Facial hair: it's not just for guys, and ladies, it's nothing to be ashamed of. No matter what your complexion or skin type, it is completely natural for some amount of hair to be present on your face. For some women, it is practically unnoticeable. Other women find it bothersome, so they decide to do something about it. Simply bleaching the hair can work if your skin is fair, but for the rest of you, the best bet for making your facial hair do a vanishing act is with a depilatory cream.

But what is a depilatory cream, anyway, and how does this stuff work? Allow me to clear up the confusion.

  • Depilatory creams remove the hair deeper than shaving, but not quite as deep as waxing.
  • The active ingredient is sodium and calcium thioglycolate, which might sound a little scary, but it's actually a safe chemical that has been used for hair removal since 1930.
  • The chemicals dissolve the protein base of the hair, allowing it to be removed from below the surface of the skin.
  • The creams can be smelly (the active ingredient is a close relative to the one used in perming), and a bit messy, but the tradeoff is that hair stays away much longer than shaving, and it grows back significantly less stubbly.

If you decide to try a depilatory cream, be sure to select one that is specifically for the face, as it will be gentler than the ones for other parts of the body. Apply to clean skin, and leave on no longer than the directed time. Once finished, all you have to do is wipe away the cream, and voila: hair is gone. Another bonus: no ingrown hairs.

The bottom line? Depilatories are a generally safe, easy way to remove facial hair, as long as you follow the instructions, and don't mind a smelly mess every now and then. Is this your hair removal method of choice? Let me know what you think.