Epilators are a tidier, faster, and more comfortable alternative to waxing for ladies who want to remove hairs right down to the root! At least, that’s what they ought to be.
Sadly, most epilators on the market are nothing short of torture devices. They’re extremely painful to use, and what’s more, they don’t even do a good job plucking hairs!
Don’t worry, though–we’re here to steer you clear of the crappy models and help you epilate comfortably.
Below, you’ll find our in-depth review of each–plus Alice’s personal take. We’ll talk you through all the reasons we’ve plucked these epilators from the crowded field, and help you figure out which one is the best choice for your hair-removal routine!
Best Epilator Reviews 2019
Braun Silk-epil 3
The Braun Silk-epil 3’s biggest selling point is its price! It’s very affordable, so it’s ideal for anyone who wants to try epilating without making a big investment. This isn’t the cheapest option on the market, but we think it’s the least you can pay for something that’s actually effective and well-designed. We suggest it because it’s a very inexpensive way into Braun’s Silk-epil design, which is by far the best on the market right now. Choose it if you’re shopping on a tight budget.
The 3 follows the same basic design as the more expensive Silk-epil’s. It has an epilating head with fast-moving tweezers, which pluck hairs out as you move it along your skin. The 3 has a 20-tweezer system which is quite effective as long as you move fairly slowly. It does a better job removing all the hairs cleanly than anything else under $50.
While it’s simple, it’s not exactly bare-bones! There’s a light to help you see and nab fine hairs and a set of attachments which includes a massage roller and a shaving attachment. You definitely get a lot for your money!
All in all, we think the Silk-epil 3 makes a good first epilator. It has 2 speed settings, so you can start slow and then speed up once you’ve gotten the hang of the process and become used to the sensation of epilating. That’s something we recommend to all newcomers. If you go full-bore with a fast speed setting, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the discomfort. This way, you can ease yourself in and move up to a faster setting when you’re ready.
There are many good reasons why we think this is a better budget buy than some of the other, cheaper epilators on the market. For one thing, it’s dermatologist-recommended. Braun has a very impressive design team which comes up with creative beauty gadgets that work while keeping you safe. A lot of the cheap, knock-off products can roughly approximate that functionality but they don’t keep you as safe or as comfortable.
It’s reliable, too. That’s not a word you’ll hear used to describe any other epilators under $50! The rest of the market at this price is disposable crap. The Silk-epil might not be flashy or fancy, but it does the job well and should last a long time.
The upside of having a corded epilator is that you can take as much time as you like without having to think about battery life. That can be especially helpful when you’re starting out and haven’t developed your flow yet. If you need to go slowly and take lots of breaks, that’s no trouble at all.
There are several downsides to cutting costs and sticking with the Silk-epil 3:
There are no exfoliating features, first of all. You might not mind that if you’re just starting out. Still, many of us like to do this treatment before epilating with an exfoliating attachment (like the ones you’ll find on the nicer Braun’s). It’s a nice way to get yourself relaxed and it also prevents ingrown hairs. You’ll find a lot more extras going up the price scale.
The narrow head takes longer to use than other Braun models. You’ll need to spend more time epilating with this one than you would with the 7 or the 9. This one doesn’t always take everything on the first pass, either. Both of those are likely down to the fact that the Silk-epil 3 has fewer tweezers than the newer, nicer Braun models.
Most noticeably, the Silk-epil 3 doesn’t do as good a job on fine hairs as the nicer Braun’s. The 3’s mediocre performance on fine hairs means it’s not a great choice for facial hair removal. It also will become more of an irritation over time. That’s because ladies who epilate regularly will find that hair grows back thinner, so you may outgrow the 3 in some sense, while that wouldn’t be an issue with the 7 or the 9.
The Silk-epil 3 is not a wet-dry model. You can’t wash it under running water, or use it when your body is wet. For most ladies, it’s worth it to spend more and get something you can use with damp body hair (that’s generally more painless).
It’s not cordless, so you’ll need to epilate near an outlet. That may or may not be a big deal for you. Most of us don’t have a wide range of outlets to choose from in the bathroom, though. Make sure you’ve sorted yourself out and thought about where you’ll actually epilate before you choose a corded model like this.
