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How to use an epilator

An epilator is one of many hair removal methods that provides a long-lasting, smooth finish. It is inexpensive in the long term and is designed for home use. With an epilator, you no longer have to rely on waxing or shaving to remove hair from your body. 

What is epilation?

Epilation is a catch-all term that describes any process that removes body hair from its roots. Popular epilation techniques include:

  • Waxing
  • Tweezing
  • Electrolysis
  • Laser hair removal
  • Hair removal creams 

These techniques often require salon appointments, which can be expensive. Epilators are an alternative for people looking to save time and money. 

How does an epilator work?

Epilators are electric tweezers that look like electric shavers. Instead of using razors, however, epilators use a cluster of rotating tweezer blades. These blades grab and pull any hair the epilator rolls over, directly from the root. 

Epilators can be used on any type of body hair you’d rather not have. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be corded for dry skin or battery-powered for wet or dry skin use. They typically cost $40-$150. This can work out as a bargain, considering how much you could pay for repeated waxing sessions. 

Are epilators painful to use?

An epilator may not be for you if you have a low pain threshold. However, users often report that pain and discomfort subside after multiple uses. This is because hair follicles weaken after repeated plucking. 

Allowing excessive regrowth will increase hair strength, causing pain to return. So if you start using an epilator, don’t quit in a hurry. 

How to use an epilator

Lack of proper technique can exacerbate pain and limit your epilator’s effectiveness. To navigate the process as painlessly as possible, you need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Prep your skin: No matter where you plan to epilate, ensure your hair is the correct length. Most epilators get tangled in hair over an eighth of an inch. To keep things simple, shave or wax three to four days before use. Epilators work best on wet, warm skin. For prep, have a bath or shower immediately before use, as the skin will be relaxed and desensitized.
  2. Select the speed setting and turn it on: Most models come with two speed settings: slow and fast. Slow speed can help shield beginners from the initial shock from the unfamiliar plucking sensation. However, as with waxing, very little good can come from slowly ripping hair out of the skin. With this in mind, choose your desired speed setting, hit the “on” switch and hold it in your writing hand for optimal control. 
  3. Time to epilate: Once your epilator is turned on, hold your skin taut. This makes it easier for the epilator to pull out the hairs and reduces pain. Slowly move the epilator over your skin in the direction of hair growth. Moving in the opposite direction will cut the hair but fail to remove it from the root. 
  4. Aftercare to prevent ingrown hairs: When the hairs start to grow back, they are more likely than before to get trapped underneath the skin and become ingrown. As soon as they start to grow back, you must begin exfoliating daily for at least a week. Pumice stones, exfoliating mitts and brushes are great for removing dead skin particles, and they can be used in the shower as part of your daily routine.

What you need to buy to use an epilator

Best Braun Epilator Silk-epil 3

Braun Epilator Silk-epil 3

This cost-effective epilator comes with a massage roller that can desensitize skin before use. The interchangeable heads also allow you to shave or trim, and results can last up to four weeks.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Best Philips Satinelle Essential Compact Epilator

Philips Satinelle Essential Compact Epilator

This travel-sized epilator is ideal for taking your hair removal method with you wherever you go. The epilator head is washable so you can keep it clean. It also comes with an attachment for using it on sensitive areas of the skin to reduce pain. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Braun Epilator Silk-epil 9

Braun Epilator Silk-epil 9

This epilator creates long-lasting results and can adapt to every contour on the body for efficient epilation. It’s also waterproof, so you can perform wet epilation in the shower or bath.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Best Pumice Valley Pumice Stone

Pumice Valley Pumice Stone

This pumice stone is great for rejuvenating, cleansing and removing dead skin anywhere on the body to prevent ingrown hairs after epilation. The natural black lava rock offers users a massaging effect that can leave skin as soft as a baby’s.

Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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