The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

8 best hair removal creams for silky-smooth skin

Defuzz your body from head to toe with our favourite smooth-operators

Sabine Wiesel
Wednesday 02 February 2022 11:49
<p>These creams dissolve the hair just below the skin’s surface </p>

These creams dissolve the hair just below the skin’s surface

From simple shaving to high-tech lasers, there are more options than ever when it comes to at-home hair removal. And while some are a physical pain to use (we’re looking at you wax) others are a pain for the bank balance.

But if you’re looking for a reliable hair removal option that’s easy to use at home, purse-friendly and painless, depilatory creams, better known as hair removal creams, are the way to go.

Hair removal creams work by dissolving the hair, usually thanks to a form of thioglycolic acid that breakdown the protein in the hair. Simply apply the product to unwanted hair, leave on usually between 3-8 minutes, and then wipe or rinse off to reveal a smooth fur-free finish. You’ll find safe formulas to use all over the body, including intimate areas such as the bikini line, but remember to read each product’s instructions as they do vary. And always do a patch test.

We can’t deny the big negative with hair removal creams is they’ve historically had a very unpleasant chemical odour, but you’ll find the latest formulations go some way to masking the smell.

How we tested

Our tester, who is fair with blonde to brown body hair of a medium texture, spent two months putting the latest hair removal creams to the test. All body products were tested on the same length of hair, according to the instructions on the product. We looked at the product itself, taking into account that all-important fragrance and texture and marked it on how fast and effective it removed hairs. The hair removal creams that could fight the fuzz; the best are as follows…

Read more:

The best hair removal creams for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Veet hair removal cream body and legs: £12.59, Boots.com
  • Best for thick hair – Nair tough hair removal cream: £6.19, Superdrug.com
  • Best for intimate areas – Woo Woo intimate hair removal cream: £4.46, Superdrug.com
  • Best price – Avon works body hair removal cream: £4, Avon.uk.com
  • Best for facial hair – Jolen facial hair remover kit: £4.99, Boots.com
  • Best fragrance – Sunny body hair removal cream: £5.50, Boots.com
  • Best for dry skin – B. legs and body hair removal cream with argan oil: £3.99, Superdrug.com
  • Best for underarms – Boots smooth care hair removal cream for bikini and underarm: £5.99, Boots.com

Veet hair removal cream body and legs

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

If you’re already a hair removal cream convert, this huge 400ml bottle will keep you going. The convenient pump bottle can be stored in the shower and makes easy work of use without any fiddly tubes and caps to contend with. It’s suitable for even sensitive skin types and can be used on the bikini line too, thanks to soothing aloe vera and moisturising vitamin E.

The recommended time to leave the gel-cream formula on is between 5-10 minutes, but we found this gets to work quickly and after just 5-minutes could easily remove all leg hair with the spatula. And while the chemical smell is still there, it’s certainly less pungent than other formulas.

Nair tough hair removal cream

Best: For thick hair

Rating: 9/10

For those with trickier to remove fuzz – be it coarse, unruly or just damn stubborn hair – this should be your go-to. It gets to work fast removing leg hair, in just 5-minutes for our tester, but does take up to 10 minutes on the bikini line or underarms. With extracts of lily flower and cottonseed, this has a fresh scent with only the faintest of detectable hair removal smell. Expect to be left with velvety soft skin that lasts for days.

Woo Woo intimate hair removal cream

Best: For intimate areas

Rating: 8.5/10

No beating around the bush here, this hair removal cream is formulated for the undercarriage – whether you’re looking to groom the bikini line or a full-on no-hair Brazilian. Easy to use in the shower, simply apply to areas where you wish to remove hair and leave for 1-minute before stepping into the water. You can then leave it on for a further 5-minutes maximum, before washing away loose hairs. Expect no ingrown hairs, redness, rashes or itchiness, but there is a tell-tale smell of hair removal cream. Your intimate area will feel smooth as silk, thanks to the added aloe vera and jojoba oil.

