How it works: The cream (which begins to foam on contact with skin) contains potassium thioglycolate, a chemical that dissolves the keratin bonds in hair. Once those bonds are broken, the hair can literally be wiped or washed away.
Our verdict: Our last unhappy depilatory experience progressed quickly from slightly itchy to "Get it off!" This stuff didn't even tingle. There was a faint chemical smell, but it was far from noxious, and after three minutes we could easily rinse away the hair. Caution: Depilatories are safe to use along your bikini line, but not on your entire bikini area.
How it works: On one end is a four-blade disposable razor, on the other a waterproof battery-powered trimmer (one triple-A is included).
Our verdict: If you like to keep your lawn mowed (or your hedges clipped, or...whatever), you'll like this little gadget. It's a lot easier (and safer) to wield "down there" than a pair of scissors or your husband's beard trimmer. And we found the trimmer-razor combination especially handy.
How it works: You rub two wax-coated paper strips between your palms for several seconds (to heat them up), then peel them apart and press them on your skin, in the direction of hair growth. A quick, hard tug in the opposite direction rips the hair out.
Our verdict: An efficient, if sticky, process. Three weeks after a professional waxing, these strips removed all our stray hairs without more than a fleeting sting. They left behind a tacky residue, but the wipes (included) dissolved it.