The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Smooth Away Hair Removal Pads: So Do They Work?

Smooth Away Hair Removal Pads: So Do They Work?

Back in April, I purchased a box of Smooooth Away Hair Removal Pads (aka Smooth Away pads) and bottle of Smooth Away Hair Inhibitor Cream at the New York City Auto Show. I had seen the infomercials on TV, then saw a real-life product demonstration at the auto show that "proved" they really do work, so I coughed up $40 (I totally overpaid, got caught up in the moment) so I could try them out on myself at home. Here's how it went:

First, the good news: These pads actually do "buff" away unwanted hair. The pads look like pink plastic thingies with a strap on one side that secures your hand, and something that resembles very fine sandpaper on the other side. As the salesperson demonstrated, you make super fast, super small rotations with the pad in one direction about 5 or 6 times while applying moderate pressure to your skin, then reverse direction and repeat. Skin look ashy, as do the pads (similar to when you're filing your nails.) When you brush away the dead skin, you notice your skin is extremely smooth and indeed, hair free! There is absolutely no irritation and the exfoliation that goes on with those pads left my legs smoother than they had ever felt. Unlike after shaving, I was able to apply lotion immediately following the hair removal without any stinging or discomfort.

Now, the not so good news: The process I just described above must be repeated hundreds of times to adequately remove hair from an entire leg. It took me 20 minutes per leg to remove all the hair! Granted, it took me a while just to get the hang of it, and I was continuously experimenting and tweaking my motions to see if I could perfect the process. But as far as I'm concerned, you can't really perfect it. It's tedious and tricky to get the back of your legs just because of the angle at which the pads must be held in order for them to be effective.

The pads also seem to lose their abrasiveness after a while. What I did notice is that if you wash the pads under water and let them dry completely, they work as good as new. But again, this makes the whole process more time consuming and I can't say for sure how long the pads will ultimately last.

Another thing is that your legs must be completely clean and bone dry (no lotion whatsoever or the pads won't work). Fine.

Finally, my hair began to grow back after about 5 days, which is what typically happens for me after I shave. They told me 6 weeks! Oh, how what a fool I was. But ya know, I can deal with 5 days. Not the end of the world as my hair is very fine and very blond, so it's hardly noticeable when it's stubble.

Which brings me to my next point: These pads did not work whatsoever on my armpits or bikini line. No way, no how. It actually hurt in those areas, but I was ruthless in my attempts (hey, I had to do a thorough investigation). This makes me wonder whether the pads would work on those with coarse hair anywhere on their body.

In conclusion, the Smooth Away pads (or Smooooth Legs, I think it's the same product, different names) are not the panacea I had hoped for, but they do work and I plan on using them on my legs because A) they provide pain-free hair removal, B) leave legs incredibly smooth and soft, and C) I loathe shaving. I can also use these pads anywhere, like in a car (don't pretend like you've never tried to shave in a moving vehicle). However, I'm definitely going to need to plan ahead, as this process is not quick. And in those moments, I'll probably resort to my good ol' Mach 3.

P.S. I don't know if the hair inhibitor cream works because I only applied it once, then started to worry about the so-called natural botanicals in the cream that actually inhibit hair growth and the potential side effects of said chemicals. I'm weird like that.


Shop it: Smooth Away pads are available at Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Walgreens and other drugstores for about $10. I don't recommend buying it from any of the official product sites because the prices are higher and you'll have to pay shipping & handling.

UPDATE 6/19/17: It looks like this product is no longer available anywhere online (probably because it doesn't work - I've stopped using it altogether) but if you want to try something similar, there's the Hair Off Hair Remover Mitten, $4.59 at walgreens.com.

Comments
I have thicker hair on my legs and I use these. Yeah it takes longer than shaving, but, just like you, I hate shaving and I like that I can put lotion on right away without stinging or discomfort. When I DID need to shave and didn't have time to use these, my legs were amazingly soft. I didn't have any knicks or cuts and my legs didn't hurt at all, which was pretty much a miracle in my book. :-)
#1 Erin on 2009-05-12 17:02 (Reply)
Try epilating! I swear by it :-)
#2 Leia (Homepage) on 2009-05-12 17:44 (Reply)
Well I too tried Smooth Away and unlike you all,I did not like it because you had to rub it a couple of times before it even worked. Even at that I did not see my hairs come off and my hair is not that thick.
#3 Rebecca Pruneda on 2009-05-12 17:50 (Reply)
Thanks for the post, I've always wondered about these and I've been tempted to buy them a few times but glad I didn't. I finally invested in an epilator and I love it. Keeps my legs smooth for weeks.
#4 Goodbuygal (Homepage) on 2009-05-12 18:21 (Reply)
For those who find problems with applying lotion after shaving, I have very sensitive skin and this is the only combination of things that works for me:

(a) soap that lathers well - no, not shaving cream, as that makes my skin more sensitive and irritated, just plain soap but rubbed a lot to lather before shaving
(b) shave with Venus Embrace (before that I was using Divine, and Embrace does make a significant difference for me)
(c) change razor blades often enough!
(d) shave at the END of your shower
(e) use a lotion that is very, very plain - I have good experiences with Eucerin (original, calming, plus) and Curel (they have a fragrance-free, and I also did okay with the "soothing" one) and apply it with the grain of your hair, not against, rubbing it in in that same direction

This is the only way I can put lotion on right after I get out of the shower. I also had a friend who swore by using a cotton pad with witch hazel on it after shaving, but I haven't tried that myself.
#5 Sandra on 2009-05-12 18:29 (Reply)
I agree, the Venus is a great razor! Also if you have thicker hair, try using a men's razor, I've heard they're a little sharper than womens are.
#5.1 MizzJ (Homepage) on 2009-05-12 19:50 (Reply)
Yeah, I used mine like twice and I put it away because it's too time consuming. Stayed with using Veet!
#6 Pretty Lil' Things (Homepage) on 2009-05-12 18:46 (Reply)
I have pretty dry skin so I used to get extremely irritated by shaving... but like the tipster before I also shave at the end of my showers. And in addition I've been using the Venus Breeze which I really like... very little irritation. I swear by the Oil-of-olay In shower body lotion as well- if you have dry skin it's a must! I love it! With this combination I've managed to making shaving pretty pain-free :-)
#7 Liz on 2009-05-12 19:10 (Reply)
i actually hate shaving my legs, but i have tried epilators, and that cream you put on to remove it...and razors always end up being the best .
oh yeah i use conditioner and soap often as a substitute for shaving cream
#8 pigsy on 2009-05-12 19:26 (Reply)
I'm so glad you did this, BB. I was curious about this product but had so many doubts, especially about coarse hair, which I have ...
#9 Sal (Homepage) on 2009-05-13 09:39 (Reply)
Good to know! Thanks to your splendid account BB, I'm sticking to soapy water and a razor.
#10 angie cox (Homepage) on 2009-05-13 10:55 (Reply)
i think my hair is pretty coarse so i am glad you tried it out. that means it will prob not work for me. thanks for posting this.
#11 anh (Homepage) on 2009-05-13 11:36 (Reply)
Hi, just a quick question. when i shave the bottom half of my legs, they grow back fast and black. I dont shave my thighs but im wanting to start because poeple always ask me why i dont. i dont want to shave them becasue i dont want them to grow back really fast and black. So by using these pads, will they grow back blonde and soft? or black and prickly? please help!
#11.1 Emily on 2012-04-01 03:28 (Reply)
i wanted to try them and i managed to find a box for 3 bucks on ebay, free shipping. they work alright but since i got them so cheap i feel it was a worthwhile investment.
#12 rosalie on 2009-05-13 18:09 (Reply)
I hate shaving as well, but I have thicker hair so the smoothing pad thingies have never worked for me. Shaving is the quickest but my hair grows FAST and by the end of the day I have stubble. :-(
Epilating works but can I just say OUCH! So I have resorted to waxing...until I can afford to have laser removal. Oh to never have to wax/shave/epilate ever again...
#13 Jen on 2009-05-14 14:35 (Reply)
I can't stand the product it made me skin feel yuck!
#14 Lori (Homepage) on 2009-05-14 21:30 (Reply)
I have the pads i got them off QVC i love them, alot better than shaving i dont get little red spots or a shaving rash, also i have expierienced lazor hair removal its crap!! also wastes all your money you cant get your money back and it might take a while to see any improvement, doesnt work on blond or redheads, epilation is my next step as i am going t be learning it in college (beauty therapy)
#15 Jade on 2009-08-10 08:02 (Reply)
I bought these products at Sydney, Australia expo for $50. As a beauty salon owner I thought I would give them a go to see the other forms of hair removal and even thought about stocking them in my salon for those people who dont want to wax. I have very sensitive legs but cant wait the 4 weeks for waxing sometimes. Using the pads at first worked soooo well. Loved how they removed all the dead skin and left over spray tan and my thick hair. Next time I used the pads I hated it. What a waste of time and money I thought! very disappointed.
#16 jess on 2012-04-09 01:36 (Reply)
would they work on chest hair? And do you get in growing hairs? because this problem would be ideal for me. Because I can't use wax or hair removal cream as i'm allergic to both. And i don't want to shave. Because if i didn't in the first place, it wouldn't be as hairy. and i wouldn't need bother about hair removal
#17 terry on 2012-08-27 17:20 (Reply)
Forget all the shaving crap and try waxing !
I swear by it I have only taken a razor to legs once and what a mistake that was .
I'm an insanely big fan of NADS wax it's green and gel like.
In my opinion it's less painful than others .
Don't get me wrong it's still wax and it does hurt but it's less do than others and a whole lot better than shaving .
#18 Natasha on 2014-05-12 04:13 (Reply)
I have waxed legs and underarms for years and rarely shave as it irritates my skin. More recently I found IPL very successful for hair removal in both areas. As I no longer have much hair growth on legs I found Smooth Away very effective and works well on short hair re-growth.
#19 Trisha on 2016-01-09 22:34 (Reply)
Wastage of money... No hair removal
#20 Gurpreet Kaur on 2017-06-22 08:56 (Reply)
These things have been around FOREVER! I am 74, and my grandmother used them when I was a kid. I'm going to try them. If they don't work, it's OK, because they are not too expensive.
#21 Madeline Holland on 2017-08-23 08:04 (Reply)
I have used these for 2 decades, not for hair removal, but to exfoliate right after, and in between waxings. It helps prevent ingrown hairs and gets rid of the tiny hairs that the wax couldn’t grab hold of. Smoothes your skin out and makes your legs super soft too. It’s a shame that their marketing team didn’t figure out this other use... My supply ran out and I can’t find them anywhere.
#22 Becca on 2017-12-05 15:20 (Reply)
Leave a comment
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.