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Hair Removal Cream vs. Waxing: Which is Better?

By Mariela
July 2, 2023
7 minutes

Cannot decide if a hair removal cream or wax would be a better option to remove unwanted hair from your body? Or are you just confused about which one you should keep using after trying both? Is selecting one hair removal method to deal with all your concerns very challenging?

Well, do not worry because we will make it easy for you through this article. In this piece, we have a detailed comparison of hair removal creams and wax for you. Additionally, there is a hair removal method superior to both at the end.

So, read through it to find out the better hair removal method of the two and decide on the tools you will use to remove objectionable hair from your body and face.

Hair Removal Creams vs. Waxing

Hair Removal Cream vs. Waxing

1. Working Principle

Hair removal creams are made of protein-dissolving chemicals like thioglycolic acid that act on the keratin of hair and melt it away allowing you to remove hair as you swipe the spatula after the recommended time.

Waxing is simply the use of a sticking material that sticks to your hair while leaving the skin intact. Both hot and cold wax can be used. When the wax is removed, it pulls the hair out and mildly exfoliates the skin.

Although both techniques are very different, both effectively remove unwanted hair.

2. Experience and Nearly painlessness

The user experience and nearly painlessness are major factors determining which method to choose. Depilatory creams, these days, are gentle on the skin. They allow you to remove unwanted hair without pain, rashes, or redness.

On the other hand, waxing is painful. You can try ibuprofen tablets beforehand to reduce the pain as well. But at the end of the day, you would always have to mentally prepare yourself for the pain caused by waxing.

3. Time Taken

Depending upon the area you are treating, treatment time varies. For example, depilatory creams need 5 to 10 minutes to work on any area. So, once applied all over the legs or body, wait for that time, and remove the hair with a washcloth or spatula.

Waxing, on the other hand, is more time taking. First, you need to heat the wax to a moderate temperature. Then you have to evenly spread it out to the desired area and remove the wax along with the hair using strips. So, it can take 10 minutes for the face to more than an hour for the body.

4. Results Lasting For

As depilatory creams leave the roots intact and remove hair from the surface, the results last only for 3 days to 1 week. Also, the hair grows back with blunt ends making them appear thicker.

The good thing about waxing is that once you get your treatment done, you can enjoy hair-free skin for 2 to 4 weeks. Moreover, the hair grows back thin and soft. So, after some years of waxing, hair regrowth is also reduced.

5. Cost

hair removal cream

Depilatory creams are inexpensive compared to wax. You can get a gentle and efficient hair removal cream for $5 to $20. And some creams also come with an aftercare lotion or a hair regrowth inhibitor. One cream can last a few uses as well.

The cost of waxing depends upon whether you are getting it done from a salon or taking the game into your own hands. A waxing kit costs around $30 and in-salon waxing can be up to $500 for a full body.

6. Benefits

Hair removal creams are an inexpensive, gentle, and quick method to get rid of unwanted hair. Additionally, advanced formulations also moisturize the skin and make it silky smooth after the treatment. These creams also work on hair of any length.

The results of waxing last much longer and hair regrowth is reduced in the long term. Additionally, waxing exfoliates the skin gently and gives it a radiant glow.

7. Side Effects

The worst thing about depilatory creams is the chemical reaction they can cause because of active ingredients. Other mild side effects include chemical smell, redness, irritation, and hyperpigmentation. You can find more about the side effects of hair removal creams here.

Waxing, first of all, is extremely painful. Other than that, you need to wait for 1 to 2 weeks to let your hair grow long enough to be waxed. Moreover, it can irritate the skin and cause ingrown hair or strawberry legs.

8. Tools Required

waxing The equipment required for hair removal through creams is simple. All you need is a good quality hair removal cream and a spatula or a washcloth.

For waxing, you need several tools including wax, strips, a wax warmer, and a wooden spatula. Here are the best hot waxing kits at home to get all the tools in one place.

