Monday, 30 December 2013

Fem Anti-Darkening Hair Removal Cream Review


My first hair removal cream
Hair removal is something we're all familiar with. It's a necessary part of grooming. There are many ways to get rid of unwanted hair - waxing, shaving (with razors or other shaving devices, hair removal creams, laser procedures etc. I have extremely sensitive skin which breaks out even when I shave with the utmost care. So I decided to experiment with hair removal creams and see if my skin preferred them instead. The first time I tried hair removal ages ago, it was with a Fem Hair Removal Cream I got free with a Fem liquid hand wash. I remember it leaving my skin soft and smooth, and breakout free! So I decided to try Fem instead of Veet like I'd been contemplating (because it's more popular, widely available - and let's not forget how enticing it seems in the ad when Katrina Kaif flaunts her flawless skin and credits Veet for it).
 


The one worry I had using a hair removal cream was skin darkening. So stepping into the store, when the salesperson showed me the Fem anti darkening cream (for normal skin), it seemed too good to be true! The little box was very quaint and I happily paid Rs. 51 for it.

What Fem Claims: Unlike ordinary hair removal creams, Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream is the first ever hair removal cream with Anti Darkening properties. On regular usage of ordinary hair removal creams, women usually put forward the issue of skin darkening especially in the underarms, bikini line, etc. The skin looks dark, patchy and uneven, bringing in the fear of using hair removal creams frequently. (I couldn't have put it better myself!)
Fem, with its years of expertise in fairness, found a unique formulation that not only removed unwanted hair in just 2 mins but also prevented skin darkening on regular usage.
Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream is enriched with: Liquorice that prevents skin darkening and Jojoba oil that makes skin soft, smooth and glowing. It also comes with a unique post hair removal moisturizer.

Price: Rs. 41 for 25 grams convenient tube (for a single use on hands and legs.)
Rs. 51 (now Rs. 52) for 40 grams jar (for two uses on hands and legs.)
Rs. 72 for 60 grams tube (for three uses on hands and legs.) 

Variants: Available for Normal skin with Blossom (lavender package), for Sensitive skin with Rose (deep pinkish-red package), for Oily skin with Lemon (yellow package) and for Dry skin with Sandal (orange package)
 
Shelf Life:
Hair Removal Cream: 3 years from the date of manufacture
Moisturizer: 42 months from the date of manufacture
 
Ingredients:
Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream: Aqua, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Thioglycollic Acid, Paraffinum Liquidum, Urea, Calcium Hydroxide, Cetereath-20, Talc, Sodium Hydroxide, Perfum, Glycerine, Magnesium Trisilicate, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Propylene Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Gluconate, Jojoba Oil, Liquorice Extract, Cl 77491.
Fem Anti Darkening Post Hair Removal Moisturizer (Key ingredients only): Liquorice extracts, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Jojoba Oil, Niacinamide, Pactin.

It's pretty obvious what attracted me to this product. I pretty much can't use any other means for hair removal thanks to my ultra sensitive skin, and because of my ultra sensitive skin I didn't wanna try any new brands which might break me out. I was very happy with how Fem worked for me the last time and wanted to give it another shot. The gorgeous package and fancy lavender box only worked more to its favour.

Inside the pack came the 40 gram jar of hair removal cream, a spatula for application and removal, an instruction leaflet, and as promised, the 2 sachets of 5 gram moisturizer each (one for each use). Pretty neat huh?
 
 The instruction leaflet is pretty detailed. Took me 20 entire minutes to get through the entire thing. It has the same directions for use printed on the box repeated in 8 different languages. In addition it has a picture of Sonakshi Sharma sitting and looking all pretty claiming she has a very busy life and doesn't get time to visit parlours (now this cracked me up!) and how Fem's Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream is the solution to all her problems. How fantastic for her. There's also a skin fairness meter which you can use to ensure that Fem is indeed keeping your skin glowing and that regular usage isn't resulting in any skin darkening. It's a good concept but the skin fairness meter didn't really work for me as I struggled to find my skin shade - a problem I think a lot of people may face. There are precautions before use and after use (These must be read before using the cream) and details of Fem skin bleaches, Fem hand wash range and the other variants available in the Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream range. Phew!

