Numbing Creams for Epilators & Laser Hair Removal – Which ones work best?

Will Numbing Creams Work For Me? Which Ones Work Best? Your Guide to Numbing Creams for Hair Removal

Alright, so you have picked out a great epilator and are finally ready to have a hair removal experience that doesn’t involve having to repeat every 3 days (like shaving) or having to worry about ruining your bathroom countertop/floor by spilling hot wax everywhere. But when you turned on the epilator and tried your first swipe on your hair… ouch! It hurts! 

Is it supposed to hurt this much, you wonder? Can I do anything about it?

Enter stage left: numbing creams for epilators, laser hair removal, and even for getting tattoos

In this guide:

Wait, I thought you said that epilators don’t hurt?

Remember, high quality epilators hurt far less than their cheaper counterparts because they do a better job of getting all of your hair with far less passes over the same hair and do not break hairs. If you’re using a cheaper model, we recommend upgrading to a better epilator because you try numbing creams. Check out our reviews for the best epilators currently available to you on the market.

Most people have no trouble when they use a high quality epilator on their legs, underarms, or even face. However, some may find that they have extra sensitive skin all over their body or you might find that you can easily epilate your legs, but not your face or bikini area. For you, a numbing cream can help alleviate some of the discomfort so that you can use the epilator for ALL of your hair removal as it was intended.

You can also read more about epilator pain in our article on epilator pain on legs, underarms, and face. 

Generally some areas of our body are slightly more sensitive than others. Whether or not you can use an epilator really depends on your personal pain tolerance level, but if you’re worried that yours is too low, try a numbing cream.

What are numbing creams? How do they work?

Numbing creams are topical creams or solutions that help temporarily numb the surface of your skin.

Your skin surface is made up of 2 top layers – the epidermis and below that is the dermis. You feel pain when the pain receptors in your skin’s dermis are activated by trauma (like pulling out a hair) and that pain travels from the pain receptors which are actually nerve endings, up the attached nerves, and then to your spinal cord and then to your brain, and you think ouch! 

Numbing creams act on the dermis and its embedded pain receptors so that for a short while, the receptors do not send pain signals to the brain. The effect is short lived and works really well for epilators and hair removal.

There are many numbing creams that promise results, but not all of them work well enough to counter epilator pain. Some of them are meant for general non direct muscle pains or other similar issues and not for the specific sharper pains you feel when you yank out hairs. So what are your options?

Which numbing creams can I use to reduce epilator and hair removal pain?

Here are our recommendations for OTC (over the counter) numbing creams that work well when you use them with epilators or another type of hair removal that can hurt, like laser hair removal. 

1. LMX Topical Anesthetic Cream – Most Effective Numbing Cream

This the best over the counter topical LMX 4 Topical Anesthetic Cream anesthetic cream for temporarily numbing your skin. There are 2 versions that are widely available – LMX4 Topical Anesthetic Cream and LMX5 Topical Anesthetic Cream. LMX4 has 4% Lidocaine and LMX5 has 5% Lidocaine. 

Lidocaine is clinically proven to temporarily deaden the nerves endings in skin and surrounding tissue, so it’s great for desensitizing skin just before using your epilator or laser hair removal to minimize pain. You can also use it to numb skin before tattoos, tattoo removal, and skin piercings.

LMX Anesthetic Cream also comes highly recommended by the Department of Dermatology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, USA as an effective anesthetic for numbing skin and reducing pain during skin treatments. In a 2012 medical journal article, “Anesthesia Methods in Laser Resurfacing”, two Baylor College of Medicine doctors mention LMX as a viable noninvasive OTC topical cream that showed effective results for reducing pain in skin resurfacing treatments, a skin procedure that is also painful. They also wrote: 

Topical anesthetics have a long history of use and proven efficacy in decreasing pain with common dermatologic procedures such as shave biopsies, punch biopsies, curettage, and electrosurgery, allowing their easy introduction during laser procedures. Studies have already shown that commonly used lidocaine preparations reduce discomfort associated with … (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal. Topical lidocaine has also been successful in reducing intense sensation during Q-switched laser tattoo removal, and the discomfort associated with the laser treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions.” [source: Sergio Gaitan, Ramsey Markus. (2012) Semin Plast Surg.]

So LMX is a scientifically endorsed numbing cream that can be used for several skin treatments and hair removal procedures that can be painful. 

We have used both with great success. It has a non greasy, non oily feel and works for about 2 hours. You can use it anywhere on your body except around your eyes. And it’s easily accessible over the counter and online.

Check out more reviews on LMX5 Anesthetic Cream or LMX4 Anesthetic Cream.

2. Ebanel 5% Lidocaine – Economical Numbing Cream

Ebanel 5% Lidocaine is another over the counter lidocaine topical cream that has a similar percentage lidocaine as LMX5 but is about half the price, so it’s our pick for most economical numbing cream.

Like LMX, Ebanel has an elegant cream feel, isn’t greasy or oil, and can be used anywhere except near your eyes. It lasts for about 2 hours and is made in the US. It can be used to reduce pain before hair removal, for getting tattoos or piercings, and has a wide range of other pain reduction applications.

So if you’re looking for a cheaper option than LMX, you can try Ebanel 5% Lidocaine instead.

Check out more reviews on Ebanel 5% Lidocaine.

3. No Scream Cream – Numbing cream Without Lidocaine

Don’t like how lidocaine creams feel? Relax & Wax’s No Scream Cream is a topical anesthetic cream that relies on 20% Benzocaine to numb your skin. It works similar to lidocaine but is much gentler. 20% Benzocaine is about the equivalent of 2% Lidocaine. 

No Scream Cream is marketed as a numbing cream for waxing hair removal but it can be used for laser hair removal and for epilator hair removal. It takes about 20 minutes to start to work and lasts for about 2 hours.

Check out more reviews on No Scream Cream.

