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The Sleek hair removal device by elōs-mē is a pulsed light permanent hair removal device for consumer use. The technology used by the Sleek is was originally developed from devices initially produced by Ilumanage and elōs-mē is, in fact, a subsidiary of the Iluminage corporation.
So, a little bit of history first before we talk about the device and how it works. The company Iluminage Beauty was founded by Dr. Shimon Eckhouse (Yokneam Illit, Israel) in 2000.
The company was centered around making products using the elōs intense pulsed light (IPL) technology invented by Eckhouse and his colleague Goldman. The two inventors began producing IPL devices in 1993 for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions and for hair removal.
Pulsed light treatment is now a very common method used for permanent depilation and is now widely available in consumer devices from several manufacturers. Basic IPL technology differs from the elōs method in that it is effective across all skin tones and hair colors, whereas standard IPL is not and limited only to fairer skin tones and darker hair color (more on that below).
The methodology behind the function of an IPL device necessitates a certain contrast between skin tone and hair pigmentation. As such, ILP devices cannot operate on very pigmented skin or on light hair colors.
The elōs devices employ additional technological innovations and are not impeded by lack of skin and hair contrast or are prevented from working on darkly pigmented skin. Clinical trials have been conducted on elōs which verify its effectiveness on all skin types and hair colors (only grey hair color was not tested). See the “How elōs works” section below.
Iluminage Beauty, a consumer device company, and its sister company Syneron Medical, a medical device company, closed in 2018 and merged with Lescolton to form Syneron-Candela Medical and elōs-mē/Lescolton Corporation. The elōs-mē/Lescolton company (known simply as elōs-mē) is the new consumer products corporation that emerged from the corporate mergers.
If all this corporate shell-gaming seems confusing, well, it is. Welcome to the world of corporate mergers.
The Sleek by elōs-mē is an effective hair removal consumer device and is easy to use, safe, and causes no skin damage or irritation. This IPL device is a generalist and will treat the whole body, including delicate skin areas of the upper lip, neck, jawline, and bikini line (not for use in the genitals, sorry!).
The treatment regime consists of wanding the device over the skin while brief pulses of intense light directed into the skin through a light output window. The light flashes stun the follicle matrix cells and stop hair growth (more on this later)., The intended treatment area should be shaved, clean, and dry. The treatments can be performed every week for 7 weeks, resulting in permanent hair removal with only an occasional need for monthly maintenance treatments.
What the Precise Touch is and is not
The Sleek by elōs-mē is not a laser device (), it is an IPL device. Think LED flashlight, not Death Star.
If you survey the internet for hair removal methods that do not involve creams, waxes, or other chemical treatments, you will likely run across a lot of reviews or sales sites featuring at home “laser” hair removal. The people who run these sites are either morons, snake-oil salesmen, or a combination of the two because there are no — allow a repeat — no lasers in the Sleek by elōs-mē.
We are not saying that the commentary in the reviews of those devices is false, merely the mischaracterization of how they work and what technology is entailed is false. Perhaps this comes from an overall absence of good physics education in the public schools, but not to worry as we will explain fully how IPL devices and what makes the elōs devices special.
Any so-called “laser” devices you find out there, including the Sleek, are IPL devices that use some a quartz bulb illumination system that emits a specific wavelength band of light. There is a consumer laser hair removal device on the market that is FDA-approved made by Tria and that’s it.
The Sleek uses a fast-recharging xenon bulb illumination source which is effective over a broader range of skin tones and hair colors. So, what is the difference between these IPL devices and a laser anyway?
Lasers differ from regular light sources as they emit narrow bandwidths of light that are coherent, which means that the light emitted is of identical frequency and waveform. Laser devices are also spatially-coherent, meaning the emitted light can target a very small area and also maintain their spatial-coherence over great distances.
This is because the light output is directed through a collimator, which is a beam limiter. Lasers are also temporally-coherent, so waveforms stay in the same temporal phase and produce standing waves driving stationary interference and cause the emitted light remains to be of a single color (stable wavelength).
IPL technology is more of a high-intensity, broader spectrum light and is not coherent or collimated. It is projected in a much broader electromagnetic band range, for example, think of how different the light that is produced from a laser pointer compared with an LED flashlight.
How elōs works
The elōs technology is a bit different from your standard IPL device and it is for this reason that elōs is more broadly effective across a range of skin tones and hair colors, however we will start out explaining IPL technology. The joint use of radiofrequency emissions (RF) with IPL emissions is what makes the elōs technology different.
The combination of RF and IPL energies produces heat in the hair shaft and destroys active matrix cells in the hair follicle. The only living parts of the hair are matrix cells in the follicle base and produce keratin polymers and building hair.
They are also responsible for embedding melanin pigments in the construction of the hair shaft.
The frequencies produced by IPL are tuned to the absorption maximum of melanins in the hair, which are two different chemical polymers derived from tyrosine. Pheomelanin is a yellow pigment and eumelanin is a dark brown pigment.
Different mixtures of the two pigments are the basis for different skin tones and hair colors. Light from IPL absorbed by melanins causes a phase shift in the light spectra emitted by the hair to the infrared band, which produces heat.
The heat produced is very brief but intense because the emission is a momentary flash, with just enough energy to stun the matrix cells but not enough to produce damage in the surrounding tissue. The RF emissions are produced in a longer wavelength band range and also create a brief, momentary heating.
Together, both energies cause damage to active matrix cells of the hair follicle and stop hair growth. In the elōs device, and the additional RF energies affect a broader range of hair and skin types than other IPL devices, so this is why the Sleek is not limited by skin pigmentation or hair color.
However, users should be aware that IPL treatments for permanent hair removal require a longer treatment cycle than professional laser hair removal treatments. That means patience and consistent application.
The standard treatment regime for IPL devices is 6-8 weeks, with weekly or bi-weekly treatments and periodic follow-ups over the next six months as maintenance. This lengthy treatment cycle is related to how the devices work, in that they can only affect hair follicles in a certain state of growth: the anagen phase.
Growth of hair is a cyclical process with three phases: an anagen phase (active hair growth), a catagen phase (follicle involution), and a telogen phase (mature hair phase). Most body hair at any given moment consists of telogen phase hairs which last about 2-3 months until the hair is shed.
Hairs in the anagen phase will grow at one centimeter per month, then shift into the catagen phase hairs for 2-3 weeks before resting in the telogen phase. After hair is shed, follicles reinitiate anagen phase growth.
The IPL technology can only affect anagen phase hairs and requires catching hair follicles in the act of growth to disable the matrix cells and break the cycle. This is why repeat treatments are necessary to treat more and more follicles as they enter the anagen phase over time.
The Sleek is great for people who want to permanently remove body hair from any part of the body other than the genital region. It can treat small areas such as the jawline, upper lip, and neck, but will also work well on legs, forearms, armpits, and the bikini line.
The elōs-mē claims that there are an unlimited number of flashes the device is capable of producing, but we doubt that since bulbs do have a lifespan. Other, similar devices by the company have bulb lifespans between 150,000 and 300,000 flashes, depending on the model.
The bulb of the device has an estimated lifespan in excess of what the average user would need to completely and permanently remove all their body hair. We suspect that elōs-mē characterizes the flash limits as unlimited since a user could completely depilate their entire body before the device fails.
How to use the Sleek
The Sleek device is very easy to operate and using it correctly requires little practice. Before applying to the skin, the treatment area should be clean and shaved prior to using the device. The treatment steps are as follows:
For people with fair hair (grey, blonde, or red), wax or epilate the treatment area before using the Sleek. It sounds a little disturbing, but plucked hairs leave small wounds in the follicle base and the light frequencies will be absorbed by the blood left near the matrix cells.
This technique allows people with paler hair colors with low melanin content to use the Sleek for better results. People with fair hair usually need to double the number of treatments for the best results.
The company recommends 7 weekly treatments, once a week, for best results (more, if you have fair hair). For facial treatments, treat intended areas 2-3 times a week.
Typical treatment times can vary from person to person, but on average both armpits take 3-5 minutes to treat depending on hair color and density. By the way, permanent hair removal is not really “permanent” because hormonal changes will stimulate the development of new follicles over time. Regular treatments typically maintain hair-free skin for 1-2yearsa
The Sleek is painless, simple to use, lightweight (the wand part), and is comfortable to hold, so you will not get tired after long treatment sessions. As far as results, a lot of users report positive results after just a few treatments. Many users state that in six weeks of treatments are completely adequate for long-term effects. Also, with the elōs technology, the Sleek is more effective and produces better results in less time compared with other IPL devices.
We feel the biggest advantage of the Sleek compared with other IPL devices is its ability to effectively treat all skin tones (Fitzpatrick Scale I-VI) and all colors of hair. This is a really big plus, since most IPL devices, albeit effective, are limited to only certain skin tones and hair colors.
