These top-rated hair removal creams and tools make this annoying process easier and less painful (phew!)

By Rachel Sokol
September 23, 2019
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For the record: Facial hair on women is very common, completely natural, and can be triggered by certain medications or hormonal changes—and you shouldn't feel like you need to do anything about it. But if you do choose to remove it, we’re here to help. 

Sure, you can head to a skincare professional for electrolysis or laser treatments, but a much more affordable and less time-consuming option is to use at-home products. 

With so many hair removal creams, waxes, and tools available, how do you find the best one for your skin? “The key is to select a well-known brand, and to proceed with caution,” says Jeffrey Fromowitz, M.D., a dermatologist based in Boca Raton, Florida.

“If you’re on the more sensitive side, look for a formula that is specifically [made] for sensitive skin,” says Lora Condon, a licensed esthetician based in East Westfield, New Jersey. “You can test it on parts of the body that don’t show just in case there’s a reaction. Most prefer behind the ear, the back of the neck, thigh, or even the inside the wrist.” (Stop using it immediately if you develop itching, raw or burned skin, or red bumps.) 

If you prefer an at-home machine to remove facial hair, opt for one that’s safe for all skin types—read the reviews and product descriptions carefully before making your decision.

“I recommend using a few different methods to slow down or eradicate hair growth because everyone’s hair grows differently based on their body type,” says Condon. “Some people will respond better to laser, some to hair retarding creams, some to depilatory creams. Using all three can have much better and longer-lasting hair-free results.”

Here, we’ve rounded up the 11 best facial hair removal products for women—including top-rated creams suited to a variety of skin types and hair removal devices like epilators—for smooth, hair-free skin on your face. Take your pick and say goodbye to those dreaded waxing appointments for good. 

Best Overall: Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Cream

Dr. Fromowitz recommends this Olay cream because “it’s a two-part system that includes a skin-protecting balm to minimize irritation while still getting great results.” Best for use on fine to medium facial hair, it’s an Amazon’s Choice product that vows to rejuvenate your skin and eliminate peach fuzz (which can increase on your face as you age—thanks, hormones!) in just 8 minutes. While it’s on the pricier side of facial hair removal creams, reviewers rave that it’s worth the price tag and say that it’s super effective, especially on the upper lip area. One customer said, “I love how fast the treatment is, and so much cheaper than [going to] a spa.”

Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover, Buy It, $100; amazon.com

Best for Thick Hair: Surgi-Cream Hair Remover for Face

The best way to remove facial hair is to first note what type of hair you have on your face. If it’s thick and unruly,  your best bet for removal is a cream that’s specially formulated to get rid of thicker facial hair. “As we age, hair tends to get thicker and darker,” explains Dr. Fromowitz. He recommends this Surgi-Cream for those with darker, coarser facial hair. Simply apply a thick, even layer to your face (test first!), wait approximately four minutes, remove with the included gliding tool, and enjoy hair-free skin. Surgi-Cream is an Amazon’s Choice product and has nearly 100 positive reviews from customers (proof you’re certainly not alone when it comes to having thicker facial hair).  Shoppers rave that it's effective on even the most stubborn, hard-to-get-rid-of hair and also works well on sensitive skin. “After 4 minutes, all the hair was gone, and my skin didn't hurt at all! This is a miracle product. A true money- and time-saver too,” one customer wrote. 

Surgi-Cream Hair Remover for Face, Buy It,$18; amazon.com 

Best Epilator: ElectriBrite Epilator for Women

Amazon

Epilators are electrical devices that remove hair by the root in a similar fashion to waxing, says Dr. Fromowitz—and, luckily, are more technologically-advanced than they were a decade ago. “As long as you follow their instructions, they're safe for home use,” he adds.  Condon likes this cordless, rechargeable model that includes nine rotating tweezers for powerful hair removal packed in one compact device. Reviewers claim it gets rid of most hairs the first time it’s applied to the skin, so you don’t need to keep running the device over and over again in the same spot (ouch). Its sturdy handle makes it easy to hold, and it even includes a smart light that illuminates those tiny, hard-to-reach places (like around your nose) so you can properly remove hair. 

