Epilator Tips – How To Guide For Using An Epilator

Hopefully, in 2 weeks your legs will be stubbly-free and sexier than ever. Don’t be nervous. Girl, hold my hand, I’ll walk you through it.

As part of our beauty routine, we all shave our legs. Most of us have experienced waxing. Today, I want to introduce you to epilators. Have you heard of epilating? Essentially, it’s like a giant tweezer that removes hair simultaneously from the root.

Wow, you’re still here. Maybe you’ve heard about it from a friend or online. While learning how to use an epilator is easy,  not going to lie – it hurts the first couple of times. It actually kind of sucks the first time. But once you get used to it, it’s just like another day. Plus, if you do it right, it makes skin look so much smoother and sexier.

Do you know how to epilate? Maybe you want to try it. We’ve conveniently gathered all the best epilator tips right here from some of the biggest beauty experts who have been epilating for years. Please don’t start ripping your hair out until you read how to get the best results from epilators and what to expect if it’s your first time. Hopefully, in 2 weeks your legs will be stubbly-free (is that even a word?) and sexier than ever. Don’t be nervous. Girl, hold my hand, I’ll walk you through it.

Before You Begin

choose epilator


Choose A Good Quality Epilator
Okay, this is a big duh. Of course, you need an epilator to epilate. We highly recommended getting a good branded epilator. We have talked about this before. Whether you want the best device out there or something for your budget we’ve got top picks for everyone. Girl, this is an investment so get one with the features you need. Decide where you are going to be using it because some come with various attachments for different areas. Epilators can be used on the face, underarms, or bikini area , but are best used on the legs and arms.

additional products


Gather Optional Accessories
Exfoliation is a must when epilating to prevent ingrown hair. A loofah is great but if you don’t have it already a exfoliating glove or scrub works well. According to Total Beauty, Tend Skin is a must for preventing ingrowns.

Although it is expensive, if you are worried about the pain, you can also pick up a numbing cream with Lidocaine. We like Greencaine. You have to rub it in a very thick layer and cover it for 1 hour. The numbing properties wear off in 30 minutes.

shave legs


Shave! 1 – 3 Days Prior To Epilating
Always trim or let your hair grow out about a millimeter or two after shaving it off. Although it takes longer, epilating shorter hair is so much more comfortable.



Exfoliate The Day Before
Use a body scrub, loofah, or mitt to exfoliate your skin. Proper exfoliation is a critical step to prevent nasty ingrown hairs. We like exfoliation gloves or the Braun Silk Spa Epilator for this. A best practice is to exfoliate in a circular pattern. Exfoliation is must if you want to  prevent ingrown hairs.


Decide On Wet Or Dry Epilation
Choosing wet or dry epilation is a personal preference. For some women it is more convenient to epilate in the shower or bath. It’s also less painful. Others find that dry epilation works better for them as hair tends to be less stickier.

Day 1

charge epilator


Charge The Epilator
Muchelleb says there is nothing worse than forgetting to charge your epilator. So annoying! If you are using a cordless epilator, remember to charge it.

set aside time


Set Aside Time
Girl, if your date is coming over or you’re headed to the beach, you are going to need to choose another day. We don’t want a disaster. Epilating takes longer than shaving. You have to go slow. It shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to do both of your legs, but the first time it can take longer.

After epilating your skin, you will be left with red bumps. So unless you want to rock the red bumps, you’ll want to put on some pants after.

it is best to epilate at night


Wait Till Night
Epilating is best done at night because your legs will be red after the session. It may take some time for the redness to subside. The redness will all be gone when the sun rises – then you can flaunt your smooth, sexy legs.


Prepare For Pain
If it’s your first time and you’re worried take a painkiller like Tylenol or Advil 30 minutes – 1 hour prior to the session.  Some people  use ice to numb the area, but others say that this make it harder for the epilator to pull out the hair.

If you are really squeamish, you can use a numbing cream with lidocaine in it after you clean the skin. First, you have to rub a thin layer on the skin then rub a thicker layer on the skin. Then wrap it in saran wrap for an hour. This can get expensive. We’ll probably go all Rambo on this one. Bring it on!



Hop In The Shower Or Bath
Take a warm shower or bath. Keep in mind, skin should be free of dirt, oils, lotions, and moisturizers. Not only will you remove oil and dirt from the skin, but also water helps weaken the hair strands.