Whether or not the Sleek is better at hair removal has been validated through clinical trials. The strongest factor that makes a performance difference is the inclusion of RF emissions in the device, which covers the other skin tones missed by most IPL devices.
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Some users say that the flashes are too bright, but the Sleek does come with a handy pair of goggles. The goggles are too dark for some people and many users go from flashes too bright to blind as a bat (many users wear sunglasses, which work just fine).
Some users report receiving Sleek devices that do not work, but in all cases, elōs-mē has repaired or replaced the device. We also found negative reviews of the Sleek from dissatisfied users who claim the Sleek does not work. Based on their description of use and hazarding a guess, it’s a good bet that the users did not understand how the device works, prepare their skin properly, or put in enough time to achieve the desired results (“I used it, like, twice in a week on my legs and arms and it didn’t do nothing”).
If you happen to have darkly pigmented skin or very fair hair and fall outside of the user range of IPL devices, then the Sleek depilatory device is for you. With its inclusion of an RF emission plate using the elōs technology, elōs-mē has produced a device that can serve anyone.
Hair removal is very much a cultural phenomenon. In some cultures or time periods, no one would even think of removing their body hair, as it is considered taboo (such as in Sikh religious culture).
In other cultures or time periods, to not remove one’s body hair is deemed unclean and inappropriate (as seen in many ancient Mediterranean cultures). What is the connection between cleanliness and body hair removal?
The origins of hair removal practices are thought to stem from an effective means of delousing the body and keeping it free from lice. For example, hair removal was a common practice in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and was a mark of cleanliness.
Gradually, hair removal additionally became associated with good health and, by extension, sexual appeal because healthy people are sexy people. Hair removal has basically moved in and out of vogue for close to 4000 years, but really became more of a global cultural norm in the early 20th century when razors and depilatory creams were specifically marketed to women.
In the modern era, hair removal was thrust into the public consciousness through aggressive marketing campaigns directed at women which began to vilify the idea of having body hair. The first company to engage in such an advertising campaign was Hall and Ruckel Inc. with their X-Bazin Depilatory Powder in 1907.
Gillette then jumped on the bandwagon, produced the first razor marketed to women in 1915 (the Milady Decollete), and by 1917, magazine advertisements began showing women with bare armpits. During the second world war, nylon and silk stockings were in short supply so the market for women’s hair removal products skyrocketed.
Remington began producing electric razors in 1940 specifically for women which helped to greatly reduce the onerous task of leg shaving and the rest, as they say, is history.
A Deep Dive into The Flash & Go Hair Removal Product Line
The Flash & Go line of hair removal devices by Silk’n is a set of hand-held wands that use light and heat to stun matrix cells of the hair follicle to prevent hair growth. The procedure is painless and through repeated uses, gradually prevents further hair growth.
Intense pulsed light methods of hair removal and acne treatment have been around for some time and have been relegated to use only by professionals in a dermatology or salon setting. In 2018, Silk’n began producing and releasing products for home use employing this technology, which they term as HPL (Home Pulsed Light) technology.
They currently produce five such devices, four of which fall under the Flash & Go line of products. These include the Flash & Go Jewel, the Flash & Go Compact Glide, the Flash & Go Express, and their newest addition the Flash & Go Pro.
Intense pulsed light methods of hair removal and acne treatment have been around for some time and have been relegated to use only by professionals in a dermatology or salon setting. In 2018, Silk’n began producing and releasing products for home use employing this technology, which they term as HPL (Home Pulsed Light) technology.
They currently produce five such devices, four of which fall under the Flash & Go line of products. These include the Flash & Go Jewel, the Flash & Go Compact Glide, the Flash & Go Express, and their newest addition the Flash & Go Pro.
How HPL works
HPL technology uses a quartz bulb to deliver wavelengths of light that are directed at the skin and penetrate down to the level of the hair root, where the matrix cells are located. The wavelengths used are attuned to melanin (eumelanin and pheomelanin) of the hair and do not cause appreciable heating of the surrounding skin.
Absorbed light energy in the hair shaft is transformed into heat, which is conducted down to the matrix cells at the base of the follicle. Matrix cells are the only living portion of hair and are responsible for keratin polymer production and deposition of melanin in the hair shaft.
Light intensity levels are adjustable for optimal performance, with most models requiring manual adjustments after testing on your skin, however, some models feature an auto-sensing and energy gain function to do this automatically. HPL works on hair in one of three particular growth phases: the anagen phase.
Hair growth is a cyclical process and HPL instruments can only target hairs in active growth or anagen phase. The remaining two phases, catagen and telogen phases, are stages of non-growth.
During the catagen phase, the hair follicle tissues undergo temporary involution since the hair has been produced in its mature state. At the telogen phase, hairs are gradually shed, which stimulates the matrix cells to reinitiate hair production and reenter the anagen phase.
For these reasons, HPL technology takes some time to see results, as only anagen phase hairs are affected and skin contains a variety of hairs in the three phases. Anagen phase hairs typically grow at a rate of about 1 cm per month, whereas hairs remain in the catagen phase for about two to three weeks, and telogen phase hairs are usually shed over a three-month period.
Since HPL uses light-based technology, it is necessary to shave prior to using the device to prevent refraction and allow proper detection of the contrast between the hair and the skin by the in-built sensors of the device. These devices are not a substitute for shavers or razors but are a follicle treatment technology to reduce the frequency of shaving by stunting the hair growth cycle.
Typical treatment timelines range from six to eight months with sessions every other week, depending on the thickness of hair and the amount of skin pigmentation. As such, Silk’n provides a scheduling calendar in the product package so that treatment days can be set for optimal results.
Skin pigmentation is an issue since the same hair melanins targeted by the device are also deposited in the epidermis of the skin. HPL technology is most effective when there is sufficient contrast between the hair pigmentation and the skin pigmentation.
This can limit whether the devices are of use for some people, which is a disadvantage of the pulsed light depilatory approach. For example, if you have very dark or tanned skin (Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Classification VI), HPL devices will not work for you, regardless of the darkness of your hair.
HPL technology works on people with skin in the Fitzpatrick Scale range of I to IV, although it can work on people with Fitzpatrick Scale V if they have very dark hair. There are additional considerations if you have very pale or unpigmented hair (white, grey, or blonde) since the device will not be able to distinguish the contrast effectively, which limits its use in these circumstances to people with the Fitzpatrick Scale III skin or lighter.
There are also some use considerations if you have moles (avoid exposing them to the light) or extensive tattoos and Silk’n recommends you avoid treating these areas. There is, however, a safety sensor that prevents the device from flashing on dark pigmented skin areas.
All Flash & Go models are corded devices that work on both 110v and 220v circuits, so they can be used for travel abroad with the appropriate plug adapter (all models come with US and UK/Ireland plug adapters). In our review of the Flash & Go line, we could not find any notable differences between the models with exception to bulb lifespan, whether or not it had a triggerless auto-active sensor, and whether or not the device possessed an auto-gain sensor for adjusting the power level.
The Flash & Go Express is a hair removal HPL device that can treat one leg for hair removal in about 10 minutes. Light pulses are produced when the light trigger button is depressed while the device is on.
The device is rated to produce 300,000 light flashes over its useful lifetime.
The Silk’n Flash & Go Jewel is the smallest HLP device offered by Silk’n and is a portable model intended for travel, but can also be used at home. The Jewel is a triggerless, sensor-driven device that operates automatically as soon as the device is placed on the skin when the device is on.
Total light flashes for the lifetime of the device is set at 150,000 and this version of the Touch & Go line is small, allowing for use in hard-to-reach areas.
The Flash & Go Compact Glide by Silk’n resembles the Express model superficially since they share the same device housing. However, the guts of the Compact Glide are most similar to the Jewel and have the same features (triggerless activation) and estimated use lifespan (150,000 flashes).
The Flash & Go Pro by Silk’n is the newest product in the Flash & Go line and differs from other products in their hair removal device line because it has an in-built skin color sensor that will automatically adjust the power level (and light intensity) based on skin tone. It is also a triggerless device that auto-activates when placed on the skin, so there is no pulse light button.
The estimated lifespan of the bulb is greater than other models in the Flash & Go line (about 450,000-500,000 flashes).
All Silk’n Flash & Go devices are ideal for anyone who wants a more permanent and safe means of removing unwanted body hair. Whether you have excess back or facial hair that you want to go or whether you just want to get those bikini lines cleaned up for salon time or summer sunbathing at the beach or pool, there are at least one of these devices that will fit the bill.
The price range for this product line is reasonable and varies based on the convenience features of the device. Some models can be purchased for as little as $200, with top-end models approaching about $400. Different resellers also tend to offer seasonal discounts, so shop around first to get the best deals.
