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.
You are inundated with different hair removal methods and brands daily, all with varying price points and effects. The amount of choices available to us can get overwhelming, so we want to explore the pros and cons of each. Let’s break down the options:
The most common hair removal method, shaving is inexpensive and quick. Desired effects are immediate but short-lived because shaving only skims the surface and doesn’t reach the hair follicle underneath the skin. After a couple of days, you have stubble from regrowth and often irritated, bumpy skin.
Waxing lasts longer because it pulls out the whole hair follicle, but it is painful and expensive. Results last much longer than shaving, but upkeep is required every four to six weeks. If you’re just doing your eyebrows, that could be manageable, but your whole body? Ouch.
Our method takes organic products that are free of all harmful, irritating ingredients like parabens and petrolatum, and effectively removes hair without ripping the skin of moisture. Our main differentiator is our two-step process–essential for keeping your skin clean, smooth and hydrated. It’s a pain-free method that requires you to prime and prep the skin, apply the hair removal lotion, and follow up with a post hair removal gel that inhibits additional hair growth. It’s a routine that you can feel good about. We even offer THE WINGMAN, a back applicator that allows men to remove their own back hair unassisted. Brands like Nair with a similar pain-free, manageable hair removal formulas exist but are just single action products, meaning they’re only concerned with removing hair with no pre or post solutions. They are not nearly as effective because they strip the skin of moisture, contain fragrances that often irritate the skin, and lack essential skincare ingredients to maintain the health of your skin past one use. Unlike our competitors, SmoothTech Pro was designed specifically for men’s skin with long-term effects in mind. Our system offers pre- and post-hair removal solutions that are designed for long-term use, working to maintain moisture and youthfulness of the skin.
That’s a SmoothTech difference you can feel. Literally.
Men’s body hair removal is a subject that provokes strong opinions and judgement from others. Some people think it’s not manly or natural to remove body hair, but despite the controversy, manscaping continues to grow in popularity for all types of guys; straight, bi, gay, ultra conservative, liberal young and old. There’s even a rise in male clients getting waxed but the majority of men still like their privacy and the convenience of an at home method. Whatever your method of body hair removal happens to be, chances are you may be experiencing some unnecessary irritation, pain or worse, bumps and ingrown hair. That’s because most at home methods (shaving and re-branded women’s depilatories) do not offer any pre or post hair removal solutions that are critical to the health of men’s skin
Don’t fret, SmoothTech Pro has put together 5 key steps you need to implement to help eliminate irritation, bumps and ingrown hair. You can achieve salon like results in the privacy and comfort of your home by following these 5 steps. From simple chest or back hair removal to complete hairlessness. Whatever your preference happens to be, these key pre and post hair removal tips will improve your body hair removal experience.
EXFOLIATE BEFORE HAIR REMOVAL
Not preparing your skin before removing unwanted body hair is one of the most common causes of irritation, cuts and ingrown hair. Exfoliating is the process of scrubbing away dead skin cells to unclog pores and keep your skin clean. It also helps expose your facial or body hairs which reduces the potential for ingrown hair. Exfoliating makes for the best pre-body hair removal treatment.
SmoothTech Pro Advice: Exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week, both face and body. Use your best judgement according to your skin’s sensitivity. Exfoliating too often can have the opposite effect, which will make your skin angry and irritated. Use the proper tools like a pumice stone (a small piece of volcanic rock), loofah sponge or a professional exfoliating clothon your body. Never exfoliate the same day as your hair removal session.
MOISTURIZE BEFORE HAIR REMOVAL
Men with dry, sensitive skin, and men with thick coarse hair should moisturize before a hair removal session. A lot of irritation and pain from body hair removal is a result of dry dehydrated skin. Remember your skin is your largest organ that keeps water in and bacteria and viruses out. When your skin is dry and dehydrated, its function is compromised and offers vulnerable points of entry for dangerous pathogens. Not everyone’s skin produces lots of protective oil and lipids, so a daily moisturizer is necessary to the health of certain men’s skin. It may not be the manliest thing you can do, but the benefits; the look, feel and health of your skin is a manly enough reason to include this in your daily routine.
SmoothTech Pro Advice:Purchase Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil and use 48 hours daily before your hair removal session. This will help hydrate and moisturize your skin and make it less prone to sensitivity. If you have thick coarse hair, an added benefit to moisturizing is it also helps soften coarse hair (over time) which will help eliminate ingrown hair.
TAKE A WARM SHOWER BEFORE HAIR REMOVAL
Again some of the skin issues men face is due to lack of hydration in their skin. By taking a warm shower you hydrate the skin, open up the pores and also soften the hair.