Prepare The Skin
Do not underestimate this step. Although everyone experiences a different amount of pain, the most important way to reduce pain is to prepare the skin. For wet or bath epilation, get in warm water for at least 10 minutes before you start. Mildly exfoliate your skin. Pour shower gel over the epilator’s head and the area you want to epilate.

For dry epilation, use a towel to wipe your skin in the opposite direction of hair growth. This will not only dry your skin, but also make your hair strands stand up and weaken them. Epilators work best on completely dry skin free of oils, moisturizers, and lotions. Some women even use baby powder for drier skin. You can even place a towel straight from the dryer on your legs just before you epilate.

We once heard of someone who used a hair dryer directly on the area they wanted to epilate. With this technique, pores open up without introducing any moisture. Because the hair is so dry, the epilator can easily grab the hair, allowing the hairs to cleanly slip out. The drier your hair, the easier it is for the epilator to grip each individual strand. If you notice that your epilator is breaking your hair instead of pulling it out, it might mean that the hair is not dry enough.


Get Comfortable
Wear light clothing. Prop your leg up on a chair or sit on the floor.

hairy legs


Choose A Hairy Area
Don’t start at the ankles, as this area can be very sensitive since it is very close to the bone.  We recommend starting of the inside of the lower legs, as this is the least painful area for most women. By the time you reach the most sensitive areas, your body will be used to the sensation of plucking.

choose epilator


Turn On The Epilator
OMG! It sounds scary. Take a deep breath.


It’s okay to scream.


Turn Off The Epilator
What the heck have your gotten yourself into? It’s okay take a deep breath. It’s too late to turn back now. The first time you turn on your epilator and hear it you are going to turn it off. It’s completely normal. We are here for you. Turn it back on and take a deep breath. You can do this.


Turn The Epilator Back On The Lowest Setting
If your epilator has a slow setting switch to it. You have to experiment with the speed setting and find the best one for you.

pull skin taut


Use One Hand To Pull Skin Taut
Pulling the skin taut makes it hurt way, way less. Stretch your skin with your other hand, especially where your skin folds like at the thighs, knees, and calves. Use your hand to feel where the hair is. When epilating the underarms, raise your hand over your head and pull the skin taught with the same hand.

epilator 90 degrees


Hold The Epilator 90-Degrees To The Skin
Always keep the epilator perpendicular to your skin to make sure that the hair gets plucked properly.

direction of epilator


Glide The Epilator In The Opposite Direction Of Hair Growth Using Circular Motions
Don’t press the epilator directly on the skin or it could pinch skin. Instead glide it against the grain of hair growth. Use circular motions to pick up hair growing in different directions. Generally, on your legs this means that you are moving from bottom to top, but pay attention to your hair growth.



Go As Slow As Possible
Racing the epilator up your leg will result in hair being broken at the surface instead of being removed at the root. If you go to fast, you have to constantly roll the machine over the same spot in case you missed any hair. Bear in mind, the slower you go, the less you have to go over areas. Take your time and work in small sections. Make sure that each section is hair-free before moving on.



It’s Okay To Stop
You don’t have to rip everything out in one night. Plan on taking breaks. The first time is the worst since you are removing 100% of hair. You can also alternate between your legs and/or arms. Trust me, it does get better over time. You will develop greater tolerance the more you do it.


It’s Normal For Skin To Be Red
The first time you epilate your skin might look like a plucked chicken. Skin might be covered with tiny red dots. This is normal but it gets better. A little witch hazel can help.



Apply A Moisturizer With Aloe Vera Or Witch Hazel
Be sure the skin is not broken before applying anything post epilation. A good moisturizer can help soothe the skin. Do not apply any other lotion or cream to legs.


Clean The Epilator
Cleaning the epilator is very important to ensure hygiene. For dry epilators, gently clean the epilator with the included brush and rubbing alcohol for disinfection.

For wet epilators, you can rinse the hair out. Be sure to wipe the epilator dry with a towel. It is not advisable to share your epilator with anyone else.


You Made It Through The First Day
Girl, high five. We did it! We made it through the first day.

First Week

choose epilator


Epilate Every Other Day Till The End Of The Week
You’re almost there. The amount of times you epilate per week depends on your hair growth and personal preference.

Beginners should try to epilate every day or every other day at first. It helps you touch up the hair you missed. Hair tends to grow in cycles and is not all above the skin at the same time. You will be removing less and less hair each time and building up a tolerance. Shorter hair causes less pain and your skin will get used to the plucking. Later you might find you need to do it less frequently.

shave legs


Shave Again!
At the end of the week shave again.

