Do hair removal creams darken skin? It is a very understandable question that needs a serious answer, which is what I am going to provide.
The simple truth it: depilatory creams can darken skin.
However, there’s a big “but” in there and I’m going to tell you all about it.
I believe that depilatory creams that are not the best can darken the skin. If you were to ask me a more specific question like does Veet darken skin, then I would say that the answer is that in general Veet hair removal creams don’t darken skin.
It’s not aesthetically pleasant especially when it happens to your face.
The face, the underarms and the bikini area are sensitive areas that are more likely to incur this darken skin side-effect. Let’s why that happens and what you can do to prevent depilatory creams from darkening the skin.
Top Hair Removal Creams
1. Best for Body: Veet Gel Hair Remover Cream Sensitive Forumla
This is a depilatory cream that will not darken the skin of you follow the instructions as written on the bottle, it’s very good and it has a pretty nice price. Moreover, it’s a sensitive formula that makes is perfect for the bikini line, the underarms, and the rest of the body.
2. Best for Face: Avon Skin so Soft Facial Hair Removal Cream
Nowadays, even facial hair can be removed with depilatory creams without worrying about darkened skin, the trickiest part is figuring out how much time it should be left on the skin, read my review below to find out more about that.
Do Hair Removal Creams Darken Skin? What Causes It?
Depilatory creams can cause darkened skin because their chemicals can affect melanin production.
Melanin determines our skin color. Thus, people with dark skin have more melanin.
Besides hair removal methods, there are a number of factors that can cause discoloration:
- aging spots
I’m not saying that everyone can get darkened skin. Or suffer from discoloration. However, it happens due to very many factors.
But it’s usually not serious and obviously it can be treated.
Getting back to our subject,
Depilatory creams can darken the skin as a reaction to irritation, they have strong chemicals in order to dissolve the hairs at the surface of the skin.
That’s why it happens in sensitive areas. It is also why, when it comes to the bikini area, you should only use hair removal creams on the bikini line. For the rest of the hairs in the intimate area, consider bikini trimming or shaving.
Do depilatory creams darken the skin? Yes, the do, although it doesn’t happen to a lot of people.
Fortunately, it’s not a prevalent side-effect of hair removal creams. They wouldn’t be so popular otherwise.
How to Prevent Darken Skin from Depilatory Creams
- choose a good hair removal cream – nowadays, there are a few very good depilatory creams that protect the skin, while still being able to dissolve the hairs without any problems (Veet has some good ones that also moisturize the skin)
- respect the instructions, follow them precisely – a hair removal cream always needs to be left on the skin for a specific amount of time (up to 8 minutes is pretty much the usual but still read the instructions)
- before using the cream on your whole body, do a patch test, somewhere around your ankles is a good spot – if there’s no adverse reaction after 24 hours, you’re ready to use it
- consider exfoliating a day before using a hair removal cream, a chemical exfoliant like the Tend Skin Solution is affordable, very good, and easy to use
- moisturize immediately after – a nourishing body lotion will strengthen the skin barrier and sooth the skin to prevent irritation
Top 3 Best Hair Removal Creams to Prevent Darken Skin
As I said above, choosing a good depilatory cream is the right step in preventing a hair removal cream from darkening the skin.
Let’s talk about which are the best options and then we’re going to talk about possible solutions to deal with darken skin for those who are already dealing with such troubles.
1. Veet Gel Hair Remover Cream Sensitive Forumla
Does Veet darken skin?
As I’ve already said, my answer to the question does Veet darken skin is pretty much no.
I just chose to recommend the Veet Gel Hair Remover Cream Sensitive Forumlas because it works for all skin types, including sensitive skin since it contains aloe vera and Vitamin E. It’s designed for sensitive skin, which is great.
You should also leave it on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes, never more than 10 minutes. If you apply it on an area with coarse hairs, like the lower legs you can leave it on for 7 minutes for your first experience and see how it goes, if all the hairs are dissolved in that time frame.
It works on all hair types but it can’t be used for facial hair removal. And it’s best to only use it on the bikini line and not the entire intimate area, which is valid for all depilatory creams.
As I said above, it’s best to test it and then use it on the areas that you want hairs removed from.
The quantity is quite large, 13.5 oz, and the price is pretty affordable, which makes it perfect as my first recommendation for the best hair removal cream that can help you prevent darken skin from every being an unfortunate side-effect.
Also, remember to moisturize immediately after. And it would be an excellent idea to wear sunscreen if you’re going to expose your freshly smooth skin to the sun.
Where to Buy?
2. Gigi Hair Removal Lotion
Gigi is famous for their at-home waxing kits but they also have a good and quite affordable hair removal lotion. It’s definitely not as well-known and as famous as the ones produced by Veet.
It’s recommended to not leave the cream on the skin for more than 8 minutes.
It works great at removing all types of hair and some have said that the smell it’s not the worst .
The price is quite cheap, it weighs 8 oz, but I still think Veet is the better choice.
Where to Buy?
3. Avon Skin so Soft Facial Hair Removal Cream, 1 oz
The price is a bit high but it works for peach fuzz as well as coarse hairs.
You should definitely test it before using it on the entire face. Maybe on a small corner of your upper lip if that’s where you want to apply the hair removal cream or on a very small patch of skin on your sideburns.
You are instructed to apply a thick layer and leave it on, don’t rub it in. Don’t rub any depilatory cream in.
Avon recommends not leaving it on for more than 8 minutes but that’s just way too long.
However, if we’re talking about peach fuzz, leave it on for 2 minutes and then rinse off. For coarser hairs, you can go for 3 minutes, it should be enough.
Where to Buy?
A simpler solution that is also painless and very fast would be using a Tinkle Facial Razor.
Skin Lightening Creams
The best way to deal with darken skin is by going to see a dermatologist.
A dermatologist can prescribe skin lightening creams that will contain either of these two ingredients:
- hydroquinone is the most frequently used ingredient in skin lightening creams
The effects of hydroquinone should be seen after about a month of treatment with a skin lightening cream.
According to DermNet NZ, if there are no results after 3 months, the treatment should be stopped.
You should also stay out of the sun to increase its bleaching effectiveness and wear sunscreen when outdoors.
Over the counter creams or lotions have up to 2% hydroquinone. Only dermatologists can prescribe products that contain up to 4-6% of this ingredient.
If you want to buy an over the counter lightener that contains hydroquinone, it’s usually best to ask the opinion of a dermatologist.
The side-effects can include redness, irritation, itchy flaky skin, and a burning/stinging sensation. The good news is that a hydroquinone cream is usually well tolerated, without causing any inconveniences.
Laser Skin Lightening
The much more expensive alternative to skin lightening creams is undergoing laser treatment.
Its effectiveness isn’t guaranteed, for some it can have no outcome at all or the bleaching effects are temporary.
There will be a need for several sessions that can last between 30 minutes up to an hour and you need a good professional. The cost varies from region to region but, what thing is for sure: it won’t be cheap.
During the procedure, a local anesthetic cream might be applied to prevent any discomfort or pricking sensation.
It is completely expected for the skin to be red and swollen a few days after. It can take up to 2 weeks for the skin to recover completely from laser skin lightening.
The side-effects don’t sound pretty: redness and swelling, bruising, crusting, blistering.
And sensitivity to sun can persist up to 6 months.
Obviously, it is much easier to go see a dermatologist about skin lightening creams than jumping straight to laser skin lightening.
All in all, the answer to the question do hair removal creams darken skin is that they can but, with today’s hair removal creams, that is not a likely occurrence.