SmoothTech Pro Advice: Take a quick rinse with warm water to prep both the hair and your skin right before your hair removal session. If you’re only removing hair from small body parts, you can use a warm moist towel to cover those areas as an alternative to hopping in the shower. Gently dry off the area then proceed to the next step. Make sure it’s warm water not too hot as hot water can strip moisture away from the skin.
REMOVE & TREAT HAIR BELOW THE SKIN
Shaving is probably the most popular method of removing body hair yet it is completely INEFFECTIVE. Reason is the hair is removed at the skin surface level which means the slightest amount of regrowth is going to result in stubble. You will always achieve longer lasting results by removing hair below the skin. Best below the skin methods are depilatories and waxing. Most depilatories last about a week, and waxing if you can stand the pain, will typically last 2 to 3 weeks. A longer term solution is laser hair removal but many people do not realize that the electrolysis is only effective on certain phases of hair growth. Hair grows in 3 phases; Anagen (active growth phase), Catagen (transition phase) and Telogen (resting phase) so laser treatment DOES NOT work on the hair in its resting phase. You must have several laser sessions (around 5 to 7) to realize the benefits which can be costly
SmoothTech Pro Advice: We recommend switching to a method that removes hair below the skin like SmoothTech Pro. We developed SmoothTech Pro to have the ease and use of a depilatory combined with the longer results typically achieved via waxing and laser. Like laser, our REDUCE ST2 treats the hair at the root and works by disrupting the chemical connection of the hair womb. Unlike laser, our system works on all skin tones and all hair colors so we have no limitations. It’s the only system that offers pre and post hair removal solutions. For people that have extremely sensitive skin you can use PREVENT as a pre and post hair removal treatment. Use it just prior to your hair removal session to neutralize the skin prior to applying ELIMINATE ST1. After your hair removal session apply PREVENT to help eliminate ingrown hair immediately after rinsing, drying and applying REDUCE ST2 to soothe reduce and purify skin.
POST HAIR REMOVAL TREATMENT
This is probably the most import step to preventing irritation, bumps and ingrown hair, yet for some reason most men do not have a post body hair removal regimen. Just like your facial skin, your body skin is most vulnerable right after a hair removal session, especially if you wax or use a depilatory that exposes your pores. You need to soothe the skin and bring back its natural hydration levels. Some of the key mistakes men unknowingly make are using certain products that contain dyes, fragrances or harsh alcohols on the skin right after hair removal. This can lead to further dehydration of the skin which can lead to irritation, bumps and ingrown hair.
3 Core benefits of having a post hair removal treatment:
- Has a soothing effect on the skin.
- Can arrest trauma & help skin heal faster.
- Hygienic benefits; keeps the skin pores clean & bacteria-free. This helps prevent skin issues including acne.
SmoothTech Pro Advice: Rinse after your hair removal session to cool and cleanse the skin, especially if your method is shaving. Shaving can clog the pores which can cause irritation and skin issues. Next use a post hair removal product to health the skin like REDUCE ST2 which also has multiple added benefits; stimulates new collagen, hydrates the skin and helps reduce new regrowth. If you have ultra-sensitive skin and or are prone to ingrown hair, you’ll want to also use an additional tool like PREVENT which is a professional grade tool designed to help eliminate major skin issues from blackheads, ingrown hair and body acne.
Remember, not all skin and hair is created equally, so experiment with different methods that fit your lifestyle. Just remember for long term benefits and the overall look and feel of your skin, shaving (although the most convenient and economical) is NOT the way to go. You’re better off going to an esthetician if you can afford the pain and expense, not to mention any potential embarrassment. Waxing has the best effects (when done by a qualified professional) but there are new solutions like SmoothTech Pro, that can give you salon like results in the privacy and comfort of your home. And the best benefits, its quick easy and pain free.
For years we men have been led to believe that we don’t need to care for our skin. Just shower and go that was our attitude and our practice. Men are rough and tough, so if our skin reflected that, it was considered character right? Well SmoothTech Pro is here to educate and bust all the myths that have plagued men for years, causing some of us to age quicker and endure unnecessary skin issues. Learning to care for your skin, can prevent and eliminate most skin issues associated with men, plus add years to your skin’s life. Now that sounds very manly to us. After all, isn’t looking and feeling our best what grooming is all about?
First the Facts; Healthy, younger-looking skin requires commitment, not a miracle right? But men often age quicker than women typically because we are less committed to caring for our skin. Again, those who care for their skin, extend the life of their skin, thus their skin looks younger and ages better.