Braun Silk-epil 7
The Silk-epil 7 offers a nice compromise between premium functionality and a reasonable price point. It’s priced about halfway between the 3 and the 9, so we think it’s ideal for the average buyer. While you’ll miss out on certain features of the 9 by sticking with the 7, you definitely won’t feel like you’ve cheated yourself!
One of the biggest differences coming from the Silk-epil 3 to the Silk-epil 7 is the effectiveness of the tweezer head. The 7 takes much finer hairs than the 3, making it better for facial use, as well as folks who are already maintaining body hair. We’ve also found that it takes shorter hairs which are harder to grab with the 3. Of course, it’ll still grab all those longer, thicker hairs too!
Overall, the 7 proves to be more efficient in real-world use, taking more hairs in a single pass and getting the job done faster. We’re attributing that to its 32 tweezers, an increase of more than 50% over the 3. Since it makes the process faster and leaves very few hairs behind on the first pass, it’s simply more enjoyable to use on a regular basis.
Wet/dry functionality means you can use the 7 after a bath or shower. It’s more comfortable to epilate when your skin’s wet, so that makes the 7 much more pleasant to use than the 3. It also saves you having to dry off twice, since most of us like to go for a rinse after we epilate. You can even do it when you’re in the shower! With that said, you may find that it’s easier to spot hairs when there’s not water running over your body!
The biggest difference, though, is the fact the Silk-epil 7 is cordless! The 3 is a corded epilator, so you need to stay close to an outlet when you use it. The 7 works absolutely anywhere. Since most of us don’t have a wealth of outlets to use in the bathroom, that’s super convenient! It takes an hour to charge, gives you about 40 minutes of use depending on the settings and attachments you choose.
It keeps all the 3’s winning features: dual speed settings, a massage roller, and a trimmer head.
In addition to those, the 7 also comes with a bikini trimmer! It’s a detail tool which is very handy for trimming your bikini area before epilating (to make the sensitive areas more pleasant to go over). You can certainly buy a detailer separately, but having one thrown in here definitely adds to the value factor for the Silk-epil 7. It has everything you need (aside from creams or lotions) to maintain body hair all over your body.
As well as the separate detail trimmer, you can use the Silk-epil 7 as a trimmer using the alternate head. That’s fairly similar to the feature on the 3, but the 7 also includes a shaver cover which makes the trimmer head more maneuverable around the bikini area! There are also a few other accessories, like a comb head for the trimmer and a few caps which allow you to trim or epilate with a narrower focus. There’s a cleaning brush, too, as well as a carrying bag for everything.
It’s a reliable, dependable little gadget. Unlike other midrange cordless options, the Braun ought to last for a few years of use. No battery will last forever, but you can get a very respectable lifespan out of this one before it needs to be replaced.
The 7 certainly works faster than the 3, but that’s mainly because the tweezer head is more efficient. It doesn’t give you much extra coverage. You’ll find that the 40% larger head on the 9 makes for an even bigger difference in pace. Is it absolutely essential? No. But, if you’re the sort of person who wants the absolute best thing, go for the 9!
The 9 is even more efficient, too. It has by far the most tweezers, so it stands to reason that it grabs even more hair than the 7. It’s as close to perfect as we’ve found. Again, the 7 is good enough for the average person. For ladies who like to go premium, the 9 is a better choice!
Braun Silk-epil 9
The first thing you’ll notice when you get your hands on the Silk-epil 9 is its size. While it still fits neatly in the hand, it has a 40% wider head compared to the 7! That’s a heck of a lot more coverage, allowing you to epilate more hairs with each pass. You can get the whole thing over with more quickly with the 9! It may not seem like a drastic improvement to simply have a bigger head on your epilator, but let’s face it–epilating is never a soothing experience. It’s always better to be able to get it over with fast.
You don’t lose any precision for the 9’s extra efficiency. Its micro-grip tweezers are just as good at pulling fine hairs out as the smaller 7’s. You can use this absolutely anywhere, even on fine facial hairs. And if you need to use it somewhere the big head doesn’t make sense, it has a few detailing covers to give you a finer touch. These are essentially the same as the caps that come with the 7, but sized appropriately for the 9. We would use them for armpits and facial areas, especially.