How to Use a Numbing Cream

Numbing creams are great for numbing small areas like your upper lip, under arms, or bikini/brazilian area. You do not want to use it in large areas like full arms or legs. According to the FDA, lidocaine is not safe to use in large quantities so you do not want to use it in large areas like full arms or legs. Lidocaine is absorbed into your blood via your skin. It is still safe to use in small quantities but too much of it at once can have adverse effects. We do not recommend that you do not use more than one 15g tube of LMX or Lidocaine cream at a time.

Here is how to use a numbing cream:

1. Clean your skin

Before applying any numbing cream, make sure your skin is clean and dry. You don’t want any lotions or moisturizers or any other kind of skincare or makeup on your skin. If you have anything on your skin, wash with warm water and soap and pat dry. Lidocaine needs to make complete contact with your skin so that it can numb your skins epidermis and more importantly, numb the layer right below called the dermis because that’s where your pain receptors live.

Remember, use numbing cream only on skin that is intact. If your skin has any cuts or rashes, do not use numbing cream until your skin heals.

2. Put on gloves

We recommend also putting on a pair of clean disposable gloves before you start applying numbing cream. (We like to use these biodegradable disposable gloves, but you can use any kind you have.) Some people report that their finger tips also start getting numb or start tingling and you don’t want that to happen especially if you’re going to be doing your own hair removal shortly.

3. Apply a thin layer

Apply a thin layer in the direction AGAINST your hair growth and begin rubbing it into your skin for about 30 to 40 seconds. This first thin layer helps the cream penetrate the first layer of skin.

4. Apply a thick layer

Now, apply a thick layer to cover the previous thinner layers. You should layer it on about ⅛ inch to ¼ inch thick.

5. Cover with clingwrap

Usually in a hospital setting, a medical professional will cover lidocaine cream with a medically dressing called Tegaderm or a similar bandage. However, you can just use clingwrap at home. You can also use these wound dressing bandages if you want to make sure it stays sanitary in case your clingwrap is in use in your kitchen and you’re not sure where it’s been.

When you’re covering the cream, make sure you dont flatten it. It should stay thick on your skin.

6. Wait for it work

Now you wait for 30 minutes. At this point, you’ll start notice some numbing and you can remove the cream if you want to. However, you can also wait up to 60 minutes if you want to get the full effects of the numbing cream. 

After 60 minutes, you’ll have reached peak numbess. At this point, there is no benefit to leaving the cream on for longer. Also, rubbing the cream in will not increase its effect on your skin. 

7. Wipe the area

You can now wipe the cream off your skin with a wet paper towel or wash it off gently. Obviously, you don’t want the cream on your skin when you attempt hair removal.

The numbing effect will last another 60 minutes.

8. Continue with hair removal

You have an hour to continue with hair removal with an epilator, laser hair removal device, or waxing while only feeling minimal pain. 

Want to learn more about reducing epilator pain? Check out our article on 10 Tips for Reducing Epilator Pain.

Top 5 At-Home Laser Hair Removal Systems

A complete guide to: At Home Laser Hair Removal

For years, laser hair removal was inconveniently expensive. Laser hair removal used to be an option only available at dermatology or licensed offices, costing hundreds of dollars per treatment.

However, in the last few years, there are now an increasing number of at-home laser hair removal options. These at-home laser hair removal systems are now another DIY hair removal method like at home waxing or shaving, and last longer. While initially, these systems only worked for dark hair on light skin, now there are options for a wider range of skin and hair colors available.

Many of these laser hair removal systems for home use are reasonably priced and highly effective, and a great solution for anyone looking for long term hair removal. We’re written this guide to help determine if at home laser hair removal can work for you and reviewed the best systems available today. To skip ahead in this guide, please expand the table of contents below.

In this guide:

Reviews for 5 of the best at-home laser hair removal devices

We have been using various at home laser hair removal devices for several years now, starting with a Remington system, then a Silk’n, and later a Tria. There have been so many advancements especially in the last 3-4 years and the systems available today are easier to use and more efficient than ever. Let us take a look at the best 5 laser hair removal systems available for at home use today.

1. Tria Hair Removal 4X

The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X beats other at home laser hair removal systems and devices on more than one front, easily taking the top spot. Let’s break it down.

Important features
  • Only FDA approved laser hair removal system
  • Cordless
  • Rechargeable
  • No replacement cartridges needed
  • Same technology as dermatologists (Advanced Diode laser)
  • LED display
  • High precision design
  • Can be used on face

Tria 4X Hair Removal Device

The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X is a laser hair removal not an IPL hair removal system. Not sure what the difference is? Backtrack to learn more.

This means the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4x uses the same technology as dermatologists, specifically an Advanced Diode Laser. The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X was the first true laser hair removal system approved by the FDA. And it is still the ONLY laser hair removal system approved by the FDA for at home use. The other systems we review later are IPL laser hair removal systems. So if you have done your research, or want to try a laser hair removal system not an IPL system, this is the best and only option aside from visiting a dermatologist.

BUY NOW: Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X

Every other at home laser hair removal system requires cartridge replacements after a certain number of laser flashes. The Tria Laser 4x is the only machine on the market that requires no cartridge replacement. What this means is that the Tria Laser 4x has no recurring costs. The initial cost is the only investment and after that there is $0 in ongoing costs for life. There are cheaper at home laser hair removal systems available but if you plan on using your system or device for a long time, then the initially pricey Tria Laser hair removal 4x averages out to a similar dollar investment.

So how does it avoid new cartridges? It is a cordless handheld at home laser hair removal system that uses a recharging station. Each session with the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X lasts 40 minutes and then you recharge it for your next session.

Tria 4X has an LED display

The Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X comes with an LED display that shows you battery levels and how many pulses you have used during your session. It also comes with a Skin Sensor that unlocks the Tria for use, if you have the correct skin tone, and relocks the system after you are done with your hair removal session.

We and countless other users have found that the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X is more effective on facial hair than any other at home laser hair removal device on the market. This is in part due to the technology and in part due to the design of the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X. The handle and the applicator allow for precision while emitting a large amount of laser energy. This make the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X a top choice for best at home laser hair removal for brazilians, face, underarms or another smaller area with lots of hair that needs a great attention to detail.

