Everything you need to know about epilating
If getting IPL for your legs is not your first option now, we’ll suggest using epilators as an upgrade from using cream shavers.
Epilating is a brainchild of technology to help a lady’s journey towards hairlessness. Hair removal is the most annoying, inconvenient, and time-consuming beauty routine us ladies have. Unlike mani-pedis, hair treatments, or facials, where we progress in beauty, hair removal is a stagnant process. Hair grows, you pull or shave them out. Nothing changed except the fact that you can now wear short-sleeves, bikinis or dresses again. Yay.
The routine of hair removal is a complex one. To achieve smooth, hairless skin, we wax, shave, pluck, tweeze, thread, bleach, apply a cream, go for laser treatments and who knows what else. To make things more complicated, there is no one procedure for all. Each part of our body that needs some attention requires a specific method – threading for the brows, waxing or shaving for the legs, and so on.
Women spend an average of 58 days of their lives shaving. Word got around and companies saw the time-consuming ritual and gave better alternatives such as waxing and now, epilating (not forgetting IPL). Epilating is a taste of the best of both worlds. It gives you the smooth finish of a shave and the long-lasting effect of a wax. An epilator is a turbo-mode plucking device that does not result in chicken-skin.
If you want to achieve flawless skin that shaving gives but is annoyed that the hairs start growing after a few days, then epilating is an option to try.
An epilator looks like an electric shaver and sounds like a lawnmower. Don’t be daunted by the loudness because it doesn’t hurt as much as it sounds. In the machine are many tiny tweezers that pluck the hair from the skin as it passes through. The beauty with an epilator is it can grab hairs as short as 0.5mm! For the waxers, you don’t have to wait a week or a certain length before getting them done. No more enduring the awkward stage of tiny hairs sticking out while waiting!
Another perk of epilating is the overall savings. It may be a big spending at the beginning but see it as an investment because the machine will last you a long time and save you many sessions at the clinic or salon. Furthermore, you can do the whole process at the comfort and privacy of your home.
How to epilate
Before going into the list of the top epilators in the market, let’s go through some information about epilating that are important, especially for those who’ve never tried this method before.
At the top of the list would be the question, “Does it hurt?” The answer is yes. However, it highly depends on your pain threshold, and if you’re used to waxing, it won’t be that bad. Imagine plucking the hairs with a tweezer but using 40+ tweezers at the same time. The machine works efficiently to capture many hairs per glide on the skin.
Before your epilating session, feel free to try the following tips and tricks:
1. Set the mood
Because you can epilate at home, you can make the whole process more glam. Shoo the pets, partner, kids and any other distractions and reserve a room, preferably the bathroom, for yourself. Turn on some music, grab a glass of wine, and even add some lovely incense. This is your time, and it’s not supposed to be stressful.
The key to successful hair removal is exfoliation. Remove the dead skin cells, smoothen the skin, and you will effortlessly pluck the hair with fewer chances of ingrown after. Use a loofah, exfoliating gloves or a shower scrub to exfoliate the skin in circular motions.
3. Warm water
After exfoliation, soak in warm water to open up the pores and loosen the hair follicles. Go for the temperature as hot as you can handle, without burning yourself of course, and soak for at least 10 minutes.
4. Follow instructions
Each epilator is different. Some can be used in the shower, while others can only be used in dry areas. Some epilators can pluck hair in all areas while others are more limited. Follow the instructions on the manual to achieve optimal results as well as ensuring your miracle machine doesn’t break down.
After epilating, your skin will look like a plucked chicken. Resist the urge to lather all the creams and lotions you can get your hands on to soothe the skin. Go for a light lotion with aloe vera.
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of it, it will get so much easier. Before you know it, you’re epilating like a pro, and you can do it as often as you like to stunt hair growth.
The top epilators today
1. Braun Silk Epil 9
- Price: $134.94
- Type: Wet & Dry
- Machine: Cordless (Fast recharge)
- Tweezers: 40
- Source: Amazon
The Braun Silk Epil 9 is the best of the best when it comes to epilators. There’s a reason why it’s the ninth version already, meaning many upgrades and improvements. It gives you everything you want and need from an epilator.
Aside from the handheld device, the 4-in-1 system comes with an epilator head, a shaver head, trimmer cap, a deep exfoliation brush, a gentler exfoliation brush, a deep massage head, two protection caps, an efficiency cap for quantity over quality epilating, and a precision cap for more focus. Yes, that many accessories to play with! You also get a charging stand, power cord, and cleaning brush. Then to keep all your goodies in, you get a nice bag to store them in.
This pamper package trims, shaves, exfoliates and epilates the skin and unwanted hairs. Even the most sensitive skin can enjoy this awesome machine.
