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Using Chemical Depilatories

By: Richa Bhatia - Updated: 26 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
Chemical Depilatories Using Chemical

Chemical depilatories remove hair by dissolving the hair shafts a little below the skin surface through their chemical action. These products can painlessly remove body hair in as little as 3 to 5 minutes and using them is a piece of cake.

With the use of chemical depilatories, smooth skin lasts longer than shaving and there are no worries of any stubble appearing. Depilatory products designed for both men and women are now available and that too, at extremely affordable prices, so what are you waiting for?

Before Using Chemical Depilatories:

Patch Test

A patch test is extremely important before using a chemical depilatory and should ideally be done before every use as it has been shown that a reaction can occur even after a prior safe use of the same product by the same individual. A patch test is absolutely imperative for first-time users of the product, and when using the chemical depilatory on a particular body area for the first time. Doing this helps to know if you are allergic or sensitive to the product and any adverse effect or reaction is prevented. The skin allergy or reaction is usually due to the sulphur component of the chemical depilatory.

How to Do a Patch Test

A small portion (about one square inch area) of the skin is smeared evenly with the depilatory cream. The cream is left on the skin for a few minutes (the time recommended on the product label) and then, removed and rinsed away. You are then required to wait for a period of 24 hours to see if any adverse reaction, allergy or hypersensitivity to the product occurs. If it occurs, you are strongly advised not to use the product again.

How to Use Chemical Depilatories

Chemical depilatories nowadays are available in various forms and the method of application and use depends, to an extent, on which form you are using. The common forms are cream, roll-on lotions, gels, powder and aerosol.

The first step in using chemical depilatories consists of squeezing the cream, gel or lotion onto the target body area; the next step is to spread it with the help of the spatula or applicator so that all the hairs are covered by the cream; the product is left on the skin for the time recommended on the label and then a part of it is removed to see if the hairs are coming off. If you find that the hair removing effect has taken place, the whole of the cream is wiped off with the help of the spatula or a sponge and the skin is rinsed with lukewarm water and gently patted dry. If the hairs are not coming off easily, you should leave the cream on the skin for a few more minutes, the total time of contact with skin not exceeding 10 minutes for most preparations. Soap should not be used while cleaning the cream from the skin and one should avoid rubbing the skin.

Chemical depilatories are usually left on the skin for 3 minutes or more, depending on how coarse the hairs are and on individual preparations.

Caution While Using Chemical Depilatories:

It is extremely important to read the ‘directions for use’ mentioned on the product label carefully and to follow these instructions strictly and accurately. The following points should be kept in mind while using chemical depilatories:
  • Prevent contact of chemical depilatories with eyes
  • Care should be taken not to leave the cream on the skin longer than is recommended on the product label
  • One should not use deodorants, perfumes or astringent lotions on the target area for at least 24 hours after using chemical depilatories
  • Depilatory creams should not be used on areas near the eyes, eyebrows, mucous membranes and on broken, chapped, inflamed or infected skin
  • Youngsters under 16 years of age should use these products only under the supervision of an adult
  • If you experience a severe tingling sensation while using a chemical depilatory, you should stop further application. If there is skin irritation, you should apply a mixture of one part of lemon juice or vinegar to 7 parts of water to the affected area to counteract the alkali action of the depilatory. If the skin irritation persists, you must consult a skin specialist and take appropriate medication.
A few people may experience skin irritation, redness, itching or skin bumps after use of a chemical depilatory. However, this usually resolves in a couple of days. A soothing lotion such as an aloe vera gel may be applied if the skin feels irritated after hair removal with depilatory creams.

For Sensitive Skin

Hair removal creams particularly suited for sensitive skin are now available so that chances of skin irritation are minimal even if you have very delicate and sensitive skin.

One should be careful while choosing the right depilatory product as different products specifically designed for hair removal from different body areas are now available, like a bikini cream for hair removal from the bikini area, a face cream specially designed for facial hair removal and the like.

Most of the newer chemical depilatories are equipped with various moisturising agents like shea butter, wheat germ oil, etc. so that the preparations are gentle on the skin and your skin feels soft, smooth and silky after hair removal. Many depilatories also have an exfoliating action besides removing hair.

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