Shaving or Depilatory Creams: Which is the best hair removal method?

Shaving and depilatory creams are common choices for hair removal, but which is better? This guide explores the pros, cons, and best practices for each method to help you decide.

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To clear the confusion, we will be taking you through all there is to know about shaving vs hair removal cream to help you make an informed choice. From head to toe, we will guide you through the most suitable methods for different body parts while highlighting the unique benefits of shaving and depilatory creams.

What is shaving

Woman shaving her bikini line

Shaving is a traditional and widely practised method of hair removal that offers a quick and efficient way to achieve smooth, hair-free skin. It involves using a razor to remove the hair at the skin's surface, leaving the skin feeling soft and rejuvenated. If you’re shaving for the first time, let's take a look at the process of how to shave:

Prepare the Skin: Before shaving, it's essential to prepare the skin to minimise irritation and ensure a close shave. Start by cleansing the area with warm water and a gentle soap. This softens the hair and skin, making the process smoother.

Lather Up: Apply a generous amount of shaving cream or gel to the area you wish to shave. The shaving cream creates a protective layer that allows the razor to glide smoothly, reducing the risk of nicks and cuts.

Choose the Right Razor: Selecting the appropriate shaving razor is crucial for achieving the best results. There are various options available, including disposable and multi-blade razors. The choice depends on personal preference and the desired level of precision.

Shave with the Grain: To reduce irritation, always shave in the direction of hair growth. This is known as shaving with the grain. Gentle, short strokes are recommended, especially for sensitive areas.

Rinse the Razor: Regularly rinse the razor under warm water to remove hair and shaving cream build-up, ensuring a clean and efficient shave.

Moisturise After Shaving: Once you've completed the shaving process, rinse the area with cold water to close the pores. Then, pat the skin dry with a soft towel and apply a soothing moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated and smooth.

What is depilatory cream?

Woman shaving her leg in a bathroom

Depilatory cream, or hair removal cream, is an alternative method for removing unwanted hair from the skin's surface. These creams often contain chemical agents that break down the protein structure of the hair, making it easy to wipe away. Here's a step-by-step on how to use depilatory cream effectively:

Patch Test: Before using the depilatory cream, test a patch on a small area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergies. This step is essential, especially if you're using the product for the first time.

Cleanse the Area: Clean the area you wish to treat with mild soap and water. Pat and dry it to ensure the skin is free from oils and lotions.

Apply the Cream: Evenly spread a thick layer of the depilatory cream over the targeted area. Make sure the cream covers all the hair you want to remove.

Follow Time Instructions: Each depilatory cream has specific instructions regarding the required application time. It's crucial to follow these guidelines carefully to avoid any skin irritation. Never exceed the recommended time limit.

Remove the Cream: After the given time, use the provided spatula or a damp cloth to gently remove the cream and dissolved hair. Always wipe in the opposite direction of hair growth for effective hair removal.

Rinse and Moisturise: Once the cream and hair are removed, rinse the area thoroughly with lukewarm water. After patting the skin dry, apply a soothing moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated and nourished.

Where to use hair removal cream and razors

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So, is hair removal cream better than shaving? Choosing between hair removal cream and razors depends on the body part you're addressing. Each method carries its own benefits:


Bald headed woman

Hair Removal Cream: Some Depilatory creams are not intended for the scalp due to sensitivity and formula. Use razors to achieve precise, clean results when shaving your head.

Razor: Shaving your head with a razor provides more control and precision, resulting in a close and neat shave.


Young women in white tank top shaving her armpits in the bathroom

Hair Removal Cream: For sensitive underarms, creams gently dissolve hair at the root, offering longer-lasting smoothness with minimal irritation.

Razor: Shaving armpits is quick and familiar. While providing immediate results, proper technique and care are essential to minimising potential irritation.


Woman with applied shaving gel on her legs shaving with Venus razor

Hair Removal Cream: Hair removal creams can work for legs but are best suited for smaller areas. The quick application and wipe-off process makes it a time-efficient option.

Razor: Shaving legs offer instant smoothness with modern multi-blade razors. Though regrowth is quicker, its convenience is preferred by many. To avoid strawberry legs, ensure you have exfoliated in advance.

Tips to Take Care Before and After Hair Removal

Best Practices to Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Whether you opt for shaving or depilatory creams, ensuring proper care before and after hair removal is essential for achieving optimal results and maintaining healthy, smooth skin. These pre-care and post-care tips will help you get the most out of your grooming routine:

Pre-Care Tips

Shaving Stomach with Venus Razor

Before Using Hair Removal Cream or Razor:

  • Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate the area a day before hair removal to remove dead skin cells and ensure a closer shave or effective hair removal.
  • Patch Test: Perform a patch test with the hair removal cream on a small area of the skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergies.
  • Clean Skin: Ensure the area to be treated is clean and free from oils, lotions, or creams to enhance the effectiveness of the hair removal method.

Use Quality Products: Invest in high-quality hair removal shaving gels and razors to minimise the risk of irritation and achieve better results.

Post-Care Tips

Woman applying shave gel

After Using Hair Removal Cream or Razor:

  • Moisturise: Apply a gentle moisturiser to soothe the skin and maintain hydration after hair removal.
  • Loose Clothing: Opt for loose-fitting clothing to prevent friction and irritation on freshly treated skin.
  • Avoid Harsh Products: Steer clear of harsh chemicals or exfoliants on the treated area for at least 24 hours to prevent irritation.


How is shaving better than depilation?

Shaving offers quick, chemical-free hair removal, exfoliates the skin, and provides precise control.

Do depilatory creams cause ingrown hairs?

Depilatory creams can cause ingrown hairs due to blunting hair tips. Regular exfoliation and moisturising can help prevent this.