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Facial hair removal requires a bit more selectivity than hair removal in other parts of the body. Common methods have typically included tweezing, depilatories and even shaving with a razor. In recent years, laser hair removal has become popular but it is expensive. Oral medication such as Spirolactone (used in polycystic ovary syndrome) may help but if you want to avoid a treatment that travels all over the body, then a topical cream such as Vaniqa may be a good choice.
How it works:
Vaniqa is not a depilatory. It is a cream that works by inhibiting an enzyme that stimulates hair growth. It may take a couple of months for Vaniqa to control facial hair growth so other methods such as tweezing will need to be continued.
Vaniqa should be applied twice a day, at least eight hours apart, by rubbing a thin layer into the area where hair growth is a problem. Do not wash the skin for at least four hours. You can apply make up or sunscreen after the area has dried.
According to a study performed in 2000, “approximately 32% of patients showed marked improvement or greater after 24 weeks of treatment with VANIQA, compared to 8% in the placebo group." Post-menopausal women showed the greatest improvement and white women had a better response than non-white women to the medication.
Who can use it:
Vaniqa can only be obtained with a prescription from your doctor and is not to be used by those under the age of 12. Do not use Vaniqa if you are pregnant or nursing. Only use Vaniqa on facial hair, not on underarms or in the genital area. Also, it has only been approved for women so use in men has not been tested. The most common side effects are stinging, burning and redness.
Forum responses by women who have used Vaniqa have been positive. Women noticed that hair growth, even coarse hair, had been reduced. Some reported a reduction of hair of about 50 percent, making it easier to control facial hair with an occasional tweezing. The only downside is that if one stops using Vaniqa, facial hair growth will resume to pre-use levels. The cream is not a permanent solution.