Hair removal creams also known as depilatories, are very popular now and continue to grow in the men’s category due to ease of use.
Depilatories are currently available in different forms from creams to lotions, sprays, gels, and even roll-ons. They vary in different strength and speed depending on the brand and body parts they are designed to be used for. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons related to depilatories and educate you on all you should know before you decide on which brand to choose for your grooming needs.
#1 DEPILATORIES – HOW DO THEY WORK?
Thioglycolic acid (TGA) is the most commonly used ingredient in hair removal creams, often in salt forms such as calcium thioglycolate and sodium thioglycolate.
The hair structure’s main component is a protein called Keratin, which makes up 65% – 95% of the hair’s total fiber by weight. This forms the strength of your hair.
Illustration of internal structure of hair – it’s the cortex which contains the keratin
It is the TGA in the cream which breaks down the structure of the keratin to weaken the hair and dissolve it so that it can be easily wiped away from its follicle, just below the skin’s surface.
The top layer of your skin (the epidermis) also contains keratin, which is why some hair removal creams should never be left on for too long, as the skin may become adversely affected. This is important for men, so we will revisit this point later in this article. But you can learn more here.
#2 THE PROS OF USING DEPILATORIES
All depilatories are quick and easy to use. The majority of them, you simply apply, leave on as little as 3 minutes or as long as 20 minutes, wipe away and rinse.
Minutes by Brand
Nair for Men 3-8 minutes
Veet for Men 5-12 minutes
SmoothTech Pro* 6-20+ minutes
*SmoothTech Pro uses all-natural ingredients including the active ingredients. The Ph adjuster is lowered so that the 11 skin care ingredients can create a barrier for the epidermis to allow the active ingredients to smart target only the protein keratin in the hair and not the keratin in the skin. This results in a slower speed but is much safer for the skin.
That’s it, results last longer than shaving and with some brands, you can achieve results similar to waxing. Most brands typically have results that last anywhere from 3 to 7 days.
Results by Brand
Nair for Men 3-7 days
Veet for Men 3-8 days
SmoothTech Pro* 3-10+ or more day (with continued use)
Another pro is that most depilatories are relatively inexpensive ranging from a low of $9 dollars to a high of $30 dollars for more advanced formulations like SmoothTech Pro.
Average Price Range by Brand
Nair for Men $9-15
Veet for Men $9-18
SmoothTech Pro* $29-79
*SmoothTech Pro is the 1st and only system that has a core 2-step process; step 1-hair removal lotion that moisturizes and step 2- an after care gel that soothes and hydrates the skin, stimulates new collagen and helps slow regrowth. The more you use it the slower the regrowth
The biggest pro for men, has to be the pain free aspect associated with most depilatories. Again, removal creams do range in strength and speed which can have a direct effect on men’s skin, but overall, men’s depilatory creams are painless, especially compared to other methods like waxing.
#3 THE CONS OF USING DEPILATORIES
Because hair removal creams work by dissolving the hair through active ingredients, these ingredients must be mildly acidic. Caustic ingredients are usually slightly pungent and although some depilatory creams are perfumed, some may have a distinct smell, which many people can find off-putting. This hair removal method can also be quite messy, especially when you’re required to use your hands as an application tool. Unlike shaving, depilatory creams can cause an allergic reaction which can cause some stinging and discomfort. Hair removal creams are also limited. They are not suitable for all areas of the body and should be refrained from being used near the eyes or where there is any broken skin. Similar to shaving, depilatory creams need to be used extremely frequently, because re-growth appears several days later. This method of hair removal is only temporary, and some people find having to repeat the process as often as every five days, tiresome and off-putting. Although these creams do usually thwart re-growth for a few days longer than shaving does. To adhere to the ever-increasing quest for ultra-smooth and hairless bodies depilatory creams have gradually become harsher as more caustic ingredients have been added to become more effective tools in removing hair. Again, the high PH level found in some hair removal creams can have a negative effect on the skin, especially mature skin. As skin matures it becomes more susceptible to the harsh elements it has been relentlessly exposed to. The caustic nature of hair removal creams can therefore have a negative effect on the skin, especially if the skin is mature or sensitive. This has been a problem with most men’s depilatory as they are now designed for speed which means the same ingredients that are breaking down the hair keratin, is also breaking down the skin keratin which is a major problem. On top of that some brands include known skin irritants like perfumes to cover up the smell of the active ingredients and dyes to make for a better presentation for men.
