To those who are not familiar with the epilator, it is really just the high-tech version of sugaring or waxing unwanted hair that removes hair at its follicles. You can call them electronic tweezers because that’s what it really is based on the function it does: pulling multiple hairs out, albeit in multiples, unlike tweezers which remove one hair at a time.
What is an Epilator?
An epilator may also be likened to waxing since multiple hairs are pulled out at the same time but, unlike waxing, an epilator does not remove the cells from the epithelium which are flattened, closely packed cells that make up the internal or external lining of the body including the skin. This device uses a spinning spring or disc to capture the hair at skin level as its rotating motion pulls at the hair directly from the root.
Charged by using a conventional power cord just like an electric razor, an epilator is basically a group of blades that rotate with rows of small tweezers located on top of the device’s head. These small tweezers rotate while tugging and grasping out for hair over skin surface. A rotary epilator is exclusive and limited to home use. The success of its use depends on the quality of the device.
Because the process is really very much like shaving, an epilator “shaves” close to the roots of the hair and result in smooth and silky skin anywhere on your body that it has been used on. Given that, it is doubtful whether you will ever go back to shaving your legs with a conventional razor or getting your armpits waxed at a professional salon which, admit it or not, makes quite a dent in your budget.
Are Epilators Good for You?
An epilator can provide a quick solution to the removal of unwanted hair. Many types of epilators are now available on both the in-store and online markets; some of them use batteries because they are cordless while others are still electric but rechargeable. Epilating excess or unwanted body hair may be your best option if you have tried other solutions that proved unsatisfactory for your needs.
If you are on a tight budget, an epilator is a one-time purchase that saves you money. Come to think of it, an epilator is an investment that gives you a return on your money each time you use it. As you remove your unwanted hair with it on a regular basis, you will notice how hair in the areas that your epilator works on grows fewer and thinner as well; this, however, depends on whether you use the epilator regularly.
The secret to using an epilator successfully is not to allow your hair to grow back way too much so that you don’t spend a lot of time removing it. Most women tend to be lazy to remove unwanted hair during winter, meaning unwanted hair is left to grow unattended; this will result in more hair growth which, in turn, consumes more time to remove.
How Epilators Work
The mechanics of how an epilator works will depend on the model you use. Generally, though, an epilator grasps at and then lifts unwanted hair to pull them at the roots. An epilator can have rotating discs or wire to do the pulling, but the principle is the same: multiple hairs are removed in quick succession. This process will obviously give you discomfort, even pain for some if you haven’t been used to this kind of hair removal.
The good news is that the newest epilator models come with features that can help reduce the discomfort and pain including massage features and cooling elements. Visit professional salons if you have to and see what epilators they use or borrow one from a friend who has been epilation for some time. Additionally, choose a brand that has a money-back guarantee for satisfaction in case you are unable to take the discomfort.
How to Epilate without Pain
No process of hair removal will be painless, contrary to what advertisers say about their products, and that includes epilators. The old adage “no pain, no gain” still holds true when using any kind of hair removal device, but you would want as little pain and discomfort as possible when you do epilation, right? You can successfully do epilation effectively by following some steps right here.
Ensure that whatever hair you will epilate does not have a length that is too long because that can lead to a lot of irritation and cause more pain than usual. Most epilators are able to remove with a length of around 0.5 to 0.6 millimeter so there’s no point in growing out hair regardless of whether the unwanted hair is on your legs, bikini area, armpits or even hands.
Your skin should be thoroughly clean before you use an epilator on it. Take a warm bath to open up your skin’s pores and scrub the areas which you plan to epilate with a moisturizing body scrub or cream. Be sure to dry these areas well because epilating must be done on skin that is neither damp nor wet. This is a precautionary measure if you are using an electric epilator to prevent electrocution.
Start epilating with the right technique. Don’t brush the epilator randomly all over the body because this will not remove all of the excess hair. Epilate in vertical, straight lines. This will enable your epilator to stretch and pull on the unwanted hair easily. This is especially useful if you are epilating underarms.
Epilator Post Treatment
Use baby powder on the areas to make the hair there to “stand up” and help your epilator “glide” over the skin. Work slowly but surely. The last thing you want is to miss pulling out unwanted hair by the root and leaving patches behind. This results in a lot of ingrown hair later which can be irritating to the skin. Epilation is not a quick process. Patience is the operative word with epilation to yield the results that you want.
Exfoliate right after epilation to prevent razor bumps, redness, and irritation. Use a mild exfoliant, preferably one with soothing oils such as those of olive, argan or coconut. Anything with alcohol is a no-no since you may have tiny abrasions – or cuts – invisible to the naked eyes that your epilator may have caused; an exfoliant with alcohol will sting like hell on newly epilated areas.
