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Skin Pros Share How to Use an Epilator so Legs Stay Smooth and Hair-Free Weeks Longer Than Shaving

Spoiler alert: You'll only have to use these devices once a month

Tired of constantly shaving and dealing with stubble? An epilator could be your new best friend. Epilators are electric hair removal devices that produce smoother, longer-lasting results (up to four weeks!) compared to shaving. And while they may be a bit more time-consuming and a little more painful at first to use than a razor, epilators are great for targeting specific areas like legs, underarms, and the bikini line, leaving you with ultra smooth, hair-free skin. So, if you’re curious about why you should try one and how to use an epilator, read on!

What is an epilator?

Rachel Lozina, New York State Licensed Master Esthetician, Laser Technician, Oncology Esthetician and Founder of Blue Water Spa in Oyster Bay and Southampton, New York says that epilators, which are strictly for at-home use, pull or pluck hairs from the root. Think of an epilator as a device with hundreds of tweezers acting at once. “Look for a high tweezer head count — the more tweezer heads, the better because it takes fewer passes to remove your unwanted hairs,” says Lozina says. “There are also cream epilators which dissolve the hair below the skin level.”

Woman holding an epilator device
Dmytro Skrypnykov

Why use an epilator over other hair removal techniques?

1. Epilators can slow body hair growth over time

Using an epilator consistently to pull the hair from the root can reduce hair regrowth and it can also make the hair softer, finer and less abundant, says Lozina. “Over time you can expect longer periods of time with no hair regrowth, at least three to six weeks, depending on your personal hair growth rate.”

2. Epilators are for at-home use

Epilators are not done by professionals; they are strictly for at-home use. “Epilators have made a comeback because of their ease of use and efficiency,” notes Lozina. “Plus, they certainly are less sticky and less painful than waxing allowing you to remove your unwanted hair with minimal pain and mess. This is definitely a tool you want in your toolbox!”

3. Epilators work on many areas and shorter hair

Anna Ermolaeva, Senior Consumer Marketing Manager at Philips, says that epilators work best on larger areas of the body such as the legs. “However, some epilators come with attachments designed for gentle epilation on sensitive areas of the body including the underarms, bikini line and face,” she explains.

Another perk? An epilator can also remove shorter hair. “With waxing, for example, you usually must wait until the hair is long enough before removing it,” says Ermolaeva. “But epilators can remove shorter hairs because they don’t press the hair against the skin like waxing does. Additionally, epilating allows users to enjoy smooth skin for much longer than shaving, as shaving removes hair from the surface, not the root.”

4. Epilators are cost-effective

“It’s also cost-efficient as you’re only investing one time in an epilator,” says Lonzina. Most devices cost anywhere from $20-$100.

5. Epilators cut down on ingrown hairs

Lastly, no ingrown hairs! “To me that’s a game changer because not only can they be unsightly, they can irritate the skin and itch as well,” says Lozina.

What is an epilator best used for?

woman in a swimsuit
Delmaine Donson

As mentioned above, epilators are best for larger areas such as legs and arms, but they can also be used on the bikini area. “However, I advise against using it on delicate areas such as the labia and underarms,” advises Lozina. The benefits of using an epilator are that you get soft, smooth skin, similar to the feel of waxing without using hot wax.

“And, since an epilator removes hair from the hair, it doesn’t grow back as quickly,” says Lozina. “Of course, hair growth rate depends on each individual but generally speaking, it doesn’t grow back as fast.” The potential to only use the epilator once a month is real, again, depending on your hair growth rate, she adds.

How to use an epilator

The instructions for how to use an epilator are very simple.

How to use an epilator step 1: Check hair length

Ermolaeva says that before you start to epilate, check to see how long your hairs are. Epilating works best when the hairs being removed are no longer than 5 mm.

How to use an epilator step 2: Exfoliate skin

Once you’ve trimmed your hairs to the optimum length, make sure to exfoliate before epilating. “Removing dead skin cells helps reduce the risk of ingrown hairs when your hair starts to grow back,” says Ermolaeva. “If you just start with epilation, it is recommended to epilate in a warm bath or shower to make the experience more comfortable,” she says. This is because warm water and steam soften skin and hairs to reduce pain. Also, some epilators, like Philips Epilator Series 8000, can be used both wet and dry.

How to use an epilator step 3: Cleanse skin

Cleanse the area you want to remove hair and plug in your epilator.

How to use an epilator step 4: Use the device to remove hair

Run the machine gently over your desired area, moving it in different directions to make sure you pick up all the hairs.

How to use an epilator step 5: Apply lotion

Woman applying lotion as the last step of how to use an epilator

When finished, apply a soothing gel or moisturizer.

See more beauty tricks:

The Easy Steps It Takes To Do an At-Home Bikini Wax for Hair-Free All Summer Long

Heatless Beach Waves: 6 Easy Steps To Voluminous Hair Overnight

How to Grow Out Bangs: 5 Easy Strategies From Hairstylists That Will Make the Process Easier

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