My first epilator

on Mar 23, 2009 @ 01:48 pm

After reading the reviews on this site I have finally decided to buy an epilator. I am interested to find out the best way to use one. I've read that exfoliating is very important and I would like to know which products you recommend.
1. Should I go with or against the hair growth - and does this vary depending on the portion of the body?
2. How long should the hairs be before I use it?

Any general tips you can share will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks ladies : )

20 Replies

Ali de Bold
My tips on Mar 23, 2009 @ 03:01 pm

Oh, Girl welcome to the epilator club! European women love the eps but North Americans are still catching on ;) I think it's revolutionary because I never have prickly legs and it's so cheap. It takes me no time to epilate now and I only do it roughly every 2-3 weeks.

To answer your questions,

Exfoliating is a good idea especially as you first start using it. A shower pouff or any body scrub a couple of times a week should be good enough. I'm not that on top of it to be honest.

1. For legs, I go up in the opposite direction of the hair growth, just like shaving. You can go in multiple directions, just go against the direction of the hair growth. I have tried epilating other areas but it was too much. For me, bikini and armpits are best waxed.

Since you're just starting out, I'd recommend going for at least one waxing session first to thin out/soften the hair since shaved hair is courser and will hurt more. If you've been waxing for awhile this will be no big deal for you.

I always sip a glass of wine or take a tylenol prior to help a bit with the pain.

2. Hair length doesn't really matter, but if it is really long you'll probably get more ingrowns. About 1/4 inch or less should be good.

Another general tip, NEVER shave in between. Shaving does make your hair courser, I don't care if some say that is an old wives tale. It's true! Besides, the epilator can be used as often as you like.

It will probably take you a few times to get used to it, but once you get into it, there will be no turning back. I haven't bought a razor in about 4 years.

Good luck!

epilator love on Mar 23, 2009 @ 06:01 pm

I'm going to have to slightly disagree with misschickie and say that in my case, proper exfoliation is critical. If I don't keep up with it, I do have problems with ingrowns - this is probably a case where everyone's skin works a little differently. I use exfoliating gloves (cost $2-3 at any drugstore or Walmart) that you wear and simply rub all over your body, or a proper loofah. I have found bath poufs to not be effective enough in sloughing my dead cells. Try to exfoliate in a circular pattern for best results!

If you are planning to epilate right afterward, do not use lotion as it will gum up your epilator and make the hairs too slippery for the tweezers to grasp.

I agree that the first time or two (or three!) will be uncomfortable unless you've been waxing. If you haven't waxed, you'll also find that the first few times your hair grows back it will be uncomfortable for a day or two as the hairs push through the skin. Exfoliation helps here too. If you can afford it, I echo the recommendation that you get 2 or 3 waxes in a row before starting with epilation.

Technique-wise, you always go against hair growth. Hairs should be about 2 mm (i.e. stubble you can see) for the tweezers to be able to grab them properly. A little longer is ok, but if your hair is quite long you'll want to trim it first. My epilator (the Braun Silk Epil) comes with a trimmer attachment.

I also don't use the epilator anywhere but on my legs. It comes down to pain threshold and mine is very low ;) I use prepared wax strips for bikini and underarm instead.

one more thing... on Mar 23, 2009 @ 06:05 pm

I like to epilate right after a shower or on a warm day. Looser pores will release the hair much easier than chilly skin! Trust me, I learned the hard way :)

very useful info! on Mar 24, 2009 @ 08:14 pm

Great info ladies. I have never used an epilator but always wondered about them and how it works! I learned a lot from this post. Thanks!

In addition... on Mar 25, 2009 @ 03:10 pm

I also bought my epilator from reviews and discussions on ChickAdvisor!! And i love it!

It is uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it! There is some great advice from the ladies above.

I seem to be among the minority that use it on my underarms! Yes... it does hurt! But only for the first little bit, then it kind of goes numb and you can get all the hair. I find it is good if the hair is not long enough to wax... I can clean it up if i need to. If it is long enough to wax I usually follow up with the epilator for the hairs that I couldn't get with the wax (there always seems to be a few suborn ones!). But make sure you clean off the wax or you will gum up the tweezers!


