Say Hello to Smooth Dolphin Skin With Help From These Epilators
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There’s nothing wrong with rocking body hair if that’s someone’s prerogative. However, now that the warm weather season is officially here and we're collectively wearing more revealing clothing, it's time to talk about body hair removal. Shaving is cool if you're in a pinch, but the upkeep is high. Waxing, sugaring, and laser hair removal are excruciating and exorbitantly priced. So what's someone to do? Enter epilators, which are mechanical devices that pull hair out by the root instead of cutting the hair at the skin level, like shaving.
What Is an Epilator? And Do You Need One?
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, M.D., “It’s a nice alternative if you’re not a good candidate for laser hair removal, or if you have sensitive skin that gets irritated by shaving or depilatory creams.”
Since it removes hair at the root, there will be some discomfort when using an epilator, but users say the pain is relatively mild, especially when compared to harsher hair-removal methods, such as waxing. Need more incentive to join the epilator wave? The results can last up to 4 weeks, which is fantastic for anyone unable to commit to regular hair-removal maintenance.
Ready for smooth, hairless skin? Same! Our beauty editor, Nicole Saunders, chatted with King and fellow board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., about all things epilators, including their favorite recommendations. These devices range in price and features, but overall will help keep every body smooth and hair-free no matter how thick or fine the hair is.
What to Consider
There are more than 1,000 epilators on Amazon alone, so shopping can get tricky. To help streamline the process, King and Garshick share how to shop for an epilator like a dermatologist.
Both doctors suggest ordering a waterproof epilator so it can be used either wet or dry. “This makes it more convenient to add to your routine, and it also makes it easier to clean,” King says. Garshick adds that it’s imperative to thoroughly clean the epilator with an antibacterial soap in order to avoid infection or skin irritation.
Look for a cordless epilator that can be used while plugged in if it’s not charged. This makes it more convenient to use, and you won’t get caught not being able to use it if it’s not charged.
OK, this suggestion from King is more focused on functionalities than aesthetics. She prefers epilators with a small rounded head that pivots, so users can easily reach all treatment areas. When possible, opt for an epilator equipped with an ergonomic handle that makes it more comfortable to use.
Regardless of which of these dermatologist-loved epilators someone uses, the two biggest tips our experts have to share are:
Ensure the body hair is about 1/8 of an inch long, so there's enough for the epilators to grab onto during hair removal.
Always moisturize after epilating to help soothe the skin.
How We Chose
Before chatting with our experts, Saunders carefully researched all of the epilators created by reputable brands, like Braun, Conair, and Phillips, to narrow down some viable options. During their conversations, Garshick and King gave their honest feedback and shared some of their must-have products. In the end, these four epilators are the only ones we can confidently say are worth using based on a combination of factors, including:
They are aligned with the key specs our experts highlighted earlier in this article
They are from well-known brands and boast glowing online reviews
The prices are aligned with the capabilities and overall value the epilators provide users
Silk-épil 9 Epilator
Our best overall epilator earned snaps from both doctors and amassed an impressive 4.4-star average from more than 6,400 Amazon reviews, so you know it's legit.
Not only is Braun one of the most reputable hair-removal brands in the game, but it hits all of the shopping points our experts shared.
King loves that it is completely waterproof, meaning it can be used wet or dry and won’t get damaged when cleaned with soap. Plus, its size make it like the Goldilocks of the epilator world. “The wider head removes more hair with each stroke. The head also vibrates to decrease discomfort, and it pivots to more easily accommodate body curves,” says King.
Another major selling point for King is that this model boasts SensoSmart, a proprietary sensor that helps guide how much pressure to apply. Consider this the perfect option for beginners and experts alike.
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Satinelle Essential Compact Epilator
Both experts are also keen on this epilator, but it didn't earn the best overall distinction because it only comes with a single accessory versus the seven that come with the Braun. Given its compact size, we knew this is the best option for anyone who lives in a small space with limited medicine cabinet space and those who are traveling and want to ensure they're hairless on the go.
So what makes it so well-loved? Garshick appreciates that it comes with a sensitive cap that can be used in delicate areas, such as the underarm or bikini area.
King adds the ergonomic grip is practical. Most of all, she likes that the epilator head can be detached and washed under running water.
This epilator garnered more than 3,000 five-star Amazon reviews, but our personal favorite is from someone who noticed an increase of ingrown hair as they aged. To quote their review, “I feel like a hairless fairy princess and I love it. It’s what I needed. I absolutely recommend [it]! I’d like to get a smaller one for the smaller parts of my face.”
Esthetic Compact Facial Epilator
Shopping for someone only down to remove facial hair? As our experts noted, they’ll need a more fun-sized epilator and this model fits the bill.
“Convenient and compact design, with a small head that’s great for reaching difficult-to-get-to areas. It’s cordless, lightweight and quiet. It’s easy to operate and clean,” gushes King.
Garshick didn’t suggest this model, but she did note that anyone using an epilator on the face should always take care to be extra gentle. “For hair removal on the face, precision is important, especially around the eye and eyebrow area,” she says. Her biggest tip: Use the lightest pressure possible.
Don’t worry: Amazon reviewers are also fans of this epilator. “If you use it correctly as the instructions say, it doesn’t hurt. And it gets all of the fine hairs out quickly and easily. I used my new one for the first time last night, and my face feels great today! Soft and no hair.I highly recommend this product. It does what other products (creams, plucking, etc) can’t do,” says one 5-star review.
Smooth & Silky Deluxe Epilator
Searching for an epilator designed for the face and body? Well, meet your new hair-removal BFF!
The Remington Smooth & Silky Deluxe Epilator earned a recommendation from Garshick, who appreciates that the massaging cap is infused with aloe vera, a plant-based ingredient packed with vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants, to help soothe irritated skin.
The rechargeable epilator uses 40 tweezers to remove the hair and is the only option on our list sporting a built-in light to ensure users won't miss a single strand.
To quote one 5-star Target review, “This is by far the best epilator I have bought. I have thick facial hair that is noticeable and embarrassing if I don’t attend to it every week. I have used creams, manual tweezing, etc., but it takes too long. I wanted something that does its job and shows good results. This epilator makes my face look clean and smooth.”
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