Best Leg Hair Removal Cream for Mens
There are myriad methods to choose from when it comes to hair removal—some more costly, some more complicated, some more painful, some longer-lasting than the next. In this guide to hair removal, Rachana Jani, MD, who practices at One Medical Group in New York, comments on the pros and cons of eight common fuzz-fighting techniques. Read on, then decide which one is right for you.
Shaving is one of the cheapest and most easily accessible methods of removing hair because you can do it yourself in the shower—and it only takes an extra minute or two to cover large areas such as your legs.
Best for: Legs, underarms, and possibly the bikini line (if you’re not prone to irritation, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs).
Safety concerns: Nicks and cuts are a possibility, but if you use a razor designed for a woman (which is designed to handle the curves around ankles and knees), replace the blade frequently, and lubricate skin well with a creamy shave gel or foam, you can minimize any potential damage.
How effective is it? With the right tool and technique (shave against the direction of hair growth), you can achieve very smooth skin. But because shaving only cuts the hair above the skin, it will grow back very quickly. Chances are you’ll need to shave every couple of days.
2. Depilatory Cream
“These products contain chemicals that work by breaking down the disulphide bonds in the keratin of the hair, ” explains Jani. Once those bonds are broken, hair is weak enough that you can literally wipe or rinse it off your skin. One downside to this method is that those necessary chemicals can have an unpleasant odor.
Best for: Legs, bikini area, upper lip, and chin. Look for creams formulated just for the face, which are gentler than those formulated to use on coarser leg hair.
Safety concerns: Some people—especially those with sensitive skin—find that the chemicals in depilatories can cause irritation. In order to minimize redness and irritation, don’t leave the product on longer than necessary. Most require about five minutes on the skin in order to work, but if you’re sensitive, err on the side of less time.
How effective is it? Because depilatories work mainly above the surface of the skin, hair will likely regrow in a few days. They can be tricky to use on large areas–like the legs–because you have to spread the cream on and wait for it to work before you can get in the shower and rinse it off.
Warm, melted wax is applied to the skin in strips, following the same direction as hair growth, then pulled off in the opposite direction. The heat causes the hair follicles to dilate slightly, making it easier for the entire hair, including the root, to be removed.
Best for: Small areas such as the upper lips, eyebrows, and bikini area.
Safety concerns: You shouldn’t wax any areas on which you regularly apply Retin A. Because it helps shed dead layers, Retin A can thin the skin; waxing that skin can cause redness, irritation, and damage.
Waxing can also cause ingrown hairs, especially in the bikini area. To minimize the risk, exfoliate skin before waxing; dead skin cells can clog the hair follicles and contribute to the risk of ingrown hairs.
The biggest issue with waxing is the potential for bacterial infection. “Each time the applicator stick is dipped back into the wax it can spread infection, ” warns Jani. Waxing practitioners should always use a new stick for each client, and should really use a new stick for each application. Double dipping—especially when it comes to Brazilian bikini waxes, which removes hair from the labia and around the anus—is asking for trouble. “Those areas have thinner, more sensitive skin, and by continuing to reuse the same stick, there is greater potential for translocation of bacteria, ” she says.
How effective is it? Because waxing removes hair at the root, the results can last up to four weeks. You’ll need to let hair grow to about a quarter of an inch before you can wax again. And while you can safely wax at any time of the month, it may be more painful if you do so in the days leading up to your period because skin is more sensitive. Taking some ibuprofen before your appointment may help.
This ancient Middle Eastern technique of hair removal has recently gained popularity in the US. It uses a simple recipe of sugar, lemon juice and water to create a paste. The paste is spread over the skin–going against the direction of hair growth–and then pulled off in the direction of hair growth, making it less painful than waxing.