To read more customer verified Tria 4X reviews, click here.

Note: Many of the other great at home laser hair removal devices cannot be used on the face. You can use the Tria anywhere on your body, not just in high density hair areas or small areas. But the portability of this device makes it great for areas where you need to very careful (like your eyes… keep away!), making the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X the best at home laser hair removal for face and body.

This device will not successfully treat dark skin or very light hair, like blonde, grey, or white hair. We have reviewed at home laser hair removal devices that work on dark skin – skip ahead to the Tanda Me or Illuminage at home laser hair systems if you have dark skin.

Tria 4X comes in many colors.

It cames in a variety of colors, like turquoise, graphite, fuschia, and more. And compared to some at home laser hair systems, it is minimal in size. You can charge it and even take it along during travel.

To read more about Tria 4X product specifications, click here.

Quick Summary

Despite the initial cost, the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X comes out ahead when you factor in its other features. And it uses the same laser used during costlier dermatology sessions. So if you’re looking for a professional grade hair removal system for at home use (especially for facial hair), there isn’t a better option available on the market than the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X.

BUY NOW: Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X

2. Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System

Remington was one of the first to introduce a laser treatment system for home use to the public. Despite the competition, the Remington iLight Pro is still one of the most reviewed and dependable hair removal system available.

Important features
  • FDA approved IPL
  • Permanent hair reduction after 3 treatments
  • Long lasting cartridges
  • Replacement cartridges reasonably priced
  • Large flash applicator face makes this great for large areas

Remington iLight Pro

The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System is an IPL hair removal system and was one of the first of its kind on the market. Since it’s debut, Remington has introduced several iterations of the iLight Pro and we will cover some of them too.

The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System that shows a reduction in hair in only 3 treatments. The cartridge has 6000 flashes, which is enough for 10 full body treatments. And there is one replacement cartridges included, so there are 20 treatments in the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System total. Need more? Replacement cartridges for this system are highly affordable, usually $30-40 per cartridge.

BUY NOW: Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System

There is a skin sensor on the iLight that is touch sensitive and detects your skin color. It only operates if you have it pressed up against your skin and your skin is in range for this machine. If you are not yet holding it against your skin or your skin is too dark, then it will not flash.

This is a great safety precaution because the flashes can affect your eyes, and even cause long term blindness. So you only want the machine flashing if it is pressed on skin and not near your eyes. If your skin is out of range for this machine you can end up with skin burns, so the machine will refuse to operate so you do not end up with accidental burns on your skin.

iLight is corded and needs to be plugged in to use, which makes this system bulky. So it is not as travel friendly as certain other more compact options.

Remington iLight Pro

The larger applicator face of this device makes this a great choice for larger areas like legs, arms, and bikini hair removal. IPL technology also helps target more hairs with each flash because IPL uses diffused light. So you will notice that that applicator screens on most IPL machines are larger.

To read more about Remington iLight Pro product specifications, click here.

Will this at home laser hair removal system treat dark skin? No. (skip ahead to the Tanda Me and Illuminage reviews) It also will not work on grey, white, or blonde hair.

However, for this reason, do not use the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System on your face or anywhere near your eyes! The diffused light targets a larger area and even if your eyes are closed, it can hurt your eyes. If you need facial hair removal, use a device with a more controlled liked the Tria Laser Removal 4X reviewed above or the Tria Hair Removal Precision reviewed below. Do not use this on your face! Use the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System anywhere, except on or near your face and eyes.

To read more customer verified Remington iLight Pro reviews, click here.

Quick Summary

Amongst at-home laser hair removal systems, this is our favorite for whole body laser treatment. While the Tria products use a different kind of technology and travel friendly, each flash only treats a small area. The Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System has a larger treatment area with each flash and is a more convenient option for treating bigger areas like full arms or full legs. So if your primary goal with laser hair removal is removing hair from your body and not your face, the Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System should be your first choice.

BUY NOW: Remington iLight Pro Hair Removal System

3. Silk’n Flash & Go

Silk’n is another veteran maker of at home laser hair removal devices, and there are variety of models available to purchase. Many of them are similar to the Remington review ed above with bulky recharge stations. However, the Silk’n Flash & Go is a at home hair removal system that is not bulky and can be used on both face AND body at home hair removal.

Important features
  • Cordless
  • Can be used on both face and body
  • Large flash applicator face makes this great for large areas
  • FDA approved IPL
  • No replacement cartridges needed

Silkn Go Flash

The Silk’n Flash & Go is a versatile at home laser hair removal system. Unlike the Tria’s small flash face or Remington’s limitation to using it only on the face, the Silk’n Flash & Go can be used for both body and face at home laser hair removal. If you want to removal hair from all over your body, this may be the best of both worlds for you.

Like the Tria, the Silk’n Flash & Go is also cordless. There is a corded charging station, which is also small and easily packable. This makes the Silk’n Flash & Go a good system for those of us on the go, who need a system that can be charged and used from anywhere, and minimal in size.

BUY NOW: Silk’n Flash & Go

Also like the Tria, the Silk’n Flash & Go needs no cartridges or refills for the IPL flashes. So there is no recurring cost after the initial purchase.

Many laser hair removal systems have a short delay between each flash, varying from 1 to 5 seconds. This means that after each flash, you need to wait a short interval before you can push the flash button again. The Remington machine has this delay, as does the Silk’n Flash & Go.

However, the Silk’n Flash & Go has upgraded it’s technology to minimize this delay to less than a second. This makes this a faster machine to use. But its flash applicator face is a bit smaller than Remington. So, if you are covering a large expansive area, you may find that it takes about the same time to treat with either the Remington or the Silk’n Flash & Go. However, the Silk’n Flash & Go will definitely treat a smaller area much faster due to it’s shorter interval between flashes.

Does it treat dark or tanned skin, or grey and blonde hair? No.

