When you have sensitive skin and facial hair, it can be embarrassing and difficult to remove. Shaving can leave painful bumps, while waxing can leave your skin flushed and irritated for days. Even tweezing can be irritating and painful. Instead, consider using a depilatory cream made especially for the sensitive skin on your face. It's made of a less-irritating formula, and since the process is virtually pain-free, you won't risk the pain, redness and irritation of other facial hair removal techniques.
Use a depilatory cream made especially for the more sensitive skin on your face. Some harsher formulas are made with sulfide and can be irritating for sensitive skin. Instead, look for a facial formula containing thioglycolate as the depilatory agent, suggests Columbia University Health Services. Using the right type of formula will go a long way in preventing the redness and irritation that can come from facial hair removal.
Read the label and directions carefully before you use the depilatory cream, warns KidsHealth.org, a division of the Nemours Foundation. Each brand and type of depilatory cream is different. Some are faster formulas, which only take three or four minutes, while others are left on for six minutes. In general, no depilatory should be left on the skin for 10 minutes or more.
Spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly around areas where you are not removing the hair or skin that could become easily irritated. For instance, if you are using depilatory cream to get shapelier eyebrows, apply petroleum jelly on the hairs you want to keep to avoid a strange shape. Apply petroleum jelly on your lips if you are using the depilatory cream on your upper lip.
Apply the depilatory cream only to the areas where you wish to remove hair. Depilatory creams work by detaching the hair from the follicle and dissolving the root so it can be wiped away. This accounts for longer-lasting hair removal, since the hair is dissolved at the root instead of being bluntly cut at the skin's surface like shaving. As soon as you're finished applying the cream, set a timer for the amount of time prescribed on the package directions.
Wet a washcloth with warm water and wipe away the depilatory cream as soon as your time is up. Avoid scrubbing or going over the same areas several times, as this could cause raw, chapped skin. Once you're finished removing the hair with your washcloth, spread a thin layer of moisturizer over the newly smooth areas of your face for the best finish possible.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.