Second Week

choose epilator


Epilate Every Other Day For A Week Again!
Wait a day or two for some hair growth. Then epilate every other day again till the end of the week.


choose epilator

Congrats! Two weeks is up. You made it. Now you just have to epilate once or twice a week. To make your hairless legs look even sexier apply a small amount of oil on your legs.

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49 thoughts on “Epilator Tips – How To Guide For Using An Epilator

  1. Holy cow! I wish I found this one before I started. I am a new user still figuring it out, but now I think this will help a lot. I do have one question.
    Some of my hairs on my legs grow back flat and basically attached to the skin, not ingrown, just flat. To the point the epilator can’t grasps them. I have to pull them up my self which causes irritation and sometime a bit of a cut. Any tips on how to prevent or fix this issue?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Elena, thanks for the comment. Those darn hair that lay flat against the skin are super annoying. What epilator do you have? There are a couple of things you can try.

      Use exfoliating gloves. Soften your hair with hot water and scrub your hair to lift it completely off the skin.

      Dry your skin with a dry towel rubbing against the growth. Lightly dust the area with a talc free baby powder (like Burt Bees) against the hair growth to make the hairs stand up. Very flat hairs can be brushed to lift them off the skin.

      The technique involves stretching the skin and twisting in the opposite direction. Stretch the skin plenty and almost twist or bend your leg in the opposite direction that you are pulling the skin. If you do it right you will see that hair will lift off the skin.

      Some epilator have tips which lift up the flat lying hair. You sort of have to use the tips to pick the hair off the skin so it epilator can pick it up.

      Hope that helps sweetie.


  2. Hi, I have a wet/dry epilator, but every time I epilate in the shower or bath, the next day I get huge boil like swellings, painful & takes a week to disappear. I’ve tried using it with and without shower products but seems to make no difference…. Is this something you have heard of before? Any tips? Cheers, Sarah 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah, You are not alone. If it is happening right after you epilate, it probably is not ingrown hair. Where are you getting these bumps? How long have you been epilating? It might be a bacterial infection similar to acne caused by bacteria getting into your pores. You might need an antiseptic.There are a few things that you can try.

      Have you tried using witch hazel before and after epilating to clean the skin of bacteria? Apply antispetic lotion like Finipil after you epilate as this can help prevent bacteria from entering your pores. You can also use tea tree oill. Use ice after to prevent inflammation.

      Also, if you are using it wet, use a protective shave gel instead of a cream which can clog the pores.

      Sometimes this irritation can be caused by clothing. You can try applying a powder to help keep the clothing from causing irritation.

      Let me know if it helps, sweetie.

    2. Hey Sarah.
      I think thats totally normal. It happens to me nearly everytime i wax or epilate. When your skin is warm from the shower the pores are open. This is good for epilation and causes the redness. After youre done it might help to pour cold water on epilated areas. This would close the pores, prevent infection and reduce redness. Remember to wear natural loose clothes after so your skin can breathe.

    3. Hi!
      I know exactly what you’re saying, after you epilate one leg, just turn the epilator off and dip it in water or be under the shower. TRUST ME IT HELPS. You can feel the boils before they appear, right? Because of the heat? The water will help in regulating your body temperature and help them disappear faster. Before doing the other leg, you could put a concoction of Lacto Calamine and astringent, the boils will settle down after some hours. Hope this helps

  3. what is the exact process of using lidocaine? after applying it for an hour should I wipe it off or will it be absorbed completly by the skin? I have only dry setting on my epilator

  4. I just bought an epilator and have only used it once. I have razor burn looking bumps all over the place now. I know it’s supposed to be normal, but will this happen every time, even as an experienced user?

    1. Hi Kristie, it doesn’t happen as your skin gets used to letting go of the hair. Some women with sensitive skin are prove to hives after epilation, which can be treated with aloe vera gel, neosporin, hydrocortisone, or taking an anti histamine like Benadryl. The more regular you become with epilating and if you follow the pre-epilating tips, you will become less prone to bumpy skin.

  5. Thank you very much for this it is very helpful.

    Just to check – that shaving foam / gel is not to be used with epilators?


