If you're sick of dealing with the prickly stubble and quick regrowth that comes with some hair removal methods, then an epilator might be what you need. Keep reading to know what to look for when buying one, so you can find an epilator that's a cut above the rest.
Lasting silky legs don’t have to be a pipe dream anymore; the Braun Silk-épil 9 can easily and quickly pull hairs from the root, letting you go weeks without needing a retouch.
Removes hair efficiently
- Value for Money4.8 (6)
- Causes Irritation Yes (0) · No (5)
The Philips Satinelle Essential BRE225/00 claims to remove hairs thick and thin from your legs, underarms, and bikini line, giving you smooth skin for weeks.
Slows down hair growth
Easy to clean
Sometimes detaches from power outlet
- Value for Money3.9 (15)
- Causes Irritation Yes (3) · No (11)
Braun’s Silk-epil 5 boasts a range of features, ranging from a high frequency massage system to technology that tells you how much pressure to put on the device when epilating. However, opinions are divided on how effective it is at pulling all hairs from the root.
Removes hairs of all lengths
Sometimes doesn't pull hair from root
Motor prone to slowing down
- Value for Money4.0 (1)
- Causes Irritation Yes (0) · No (1)
If you’re looking for one device that does it all, the Karmin 5 in 1 Epilator epilates, shaves, exfoliates, smooths, and massages your skin, leaving it soft and smooth.
With 3 different speed settings and epilation heads to suit legs, arms, as well as more sensitive areas, the Panasonic ES-EL8A Wet/Dry Epilator will help you achieve smooth, silky skin.
Latest review: Bought this after my 20 year old epilator died. It has twice as many tweezers as my old one, so is quicker, and also seems less painful. I love the cordless and the pedicure head. Very happy with my
Latest review: I ordered this on Monday, received it on Tuesday (what terrific service!). Easy to use and does everything it says it should. Advice is to warm face with a hot face washer and dry before using.
Latest review: I had an older model (EP-7030) which lasted for years with very satisfied results. The shaver head deteriorated after only a few uses despite very gentle use, but the epilator didn't miss a beat. It
Latest review: I have owned one of these Braun Face-Spa products for 3 years and am very satisfied with its continuous performance. Because I found it inconvenient to keep changing heads back and forth (from
Latest review: I find this great for my upper lip as it doesn’t pack a lot of power so is quite gentle. I did remove some stray eyebrow hairs with it as well and hopefully I’ll get more confidence using it in the
Latest review: I have used this successfully for about a year. I have a lot of 'peach fuzz' and it's very effective at removing this, though I still have to tweeze a few coarse hairs that it can't seem to handle. I
Latest review: Same to other comments in this thread I purchased mine less than 3 years ago, it did work great the first 90 days I noticed hair reduced significantly and after that I used for maintenance only.
Latest review: Impossible to use, since the epilator just pinches my skin while leaving me with horrible bruises. I just need to find a place to get my money back. Bought 3 month
Latest review: the box said 2 years warranty but the warranty card said 1 year warranty only. I bought it last 2016 when I was pregnant so only use this year. After 6 months of using this product it stops
Latest review: Got this to replace my 10 year old Braun epilator (which still works fine). I got the EP7035AU since it came with nice attachments. Was totally disappointed at the epilator and shaver function.
Is an epilator right for you?
An epilator is a handheld device that uses rotating tweezer heads to remove unwanted hairs from the root. Epilation is seen as a convenient way to pluck hairs from the follicle, and depending on the machine you have, can be done on a range of body areas and be used both wet and dry.
So, how do epilators stack up against other hair removal methods?
- Reduces hair thickness.
- Quickly removes hair - it’s as quick as shaving.
- Have a lower risk of ingrown hairs than with shaving.
- Don’t create a mess, as there’s no shaving cream, wax, or gel involved.
- More gentle on the skin than razors and waxing, as it doesn’t involve pulling your skin. This makes it more suitable for those with sensitive skin.
- More cost-effective, as over time the cost of a single device will be lower than continuously buying things like razors, creams, and wax strips.
- Painful, especially when you first do it.
- High initial cost, with many devices going into the hundreds of dollars.
- Machines can be noisy, so may not be suitable for those who want privacy when they groom or don’t want to disturb others.
What to look for in an epilator
Corded versus cordless: what's the difference?
Corded epilators generally maintain optimum performance throughout the entire epilation session, so you’re less likely to spend extra time going over the same area. However, the main drawback of corded models is that they can’t be used in the bath or shower. Being reliant on mains power, there also isn’t much flexibility in where they can be used.
