Last updated: August 10, 2021

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What woman doesn't like to have smooth legs? Especially in summer, when the weather is nice and you leave the house in shorts or a short skirt, you want to have smooth legs. Then you would rather enjoy the weather outside than shave your hair every day.

But often stubble remains or the depilation doesn't last long. Maybe you're tired of cuts from shaving or maybe you just haven't found the right depilatory method for you. Depilatory cream can be worth a try.

There are different types of depilatory cream. The results last between a week and a month, depending on the cream.

In our big depilatory cream test 2022 you can find out how depilatory cream works and which ones are available. We have researched extensive background information to make your decision easier and to help you find the right depilation method for you.




Summary

  • Depilatory creams allow you to depilate thoroughly, usually painlessly and quickly, without cutting yourself.
  • There are three different types of depilatory creams: Classic depilatory cream, natural depilatory cream and sugar paste.
  • Classic depilatory creams contain chemicals that simply dissolve your hair. Natural depilatory creams have natural ingredients that achieve the same result with a much longer application time. Sugar pastes have an extremely sticky consistency that pulls the finest hairs from the surface of the skin.

The Best Depilatory Cream: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a depilatory cream

Where can depilatory cream be used?

Depilatory cream can generally be applied to the entire body.

However, certain areas of the body should only come into contact with depilatory cream for sensitive areas. In a few areas, however, depilatory cream must not be used at all.

The following areas of the body are completely safe:

  • Underarms
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Chest
  • Arms

The following areas of the body should only come into contact with depilatory cream for sensitive areas:

  • Face
  • Intimate area

It is better not to use depilatory cream in the following cases or areas:

  • Pimple formation
  • Sunburn
  • Nipples
  • Scars
  • Varicose veins
  • Moles
  • Skin is sore or inflamed

The genital area and the face belong to the more sensitive regions of our body and should therefore only be treated with great care. For these areas, it is important to use only specially designed and adequately tested products.

What are the possible side effects and how can they be avoided?

Depilatory creams are made with skin-friendly ingredients. However, there is a possibility of skin irritation or allergic reactions. If you are using a depilatory cream for the first time, you should always check its compatibility by carrying out a small "skin test".

Enthaarungscreme Strand

You should never exceed the application time and you should moisturise your skin. (Photo: Glen Jackson / unsplash.com)

To do this, apply the cream to a small area of your body according to the instructions. If there is no skin irritation the next day, depilation can be done without hesitation.

How long do the results of depilatory creams last?

When using classic and natural depilatory creams, the hair will be visible and tangible again after about a week. Sugar pastes, on the other hand, have a duration of effect of up to one month.

Since classic depilatory creams do not attack the hair roots, the growth of the hair is not reduced. The hair therefore continues to grow at the normal rate. Nevertheless, the depilatory cream has a clear advantage: it reaches deeper into the hair root than other pastes.

That's why you don't have to depilate as quickly as with shaving, for example. If you are looking for a permanent solution, you should read up on IPL devices. These remove hair permanently, but there are some aspects to consider that you should take a good look at.

What care do I need before depilation?

The most important thing for healthy skin is to take care of it. Sensitive, dry skin can quickly become irritated when using depilatory cream. We recommend that you apply cream to your skin daily.

When doing so, you should pay attention to ingredients such as urea, aloe vera or glycerine. They are particularly moisturising and keep your skin barrier in good condition. Before depilation, you can use a peeling on the selected areas of the body. The peeling removes excess skin flakes and thus exposes the individual hairs.

How exactly does hair removal with depilatory creams work?

The application of the classic depilatory cream is very simple and quick. In the following, we will show you how hair removal with classic depilatory cream works.

We have provided you with more information on each of the steps so that you can be sure you are doing everything right.

Step 1 - Wash: Before you start with the actual depilation, it is important that you degrease and cleanse your skin by washing thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Step 2 - Apply the cream: Moisten the skin and apply the depilatory cream evenly with the spatula provided. Make sure that all hairs to be removed are well covered.

Step 3 - Test: After five minutes, you can use the spatula to test whether the hair is already coming off the skin. The exposure time can vary from cream to cream, but should not exceed ten minutes. You should not exceed the specified exposure time.

