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Facial hair can be a real hassle, and finding an effective removal method that doesn't leave you covered in sore, red blotches is no picnic either. While it's worth remembering that one form of treatment certainly doesn't fit all, many older women consider hair removal cream to be one of the most effective ways to get rid of the old peach fuzz. It's quick, painless and cheap too. So what are the best products for sensitive skin? We reveal the top six facial hair removal creams as recommended by women over 50.
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Hair removal cream, or depilatory cream, contains different alkaline chemicals that safely react with the hair on your body. Once it's rubbed onto the skin, these chemicals break down the protein that gives hair structure (keratin) causing the hair to dissolve. The jelly substance that remains can then be washed off the skin using a bit of water.
Certain creams suit certain skin types, so it's often a good idea to test a specific product out on a small patch of skin first before moving onto the face, particularly if a cream contains additional ingredients that produce a fragrance. Alternatively, choose a formula designed for sensitive skin or consult your GP for a recommendation.
Whether it's upper lip hair, chin hair or, well, just hair all over, it can be tricky to find a hair removal method that works, particularly when it comes to your face. Compared to other methods, like epilating or electrolysis, cream can be less effective (it often requires frequent treatments), but the advantages are that it's convenient, painless and very affordable!
In terms of the disadvantages, some women find that it can cause soreness or redness, particularly if you have extremely sensitive skin. If you find that a product causes skin irritation, your GP should be able to prescribe Vaniqua cream, a prescription-only medicine designed specifically to remove coarse, thick facial hair.
"I get cream from my GP called Vaniqa and a tube lasts for at least two months. It takes a short while to work, but I'd recommend it!"
As with most beauty products, it's easy to be swayed by pretty packaging and convincing marketing promises. Fortunately for you, over the years our users have put the various options through their paces, reviewing the ones they found were most effective. Here's what they had to say:
"I use Nair's facial hair remover. It comes with a small, soft brush. I apply, leave it for five minutes, wipe the cream off with a tissue and then rinse with warm water. It really works a treat."
If you're struggling with coarse facial hair, look no further than Nair's offering. While it might smell a bit - this is, unfortunately, the price you pay for a fuzz-free face - it works a treat on a number of areas including the upper and lower lip, chin and nose.
Some report sensitivity to Nair's cream, so avoid if you're overly cautious, but if you follow directions thoroughly and gently pat (not rub!) the area dry after use, you should be good to go.
Buy: Nair Hair Removar Moisturising Face Cream, £12.02, Amazon.
A trusted brand among women of all ages, Sally Hansen's kit will remove fine facial hair in just eight minutes! Many rate this product for how gentle it is too, which means it's great for sensitive skin and will leave your face feeling smooth.
The product also contains willow herb and pumpkin seed extracts, which apparently help to reduce the appearance of hair growth. Win-win, we say.
Buy: Crème Hair Remover Duo Kit, £5.56, House of Beauty.
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"I'd recommend Boots' - it's the best I've ever tried."
Boots' own brand ranks extremely highly, coming first place for many of our users who have struggled for years to find the most effective cream. Like Sally Hansen's cream, it's a gentle formula that is ideal for sensitive skin, but does it work on coarse hair? Well, yes, but it might take a little extra effort and patience.
While it may be one of the best options on the market, we urge you not to make the same mistake as this gransnetter...
"Make sure you buy the cream specifically for facial hair. Don't make the same mistake I did and use body hair removal cream. I ended up with a very sore and red lip!"
Buy: Boots Smooth Care Hair Removal Cream for Sensitive Skin, £6.29, Boots.
"I use Veet on the 'tache if I'm going somewhere special."
Perhaps the go-to among women with a bit of facial hair, Veet's face cream will leave your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Five to 10 minutes is all is takes to be rid of those pesky hairs, which, in our eyes, means it beats shaving any day. The kit also contains a spatula which makes application easy.
Even though it is designed for those with sensitive skin, this product does contain a fragance that masks the sulfuric smell that usually accompanies depilatory cream. This might be great for those of us who really can't stand the odour, but make sure you do a skin test first if you have overly sensitive skin.
Buy: Veet Face Hair Removal Kit, £6, Sainsbury's.
If you're after a product that's organic, easy to use and gentle on sensitive skin, Acorelle's cream is your best bet. It combines three - yes, three! - 100% natural oils that fight against any redness and an active ingredient of plant origin that reduces any unpleasant odours.
The pack also comes with an aftercare lotion that soothes the skin. What's not to love about this product, really?
Buy: Hair Removal Cream and Soothing Aftercare Lotion, £9.99, MyPure.
"I tried Avon's cream and I can safely say I've finally found something that is gentle and effective! It lasts about four to five weeks and then I re-apply. It's not expensive either."
Avon's moisturising hair removal cream is fantastic for sensitive skin as it contains natural ingredients that won't cause irritation. Hooray! These include meadowfoam oil, which helps to lock in moisture to make your skin look smooth and rejuvinated.
The product also comes in a small, slim tube, which makes it easy to cart around in your handbag should such an occasion arise when you need to quickly de-hair (we hope not). But best of all? It removes hair in exactly two and a half minutes!
Buy: Avon Skin So Soft and Smooth Facial Hair Removal Cream, £2.50, Avon.
If all else fails, there's always homemade hair removal remedies such as sugaring, a treat using a combination of sugar, lemon and hot water to remove the hair from the root. Not strictly cream (it's more like a gel), but a great alternative to waxing.
Applying a soothing aloe vera gel or balm after your hair removal is a good way to calm the redness and any irritation you may have. You only need a small amount and not only will it cool it down but it smells good too!
Prices correct as of 7/11/18
Images: Shutterstock, Nair, Sally Hansen, Boots, Veet, Acorelle, Avon