Olay Facial Hair Removal Duo – Fine to Medium

Product Name

Reviewed by

Sue McCarthy

Review date


The Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo from Olay for fine to medium hair is specially formulated to be gentle and effective at removing hair from the face. Consisting of a skin guarding balm stick and a tube of hair removal cream, it promises to remove hair effectively in 6 - 8 minutes.


3.6 out of 5 Stars

Product Overview

Olay is a well known and respected Brand in the beauty products industry.  Their hair removal duo is specially designed for use on the face.

The product is for use on the upper lip, chin or jaw but not for the eyebrows, ears or nose areas.  It should be kept away from eyes.

Depilatory creams work by dissolving the hair to fractionally below the skin's surface and so the results are a little longer than shaving - typically from 10 days to 2 weeks. This is an indication and will vary depending on each individual's hair growth rates.

The Olay Facial Hair Removal Duo is also available for Medium to Coarse Hair.​

What You Get

In the box, you get one 19g (0.6oz) tube of Olay hair removal cream and one skin guarding balm stick.

19g Tube of Cream plus Skin Guarding Balm

There is also a full instruction leaflet with details of how to use the product, relevant precautions and how to carry out a skin test prior to use.

Retailing at around $15, the product is not cheap but is apparently be sufficient for 12 applications for a small area such as upper lip.​

A Look at Olay Facial Hair Removal Duo

Skin Guarding Balm Stick

Considering the pretty large size of box that this product comes in (16cm x 10cm) I was surprised that the contents did not reflect this; just a small tube, a stick and a leaflet of instructions.  I am not a fan of wasteful packaging, so for me this was a bit of a minus.

First impressions of the product, however, were pretty good; the cream has a lemony scent which, although very strong, I found not to be unpleasant.

The balm is unscented, with quite a greasy feel, but is intended to act as a barrier between the skin and the cream, to minimise contact and resultant irritation.​  In theory, at least, this seems like a pretty good idea to me.

What does the Product Contain?​

As ever, it is important to check the ingredients of the cream if you are aware of any allergies.

The photographs below are the lists of ingredients in the 2 products and were taken straight from the box​:

Hair Removal Cream Ingredients

Skin Guarding Balm Ingredients

How to Use the Product

You must always, without fail, conduct a patch test prior to using any depilatory cream to ensure that you do not experience any adverse reactions.

This can be carried out on a small, inconspicuous area:​

Skin Test

  • Carry out skin test 48 hours prior to use
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of cream evenly to a small spot on your forearm without rubbing in
  • Leave for 10 minutes
  • Remove product with damp cotton wool
  • Rinse the area well with running water
  • Then wait for 48 hours after which time, if you have no adverse reaction, you may continue to use the product as per directions.
  • If you have any irritation whatsoever, remove the product immediately and rinse the area well with cold water.

Frequent or prolonged use may cause a reaction even if you have used this product previously.  If irritation persists, stop use and seek medical advice.


The skin guarding balm is applied to the area first, to stop the cream having direct contact to your skin, as follows:

  • Apply the balm lightly across the treatment area in a thin layer, applying just once so that there is not too much
  • Massage the balm into the skin in a circular motion for a good 20 seconds

The idea is to form a barrier, without overly coating the hairs, which may inhibit the effectiveness of the cream.

Olay's Directions for Use - taken from the instruction leaflet

Next, you need to apply the hair removal cream:

  • Using fingertips, apply a thick layer of cream to the treatment area making sure to cover the hair completely
  • Do not rub in
  • Make sure to only use with the skin guarding balm provided
  • Wash hands immediately
  • Leave the cream for 6 - 8 minutes (test a small area after 6 minutes to see if the hair comes away easily)
  • You can leave the cream a little longer for stubborn, thicker hairs if necessary, but in any case for no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cream with cotton wool and rinse skin thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  • Pat dry gently.


The product can cause severe adverse reactions and irritation if the correct precautions are not observed.

If you experience persistent rash, swelling or other irritations to your skin after removal of the product - seek medical advice ​

  • Do not use around the eyes, ears, nose, genital, breast or perianal areas
  • If product comes into contact with the eyes, rinse immediately with clean water and seek medical advice
  • Do not use on moles, scars, irritated, broken or sunburnt skin
  • Do not shave the area for at least 72 hours prior to use
  • Do not leave cream on for longer than 10 minutes
  • Do not use if you suffer from any skin disorder or have had irritation from depilatory creams in the past
  • You must leave at least 72 hours between treatments
  • Do not sunbathe, go swimming or use perfumed products on the treated area for 24 hours
  • Keep safely stored out of reach of children

Seek medical advice immediately if ingested - for external use only!

Is it Effective?

I have to say that I was really impressed with the results that I got.

I tested the cream on some fine, downy hair and it all came away perfectly, leaving the area hair-free and smooth.

I have sensitive skin and usually get at least a little bit of a prickly feel from ​depilatory creams, but I confess I felt nothing at all.  I guess that's down to the pre-treatment balm!

Having said this, as with most things there is no "one size fits all" product and reviews that I have read are a little mixed, although there are a majority of satisfied customers.

​I also think that, although I did not find the scent offensive, there are some who might, especially if using on the upper lip!

For options on facial hair removal for women we have written a complete guide.​

Why Use Depilatory Creams?

Almost all hair removal methods involve some level of pain however, together with shaving, depilatory creams are pain-free (assuming that you are not allergic!)  This is probably the most attractive advantage.

In some respects, depilatory creams have the edge over shaving;

  1. The results last a little longer
  2. One of the common side effects of shaving can be ingrown hairs - not so with depilatory creams

Depilatory creams are relatively cheap, ranging from around $5 - $15, are easy to use at home and versatile; they can be used on most areas of the body and on all different skin types and colours.

You just have to be sure to check that the cream is meant for the area of the body you wish to treat and use accordingly.  

Fine hair will need a different strength cream to thick, coarse hair and if you have sensitive skin, you are less likely to experience adverse reactions if you choose a cream specifically formulated for such.

See our in-depth article about the pros and cons of using depilatory creams for more information.​

Olay Facial Hair Removal Cream Duo - Pros and Cons

Things we Liked

  • Skin Guarding Balm - a good idea to protect the skin around the hair from the harshness chemicals in the removal cream 
  • Odour - although quite strong I thought it had a, not unpleasant, lemony scent
  • Works Quickly - from 6 - 8 minutes
  • Olay - a well known and respected Brand

Things we didn't Like

  • Cost - Towards the more expensive end of the depilatory market range at around $15 for 19g
  • Oversized Packaging - box is way bigger than needed

Our Final Thoughts

My experience of using this product was very good, and I would therefore recommend it.

I think the protective balm is a very good addition and it certainly does seem to make using the cream more pleasant without marring the effectiveness.

​Overall, a positive review.


For the past 12 months, I have been testing and playing with all sorts of hair removal products for Hair Free Life. My goal is to provide the most accurate and up-to-date hair removal consumer information on the internet. When I'm not photographing, reviewing and researching hair removal products I play the drums in a samba band and am a volunteer for the Swindon Lions! Got any questions? Write to us below: