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Best facial hair removal creams for sensitive skin

We reveal the top six facial hair removal creams as recommended by women over 50.

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Jul 8, 2021

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.

As with most beauty products, it's easy to be swayed by pretty packaging and convincing marketing promises. Over the years, users on our sister site Gransnet have put the various options through their paces, reviewing the ones they found were most effective. So what are the best products for sensitive skin? Here are the most popular facial hair removal creams.

1. Nair Hair Remover Face Cream

“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.”

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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.

2. Sally Hansen Crème Hair Remover

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.

3. Boots Smooth Care Hair Removal Cream

“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!”

Related: The best hand creams to keep your hands soft and moisturised this year. 

4. Veet Face Cream

“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 it 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 fragrance that masks the sulphuric 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.

5. Nads Facial Hair Removal Cream

This formula is specifically designed for delicate areas so you can use it on the face, chin and upper lip. The tube has an angled tip to make it easier to apply and glide onto the areas you want to target.

It also contains almond oil and calendula to soften and soothe skin while working to remove facial hair.

6. Avon Moisturising Facial Hair Removal Cream

“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 reapply. 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. These include meadowfoam oil, which helps to lock in moisture to make your skin look smooth and rejuvenated.

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.

Related: The best hand creams to tackle dryness and ageing - as chosen by Mumsnet users. 

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.

What is facial hair removal cream?

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.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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!”

Pros of facial hair removal cream:

  • Quick
  • Convenient – takes five to 10 minutes
  • Effective on harder-to-reach areas
  • Pain-free
  • Affordable

Cons of facial hair removal cream:

  • May cause skin irritation
  • Not long-lasting
  • Strong and unpleasant odour

Related: The 8 best hair masks, all chosen by real parents on Mumsnet. 

Which cream is best for removing facial hair?

Nair's Nourish Facial Brush-On Hair Remover for Dry & Sensitive Skin is the best inexpensive facial hair removal cream you can buy. The precision brush makes application easy, and the Argan Oil moisturises skin. Just make sure you do a test before using to ensure you're not allergic and that it doesn't irritate your skin.

Is there any cream to remove facial hair permanently?

While hair removal creams are quick and convenient for many, they don't always have long-lasting results as they don't remove hair from the follicle. If you're looking for something that works for longer you might want to look into other methods of hair removal, but these do tend to be more expensive. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two methods that target the hair follicle to reduce the thickness and amount of hair regrowth, but these are options that require a professional and follow-up appointments to achieve the full effects.

Some Gransnetters also recommend using an epilator to remove unwanted hair – this is what one user had to say:

“I have used an epilator for quite a while now. I now use a Phillips and it's very good. If you do decide to get one, a rechargeable one is best especially as they do hold their charge quite well so they are good for taking on holiday for the odd stragglers.”

Related: The Mumsnet guide to Philips Lumea hair removal devices.

How to soothe your skin after hair removal

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!

How we chose our recommendations

Our recommendations for facial hair removal creams came from a combination of Gransnet users' recommendations on the forums and we also looked at other reviews to see which creams performed well across the board.

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Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Read next: 10 best bikini trimmers and razors.

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