The cream glided nicely on my arms with the help of the spatula. I applied a decent layer which was not too thin but not very thick either (they are chemicals after all) to ensure that all the hair came off. It was pretty easy to apply and can be done by yourself (though the back of the arms and legs higher up are a bit tricky). The cream itself smelled quite weird and unpleasant and didn't go away even after taking the cream off. The cream is supposed to start taking action after 2 mins and it can be taken off within 3-6 mins. I took it off in 5-6 mins, to give the cream as much time possible to work. The cream came away easily with the spatula taking most of the hair with it. I say most because I noticed some strands here and there still refusing to come off. Generally they wouldn't be very visible unless someone was actually scrutinizing my arm. Unlike the cream, the moisturizer (which contains the precious liquorice and jojoba extracts apparently responsible for the anti darkening and glowing skin Fem promises) has a sweet gentle fragrance. Sadly however the overpowering smell of the hair removal cream still persists after using it and only fades away with time - say within an hour or so. It's not the best moisturizer in the world, and certainly can't be used as a substitute for your regular moisturizer, but it left my skin feeling soft, supple and nourished. Unlike when I shave, I didn't experience any burning sensation whatsoever, and my skin did not break out! I did notice a few tiny random boils on my skin after use the second time, but it could quite possibly be completely unrelated. Yay!

The 40 gram jar that I purchased is the most easily available in the market. It is supposed to last two times (ie two pairs of arms and legs). What scared me is that when I used it for my entire arms the first time, half the bottle got used up without me even getting to my legs (and still all my hair didn't come off as well as I would've preferred). Even if I did use a bit too much, I don't think I used that much extra. I also don't think that Fem could have gotten their estimates that wrong. I am pretty tall so I do have longer limbs. Maybe the shortage of cream was a combination of all three reasons? The only thing that worried me that I may have overused the cream (and it is loaded with chemicals). Even for a single use, it is more cost effective than going to the parlour, so that's not an issue for me. I didn't have any such problems with the moisturizer though. It was more than sufficient for two uses for arms and legs.












After about 4 days I noticed tiny hair slowly growing back. I'd say you need to use it about once a week. The effect of waxing usually lasts a bit longer as opposed to hair removal creams. However the parlor I usually visit charges around Rs. 150 for 3/4 hands only so the cream definitely comes cheaper. And of course, my skin can't tolerate waxing without breaking out, so that's really out of the question for me.

The biggest claim of this product, the anti darkening, is unfortunately something I can't comment on. My skin does not look any darker than it was earlier, but I did just use the cream twice (ie. one entire bottle). The effects of skin darkening take a while to appear (and I sincerely hope that they never do), so as of now I can't tell whether this moisturizer really works. But I will be updating this post after a few more uses of the product.

To summarize
Pros:
  • Did not break me out; no burning sensation or pain!
  • Apparently doesn't darken skin
  • Attractive packaging, very convenient to carry
  • Dermatologically tested
  • 40g packs are easily available in most stores
  • Extremely affordable and cost effective
  • Excellent shelf life
  • Available for all skin types
  • Very easy and convenient to use (to apply as well as remove)
  • Action starts in 2 minutes
  • Comes with a moisturizer (which smells pleasant)
  • Skin feels soft and smooth after use
Cons:
  • Weird unpleasant (and extremely overpowering and long lasting) smelling cream
  • Doesn't remove 100% hair; some strands still remain
  • Noticed very few boils on my skin after use
  • 40g pack is sufficient for only a single use and not two uses as claimed
  • Hair grows back quickly
  • 25g and 60g packs are a little difficult to come across in the market and online
  • Contains a lot of chemicals
  • Moisturizer lists only its key ingredients
  • Fairness meter does not have enough shades
My verdict: 8.5/10

Will I purchase it again? Yes, I already have. I purchased the Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream for Sensitive skin this time, and my experience was pretty much the same. So if you're looking for a quick and painless way to get rid of unwanted hair without having to worry about skin darkening, or if you have crazy sensitive skin like mine, then I'd recommend that you try this. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it!

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