clear, hair-free areas of skin is with the use of hair removal creams, aka depilatory creams. But if you’re looking to try at-home waxing, be sure to check out our article on that topic as well.
We’ve gathered the best hair removal cream below. As a men’s website, we’ve included a lot of options for men, but you’ll find unisex and women’s products as well.
How Do Hair Removal Creams Work?
When applied to your skin, hair removal creams use chemicals that break down the molecular bonds within the strands of hair. That results in the hair breaking, allowing it to simply be wiped from your body. While that might sound dangerous, the chemical reaction is specific to the keratin in the hair, meaning hair removal creams won’t harm you when you use them as directed.
How Do I Use a Hair Removal Cream?
We’ve told you to follow the instructions, but what does that look like exactly? Thankfully, most hair removal creams work in the same way because they all rely on the same science. The process is pretty simple:
You don’t need to do anything before starting, but we’d recommend getting in a well-lit place where you have easy access to a washcloth and water. (Yes, bathrooms are perfect for this.)
Apply the cream to the targeted body part. You don’t need to massage or rub the cream into the skin for it to work. Just spread it evenly across the area and then let it be.
Sit tight for the product’s recommended amount of time. Generally, that amount of time will be somewhere around three to 10 minutes.
After a short wait, you might consider conducting a test wipe on an edge of the targeted patch. Using the corner of a warm, damp-but-not-soaked washcloth, wipe at the area. If hair comes off, you’re finished and can wipe the rest of the hair away. If the hair doesn’t come off, you need to wait another few minutes.
After no longer than 10 minutes for most creams, wipe away any hair and remaining cream. Most hair removal creams will note the maximum recommended exposure time and you’ll want to make sure to not leave the cream on for any longer than that. Ten minutes is pretty common, but some recommend even less exposure time than that.
Rinse the freshly groomed area with warm water to get rid of any residue and pat dry.
Be aware that the skin may feel a little strange afterward. It’s now naked and recovering from the effects of the chemicals and may look a little red or feel irritated. You can also expect some irritation when the hair begins to grow back.
In the unlikely event negative symptoms persist, stop using the hair removal cream and reach out to your doctor.
Below we’ve outlined the best hair removal creams on the market today. And if you continue reading beyond our top picks, you’ll find a few more sections on everything you need to know about the best hair removal creams.
1. Nair Hair Remover Lotion
You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen it in the store and if you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve probably used it. We have to be straightforward with you all — the best hair removing lotion is quite frankly the most popular on the market. Yup, it’s Nair. Not only does Nair reliably get the job done, but it’s fast, long-lasting and dermatologist tested. What more could you want when removing your hair? A million dollars? Sadly, Nair can’t give you that, but it will get the job done quickly, effectively and affordably.
2. Nair Men Hair Remover Body Cream
BEST FOR MEN
Maybe the previous product isn’t as “manly” as you might need it to be. If that’s the case, the brand also makes Nair for men.
The major advantage of the Nair Men Hair Remover Body Cream is that you can achieve smooth and hair-free skin while you shower, so it’s pretty much the easiest solution to getting rid of unwanted hair. Simply apply this hair removal cream for at least one minute before jumping in the shower. Try to avoid direct water on the cream for best results and clean the other areas of your body while the cream does its thing. Nair Men can be used on even the coarsest, thickest hair on your arms, legs, back and chest.
3. Nad’s for Men Hair Removal Cream
ALSO CONSIDER MEN
Nair is definitely our top pick for men, but the Nad’s for Men Hair Removal Cream is an equally popular option. Perfect for hair on thick body skin, like arms and legs, chest and abs and back and shoulders, this formula works in as little as four minutes. It’s also not designed for the shower, which is convenient because showering isn’t an essential part of the process.
4. Nair Face Cream Hair Remover
BEST FOR FACES
Facial skin isn’t as thick as body skin, so it needs its own hair removal cream. The Nair Face Cream Hair Remover is gentler than body hair removal creams, with sweet almond oil in its formula, so it’s perfect for upper lips, cheeks and chin hairs. Though it’s safe for men and women, remember, this isn’t designed to handle a beard. You’ll have to stick to your trusty razor and trimmer for that.
5. Avon Skin So Soft Fresh & Smooth Moisturizing Facial Hair Removal Cream
BEST FOR SENSITIVE FACES
For particularly sensitive faces, go for the Avon Skin So Soft Fresh & Smooth Moisturizing Facial Hair Removal Cream. It uses aloe vera and meadowfoam oil for a moisturizing, soothing hair removal experience.
