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 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.
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! 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.
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
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.
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.
Wear light clothing. Prop your leg up on a chair or sit on the floor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of the week shave again.
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.
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.