Now the education; Men’s skin is much thicker, oilier and warmer (because men have more blood vessels) than women’s skin, therefore men need products that absorb more readily into the skin and ones that take its oily nature into consideration. The good news is that men’s skin is firmer and harder to exposures, as well as more capable of moisture retention. At any age a man’s skin is richer in collagen providing strength and firmness than a woman’s. Also a man’s skin is inclined to quicker cells renewal, is better protected and less damaged- prone when properly cared for. We at SmoothTech Pro understand these qualities which is why All of SmoothTech Pro’s products are packed with key ingredients to help expedite cell renewal (REDUCE) and moisture retention (ELIMINATE & REDUCE) to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.
For those who don’t know where to begin, we’ve put together 3 simple rules to help you devise and improve on your skin care routine. Read below to learn how to get the best results even if you’re not an expert. Also check out some of the products and brands we recommend for your bathroom to help keep you wrinkle free for years.
EXFOLIATING = PREVENTION
Exfoliating is the process of scrubbing away dead skin cells to unclog pores and keep your skin clean. It also helps expose your facial or body hairs which reduces the potential for ingrown hair. Exfoliating makes for the best pre-shave or pre-hair removal treatment. Experts suggest that men exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week, both face and body. Use your best judgement according to your skin’s sensitivity. Exfoliating too often can have the opposite effect, which will make your skin angry and irritated. Use the proper tools like a pumice stone (a small piece of volcanic rock), loofah sponge or a professional exfoliating cloth on your body. For the face you can use cleansers like Billy Jealousy Liquid Sand or SmoothTech Pro SCRUB which can also be used on all body parts. If you use a loofah sponge make sure you replace it often as they do collect bacteria over time.
READ THE LABELS & RID YOURSELF OF 3 INGREDIENTS
The top 3 irritants for men’s skin are dyes, fragrances and certain alcohols. The skin is the largest human organ so it’s important to use only natural ingredients that are readily absorbed into the blood stream. For years big corporations have been appealing to our sense of smell, look and texture, not really caring about the long term (negative) effects certain ingredients (and in a lot of cases chemical) that make up their products have on their consumers. Blue 1 and Red 33 are examples of synthetic coloring agents used by DOVE and other name brand companies that DO NOT belong in men’s products, so check your labels and rid your bathroom of any products that contain these 3 skin enemies. Some of the key fragrances big box corporations try to push in men’s products can contribute to skin issues like dryness and other irritations; they include citrus, lavender, eucalyptus and menthol ingredients. They smell amazing but have ZERO benefits. Fragrances should be reserved for your cologne and deodorant only. Your body wash, body lotion, facial scrub and shaving creams should all be natural and free. Use products like SmoothTech Pro that are free of dyes, fragrances, sulfates, petrolatum and parabens. A great body lotion is Glaxal base moisturizing cream and moisturizing therapy lotion. Another great body lotion is Cetaphil Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion.
MOISTURIZE, HYDRATE & MOISTURIZE SOME MORE
The main reason that men should adopt a moisturizing regimen is to help restore moisture to dry skin. While some men naturally have dry skin, for most, it’s brought on by showering too much (hard water damage), using the wrong type of soap, or from living in an especially dry climate. Men with oily skin use moisturizers, too, although for different reasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with oily skin are more likely to suffer from acne, and as a result they often use soaps and other products that strip oils out of skin, leaving it very dry. Even men with normal skin can use moisturizer regularly to maintain balance in their skin [source: Mayo Clinic]. Another reason to use moisturizer is that it can be good for your health. The most serious skin-related health problem that people face today is skin cancer; although moisturizer won’t prevent the disease, it can help treat sun damage. Also, there are several different types of moisturizers that contain sunscreen — an easy way to kill two birds with one stone [source: Ortiz].
Cleansers should clean, and lotions should moisturize, that’s it. Your scents should come from your cologne and deodorant only. Yes it may be difficult giving up some of your favorite products, but if they contain harsh ingredients, they’re really no good for you anyway. Follow these 3 simple rules and you’ll prolong the life and health of your skin. Even if you’re older it may seem hard to reverse the signs of aging skin, but it isn’t impossible. Making changes to your skincare routine and lifestyle (drinking water, a balanced diet and plenty of sleep) no matter what age you are, can achieve quick and visible results. Again, if you take good care of your skin, your skin will be good to you. Arm yourself with the right FREE & CLEAR products and skin care regimen, and you’ll be on your way to more vibrant skin and looking younger.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS IN THIS ARTICLE:
Facial Cleanser- Billy Jealousy Liquid Sand
Professional Exfoliating Cloth- SmoothTech Pro EXFOLIATOR
Body Wash- SmoothTech Pro SCRUB
Body Lotion- Glaxal Base Moisturizing Cream and Glaxal Base Moisturizing Lotion Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion.