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Sure, there are lots of ways to get the smooth, hair-free skin you desire. You could shave, but that leads to stubble and quick regrowth. You could use wax, but that hurts, and doing it yourself can be messy and time-consuming. You could use stinky depilatories or bleaches, but those can irritate the skin.
Instead of using a razor, wax, or bleach, you could reach for an epilator and not only have hair-free skin today but less regrowth tomorrow. In fact, an epilator will grant you a much longer stretch between hair-removal sessions than you’d get from the other methods.
Here at BestReviews, we never accept free products or manufacturer perks in exchange for a good review. We do our own research, talk with experts in the field, and listen to feedback from actual owners of the product in question. That lets us give you unbiased recommendations and buying advice.
So if you’d like to learn more about epilators, read on.
We’re going to discuss what they are, how to use them, and tips and tricks for getting the best – and least painful – results.
But if you’d just like to buy an epilator, check out our five recommendations in the matrix at the top of the page. All are excellent products that do a fine job.
Now, get ready for your smoothest skin ever.
If it’s been a while since you’ve done any sort of hair removal, shave a day before epilating. You’ll find epilators work best on fairly short stubble. They’re not really suited to removing long hair.
First introduced in the late 1980s, epilators are electrical devices that remove body hair by pulling it out at the roots. If that sounds painful, it admittedly is at first, although most users find that the pain diminishes over time.
Three basic types of epilators have graced store shelves since their inception: rotating spring epilators, rotating disk epilators, and tweezer-style epilators.
In the next phase of epilator development came the rotating disk epilator. These devices replaced the spring with spinning metal disks that caught and pulled out unwanted hairs.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Braun Silk-épil 9 Wet and Dry Cordless
There's no getting around the fact that the Braun SE7681 is expensive. However, its numerous features – spotlight, shaving foil, multiple speeds – make it easy to use and allow it to foster a less-painful experience. The Braun receives fewer complaints about discomfort than some competitors. Its lower speed setting, in particular, is known for its gentler execution. Many owners find these benefits to be worth the extra money.
The first type of epilator released to the market, and also the most painful to use, was the rotating spring epilator.
These beauty tools used a rapidly flexing spring to catch and yank out hairs.
It was common for the spring to break, so replacement springs could be purchased separately.
For the best results, hold your epilator at a 90-degree angle to the area being treated. Gently glide the epilator in small circles, moving against your hair’s growth pattern.
Most epilators sold today are tweezer-style epilators. They have rotating disks with small gaps that act like tweezers.
As the epilator moves across the skin, the tiny “tweezers” catch, pull, and discard hairs as short as 0.5 mm.
Ingrown hairs will be far less of a problem if you take the time to exfoliate before you epilate. Use exfoliating gloves, a brush, or a scrub to remove dead skin cells the day before you use your epilator.
As already stated, there are plenty of ways to remove hair from your legs, face, underarms, and anywhere else with unwanted fuzz. So why subject yourself to an epilator?
There are plenty of reasons, actually, including the following:
After shelling out the initial money for your epilator, there are no further expenses. Compare that to frequent purchases of razors and shaving cream, expensive trips to the salon for waxing services, or the cost of depilatory creams.
The more you use your epilator, the less your hair regrows.
Your skin will remain smooth and hair-free far longer than with shaving or depilatories. Typically, you’ll have at least two weeks until regrowth becomes noticeable, but you may have as many as four weeks.
Cut down on pain by showering right before using your epilator or choosing a model that’s safe for use in the shower.
Epilators are gentler on sensitive skin than wax, which removes not only hair but also the top layer of skin.
Ingrown hairs are less of an issue with epilation than they are with shaving, although they can certainly still occur.
Epilators eliminate your chance of sustaining razor rash and itchy, razor-related bumps.
You don’t have to worry about shaving nicks, nor must you lather on shaving gel or cream with an epilator.
When you use an epilator, you don’t have to deal with messy wax or smelly creams.
Epilating is easy, fairly quick, and convenient. And epilators don’t take up much room in a travel bag.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Emjoi Emagine Dual Opposed 72 Tweezer Head Epilator
The 72 tweezers on the Emjoi epilator make for a rapid hair-removal experience. According to users, the corded power supply adds speed and power to the process. It is designed for use on dry skin, but users should be cautious not to use the Emjoi over the same area repeatedly, as the heads do generate some heat.
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy an epilator. While the device is a simple one, there are a few features to examine in a potential purchase before you buy it. Here are some of the most common epilator features to consider.
You’ll find epilators on the market with everything from 20 to 72 tweezers. The more tweezers an epilator has, the faster the hair-removal process will go.
Don’t rush. Going too fast increases the risk of breaking off hairs instead of removing them.
Epilator attachments are available for various parts of the body. Most women use their epilator on their legs. However, there’s no reason you can’t use it on other body parts as well. Some epilators include attachments that make it easy to epilate your underarms, face, and even the bikini area.
Traditionally, epilators were only for dry skin, but today, there are models suitable for use in the shower. Many women find that it’s a little less painful to epilate wet skin.
Pulling the skin taut before epilating not only gives you smoother results, it cuts way down on the ouch factor.
Some epilators let you choose between a low speed and a high speed.
A pivoting head makes it easy to smooth the epilator over your curves.
A light attachment helps you spot even the finest hairs.
Clean your epilator after every use, and never share your device with someone else. This will help cut down on the risk of skin infection.
This handy attachment cuts down on the risk of ingrown hairs and removes dry, dead skin for a smoother appearance.
Cordless epilators run off batteries, which are usually rechargeable. You’ll enjoy being able to move about freely with your epilator, but the tradeoff is less power. If you prefer, you can buy a corded epilator for more power delivery.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Epilady Legend 4 Full-Size Rechargeable Epilator
The Epilady features a dual-voltage adapter that can accommodate a 220-volt current, making it ideal for international travelers. The device features two speeds and arrives with a brush for easier cleaning. You can use the Epilady with or without the cord.
Some epilators have attachments that convert the tool into a trimmer, callus remover, or shaver.
Why not treat your skin to a little massage after epilating? Some epilators come with massager attachments.
Q. Are there any side effects to using an epilator?
A. While epilating is a safe procedure for the most part, some people do experience a few minor after-effects, including the following:
Generally, these issues clear up quickly.
Q. Why do I still have stubble after epilating?
A. Because hair has several stages of growth, it’s very common to see what appears to be rapid regrowth of hair after your first few epilating sessions. But actually, what you are seeing is not the regrowth of the hairs just plucked. It is the emergence of hairs that were already developing below the surface of your skin. With repeated use of your epilator, you’ll see less and less regrowth, and you’ll be able to enjoy longer stretches in between sessions without the appearance of “stubble.”
Q. Does an epilator remove hair permanently?
A. Although epilation is not a permanent method of hair removal, it does tend to decrease the production of hair over time. This is because the hair follicle is often damaged during the plucking process, leading to finer regrowth or no regrowth at all.
Q. How often should I use my epilator?
A. At first, try to use your epilator three times per week. That way, you’ll catch hairs in each part of the growth cycle. After the first week or two, you can start epilating once per week. As your hair regrowth lessens, you’ll likely need to use your epilator only every couple of weeks.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.