“This device is amazing. It’s painful at first, especially in more sensitive areas. After about a months worth of use, it’s far more tolerable. After a few months, it’s almost relaxing. Pulling your skin tight in certain areas makes things go a lot easier. My main trick is just turning on a show you like and just relax. If you don’t tighten your skin, your skin with be pulled and shake, and it will hurt more. For me, turning up the speed helped. Running at a lower speed is more for when you are first using it and getting used to it. It may seem a bit pricey, but it’s worth it. Not having to mess around with shaving is the best part.”-Al
2. Panasonic ES-ED90
- Price: $77.75
- Type: Wet & Dry
- Machine: Cordless, Rechargeable
- Tweezers: 48
- Source: Amazon
Another great epilator is Panasonic’s ES-ED90, which is perfect for sensitive skin as it uses hypoallergenic stainless-steel blades and foils. It comes with a dual-disc epilation head, a smaller and gentler epilator head, a shaver head, a trimmer cap, a pedicure buffer to remove hard skin on the feet, and a bikini comb. If you’re focusing on your legs, you can go from silky smooth legs to the soles of your feet with the foot buffer.
Perhaps the only downside with the product is its shorter operation time, which is half an hour. However, for a product almost half the price of the Braun epilator but with the same functionality, it’s not a bad purchase.
“This is my 5th or 6th epilator over the years. This is the most gentle epilator I have ever used. I did find it difficult to use the smaller head on my underarms but had no problems using the larger head. I was able to use the smaller head on my chin to get rid of those annoying strays that seem to show up after menopause. Now, i am not saying this was pain free but there were only a few spots where I felt anything and that was because the hairs were longer in those spots. I did find that this epilator left my legs much smoother than previous epilators or even waxing. While I normally do not like cordless epilators, this one had plenty of charge for full legs, underarms, chin, and shaving bikini area.”-Judith L. Hamilton
3. Philips Satinelle
- Price: $59.49
- Type: Wet & Dry
- Machine: Rechargeable, Li-ion battery
- Tweezers: 32
- Source: Amazon
The cheapest wet and dry epilator available in the market, this product can remove unwanted hair at the fastest time. It is safe to use on the legs, arms, bikini, and even the face. Equipped with five attachments, the shaving head, epilating head, facial area, and delicate area caps, and a cleaning brush, you get a simplified yet complete machine.
“It works really well. It takes some getting used to it though. I’m not going to lie, it hurts, but after a few uses it’s not as bad. I absolutely love not having to shave all the time. I use it in the shower after I exfoliate and put coconut oil on afterwards. Coconut oil helps with the irritation and ingrown hairs.”-Cassidy
4. Emjoi Soft Caress
- Price: $69.95
- Type: Dry
- Machine: Rechargeable
- Tweezers: 36
- Source: Amazon
The difference with this epilator compared with the others? It has 36 tweezers plated with 24 karat gold! It gives you a luxurious feel to the process, plus you can rest assured that the tweezers are hypoallergenic. It also has antimicrobial protection against bacteria, which basically means your epilator remains hygienic. Those who have tried numerous epilators noted how the Emjoi is gentler compared to the others.
You get the epilator, a massage attachment, a travel pouch, cleaning brush and loofa when you purchase the Emjoi epilator.
“I’ve been using this type of epilator for years. It’s easy to clean and it comes with a brush to remove the hairs. At first, it did hurt to remove hair in some areas but now it just feels like I’m tugging at my skin under my arms and on my shins. I still have to be slow and have patience when removing on my calves because that one still pinches. I’ve been doing it for such a long time now that the hairs come out very smooth because it’s not growing out as blunt as it would if I had shaved the hair off. When removing the hair off my legs it’s not a fast process so I make a point to give myself at least 20 minutes to do it well. When I’m do for some hair removal and I don’t have time to completely remove the hair then I’ll just do a quick pass on both legs then just shave the rest.”-Sally Appleton
5. Remington Facial Epilator
- Price: $14.99
- Type: Dry
- Machine: 1x AA Battery
- Tweezers: 6
- Source: Amazon
For those who want an entry-level epilator and want to ease your way into the practice of epilation slowly, this facial epilator is a great product to try. It is made to remove unwanted hair from the face. In the set is a cap to protect the head and a brush to clean the machine. It is not rechargeable and needs 1 AA battery, although waxing the face does not take much time, so the compactness of the epilator was more important compared to other features like rechargeable batteries.
“I just received this and reading some of the not so good reviews I was a little skeptical at first. But I actually this this is a great little product. I have PCOS which means I have super thick long facial hair (more than even some others with PCOS) so I decided to start epilating my facial hair. Epilating will hurt NO MATTER WHAT BRAND you buy because you are literally pulling hair from its root. But this Remington felt fine and it hurt even a little less for me. I managed to pull out all the hairs and I’m super happy about the price!”– Shobi Seneviratne