The 12 Best Hair Removal Creams That Get the Job Done

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“Depilatory creams work by breaking down keratin proteins in the hair,” she explains. “This effectively thins and dissolves the hairs to the point where they can be simply removed as the cream is wiped away. Hair removal creams contain several different alkaline chemicals, such as sodium thioglycolate, strontium sulfide, and calcium thioglycolate. These chemicals break down the bonds that hold the protein structure, or keratin, of your hair together. Once a depilatory is placed on the area, it dissolves the keratin in the hair and the hair becomes weak enough to fall loose from its base in the follicle. The combination of calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide in most hair removal creams is the main chemical reaction that causes a strong and often unpleasant odor. (Similar to the smell of a ‘perm,’ which uses the same chemicals.) Some creams, however, now contain…

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