9. Ease of Use

In the past, hair removal creams used to be smelly and sticky. But these days, the creams have a nice texture, an added fragrance to conceal the smell, and a spatula for hassle-free application.

On the other hand, waxing your own unwanted hair can be troublesome. Wax is sticky and difficult to handle with a spatula. Moreover, even the application and removal of all hair are challenging. So, hair removal creams are more user-friendly.

10. Use for Body and Face

Lastly, both hair removal creams and wax are suitable for both body and the face. Although both treat the body with minimal side effects, you have to be careful while using these harsh products on the sensitive skin of the face.

Regular depilatory creams can react and make your delicate face red, irritated, and inflamed. So, you need to buy hair removal creams specific to facial hair. The best facial hair removal creams can help you.

Waxing pulls the skin and can cause micro-tears, and redness on the face. Also, it makes skin prone to premature aging.

Are Hair Removal Creams Better Than Waxing?

waxing If you can take time to look for a good hair removal cream, they are better than waxing when it comes to treatment time, user-friendly experience, cost, and nearly painlessness. Also, you need no skills to use hair removal creams, and the process is done effortlessly.

However, if you would rather take some pain but want longer results, waxing is a better hair removal solution for you.

A Better Alternative to Both: IPL Hair Removal

Both waxing and hair removal creams can help you remove unwanted hair at home, but you have to face a few side effects along with the constant need of repeating the treatment.

So, if you are looking for a method to meet your long-term requirement of hair removal, IPL hair removal is the best method for you. Moreover, the results are more significant and the experience is better with devices like Ulike Air3 hair removal IPL Device. Let us see how.

1. No Chemical Reaction, Allergy, or Strawberry Legs

There is no use of heated wax or chemical-packed hair removal cream in IPL hair removal. The results? You will be free of chemical smell, reaction, allergy, redness, ingrown hair, strawberry legs, and irritation. All you have to do is shave the skin and slide the gentle hair removal device over it.

2. Hassle-Free and Nearly painless

There is no need to particularly prepare for IPL hair removal nor does it requires a range of tools. An IPL device, a safety razor, and UV protective goggles are all you need. Plus Ulike offers all these in a single box.

Hair removal with Air3 is nearly painless as well because of the exclusive and innovative sapphire ice-cooling technology of Ulike.

3. Economic in the Long Term

Ulike Ulike Air3 hair removal IPL handset costs around $300. It might seem more than 10 times depilatory creams and 5 times at-home waxing, the device lasts for the whole lifetime. Consequently, you will be paying the lifetime cost of hair removal at once making IPL hair removal the most economical of all hair removal methods.

4. Long-lasting Results

Long-lasting results are the benefit that makes most women choose IPL as they might take the pain and all, the need for repetitive treatments is frustrating. IPL devices offer long-lasting results.

Once you are done with the recommended hair removal session in a few weeks, you can enjoy hairlessness for 6 months or so.

5. Comfortable User Experience

Ulike Sapphire Air3 comes with 3 intensity levels and 3 treatment modes. This allows you to set the device according to the thickness of your unwanted hair, the tolerance of your body, and the tone of your skin.

It ensures that the hair follicles are burnt without harming your skin or giving you pain. Thus, IPL offers a comfortable user experience.

Comparison Table

This comparison table can be used to determine the pros and cons of the three hair removal methods discussed above.


Hair removal creams


IPL devices

(Ulike Air3)



$5-20 for 1 pack

$30-500 for 1 time

$379 for a lifetime


Nearly painless




IPL and Hair removal creams

Treatment time

5-10 minutes

to 1 hour

7 minutes


Result lasting for

1 week at most

4 weeks at most

6 months


Compatible body area

Full body and face

Full body and face

Full body and face


Final Verdict

Depilatory creams might be a better option to remove unwanted hair as compared to waxing, but they are not the best choice when compared with IPL devices. We have discussed how IPL hair removal proves to be better than waxing or hair removal creams in this article.

Moreover, if you want to compare other hair removal methods, give waxing vs shaving a read.

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