Chemical depilatories

A chemical depilatory is a paste, cream or lotion that is left on the skin for 3 to 15 minutes, depending on the brand. The mixture breaks down the hair’s protein structure, causing the hairs to break off, so they can be wiped away. It is usually used on the arms and legs. This method is more effective on light, fine hair than dark, coarse hair.


Usually painless. Hair will grow back a bit more slowly compared to shaving (2-10 days). Regrowth will feel softer.


Can cause skin and eye irritation. If you’re sensitive to scents, this may not be the method for you.

Safety tip

Do not use this method on any skin that is irritated, broken, or has signs of infection. Do not use on the face, unless the label specifies that it is safe to do so. Do not use on any skin close to mucous membranes, like the vagina*vagina* (with an asterisk) is used to acknowledge the many different words that are used for this body part. or anus.