To read more about Silk’n Flash & Go product specifications, click here.

So why isn’t it our number one? The flash applicator face is still smaller than the Remington device. If this had a larger head that could cover larger areas faster, this would easily head the pack. Still, for at home laser hair removal of brazilians and bikini or underarms, the Silk’n Flash & Go offers the speediest treatment.

The Silk’n Flash & Go is a great “medium” for at home laser hair removal that can treat both face and body. However, if you’re looking for the most effective and well designed at home laser hair removal device for face or for body, we’d recommend going for a Remington or a Tria instead. If cost is the main driving factor, then the Silk’n Flash & Go is worth a try before you go for a more expensive machine.

To read more customer verified Silk’n Flash & Go reviews, click here.

Quick Summary

The Silk’n Flash & Go has Tria’s efficiency and good design, and the Remington’s ability to treat larger areas on your body. Combined, this is a good at home laser hair removal product for face AND body treatment. With no added costs, improved technology, this IPL at home hair removal system is a contender for the top spot in this list. But if you intend to treat your face or your body, investing in the pricier Tria or a Remington might pay off more in the long term.

BUY NOW: Silk’n Flash & Go

4. Tria Hair Removal Precision

The Tria Hair Removal Precision is the Tria 4X boiled down into an even more compact and lightweight design. Need to travel light? You can easily pack this in your toiletries bag or luggage. Need a smaller at home laser hair removal device for a small treatment area? The Tria Hair Removal Precision fits the bill.

Important features
  • FDA approved laser hair removal system
  • Cordless
  • No replacement cartridges needed
  • Same technology as dermatologists (Advanced Diode laser)
  • Can be used on face
  • Compact design

Tria Precision

The Tria Hair Removal Precision is essentially the same at home laser hair removal device as the Tria Laser Hair Removal 4X condensed into a smaller size.

BUY NOW, Tria Hair Removal Precision

Tria intended for the Tria Hair Removal Precision to be used in areas that harder to reach with the larger flash screen of the Tria 4X. Remember, the flash applicator of whatever at home laser hair removal system you decide to try, must be completely flat against the surface of the skin to treat the hair follicles. So in certain areas with curves and bends, like your groin or your breast, it may be difficult to get the entire flash applicator face flat on your skin. In these areas, you may find that a smaller at home laser hair device like the Tria Hair Removal Precision helps treat more effectively.

Like the Tria 4X, this device does not treat dark skin or very light hair.

Another potential benefit of the Tria Hair Removal Precision is its minimal size. It can fit in your toiletries kit or a purse, as it is about the size of an electronic toothbrush. So if you travel often and travel light, the Tria Hair Removal Precision’s size could be a huge benefit.

To read more customer verified Tria Hair Removal Precision reviews, click here.

Quick Summary

Otherwise, if you do not need a smaller flash applicator or can work with the slightly bigger size of the other devices we have reviewed, we recommend going with the Tria 4X, the Remington, or the Silk’n Flash & Go first. Then if you find that you are still missing patches of hair in curvy areas, then you can try to treat those sections with this handy Tria Hair Removal Precision.

BUY NOW, Tria Hair Removal Precision

5. Tanda Me Smooth (also called Elos Professional)

The Tanda Me Smooth, also called Elos Professional, is the first of the two best at home laser hair removal systems for dark skin that we reviewed for you. Laser hair removal for dark skin is still a very novel industry, as historically if you had dark skin, you were immediately disqualified from this particular method of hair removal.

The Tanda Me Smooth also works on lighter hair, like blonde hair. And it is the only at home laser hair removal system for blonde and red hair that is effective. It does not work on white hair.

However, with new research advancements in laser technology, at home laser hair removal systems for dark skin and light hair hitting the market, with the Tanda Me Smooth currently leading in effectiveness and good design.

Important features
  • Can be used on olive to dark skin
  • Can be used on blonde and red hair
  • Reasonably priced replacement cartridges
  • Can be used on face
  • FDA approved IPL hair removal system

Tanda Me Smooth Me Elos

The Tanda Me Smooth (Elos Professional) was one of the first at home laser hair removal devices that had a wide enough range of acceptable skin and hair colors to include dark skin and light hair. It effectively treats hair that light like blonde as well as skin tones that range from olive to dark. These normally fall outside of the range for the other laser and IPL systems that we have reviewed.

The Tanda Me Smooth (Elos Professional) is a corded system that needs to be plugged in to use. It has 5 different intensity levels for the IPL laser light, and you can tailor your treatment to use any of the 5 levels or build up from the lowest level.

BUY NOW: Tanda Me Smooth Elos Professional

This system also requires replacement cartridges. However, each cartridge lasts for 100,000 flashes, or several full body treatments before you need a new one. The replacement cartridges are also very reasonably priced, ranging from $30-40 each.

The Tanda Me Smooth (Elos Professional) can be used on both face and body. It is also very efficient system that allows you to treat a full leg in 10 minutes and full body including face, in only 20 minutes.

To read more customer verified (Elos Professional) Tanda Me Smooth reviews, click here.

Quick Summary

For anyone looking for an at home laser hair removal system for blonde hair or red hair, the Tanda Me Smooth Elos Professional is the only machine available today that shows results. The Tanda Me Smooth is also one of two machines available for use on darker skin tones that were previously disqualified from laser hair removal. It is the best at home laser hair removal system for indian skin, african skin, or anyone else with olive to dark skin.

BUY NOW: Tanda Me Smooth Elos Professional

6. Bonus – Illuminage Touch

We only intended to review the top 5 at home laser hair removal systems, but the introduction of the Illuminage Touch as another best at home laser hair removal system for dark skin made it a convincing addition to our must review list.

Prior to these systems debuting on the market, there was little option for anyone looking for best at home laser hair removal system for african skin or another type of olive or darker skin. But with the Tanda Me and the Illuminage Touch, the at home laser hair removal market has become more democratic in terms of skin color.