Because of this, it is therefore of paramount importance to carry out a patch test and follow the instructions provided with the depilatory cream package. One of the safest brands out there is SmoothTech Pro which is specifically designed for men’s skin. It is the 1st and only 2-Step core system that actually uses another form of TGA that is safer and gentler on the skin. They have the only pre and post care solution that is designed to keep the skin at its natural PH level, not too acidic and not too much alkalinity. SmoothTech Pro knows that if a man’s skin has an out of whack PH level, then that will lead to other skin issues, so choose wisely.
In short, If the procedure is carried out correctly, depilatory creams are an effective, versatile, inexpensive, painless and almost immediate method to conform to society’s expectations regarding body hair.
Skin irritation can be a real bummer, especially when you’re removing hair. But what causes, skin irritation? As a skin care company, we try to educate new and current members about all aspects of men’s skin. One of the most popular calls we get is from previous users of other products having had bad experiences, who want to make sure that our products are safe. It’s more important to know the aspects of the skin especially during the winter months when your skin can take on a different character and quality. We’ve put together some top causes of men’s skin irritation and provided the recommended treatments for each to make your grooming routine more enjoyable.
1. Dehydrated Skin
Dehydrated skin is one of the leading causes of skin irritation, but what causes the skin to get dehydrated? Lots of factors such as diet, incorrect product use, genetics; it goes on. But here’s where it gets tricky: When skin is dehydrated, it creates more oil to make up for the missing water. This can cause breakouts, irritation and dry patches. Skin can even feel oily and dry at the same time.
Best Solution- Take warm showers daily, apply a moisturizer immediately after your shower to minimize water loss. To treat dehydrated skin throughout the day, first apply a hydrating lotion to put water into the skin. Then top it off with a moisturizer to lock the water in place. For best results apply moisturizer while the skin is still wet to better seal in moisture. Also drink lots of water throughout the day. This is especially important during the winter months if you leave in a colder climate and or higher elevation state or province.
2. Synthetic Colors
You like that blue tint of your body wash right, but what you may not know is that that tint is an artificial color. F- representing food and D&C representing drug and cosmetics. These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1). These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, and the European Union has banned their use. They are known skin irritants and can cause long term damage. When using a men’s depilatory cream like SmoothTech Pro, it is recommended not to use a body wash that contains any synthetic dyes to rinse the depilatory cream away. Reason is that a man’s skin is it’s most vulnerable right after the removal of any men’s depilatory cream, so the next product that you introduce to the skin, needs to be free of any known skin irritants.
Best Solution- Stop using food and cosmetic products that contain artificial coloring. Check the labels and use common sense. When rinsing off any men’s depilatory cream, use SCRUB Power Wash, it’s a vitamin rich anti-oxidant body wash free of all skin enemies.
Research has established that fragrances in skincare products are among the most common cause of sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. Although perfumes and scents are not allergens, they can be irritants and they can trigger allergy like symptoms. 30% of men and women have fragrance sensitivity which has two types of allergy symptoms; respiratory, nose and eye symptoms or a skin allergy like contact dermatitis- an itchy, red rash that appears on the skin after contact with a product that contains perfumes or scents.
Best Solution- Removal of any potential causal agents; otherwise, the skin is at increased risk for chronic or recurrent dermatitis. In other words, try to identify the product with a fragrance and or scent and stop using it. There are alternative natural aroma extracts for example that have no effects on the skin. For immediate relieve, you can use a moisturizing lotion to soothe the skin, but make sure that lotion is also free and clear of any fragrance and or synthetic color.
Hot, humid weather can be the enemy for some men. It can cause a rash when your pores are blocked and can’t release sweat, causing your skin to become irritated. Friction on the surface of the skin often leads to heat rash. … Clothing that traps sweat and thick hair that traps bacteria can cause heat rash.
