Depilatories, otherwise known as hair removal creams, weaken hair, allowing it to break off at the surface of the skin, leaving it (temporarily) silky smooth.
Hair is 80 percent composed of keratin, a protein. Depilatories work by weakening keratin, thus breaking down the hair and allowing easy removal by wiping off the cream after application. Users often note that these creams have strong, unpleasant odors, are less than 100% effective, and produce burning, itching and redness for extended periods. (This is mainly because the skin also contains keratin, though not as much as hairs do.) However, it seems that results are dependent on individual skin and hair types; while one customer may experience rash symptoms and see limited results, others may see complete (temporary) hair elimination.
How it works
Buy: Ranging between $2 and $130, some of the best reviewed products (Magic Shave products, targeted towards African-American men but used by women as well) fall at the $2 dollar end of the scale, while other more natural or extensively tested products such as DS Labs Keramene Body Hair Minimizer bear a $130 price tag.
Side effects: Using a depilatory on the face that is meant for use on the body could result in rash-like bumps.