If you have concerns that using a Flash & Go device may be akin to performing brain surgery, have no fears. The procedure for treatment is very easy, produces no discomfort, and works well as verified by clinical trials conducted by dermatologists.
How to Use the Flash & Go
1. Carefully shave the skin area you intend to treat, then wash the areas and dry thoroughly. There should be no soap, powder, or antiperspirant residues.
2. Press the power button briefly (for models that have one). The device will be active at power level 1, signified by the LED display.
3. Energy levels can be adjusted by briefly pressing the power button to cycle the bulb brightness levels (some models have an auto-sensor for energy level).
4. Place the device bulb-down on the skin and press the pulse trigger (some models are auto-active and do not have a pulse trigger). Be certain the skin surface is spread evenly and that the device remains in full contact with the skin.
5. Hold in place during the sensor calibration phase. The ready indicator LED will blink slowly during this step. If the energy level is appropriate, the device will flash and you will hear a soft pop from the bulb.
6. You will feel some warmth produced by the light from the device followed by a bulb recharge interval. When the device is ready for the next application, the ready indicator LED will resume blinking.
7. Move the device to the next treatment area of the skin (each treatment area is approximately 3 cm2). Be sure to not retreat skin areas (one flash per area only); a useful way of keeping track is to note the indent marks left on the skin, outlining the face of the device.
8. Treatments can be performed either by pulse light on a fixed area or by gliding the device across the skin during a pulse. If there is no flash, the ready indicator LED will blink rapidly, indicating that the skin area is too pigmented for safe use of the device.
9. Skin treatments should be performed as recommended every 14 days for the first four or five sessions. Initial results are usually noticed after about three or four sessions.
10. Hairs after this time period will be noticeably thinner and finer. Treatments five to seven should be performed monthly (four weeks apart).
11. A full treatment cycle for best results will take six to eight months. Additional treatments can be performed after this period to maintain hair removal results.
All of the Flash & Go models we examined are simple devices (all the complex stuff is inside the device, so there is nothing complicated for you to do) that produce no adverse effects on the skin. Their use is so simple, one might be tempted to think they are some kind of scam since hair removal is usually an onerous and uncomfortable process.
We liked the fact that you can perform hair removal in your home. Most permanent hair removal methods, such as laser depilatory treatments, can only be done in a licensed salon or by a dermatologist at considerable cost.
It is also notable that this method of hair removal is pain-free compared with other methods. For example, typical methods of hair removal use chemical agents or waxes, which can cause considerable damage to the skin.
Included in the packaging are power plug adapters so that the devices can be used in the US or in the UK. The DC transformer included also automatically adjusts to the input voltage, 110v or 220v, so they are great devices for travel needs.
If any of you readers are still wondering whether these little flashy-flashy devices actually have any real effects on hair growth, the HPL technology used in the Flash & Go products have been examined in clinical trials and have demonstrated effectiveness. The results of the study were published in Alster TS and Tanzi EL (2009) Effect of a Novel Low-Energy Pulsed-Light Device for Home-Use Hair Removal. Dermatol Surg 35:483.
We provide a summary of the study and an explanation of the methods used below:
Methods. Female patient volunteers with Fitzpatrick Scale I-IV skin tone (n=20) with dark, terminal phase hair in non-facial treatment areas (inclusion criteria) were selected to self-administer three pulse treatments at two-week intervals.
Exclusion criteria for intended treatment areas included: suntan, skin infection, scarring, premalignant pigmented lesions, evidence of photosensitivity, the present use of oral retinoids or anticoagulants, use of waxing, electrolysis, or other photo epilation methods within three months of study treatment initiation.
All patients participated by informed consent under the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki. The age range of volunteers was 32 to 56 years of age.
Matched untreated skin sites were monitored for each patient as internal controls. Observations consisted of clinical photographs and hair counts of treated and control skin areas.
Baseline data was collected pre-treatment. Data collected during the experiment in treated and non-treated skin areas at months 1, 3, and 6.
The device used in the study was a Silk’n HPL device delivering pulsed light in the range of 475-1200 nm with a maximum energy yield of 5 J through a 3 cm2 window.
Results. Positive clinical responses to HPL treatment was observed in treated skin areas of all patients compared with matched control skin areas. Observed treatment times varied by treatment area.
Axillary applications required 2-3 minutes of treatment, whereas inguinal, lower leg and forearm treatments typically required 15-20 minutes of treatment. Total hair counts in treated skin areas were significantly reduced at 6-month follow-up after three treatments (Paired t-test: Percent reduction at 6 months, p). Legs: 53.5%, p<0.001; Arms: 48.1%, p=0.004; Axillary: 37.2%, p<0.001; Inguinal: 36.7%, p<0.001).
Hair count reductions were more notable on the lower legs compared with arm hairs and hairs in axillary and inguinal areas. Approximately 25% of patients reported mild transient erythema and transient follicular edema, but no additional side effects were observed.
Outtake surveys indicated that all patients were satisfied with the results.
Conclusions. Light pulse depilatory therapy with the HPL device is safe and effective for home use on non-facial skin areas for individuals with Fitzpatrick Scale I-IV skin tone.
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We found some complaints by customers that the light from the devices was too bright and hurt their eyes. Keep in mind, the Flash & Go devices are not active unless they are in contact with the skin, so they are seeing the light glowing through their skin (Silk’n recommends looking away or wearing sunglasses if this is an issue).
Also, the results are slow which cannot be helped based on the method the device uses to stun matrix cells (some people may not be patient enough to make use of the treatment method). A few customers surveyed also complained about the device not working after a few weeks of use.
In some cases, this was due to a faulty bulb, which was promptly replaced by the company. In other instances, it was more of a matter of people not understanding how the devices work and lacking the patience required for the HPL hair removal method (HPL only affects anagen phase follicles).
The skin of most people contains a mixture of hairs in different growth phases, most of which rest in the telogen phase and is the reason for 6-8 months of treatment. Since many customers do not fully understand the hair growth process and how the device works, we feel that Silk’n should do a better job at simplifying product manuals.
We find the Flash & Go devices to be quite useful, although they require a modicum of patience to see results. The Flash & Go line allows more affordable access to permanent hair removal.
We also like the departure from the use of chemicals and waxes, which are painful and cause skin damage. This painless treatment system provides an approachable depilatory method that is decidedly more affordable than salon treatments and equally effective.
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Baisidai is a cosmetics company founded in 2016 by Hong Kong entrepreneur Ricky Cheng. Their cosmetics products are sold worldwide and are particularly popular in Southeast Asia.
Pilaten Hair Removal Cream is ideal for people who wish to conveniently remove unwanted armpit or leg hair without having to use a razor. Shaving with a razor always comes with the risk of a cut and subsequent infection.
In addition, using a razor can “scalp” hair follicles and produce the dreaded chicken skin effect and lead to swelling and discomfort, particularly in underarm areas. Pilaten Hair Removal Cream can remove underarm hair in as little as 5 minutes of treatment, so it is also a good choice for people who are impatient for good results.
This product works very quickly. The manufacturer claims it works in 3-10 minutes after application, but we have seen it take down black armpit hair in 5 minutes with no apparent skin irritation.
Baisidai also claims that Pilaten Hair Removal Cream also contains a pore contracting agent that assists in hair presentation for better chemical contact with the hair shaft. We identified that ingredient as allantoin, a common cosmetics additive (see our explanation below). The strong smell of the cream is because it includes a thioglycolic acid-base as the main active ingredient (although it is only 5% of the cream).
Most users find that the cream works in about five minutes, others claim it takes as much as 15 minutes. However, in each report, the cream functions as a depilatory agent as advertised and leaves skin hair-free.
Pilaten Hair Removal Cream does have that rotten egg smell, but that is to be expected from a thiol-based depilatory cream. There are also some reports of the product leaving stubble that must be shaved afterward.
In addition, some people with very fair or delicate skin may experience light chemical burns after using the product, particularly if they have fair skin and dark hair.
Some users with fair skin and very thick, dark hair experienced chemical burns after using the cream. They also reported having to leave the cream on their skin for up to 20 minutes, which is the reason for the adverse reaction.
Remember that the keratin that makes up your hair is almost the same keratin that makes up your skin, just more chemically-crosslinked to make it stiffer.
There are also some reports from users that the cream does not work for them at all when they tried it on armpit hair. Here’s likely why: Although the instructions on the package say to use the cream prior to showering, most people fail to understand that it just means to ensure the skin is dry.
If you have not showered and have a deodorant layer applied to your armpit, keep in mind that deodorants work by reducing the pH of the skin in the applied area (making it more acidic). Unwashed skin has a protective layer that dermatologists term the “acid mantle”, which is a pH 4.5-6.0 acidic layer of sebum (oil) and sweat.
