Epilators have an excellent reputation for fuss-free hair removal, and I can honestly attest that it is well earned. Epilators are easy to use and become familiar with, they travel well and are very convenient to have. Another plus: they are extremely cost-effective!
Epilators, like waxing, pull out the whole hair from the root allowing for weeks of smooth, hair-free skin. There are two categories of hair removal: epilation and depilation. Depilation describes hair removal options from above the skin like shaving and hair removal creams. Epilation includes methods like sugaring, waxing, threading and of course – epilating.
Below are the best epilators in our opinion, and there is plenty of information on how and why you should give an epilator a try.
Your Guide to Using an Epilator: Contents
- 7 Best Epilators to Buy for Full-Body Hair Removal
- What Is an Epilator and How Does It Work?
- Epilator vs. Waxing vs. Shaving
- What Are the Epilator Benefits?
- Are There Any Risks to Using an Epilator?
- How Do I Use an Epilator Effectively?
- How Often and When Should I Use an Epilator?
- Does Epilating Hurt?
- Other Useful Epilator Tips to Know
Perfect for using to remove hair from your entire body, these are the best epilators on the market you can get now.
1. Braun Silk-epil 9 Wet & Dry Epilator Bonus Edition
Braun’s Wet & Dry epilator has a head that is 40% larger than their other models, allowing for more efficiently and quickly removed body hair with each pass. This model is cordless, with functionality to allow for in or out of shower epilating, ensuring that you can be comfortable. There is a high frequency massage system built in that also increases the efficiency of each epilation. You can pick one up for yourself from Ulta!
2. Philips Satinelle Prestige Epilator
This 4-in-1 epilator works as an electric shaver, epilator, exfoliator and massager. The interchangeable heads and varying speeds help create the ideal experience for longer-lasting, hair-free skin. The Philips Satinelle epilator has been specially designed to work optimally and comfortably in the most sensitive areas. Grab one for yourself from Amazon!
3. Remington Smooth & Silky Deluxe Epilator
The Remington epilator can be used dry or in the shower. The head is designed to pivot so it moves with the contours of your body in order to keep the perfect angle to optimally remove hair. There are 40 automatic tweezers on the head of this epilator that work quickly and efficiently, removing more hair with every pass. It even has a detail light built in so you can always see what you are doing and two different speed settings to optimize your comfort. Get yours from Ulta!
4. Panasonic ES-ED50-N Multi-Function Wet & Dry Shaver and Epilator
Panasonic’s multi-functional epilator has a high-performance dual-speed motor and a total of four attachments that snap on for an ideal epilating experience. This model has 24 precision rotary tweezers for larger areas, a gentle epilator cap for thinner, shorter hairs and can be used either wet or dry. Everything stores easily in a travel pouch, and the epilator itself has a built-in LED light. Order yours from Amazon!
5. Sonic Tool Works Zippy Epilator
This one is a battery-powered epilator that still gets the job done. This multifunctional epilator also includes an integrated cutter head with an ultra-thin protective steel net. The net prevents irritation, nicks and cuts. It can even be used wet or dry, as it is waterproof. You can order one for yourself from Amazon!
6. Conair Cordless/Rechargeable Total Body Epilator
Conair’s body epilator provides smooth skin that lasts up to a month and a half. The ergonomic shape makes it easy to hold and use it, as it fits in the palm of your hand. The epilating head has 22 ultra precise tweezers designed to perfectly remove even the finest and shortest of hairs directly from the root. You can order your own from Ulta!
7. Bluestone Electric Shaver Epilator Roller 3 in 1
This is a multi-use shaver that features an epilator, a shaver and a callus remover. Each of these features is performed with three easy-to-use attachments that are easily changed. The epilator removes hair from the root, the shaver gives a clean shave, while the callus remover smooths out calluses and coarse skin. This device is rechargeable, lightweight and an ergonomic 4 inches long. Order yours from Amazon!
An epilator is an electric device that removes body hair. The basic design utilizes dozens of mini tweezers to pull body hair out by the root in a quick and efficient manner. The tweezers are on a rotating head that swoops over the surface of your skin, allowing the tweezers to grab and pull the hair out by the root in a quick smooth motion.
