Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Read Label? Check. Follow Instructions? Not So Much.

Early last week, I decided to Veet my upper arms, underarms, shoulders, the back of my neck and upper back ~ whatever I could reach.  Veet is my toxic chemical of choice when it's time to kill body hair.

I've done this before.  I know to put the Veet on my underarms last, and take it off first because they're a bit sensitive.  I keep it on for the maximum time, because it takes that long to get rid of the hair.  Usually, it works without incident unless I'm sloppy.  For instance, stray Veet has stayed on too long because I didn't notice it and caused what looked like a burn.  It doesn't last long.

The Veet label says the following: Before each use, TEST YOUR SKIN REACTION by applying the cream to a small part of the area you wish to treat, following the directions for use.  If after 24 HOURS there is no adverse reaction, begin using.

It also says to not reapply for three days after use.

I can't figure that out.  Let's say I want to de-fur my arms.  I'd have to do a small patch and wait a day.  Then I could do the rest of my arm.  But I'd have to be careful to not Veet the part I did the previous day.  That means I'd probably end up with a little border that's not defoliated because it's impossible to go right up to the edge.  Unless....

1. get a heavy material with a sticky back.
2. cut out a small shape.  Keep both parts.
3. stick the large part to your arm.  Veet within the cut part.
4. remove the material and test.
5. wait a day.
6. carefully stick the small shape to the defurred area.
7. Veet the exposed parts.

Shaving is looking easier and easier.

So I'm guessing nobody does that.

I've been using Veet every couple of weeks for several months without a problem.

Back to early last week....  I started with one arm/shoulder and worked towards the back of my neck and upper back.  Almost immediately, my upper back began to feel odd.  Not painful, but tingly.  The Veet had been in place for less than a minute and my arm seemed fine, so I finished with my underarm and started on the other side.  The back of my neck/middle of my upper back started to hurt a bit, but I dismissed it.  I decided to finish with my hands and started the timer, as I usually do.

My upper back hurt, but not horribly and I figured it was a mild reaction to the Veet.

It turns out "mild" was the wrong word.  After removal, it felt like a sunburn.  Visual examination showed redness and some blistering.  Over the next few hours, it hurt more.  Like a sunburn.

Unlike a sunburn, it turned into hundreds of tiny scabs.  There was no bleeding, but it seemed like many pores were injured.  It wasn't everywhere.  It was worst on my shoulders, upper upper arms, middle of my upper back.  It didn't affect my underarms or upper arm below my shoulder at all.  It was spotty on other treated areas.  The scabs appeared on one hand but not the other.

I'm guessing the dry winter weather is causing dry winter skin and that made it worse.

I'm also guessing I should toss the Veet and look for some other brand which I'll test on a small spot of skin first.

Oh....  The label also says if you experience any smarting/tingling during use, remove the cream immediately and rinse thoroughly with water.  If this sensation persists, seek medical advice.


  1. Meg -

    I under do the exposure of Veet, etc. on my skin and use it occasionally to soften up the hairs for a closer shave. It's hard to trust those chemicals....


  2. Oh dear, I do hope you don't sleep on your back. There is a lot to be said for shaving


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