Clean your epilator at once after you have finished Steps 1 to 4. This will prevent a buildup of hair in your epilator which could cause it to work inefficiently when you use it again. Additionally, an unclean epilator can have bacteria growing in and on it and result in infections. Do not clean your epilator while it is plugged in! Read the user’s manual if you have no idea on how to clean your epilator or you can follow these steps:
- Detach the epilator’s head.
- Wash all detached parts thoroughly.
- Apply some antibacterial solution (available from drugstores or supermarket pharmacies) to the detached parts to prevent potential infections.
- Let the detached parts dry completely.
- Reattach the epilator head.
- Be careful not to get the epilator’s body wet as this may cause electrocution.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Epilator
A lot of improvements have been done with modern-day epilators so much so that you now have a plethora of brands and models to choose from. This also makes it more challenging for you since the technology used by epilators is not like that of trimmers and shavers. Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying and epilator to help you make an informed purchase decision:
1. Is It Skin Friendly?
Consider an epilator with hypoallergenic blades if your skin is sensitive to minimize razor bumps and prevent potential skin irritation.
2. Can it operate under wet or dry conditions?
A value-for-money wet and dry epilator can be used while you shower when your pores are open which makes hair removal less painful.
3. Will it Be Effective Even for Short Hair?
A good epilator should be capable of removing hair with a length of around 0.5 millimeters (since short hair could still be visible) to maintain hair-free skin.
4. Does it have the right number of tweezers?
For an epilator to be effective, it should have at least 36 tweezers. The more tweezers an epilator has, the faster it works in hair removal.
5. Is it affordable?
Get the best brand or model there is if your budget allows it. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean effective, but an epilator is an exception to this.
6. Does it Have Two Speeds?
Most epilators have two speeds, but some have only one. Choose the former if you want options with your epilation ritual.
7. Does it come with Accessories?
Although accessories – massaging heads and cooling gloves – are not a must, they can help alleviate the pain which may accompany epilation.
8. Should it Have Built-In Light?
An epilator with a built-in light helps you go over the areas with unwanted like a fine-tooth comb and makes it impossible for you to miss removing any hair.
9. Do you need a pivoting head in your epilator?
Many epilator models have the pivoting head feature to make epilation easier in and around tricky areas like the knees and bikini line.
10. Should it be a Corded or Cordless Type of Epilator?
It really depends on your needs or preferences. Below is further information on these types of epilators.
There are two most widely used types of epilators today: the cordless and the wet/dry. Advancements in battery technology have made it possible for the development of cordless epilators that operate using lithium-ion type batteries. Unlike their older siblings, a lithium-ion battery retains no “memory” of charging and does not become degraded should there be insufficient charging.
Cordless epilators offer portability because they can provide ease of use and be taken anywhere when traveling. The downside to a cordless epilator, however, is its usage time. A typical cordless epilator’s power can last between 30 minutes to one hour after it has been charged. This is advantageous for you if you can epilate in that particular time span.
You can always settle for a rechargeable cordless epilator. This can have either batteries or a built-in rechargeable battery. Epilators that use batteries are usually less expensive, but they are not recommend for regular or long-term use because they “eat” through the batteries faster and make you spend extra to replace them. A solution to this would be the rechargeable battery-operated cordless epilator.
Cordless epilators that use rechargeable batteries are the better option because they are economical. For as long as you charge as needed, these epilators will be the most money-saving alternative. If you want flexibility, however, choose an epilator which can operate on batteries as well as electrical power because sometimes, you will be unable to use your epilator unless its battery has been fully charged.
Wet and Dry Epilator
According to dermatological research, 63% of women prefer wet epilators to dry epilators. The best epilator for women is that which can be used while taking a bath or warm shower. That research revealed how warm water can open your pores and enable your epilator to do its job much more gently and with great speed to boot. Wet skin apparently desensitizes and elevates your comfort when you epilate.
Epilating with your unwanted hair dry, however, means it isn’t weighed down by running water or stuck on your skin; this can mean reduced epilation time for those who have busy schedules. Epilating your legs when they are under running water, for instance, is cleaner and more hygienic since you can wash off the epilated hair immediately. A good quality wet and dry epilator for legs can help do the job faster.
Which is the Best Epilator?
The best epilator on the market is not necessarily the most expensive one, albeit you do get what you pay for. Price ranges are usually determined by the brand and the features that come with it. Some epilators may be as inexpensive as $30 while others could cost as much as a $100-plus. The one thing in common that all epilators have, though, is that they don’t have to be replaced often, making them worth their prices.