After you wash your skin, that acid mantle layer is removed. Applying deodorant to your armpit replaces that lost acidic layer, drops the pH, and results in reduced bacterial growth and odor.
Since Pilaten Hair Removal Cream produces an alkaline reaction with the hair (see below for more details), applying the cream to your armpit with a layer of deodorant will simply neutralize the reactants and stop any chemical reaction from occurring (meaning, no breakdown of the hair).
So, despite the instructions on the package, we recommend starting out with clean skin that is free of soaps, deodorants, and lotions. Yes, even in everyday life, a knowledge of chemistry is helpful.
Baisidai Pilaten Hair Removal Cream comes in two different packagings. Why there are different containers for the cream may simply be a matter of transitioning from one packaging form to another, but the cream can be purchased in either small pouches or a larger tube.
Pilaten Hair Removal Cream can be purchased in boxes with 10g, foiled-plastic pouches. Box sizes are offered in packs of 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 60, 80, 90, or 100 pouch kits.
One thing that would be a nice addition to this packaging that is missing would be some form of inexpensive palette and spatula. That would be very useful in laying out the product and would assist greatly in even the application of the cream.
Something like a small plastic or plastic-coated paper card with a plastic or wooden spatula would suffice. It would not have to be large: the palette could be the same size as the pouches.
The second way the cream is sold is in a large, 100g or 200g tube. Sold in this form, the tube comes in a small box that includes a blue plastic spatula applicator.
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The ingredients of Pilaten Hair removal Cream are the following: Water, glycerol, allantoin, xanthan gum, thioglycolate, and calcium hydroxide. Since this goes on your skin, you might want to know what each ingredient does and whether they are safe for your skin.
Glycerol is a viscous clear polyol comprised of a short, 3-carbon chain with attached alcohol groups. It is used commonly as a humectant to prevent drying out of the product and as an emollient for moisturizing the skin.
Allantoin is a uric acid breakdown product (a glycolic acid diureide) produced in most mammals and some plants (such as Symphytum). In cosmetics, it is used to moisturize the skin and also produces a keratolytic action on skin and hair follicles.
Treatment of skin with allantoin increases interstitial water and aids desquamation of the skin and promotes a more erect presentation of hair shafts, which is why it is used in Pilaten.
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide thickening agent and chemical stabilizer. Its general purpose in cosmetics is to increase viscosity and acts to ensure smooth spreading of the cream, maintaining an even distribution of ingredients without settling issues.
Thioglycolate is the active hair removal ingredient of Pilaten Hair Removal Cream and facilitates a chemical reaction that alters the structure of the hair shaft. Thioglycolic acid chemically attacks sulfur bridges (cystines) in the keratin protein polymer of the hair shaft.
Cystines, which as cysteine dimers, are chemical crosslinks in proteins that help to maintain their structure. When you cook an egg white, the protein in the white (mostly albumin, but there are others) is denatured by unraveling the protein structure, which begins with breaking the sulfur-sulfur bridges.
After reacting, a dithiodiglycolic acid is produced as a byproduct along with free (unbound and chemically-reduced) cysteines. With the sulfur bridges broken, the keratin polymer becomes unstable and the hair will appear brittle and undergo shearing within a few minutes.
The calcium hydroxide in the cream is used to balance the pH of the reaction and maintain it close to a pH of 12 (about the same as household bleach). That means the reaction is very alkaline, so diluting the reactants and products with water afterward is important to stop the reaction and prevent chemical burns
Using water will bring the pH down towards neutral and the more water you use to wash off the cream, the better.
How to use
Prior to showering (we actually recommend the skin is clean and soap-free, first), apply the cream evenly to the desired area for hair removal. Allow the cream to sit for three to eight minutes (or longer, up to 20 minutes for very thick hair).
After treatment, rinse the cream and loose hair away with either a clean, wet towel or moist cotton cosmetics pads. Rinse the treated area thoroughly with warm water and do not use soap (it can react with the product).
Make sure the area is washed thoroughly to prevent long-term exposure and skin irritation. If desired, apply a posttreatment moisturizer to the skin.
Treatments can be repeated after two to three weeks. Pilaten Hair Removal Cream should never be applied in skin areas where there are open wounds.
You will typically see good results after about five minutes of treatment if you have dark hair (perhaps less time if you have lighter hair). For people with very thick hair, a longer treatment of 10 or even up to 20 minutes may be necessary for good results.
When the reaction is completed, hair and cream can simply be wiped away, leaving hair-free skin in the treated area. Since this is a chemical reaction, copious amounts of water should be used to clean the treated area and stop any additional chemical reactions.
This will ensure good results and reduce the chances of having a chemical burn.
The take-home conclusion from our review of this product, Pilaten Hair Removal Cream by Baisidai, is that for most people it is an effective depilatory agent. Using the cream as directed and taking proper precautions, treatment should be effective and worry-free, causing no burning or itching.
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It is an extremely popular hair removal cream worldwide and is regarded as the number one seller globally. Thousands of people swear by this product.
Veet is the brand name of depilatory products made by Reckitt Benckiser company. First sold in 1919 as Neet (as in neat) and produced by Hannibal Pharmaceuticals, Neet was bought out by American Home Products in 1958, then transferred to the Canadian company Reckitt Benckiser.
Since the new formula owners were Canadian, the formula thereafter was renamed to Veet, (as in vite or quick in French, for products sold in Europe and the company retained the name Neet for the Canadian and US markets until 2002 (now, it’s all Veet).
Veet 3 in 1 Gel Cream is perfect for people who want to remove body hair without using a razor, but have very sensitive skin and do not do well with other depilatory products. If you are the type of person whose skin is sensitive to developing a razor burn from shaving, this is the product for you.
There are several advantages to using a chemical depilatory for hair removal rather than shaving.
Using a razor can produce what is termed as “chicken skin” appearance, resulting from scalped skin around the follicles which has become infected, thus developing into folliculitis.
Veet 3 in 1 will remove armpit and leg hair within 10 minutes (often within 5 minutes) of treatment. It a great choice for people with sensitive skin with its Aloe vera and vitamin E additions.
Veet 3 in 1 works quickly and does not produce skin irritation in most people. Most users report complete issue-free hair removal after just 5 minutes of treatment.
Skin after treatment feels silky smooth and continues to feel this way for about two days afterward. This is due to the skin treatment additives, which are a nice touch that makes for an all-in-one (or 3 in 1) product.
There is not a lot we could find that we did not like about Veet 3 in 1 Gel Cream. It works as advertised, is gentle on the skin, and does its job rather fast (usually in 5 minutes).
Many users complain about the rotten egg smell of the product, but that is simply what you get with thiols. Recall that the main active ingredient is potassium thioglycolate, potassium salt of thioglycolic acid.
We did find some reports of people who developed a mild rash along the bikini line or that the results produced patchy patterns of hair removal. For a homogeneous product to produce patchy results when users claim that they applied the product evenly suggests they had soap or detergent residues on their skin that neutralized the gel.
Bar soaps can run the range from a pH of 6 to 10, depending on the brand and formulation. Any soap residue left on the skin from a brand more in the neutral to the acid range (below pH 7.4, biological neutral) would result in squelching the chemical reaction in Veet gel.
Also, some users report that it does not remove underarm hair. If these users have a layer of deodorant in their axial area, the acidic deodorant/antiperspirant (pH 5.5-6.5) will neutralize the depilatory reaction, which runs at a pH of 12. That will result in no depilatory reaction, which may be the reason for these reports.
Veet 3 in 1 comes in a package with a 400 ml (13.5 oz) bottle with a pump dispenser and a plastic spatula with a rubber lip. The bottle is a hot pink with a white pump dispenser and the spatula basically matches (white spatula with a hot pink rubber lip).
Instructions are provided on the reverse side of the Veet bottle and are very straightforward. All of it simple, iconographic, and pictorial with a little text.
On the bottle, it states that Veet acts as a depilatory for any type of hair and that the method of removal reduces problems with ingrown hair experienced with shaving. It highlights the vitamin E and Aloe vera additions to the cream.
Since Veet is applied to your skin and skin is sensitive and can absorb things both good and bad, we will review the functions of the various product ingredients. Many people are concerned about additives in skin products (and other products, in general) and mostly have no idea what each thing does.
With all the confusing names, it’s easy to feel in the dark about what is going on your skin and whether it is considered safe today, but not tomorrow. Below, we will list out all the ingredients, which are safe and FDA-approved, and what each of them does for you.
