At Home Hair Removal Devices or Creams? | Facial Hair Removal
Quest for the Best Facial Hair Removal - Devices or Creams?
Let’s face it. We all have that one thing we’d change about ourselves if we could. And for many of us, that thing is unwanted hair.
Unwanted hair is something we have to shave, with the inevitable stubble kept well hidden, where no one can see. But what do you do if your unwanted hair is somewhere you can’t hide?
Being covered in hair is a common condition of all mammals. Even the aquatic ones. But for the most part, body hair on women is barely visible. Peach fuzz. But sometimes this hair grows darker, longer and coarser than you’d like. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s there. And in today’s image-obsessed society, this can lead to uncomfortable levels of self-consciousness.
But don’t fret. There are easily-accomplished steps you can take to fix the situation. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how you’d like to deal with it.
In this article, we examine two of the more popular methods of facial hair removal — facial hair removal creams and at home hair removal devices.
Using facial hair removal creams
We’re all familiar with hair removal creams. They're sometimes called chemical depilatories. Women have been using products like Veet and Nair since the roaring 20s to keep their legs smooth. The products claimed they were faster than shaving, and almost a century later many still swear by them.
These products contain chemicals that raise the pH balance of hair and cause it to break down. Within minutes the treated hair is weak enough you can simply wipe it away and wash clean.
Initially, the chemicals involved in these products were extremely strong. There was a high risk of skin irritation when they were used. So, the very thought of using them on your face was simply out of the question.
Today, hair removal creams come in special blends that are safe to use on the face with only minor limitations (see below). Make sure that if you decide to use a hair removal cream on your face that you’re using the right one, the right way.
Pros of facial hair removal creams
People who use hair removal creams always rave about the same thing. You wipe it away and your hair is gone. Not a strand left behind. Although the effects are only temporary —about two to six weeks between treatments — the instant gratification is a wonderful, if short-lived, confidence boost.
Hair removal creams are relatively inexpensive, especially if you’re just trying it out to see how you like it. And they’re quick and easy to use.
Cons of facial hair removal creams
Facial hair removal creams also have their drawbacks. For starters, the wow-effect wears off eventually. Your hair grows back finer than normal at first. But sooner than later you’ll need to go through the process all over again.
And it’s a process you’ll have to dedicate yourself to. The affordability of your first treatment won’t look so good if you project the expense it’ll run you over several decades.
And even though the facial creams are designed to be gentler than their body-hair counterparts, some women still find them irritating. Redness and rashes could result from using them. They can be itchy and uncomfortable. And this could further draw attention to a problem you were trying to de-emphasize.
One last consideration is the smell. The chemicals involved in rooting out your facial hair tend to have an unpleasant aroma. And if you’re particularly sensitive to chemical odors, this could be a deal breaker. Some women search high and low trying to find one they can live with. Factor in that the facial area most women want to rid of unwanted hair is usually right under the nose, this can be a real problem.
Chemical hair removal products have their pros, but for most women, the con’s outweigh the pros, and ultimately decide that it’s not worth the risk to use them over an extended period.
Using at home hair removal devices
At home hair removal devices bring the latest hair removal technology to the comfort and privacy of your own home. Like laser treatments offered by dermatologists and high-end estheticians, these systems use pulsed light energy to heat up your unwanted hair. This heat energy then travels down the hair strand into the follicle, permanently damaging it. This damage prevents any further hair growth.
Unlike temporary quick fixes like razors and hair removal creams, these results are permanent. Damaged hair follicles don’t recover.
Most hair removal devices work equally as well on facial and body hair. But some units aren’t safe for use on the face. If you buy a hair removal device to use at home, and your concern is facial hair, make sure the unit you buy is “face-safe”.
Pros of at home hair removal devices
It’s hard to argue with the biggest perk of hair removal devices. The effects are permanent.
Sure, there’s the need for repeat treatments. This is because you can only damage the follicle of an actively growing hair shaft. But after every use, your hair grows back patchier and patchier. Until, one fine day, your unwanted hair fades away to distant memory.
The device may be expensive compared to buying facial hair removal creams, but you’re only buying it once -vs- buying creams forever. As long as you select a device that’s preloaded with several hundred thousand pulses, you’ll never have to spend another dime, nor have to worry about replacement cartridges.
Cons of at home hair removal devices
The biggest concern with hair removal devices is the initial expense. You could spend anywhere between $150 to $500 on a good at home hair removal device. What if it doesn’t work? When shopping around, always make sure the unit in question comes with a money-back guarantee.
A shortcoming of this technology is not every device has the same capabilities. Most devices rely on optical contrast to work, and sometimes the unwanted hair needs to be noticeably darker than the surrounding skin for the process to work. Some specialized devices have a broader range of capabilities. If you have very dark skin or light hair (blond, red, or grey), make sure you’re getting a device that will work for you.
There are some potential side effects of using hair removal devices. Some users report that there’s discomfort during the treatment, and there’s sometimes skin irritation after the treatment, though it’s usually short-lived and easy to manage. But many companies — Silk’n included — have taken great strides in recent years to make their hair removal devices as painless and irritation-free as possible.
Whatever you do, keep it away from your eyes
If the area you want to treat is anywhere near your eyes, you need to consider something else. Something besides a facial hair removal cream or a permanent hair removal device.
There have been some impressive looking videos surfacing on Youtube of people shaping their eyebrows with hair removal creams. And not the ones specially formulated for the face, either. We can’t stress enough how much of a bad idea this is. The chemicals involved are not to be taken lightly here. There are traces of lye in some of these products. You do not want to risk getting this in your eyes, whatever you do.
As for hair removal devices, the flashing lights involved could damage your eye as well. We recommend you never use a hair removal device anywhere higher than your cheekbone. Be sure to read your owner’s manual for proper directions.
If you’re looking to shape your brow, try this trick. Use a wax treatment —one safe for facial use — to do the initial shaping. Then pluck with tweezers periodically when the hairs start growing back.
Have you seen a doctor about that?
Sometimes excessive facial hair in women is a symptom of hirsutism. This is a hormonal imbalance that could be a sign of something bigger, like polycystic ovary syndrome or Cushing’s syndrome. If you have unwanted hair you think might be a medical condition, you should take a look at the Mayo Clinic’s page on hirsutism.
If you have hirsutism, there’s a cream your doctor can prescribe called Vaniqa. As a cream, it stops hair growth associated with this condition.
The cream has to be applied twice daily, with each treatment at least eight hours apart. And it has a whole host of side effects, the most common of which is acne. There’s also the possibility of ingrown hairs, dryness, irritation, and rash. Plus, if you ever stop using it, it all grows back in a few weeks. Sidebar: When Vaniqa is injected as a serum, it can also treat African sleeping sickness.
What it all means
If you’re trying to decide between facial hair removal creams and at home hair removal devices, ultimately what hair removal method you decide to go with depends on your specific situation.
But when it comes to saving face, it’s hard to knock the effectiveness of a versatile device. A few simple treatments and your face is hair-free for the rest of your life. And you never have to worry about putting noxious chemicals under your nose ever again.
The Silk’n solution
Choose from a range of at-home hair removal devices, all of which do a great job on facial hair. And all hair removal devices ship for free with a double warranty and a money-back guarantee - that’s how confident they are that you’ll love the product.
- Shannon O'connell