Avon works body hair removal cream

Best: Price

Rating: 7.5/10

This may be the cheapest product in our round-up, but that doesn’t mean it was any less effective. Enriched with skin-soothing aloe vera, this purse-friendly option is even suitable for sensitive skin types. Avon promise results in as little as 2.5 minutes, while this may work for some we found we had to leave it on longer, 7 minutes to be exact, so we didn’t leave any hairs behind. While it does have the typical odour, it’s not as bad as older formulations and it saves a pound or two.

Jolen facial hair remover kit

Best: For facial hair

Rating: 8/10

Better known for a long history of bleaching facial hair, Jolen now offer facial hair removal in their line-up too. Suitable for the upper lip, cheeks and chin, but don’t go near the eyebrows with any kind of hair removal cream as the skin is too thin and delicate there – no matter what hack you’ve seen on social media.

The 2-step application starts with a thin layer of the skin guarding balm massaged onto the area to protect it from irritation. On top, you apply the light and silky cream with a squeeze of the tube. The handy applicator it comes in means you don’t need to touch the product, just cover the hair in a thick layer and leave for 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness. Quick and effective, what’s not to love.

Sunny body hair removal cream

Best: Fragrance

Rating: 8/10

A hair removal cream without some level of that all-too-familiar smell just doesn’t exist. But if it’s the deal-breaker that’s stopped you from using hair removal creams in the past you should try this. The honeydew melon fragrance disguises it very well, leaving the smallest hint behind. It’s fast and effective too. Our tester found it speedy to use, as after just 5 minutes leg hair was ready to be removed with the spatula. For tougher stubble expect to leave it on for a little longer.

B. legs and body hair removal cream with argan oil

Best: For dry skin

Rating: 8/10

While some hair removal creams can be drying leaving skin feeling tight, this one doesn’t, as it’s enriched with argan and cottonseed oil perfect for dry skin types or winter skin. This is another tube that masks the typical hair removal odour well and gets to work quickly, removing stubble on legs in as little as 3-minutes and 5-7 minutes for thicker hairs. And the added moisturising properties leave skin comfortable, soft and silky smooth post hair removal. It’s a brilliant pick for legs in particular, as it also contains our favourite spatula that fits leg curves perfectly.

Boots smooth care hair removal cream for bikini and underarm

Best: For underarms

Rating: 8/10

The underarms are another sensitive area that’s prone to irritation. If you find your delicate skin reacting to shaving in the form of itchiness, red bumps or rashes (like our tester), this duo is well worth trying. The first tube is the hair removal cream, with a well-masked fragrance, and sweet almond oil for a moisturising punch.

We found this easy to use as part of our hair washing routine, as by the time we’d applied it with the spatula and left it on while we shampooed and conditioned it was ready for take-off. The second tube is a soothing finishing cream that’s absorbed in an instant ready for deodorant. And it’s equalling as effective on sensitive bikini lines that breakout.

Hair removal FAQs

What are the different hair removal methods?

There’s no such thing as a one method suits all when it comes to hair removal techniques, it really is up to the individual to find what works best for them.

IPL lasers – lead to permanent hair-free results, but they’re costly and don’t work on all.

Waxing and epilating – removes hair at the roots for longer-lasting results, but it’s painful for some, tricky to do on yourself and then there’s the awkward regrowth stage.

Shaving – the quick and easy hair removal option, but there’s a chance of nicks, cuts, shaving rashes and ingrown hairs.

Hair removal creams – removes hair just below the skin’s surface, leaving you hair-free slightly longer and it grows back softer.

The verdict: Hair removal creams

Our best buy goes to the Veet hair removal cream body and legs for its all-round ease-of-use and fast and effective results. If you have stubborn body hair to contend with, the hard-working Nair tough hair removal cream would be a better option, and if you just can’t take the chemical smell reach for the Sunny body hair removal cream that masks it well.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on haircare and beauty tech try the links below:

Up your hair care routine with the best leave-in conditioners for healthy and hydrated locks

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in