Which is better for the skin: a hair removal cream or waxing?

Which is better for the skin: a hair removal cream or waxing?

Three women applying Veet® PURE Hair Removal Cream for legs and body to their leg, while wearing bath robes.

When we’re talking about hair removal, there are so many options and methods available to choose from. Common choices are hair removal creams (also known as depilatory creams) and wax (which can come in the form of cold wax strips, or soft or hard wax.)

Which option is better for your skin?

Our skin can be sensitive, dry, and complicated in many ways, and these are important to factor into whatever method of hair removal we choose.

Here, we’ll go through how the skin and hair follicles work, which leads to how hair removal cream impacts the skin, and what you can expect from wax.

How the skin works

Your skin is the largest organ on your body, which is pretty neat. It consists of three layers: epidermis (top layer), dermis (middle layer), and hypodermis (fatty, bottom layer.) Our skin protects us from germs and helps maintain a certain temperature, among many of its jobs to keep our bodies healthy and nourished overall.

Skin and hair follicles

While hair appears on the epidermis, hair follicles, the structure your hair grows in, are attached to the dermis. Strands of hair are what appear on your legs, arms, face, and head, among the most common spots, with the follicle itself existing in all three layers of your skin and attached to blood vessels in the bottom layer.

When removing a strand of hair, like plucking or shaving or waxing, you’re not taking out the hair follicle. If a small bulb appears at the end of a strand, which is very common, hair in the follicle structure will still grow back.

What hair removal cream does to the skin

Hair removal creams are commonly known as depilatory creams, which mean they remove hair strands at the top level of skin without removing the hair follicle. Hair removal creams, like Veet® ProfessionalTM * or Veet® Pure,* are applied to the area of the body, letting it sit for some time until the hair breaks down enough to become jelly-like to wipe and wash off.

It’s important to read the label for any hair removal cream. Every depilatory cream is different, and your skin may react otherwise. Patch test a small area to make sure your product of choice is a good fit for your skin.

Benefits of hair removal creams

  • Fast. It can start working from 2 minutes with Veet® Professional™ Hair Removal Cream*, even on coarse hair
  • Easy application. Simply apply the product to your skin with the Veet® spatula, it really doesn’t get any easier than that.
  • Painless. When properly applied, hair removal cream can be painless. But there might be a tingling sensation.


  • For limited use: The product should only be used for a limited time on skin. Always make sure to read and follow the label for best results.
  • Not as long lasting. Unlike other methods of hair removal—but longer lasting than shaving—hair removal cream doesn't inhibit immediate hair growth. It all depends on your hair’s texture and growth rate.
  • Sensitivity to the sun. Protecting your skin from the sun in general is a great idea but even more so after using a hair removal cream.
  • Not to be used for all areas. Legs, arms, armpits, and the bikini line are all fair game for hair removal cream Other areas like your eyebrows or nose hair require more precision and may be extra sensitive.

What waxing does to the skin

Waxing, unlike hair removal creams, pulls the hair follicle out from skin, which is why skin is smoother, hair-free for longer. With the application of a cold wax strip wax, like Veet® ProfessionalTM Cold Wax Strips*, and a strip of fabric, hair is swiftly pulled out.

Benefits of hair removal wax

  • Exfoliation. Hair removal wax is considered a form of exfoliation for the skin because it pulls up anything in the area wax is applied, including dead skin cells.
  • Long lasting. Waxing can last up to 28 days.
  • Hair grows back finer and fewer. Because hair is pulled from the follicle with waxing, new hair growth will be finer and there will be less of it.


  • Pain threshold. Waxing can cause discomfort if you don’t have a high pain threshold, but does get easier with time as the hair grows back finer.
  • Length. Waxing is best for grabbing hair strands and pulling them out of the follicles, so hair should be about the length of a piece of rice. Veet® ProfessionalTM Cold Wax Strips* are designed to get just the angle right and keep your grip firm.
  • Skin sensitivities. There are fewer ingrown hairs with waxing but hair removal wax can still impact highly sensitive skin types and cause redness, itching, or burning. Always patch test to make sure it’s right for your skin type.

*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the product label before use.