Step 4 - Remove the hair: As soon as the hair can be easily removed, you can scrape off the cream with the spatula.

Step 5 - Drying: Thoroughly clean the depilated body parts with lukewarm water and then dry them.

Allow at least 48 hours between applications. Do not use alcohol-based deodorants or other skin care products after use to avoid skin irritation.

Contact with the eyes should be avoided, of course, as blindness can occur in the worst case. If it does happen, you should immediately rinse the eye thoroughly with water and consult a doctor.

A burning or tingling sensation on the skin during the application of a depilatory cream indicates very sensitive and dry skin. In this case, the cream should be washed off immediately with plenty of water.

There are also alternatives to "normal" hair removal, which we would like to present to you in the following table:

Other hair removal options Description Application
Sugar-lemon peeling The ingredients of the lemon and the peeling effect of the sugar make it possible to remove hair in the long term. However, you should not use the peeling on sensitive areas. Mix two parts sugar and lemon juice with 10 parts water. This becomes a paste that you can then apply to the affected area in the direction of hair growth. Leave on for 20 minutes and repeat several times a week should reduce your hair growth.
Baking soda Baking soda contains active ingredients that can minimise hair growth in the long term you should dissolve 1 tbsp of baking soda in 200 ml of hot water. Then put a gauze bandage in the hot water and let it soak in. Now you can put the bandage on the affected area. You should leave this bandage on overnight. In the morning, apply moisturiser to the affected areas and repeat several times a week.
Sugar syrup The combination of syrup and sugar produces a wax that you can use for hair removal. Especially the magnesium contained in the syrup helps to reduce your hair growth in the long run. Mix 200 g sugar with molasses and heat it briefly in the micro. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Then you can add some lemon juice and stir well. If it is too thick, you can heat it up again in the micro. But be careful, sugar gets very hot, so you should let it cool down a bit before using it. When it has cooled, you can apply the wax to the affected area and place a cloth over it. You can then remove your hair with a firm tug.

What care should be taken after depilation?

After hair removal, we advise you to apply a nourishing and soothing lotion to the skin. Make sure that the cream does not contain alcohol or perfume, as this could irritate sensitive skin.

Enthaarungscreme Meer

After depilation, your skin is rather sensitive and should therefore enjoy the right care in the form of a cooling and moisturising cream. (Photo: Jakob Owens / unsplash.com)

For redness or skin irritation, baby powder helps because it has an antibacterial effect. Wound and healing ointments containing panthenol also help to soothe skin irritations that have occurred. Aloe vera and jojoba oils keep the skin soft and supple.

After hair removal, the skin needs rest. Intensive sunbathing, swimming in chlorine and seawater as well as the application of tanning cream should be avoided in the 24 hours after depilation.

Tight clothing could also have an irritating effect on the skin as it is in direct contact with and rubs against the skin. Also, be careful not to scratch yourself after depilation. This will only increase the irritation.

Can depilatory cream run off?

Yes, like any cosmetic product, depilatory cream has an expiry date, which is usually stated on the packaging.

The ingredients of the depilatory cream decompose after a longer period of time or the active ingredient of the cream wears off. You can easily recognise this process when the cream becomes crumbly. In any case, you should no longer use the hair removal cream.

Make sure that you store the depilatory cream at room temperature and do not expose it to intense sunlight. These conditions will help your cream last longer.

How much do depilatory creams cost?

Depilatory creams are one of the cheapest types of depilation. Of course, there are also creams that belong to a more expensive price range, such as products from the organic range. The prices for depilatory creams therefore vary between two and 35 euros. Simple depilatory creams from the drugstore are available from a very affordable two to eight euros.

It should be noted here that prices vary depending on the size of the contents and the respective area of application. If it is important to you that the product is organic, you can expect a price of up to 35 euros.

Decision: What types of depilatory creams are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between four different types of depilatory creams:

  • Classic depilatory cream
  • Depilatory cream for sensitive areas of the body
  • Natural depilatory cream
  • Sugar paste

These four types of depilatory creams differ in a number of ways and, of course, also have individual advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on where you want to use the depilatory cream and how much you value natural ingredients, one depilatory cream may be more suitable for you than another. In the following section, we would like to help you find out which depilatory cream is best for you.