Best Solution- Again, you can take warm to cool showers daily, apply a moisturizer immediately after your shower to minimize water loss, and apply a hydrating lotion to put water into the skin. If you have excessive body hair, you may want to think of removing it either by waxing or with a men’s depilatory cream. Both remove hair below the skin level allowing the pores and the skin to breath.
5. Aging Skin
We now know testosterone and DHT are major factors that can impede the skins ability to heal and properly hydrate. Men may find it harder in their later years to maintain moisture within their skin. This is especially important in facial skin because many men shave on a regular basis, leading to frequent nicks and cuts. This also applies to men that use razors to remove body hair. This lack of ability to properly hydrate in the later years, can lead to skin irritation.
Best Solution- SmoothTech Pro has developed after care solutions; REDUCE ST2, PREVENT and our newest arrival due on the market later in 2018, HYDRATE+ a 3 in 1 hydrating lotion that is sweat proof and loaded with anti-oxidants and anti-aging ingredients. All of these products are designed to assist the skin in its ability to repair itself and protect the integrity of the epidermal barrier. REDUCE ST2 our key after care solution that works on all parts of the body, not only soothes and hydrates the skin, but it also stimulates new collagen (promoting elasticity) It’s designed to bring the skin back to a neutral or natural ph level that equates to healthy skin free of irritation. This is essential for overall skin health especially facial skin in aging men.
Tis the season to be gluttonous with sodium filled meals and sugary treats, both of which contribute to a horrifying fact we learned just recently: Most Americans on average gain one to three pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, and most of us never lose it.
Wow that’s 3 lbs. of potential weight gain a year and that doesn’t even include the 4th of July, Memorial and Labor Day weekends, which also includes gluttonous food and alcohol.
But don’t fret, we’ve put together some tips to help you better deal with that Christmas ham and candy yams YUMMY right:
Well its possible to enjoy the holidays without gaining weight and without giving up your favorite grub. How you ask? Basic math, its easy, you just need to burn more calories than you take in. By conscientiously burning off every single calorie you take in, you’ll be able to indulge but you’ll have to put in some work. How much work you ask? Below, you’ll find some holiday favorites with their average number of calories, and the amount of exercise required to break even. That’s right if you want to eat like a champ, you’ll need to exercise like one too.
All the Chocolates in Your Kid’s Advent Calendar: 550 calories
The Amount of Exercise Required to Burn It Off: One hour of stair climbing, at 575 calories per hour.
Added benefit: This exercise also helps create great glutes, otherwise known as steel buns.
Santa’s Milk-and-Cookies: 775 calories
The Amount of Exercise Required to Burn It Off: One hour and 45 minutes of aerobics, at 450 calories per hour.
Added benefit: Doing aerobics also strengthens your heart and lungs, so you can comfortably run to the store for more milk and cookies.
A Box of Candy Canes: 900 calories
The Amount of Exercise Required to Burn It Off: One hour of intense treadmill running, at 900 calories per hour.
Added benefit: Running on a treadmill can help lower your blood pressure, which lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Two Helpings of Christmas Dinner: 1,750 calories
The Amount of Exercise Required to Burn It Off: Three and a half hours of stationary bicycling, at 500 calories per hour.
Added benefit: Exercise on a stationary bike, encourages the body to secrete feel-good hormones (like endorphins and serotonin), which induce a state of well-being.
Ten Mixed Drinks at the Office Holiday Party: 1,500 calories
The Amount of Exercise Required to Burn It Off: Three hours of cross-country skiing, at 500 calories per hour.
Added benefit: Using ski poles also strengthens your biceps, triceps and forearms so its good for your drinking arm.
A Carton of Eggnog: 3,450 calories
The Amount of Exercise Required to Burn It Off: Six hours of pickup basketball, at 575 calories per hour.
Added benefit: If you’re into shooting hoops, this exercise will feel more like fun than labor. It’s a full body workout that allows you to sweat out all of the eggnog and alcohol.