Why didn't I do this years ago? on Mar 28, 2009 @ 06:05 pm

Thank you everyone for all the useful tips. My first time using my new Epilady Legend went less painfully than I had expected. I typically have sensitive skin, but a high pain tolerance, so I wasn't sure how it would go.
I first tested it on a small spot on my arm just so I could get the feel for how to hold it and just exactly how it works. Then I did my legs. It was an odd sensation, but not painful in my opinion. Using it on my underarms was VERY painful, but I was determined and just stuck it out. I am very pleased with the results. I feel much smoother than with shaving, and so far (day 2) there is no stubble or any kind of roughness. Surprisingly, the bikini area hurt less than my underarms. I do not recommend this particular model of epilator for the bikini region because it is a bit large and I feel something smaller would be better. I did experience small red dots on my skin which went away within an hour. The Epilady website says this is a good sign because it shows that the hairs are being pulled out and not just broken off. The entire process took about an hour and even though there was some pain, it went away almost as quickly as it had occurred. I am now curious to see if the results will really last 3 or 4 weeks. I hope so. Thanks again to everyone who posted epilator reviews and those who responded to my initial questions. You really helped me make the decision to start using an epilator and I wish I had started using one sooner!

*Just in case you are interested, I purchased my Epilady Legend (EP81033) from for $59.95 and think it is great so far. I will do a formal review later.

I love it but I hate it on Mar 31, 2009 @ 07:40 am

I love my epilator. But ... I've not used it in over a year now b/c my
legs revolted w/ insane amounts of ingrown hairs. I am still battling
bumps and red spots all over my legs. I thought I was exfoliating
enough/properly, but evidently not. It could just be that my skin does
not tolerate epilating whatsoever. Time will tell if I ever give it a
whirl again. Its too bad, b/c I really liked the results of having
hair free legs. It took about 2-3 months of regular use before my skin
started to disagree.

a tip from my SIL on Jul 29, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

She was talking about waxing, but this works for epilating too. The epi head can't grab wet or lotiony hairs as well, causing them to stretch, snap and grow underground. I like to soften up my pores by either having a warm shower (then towelling off thoroughly!) or laying a towel straight from the dryer on my legs just before epilating. To ensure hairs are dry enough to catch on the epi, dust your legs with a little baby powder - works great!

If you are a waxer, using baby powder will also decrease the amount of skin that is yanked because the wax adheres to the powder first. I like to wax for the exfoliating benefits, but sometimes (esp bikini line!) you don't want to be so rough on delicate skin!

Epilady terror! on Jul 29, 2010 @ 05:09 pm

I bought and tried the Epilady when it first came out many years ago and it hurt so much I wasn't even able to finish one leg. I've been traumatized for life! Perhaps they've perfected the epilator, I'll have to read the reviews you mentioned to get up to date. Maybe there is now a kinder and gentler Epilady out there for me. Otherwise, I may stick with the "natural" look.

Dovershear on Dec 10, 2012 @ 01:28 am

I find the best way to make it less painful, dont do it within the time you would get your period as its more sensitive and do it a couple nights BEFORE you want to show off your legs, soak in the tub at LEAST 5 minutes before you start with a comfortable temperature, take a tylenol 30 minutes prior to anything, work your way SLOWLY and try to breath with it, the faster you go the more hair will break off! When you finally get through (and just remember, the first couple times are DEFINITELY the worst) pat dry the area, and have some lidocaine rub waiting, I use a product that is 2% and formulated for your bikini area, its made for razor bups and waxing irritation, just use a tiny amount and rub it on, the pain is instantly gone! When you wake up the next morning rub on a gentle unscented oil free moisturizer and a little bit more lidocaine. Repeat this all the next evening to touch up on any hairs that you may have missed, its better than trying to rip EVERYTHING out in one night. Epilating is NEVER going to be pleasant but it doesnt have to be torture!

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