Important features
  • Can be used on olive to dark skin
  • Can be used on blonde and red hair
  • FDA approved IPL hair removal system
  • Can be used on face

Illuminage Touch at home laser hair removal system for dark skin

Like the Tanda Me Smooth, the Illuminage Touch works for the normal ranges of skin and hair color. It also is a second option for at home laser hair removal device for blonde hair, red hair, and olive to dark skin…. all of which are normally are outside the capacities of many of the popular laser hair removal systems.

BUY NOW: Illuminage Touch

The Illuminage Touch is a corded machine, so you need an outlet to use this machine to treat your skin. It uses IPL laser to permanently reduce your hair by 94% in 7 weeks, if you treat once each week.

It can be used on face and body.

Like some of the other at home laser hair removal system we have reviewed, here, the Illuminage Touch also requires replacement cartridges for long term use. But unlike the other devices we have reviewed, the cartridges for the Illuminage Touch seem to be quite expensive, ranging $110-140. For more Illuminage Touch product specifications, click here.

Note: Normally, this price would disqualify this system from this list. But given the scarcity of at home laser hair removal devices that treat dark skin, we still wanted to include the Illuminage Touch as a bonus review. For many systems, you may find that you never end up needing a second cartridge. So if this system meets your needs in all of its other features, it may still be a good investment until that first included cartridge is used up.

To read more customer verified Illuminage Touch reviews, click here.

Quick Summary

The Illuminage Touch is a second effective option for at home laser hair removal for dark skin (olive to dark) and light hair (red, blonde). The price of the replacement cartridges make this less accessible than the other systems we have reviewed, but still keep this whole unit less than the cost of laser hair removal treatments from a dermatologist. We recommend trying the Tanda Me Smooth system first, but we wanted to offer this as an option for those of us with darker skin.

BUY NOW: Illuminage Touch

Types of at-home laser hair removal

There are two types of light based hair removal – IPL and laser hair removal. Usually both are referred to as laser hair removal but there are some differences.

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. Sometimes you hear IPL referred to as IPL laser treatment, but that is a misnomer. IPL is not a laser, but rather a wide spectrum of diffused light. This diffused light does not go very deep into the skin.

Dark hair absorbs many of the wavelengths of the Intense Pulsed Light, which disrupts the growth of the hair and the follicle. IPL hair removal needs some contrast between skin color and hair color so that the darker of the two, the hair, can absorb the light. So for example, IPL works well on dark haired and light skinned people and not so well on people with light skin and blonde hair or those with dark skin and dark hair.

Laser hair removal involves a single and concentrated wavelength of light that also disrupts hair follicles. Specifically, the laser treatment targets melanin in hair follicle to differentiate between skin and hair. Because this is concentrated light, it penetrates the skin much more than IPL. This type of light is much much effective for very coarse or thick hair follicles.

Both are effective for hair in different stages of growth and thickness. So which one to use? It may depend on your skin color and hair.

Skin color and Hair color

There was a time when laser hair removal was only available for people with very light skin and very dark hair. However, now there are options for people who do not have as much contrast between your skin color and hair color. Still, because this type of hair removal targets pigment or melanin, it works better for certain phenotypes. Will it work for you? Let’s take a look.

    1. The first question is what color is your hair?

Laser hair removal targets the root of each hair so look at the color that is closest to the root to determine the color of your hair. Is your hair color is one of the following colors or is in between the following colors?

Laser hair removal for Light Brown to Dark Brown Hair

If your hair is between light brown to black, then you are probably a good candidate for laser hair removal.

Is your hair color one of the following shades or in between one of the following hair colors?

Laser hair removal for Blonde and Red hair

If your hair is blonde or a true red, or in between, you can still use laser hair removal. However, it may be less effective or take more treatments for you to see a difference. This is especially true if you are tanned.

Many people with red or blonde hair have lighter tips and darker roots. If your blonde or red hair is a darker “dirty blonde” or deeper red at your roots, hair removal by laser is still a great option because it will be able to detect the dark hair follicles.

Do you have grey or white hair?

Laser hair removal for grey hair

Grey or white hair makes it very hard for the light in laser hair systems to hone in the hair follicle. If your hair color is grey or white, laser hair removal will not be effective for you.

Usually people have grey or white roots, but you may have a mix of white and darker hair. In this case, the laser hair removal systems will detect and kill the darker hair follicles. So while you may not be able to disrupt all of the hair follicles, you will see a reduction in hair as the darker hair follicles are eliminated.

    1. The second important question to ask is what is your skin color?

The lighter your skin color, the easier it is for the light wavelengths to zone in on your hair follicles. Light skin colors include:

Laser hair removal for white to brown skin

If your skin color is pale white to light brown or light olive, then you are a great candidate for laser hair removal.

Just like very light hair makes it hard for the laser hair removal light to differentiate between hair and skin, darker skin also makes it harder to differentiate between hair and skin.

Laser hair removal for Medium to Dark Brown Skin

If you have dark skin like any of the above, then most laser hair removal systems may not work very well for you. As of a year ago, there were no options for darker skinned people. Now there is 1 system on the market that shows a great reduction in hair for a wider range of skin colors, including dark skin – the Tanda Me Smooth and Iluminage Touch.

Click here to skip to our reviews for Tanda Me Smooth or Iluminage Touch. You’ll also find it at the end of this guide in the review section, if you would like to continue reading.

Laser hair removal – Food for thought

There are a few facts and realities to keep in mind before you start using an IPL or laser hair removal system. Usually, you do not see this kind of section in a product guide. But understanding the limitations of laser hair removal will help you make a better choice in your hair removal journey.

Many IPL and laser hair removal systems have been cleared by the FDA for home use. A key term you may see in the marketing language of many of these systems is “permanent reduction” in hair. Notice that it does not say permanent removal.

This applies to both the systems approved for home use and those used in licensed medical offices. Neither can be marketed as permanent hair removal solutions. Be wary of laser hair removal providers that promise permanent hair removal. Many of these providers even offer extra sessions if you do not get permanent results, which could be a great insurance plan. However, please know that none of these options are cleared by the FDA as permanent hair removal solutions because they did not find that IPL or laser hair removal systems could accomplish that for every user.

