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Published on August 17th, 2016 | by Ahana Basu

All About Depilatory Creams

Are depilatory creams for you? Let’s find out more…

There’s Bipasha Basu sashaying on your TV screen, promising you that VI-John depilatory cream will make your legs just as smooth and luminous as hers. Change channels and you’ve got Katrina Kaif looking at you limpid-eyed as she smooths a creamy layer of Veet over her leg. But we strongly suspect that Bipasha and Katrina spent thousands and got their hair lasered off. So, before you rush off and buy that pretty, pastel-coloured jar, let’s get to know its contents and their effects.

It’s all chemical

No matter how nice it smells, most depilatory creams contain harsh alkaline chemicals. You know that strong odour that emanates from depilatory creams? That’s a combination of calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide. Once you’ve applied the cream, these chemicals get under your skin and break down the protein structure (called keratin) holding your hair together, causing it to come off easily. Some creams also contain softening agents such as mineral oil to offset the chemicals as well as fragrance, though it is strongly advised to use a moisturiser afterwards.


Depilatory creams are mainly useful for the arms, legs and underarms. You can also use them for your stomach. However, in view of their chemical composition, keep these creams away from your face and bikini area, even if it is only ‘two minutes on the upper lip.’ Your facial skin is far more sensitive than the rest of your body and creams can cause darkening or reddening of the area. There are some creams that are meant specifically for facial hair, but even those need to be used with caution.

Cream of the crop

There are several depilatory creams available on the Indian market with Veet, Anne-French and Fem being some of the most popular. While Veet’s new Suprem’ Essence Cream claims to contain beauty oils to give your skin that extra glow and smoothness, Fem Dual Care Remover now comes with a soothing, restorative lotion, ensuring the pH balance of your skin is neutral. All these creams come in fragrances such as lemon, sandal, lily and jasmine. If creams are too messy for you, Nair has hair-removal sprays that are quick and easy to use.


Your skin needs to be prepped if you’re going to get the best out of your cream. If you’ve got the time, invest in a skin-brush and exfoliate gently before applying the cream. This opens up your pores so the cream sinks in deeper. Else, use a small amount of body scrub or a loofah, but don’t rub too hard. A sensible thing to do before using a cream is a test patch. Spread a small amount on the inside of your arm, wait for a few minutes and wipe it off. If your skin doesn’t redden or react in the next hour or so, you can go ahead and use the cream. Make sure your applicator is cleaned before and after use and refrain from sharing applicators. Once you’re done, slather on a mild moisturiser or aloe vera gel. 


Spa Ceylon Aloe Vera Mint Exfoliating Bar : A naturally revitalising formula. Removes dead cells & rough patches. Protects from dryness & irritations. At bath time, massage all over hands & body. CLICK HERE to view product

The Nature’s Co. Hazelnut Body Lotion : Rejuvenates & replenishes your skin; works wonders on parched skin;Tones & tightens. Rejuvenate and replenish your skin with this quick-penetrating lotion. Brimming with vitamins, minerals and proteins, Hazelnut works wonders on parched skin. It tones and tightens and is extremely emollient. CLICK HERE to view product

Kronokare Smooth(Ening) Operator Body Lotion : If a couple of minutes is all you’ve got, this will nourish your soft spot. Relax don’t panic, lavender is dynamic. These products will repair and regenerate, without getting you even a second late! The essential oils will hydrate, the scents will bloom, lavender is your choice to say bye-bye to gloom. CLICK HERE to view product

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