To do this, we will introduce you to all of the types of depilatory creams mentioned above and clearly outline the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What is 'classic' depilatory cream and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The classic depilatory cream is a chemical form of depilation, but it is not harmful to the skin. It contains slightly corrosive ingredients that dissolve our hair to just under the skin.

A cream prevents cuts and should not hurt in any other way, at most it should tingle slightly. Depilatory creams are cheap compared to other methods, as you should be able to get by with one tube for a long time if you only apply the minimum amount necessary.

Advantages
  • Painless application
  • Cheap price
  • Quick and easy application
  • Smooth skin as a result
Disadvantages
  • Skin irritation not excluded
  • Partly unpleasant smell
  • Not suitable for all body parts

Of course, it is possible that your skin does not tolerate some products very well. If this is the case, you can still use creams for sensitive skin areas on your whole body, but not the other way round.

The two chemicals in the depilatory cream, thioglycolic acid and sodium hydroxide, combine to break down the main component of the hair, namely keratin.

This makes it easy to remove the hair from the skin. However, the hair root remains completely undamaged.

What is depilatory cream for sensitive areas of the body and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In addition to the classic depilatory cream, there are products that are specially designed for the face and the genital area. These creams contain significantly less corrosive and acidic ingredients.

Your facial skin is simply much thinner and therefore more sensitive than the skin on your legs - so it is better not to use corrosive chemicals here.

Advantages
  • Painless application
  • Suitable for sensitive regions (intimate areas)
  • Quick and easy application
  • Smooth skin as a result
Disadvantages
  • Skin irritation not excluded
  • Partly unpleasant smell
  • More expensive than ordinary depilatory cream

Irritation of the mucous membranes in the intimate area can also be triggered by the chemicals contained in classic depilatory cream - even at low doses.

It is therefore recommended that you use a less aggressive depilatory cream for these areas of the body that is specifically designed for sensitive areas.

What is natural depilatory cream and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Natural depilatory creams differ from the classic ones in that they place much more emphasis on biological ingredients. The purely herbal substances in the cream react with each other, thus detaching the hair from your skin.

Advantages
  • Painless application
  • Natural application
  • No skin irritation
  • Hair grows thinner
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Not available in every drugstore
  • Longer application time

In addition, the depilatory cream penetrates to the hair root, so that the hair grows back more slowly and also thinner. After the 12th to 15th application, some users notice that the hair no longer grows back at all. There are hardly any reports on the internet about side effects such as skin irritation.

Due to the natural active ingredients, however, the cream must be left on for longer to achieve a similar result as a chemically "more aggressive" paste. Also, as with almost all products with natural ingredients, you have to expect a higher price.

What is sugar paste and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A very differentiated variant of depilatory cream is sugar paste, which is also used in "sugaring". This depilatory cream is mainly composed of sugar, lemon and water. Since everyone has these ingredients at home, you can easily make your own sugar paste.

Advantages
  • No hair for three to four weeks
  • Inexpensive
  • Can be made yourself
  • Well tolerated
Disadvantages
  • Time-consuming application
  • Painful application

After a short application time, the paste can be easily removed from the skin like a wax strip. The hairs are not dissolved with this depilation method, but are pulled out of the skin surface with their roots. This hair removal method is much more time-consuming, but its effect is much longer-lasting.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate depilatory creams

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate depilatory creams. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Areas of application
  • Ingredients
  • Application time / Application effort
  • Duration of effect
  • Effects / Side effects
  • Price / Volume
  • Odour

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Areas of application

As already mentioned, you should pay attention to the areas of the body for which a depilatory cream is suitable. You should carefully consider this criterion, as there are areas of the body, such as the genital area or the face, that are very susceptible to irritation or even severe pain when aggressive ingredients are used.

So first ask yourself which parts of the body you want to treat with a depilatory cream. If you only want to depilate the upper body and leg area with the help of the cream, you do not need to use any special products.

However, if you want to depilate the intimate area or the face, you should only use products that are specifically designed for these areas of the body and explicitly state so.