This is because each of these systems show varying results in various people. Some people are able to use them with great results like permanent hair removal. Others notice a permanent reduction in the hair that regrows after a few sessions.

So you may also get varying results with these systems. Normally, people with high contrast skin and hair – light skin and dark hair – see tremendous results with these machines with either an almost or a total permanent hair loss in the treated areas. You may also get varying results on various parts of your body, with finer hair disappearing faster.

Even if you do not quickly accomplish total hair removal, you may be interested in extending the times between how often you have to remove hair. Many people find that way less hair grows in the treated areas, and they only need to use the laser hair removal system or another method of hair removal a few times a year. Cutting back how much time you spend on removing hair may make laser hair systems a worthy investment. With both IPL and laser hair removal, users notice increasingly positive results with each use. However, the number many treatments needed to see the results will vary person to person.

So is there an FDA approved total hair removal system? Yes, electrolysis.

Electrolysis is approved by the FDA as a permanent hair removal solution. It treats 1 hair at a time, and so can be a time consuming process. For this reason, it is also a costly option at dermatologists and hair removal salons. For much larger areas like arms or legs, it can cost thousands of dollars.

Ultimately, laser hair removal systems are an accessible and easy way to remove hair for long periods of time, if not forever. If you find yourself shaving or waxing frequently, laser hair removal will greatly reduce how often you have to remove hair. With continued treatments, less and finer hair will regrow and with less frequency until there is little to no hair left to remove.

So if you’re looking for a hair removal method that is more permanent and long lasting than shaving, sugaring, waxing or epilating, laser hair removal is an excellent option to try. There are countless laser hair removal systems available now. Many of them cost about the same as a good wax kit or an epilator, so there is no reason to not try a laser hair removal system if you don’t already wax or use an epilator. Imagine not having to wax, shave, or epilate for weeks instead of only days!

Features of at-home laser hair removal

Technology

There are several laser and IPL systems available in the at home laser hair removal systems. Some of the best options use the same technology as those in professional settings, and others use different laser technology that works equally well.

But since these laser hair removal systems have entered the consumer market, there have been many advancements in technology. A good laser hair removal system should be equipped with an up to date laser technology.

Added Cost of Cartridges

Many at home laser hair removal systems require cartridges to work and come with a set number of cartridges to use as you need. These cartridges hold a certain number of flashes that disrupt the hair follicle and kill the hair before they need replacement.

If you plan on purchasing an at home laser hair removal system with the intention of removing as much hair all over our body and face as tolerable, you will need more cartridges at some point. So it is important to take note of how much surface area a cartridge might cover and if replacement cartridges are easily available. Replacement cartridges are an added cost.

Of course, if you only plan on using your at home laser hair removal system for a small area like underarms or the upper lip, then you may never need to look for replacement cartridges.

Battery or Corded

Some at home laser hair removal systems are battery operated or rechargeable. Others are corded and can only be used when they are plugged in.

Depending on where you plan on using this device, or your lifestyle needs, this feature may be another key to making a decision.

The laser removal systems that require an outlet or are corded tend to be bulkier and would be hard to take along while traveling. You’ll also need to use them near an outlet.

Rechargable at home laser hair removal systems are usually lightweight, easy to handle, and you can use them easily at home or while traveling. You may find that it is hard to do a full treatment of a large area, like both legs, with a rechargeable device. But if you want a more accessible device that you can take with you anywhere to touch up your face or underarms, then a rechargeable or battery operated device is more ideal than a bulky corded machine.

Color of skin and hair

The range of skin color and hair colors for each laser hair removal device is probably the most important feature to note. A good at home laser hair removal system will work on a wider range of skin and hair colors. Skin color can change from body part to body part and even over the course of the seasons if you tan easily, so even the traditionally ideal candidate – light skin and dark hair – can benefit from a wider range.

If you have less contrast between your skin and hair, this feature is especially important. Blonde or red hair and light skin, or dark hair and dark brown skin, make the hair follicles harder to detect for the laser hair removal system. Make sure to pick a laser hair removal system you choose has a wide range of acceptable skin and hair colors.

What about pain? How painful is laser hair removal?

Or a better question: What is the highest level of pain you can experience during laser hair removal at home or at a professional office? If you have a low tolerance to pain and very sensitive skin, you can compare it to the pain of snapping a rubber band against your skin.

Personally, we do not find it nearly as painful. For someone with average sensitivity, it may feel more like a light pinch and a warm sensation. Everyone also has various areas of the body with less or more sensitivity. Some people find that less sensitive areas register no pain at all.

Compared to other methods of hair removal, laser hair removal is less painful than both epilating and waxing, and more painful than just shaving.

How to prepare for a laser hair removal session

1. Shave the area you are going to treat of any hairs that might be present

You have to shave before every laser hair removal session. Laser works best if the hair has been cut down so that it can treat as close to the hair root as possible, and kill the root.

2. Pat the area dry

Helpful Tip: For IPL hair removal systems, we recommend wearing a pair of laser protection eye glasses. Because IPL is diffused light, there is greater risk of laser hitting sensitive areas like eyes and resulting in irreversible damage.

3. Begin laser hair removal

Helpful Tip: For larger areas, use a white eyeliner pencil to create a grid so that you know exactly where you have treated and can cover the whole skin surface without leaving untreated patches.

Remember to use a white eyeliner pencil because the laser hair removal system will pick up a darker color as a hair follicle where there is none, and that can lead to a skin burn.

4. Wash area again to remove singed hair smell (if present) and white pencil marks. Apply a noncomedogenic lotion.

Helpful Tip: Some may smell singed hair after treatment in certain areas of your body. We have found that coarser hair tends to lead to this singed hair smell. It is nothing to be concerned about. To get rid of the smell, just wash the newly treated area and carry on your skincare routine.