If this sounds scary or painful just remember that technically, removing body hair can take some getting used to, and the quicker and more efficiently it is done, the easier it is to get used to. Furthermore, this method offers longer-lasting hair removal than shaving does.
The first epilator was created in Israel in the 1980s but suffered a design flaw. The first model used a spring to grab and pull out the hairs, but the constant flexing of the coil led to a limited shelf life.
The next generation of epilator was considered too similar to the first and was subjected to litigation. After successfully beating the case, this version birthed the next generations, which led to our current long-lasting, handheld option today.
If you are on the fence about using an epilator, keep reading, we can help you decide!
Epilating, waxing and shaving are the most common hair removal methods, but which one is more effective and what are the differences between them?
Let’s break this section down into categories to see how they really pair off.
• Ease of Use: The easiest option to use would likely be waxing. Essentially, wax is applied to the area where you want the hair removed, then ripped off, pulling the hair with it. There are several types of wax that can be used, and you don’t even have to do the waxing yourself! With epilating you have to hold the epilator in the right position, which can change depending on where you are using it.
• Cost: The most cost-effective method of hair removal is definitely epilating.
• Pain: Unless you cut yourself, shaving is the least painful option of the three. This is, of course, dependent on the severity of the cut, but even still, against the initial experience of waxing or epilating, shaving isn’t a pain at all.
• Results: All three methods of hair removal work, though shaving works the least in comparison with epilating and waxing.
Zooming on in Epilators
Epilators are small, handheld devices that utilize multiple sets of tweezers on a roller to pull hair out by the root. Rather than tweezing a single hair at a time, hair is removed en masse with each pass.
Epilators can still remove very short hairs from the root, meaning you don’t have to wait for your hair to be an uncomfortable length before effectively removing it. With each use, over time, you’re likely to see that your hair is taking longer to grow back and when it does it grows back finer and softer.
Many epilators come with interchangeable heads, one for the face, one for the body, etc. Some versions are waterproof, wireless and rechargeable.
Using an epilator means incurring an upfront cost – fortunately, they are relatively inexpensive, even the more expensive ones. Once purchased, with upkeep you are only paying for the electricity to power it. This makes epilators much less expensive overall than their hair removal counterparts.
Zooming on in Waxing
Waxing is done by applying (typically warm or hot) wax to your skin following the direction of your hair growth. Infamously, the wax is then quickly removed. Let’s be real, the wax is snatched off your skin in the opposite direction of your hair growth, taking the hair along with it, pulled from the roots.
Waxing produces long-lasting results and over time it is possible to notice that your hair grows back softer and finer with a longer window of results between waxes. Unfortunately, your hair needs to grow back to a certain length for waxing to be most effective, and very short hairs can be a problem for the wax to hold on to.
Waxing can range in prices but is relatively inexpensive depending on how much hair you want to be removed. If you choose to wax at home, your costs will include purchasing supplies, be it wax strips, cold wax, warm wax, applicators, etc. If you are doing the waxing yourself, the cost compared to shaving is actually less in the long run.
Zooming on in Shaving
Shaving is gliding a razor over your skin in the opposite direction that your hair is growing. The blade will remove the portion of the hair that sits above the level of your skin. Your skin will feel smooth and hair-free, but for the shortest time of the three hair removal options.
Depending on how quickly your hair grows, you may have to repeat the process within 24 to 48 hours in order to keep seeing these results. People often report that the stubble (which is your hair growing back) feels coarser and thicker than the hair that was initially removed, spawning the old wives’ tale that shaving makes your hair grow back thicker and faster.
Razors range in cost and wear out quickly. Even though cheaper razors are relatively cheap, the more often you have to shave, the quicker your razor wears out, building up costs quickly as well.
An epilator has a lot of benefits, especially over other hair removal methods.
• For starters, epilating is cheaper and more convenient. You can epilate without any tools besides the epilator.
• You will definitely be able to experience longer periods of smooth, hair-free skin.