Bonus Exercise for any Foods not Mentioned: A bonus exercise, is sex. Yes sex, which can burn up 40 calories per hour. It also prevents wrinkles and is a great way to look and feel younger.
Added benefit: Couples who have sex three or more times a week appear on average 10 years younger than their actual age. This is due to the fact that orgasms trigger the release of estrogen, which improves hair and skin health.
Now that you’re armed with this information, let’s get our eat on lol. Happy Holidays.
All men are created equal right? Well this is far from true when it comes to the care of men’s skin. Every man’s skin is as unique as his fingerprint. A man’s skin health is shaped not only by his genes, but also by his lifestyle choices. A 20-year-old surfer’s skin is different than a 50 year-old businessman’s skin and will require different targeted products with specific ingredients. Having this knowledge allows us to effectively treat men’s skin.
KNOWING THE CRUCIAL COMPONENT IN MEN’S SKIN
The male sex hormones known collectively as androgens have an enormous effect on men’s skin. The chief sex hormone of this group is testosterone. Testosterone exerts its effects by acting on androgen receptors found throughout the body. It does this directly, or by being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a much more potent activator of the androgen receptors. As men age in their early years, levels of testosterone increase, but by middle age, testosterone levels steadily decline every year. This is one of the factors that is accountable for the changes in men’s skin (and hair) during the later years. Testosterone is potent stuff, and we are better understanding the effects it has on men’s skin. This again allows us to effectively formulate the right products that protect and preserve men’s skin, especially middle age skin, which needs more nutrients.
UNDERSTANDING THE SKIN’S FUNCTION
The epidermal barrier is a highly organized tissue that responds efficiently and rapidly to the changing environment in order to maintain a state of homeostasis, or perfect balance. Comprised of a mixture of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids, the lipid bi-layer mediates both trans-epidermal water loss and penetration of foreign materials into the skin. Once the epidermal barrier is disturbed, either by penetration of foreign material or dehydration, signals are sent by the lipids to replenish the lipid barrier system and remove any foreign material. However, studies have shown that testosterone can have negative effects on epidermal barrier function.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF AFTERCARE FOR MIDDLE AGED MEN
We now know testosterone and DHT are major factors that can impede the skins ability to heal and properly hydrate. Studies suggest that some men may not have the ability to properly heal wounds especially in the later years. Other men man find it harder in their later years to maintain moisture within their skin. This is especially important in facial skin because many men shave on a regular basis, leading to frequent nicks and cuts. This also applies to men that use razors to remove body hair. SmoothTech Pro is aware of this which is one of the reasons we developed after care solutions; REDUCE ST2, PREVENT and our newest arrival due on the market in 2018, HYDRATE+ a 3 in 1 hydrating lotion that is sweat proof and loaded with anti-oxidants and anti-aging ingredients. All of these products are designed to assist the skin in its ability to repair itself and protect the integrity of the epidermal barrier. REDUCE ST2 our key after care solution that works on all parts of the body, not only soothes and hydrates the skin, but it also stimulates new collagen (promoting elasticity) and helps reduce new regrowth. It is designed to bring the skin back to a neutral or natural ph level that equates to healthy skin. This is essential for overall skin health especially facial skin in aging men.
FULL COMMITMENT TO MEN’S SKIN; OUR MISSION AT SMOOTHTECH PRO
At SmoothTech Pro, we’re focused on advanced technology for solution driven products. We’re learning the decline in androgens may be responsible for some of the changes associated with aging in men. Loss of muscle tone, bone density, and sexual dysfunction, just to name a few – have all been linked to aging males and decreased testosterone. Aging is a natural process that affects men hormonally. The physical characteristics of aging bodies cannot be solely attributed to one substance like testosterone (again lifestyle choices play a major role as well). Despite the complexities, male hormones, in particular testosterone, govern much of the male physiology and behavior and this powerful chemical remains the crucial component for understanding male skin.
We’re dedicated to developing more anti-aging products that help fight and slow down the effects of aging, so men can look as good as they feel. We can’t do much to help with muscle tone and sexual dysfunction, but we can maintain your skin throughout the ages to slow down the effects. That’s our mission.
Sources: health24.com dermalinstitute.com