If you don't want to remove your facial hair permanently, your best
bet might be to visit a dermatologist for a depilatory cream, or use
one of the over-the counter remedies designed specifically for facial
hair. These substances will remove the hair for about 2 weeks, but you
will need to be careful in case your sensitive facial skin develops a
From "Removal of Unwanted Facial Hair," by DONALD W. SHENENBERGER,
LCDR, MC, USNR, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia
"Depilation is the use of a chemical that dissolves the hair shaft,
with results lasting up to two weeks. Composed of thioglycolates and
mercaptans, and mixed with an alkali compound (calcium hydroxide or
sodium hydroxide), depilatories do not affect the hair bulb.5,14 The
thioglycolates disrupt disulfide bonds between the cystine molecules
found in hair, helping to dissolve the hair shaft. The addition of an
alkali compound increases the pH level and can improve the efficacy of
the depilatory. Side effects include chemical dermatitis and,
occasionally, allergic dermatitis from the sulfur-containing
thioglycolates or fragrance added to the compound. The thioglycolates
produce hydrogen disulfide gas, a particularly evaluated for
overproduction of testosterone and other androgens."
From "Nonlaser Hair Removal Techniques."
"Chemical depilatories remove part of the hair shaft and are easy and
painless to use. The standard chemical depilatory agents, available in
gels, creams, lotions, aerosols, or roll-on forms, are the salts of
thioglycolic acid (sodium or calcium thioglycolate) that were patented
in the 1930s for removing the hair from cattle hides. Thioglycolate
depilatories work by hydrolyzing and disrupting disulfide bonds of
hair keratin, causing the hair to break in half and allowing the hair
to separate from the skin. Depilatories are good for use on the legs,
bikini line, face, and underarms, and they perform best when hair is
at a reasonable length. Before using a depilatory, carefully read the
manufacturer's instructions. Test a small site before use to assess
for irritation or allergic reactions. Do not use these agents on
eyebrows, near mucous membranes, or on broken skin.
Adverse effects include skin irritation, burns, folliculitis, ingrown
hairs, and allergic contact dermatitis to either thioglycolate or
"In general terms, depilation tends to be a cheap method of removing
hair temporarily but is one that needs to be done regularly to achieve
hair removal since the hair tends to grow back quickly. If you choose
to use chemical depilatory creams or lotions, you might find the smell
of some products overpowering and may find that they irritate your
skin. You also have to be careful when applying chemical depilatories
to ensure you only remove hair that is meant to be removed!"
If you want to try an over-the-counter depilatory, be extremely
careful. They can really burn your skin. That's why I recommend
visiting a dermatologist who can provide you with the least irritating
substance for your particular facial skin.
From "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow," by Marian Segal
"Depilatories act like a chemical razor blade," Bailey says.
Available in gel, cream, lotion, aerosol, and roll-on forms, they
contain a highly alkaline chemical--usually calcium
thioglycolate--that dissolves the protein structure of the hair,
causing it to separate easily from the skin surface. "It's very
important to carefully follow the use directions for depilatories and
to do a preliminary skin test both for allergic reaction and
sensitivity," Bailey says. "Hair and skin are similar in composition,"
he explains, "so chemicals that destroy the hair can also cause
serious skin irritations--possibly even chemical burns--if left on too
"The concentration of calcium thioglycolate is generally kept as weak
as possible to avoid skin irritation, yet strong enough to work in a
reasonable amount of time," says Stanley R. Milstein, Ph.D., special
assistant to the cosmetics and colors director. "Contact with the skin
is kept to somewhere between 4 and 15 minutes, depending on how fine
or coarse the hair is."
Consumers should be sure to read the product label and select the
formulation appropriate for the intended use, because skin sensitivity
varies on different parts of the body. Some depilatories are for use
only on the legs, for example, while others are safe for more
sensitive areas, such as the bikini line, underarms and face.
Depilatories should not be used for the eyebrows or other areas around
the eyes, or on inflamed or broken skin. To minimize the chance of
skin irritation, they should not be applied more often than
recommended on the product label.
Try a test patch first!
"Depilatories not only irritate sensitive skin. They can also cause
allergic reactions: bumps, pimples and itching. So it's best to test a
patch of skin first. Apply a small amount to your inner arm below your
elbow--a thin-skinned area that's not too noticeable. Cover that spot
with a bandage. Leave the depilatory on the test area for the amount
of time recommended in the instructions. If you're sensitive or
allergic to the depilatory, the patch of skin will be red or broken
out when you remove the bandage. Count down carefully. You should time
the application as closely as a knitter counting stitches. Set the
timer when you apply the depilatory, and remove it as soon as the
timer goes off as It's very easy to burn your skin if you leave it on
Most of the over-the-counter facial depilatories are for women. Don't
be embarassed. Just grab them and give them a try!
Nair Facial Cream
I hope these suggestions help. This is the only non-permanent method
of facial hair removal that seems reasonable. You certainly don't want
to tweeze all your hair out, so why not see if this works!
facial hair removal for men
non-permanent methods of facial hair removal