Laser Hair Removal FAQ – Questions from our readers

Below are some questions from our friends and readers about laser hair removal, at home devices and options, and general concerns about hair removal.

Is it safe to do laser hair removal at home?

Laser hair removal is completely safe to do at home. All of the laser hair removal devices we recommend (at the top of this article) are FDA approved for hair removal. Remember, always follow the directions for each device, patch test in small area on your body to make sure you dont have any negative reactions before you begin to use it on a larger area like face, arms, or legs, and start at the lowest setting before working your way up. 

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Technically, laser hair removal is not permanent. Laser hair removal uses a concentrated ray of light to target and damage the hair follicle. After this damage is done, the hair either can’t grow back at all or doesn’t grow back for a long period. Many people with high contrast between their hair and skin (dark hair and light skin) report that laser hair removal is permanent for them. That is because the light was able to target and damage their hair follicles so that their hair would never grow back again.

So while technically hair removal is not considered to be permanent because it works differently depending on your skin and hair color , if you have good skin to hair contrast, you will find that it has permanent results. 

Sugaring – A Guide to Sugaring Wax Hair Removal

A guide for sugaring hair removal at home, wax’s all natural sister alternative

Waxing, shaving, laser/IPL, and even epilating are all popular and even mainstream methods of hair removal. Sugaring is a lesser known but ever growing in popularity method of hair removal. Sugaring is similar to waxing, but uses a sugaring paste or wax that is all natural and is more gentle on the skin.

In this guide:

Sugaring wax – How to make and where to buy

Sugaring predates modern day waxes because it is so simple to make. The ancient Persian recipe of heating sugar and water to make a candy like syrup was easy to make in a part of the world where sugar was abundant and hair removal was as much of an art form as routine.

At the same time, it may take an attempt or two to get the perfect consistency for at home sugaring and not end up with a sugaring paste that is too thick or runny. If you can’t get it right, don’t have the time to make it yourself, or it’s too messy of a process, but like the gentleness and ease of sugaring instead of waxing, there are a few great options of premade sugaring wax. These options are just as convenient, (if not more because it’s premade) as homemade sugaring wax. They have short ingredient lists and can easily be washed off.

Either way, let’s look at your options for how to make sugaring wax at home or which ready-to-use sugaring wax products you can buy.

1. CocoJojo sugaring wax – natural ingredients

Don’t want to make sugaring wax yourself and prefer a ready to use product? CocoJojo sugaring wax is our favorite option because its simple ingredients make it most like the homemade sugaring wax.

First, let’s look at the ingredient list. It has honey, sugar, lemon juice which make up the basic sugaring wax base with argan oil, tea tree extract, and azulene oil for skin conditioning. No needless additives or chemicals. If you prefer simple products or don’t want the hassle of making sugaring wax at home, this is like if your DIY skilled friend offered to make it for you.

CocoJojo also makes several types of sugaring waxes – hard sugar wax and soft sugaring wax just like you can at home. There is also a bikini wax that is a thicker harder version of regular sugaring paste.

To read verified reviews of CocoJoJo sugaring wax, click here.

2. Gentle Bees sugaring wax – no essential oils

Gentle Bees sugaring wax is made by a very small company in Texas, and is another great ready to use sugaring wax option. You might have noticed that CocoJoJo adds skin conditioning essential oils. But, if you’re allergic to one of the oils or you’re allergic to honey, then Bees sugaring wax is a better product for you.

Gentle Bees sugaring wax only has 3 ingredients – sugar, wax, and lemon juice. These are the same 3 ingredients you use to make the basic sugaring wax at home.

It also comes in a glass container that you can microwave and use when you need to remove hair, and it makes it easy to control the temperature of the wax.

To read verified reviews of Gentle Bees sugaring wax, click here.

3. Moom sugaring wax – great for travel

Moom sugaring wax is our favorite option for sugaring hair removal while traveling. Moom is a family owned business that has been around for a long time, and has more diverse set of products than anyone else. Their kits come with everything you need – applicator popsicle sticks, wax removing strips, and easy to warm wax, and it all comes in a small travel friendly packaging.

Like CocoJojo and Bees, Moom sugaring wax also has a simple ingredient list – sugar, lemon, water make up the base and chamomile and tea tree oil offer skin conditioning properties.

To read verified reviews of Moom sugaring wax, click here.

4. DIY Sugaring Wax – Can I do sugaring at home?

We get this question a lot and the answer is yes, you can sugar at home! In fact, sugaring is the most DIY friendly method of hair removal from all of the options because you can both make sugaring wax at home with just lemon, sugar & water AND then use it to remove your hair on the same day.

Making sugaring wax can be a little tricky at first, but only involves 3 ingredients – sugar, water, lemon juice. It is tricky because you have to figure out when to stop cooking to get the right consistency. However, if you are a natural DIY-er and don’t mind throwing out the first learning batch that you make, then it’s easy to make sugaring wax at home.

There are several pros of making sugaring wax at home. First, you can control the ingredients. Maybe you have sensitive skin? Add a few drops of lavender oil to help condition your skin while you sugar off hair. Or you want to create a spa like experience at home? You can add any essential oil to the sugaring paste and you’ll be able to smell it and enjoy its aromatherapeutic benefits. Or you found that muslim strips you are using prefer the wax to be slightly more liquid. You can cook the sugaring paste a bit less in your next batch. These are just some of the many ways you can custom make your own sugaring paste.

Not to mention, because most people have sugar, water, and lemon juice in their kitchens all the time, you can make sugaring paste any time. No need to wait for a mail delivery or run to the store to restock sugaring paste. Make some more in 5 minutes and get to smooth skin at 6.

So, you want to make your own sugaring paste? Here is a guide to how to make different kinds of sugaring wax at home.

What is sugaring?

Sugaring hair removal was first used in Persian over a millennium ago, during a time where sugar was only found in Persia or modern day Middle East. Unlike wax which sticks to both hair and skin, this ancient method of hair removal sticks to the hair while conditioning the skin.

