Thursday, February 9, 2012

Glam or Sham? Smooth Away Hair Removal System

*Glam or Sham is a new series in which I will investigate the sometimes outrageous & sensational claims made by some As-Seen-On-TV health & beauty products*

I hate shaving.  As a matter of fact I hate all types of hair removal:  waxing, creams, etc.  My real problem though is that as much as I hate hair removal, I hate being hairy even more.  So when I saw Smooth Away at my local Big Lots promising an easy-peasy painless process, I thought, why not?  Find out if this really does result in instant and painless hair removal or if you should just stay with the trusty razor after the jump!

Included in this set is 1 large applicator, 1 small applicator, a set of large & small replacement pads, and a travel pouch to store the product.  The packaging says that it can be used on pretty much the entire body and the large applicator should be used on larger spaces like the arms and legs, while the small applicator should be used on smaller areas like the face and rougher areas like the elbows and knees.  On clean, non-irritated skin, the instructions tell you to rub the applicator (with the pad attached, of course) in a circle clockwise 3 times and then 3 times counterclockwise.  Continue until the skin is free of hair.  It's supposed to be as simple as that....but was it?  Well, not exactly.

First the good:  It did work on my arm!  I get annoying, scraggly hairs on my upper arms that I can't stand and this took them right off.  Now, I'm pretty sure that no matter where you're using this you won't be able to get the hair off by just doing the "3 times clockwise, 3 times counterclockwise" thing just once through.  I would say I did about 4-6 sets of that to see results, so there goes the "instant" claim.
I had a hard time capturing the hairs on my arm so above is the best I could so, sorry :(  But hopefully if you squint you'll see the few hairs I have on part of the spot I chose to test out on my upper arm!
Another bad picture, but the hair is gone in this second picture.  I hope you can also see how much drier my skin looks in the after photo.  This is because using this product is essentially like using sandpaper on your skin, so expect even the most moisturized skin to become turn into an ashy mess after application.  My skin was already dry so this made it even worse.  But don't worry too much, a simple pop of lotion should fix the problem.  I also used the small applicator on my knee and it worked as well, although it took longer.

Now onto the bad:  this thing is hella irritating.  Like I mentioned just before, it feel as if you're rubbing sandpaper on your skin.  The packaging boasts a "No Razorburn" claim proudly, but replacing razor burn (which I personally never get with a razor) is something like a rash.  When I went to check out my arm after I used it, the spot on my arm was red and very warm.  Some of the bumps that were already on my arm (I have keratosis pilaris) had turned red as well and almost look like sores.  

The worst was the face though.  The packaging says it's okay to use on the face but, to be fair, it does say to test a small spot on the face before using to see if it will cause a reaction.  Well, I only have a small space where I wanted to use it anyway so I just tested it there....and boy did I have a reaction alright.  Due to a hormonal imbalance condition, I get a few coarse hairs on my chin that I usually shave off.  Don't even think about using this thing for anything coarser than leg hair.  Not only did the hair not budge, but my skin became inflamed.  I got a few little bumps and my chin was itchy for days afterward.  

Bottom Line:  I'm gonna have to go with SHAM! 

Even though I did find some results, I do not think this was more efficient or painless than shaving.  Personally, I very rarely do I actually nick myself or get razorburn with a razor, so I would say it's pretty painless already with shaving.  And with a few swipes, if it's a sharp razor, the hair is gone.  

The pain was there for Smooth Away however.  In fact it was a bit worse than getting nicked with a razor if you ask me.  A nick hurts for a second when it happens and if you put soap or lotion on it for a little while.  The rash-like irritation I experienced with Smooth Away affected a larger portion of skin and lasted for a longer time.  It also took for effort and energy to remove the hair with Smooth Away than it would have with a razor.

So there goes my hopes for a shave-free life :(  Back to the razor I go.  What's your preferred method of hair removal?


  1. Thanks...great review! I've always pondered trying these. But you've saved me the disappointment.

  2. I'm so glad this helped you! :-)



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