Are hair removal creams safe for your skin?

by tejas on March 30, 2012

All the women on earth dream of having a hair free skin. They try all the possible ways to get rid of unwanted hair. Now a days even men want to get rid unwanted hair.Amongst all the hair removal methods the most famous and most wanted method is the depilatory creams, commonly known as ‘hair removal creams ‘. It saves time,its painless and it makes you hair free. What else would anybody want from such a product. But has anybody thought how do they actually strip off all the hair from the skin? Is it really safe for the skin? Question

What are the active ingredients of hair removal creams ?

The term “depilatory” actually refers to any method for removing hair -’ temporary’.Hair removal creams  are chemical depilatories because they contain a few different alkaline chemicals,(remember we did the litmus paper test in our school days to check if a substance is acidic or alkaline) such as sodium thioglycolate, strontium sulfide and calcium thioglycolate, etc. which makes the pH of the product somewhere around 12, and our skin pH is around 5.5 to 5.6. These products disturb the natural pH of skin which indirectly disturbs the health of your skin. Tremble

How do hair removal creams actually work?

Hair removal creams  contain detergents to strip the sebum from the hair and adhesives to hold chemicals to hair shaft for 5-10 mins ,necessary to remove the hair. During the application time, swelling accelerating agents such as urea or melamine expand hair helping to break the hair bonds. Struggle Finally chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, thioglycolic acid, or calcium thioglycolate, destroy the sulphide bonds.These chemicals  turn th hair into a soft jelly like mass of hydrolysed protein that can be scrapped from the skin.

Why are hair removal creams harmful to your skin?

The combination of calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide in most hair removal creams is the main chemical reaction that usually causes such a strong and often unpleasant odour. Some creams, however, now contain additional ingredients that mask the sulfuric scent, but it’s important to bear in mind that even these fragrances can be chemical irritants.Harsh chemicals, and the alkalis that dissolve hair can irritate or burn skin and cause allergic reactions. Frown

Just like hair, skin contains keratin, the protein targeted by alkaline chemicals.Depilatory users have reported suffering from burns, blisters, rashes, stinging sensations and skin peeling as per US FDA SURVEY. It is also been observed that people using hair removal creams on a regular basis develop hyper pigmentation (dark patches on skin) after some years. Shock

Alternatives for hair removal creams.

Well there are some well-known options for hair removal  -  threading, shaving, waxing and laser therapy. Out of which I personally feel waxing and laser are worth the deal.

  • Waxing can be better option for temporary hair removal. They do not contain harsh, harmful chemicals. It does have some drawbacks such as its painful, its time-consuming, and its messy, but i personally feel it’s a fair deal for a ‘healthy’ hair free skin. In addition it is also believed that waxing removal the superficial layer of dead cells of your skin, thereby reducing tan and increasing cellular regeneration, and the hair also grows back pretty late as compared to hair removal creams. Yes
  • LASER hair removal is effective and safe but only if done by the right practitioner. This method is permanent, however it’s not for hair removal  but for hair reduction. Its expensive, doesn’t leave your skin with zero hair but makes them fine and scarce which looks like a hair on a baby’s skin, fine and soft. It also delays the growth process of the hair and reduces the number of hair remarkably. Definitely a better option for those who can’t bear the pain of waxing.And definitely a better option for hair removal creams. I would say LASER is the best option to get rid of unwanted from the pubic areas and underarms. Cool

So, which method do you prefer for hair removal?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eesha Lakhani April 3, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Hey, thought this was worth commenting on as you explained it so simply and easily! Just the answer I was looking for. Btw I prefer waxing.. Not sure yet what the laser alters in your body but I’m going to find out


2 tejas August 18, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Hey Eesha,
Glad to know, you liked the post. Let me know if you need further clarification on lasers.


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