As well as having massage rollers like the 3 and 7, the Silk-epil 9 vibrates as it works! That helps to relax you, since you feel like you’re having a massage as well as plucking out hairs. We won’t pretend you’ll be able to forget that you’re epilating, but it definitely makes the experience more pleasant. The vibrations help distract you from feeling individual hairs as they’re plucked. We found that makes the whole operation a lot more enjoyable.
Overall, thanks to its efficient head, precision tweezers and massage function, the Braun Silk-epil 9 is by far the most comfortable and convenient epilator we’ve reviewed to date. Is it perfect? No. Even the best epilator on the market isn’t completely comfortable. Still, this little gadget makes the experience as pleasant as possible until someone comes up with a truly painless model.
Aside from the enlarged head and vibration function, the Silk-epil 9 is pretty much identical to the 7. It has a smart light to help you see all your hairs, it’s completely waterproof, and it’s cordless.
Just like the 7, it takes about an hour to charge and should give you about 40 minutes of use per cycle. It also includes a similar shaver head and a trimmer cap, plus the detailing covers mentioned above. The only significant difference is that the 9’s accessories are 40% larger.
The 9’s big bonus is an exfoliating brush attachment. You don’t get the detailing trimmer that comes with the 7, but you’ve probably already got one of those handy anyway! The 9 includes a spinning, waterproof exfoliating brush which Braun says works 6x better than manual treatments. We don’t know exactly how they’re measuring that, but we definitely agree that it’s effective. We especially love being able to use it in the shower!
The Silk-epil 9 is also available in a Skin Spa edition with extra exfoliating brushes. They’re really quite wonderful if you use them before epilating. If you want the full experience, treat yourself! They’re not essential, though.
It’s very expensive. You could buy several Silk-epil 3’s for the price of one Silk-epil 9. Don’t buy this unless you’re sure you want to stick with epilation and know you’ll get your money’s worth from it! That’s why we don’t recommend this model as a first tool. It’s for someone who’s tried something like the 3 or 7 and decided they want to go all-in on a premium upgrade.
Even the best epilator on the market isn’t painless. You’re still yanking out hairs, after all! This one works quickly to minimize the discomfort. You’ll still want to follow up with a soothing moisturizer, though.
Which of these should you buy?
The Braun Silk-epil 3 makes for a good first epilator, or a budget choice for ladies who can’t afford to spend more. It gets the job done relatively painlessly and has a decent range of functionality for something well under $50. With that said, you’ll have a more enjoyable experience and be able to work more quickly with the 7 or the 9. Ladies with finer body hair and those who want to epilate facial hair will do well to invest in the 7, too.
The Braun Silk-epil 7 is the model we recommend to most people. It’s as precise as the Silk-epil 9, even if it doesn’t provide as much coverage. Buy this one if you want the majority of the user experience you’d get with the 9, without such a high price tag. However, if you’re committed to epilating and want the best of the best, just go for the 9!
The Braun Silk-epil 9 is simply the best epilator we’ve reviewed to date! It’s more efficient than the cheaper Braun’s, as well as anything else on the market. Its wide head makes epilating go much faster and the additional tweezers pick up far more per pass. You’ll definitely pay a premium for the 9, but you certainly get your money’s worth in attachments, features, and quality. Don’t feel bad sticking with the 7 if you can’t afford this one, though!
A Note On Our Recommendations
We know that it might seem a bit odd to read a buying guide which features only models from one company. You might be wondering at this point why we’ve chosen 3 Braun models, and not included some other manufacturers? It’s a fair question! After all, we’re all about being objective and looking consistently at all the options on WifeKnows.
Here’s what’s up with that:
For a start, there aren’t all that many companies making epilators. Among the big brands, Braun and Panasonic are the only ones making serious investments in epilator design and innovation. You’ll find that pretty much anything else you see is a generic knock-off of a Braun or Panasonic design. We think those models are best avoided, since they’re very cheaply made and can be both painful and dangerous to use.
Looking more closely at Braun and Panasonic, we think there’s just no comparison between the two companies. Braun is unquestionably the innovator where epilators are concerned. Most Panasonic models are tweaked Braun designs, as far as we can tell. We’ve also found that Braun beauty appliances hold up better over time than Panasonic’s. Panasonic has a particularly bad track record with reliability for their devices, while Braun leads the pack.
The best epilator overall, in our opinion, is the Braun Silk-epil 7 for its wet/dry functionality and reasonable price tag.
