Risks abound for people with sensitive skin who want to remove unwanted facial or body hair at home, but by choosing safe, quality tools and using gentle products (such as moisturizing shaving lotions and fragrance-free hair removal creams), you can accomplish the job without causing irritation. When it comes to the best hair removal methods for sensitive skin, you've got a few options: shaving, tweezing, or using epilators and depilatories. Each one has its own pros and cons, which we'll get into more, below.
Shaving is relatively quick, easy, and affordable, but to prevent irritation, you'll need to change out your razor frequently and use a shaving lotion designed for sensitive skin. Tweezing is good for grooming smaller areas, like your eyebrows, but “if you don’t use a high quality tweezer, you may risk breaking the hair which could in turn become an ingrown hair that grows back in the skin,” explains European Wax Center Education Manager, Gina Petak, with whom Elite Daily spoke for this article. Depilatory creams are a fast, easy way to remove large areas of unwanted hair, but the chemicals in those creams have the potential to burn or irritate sensitive skin, Petak explains.
Petak says since the skin on your face is especially delicate, using depilatories there may not be a good option. Epilators can sting, but if you choose one that can be used while you’re in the bath or shower, that can help decrease the discomfort. Petak says that waxing gives you the smoothest skin; not only does it remove hair from the root, but the process provides some physical exfoliation at the same time. However, Petak isn't a fan of at-home waxing because of the potential for skin damage; plus, it's a messy process. Be very careful when proceeding with this at-home method, or better yet, get it done professionally.
To discover the best at-home hair removal products for sensitive skin, scroll on.
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1. Best Razor
Get two products in one with the Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle, which has a five-blade razor on one side for a safe, super close shave, and an electric, waterproof bikini trimmer on the other. The "curve-sensing" blades are encased within a frame that has skin guards to help prevent irritation, as well as a built-in, water-activated serum to restore moisture as you shave. The comb attachment on the trimmer is adjustable, so you can choose between four length settings to achieve a just-right shave. This tool will last you a while, too, since you can buy replacement heads for the razor and new batteries for the trimmer — but note that it does come with your first battery, so you can use it from the get go.
2. Best Shaving Cream
This unscented shaving cream from Paula's Choice is enriched with moisturizing ingredients, like coconut oil and aloe, and skin-soothers, like allantoin and licorice — so basically, it's the perfect shaving cream for people with sensitive skin. With its creamy, menthol-free formula, you can use it on your face and body without worrying about irritation or bumps.
"I have really sensitive skin (especially on my neck), and I've found this shaving cream to be the best. When applied, it is thicker than other creams/soaps, meaning my razor glides more smoothly, resulting in less irritation," one Amazon reviewer noted.
3. Best Dermaplaners
To gently remove unwanted facial hair or peach fuzz, pick up a set of these Schick Silk Touch-Ups (they're also ideal for grooming your eyebrows). You can use them all over your face for physical exfoliation, too, which leaves skin feeling impossibly soft — meaning any base makeup you apply (like BB cream or foundation) will appear much smoother. They're designed with micro guards to prevent nicks, cuts, and irritation, and come with a precision attachment to help shape your eyebrows.
4. Best Epilator
This rechargeable Braun epilator gets high marks from people with sensitive skin because it can be used wet; try combining it with a body wash to create a buffer, which can help prevent irritation and reduce discomfort. Mind that no epilator feels amazing, but the more you use one, the less painful it will become. With this tool, the wide, pivoting head allows for quicker and more efficient hair removal, and it has adjustable speed settings, so beginners can start off nice and gently. Plus, since the tweezers in the device are able to grab onto shorter hairs, you don't need much regrowth to use this. Best of all, this epilator comes with a ton of extras, including a trimmer cap, massage cap, shaver head, charging stand, and an exfoliating facial brush.
"This product is perfect for my super sensitive skin that can't stand shaving," one Amazon reviewer commented. "It makes the hairs come back thinner and even permanently removes some (more and more over time). It works pretty well on on even shorter hairs and it doesn't matter if you have blonde or black hair."
5. A More Affordable Epilator
If you're looking to epilate smaller areas of your face, try the Gillette Venus Face Perfection as a more affordable alternative to the epilator featured above. Designed with a slim head that can even fit in between your eyebrows, it works more quickly than tweezers and is more effective at grabbing shorter hairs than wax. The battery-powered device is nice and compact, so you can take it with you when you travel, too.
One person wrote, "This is an amazing facial epilator. I have a sensitive skin and I usually stay away from waxing and epilators. But this Gillette Venus face epilator did not harm my skin. It was reddish immediately after use but applying a soothing lotion helped. My skin remained soft for almost 3 and half weeks."
6. Best Hair Removal Cream
Depilatory creams contain chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin, but they are, as the expert pointed out, an easy and budget-friendly way to remove unwanted hair from a large area of your body quickly and without much fuss.
If you do decide to use a depilatory cream, you definitely want this one — it's the rare hair removal cream that's fragrance-free and enriched with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, squalane, and allantoin, which should help leave your skin feeling moisturized, comfortable, and soft. Regardless, be sure to do a patch test somewhere small first to make sure there's nothing in here that may cause your skin to become irritated.
7. Best Tweezers
A good, sharp pair of slanted tweezers will make it easier and safer to pluck unwanted hairs from your face — and they'll also last you a lifetime (assuming you don't lose them, of course). This pair from Tweezer Guru is made of skin-safe stainless steel, has a pointy, precise tip, and comes in three different colors: black, blue, and pink. Over 14,000 Amazon shoppers left the tweezers a perfect five-star rating.
8. Best Sugaring Kit
Another (albeit less common) way to remove unwanted hair is "sugaring." Since you're pulling your hair out from the roots, it will take longer to grow back, and when it does grow back, the hairs may be thinner. This kit, which is USDA certified organic, comes with the sugaring paste, which is made from three ingredients: organic sucrose, citric acid, and purified water, as well as a pair of gloves and an applicator. Much like waxing at home, sugaring can be messy and it hurts, so you've got to be willing to pull your hair out (or have a friend do it for you). Unlike waxing, though, there's no heating or strips required — and it does purportedly hurt a bit less.
"I had this product for almost a month and it’s great — does exactly the same thing as getting it done professionally. What I like about this DIY is you can add as little as you want and what is 'tailored' to your pain tolerance. I believe you can also even take this to the Sugaring place and have them use it. Perfect for sensitive skin and the hairs come right out," one person wrote.
Gina Petak, European Wax Center Education Manager