    1. Hi Theresa, thanks for the comment. You can only use shaving foam/gel with a wet or dry epilator. Thanks sweetie.

  6. Hi

    I have never used an epilator before…And have tried twice to use it on my underarms and each time have only lasted a few seconds before I can’t handle the pain!
    How could I get past this 🙁

    Sam x

    1. Hi Sam. Thanks for the comment. It is super painful. No, it’s absolutely brutal the first time through. I still remember my first time. If you can get the area waxed first, I recommend that. If you can’t get it waxed, I recommend using a pair of tweezers and slowly pulling each hair out one by one over the course of the week. It takes forever but you only have to do it once to condition the follicles. After you are done, use ice to calm the inflammation. It is much easier to epilate the regrowth than to do the full underarm. You should do it after a shower. Fold your arm back and with your hand pull the area tight. Then epilate.

      I hope that helps sweetie,

  7. I LOVE this! I’ve been using an epilator consistanly for a year and a half, but I always have to shave afterwards to get the missed hairs. I just tried the circular motion tip, WOW! Completely solved my problem! 😀
    I’m just wondering, I use a dry epilator, and I usually want to bathe afterwards but I read somewhere (I can’t remember where!) that it’s not good to bathe after epilating.. What do you think?

    1. Hi Erika, Thanks for the comment. I am glad you like it. You should avoid bathing especially in hot water afterwards for at least 24 hours. The reason why is that water can cause an infection. Thanks sweetheart.

  8. Hi!
    I think my previous comment is lost, so here’s again:
    I’m aware of that hair grows in different cycles, so no matter how often I epilate, I always end up having stubbles all over my legs the day after I epilate. What can I do?


      1. Wow! Thank you for your fast and long reply! It was very helpful and informative, I’ve learned a lot of new things. I’m sure it will solve my problem. Bless your kind heart. I feel optimistic now! 🙂

        Thanks again,

  9. I have a sensitive skin and everytime I wax ; it leaves red and acne on my skin so I never tried epilator because its so much painful and I think it can make my skin worse ….Is it suitable to epilate my skin….n kindly suggest some best epilators if its suitable for my skin..

  10. Thanx alot Maria, for your kind support and help..I will definetly try what you have suggested.I feel like…”yeah” ..finally I can use a epilator.. You are soooo…. Great..I would like to seek more help from you further..You are so nice.You have taught me a clear defination about my skin and yes : epilator ;both was horrifying for me before . Again thank alot to let me know about so much things and for your precious time…. 🙂 🙂

  11. Hiya – I have used a braun epilator for the first time – it didn’t say not to have a bath afterwards so I did & now I have loads of unsightly big red bumps on both lower legs – all have a whitehead and are painful – how do I get rid of these & should I try epilating again ever?!

  12. I have had my epilator for a few years, a braun Silk-Epil … its sat nicely in its box ..brought out looked at & put away. Today I was given a bit of advice … use Ibuprofen gel. So much cheaper than Lidocaine & it comes in a bigger tube.. put on legs & waited 15 mins ..
    & yes it worked …I exfoliated & then rubbed in the gel … & yes it stung a bit at first, but I managed both legs without much pain.. my epilator has now come out of its box for good .. I will now try & brave the bikini line …

  13. Hi.I’ve been reading your blog for a while.I am new to epilating.Since I have fine thin hair,I never waxed my hands or legs.You said that we should shave 1-3 before epilating.my question is will my hair become coarse & thick since I’m shaving?

    1. Hi Tania. Thanks for the comment. The hair will not grow back coarser. However, when you cut the tip of the hair, it creates a very sharp edge which makes it very prickly when it grows back in. It is not necessary to shave your hair as you can also trim the hair with a trimmer to a little less than half of the pinky finger.

  14. Hi, every time I epilate or even shave my underarms I consistently get these red rashy pimple things, I’ve epilated multiple times and its completely fine on my legs. Is there anything you could suggest to help this?

    1. Hi Eric, what do these bumps look like? It sounds like it is an inflamed or infected follicle. Is it razor bumps? It could be caused by bacteria getting into the hair follicle. Try cleaning the area before and after with a little tea tree oil or a cream like bikini zone. Also after you have removed the hair do not wear any tight clothing for at least 2 – 3 days. Hope that helps sweetheart. Hugs.

      1. They look like pimples and some have like a little white head of puss in them. Thanks so much, ill give that a try x

  15. Hi,
    I was wondering if epilating increases the size of your pores? I feel really keen to epilate, I’m just parinoid my pores will be more obvious.