We’re always on the hunt for new and improved epilators, just as we’re constantly revisiting and revising our other buying guides. So, we’ll let you know if we find something better in the future! At the moment, we can confidently say that Silk-epil models are the way to go.
Our Essential Epilator Buying Guide
Make Comfort Your First Priority
If you’ve ever used one of these devices before, you know as well as we do that the biggest difference between epilators isn’t their attachment set or list of features. No, the epilators that stand out are those that are either extremely painful or almost painless to use. Sadly, most of the gadgets on the market fall into the first category. There are a number of reasons why we’ve chosen the models we recommend, but comfort is the key one. They’re the closest to painless we’ve found.
So, what specific features make a given epilator less painful to use?
Having lots of tweezers is a good first step! The longer you have to spend epilating, the more discomfort you’ll experience. Models with more tweezers help you get the whole thing over with faster. A high tweezer density is the most important thing. You want lots and lots of tweezer sets in your epilator head, so that you don’t miss hairs or have snags and breaks. The more tweezers, the better! You’ll stand a better chance of getting a clean yank on each hair and you’ll leave less behind for a second pass. Epilators with larger tweezer heads can also up the comfort factor, simply because they cover ground faster. Not only does that make for a shorter session, but it spreads out the sensation across your skin so that you don’t end up feeling like you’re feeling needle stabs.
We’ve also found that while some massage features are annoying or gimmicky, having some basic massage rollers or a vibration function can definitely take the edge of epilation. Massage features help relax the skin (and you) as you work. They’re not absolutely essential, but they’re definitely one reason why premium models end up feeling closer to painless. Remember that you can also do things like epilating in the shower to make the experience more relaxing. That’s why we love wet/dry models so much!
Know What You Want To Epilate
Just like any other method of hair removal, epilation is something that you might use all over your body, or only for certain locations. Think about where you want to epilate, and where you might want to use another method. Epilation does work well everywhere, but it can be pretty intense for areas like the face. Of course, waxing is painful too–just think about whether you’d rather epilate and work more gradually or go all-in with waxing and rip everything off at once.
If you’re planning to use an epilator all over your body, you’ll want to invest in a nicer model. We’ve found that while most of the budget options work well for the majority of body hair types, they perform poorly on facial hair. That’s because facial hair is quite fine. Cheap epilators will either miss the hairs, because their tweezers aren’t as fine-tuned, or break them off. You really need one of the premium models to do a good job around your face.
Decide On Your Budget
Epilators can cost as little as $30 for a decent budget model. You can also spend upwards of $150 for something premium with an accessory kit. There’s definitely a big increase in quality as you go up the price scale. More expensive models have more precise tweezer systems and are likely to have more comfort features like massage or vibration. They also offer the convenience of wet/dry operation and cordless power. If you want something cordless and waterproof, plan to drop at least $100.
If you’re shopping for your first epilator, you have a bit of a dilemma in front of you. It makes sense to spend relatively little on a first epilator, if you don’t know you’ll be sticking with epilation for your hair removal routine. On the other hand, spending more will get you a more enjoyable experience, so you might want to spend up for a midrange model that gives you a more painless session. Think about how much you can afford to spend, and bear in mind that any epilator will quickly pay for itself in savings compared to professional waxing treatments!
Think About Features
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to consider which features are essential for you. Giving thought to specific features before you start shopping will help you narrow down your options fast!
Wet/dry epilators are exactly what they sound like: gadgets which work in and out of the shower, and on wet and dry skin. Many of us find epilation easier with wet skin and hair, and some ladies even epilate while showering. All midrange and premium models are completely waterproof. Plan to spend at least $100 for a good wet/dry model.
There are several reasons why wet/dry models are handy, from comfort to cleaning. When you can epilate wet, you’ll find that you’re more relaxed and that hairs are easier and less painful to remove. After you’re done, wet/dry models are also much easier to clean. You can rinse them free of hairs and any dead skin/shower gunk that might accumulate. You don’t have to worry about getting any of the components wet when you sanitize with rubbing alcohol, either! Still, if this isn’t an essential feature for you, you can save a lot of money by choosing a non-waterproof model.
