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Does Hair Removal Cream Cause Cancer? (Include Nair & Veet)

By Laura
July 27, 2023
6 minutes

Eliminating your body hair is not difficult anymore. You can try out waxing, plucking, threading, laser, IPL, and depilatory creams to get rid of all these hairs. Our choice totally depends upon our affordability, our skin sensitivity, our expectations from the results, and the safety of hair removal methods.

I guess we all love using depilatory creams for hair removal because they are easiest, affordable, and also quick. But, now there’s news going on around that these creams can cause cancer because they use chemicals for hair removal. The news has created quite a stir around the world, right? Are you now worried that these creams might have affected you already? Will you find any other method that is as convenient as these hair removal creams?

Well, in this article, we have answers to all your questions. So, let’s stay together till the end to know the truth.

Ingredients in Hair Removal Creams and Their Working

Hair removal creams mainly contain thioglycolic acid. They contain it in pure form or mixed with the salts such as sodium thioglycolates or potassium thioglycolates. When you apply the cream to the body, its chemical action dissolves your hair protein and weakens the hair enough to fall off easily.

So when you remove the cream, hair gets removed with it too. These creams can be applied on all parts even on bikini areas. Moreover, your hair comes back again in just a few days as the cream doesn’t affect the root and only removes hair above your skin. So, you’ll have to keep using the creams repeatedly after every few days.

Can Hair Removal Cream Cause Cancer?

Without beating the bush, let’s get straight to the point. The risk of cancer caused by any product depends upon the ingredients it has. Depilatory creams usually have thioglycolic acid which can be harmful to the skin but there is no evidence of it increasing the risk of cancer.

But some other ingredients that vary in different creams might have some risk. A study [1] showed that depilatory creams can affect hair growth by increasing the number of hair follicles. As a result, TNF factor alpha and beta get released which leads to an inflammatory response. Other than this, if we talk about cancer, there is no solid proof that these creams can cause it.

Does Veet Cause Cancer?

veet Veet is one of the most popular brands that makes depilatory products. Everyone is well aware of the brand and most of us usually use Veet hair removal cream. Like other hair removal creams, Veet also uses potassium thioglycolate in addition to other agents like sodium gluconate, parafinnum liquidum, aqua, Cetearyl alcohol, etc. to moisturize your skin and regulate the normal pH.

But, the problem is it also contains talc which might be mixed with some quantity of asbestos. Asbestos is carcinogenic which means it increases the risk of cancer. Moreover, there are no statements of Veet regarding this issue so nothing can be said for sure.

To know further about Veet and its suitability for you, click Veet Hair Removal Cream: Should You Buy it?

Does Nair Cause Cancer?

nair Although there are no sure answers to this, it is safer than other depilatory creams because it is cleared by and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Various types of research have been made on Nair ingredients, and even though it has some chemicals, they are mild which means you have a minimum risk of allergies or other side effects.

In addition to this, Nair does not have any carcinogenic agent indicating that it is very less likely to cause cancer.

Possible Side Effects and Risks of Hair Removal Creams

There are some other common risks that depilatory creams bring with them. Some of them are the following.

Redness and Irritation

As we know, depilatory creams use chemicals to dissolve the hair on your body. So, when you use one, the harsh chemicals present in it can cause redness, and itching on your skin. This itching can start immediately after application. Fortunately, it doesn’t last long and subsides in some hours.

Allergic Reactions

The chemicals cause mild redness and irritation but in some cases, it can go to a severe level. This leads to an allergic reaction making you feel itchy with inflammation and extreme redness. It is called contact dermatitis. It can occur immediately or after a few hours. Therefore, it is better to do a patch test especially if you are going to use it on private parts.

Chemical Burns

burn Another major problem these hair removal creams has is the chemical burns they cause. Hair removal creams usually have a specific time mentioned for hair removal and going above that time can cause burns. Moreover, if your skin is extra sensitive, then you can face this before after removing the cream within the set time. The burns are first or second degree so can be treated.


Also, the chemicals like calcium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide dissolve in your skin and make it dark. In addition, wounds formed by burns and allergic reactions can also darken your skin tone. It is usually temporary and can be treated.

A Safe Solution to Hair Removal

Why take a risk when we have a safe option available? Yes, we are talking about IPL hair removal. It is the process of destroying your hair follicles with the help of impulse pulsating light. This reduces the growth of your hair or even stops it in some people thus giving you Long-lasting to long-lasting results depending upon your hair type. Can’t go out in the clinic? You can try the Ulike Sapphire Air3 IPL hair removal handset .


It is one of the quickest hair removal methods. Waxing takes prepare the wax, then apply and then you have to wait for it to dry. Similarly, the laser is also time taking, but while using the Ulike Sapphire Air3 device you just need 7 minutes per session. The device works at a rate of 0.7 secs per flash thus providing you a quick solution to hair removal.


Hair removal can be expensive. On average shaving and waxing both cost more than $10,000 to $15,000 for whole life. Similarly, laser treatments are also expensive costing between $250-$1000 per session. It is different from the Ulike Sapphire handset. You only have to pay $329 and with unlimited flashes, it can work well for 10 years or even for a lifetime.

Long-lasting Results

Now talking about the result of the Ulike Sapphire handset. It starts showing results after 3 weeks and after 12 weeks, you can see your body getting completely long-lasting. These results usually last for 6 months, or up to years, and even for a lifetime in some cases. All you need to do is do some touch-ups every once and now.


Safety should be given for any hair removal device. The Ulike handset is FDA-CLEARED and certified by 30+ organizations for its safety. So, you won’t have to worry about any malfunction or wasting your money.

Easy to Use

If you have never used an IPL device before, you might be a bit anxious. But it is easy to use. The device comes with an auto-glide mode enabling smooth mobility and also three different modes. All you need to do is to set the mode in accordance with your skin sensitivity and move the device over that area.

Nearly painless

Hair Removal can give you the confidence to go out and wear whatever you want to. But most methods come with pain. Unlike those, the Ulike Sapphire Air3 Handset is nearly painless. IPL hair removal can make you feel slightly uncomfortable. Ulike has a cooling technology to prevent this discomfort and soothe your skin during the treatment.

Still, confused about IPL hair removal? Well, you can start some research about it. For this, you can start with Is It Effective & Safe to Use IPL Hair Removal at Home?


Using depilatory creams for hair removal is really convenient. It makes your hair structure like a gel aiding you to remove them easily when you wipe them off with a spatula. These creams contain some strong chemicals mainly thioglycolic acid to perform their function effectively.

But, since they have chemicals, they might cause problems. There is no proof that they cause cancer but they surely cause redness, itching, allergy, and hyperpigmentation if used the wrong way. So if you are hesitant about using these creams, you can use the Ulike Sapphire Air3 IPL hair removal device for quick and safe hair removal. It also gives you results that last for years.


[1] Pi-Fen Tsai,Fen-Pi Chou, Ting-Shuan Yu,1 Huei-Jane Lee, and Chun-Tang Chiu (2021). Depilatory creams increase the number of hair follicles, and dermal fibroblasts expressing interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and tumor necrosis factor-β in mouse skin, National Library of Medicine.


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