As any woman can attest, the deceptively innocuous act of hair removal can prove quite a challenge. It can be incredibly frustrating to remove obstinate facial hair without dealing with the unfortunate side effects, from stray hairs left behind to burning skin to scarring. Given the unique needs of African American skin, it's important to choose a method of hair removal that gently removes stubborn hair.
When I was introduced to the new Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo for Medium to Coarse Hair, I was intrigued. According to Olay, the formula is designed to painlessly remove even the most tenacious hair, from difficult upper lips to straggly, coarse chins. As someone with relatively thick facial hair, I was compelled to try Olay Smooth Finish as soon as I saw the claims.
The product is extremely easy to use. The system includes two components: Skin Guarding Balm and Hair Removal Cream. The first step is to prep the skin for treatment with the gentle Skin Guarding Balm. Packaged in a twist-style stick that resembles a lip gloss tube, the emollient balm is rich in hydrating, calming ingredients, including a wax blend, a conditioning glossamer, and soy and cotton seed esters, which help soften the skin. The balm is far more than just a moisturizer, though – it also protects the skin from the hair removal product and keeps it soft, supple and free of irritation.
I was pleasantly surprised by the balm's rich consistency and the ease with which it blended into my skin. The directions state that the product should be applied beyond the treatment area, so I massaged it generously for 20 seconds onto my upper lip and chin. The feeling was exquisite: velvety soft, with an almost buttery finish that left my skin extra moist.
Following that, I proceeded to apply the hair removal cream over the treatment area. Formulated to weaken and easily remove the hair, the cream is packaged in a sleek tube and features a slant tip that makes it easy to apply only what is needed – nothing more. The scent is mild and pleasant, and not at all what I would associate with the "typical" depilatory fragrance. I put the suggested pea-sized amount on my upper lip and a more generous amount on my chin and allowed it to process.
Eight minutes later, I wiped the cream away, rinsed with a splash of lukewarm water and…voila! I was in heaven, ladies – hair-free heaven. Not only was it absolutely painless, it completely nixed every single stubborn hair on my face. Even more impressive, my dark skin showed no telltale signs of irritation. It wasn't itchy or bumpy in the least, and actually felt better than it did before I used the system.
Perhaps the best part of all was that my skin was left baby soft. It just felt plain healthy – something I'm not always accustomed to after using a facial hair remover. I love the ease of use and the way my skin feels, but I'm also appreciative of how gentle it is on African American skin. With just one use, I've become a convert!