You’ll find that a lot of epilators are sold with accessory kits in a beauty bundle. The typical accessory kit includes things like massage rollers, exfoliating brushes, or trimmer heads. If you already use exfoliating brushes manually, this is an easy way to up your game and use one machine for everything. Motorized brush heads are a lot more effective than your hand tools. They’re faster, more consistent, and simply more fun to use. You can even use them underwater, assuming you choose a wet/dry model. If they’re not super important to you, you can usually knock a decent chunk off the price of most epilator models by choosing a package without them.
Any decent epilator sold today will also come with a trimmer attachment, which you can use to trim hairs before epilating and to shave areas where you want to maintain some hair. A trimmer head shouldn’t decide your purchase for you, since the vast majority of models include them. If you already have a favorite trimmer to use, you can ignore this part of your epilator kit. However, a lot of us find it convenient to simplify and use one gadget for several things. That’s why it’s worth making sure your epilator’s trimmer attachment will come with combs and caps if you use them to trim! One suggestion–trim the night before you epilate. Assuming you spend a decent amount of time trimming, you’ll want to get that out of the way and then plug your tool in to make sure you’ve got full power for your epilation session!
Finally, think about whether you want a corded or cordless epilator! As with waterproofing, all midrange and premium models sold today will be cordless (that’s essential for using them in the shower, as well as being more convenient). If you travel often, or don’t have many outlets to use in your bathroom, there’s no question that you should buy a cordless model. If you know you’ll always epilate by an outlet and don’t mind having to do so dry, you can save a lot of money by going old-school. However, we think the vast majority of ladies will have a noticeably better experience epilating wet. Even if that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, just think about how much easier your tool will be to clean if you can rinse it off!
How To Use An Epilator Painlessly And Efficiently
Be Sure To Get A Good One
Of course the best thing you can do is to choose a high-quality epilator to begin with. All the technique in the world won’t help you much if the machine you’re using js working against you. That’s why we’ve put this guide together, after all! In order to epilate successfully, you need a tool that removes hairs in one swift tug, which doesn’t jam or slow down to cause pain and discomfort. Stick with one of our recommendations, and you’ll be good as gold!
Know How To Exfoliate
Exfoliating is super important for preventing ingrown hairs. There are certainly other benefits, but that’s the key reason to practice regular exfoliation when you epilate. Do this the day before, if you want our advice. You can use a loofah, a special glove, or the brushes that come with many of the deluxe epilator kits. Find something that’s fairly assertive without being painful. You’ll also want to do a quick refresher right before you go to epilate.
Don’t try and epilate long hairs–ever! That’s asking for trouble. You should always shave hairs fairly close to the skin before you set to work with your epilator. You want to be working on stubble, not longer strands. The longer hair is, the more likely it is to snap off and leave you frustrated. Always shave the day before. Just build it into your routine along with exfoliation.
Try Wet Epilation First
When you epilate wet, you’ll usually find that the experience is more convenient, relaxing, and painless than if you were to try it dry. Wetting hairs will weaken the root, and make skin more forgiving of the plucking. You can even leave the shower running and take breaks! Plus, using a wet/dry model makes for extremely easy cleaning.
Make Sure It’s Charged
Most of the epilators we recommend are cordless. The important thing to remember when you work with a cordless model is to charge the darn thing! Nothing worse than getting done with one of your legs and running out of juice! Always charge the night before just to be safe. It usually takes a few hours to get charged up completely.
Set Aside Time For Epilation And Take Your Time
Set aside time specifically for epilating. Don’t try and fit it into a busy day and don’t rush! Do it at night so you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything afterward. Set aside a good hour or two, especially if you’re going to take our advice and exfoliate/shower first.
Take a shower or bath first, even if you’re going to do your epilating while dry. You’ll relax, clean off any debris, and remove skin products that can gunk up your gadget. Water also weakens hair at the root, which makes it easier to epilate.
Start With The Low-Hanging Fruit
Start with a hairy patch in one of your least sensitive zones. You don’t want to jump right in with a tricky area that’s super sensitive! Start with easy hairs that won’t hurt so much. Legs are a good idea, away from joints. Save places like the crotch and armpits for last.
Find Your Rhythm
Everybody epilates a little differently. Just like some people prefer to slowly work off a bandaid while others rip bandages off quickly, experiment with different speed settings to find the one that works best for you. You may use different speeds for different areas or just stick to one. It’s all good! The key thing is to be as comfortable as possible.