Those ingredients are (in order of concentration): Water, urea, mineral oil, cetearyl alcohol, potassium thioglycolate, calcium hydroxide, talc, ceteareth-20, glycerin, sorbitol, fragrance, magnesium trisilicate, propylene glycol, lithium magnesium sodium silicate, sodium gluconate, tocopheryl acetate, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, acrylates copolymer, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, titanium dioxide.
Urea works in concert with potassium thioglycolate to maintain the chemical changes in the hair shaft keratin after the breaking reaction. The active depilatory ingredient, potassium thioglycolate, liberates thioglycolic acid in reaction, which attacks cystines (“sulfur bridges”) in the keratin polymer.
Cystines (cysteine-cysteine dimers) are chemical crosslinks in protein that help to stabilize its three-dimensional structure and breaking them causes instability and protein-polymer shearing. This is a process called denaturation, which is the same process that occurs when you cook an egg white and it turns white.
The egg white protein (mostly albumin) begins to break down from the cooking heat first by a loss of sulfur bridges, thus unraveling the protein structure and changing its refractive index from appearing clear to white and opaque. In like fashion, the thioglycolic acid breaks those bridges and denatures the keratin protein polymer.
The products of the reaction are dithiodiglycolic acid and reduced cysteines in the keratin polymer. Occasionally, these reduced cysteines can re-react and form new sulfur-sulfur bridges, therefore undoing the chemical reaction.
Urea ensures this does not occur by forming bonds with the free cysteines, thus ensuring that the protein remains completely structurally destabilized. Protein destabilization will then ensure polymer shearing and breakage of the hair shaft.
Mineral oil is a petroleum product that is commonly used in cosmetics to produce a smooth, flowable substance for easy application. The grade of mineral oil is a fine, noncomedogenic grade.
Cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20 are a mix of C-16 (cetyl) and C-18 (stearyl) alcohols, referred to commercially as fatty alcohols due to their long carbon chains and similarity to fatty acids. They are mainly used as emulsifiers, emollients, and skin penetration enhancers.
Calcium hydroxide and magnesium trisilicate are part of the pH buffering system that maintains a product pH of 12. Sodium gluconate is a chelating agent (binds metals) that assists the buffer system.
Talc is a clay-based mineral that is mostly magnesium silicate hydroxide. It is primarily used as a lubricant and thickening agent. Additional thickening agents in the product are acrylates copolymer, an acrylamide gel, and sorbitol (see below).
Thickeners, emollients, and humectants: Glycerin, or glycerol, is included as an emollient for moisturizing skin and as a humectant to keep the product moist. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol made from reduced glucose and used as a thickener and humectant.
Propylene glycol is a short carbon chain alcohol used as a hygroscopic and humectant and carrier base.
Lithium magnesium sodium silicate is a temporary skin tightener that produces a thin coating on the skin.
Tocopheryl acetate is a derivative of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and acts as an antioxidant to protect the skin in general and during the depilatory chemical reaction.
Aloe barbadensis leaf juice is an Aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis is a botanical synonym term that is no longer used, except in the cosmetics industry).
Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoates are preservative agents to prevent fungal and bacterial growth in the product. Titanium dioxide has anti-oxidant properties and also acts as a whitening pigment.
How to use
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Veet 3 in 1 Gel Cream is a great choice for people who want a chemical depilatory but have very sensitive skin. The main ingredients, thioglycolate, vitamin E, and Aloe vera are an effective combination of skin treatment that does not require additional moisturizers after use.
The pump action bottle is also a nice touch for convenience and for dispensing a measured amount of gel. This is an ideal depilatory to achieve smooth skin.
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The very first commercial epilator (the Epilady) was invented in 1986 by Mepro, a corporation based in Kibbutz Hagoshrim, Israel, and was designed around a rotating, counter-compressed spring. A rotating spring would be compressed on one side, grabbing hair, and decompressed on the other side, releasing plucked hair.
This effect would cycle back and forth, covering the treatment area and removing the hair. After its introduction to the public, sales of the Epilady skyrocketed and many other epilator manufacturers entered the market.
In a sense, an epilator is simply the mechanical version of waxing, which uses a hot wax that solidifies, and as it is removed it plucks out the hairs. Most epilators come with a head with multiple tines and either use springs, rotating discs, or mechanical tweezers.
Epilators are often used as part of a broader hair removal “strategy”, as we like to call it since all the various means of hair removal do not work well just on their own. Combining any chemical or light-based hair removal method with epilation tends to yield complete and favorable results.
The Epi-Smooth epilator by Epi-Smooth is more of a traditional hair removal device that mechanically removes body hair. Epilators have multiple springs or teeth that grasp the hair and pluck it from the skin.
Whereas most epilators have ahead with 20 or 30 tines, the Epi-Smooth has only one and does its job a bit slower (and less painfully) than most machines. However, the Epi-Smooth is incredibly inexpensive (in this review, we are forbidden from quoting prices, but trust us, it’s really cheap -like, barely in the double digits, but we didn’t say that), so it is a fair trade-off.
If you want to do in-home permanent hair removal and have thought about using an epilator, the Epi-Smooth is an entry-level device that will allow you to incorporate mechanical hair removal into your regimen without destroying your budget.
The Epi-Smooth is an extremely affordable epilator with a small epilation head that works great in small areas and can also be used over large skin areas. In this pricing segment, there simply are no other epilators, and it is so economical that the Epi-Smooth can be afforded by almost anyone.
Epilation devices are used for permanent hair removal and are also a great adjunct to chemical depilatories and IPL devices. The Epi-Smooth is a useful tool for removing facial hair in places where IPL devices just cannot go and where you might feel uncomfortable playing around with chemicals.
You can basically think of the Epi-Smooth as an electric tweezer. Whatever you would normally try to do with a tweezer, you can use the Epi-Smooth in its place for better and faster results.
The rotating head spins the tweezing device across the hair, closes and grasps it, then rotates away, plucking the hair. On the away side, the tweezing device opens and drops the hair into the clear shield, which is then free to fall away from the device.
It’s as simple as that.
It is recommended that you shower first and that your skin is clean. A warm shower will increase blood flow to the skin and also cause hairs to stand more erect.
If you have hairs in any area you wish to epilate that are longer than 10 mm, you should shave first. Be certain that any area you wish to treat does not have razor burn or additional injury could occur during epilation.
Before you begin, the skin should be patted dry with a soft towel. A little experimentation before you start doing large areas is recommended to ensure that you do not have a skin reaction.
Just try out a small area on the skin and wait a day to see how it looks. If everything is fine, you are ready to fully epilate.
Next, switch on the device and glide the head over the area you wish to treat. Remember that the device head is a narrow, single tweezer head, so multiple passes over an area may be necessary.
After the first use, the skin may become a little irritated since you are not used to the device. Application of a water-based lotion with lanolin or another emollient after epilating is recommended to reduce skin irritation. Skin irritation will diminish with time as the skin becomes accustomed to epilation and you will also notice that hair regrowth will be less and the hairs finer.
After using the Epi-Smooth, remove the shield and use the brush provided to clean the epilating head. Do not wash the Epi-Smooth with water or rinse underwater as it is absolutely not waterproof.
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Despite being a very small epilator, there are many positives for the Epi-Smooth. Besides the great cost factor, the device is also very precise and can work in small, tight areas.
At first glance and noting the price, we thought that there was no way this thing could actually work. If it did work, we expected that it would last for a day or two before it broke.
However, that is not the case. The Epi-Smooth is simple but well built. Working it does take some extra time since it only has a one-tine head, but consider the fact that it costs very little and we feel it all balances out.
Think of it like this. You need to mow your lawn (ha, love this analogy).
You get a push mower that has a 20-inch blade and gets the job done fast, but… that would cost you close to $300. Alternatively, you could get a set of electric shears for $30.
Sure, using those will take you longer to mow the lawn, but it’s also something you can afford. That could be the difference between mowing that lawn and not.
Since the Epi-Smooth is small, we found it ideal for working in delicate areas, such as sideburns, eyebrows, and hairline. Another interesting aspect of the Epi-Smooth, and one quite unexpected, is that epilation is nearly painless.
Allow us to repeat that in case you skipped over it: plucking hair out of your skin with Epi-Smooth hardly hurts at all. Maybe it’s the design of the head, maybe it’s the fact that it only has one tweezer, we don’t know.
It’s just almost painless to use it. Cleaning it up is also not a big deal, about as involved as cleaning up an electric razor.
Oh yeah, we also like the fact that it is battery-operated. Whether you choose to use this in your bathroom at home or choose to throw it in your luggage for travel, battery portability is a great plus.
The fact that the Epi-Smooth has only one tweezer on the head is a negative for us. It works well, but epilating takes a lot of time.
If they just doubled or tripled the tweezers, which is still far, far fewer than most epilators like by a factor of 10, that would increase its efficiency tremendously. It probably would not increase its cost to make much either.
