Pros: works great on fine, thin hair
exfoliates skin leaving it VERY soft and smooth
Cons: doesn't work for course, thick hair
causes minor irritation
Well, I gave in and purchased an "As Seen on TV" product. That is unusual for me, I don't generally fall for those TV gimmicky products. But, this time I just had to. My purchase: Smooth Away.
What it is
Smooth Away is a hair removal system. It is said to remove hair instantly and pain free. What doesn't sound good about that? This comes in a box and on the box the following are stated:
-No Pain (yay!)
-No Chemicals (double yay!)
-No Razor Burn (not usually a problem for me, but still yay)
Upon opening the box, I found that the Smooth Away system comes in a nice little pack. They call it a "travel case" but it's more like a convenient way to store the item. The case is bright lime green and plastic. It folds in half, and when unfolded, you'll find the two slots inside. One side holds the Smooth Away applicators, the other side holds the refill pads. This set comes with one large applicator, one small, and 5 refills for each size. The pads have an adhesive side that you pull the backing off to reveal. They simply stick on to the applicator. Well, maybe "simply" isn't quite the right word. You get one shot at lining it up right. It is super sticky and once on, it's there for awhile. I haven't tried removing one yet, but they certainly don't peel up on their own.
The large pad is 3.25" wide and 4.5" long. This one is designed for larger areas like legs or arms.
The small pad is 1.25" wide and 2.5" long. This one is designed for smaller areas like upper lip, bikini area, and very curved areas like knees or around tender spots like ankles.
The applicators are made of rubber while the pads are "flex-crystal" and feel like a very fine grit sandpaper.
The large applicator has a spot to slide your hand through to use, the small one has a slot for your pointer finger to slide through. Both allow for easy maneuverability.
Skin should be clean and free from lotions, creams, or oils. Skins should also be dry. Hair should be no longer than 1/4" for best results. Those with sensitive skin should test in a small area and then wait 24 hours to be sure there is no reaction. Same goes for sensitive areas like face or bikini area.
With one hand, gently pull skin so that is it smooth and taut.
With the other hand, gently buff the area with only SLIGHT pressure. Go clockwise 3 times, then counter clockwise 3 times. Repeat until all hair has been removed.
I thought that sounded a bit silly, but did as it said anyway...
The tops of my legs is what I tried first, as that hair is very fine. It worked quite well! I quickly deviated from the directions, and created my own pattern. I would go in circular motions the from knee to hip in a line, then repeat in the opposite direction, but held the skin taut the whole time. It does work much better if skin is taut and smooth. It took the hair off so well, I was impressed. Afterwards, it leaves a white film all over my skin, but according to the instructions, that is the dead skin exfoliated. It was kind of gross, but my skin was so super smooth. It only left a stray hair here and there. I finished both upper legs in this fashion in no time. It was easy to just sit on the floor and "Smooth Away" the hair. The applicators are flexible and very easy and comfortable to hold and work with. I did think, to myself, how the exfoliated skin must be making a mess on the carpet. So, I recommend finding a spot where either this doesn't matter, or it is easy to clean up. It makes a fine, baby-powder dust.
The next attempt was the bottoms of my legs, from the knee to the ankle. On me, this hair is much more course. Smooth Away worked, but not quite as well, and it took longer. My shins seemed to be the hardest place to remove the hair, and I ended up quitting out of frustration. It did remove some hair, probably about 60-80% depending on the area, but shaving would be much faster. I used the smaller pad on my knees, and it worked decenly enough. I will say that even though some hair was left behind, the skin was still exfoliated, so it was smooth (just with some hair here and there).
After both leg parts tried, I did notice my legs were stinging a little. It wasn't bad, but it definitely left my skin a little irritated. The instructions indicate that this is a possibility, and give ways to relieve it. I just wiped my legs with a wet cool cloth and applied unscented lotion. Within a couple of minutes, all irritation was gone. They were a little red, but not bad and that went away just as fast.
I also tried my bikini area, and that was pointless. It simply didn't work. The hair was too course or thick or something. I tried it several times, at different lengths, and not a single hair was removed.
As for how long it lasts, no longer than shaving. By the next day, my super smooth upper legs had stubble. So, it won't give smoother skin for longer than shaving, a little disappointment, but oh well.
There is no pain associated with the Smooth Away. My skin got a little irritated, but it was mild and didn't last long after lotion was applied.
Smooth Away is a great concept. It is a painless way to remove hair, and give your skin some serious exfoliation. I've only used it a couple of times, so I haven't replaced a pad yet. I plan to use it on the tops of my legs, as it works very well there. It will be great for touch-ups, like if I am going out unexpectedly and need some fast hair removal, or if I miss a spot after shaving. I'm glad I purchased this, and I will use it for the tops of my legs. Smooth Away seems to work best on fine, thin hair.
Cost and Availability
Walmart has an "As Seen on TV" aisle (as do a lot of other stores these days) and the Smooth Away system retails for $9.99. A fair price, to me.