Make It Easier For Yourself
Pull skin taut with your other hand and do what you can to help the epilator do its job more easily! Stretch legs out straight and raise arms above head to do armpits. Hold the head of your epilator perpendicular to the skin and go against the direction the hair is growing. Don’t move too quickly, even if you’re using a fast speed setting. Let the tweezers work before moving on.
Don’t Forget To Follow Your After-Routine
Moisturize after epilating to help skin recover. Keep your machine clean and sterile, too! Wet/dry models are the easiest to deal with since you can simply rinse them in the shower. Rubbing alcohol is your friend as far as sanitation is concerned. It works quickly and doesn’t leave any residue once it’s evaporated.
Keep It Regular
Start by doing this every other day. Hair grows in wave cycles, so you want to make sure you’re thorough and stay on top of it. Shave weekly. After two weeks, you can cut down to epilating twice a week. Some ladies can make it work epilating once a week after some time has passed, but it all depends on your body and how quickly hair grows back.
Other Products We Recommend For Epilation
While any good epilator should come with everything you need to trim and epilate effectively, you may find that a few other products are needed to round out your hair removal toolkit. Here are a few of our favorites. You may have a favorite moisturizer or loofah already. In that case, feel free to skip this section of our guide. If you don’t, or are curious about alternatives, here are a few of our favorites for before and after using your epilator.
Epilation doesn’t have to be a horribly painful procedure if it’s done properly. However, it’s never soothing. Plucking hairs out by the root is a trauma to your skin, and you need to help it recover. That’s why we recommend following up with a soothing massage using a moisturizing skin care product. Plus, after all the exfoliation you’ll do to prep for epilation, it’s a great way to revitalize and correct any dryness.
Moisturizers come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll have to figure out which kind plays nicely with your skin type and works best for you. You can use oils, creams, lotions, or raw products like shea butter or unrefined coconut oil. Each product offers a different sort of nourishment. They also are applied differently. You may want to try a few different options to see which you prefer working with and which leave your skin looking and feeling best!
We’ve used all kinds of moisturizing products, but this oil blend is currently our favorite overall. You’ll find that it’s exactly what you need to help your skin recover after epilating. It has a range of natural, organically-produced plant oils which offer a complete range of skin care capabilities! And unlike a lot of other blended oil products, it doesn’t smell horrid because of all the different ingredients. We think it’s fragrant and refreshing–perfect for decompressing after body hair removal.
It contains 4 different types of natural, plant-derived oils: olive, almond, lavender and grapeseed. That’s it! All of the nutrients come from these four ingredients, not synthetic additives or sketchy byproducts. It’s entirely organic and all-natural.
These might not seem like the most common oils to mix together, but together they offer a complete package of vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats.
Squalene, one of the best elements of olive oil, is very hydrating and lends its anti-aging properties to your skin. Lavender oil is excellent for any number of skin conditions. It’s ideal for recovering after epilation! Almond has fatty acids, minerals, potassium, zinc, and nourishing proteins. Grapeseed is one of the best for moisture and things like itchy scalp, psoriasis.
All in all, there’s pretty much no skin condition these won’t help. That’s why helping you recover from epilation is a walk in the park for them!
An oil blend like this isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer cream-style moisturizers. If that’s more up your alley, we recommend the shea butter below.
If using a blend of oils like the Ancient Greek product above isn’t up your alley, give this organic shea butter product a try. It’s completely raw and unrefined, without any additives. Shea butter takes a little more effort to rub into your skin than a liquid oil product but it’s incredibly nourishing.
It’s pure and all-natural. Like the oil blend above, the primary ingredient in this shea butter is also the only ingredient. It’s shea butter, through and through, with no additives or alterations. While a lot of shea butter can be riddled with pesticides and other chemical ingredients used in the manufacturing process, this one’s completely organic! No pesticides or chemicals here.
It’s full of vitamins and minerals, since it’s been cold-pressed and hasn’t been processed in an industrial way that would damage nutrients. Shea butter is rich in any number of nutrients, particularly Vitamins A and E plus oleic and stearic acids. It also packs a heck of a lot of moisturizing power.
It helps skin recover from the trauma of epilation just as well as oils, though it can take a bit longer to work in completely. This may also be a better alternative for greasy skin types. As with the oil blend, pure shea butter is also a great all-around moisturizer and supplement.
