Product Reviews
Take Action

Fight for Fair Finance

Tell the administration and Congress to stand up for the consumer watchdog that protects you from financial fraud and abuse.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

Hair removal: What’s best for you?

Consumer Reports News: February 07, 2008 10:23 AM

How you remove unwanted body hair—manual or electric shavers, creams, hot wax, epilators, electrolysis, or lasers—is mostly a matter of preference. But some methods make particular sense for certain individuals, and our tests show that not all products are created equal.

Blades tend to be easiest for most people, and they shave slightly closer than electrics. Two- or three-bladed razors may offer some advantage. If you develop razor bumps—caused by shaved hairs curling back into the skin—stop shaving for a few days, then apply a preshave lotion and shave with the grain, without stretching the skin. Or consider one of the options below.

Electric shavers rarely cause razor burn or cuts, a particular advantage if you take a blood thinner or have a bleeding disorder. But all models tested on women’s underarms—including some men’s shavers—caused skin irritation.

Electric epilators (with hundreds of tiny tweezers) and hot-wax treatments pull hair out. Most of the ones we tested performed well, though some women found them painful.

Depilatory creams dissolve hair just below the skin surface. But they produce an unpleasant smell and can cause skin reactions in some people, so test a small amount on your forearm first.

Lasers and electrolysis permanently remove hair by destroying the follicles. But they’re costly and time-consuming, and should be done only by licensed practitioners. Even then, they can sometimes darken, lighten, or scar the skin.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Health News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more