6. Veet Sensitive Hair Removal Gel Cream
BEST FOR SENSITIVE BODIES
In choosing this Veet Sensitive Hair Removal Gel Cream, you’ll enjoy hair removal, a reduced amount of ingrown hairs and moisturized skin. This body hair removal cream is made from a sensitive formula that includes aloe vera and vitamin E. It can be used on several parts of your body, including your legs, arms, underarms and bikini line, but it should not be used on your face or other more sensitive areas. The cream also comes with a handy spatula for applying it to your skin.
7. Nad’s 3-in-1 Hair Removal Body Butter
BEST IN THE SHOWER
If you’re going to remove some hair in the shower and prefer Nad’s over Nair, you might as well go for a thick, highly rejuvenating cream like Nad’s 3-in-1 Hair Removal Body Butter. With a shea butter-based formula, this hair removal cream delivers profound hydration while breaking down hairs, leaving your skin feeling smooth and radiant.
8. Thrudove Intimate Men’s Hair Removal Cream
BEST FOR DOWNSTAIRS
The Thrudove Intimate Men’s Hair Removal Cream is made for the boys and we’re not talking about men. If you do decide to go the hair removal cream route to groom below the belt, you absolutely must do a test patch first. Even though this cream’s made for downstairs, there are no guarantees when it comes to sensitive genital skin. If you survive the test, then just follow our instructions at the top like you would with any hair removal cream: spread the cream (but don’t massage in), be certain to avoid any open areas and give the cream a few minutes to take effect. We’d recommend doing a test wipe on a small area every minute or two so you can minimize the exposure time.
9. Nair Glide-On Hair Remover
BEST FOR UNDERARMS
Shaving your armpits can be a nightmare. Nicking that wiggly, soft skin will leave you feeling the burn for weeks on end. Might as well take the safe route with the Nair Glide-On Hair Remover instead. This 100% natural argan oil and orange blossom-packed formula will keep your underarms hair-free for days and wipe away pesky strands in minutes. The formula is also dermatologist tested and can be used all over the body, including the pubic region too.
10. Blitzby Depilatory Cream
If you’re not new to the best hair removal creams, you’ll know that some of them can smell. While occasionally hair removal creams smell like orange peels and fresh flowers, others reek like a 70-year-old glass of Tang mixed with milk instead of water. It’s gutwrenching. Thankfully, this fast-working cream from Blitzby smells like absolutely nothing, so you can remove your hair without that unwanted perfume raiding the bathroom. Blitzby works in just 10 minutes and can remove unwanted hair from any spot on the body. It contains unique plant extracts to soothe and calm the skin to leave no irritation or burning, like sassafrass, aloe vera, sophora flavescent roots and wolfberry.
Related: At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices
11. Venus Visage Hair Growth Inhibitor Spray
BEST HAIR GROWTH INHIBITOR
It’s one thing to remove the hair from your skin, it’s another to keep it from growing back. But, we can all probably agree that preventing it from growing back is far more preferable than reapplying hair removal creams over and over. For this reason, we’ve included the Venus Visage Hair Growth Inhibitor Spray.
This product works to inhibit and reduce hair regrowth on your skin, and its formula uses plant extracts and hydrating glycerin and allantoin, so it’s comfortable on sensitive skin. To use, simply apply the spray to your skin, and let it dry once a day for four weeks.
What Do I Need To Know About Hair Removal Cream Before Buying? Are They Safe?
Before you decide on the best hair removal cream for you, there are a number of questions worth asking yourself. This is especially true for new users and anyone looking to potentially share the hair removal cream with others. These questions include:
Which body parts do you want to use the cream on? (Face, body, intimates?)
Do you need a cream for both men and women? (Scientifically no, but maybe for preference.)
Do you want to use your cream while you’re in the shower? (Some hair removal creams are specifically made for in-shower use but many are not.)
In terms of safety, hair removal creams are safe when used as directed, but there’s no getting around the simple fact that these creams contain potentially harmful chemicals that could damage your skin. That’s why it’s critical to only use hair removal creams for the specific, recommended body parts they were designed for. One way to mitigate your risk is to test a new cream on your skin before applying it across your body, especially in sensitive areas, no matter whether you think you have sensitive skin or not.
Why Trust SPY?
Because our team’s used hair removal creams before and knows firsthand how they work and which products are effective. In short, we’ve done the hair removal ourselves over the years so you didn’t have to.
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