Epilator. Does the word bring shivers down your spine? It sure used to for me! I think we all remember the first time we tried epilating, mine was in the bath at a friends house when I was about 15 years old, my friends daring me to try it – there were tears. But no this post is not to put you off epilating, quite the opposite because thankfully almost 10 years after my horrifying experience, epilators have moved on (a lot – thankfully!) and the devices are now almost pain free, and there are loads of tips for making it a more enjoyable experience.
Firstly the benefits of epilating – the obvious one is that it gives long lasting hair removal, up to 6 weeks depending on your hair cycle, and it is quick and easy to do it yourself at home. They work by removing hair from the roots by spinning lots of tiny tweezers, but you can avoid the swearing and tears and ‘I’ll never do it again as long as I live!‘ by following my top tips!
— Thank you to Procter & Gamble who sponsored this post! —
1. Exfoliate prior to epilation. If you thoroughly buff skin with a grainy exfoliator, then you will remove the dead skin cells which helps to minimise the chance of you getting ingrown hairs. Personally I have a thorough scrub the morning that I’m going to epilate, and then use exfoliating gloves daily with a moisturising body wash. Exfoliating also makes skin less oily which mean that the hair doesn’t flatten on to the skin, this means that less passes of the epilator are needed, and again the risk or ingrown hair is reduced.
2. Use a Wet & Dry Epilator. The best way to epilate even if you don’t have a high pain threshold is to get a wet and dry epilator. This means that it can be used in the shower or bath so the pores can open, meaning the hair and root will come out much more easily. I have recently been using the Braun Silk-épil 9 which is water tight up to five metres (just in case you fancy using it in the deep end of a swimming pool ya know) so it’s ideal for using in the bath.
Some of my friends with fine hair have said that using an epilator in the bath makes their hair just snap, instead of being pulled out as it is too smooth. Personally I have fine blonde hair on my legs and don’t have this problem – the Braun Silk-épil 9 has Micro Grip tweezer technology which means that they pluck closer to the skin giving a super efficient epilation.
3. Use an epilator that has a high number of tweezers. A higher number of tweezers means that less passes are needed to remove every hair which reduces the chance of irritation. With the Braun Silk-épil 9, there’s a wide head which removes more hair in each stroke, so you can get the job done much quicker! There’s also a High Frequency Massage system which pulsates on contact with the skin to give a more gentle epilation – the rollers stimulate the skin which works to open up pores and further reduce the pain. Pulling skin taut will also make the hair come out more easily, again reducing pain.
4. Give it time! The first time will be the worst, but if you follow these tips then it shouldn’t be painful, more just a small pinch. The second time will be bearable and then the third, fourth, you’ll do it without even thinking. The skin gets used to epilation and hairs grow thinner so it becomes much easier to pull out with the mini tweezers. If you start now then you can always just grab for your epilator as soon as you notice any hairs on your leg, and give a quick whizz over (it really is the speediest way of removing hair!).
5. And if all else fails, use a numbing cream. It seems extreme but if you have a very low pain threshold then you can always use a numbing cream for your first time. I personally wouldn’t try cooling the area to numb it as this will tighten pores and may cause hairs to snap rather than be pulled out, but a cream that numbs the area should work a treat.
For me, the discomfort of the initial use of an epilator is far outweighed by the satisfaction that you’re pulling the hairs up right from the root, and having silky smooth legs for at least two weeks. I recommend epilating every two weeks, and then monthly in winter just to keep it up.
Summing it all up!
Give skin a good scrub before using your epilator – this will remove dead skin and prevent ingrown hairs.
Use your epilator in the shower or bath to open up pores, this will majorly reduce the pain of epilation. Choosing an epilator with a large head and lots of tweezers like the Braun Silk-épil 9 will mean less passes, so less pain and irritation.
The epilator that you choose makes a lot of difference too, and the Braun Silk-épil 9 with the large head, massage system and multiple caps for using in different areas is a really great option, and it even has a little light so you can see every hair that you’re pulling up (satisfaction alert!). It also comes with a shaver head, trimmer cap and facial cap, so you’re getting 4 products in one!
My final note would be to go for it, don’t be afraid of epilators – they are created to give you long lasting silky smooth legs, not to create pain. Using the above snippets of advice you will have a reduced pain, or even pain free epilation experience, and in time, it’s just going to get easier!
The Braun Silk-épil 9 is £149.99 and you can buy it from Boots.
Will you be trying out epilating this Summer?