With a 4.3-star Amazon rating, many customers note that it’s easy to use and isn’t super painful. One reviewer called it the “best solution for facial hair” and said, “It was not nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Compact design, good for traveling, easy to operate. I am impressed with the product so far.” Another said it “pulls facial hair painlessly.” 

ElectriBrite Epilator for Women, Buy It, $25; amazon.com 

Best Drugstore Option: Nair Hair Remover Cream for Face

Sometimes, classic beauty brands are considered “the best” for a simple reason: They just plain work. “Nair is still the tried and true depilatory [hair removal product] cream. This product will soften the hair to either remove it at the surface, or soften it enough to remove it from the root,” says Condon. “It’s extremely important to follow the directions closely so you don’t burn or irritate your skin,” she adds.  Condon also recommends avoiding this product if you take prescription acne medications, including Retin-A, because the combo could make your skin hyper-sensitive and potentially lead to irritation.

Customers say that it does have an odor, but most don’t mind since the cream really gets the job done—especially post-menopause, according to reviewers. One shopper even called this classic Nair product “The Holy Grail,” of facial hair removal creams.  

Nair Hair Remover Cream for Face, Buy It, $4; walmart.com 

Best Portable Device: Bellabe Facial Hair Remover for Women  

Amazon

This springy, palm-sized facial hair ‘plucker’ is easy to bend and twist, providing a sturdier grip on tiny hairs—resulting in quicker and easier plucking—than a basic pair of  tweezers. The coil-like material is made of hypoallergenic carbon steel, which won’t pinch the skin as easily as tweezers often do. This handheld device is the best option if you prefer manual tools that don’t require any batteries or charging time. 

Here’s how it works: You hold one end of the “spring” in each hand and bend it, then gently roll it on your face. The spring pulls stray hairs from their roots as you slide the device along your cheeks, chin, jawline, and upper lip. Many reviewers swear that it’s pretty painless (but remember, everyone’s skin sensitivity is different). One shopper said, “It’s a little surprising at first, but once you get used to it, it’s easy.” Add this tool to your beauty arsenal if you hate tweezing but still want a fuzz-free face. 

Bellabe Facial Hair Remover for Women, Buy It, $20; amazon.com 

Best At-Home Laser Hair Remover: Imene

To permanently zap facial hair, consider investing in an laser hair removal device you can use at home. (Believe it or not, they’re more popular than you think!) For starters, you can personalize treatments in the privacy of your own home—no expensive salon appointments required. This particular one needs to be used a few times per month (the number will vary from person to person) to really work and kiss your hair goodbye for good—but reviewers say that with this product, patience is a virtue. (One user was “beyond impressed” with its performance.) It uses intense pulsed light (IPL) that’s FDA-approved and is safe for use on the skin. “Intense Pulsed Light is great at reducing hair because it uses many beams of light at different wavelengths and heat to kill the root of the hair so it does not regrow,” explains Condon. Just be sure to follow the mini machine’s directions from A to Z.

Imene Laser Hair Remover, Buy It, $200; amazon.com 

Best Pain-Free Device: Finishing Touch Flawless Women’s Hair Remover

Amazon

Shaped like a luxury lipstick, the Finishing Touch hair remover is a discreet, battery-powered device that’s super effective at removing  peach fuzz and fine hairs. Not only does it get rid of hair, but it also reveals smooth skin underneath, making makeup application a breeze. Just roll the hypoallergenic head of the device around your face in small, circulation motions, and voila: facial fuzz and stubble is a thing of the past.  It’s that simple!

Safe to use daily on all skin types, the rotary shaver is virtually painless, according to reviewers. One customer said it “removes all the hair without irritating my skin and it seems to last longer than other tools I've used.” Another reviewer added: “I’m highly allergic to even the wax that is made for sensitive skin; this beauty item will now save me that discomfort. Highly recommend it. Easy cleanup and ZERO pain.” Of note: Some customers said that it’s a good idea to apply a gentle moisturizer after using, since this product is an exfoliant that may dry out skin a bit.