• Epilators can grab hairs much shorter than waxing can, meaning that you don’t have to deal with waiting for your hair to regrow to a longer length before you can wax again. You can effectively epilate hair that is 0.02 inches long rather than waiting for it to grow to a length of nearly an inch long (0.08 inches) before waxing becomes an option.
• As you continue to use your epilator, the hair will take longer and longer to regrow. Additionally, you will see that the hair, when it does grow back, is softer and thinner than before.
Risks with an epilator are minimal and largely attributed to improper technique. As you use your epilator, your technique will improve and solidify.
The improper technique would mean going too fast or moving the epilator against the natural direction your hair grows in. Doing either of these things may result in you breaking the hair shaft rather than pulling it out from the root. Shorter, broken hairs are more likely to become ingrown, and ingrown hairs can also become infected.
• Take a warm shower and thoroughly wash to eliminate any body oils, lotions or moisturizers that might make it hard for the epilator to grab the hair. After washing, exfoliate your skin lightly, paying attention to the areas you’ll be removing hair from.
• Check to see if your epilator can be used in the shower. If so, you don’t need to dry off afterwards, but if you are using your epilator dry, you’ll want to pat your skin dry. You’ll need to epilate prior to applying any lotions or body creams.
• Pull the skin of the area you want to epilate taut, especially in your more sensitive and fleshier areas.
• Effective use of an epilator means holding the device at a 90-degree angle on the skin to allow the tweezers to get a good, firm and quick grip on the hair as the roller turns.
• Turn on your epilator and move it across your skin in the opposite direction of your hair growth. Your hair growth direction will likely change directions in different areas so it is important to pay attention. Areas like your underarm have hair growing in multiple directions, so you may need to go over these sections with a few passes, keeping your epilator in light contact with your skin. You don’t need to push down.
• Once you’re finished, apply a soothing, unscented moisturizer or lotion to your skin.
Avoid tight-fitting clothing in sensitive areas for a few days and exfoliate every few days as well to avoid any ingrown hairs. Initially, your skin may be sensitive, but this will pass quickly. Try not to use any pore-blocking oils or heavily scented creams.
You can use your epilator as soon as your hair has grown to a length of 0.02 inches, which is 0.5 millimeters. A half a millimeter of regrowth will take 6 weeks or more to grow in general cases, meaning that you can enjoy approximately a month and a half without having to worry about hair removal.
If you have bought a rechargeable wet & dry epilator, then you can even use the device in the shower. These are arguably the best epilators because they can be used in or out of the tub, and even on the go should the need like travelling arise.
A dry only or plugged-in epilator is best used post shower when the skin is completely dried.
I’ll keep this answer short and clear: yes. Epilating hurts initially, but just like waxing, tweezing your eyebrows and sugaring, you get used to it quickly and it is a longer-term option for smooth skin.
Truthfully, there are ways to make it hurt less. Warm baths or showers can help, and using a waterproof epilator destined for in-shower use can also be helpful. If you don’t mind spending a longer time removing the unwanted hair, you can use your epilator at a lower speed to reduce some of the discomfort.
The discomfort does ease with continued use, so you can give yourself a less painful start by using your epilator for the first time on the regrowth from your last waxing appointment. There will be less hair and it will be finer. This will translate to less discomfort on your first use.
So, there are a few other tips and tricks that can help make using your epilator more enjoyable.
• Most epilators have different speed settings, so it’s best to start using your epilator on the lowest setting first, building up to your personal tolerance and technique.
• To avoid missing hair, go slowly at first and even when your technique is comfortable and efficient, remember not to rush.
• Clean your epilator after each use. Most include a little brush to help brush out any hairs, but you should also use alcohol. This will limit the likelihood of any resulting ingrown hairs developing folliculitis.
• Use a moisturizer rather than a heavy cream or lotion to soothe your skin after epilating.
• There may be some redness or even dots of irritation showing up on the skin after you epilate, but these will go away in a few hours max. Because of the irritation, it is better to epilate in the evenings. When you wake up, there will be no more irritation or redness.
Photos via @maryleest, @donnaromina, @miss.everywhere, @ashleighdmello, @anajohnson