While shea butter does take some working in, this stuff is very high-quality. It’s not granular at all, unlike cheaper products. Work it in your fingers for a second or two, and it softens right up. You can also mix it with a drop of the Ancient Greek oils above for the ultimate in topical nourishment. We’ve found that adding a carrier oil in this way can make shea butter a lot more pliable.
We don’t think it’s as easy to work with a shea butter product like this as it is to use oils. Oils are faster to absorb and spread more easily. Still, if they’re not your jam, this is the next best thing.
Compared to some other shea butters, this is a bit pricey. We think it’s worth spending more for the real deal–pure and unadulterated, though.
We’ve mentioned above that most higher-end epilators will come with some sort of exfoliating attachments included. If yours does, we suggest simply using it. Mechanical exfoliating brushes are easy to use and do a consistent job all over your body. We also like that they’re easy to clean! However, they’re not for everybody, and some ladies might end up choosing an epilator that doesn’t come with them. Regardless of why you’ve decided not to use exfoliating attachments on your gadget, we’ve got an alternative solution to recommend to you!
These Earth Therapeutics gloves are an ideal way to exfoliate all over your body:
We like them because they’re made from a nylon webbing material which exfoliates extremely well without being so aggressive as the plastic and rubber attachments sold with most epilators. If you find those uncomfortable, these will definitely be a better solution. They’re essentially wearable loofahs which you can use to reach anywhere on your body. Use them with your favorite body wash or soap to kill two birds with one stone in the shower! We also love that you can wash these to extend their useful life and keep them sanitary. Just throw them in the washing machine and air dry them outside in the breeze.
How Painful Is It?
It’s hard to have any conversation about epilation without hearing the dreaded P-word a lot. Pain is part of life when it comes to body hair removal whenever you’re looking to go further than a shave. Waxing, epilating, laser treatment and electrolysis are all uncomfortable to some extent. So, how painful is epilation compared to other hair removal methods?
It all depends how you look at it. Pulling out a hair is pulling out a hair, whether you’re waxing or epilating. The difference is between ripping out a whole patch at once, using wax, or going more slowly with an epilator. You really have to choose your poison.
If you’re the sort of person who hates dragging things out or feeling small amounts of pain for a long period of time, waxing is your best bet. However, if you can gradually acclimate yourself to a milder discomfort, you may find that you don’t actually mind taking longer with an epilator. That’s why we love these devices. They work just as well as waxing without all the mess and without those eye-watering, intense tears!
If you’ve ever been shaving with a razor that’s less than sharp, you know what pulling hairs out feels like. That’s the experience of epilating. If you do it wet and are relaxed beforehand, it’s fairly easy to get from the eye-watering stage to a more tolerable place. It’s not going to be pleasant at first, but believe us when we say it does get better! Waxing is always a shockingly painful experience, even though it’s quite brief. Epilation is something you can eventually get used to, even if it’s not something you’d seek out for fun.
What Do I Have To Do To Take Care Of My Epilator?
Epilators are relatively low-maintenance tools, but it’s still important to stay on top of upkeep. Unlike razors, epilators don’t get dull over time. The only component that usually wears out is the battery, which is replaceable in many models. Instead of sharpening or replacing blades, your job is simply to keep your epilator clean and sanitary. That’s especially easy with wet/dry models. You can simply rinse off hair and gunk from the shower under running water.
We recommend running the tweezer head under the water to get everything out. You should also use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to give the outside and the tweezer head a disinfecting clean every use (or at least every other use). This is to prevent any bacterial buildup. Yanking out hairs does causes breaks in the skin, and that’s a recipe for infection if you’re not careful to maintain proper hygiene. Clean your tool regularly and you’ll be good as gold!
What Are The Alternatives To Using An Epilator?
If you try one of our recommendations but simply can’t make epilation work for you, don’t worry! There are plenty of other methods of removing unwanted hair anywhere on your body.
Waxing is the obvious alternative, since it’s essentially the same process as epilation but performed all at once. Waxing does get a bit messy and is intensely painful, but it can be a faster way to get the pain over with for many ladies. If you just can’t stand the feeling of tweezers yanking hairs gradually, you may prefer simply ripping off a patch all at once and then giving yourself a few minutes to recover.