It would also be nice if there was a speed option on the device, since it only has one speed. Also, many other epilators come with various attachments and accessories.
Typical accessories are different-sized shielding covers with different-shaped or -sized windows, but those are mainly to present or occlude some of the epilating tines. In the case of the Epi-Smooth, there is only one so we guess that is a moot point.
The Epi-Smooth is about the size of your typical electric razor and runs on two AAA batteries. It comes in two colors: blue and light purple.
The housing is entirely plastic but is not waterproof. Most of the body is white plastic with a mid-line hourglass rubber strip and a central sliding on-off switch.
The reverse side is the color-theme plastic (purple or blue) and features a battery cover to access the battery bay. The head is covered with a clear plastic, color-themed shield with a rounded cloverleaf window (the four-leaf kind, for luck, we guess).
In the center of the head within the window is a single rotating barrel with a tweezing device.
For what you get, we really like the Epi-Smooth. It does work, it is easy to use, and is completely portable and battery-operated.
For removing hair in delicate areas where everything is close-in, like the face, a small device like the Epi-Smooth is really perfect for that kind of work. Using larger epilator devices in those areas increases the chance (ghast!) of a mishap, leaving you to paint on your eyebrows for a month or so.
We feel that the Epi-Smooth is a must-have for epilation, even if just purchased for travel. It is small and effective and an excellent choice for precision work.
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Removing the hair from your upper lip is a common thing that many people do to improve their appearance. Let’s face it, you look better with a smooth upper lip, but performing this procedure on a regular basis can be annoying.
It can also be uncomfortable, depending on the means you use to get the job done. Regarding the approach you take to accomplishing this, there are several popular methods, and choosing one is a matter of convenience and personal preference.
These methods include the use of chemical creams, electric trimmers and epilators, threading, waxing, sugaring, and light energy treatments.
We will detail for you a basic method that can be done at home. This method will yield good results with a minimum amount of discomfort and employs several different techniques to give you the results you seek.
Here is the step-by-step how-to approach that you can do regularly to get that smooth upper lip in a cost-effective, relatively pain-free manner. We will also talk a bit about other, more exotic methods that give great results but cost a bit more to perform.
These instructions are for your basic hair removal cream intended for use on the face (do not use removal creams intended for other body areas on your face). Treatment times can vary by product, so be sure to follow the package directions. The example product we used is the Nair Hair Remover Precision Kit for Face and Upper Lip. The Nair product includes Moroccan argan oil in the formulation to soothe the skin during treatment.
1.The upper lip should be cleaned and free of soap residue and makeup. Wash your face with a mild soap, rinse away the soap and makeup with warm water, and gently pat dry.
2. Before going full tilt on your upper lip, you should do a skin test on a less sensitive area such as your cheek. Apply the product as follows to a small area (like a square centimeter) and wait 24 hours to make sure you do not have any negative skin reactions like excessive redness or swelling.
3, Apply the product with the included applicator. These are usually either plastic or a silicone-coated plastic stick with a chisel-like tip.
Spread an even, thick coat of the cream across your lip making sure to keep the product off of your lips and out of your mouth. Do not rub it in; it will work just fine without that.
Yes, it will smell because the product contains thiols that react and break down the hair shaft.
4. After about 5 minutes, gently wipe away a small area (such as at the corners of your mouth) with a soft cloth or cotton ball to ensure that the product has finished working. If the hair removal is incomplete, wait for another 2 to 3 minutes and check again the same way.
5. Do not let the product sit on your skin for more than 10 minutes, otherwise, you can get a rather unpleasant burn.
6. Gently wipe away the cream by swiping away from the center of your face a little at a time, gradually working your way to the middle under your nose. Just wipe, don’t rub.
7. With lukewarm water and no soap, thoroughly wash the treated area. Use lots of water and be careful not to get any in your mouth, your nose, or (dear God!) in your eyes.
8. Pat the treated area dry with a soft cloth. Again, as before, do not rub. Just pat.
9. You should see that all your upper lip hair has washed away with the cream. This chemical treatment removes the hair but also removes the acid mantle of the skin since the chemical reactants are alkaline (like bleach).
10. This is a protective acidic film that coats your skin and is made from sebum (oil) and sweat. Its pH is anywhere from 4.5-6.2 and is protective and antibacterial. Since the wash and treatment, that layer is now gone, so applying a moisturizing cream that is pH-balanced will help to restore your skin pH and reduce redness and irritation following the treatment.
There are many moisturizers that will work for this purpose, just be sure to choose one that is marketed as a low-pH moisturizer. We like low-pH moisturizer products by Aveeno and Cetaphil since they are commonly available and work really great, but that the market is full of similar products so choose something that works for you. Just be sure that the bottle says it is low-pH (in the range of your skin’s acid mantle).
Most low-pH balanced creams run around a pH of 4.7 up to a more neutral 6.4.
Treatment with a chemical cream can be done somewhat frequently, but should not be used any sooner than 72 hours since the last treatment. If you find that there are a few spots that the cream missed, you can follow up with a fresh blade razor, an electric razor/trimmer with relatively new blades, or an epilator if you wish.
However, you should wait about 24 hours before doing any follow-ups to give your skin some time to rest.
Now, let’s talk about more traditional and exotic methods.
Threading is an age-old, low-tech approach to hair removal. It is similar to tweezing since it is a hair plucking method.
This technique is favored by many people worldwide since, until the last 50 years or so, cosmetic tweezers were not necessarily available everywhere in the world. Threading consists of using a dampened thread to wind around the base of the hair shaft a few times, then pluck it out.
This hurts, like tweezing, but the results tend to last longer than chemical creams since the roots of the hairs are removed. If you don’t like tweezing or threading, battery-powered epilators will do the same thing since an epilator is basically a motorized tweezer.
For the more exotic approaches, the market is now awash with IPL (intense pulsed light) devices that use wavelengths of light to heat and stunt the development of hair follicles. This can be an excellent solution for your upper lip, but these devices will set you back a bit.
Be sure to purchase devices that are specifically for facial use, otherwise they may be too bulky for your purposes.
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Lip waxing, sugaring, and laser treatments are more advanced and, in many ways, more effective means of upper lip hair removal. The drawback of these techniques is cost since they can only be performed safely by trained beauticians in a salon.
It may be obvious how waxing works, but this is best performed by a professional since a few mistakes can leave you with scars. Sugaring is soft of a new fad in hair removal and uses a sugar-based exfoliant to remove hair and dead skin cells, but is also exclusively done in salons.
The final exotic technology is laser hair treatment, which is not IPL but actual lasers. That being said, the devices are expensive and only salons and dermatology clinics buy them, so there is also a cost associated with laser treatments.
They do, however, produce longer-lasting results than the other methods.
The bottom line in upper lip hair removal (lol) is that passable results can be obtained by most methods if performed correctly. There are differences in the longevity of the effect and those differences match up well with costs. Long-term, higher cost, short-term, lower cost.
Which one you pick is up to you and your budget.
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Hair removal usually involves shaving and risking cuts and scrapes or the use of smelly chemical creams that can cause burns if you are not careful to follow the directions. These do not have to be your only options, however, since there are homemade methods that are also effective.
They take some preparation and a bit more work to remove unwanted body hair, but they do work and are made of non-toxic ingredients. Now, we do realize that there are a lot of nonsense cure-alls out there, all sorts of click-bait “weird little trick” links that tell you to put onion slices on your bunions or fried eggs on your eyes to treat bags.
Despite the weirdness, these solutions we list below are simply homemade variants of waxing-like techniques and a popular salon trend in hair removal: sugaring. The results you obtain with sugaring or pastes are similar to what you get with hot wax, but with a notable advantage.
Sugar solutions are not molten, like wax, but will at most be warmed to make them pliable, which means that you cannot accidentally burn yourself while doing a sugaring. Pastes we list here are room-temperature treatments as well.
Considering most of us are not well possessed of salon skills, this whole not getting burned part should be quite appealing. The three recipes below are variants of sugaring solutions, one of which is certainly sure to work for you.
This basic sugaring mix recipe looks like nothing, but it is the same stuff they use in the salon. Whereas it is easier to have someone with experience apply the mix to you and do all the hair removal work, with a bit of practice you can achieve similar results to a salon visit.
Combine the following ingredients:
Bring the mixture gently to a boil, ensuring it does not burn.
Decant to an airtight container (we recommend a canning jar by Bell or another manufacturer) and allow it to cool completely.
To use: Skin should be clean and dry before you begin. Many beauticians recommend wiping the area with witch hazel and a cotton ball to clean the skin, then following up with baby powder and a soft cloth.
