Deciphering Temporary Hair Depilation Formulas

Jan 1, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.
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Title: Deciphering Temporary Hair Depilation Formulas
Hair epilationx depilationx hair removalx thioglycolic acidx
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Keywords: Hair epilation | depilation | hair removal | thioglycolic acid

Abstract: Although some permanent approaches to hair depilation can be effective, this column will focus on creating personal care formulations for the temporary depilation of hair.

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E Abrutyn, Deciphering Hair Depilation Formulas, Cosmet & Toil 126(1) (2011) p 22

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There are many approaches to temporary body hair removal including shaving, epilation/electrolysis, depilation, waxing, plucking and other therapeutic anti-androgen/enzymatic treatments. They all have general advantages and drawbacks. For instance, shaving requires continuous hair removal and can lead to skin irritation from abrasion. Epilation removes the entire hair shaft from the root for long-term hair removal but can be painful and can even cause scarring if not properly performed. Depilation is effective and provides extended hair reduction but due to its high pH, is potentially irritating. Waxing and plucking do not effectively or completely remove hair and can be painful. Finally, anti-androgen and enzymatic treatments require proper timing, i.e. within the hair cycle stage, to provide long-lasting hair removal.

There are also permanent approaches to hair removal that target and destroy the mechanisms regulating hair growth, including electro-epilation, photo-epilation and ultrasound-epilation. In addition, the thermo-laser approach heats hair follicles pretreated with a specific black-colored solution that, once heated, destroys the hair, resulting in the long-term retardation of hair growth. Although some permanent approaches to hair depilation can be effective, this column will focus on creating personal care formulations for the temporary depilation of hair.

Key Components of Hair Depilation

The key chemical necessary for hair depilation is based on an alkaline reducing agent that disintegrates the disulfide bonds (S-S) formed between cysteine units of keratin molecules in hair; this allows for the easy removal of hair by washing the skin surface. This depilatory action allows for the formation of new disulfide bonds (e.g., thioglycolic acid). This reaction is shown in Figure 1 on Page 24.

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Table 1. X-Epil Extra Sensitive Depilation Cream

Table 1. X-Epil Extra Sensitive Depilation Cream

This cream, shown in Figure 3, is formulated with aloe vera to moisturize sensitive skin.

Table 2. Veet Hair Removal Mousse

Table 2. Veet Hair Removal Mousse

This mousse, pictured in Figure 4, is formulated with a moisturizing complex of shea butter and lily.

Table 3. Yves Rocher Aloe Vera Essentiel Cold Wax Strips

Table 3. Yves Rocher Aloe Vera Essentiel Cold Wax Strips

These strips, shown in Figure 5, offer gentle depilation with soothing and softening aloe vera.

Table 4. Auchan Depil Mousse Piels Sensibles (Hair Removing Mousse for Sensitive Skin)

Auchan Depil Mousse Piels Sensibles (Hair Removing Mousse for Sensitive Skin)

The depilatory mousse shown in Figure 6 contains almond oil, shea butter and vitamins A, C, and E to reportedly leave skin soft, smooth and moisturized.

Figure 1. The breakage of the disulfide bridges of keratin allows for the formation of new disulfide bonds.

Figure 1. The breakage of the disulfide bridges of keratin allows for the formation of new disulfide bonds.

The key chemical necessary for hair depilation is based on an alkaline reducing agent that disintegrates the disulfide bonds (S-S) formed between cysteine units of keratin molecules in hair; this allows for the easy removal of hair by washing the skin surface. This depilatory action allows for the formation of new disulfide bonds (e.g., thioglycolic acid).

Figure 2. Thioglycolic acid

Figure 2. Thioglycolic acid

Thioglycolic acid is a simple sulfur, group-chained, carboxylic acid, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3. X-Epil Extra Sensitive Depilation Cream

Figure 3. X-Epil Extra Sensitive Depilation Cream

This cream, shown in Figure 3, is formulated with aloe vera to moisturize sensitive skin.

Figure 4. Veet Hair Removal Mousse

Figure 4. Veet Hair Removal Mousse

This mousse, pictured in Figure 4, is formulated with a moisturizing complex of shea butter and lily.

Figure 5. Yves Rocher Aloe Vera Essentiel Cold Wax Strips:

Yves Rocher Aloe Vera Essentiel Cold Wax Strips

These strips, shown in Figure 5, offer gentle depilation with soothing and softening aloe vera.

Figure 6. Auchan Depil Mousse Piels Sensibles (Hair Removing Mousse for Sensitive Skin)

Figure 6. Auchan Depil Mousse Piels Sensibles (Hair Removing Mousse for Sensitive Skin)

The depilatory mousse shown in Figure 6 contains almond oil, shea butter and vitamins A, C, and E to reportedly leave skin soft, smooth and moisturized.

Biography: Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.

Eric S. Abrutyn, TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc.

Eric S. Abrutyn is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, a Cosmetics & Toiletries scientific advisory board member, and chairman of the Personal Care Products Council’s International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) Committee. Recently retired from Kao Brands, Abrutyn founded TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc., a personal care consultancy. He has more than 35 years of experience in the raw material supplier and skin and hair care manufacturer aspects of personal care.

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