If you want to wax away your unwanted body hair, there are several methods you can try. One is to use wax strips, which are available by the box. We’re not big fans, since they tend to be rather thin and may not have enough volume to remove all your hair at once. You can use several on the same patch, but at that point you may as well epilate! Instead, we prefer a warmer pot full of wax, which you can spread with a spatula and then tear off when it hardens. No strips necessary!
There are quite literally hundreds of identical waxing pot kits available on the market today. There are a few generic designs being cranked out by Chinese factories and labelled under dozens of different (but essentially meaningless) brand names. The bad news is, there’s a lot less variety than you’d think from the number of models available. The good news is, these cheap, generic options are actually as good as you need them to be to do a decent job!
We currently recommend this MOSCHE kit:
We should say right off the bat that the MOSCHE is pretty much identical to dozens of other kits. So, if you find a comparable model that’s drastically cheaper and seems to be as reliable in the quality control department, go for it! However, we think this one’s currently the best for value, reliability, and safety. You’ll probably want to get some other wax beads for future, though. The ones in the box aren’t all that great. They work pretty well, but there’s a chemical odor and we’ve used other materials that are more grippy and efficient.
Shaving is the best bet for ladies who like the idea of removing body hair completely but can’t get through the experience of epilation or waxing. Shaving doesn’t remove hairs down to the root, but it’s pretty much painless and if you do it regularly you can keep yourself very smooth. Putting in a few extra hours shaving every week may pay off if you’d rather spend more time than feel more pain!
There are several ways you can shave off unwanted body hair. There are the good old manual razor blades, or electric trimmers. We’ve got a few recommendations below covering both options:
The best manual razors we’ve reviewed recently are these Gillette Venus ones:
Gillette’s your go-to whenever it comes to manual razors. Not only is there not much competition (Schick is a notable exception) but they’re simply so far ahead of their competitors’ products that it’s hard to even suggest shopping around. Of course, we do all that for you! These Gillette’s are currently our favorites for a number of reasons.
First off, the handle is universally compatible with any other blades from the Venus range. So, if you end up finding that one of the other Venus heads works better with your skin/body hair, you don’t need to waste money buying a whole new razor. Just pick up some replacement heads and pop them in this.
The soft-grip handle is nice and comfortable to work with, too. Gel might seem like it’d feel a bit weird to hold, but it gives you plenty of grip that really comes in handy during wet shaving. Since most of us will use a manual razor with some sort of product, that’s a big plus.
Most impressive is the shaving head. That’s what you want, of course! It’s all very well to have a nice handle and cross-compatibility, but none of that matters much if you can’t get a decent shave. There are 5 separate blades on this head, so it’s pretty much impossible for hairs to be left behind after a pass. As long as you go slowly and apply consistent pressure, you can usually get everything all at once. There’s also a moisturizing strip that genuinely works. That’s a big contrast from some competitors’ products we’ve used.
One note: you’ll find that Gillette products are fairly expensive for what they are. As a result, knockoffs abound in the online marketplace. Be sure to buy directly from Amazon or another authorized retailer listing on Amazon. Otherwise, you could get some very subpar knockoffs from China. Not only are they unpleasant to use, with their coarse and inconsistent blades, but they can be downright dangerous to you. Make sure you’re buying the real thing from a reputable retailer!
Panasonic ES22017P Electric 3-Blade Cordless Razor
Our favorite electric razor for women is this Panasonic model. It’s cordless and highly convenient. Since it’s a wet/dry model, you can shave dry for a quick fix or have a relaxing spa-style experience using your favorite moisturizing cream or gel. Rinse the head off afterward and you’re good to go! We also love the 3-blade design. Instead of making you choose between a foil or a shaver blade, you get both every time. That makes for a very thorough job done on each pass. It’s a very efficient way to go. Plus, the blades have a springy, floating design that allows them to follow contours closely so you don’t miss anything.
Permanent hair removal via electrolysis or lasers is another option, if you’re committed to removing hair entirely. These treatments aren’t going to be something you have to do regularly, so while they can be fairly uncomfortable in the moment, it’s usually going to pay off over the long term. Just bear in mind that they’re quite expensive and need to be done by professionals if you want to stay safe and have satisfying results.
For more of our expert reviews, recommendations, and advice, head to our homepage! That’s the best place to find links to all our guides, as well as fun blogs and tutorials from our team!
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