Wearing gloves (dish gloves or disposable examination gloves) pinch a ball of sugaring mix by hand. If the mix is too stiff because the air temperature is cold, warm the mix in the jar gently in a water bath.
This is the same thing you do in canning, so you can purchase a home canning kit with a boiling pot and a rack. Apply the mix by spreading in the opposite direction of hair growth, then remove with the grain by wiping or abruptly wiping the gel off of the skin in the direction of growth.
That is because the hair shaft is caught in the sugar gel and pulled from the follicle, so you need to work in the proper direction.
This egg white mix is actually more similar to waxing than sugaring, particularly regarding the technique used at the end for removing the paste and hair. The advantage to this mixture and others on this list is that they are applied at room temperature.
No hot wax that can scar you if left on too long, no mishaps with hot wax getting on more sensitive areas that you wish to avoid (such as your lips, eyelids, and inner parts of your vulva).
Combine the following ingredients:
Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl until they form a smooth paste.
To use: Apply the mixture to the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth and allow it to completely dry. When dry, peel the hardened paste off quickly and abruptly, peeling in the opposite direction of hair growth (note that this differs from standard sugaring and is more similar to waxing).
This treatment for hair removal is an old Ayurvedic technique. Sometimes you will see variants of this mix that include turmeric (like ours, below this recipe).
Combine the following ingredients:
Soak the lentils overnight in cold water until they are soft. Drain the water from the lentils and do not rinse them. Mash the lentils with a utensil (like a fork or a spoon).
Alternatively, you can blend them into a slurry in a food processor or a strong blender. Crush the chunks of potato and wring them in either cheesecloth or flour cloth to extract the juice.
You can also use a juicer for this step, if you have one. Combine the potato juice with the lentil paste.
Add in the lemon juice and honey and mix well until a smooth paste is formed.
To use: Apply the paste in the opposite direction of hair growth. Wait for the paste to dry completely, then remove by rubbing in the opposite direction of hair growth.
The hair will come off with the dried paste as you remove it.
This is another Ayurvedic recipe for hair removal that uses turmeric and flour to form a paste.
Combine the following ingredients:
In a mixing bowl, place the flour and sift lightly with a fork. Then, add in the turmeric and stir into the mixture a few drops of cream or milk.
Work the mixture until it forms a smooth and thick paste; you can add milk or cream if the mixture is still too dry.
To use: Spread a thin layer of the paste in the direction of hair growth (note, this is different from the other recipes here). Let the paste dry completely, then wipe away the dried paste with a washcloth by rubbing in the opposite direction of hair growth.
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If you are a man and the thought of grooming your eyebrows sounds like something a sissy would do, we completely understand. However, do you have a mustache or beard, or at least have a friend with either of those?
Beards and mustaches are certainly masculine facial features, but nobody just lets those go wherever they want without some trimming and sculpting. Otherwise, you would simply look like you just crawled out of a cave.
Trimming your eyebrows is really no different. When you were a young man, it is likely that you did not need to consider doing this at all and the mere suggestion of it would have sounded pretty weird.
However, the older you get, the more and more bushy your eyebrows tend to get. Of all the features of a man’s face, the eyebrows are usually the easiest indication of his age.
Keeping them properly groomed not only improves your overall appearance but can also impart a youthful look to the face. So, who doesn’t want to look younger (except those who are already young)?
Well, let’s jump right in and get down to it then. Here are our recommendations for how to go about it.
Whereas the ladies sculpt and shape their eyebrows, men tend to look more masculine with a natural look. However, this all has to do with your personal preference (if you are a metrosexual, then we guess that eyebrow sculpting is for you).
To keep your eyebrows looking masculine, be very conservative in removing hair. To do this, we do not recommend tweezing unless there are obvious strays that are outside of the natural borders of your eyebrows.
If you really do not want to do this yourself and have the funds, consult with a professional men’s stylist who also does threading or waxing of eyebrows. They will be able to determine your facial shape and pick a style of eyebrow grooming that accentuates your best features.
If you want to do your own grooming, we strongly recommend trimming as a strategy. Trimming is far more forgiving than plucking your eyebrows since cutting the hair back will allow it to regrow faster if you get a little overzealous and make a mistake (ahem, yeah, this can happen to you).
Use beard trimming scissors that are slightly recurved (cupped) to do any eyebrow work and also get a spoolie brush or a mustache brush. Spoolie brushes are basically mascara brushes, so if you feel a bit weird using one, a fine-bristle mustache brush works great.
1.Shower. The first thing you want to do is take a shower and wash your face thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Besides working with clean hair, the heat from the shower will open your pores and make it easier to pluck hairs or easier to trim them.
2. Comb and trim. Using your mustache brush, first, comb the hair in the direction it grows (away from the center of your brow), then comb upward until all the hairs are pointing in the same upward direction.
With your beard scissors (make sure you clean them well first with warm soapy water, isopropyl alcohol, or witch hazel, then dry them with a tissue or soft cloth), trim any hairs that are noticeably longer than the others. We like to call these the “crazies”.
If your eyebrows are extra bushy, you can use an electric trimmer like a beard trimmer, to shape them. However, be extra careful since one slip-up will require you to begin penciling-in your eyebrows until they grow back.
Since penciled eyebrows on any man other than someone wearing stage makeup looks decidedly unmasculine, it’s simply better to use scissors and trim. It’s the haircut approach: you can always take off more later if you want.
3. Tweeze any strays. Stray hairs that are above the natural limits of your eyebrows or are way off to the side or perhaps at the top of your eyelid should be plucked out with tweezers. They simply don’t belong there.
To tweeze hair properly, use a good set of new, non-dented, or warped tweezers that are clean. If you are in doubt, clean them the same way that you did the scissors to prevent any accidental infections during a pluck.
Using the tweezers, grasp the hair at the base, next to the skin, firmly and pull the hair in the direction that it grows. Never pull in the opposite direction or the hair could shear off, become ingrown, and infected.
Infected hair follicles in your face hurt and can produce more swelling there than other areas of your skin. Plus, it’s your face and you can’t cover up your face.
4. Stay natural. Stay with the natural shape of your eyebrows and don’t sculpt your eyebrows as women do. If you decide that you do want sculpted eyebrows, this is where we recommend that you consult with a men’s grooming professional and have them do it for you.
They will typically choose a look that best fits your facial features and the shape of your face so that you get the best look you can achieve.
See Related Topic: Eyebrow Shaping and Grooming Guide for Women
What about grey hairs?
Leave them in, at least some. They can look very distinctive.
If you are concerned about greyness, buy a brow gel set for men.
Besides conditioning wiry eyebrow hairs in older men, many sets have subtle coloring agents to take care of those grey hairs.
Use the mattifying gel after a professional grooming
If you just had your eyebrows professionally groomed, particularly if this was done by waxing, this can often leave your skin shiny. To prevent this issue, use a mattifying gel between and around the eyebrows.
These typically come in skincare kits and will denote their use for eyebrow areas. If you cannot find any of these products, you can also use a talcum-based face powder or light, water-based moisturizer as well.
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Hair removal seems like fighting a never-ending battle to achieve your beauty target. It may surprise you that there really is no one-way-for-everything method for hair removal.
Different methods are better for different body areas. Here, we will review our recommendations for how-to’s on all your little bits.
For those of you that aspire to tame those eyebrows by waxing, do not try this yourself unless you want to risk accidental eyelid burns, overzealous hair removal, and intend to start drawing on your eyebrows.
Seriously, go to a salon for the wax. Eyebrow grooming is best done by tweezing or threading.
Get a white cosmetics pencil and hold it straight up to the side of your nose, then make a mark where the pencil crosses the eyebrow. Next, tilt the pencil from your nose across the outer edge of your eye and mark the eyebrow at that point, too.
Once again, hold the pencil to your nose and tilt it so that it passes just by the outer edge of your iris. Mark that point with an upside-down V at the top of your brow.
These are your guidelines for left and right extremes (pluck anything outside of those lines) and try to taper the upper part of your eyebrow so that the V is the highest point of the eyebrow arch.
For upper lip care, your choices are long-term (laser!) or short-term (wax). If you want a great look that lasts about a year or more hair-free, then a salon laser treatment is the way to go.
However, these treatments use specialized equipment and are expensive. A more affordable alternative is home-use IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) machines that can be purchased online or in larger beauty supply stores.
A short-term but effective and affordable way to go is waxing. Just make sure to choose a low-temperature wax kit that is specifically designed to be used on the face.
When waxing, apply the warm wax in the direction of hair growth (for example, down and away from your nose) but pull the wax off in the opposite direction for best results.
Here, your options are shaving, waxing, or lasers. As above, laser treatment is really, really effective, but really, really expensive. Use of an IPL machine, particularly one with galvanic plates, can achieve nearly the same results and give you a longer-term hair-free solution.