Finishing Touch Women’s Hair Remover, Buy It, $20; amazon.com 

Best Hair Removal Mask: Freeman Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask

Peel-off masks can feel like an off-beat form of stress relief (can we all admit it’s weirdly fun to peel them off our faces?), along with efficiently cleansing and eliminating dirt from your pores to reveal smooth, silky skin. “There are some peel-off facial masks that can help remove hair, but it would typically be the fin vellus hairs, which are the peach fuzz-like hairs some people get,” says Dr. Fromowitz. In other words, a peel-off mask isn’t the way to go for thicker, coarser facial hair, but it’s a solid choice for eliminating peach fuzz. This reasonably-priced cucumber mask from industry-leader Freeman gently peels away impurities that cause blackheads and is recommended for normal or combination skin. So, it does all that and removes some baby-fine facial hairs en route? Bonus points.

Freeman Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask, Buy It, $7; amazon.com 

Best for Sensitive Skin: Avon Fresh and Smooth Facial Hair Removal Cream

Amazon

Let’s just state the facts: Removing facial hair isn’t a painless activity—sometimes the process can sting or burn, even days later.  Thankfully, Avon has heard our cries of beauty pain and created a hair removal solution for sensitive skin. This fragrance-free, aloe formula is gentle enough to painlessly remove fuzz and thin hairs without irritating sensitive skin. (But keep in mind it isn’t recommended for thicker hair.) Customers love this cream for its reasonable price point and say it gets the job done, especially on the upper lip, but to follow the directions carefully and remember that it's not a permanent hair remover. “It’s quick and easy. You don’t feel any burn like most of hair removal cream and it’s smooth,” one reviewer wrote. 

Avon Fresh and Smooth Facial Hair Removal Cream, Buy It, $8; amazon.com 

Best Wax Strips: Nad’s Hypoallergenic Facial Wax Strips

Ah, waxing—you either love it or hate it.  If waxing is your preferred method of hair removal, opt for these waxing strips from Nad’s (a trusted skincare brand that’s been around since the early 90s) that doesn’t require any prep work. (In other words, you don’t have to worry about heating up the wax with a machine.) You actually use your own hands to warm up the soft, flexible strips, and then simply apply them anywhere on your face—upper lip, between your brows, chin, cheeks, etc.—place pressure on the area, and then peel off. Presto! Hair can be vanished for up to four weeks after a single use. Some customers noted that the more often you wax with these strips (no more than every couple weeks) the longer you’ll be hairless in between. “I got no rashes or marks from the strips and my skin can be pretty sensitive,” wrote one reviewer, while others said they swear by these strips for coarse hair.

Nad’s Hypoallergenic Facial Wax Strips, Buy It, $10; amazon.com 

Best Natural Wax: Moom Organic Hair Removal with Tea Tree Oil

Amazon

Those who gravitate towards organic and natural skin-care products will love this product from MOOM, a Canadian brand founded by a chemist-slash-nature-lover. An Amazon’s Choice product, the all-natural, honey-like formula is made of cane sugar extract, lemon juice, tea tree oil, and chamomile tea.

Here’s how it works: heat up the wax in the microwave or on the stovetop and then apply it to your skin like you would a waxing strip. Then lay a waxing strip (which you'll need to buy separately) on top. Once the wax is on your skin, pull the strips in the same direction of the hair growth for top-notch efficacy. (Pro tip: Reviewers recommend taking advantage of helpful tutorials on Youtube for more tips on how to properly use the product.)

When it comes to safely waxing at home, Dr. Fromowitz stresses that, “the key is to follow the directions carefully." If the kit includes heating the wax, be very careful about temperature to avoid burns, he says. And though this wax is certainly gentle enough to be used on the face, it can also be used all over your body, so you really get the most bang for your buck.

Moom Organic Hair Remover with Tea Tree Oil, Buy It, $19; amazon.com 

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