  16. hi thnx for the useful video but I am still a little worried about using an epilator for the first time. I am 14 and I was just wondering whether u think it is necessary or whether I would be better of just shaving

  17. I’m so happy I found this site! I’ve been epilating for about 10 weeks. I look like I have freshly plucked chicken skin on my jaw line and chin. My hair was very course and I had to use a bleach and trim method prior to epilating. My skin is sensitive and I couldn’t wax or remove with cream depilatories. I’ve noticed that most of my epilated areas have much finer hair and some remain very course. Overall epilating is a lifesaver for me! How do I get my “plucked” skin to smooth out? Ive never had acne or lumps or bumps before and need help!

  18. Wow. I should have read up before I started using my epilator. My legs and arms were a breeze so I decided to do my underarms and now I’m sitting with one 3/4 way done and the other 1/4 way done and it’s burning. I used some after sun spray as it was all I could get hold of right now and it’s soothing it a little but my body feels jittery thinking about the pain 🙁

    This doesn’t mean I will give up though. I love the feel of the skin after epilating, so hopefully tomorrow I will press on to finish off the rest of the underarms… If not then I will wait till its soothed and shave first because waxing it’s just as terrifying as epilating…

    Maybe I should just get a numbing cream. But then I don’t want to be dependant. I rather take the gruesome pain now and reap sexier smoother skin later almost pain free because I’ll be use to it…

  19. I love this post but I have a question, I’ve been epilating with my Panasonic for the last (almost) year now but as of the last couple months my legs never epilate to the point they’re babysoft or really even soft no matter how many times I go over my legs usually by the next day they are prickly again! I’m not sure if I need to upgrade to a stronger epilator (I usually epilate 2-3 times a week)

  20. I have epilated for about 9 months now, once or twice a week. I exfoliate, clean the blade with alcohol every second or third time and treat my legs with an anti-ingrown lotion afterwards. I have red marks/scars that never go away and a scaliness to my skin. I’m wondering now, if it’s actually a nickel allergy? Or, subtle ingrown hairs although when I approach with tweezers I usually can’t grab any hair and sometimes cause bleeding instead. The red scars on my legs actually never go away. I have practically the same thing with shaving though. Do you think I can ever use epilation without the red marks/scars? Thanks for the advice in advance.

  21. I am a guy , i epilated my chest and i have red dots all over my chest . They arn’t ingrown hairs . It is so annoying as it is so perfectly smooth . Will this stop as i keep doing it ? .

  22. Thank you all for your tips and advise I bought a epilator today as I’m sick of shaving , is it safe to use on your nunny , I know it would be painful

  23. Good tips for beginners!! I have coarse dark hair and had to shave everyday. Even then I would have 5 o’clock shadow by day’s end. My husband said it was like sleeping with a cactus & I hated the way it felt. Last year I started waxing but it’s expensive and you have to wait for the hair to grow out. In the meantime, you look like Sasquatch…Not sexy at all!! I bought my epilator just a week ago. I’m loving the way my legs & under arms are feeling & looking!!! I did not find the under arms as painful as everyone says. I figure if you can handle waxing, you can handle this. As my aunt, the beautician, has always told us girls, “Beauty is pain!” So I say “Suck it up buttercup, you can do this!!!”

  24. Hey!
    I resorted to using an epilator because waxing gave me histonic bumps, it bled a little and later I had small pimples on my hand. However, epilator doesn’t help much with it but at least I get to go with my comfort level. Your guide was so helpful to me, you have no idea. I bought an epilator a year ago but decided not to use it because of its noise. Your blog helped me with my first epilation, thank you! I had a question –
    My skin develops small pimples after waxing, so is it okay if I epilate more than once a week? Won’t it lead to more pimples?

  25. Pingback: How to Reduce Epilator Pain - 11 Epilator Tips - Gorgeous Jorge
  26. Hi there ! I have just epilated, and i forgot to exfoliate. I need to know how long should i wait to exfoliate skin once again in-order to prevent ingrown hair? I am shit scared of getting ingrown hairs.

  27. Hi

    Thank you so much for your advice. First time using an epilator this week, I couldn’t stand the pain in my upper legs but I was able to do my bikini line. I am just wondering how long I should wait before I start working out after each epilator session? I usually train atleast 4 times per week.

    Thank you


  28. I have been epilating for more than 10 years now and always get the red bumps. These red bumps then stay there for ages. I used both technique of epilating before a shower and also after a shower and still get the red bumps. The red bumps appear more on my thighs. I even moisturize afterwards with no luck. Please help me!!!!

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