For shaving, lather the area thoroughly with gentle shaving cream or soap and shave upward, then downward, then across the armpit to catch hairs from all directions. Never use a razor more than three times (twice only is best), since a dull blade is more likely to cut.
Waxing gives better results than shaving and hair should be waxed on unshaved armpits. There needs to be some length for the wax to get a good grip.
Waxing is a solution that you can do once a week to keep your armpits clean. When selecting a product, get a stripless wax that can shrink around and properly grab hairs.
When waxing this area, work in small sections and from different directions.
For your forearms, your best options are waxing and laser treatment. Many women shave their forearms, but this is really not recommended and leaves uncomfortable stubble.
Laser treatments typically can be adjusted to either completely remove hair from your forearms or to simply reduce the density of hair on your arms. Treatment sessions to achieve this are typically one to three visits to the salon but cost several hundred dollars apiece.
As stated above, an effective, non-chemical approach is by using an IPL machine. This is somewhat of an investment, but most machines have a respectable use life before bulb replacement and can work for you for several years.
Waxing is an effective method that is affordable, produces great results that last a few weeks, and can be performed with a minimum of discomfort.
Cleaning up your bikini lines is a bit of a touchy proposition for most girls. Basically, any method will work, but some produce better results whereas others are more non-fuss.
This is one area where we do not recommend laser removal, for several reasons. The first reason is the fluctuating nature of bush fashion.
Going Brazilian is still an in thing, but the fashion trend is beginning to swing back towards a natural, trimmed look. So, laser removal, although not permanent, will produce long-term results that you cannot easily reverse.
The second is the cost. You can drop thousands of dollars on bikini area laser treatments and still need to wax anyway, so why bother?
Although shaving works well, with the risk of cuts we strongly recommend waxing. It’s not as bad as you think it is and can produce really great results.
Before you start, take a few anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen or acetaminophen) and not a glass of wine or a few shots. The alcohol will actually make you more sensitive to pain, despite all the old west cowboy dentist references in the movies.
Let your hair grow out to about a quarter-inch for fine hair and a half inch for coarse hair. Sit in front of a mirror so you can see, then put one foot on your opposite knee.
Spread the wax in the direction of hair growth in small sections, like 1×3 inches. Small sections will be easier and less painful to strip off.
Plaster a strip of muslin cloth over the wax so that it embeds in the fabric, pull it tight, then give a good yank in the opposite direction of hair growth. When you finish waxing, be sure to use a soothing moisturizing lotion with aloe or apply some hydrocortisone cream if a rash develops.
Read Related Topic: Homemade Hair Removal Creams – A Guide
Removing hair from your legs can be done by any method, though we do not recommend laser treatments since the area is so large and leg hairs are usually so stout that you would break the bank in the process. If you want to try a method that does not involve the usual suspects (shaving, waxing, depilatory creams), then try an IPL device that is a larger model and covers more skin surface area.
Most women simply shave their legs (about 70% of them), but be sure to use a fresh razor every other time and preferably one with multiple blades. Some women find that they can squeeze up to 4 or 5 uses out of a razor, but many of us know that after the first couple of goes, you get diminishing returns.
If you are going to shave, just make the investment and buy some good, multi-blade disposable razors, use them twice or so and toss them. Follow-up with an aloe vera lotion to make your skin happy.
If you aspire to wax your legs, know that the pain factor is rather high since your leg hairs are usually some of the heaviest on your body. However, you cannot argue with the excellent results of a good leg wax.
Just wax down the hairs in small sections (1×3 inches) and strip off in the opposite direction. Just make sure to grow out your leg hair a bit before a wax (like ¼ to ½ inch) since this is a longer-term solution and you will not have to repeat it for weeks.
Chemical depilatory creams are very effective, but smell and can be messy. Many women prefer their use to the pain of waxing and they can be a relatively pain-free approach to hair removal.
Just make sure to follow the directions, do a test patch on your skin before going full Monty on your legs, and stick to the application time limits. This latter point is very important if you want to avoid a chemical burn.
See Related Topic: Best Hair Removal Sprays and Lotions
When working to reveal your inner beauty, it often helps to refine your outer beauty as well. In this article, we will outline our tips for keeping yourself looking great and feeling sexy.
Use a natural fiber dry body brush (with horsehair fibers) to exfoliate your skin before you shave or bathe. Exfoliating this way feels great on your skin (most body brushes have nylon nubs to prevent you from bearing down too hard) and boosts your circulation.
Doing this before you shave will make the razor glide over your legs more smoothly and will stimulate your skin so that hairs will tend to be more erect. All in all, that makes your shaving experience easier and you can use these brushes all over your body: legs, arms, tummy, back, and shoulders).
Besides dry brushing your skin, you can also do something similar to your lips by using a tongue brush, a tongue cleaner (like the one on the backside of most toothbrushes), sugar scrubs, or by wiping with a warm washcloth while in the shower.
To keep your legs smooth, you can shave them in a warm shower. Lather up with soap or body wash and use a fresh multi-blade razor or one that has only been used one or two other times and shave in the opposite direction of hair growth.
Alternatively, you can use spray-on or wipe-on depilatory creams and lotions, or do a hot wax on your legs.
Regular washing of your hair with shampoo does not always get it as clean as you would think. Residues from hair care products, mineral deposits, and body oils can build up on your hair and leave it looking greasy or stringy despite a good wash.
Use cleansing shampoos, which can remove build-up from the hair shaft, to get your hair really clean. Then, apply a leave-in conditioner while the hair is wet to restore some of the suppleness.
Read Related Article: Best Hair Removal Sprays and Lotions
Witch hazel is a fabulous astringent for cleaning the skin of leftover loose dead skin cells and soap residue from the shower. You can even use it on your legs before shaving to reduce the chance of scalping (razor bumps).
This extract is also very useful for thoroughly cleaning and sterilizing areas where you sweat a lot, like skin folds and under your breasts. If you have any piercings, use witch hazel on the piercing holes to kill bacteria and prevent infections.
When you bathe or wash your skin, the acid mantle (a combo of sweat and oils) of your skin is removed. Sure, it is good to exfoliate and clean yourself, but without the acid mantle, your skin can become dry and scaly.
It is always best after showering to replenish your skin with a water-based moisturizing lotion that is pH balanced for your skin. That means one with an acid pH of anywhere between 4.5 and about 6.0.
Most moisturizing lotions will state their pH clearly on the packaging or bottle. Don’t be shy about lathering it on, since in this case more is better.
If you did not already wash behind your ears in the shower, a wipe down with witch hazel is a great way to touch up. Also, you can use a wet washcloth to clean your ear canal or make use of an ear douche or Q-tip (we know they tell you not to use these in your ear, but everybody does it).
Since people will spend most of their personal contact time with you looking at your face, taking care of those dark circles under your eyes is a must. Just apply some appropriate foundation under your eyes that matches your skin color.
Also, get some sleep, like 8-9 hours’ worth. Seriously, if you want to really look good, regular and consistent sleep does wonders.
Shoot for 9 hours since you will not fall asleep right away and may awaken briefly in the night. That way, you guarantee two full sleep cycles (which run about 3.5-4 hours each).
Hint: If it’s been a long time since you can remember having a dream, you’re not getting enough sleep.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with whitening toothpaste using a soft toothbrush. Don’t be tempted to get a medium or hard toothbrush; those will do nothing but scuff up your gums and wear down your tooth enamel.
Brush in gentle, circular motions and up and down on your front teeth. Be sure to floss afterward.
Flossing not only cleans between your teeth but helps to define them so that your smile actually looks whiter.
Tame those things! Properly sculpted eyebrows help to define your eyes and present an overall impression of cleanliness and good grooming.
For removing excess eyebrow hair, try tweezing or threading. Use a razor with caution and if you do, only use a single blade razor.
To define the areas that need to be removed, use a white makeup pencil and mark the inner (line up with your outer nostril) and outer (angle the pencil from your nostril to the edge of your eye) edges.
Give yourself a manicure regularly to shape your nails and be certain to clean regularly (daily) under them. This can be done most easily in the shower with a soft nail brush.
Moisturize your cuticles with a skin lotion or a cuticle conditioner and push them back so that the lunula of your nail can be seen (basically, push them back to the skin). If you intend to use nail polish, go easy on the color, or use a neutral color.
Use mascara to make your eyes pop!
No glaring colors here, just basic tones.
Hey, Missing Persons, it ain’t the 1980s. No electric blue or green eyeshadow.
Use natural, warm tones.
No need to gas out your friends and colleagues here. Pick a pleasant scent that you like, that makes you feel pretty, and apply sparingly.
Remember, this is only meant to be smelled by someone who comes in very close, not from across the room!