Use of depilatory cream is safe Depilatory cream for sensitive areas Do not use depilatory cream
Underarms, back, legs, chest, arms Face, intimate area Nipples, scars, varicose veins, moles, wounds/inflamed skin, For pimples, For sunburn

Ingredients

A fundamental difference between a classic and a natural depilatory cream is the use of differentiated ingredients. At this point, it is important to be aware of the chemical content that you are applying to your body with such depilatory creams.

Enthaarungscreme Beine

Tired of shaving every day? Depilatory creams can be a thorough, painless and quick alternative. There are classic depilatory creams, natural depilatory creams and sugar paste. Depending on the type of depilatory cream, the results can last between one week and one month. (Photo: puhhha / 123RF.com)

The ingredients and also the pH value of hair removal products are regulated by cosmetic guidelines. Depilatory creams are therefore not harmful to health and can be used without hesitation. However, you may still be allergic to certain ingredients.

Therefore, you should always test the depilatory cream beforehand to see if it is compatible. Always make sure that the depilatory product has a "dermatologically tested seal". Additives such as aloe vera are said to have a caring and soothing function.

If you do not want to expose your skin to chemical products, there is an alternative product called natural depilatory cream. This depilatory product is made on a plant basis and also contains skin-caring substances.

So far, no side effects in the form of skin irritations have been reported with the use of natural depilatory creams.

Application time / application effort

The time required for a depilation method is of course also an important purchase criterion. From product to product, there are sometimes large differences in the application time and also the effort required. Basically, however, the depilatory cream is one of the simplest and quickest depilatory methods.

Classic creams usually need about ten minutes to work and can be described as very simple and quick to use.

Natural depilatory creams, on the other hand, sometimes require an application time of up to 45 minutes, as the ingredients in their combination are nowhere near as aggressive as those of the classic depilatory cream. However, the application time remains the same for this product.

The situation is completely different with sugar paste. Although it only needs to work for two minutes, the application time is much higher. On the other hand, you can rest longer, because the hair only grows back after about three to four weeks. You only have to depilate with sugar paste once or twice a month to stay completely hair-free.

Duration of effect

Everyone wants to achieve the longest lasting results possible with a depilatory product. However, it is clear that not all products have the same effect.

With the help of classic and natural depilatory creams, you will only achieve an effect of up to one week in most cases, but the hair will grow back finer and finer.

The front runners in this category are sugar pastes. Since the root of the hair is also removed, the hair grows back much more slowly. The sugar paste achieves a result of up to one month of smooth skin.

Basically, all types of depilatory creams allow you to depilate less in the long run than if you were to shave. The hair only grows back finely.

Effects / side effects

Not all depilatory creams are equally successful. In some cases, customers complain that natural depilatory creams in particular do not have the desired effect. This is because the ingredients of a natural depilatory cream have a much milder effect on the hair than those of a classic depilatory cream.

Our tip: Inform yourself sufficiently about your product and read customer reviews. There you will find numerous indications of how satisfactory the result of a product is.

Some depilatory creams cause unpleasant side effects such as itchy skin, skin irritation or pain. These side effects are more common with classic depilatory creams.

Price / Volume

The prices of the different types of products vary enormously. There are good depilatory creams that cost correspondingly more. However, there are also numerous depilatory creams that are just as effective but cost much less.

In the long run, it is really worth paying attention to the prices because you can save a lot of money. However, the costs can only be compared exactly if you also look at the volume of the contents. Here, the differences are not quite so great.

Odour

Since the depilatory cream is washed off thoroughly after depilation, products with a less pleasant smell are generally not a problem.

Nevertheless, most people want a depilatory cream with a pleasant smell. Many of the new depilatory creams can score points here with a fruity scent.

Since the skin is stressed during depilation, you should still make sure that the depilatory cream is designed without added fragrances. Perfume-containing substances only irritate the skin further.

Natural depilatory creams and sugar pastes usually have a very neutral smell due to their natural ingredients.

Facts worth knowing about hair removal

What to do if hair grows into the skin?

To prevent hairs from growing into the skin, you can massage your skin with exfoliators once or twice a week. If a hair does grow in, you can use a very rough scrub to expose it and then shave it off.

However, if an ingrown hair becomes infected, you should consult a dermatologist.

Image source: Viorel Sima / 123RF.com

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