Cordless devices are more travel-friendly, however you’ll need to consider the battery life of the model you’re considering - lithium-ion batteries tend to be longer lasting. One charge will usually give you around 40 minutes to 1 hour of use, but the newest machines may last even longer.
Being able to use a cordless epilator in the bath or shower can also be more soothing, as warm water can relax the skin and make it less prone to irritation.
Look out for these additional features when you shop - they can help make using and maintaining your epilator easier.
- Built-in light: This helps you see even the finest hairs, so you can easily detect and remove them.
- Wet and dry use: All epilators can be used on dry skin, but some are also waterproof. Dry epilation is often more effective, but some people like the convenience of epilating in the shower.
- Pivoting head: A pivoting head helps the device mould to the contours of your body, helping you tackle trickier, more uneven areas.
- Cleaning brush: This is a small brush that comes with the device and lets you get rid of hairs trapped in the epilator head after you’ve used the device.
- Cover cap: This covers the epilation head when it’s not in use, both to keep it clean as well as help prevent someone accidentally cutting themselves on the metal.
- Charging stand: While this isn’t a particularly sought after feature, keeping your epilator off the ground on a stand while it’s charging can help keep it clean and out of the way.
Think about what you want to use your epilator for. Are you after an epilator for legs? Do you want a bikini epilator? Longing to epilate pesky facial hair?
Most epilators will be suitable for use on legs and arms, but some also come with multiple attachments that are suitable for other more sensitive areas of the body, such as the underarms and bikini line. There are even eyebrow epilators that can achieve a precise finish.
Some also come with attachments such as a trimmer or shaver, an exfoliating brush head (which can help prevent ingrowns), and even a massaging brush head, which can help soothe irritation.
What should I look for in an epilation head?
- A wider head can let you remove more hair at a time, making the whole process a lot quicker.
- If you have sensitive skin, look out for ceramic disc tweezers on an epilator - they’re more hypoallergenic than metal, and can reduce the risk of irritation.
- Look for a head that clips off from the device and can easily be washed under a tap.
Most epilators will have 2 or 3 speed settings, letting you adjust how quickly the machine removes hair to suit your pain tolerance and the area you’re removing hair from.
A slower, gentler epilation can be great for those new to epilating or are using it on more sensitive parts, such as the bikini area. Faster settings are usually used for seasoned epilation pros for more efficient sessions.
An epilator can set you back anywhere from as little as $20 to $500 and upwards. The cost of an epilator is determined by factors such as whether it can be used wet (this will be more expensive), the number of attachments it has (the more, the pricier), and where on your body you can use it.
If you can make the initial splurge, then investing in an epilator can end up being less pricey in the long run than other types of hair removal, as there aren't any ongoing costs when using one.
Tips for using an epilator
- Gently exfoliate your skin a day or two before you epilate to remove dead skin cells. This will help prevent ingrown hairs and will make for easier hair removal.
- Moisturise your skin after epilating to help soothe any inflammation or redness, preferably with a non-comedogenic, fragrance-free cream to avoid clogging up your pores.
- If you have an event you want to epilate for, try epilating the night before. This will allow time for any bumps, redness or irritation to settle, leaving you with smooth skin for your special event.
How much do epilators hurt?
Because epilating involves plucking out multiple hairs simultaneously, there’s no denying that it’s going to hurt, but how painful it is depends on your own threshold. Even those with a higher pain threshold will likely experience some discomfort when epilating.
Those who have waxed previously may not find an epilator painful, not only because waxing is a painful process, but also because their body hairs may be thinner
As you continue to use it, you may stop finding an epilator painful, as your hairs become thinner and are easier for the device to remove. Shorter hairs are also less painful to pluck, so you can avoid a bit of pain by epilating more regularly.
Do epilators slow hair growth?
Yes, epilation slows growth, and doing it regularly can let you have smooth, hair-free skin for up to 4 weeks.
How often should you epilate your legs?
That depends entirely on personal preference. You don’t need to epilate your legs at all, but if you want your hairs to keep growing back thinner, then epilating regularly should help you achieve that.
The bottom line
If you’re willing to go through the often uncomfortable process of getting used to an epilator, then epilation can be a convenient way to remove your body hair.
Expect a bit of pain, follow our epilating tips, and experiment with your device’s different speeds and settings so that you can get a feel for what’s right for you.