But it has become the expectation to be smooth and hairless, and so to help us particularly endowed ladies to fit in with the norm, on with the show.
Still too afraid to take a real blade to my face, I tried a bleach specially designed for facial hair. You can often see this particular brand on the hair removal shelves of any drugstore (it also comes in the "sensitive skin" variety, which I preferred even though I noticed no difference to my skin or its performance). I have always been happy enough with what it does that I've never tried a different brand.
After washing the area with soap and cold water, you mix one part of the powder with two parts of the cream, and cover the hair to be bleached with the mixture. Wait ten minutes, and if it isn't lightened to your satisfaction, keep it on for another five to ten minutes. You can also reuse the mixture on other areas--I often mixed enough for my chin, then reapplied it to one side and then the other of my jaw. Of course, this meant a ritual of almost an hour every morning. And try doing that outside the safety of your own home and not getting asked questions about it. It's certainly not the most convenient method when camping. Other cons:
- Slight pinkness of the skin sitting under the bleach, even using the sensitive skin formula. It wasn't painful and went away quickly, but considering the incriminating beard shape, it was something I found I needed to disguise if going out in a hurry.
- The darker and coarser my hair got over time, the harder it was to bleach in one go. On my stomach, for instance, they went a sort of orange in twenty minutes, rather than blond.
- Also because of the progressive darkening and thickening of hair, I began to find I could no longer bleach right to the skin, so there was a tiny bit of pigment still visible right at skin level.
- Although the hair is lighter after bleaching, it is still there, and just as long or wiry. Try bleaching in conjunction with trimming or plucking and see if that creates a happy medium for you.
Never had a fantastic experience with these on my legs--what do you do to kill time when you can't even sit or walk while the cream reacts to the hair? And no matter how gentle it claims to be on the tube, I always get the same irritation and ingrown hairs as I would had I simply used a razor. So you can imagine my hesitance when a family member gave me a facial depilatory cream from Avon. I hadn't realized she knew.
But I tried it. I did the allergy test. I even forewent shaving the day before and hid in the my room to get some extra hair growth going. It smelled like all depilatory creams do, which may bother some, but to me it's a necessary evil. You leave it on for three minutes, and if that doesn't yield a satisfactory result, it's only recommended you give it an extra five minutes. Aside from the lack of irritation, I was disappointed. Cons:
- It reacts with the hair, but not close enough to my skin's surface to avoid the visible stubble of my thicker hair.
It's quick, not irritating (for me, anyway), but the results on my face certainly weren't as smooth as shaving. However, I have just started using it on hair that is not so coarse but might still benefit from a gentler solution, and it is working nicely. (As nicely as can be said when hair seems to grow so fast that noticable stubble is an every day battle.) Keep in mind that even though it is designed for your face, it should still not be used near eyes, on nipples, in noses, ears, or on genital areas.
More next week. Again, reader experiences are welcome.