Some epilator brands are better on specific areas more than others. The best epilators that can work on all parts of the body with unwanted or excess hair are the Braun Silk-épil 7681 and the Philips Satin Perfect HP6576. If you want a particular epilator for underarms, consider the Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator which comes in cordless and corded models.
Summer is definitely here and before you don that high cut leg of a swimsuit, you should get the best epilator for the bikini area: the EpiLady that gives a close shave in the hard-to-reach areas of the pubis without the razor burn. You don’t have to be a Playboy Playmate to have a reason to use this epilator; you just need to have the determination to have a clean, hair-free bikini when you hit the beaches!
One of the best epilators for the face is the Remington EP7030 which you can also use on other parts of your body. It has this article’s recommended two-speed settings plus a massaging cap of aloe vera. With 40 tweezers at its disposal, this Remington model can plow through the minutest facial hair on your upper lip, chin, cheeks, and even sideburns because women can have these, too!
The Panasonic ES2113PC Pivoting Facial Trimmer is one of the very models that can be used as an eyebrow epilator. It features a blade with a micro-fine design that can trim hair away in a jiffy and a couple of comb attachments that can groom eyebrows to your desired length as evenly as possible. You can use this Panasonic safely in the bikini area as well to trim ingrown hair in between epilation.
Most epilators are designed for women because of the general perception, including that of manufacturers, it seems, that women are the only gender interested in epilation (now you know the reason why most epilators come in pink, baby blue, and pastel colors). According to APILAM (Association for Promotion and Cultural and Scientific Research of Breastfeeding), epilators are safe for use by breastfeeding women so nursing moms don’t have to worry about not being hair-free.
There is an increasing number of men who want to get rid of unwanted hair like their female counterparts.
Are there any epilators for men? Emjoi has created Emjoi Emagine exclusively for the male market. And while Emagine looks very similar to the Emagine AP-18 designed for women, the model for men has been engineered to deal with the tougher texture of male hair. Unlike Emagine for women, that for men has attachments for shaving and trimming.
The Emjoi’s AP-18MS Emagine is currently the only epilator available for men. Interestingly enough, this epilator’s technology uses silver ions with anti-microbial features to prevent both inflammations such as folliculitis and irritation. This is primarily because men generally have bigger pores than women which increase their susceptibility to bacterial exposure.
The latter is especially crucial since hair needs to be trimmed to its correct height prior to epilation. Additionally, Emjoi Emagine has 72 tweezers to deal with a man’s coarser hair strands. Although technically a shaver, Panasonic’s ES8243A Arc4 has excellent epilating capability, too. It has full immiscibility in water, meaning men can use it while taking a shower and epilate even at an angle of 30 degrees.
The ES8243A Arc4 uses nanotechnology in which four blades, instead of only three, are used; the fourth blade provides the user additional efficiency during epilation. The ES8243A Arc4’s foils and blades arc while the epilator is in use. The blades of the ES8243A have been designed with an expanded surface to reduce pressure applied on the skin during epilation and, consequently, the potential for skin irritation.
The ES8243A has a built-in pop-up trimmer to enhance epilation experience and handle intricate hairs found behind the neck, the mustache, and sideburns. While most razors can run on motors that can supply power for 8000 to 10000 RPM, the ES8243A, with its linear motor, runs on 13000 RPM to operate its cutting blades. This patented technology enables a man to cut through the thickest of whiskers or beards.
The Braun Silk-Epil Xpressive Pro 7681 Epilator is not really designed for use by men, but based on the exceptional reviews it got from Amazon male customers it can be worth trying for the male species. The Pro 7681 is a wet and dry epilator that is also cordless. While it can remove the tiniest of hairs from their roots, it has only 40 tweezers when compared to the 72 that the Emjoi Emagine has.
The Pro 7681, however, has five attachments that can be used on other parts of the body. These attachments include an efficiency and trimmer caps, a shaver head, and two different other kinds of caps for the face and groin to provide superior epilation results. It pivots backward and forward up to 15 degrees for adoption to the body’s various contours like knees and the neck.
It has soft-tip “lips” that can lift even hair that lies flat and a Smartlight that illuminates even the tiniest or finest of hairs so that you never miss one during epilation. The Pro 7681 has massage rollers that actively but softly stimulate your skin using micro-pulsations before and after hair removal to leave skin more relaxed and loosen any tightness in the skin’s pores.
Among many male grooming products, epilators for use by men are one of the most widely sought accessories. The bottom line is that men use epilators, too, albeit not as common as women. Just because an epilator has always been traditionally associated with women’s hair removal needs doesn’t mean that the best epilator brands should be limited for use by the feminine gender.