Sugaring wax is primarily a heated mixture of water, sugar, and lemon, heated until it resembles a pliable candy like consistency. This is then applied just like you would apply wax to remove hair. Aside from lemon, there are many other additives that can be found in sugaring paste, including those that had aromatherapeutic benefits. Some other common ingredients are cornstarch to thicken, honey or molasses for additional skin conditioning, guar gum for thickening, and any essential oil for aromatherapy and fragrance.

You can buy pre made sugaring wax or paste, or make it at home yourself like the ancient Persians. To make it, the process is very simple but it takes a little bit of practice to get the consistency right. There are also several great ready-to-use options with simple ingredients available on the market to purchase, if you don’t want to make your own sugaring wax.

Sugaring vs waxing

Sugaring paste feels similar to regular wax, but is actually much more gentle on the skin.

Gentle

Even the most gentlest of wax grabs both skin and hair. This allows for the wax to grab all of the hair at one time with one pass. Sugaring wax only grabs the hair and this makes sugaring less painful than waxing. Because sugaring wax isn’t as grabby as regular wax, it sometimes takes more than 1 application of sugaring wax to completely remove all of the hair. However, because the pain is minimal, this is easy to do.

Natural wax

Sugaring wax is also made of natural ingredients, usually of water, sugar, and lemon. The lemon is added for acidity to break up the sugar molecules. The water in the paste helps moisturize and condition your skin while it is applied.

Wax faster

You can also sugar large areas of hair at one time. With regular wax, there is risk of the wax drying out and making it more difficult to remove so you wax a section of skin, remove wax, and then move onto the next section. With sugaring hair removal, you can apply the sugaring wax to a large area without risk of it drying or hardening. Then you can take your time removing the sugar in smaller sections.

Not as hot

Regular waxes, especially soft waxes have to be applied hot otherwise you end up with too much wax with each application. This can result in the wax strip or cotton strip grabbing onto the wax and not the hair. Even with regular hard wax, you need for it to be very warm so that it remains pliable while you apply it on your hair.

Sugaring wax has a much lower melting point temperature than many regular waxes. So you can keep the temperature of the sugaring wax much lower and still apply and reapply.

No residue

Traditional or homemade sugaring wax leaves no residue. With some pre made sugaring waxes you may notice a small amount of residue, but this can be washed off. Unlike regular wax, sugaring requires no pre treatments or post treatment oils to help with the sticky residue. If you apply too much sugar in an area or have difficulty getting it all off, you can just wash it off with water and start again.

In fact, if you use cotton muslin strips to remove the sugaring wax, you can just throw the strips in the washing machine and reuse them again during your next sugaring session. It’s a very eco friendly hair removal method!

Get all of the missed hairs

With regular wax, you find that if you miss hairs, a second pass with the wax leaves your skin red, irritated, and resembling chicken skin. This is because the regular wax grabs both the skin and the hair. With sugaring wax, you can apply and remove the wax as many times as you need with little irritation. While sugaring should take no more than two passes to remove the hair, if you need a few applications to remove hair in a curvy or joint area, then sugaring is a great gentle option.

Better for less coarse hair

If you have thick coarse hair that you have let grow out or have been shaving, we’d recommend that you wax with regular wax first before sugaring. Sugaring is great for softer hair and will not work as well on very coarse hair. Long term shaving (without waxing in the interval) can make the hair follicles thicker, and sugaring may not be able to be remove all of the hair. However, if you have been waxing, then you may have noticed that the hair regrowing is softer and less coarse. Sugaring is a great follow up to traditional wax for long term maintenance.

If you have softer, finer hair to begin with, you already make for a great candidate for this eco and at home friendly hair removal method.

How to sugar?

Hard sugaring wax

Sugaring wax hair removal is similar to traditional wax hair removal, with a minor but important difference.

First, if you make your wax at home, you’ll find that you can make both the traditional hard and soft waxes with the sugar. Even if you do not make it at home, and buy ready to use options, you’ll notice that some have a hard wax consistency while others have the soft wax viscosity.

This means, you can make the sugaring paste a bit thicker by cooking a little bit longer and use this just like you would a regular hard wax – without cotton strips. You apply the “hard” sugaring wax in the direction of hair growth, and then remove. You apply it thickly, then you lift the edges with your fingers and remove by gripping the wax and pulling in the direction opposite of hair growth. This is the same technique that you would normally use for a regular hardwax.

Soft sugaring wax

If you prefer using strips to remove the wax, then you make the soft wax version of the sugaring wax by cooking it less. This method uses cotton muslin strips or another soft disposable wax strip like a regular soft wax.

Here’s where how you sugar breaks off from how you waxing. With the soft sugar wax, you apply the sugaring wax in the OPPOSITE direction of hair growth, press a strip down on the wax, and quickly pull in the SAME direction of hair growth to remove. This is the exact opposite of how regular soft wax is applied and removed. It seems very counterintuitive but this allows for better sugaring hair removal. If you’re not convinced, you should try both to see the difference.

Also if you use cotton muslim strips to remove hair, you can throw them all into the washing machine to wash off the hair and sugar, and reuse the strips. This can be a huge benefit. With sugaring hair removal, not only can make your own wax, but you don’t have to rebuy removal strips. It’s the ultimate money saver – no professional salon visits and no having to restock home waxing materials.

To remove any residue, wash with warm water and then moisturize. The lack of residue with sugaring makes this more ideal than regular wax for at home use.

Sugaring FAQ – Common questions about sugaring

Sugaring is an increasingly popular hair removal method, but for many, it is a brand new unknown technique. Here are some common questions about sugaring we have gotten from friends and readers.

Is sugaring less painful than waxing? Does sugaring hurt less than waxing?

Sugaring is much less painful than waxing. Sugaring hurts less than waxing because in traditional waxing, you remove the hair against its natural direction but in sugaring you have to remove the hair in the same direction as it naturally grows. This makes for a less painful hair removal.

Sugaring is a great alternative to explore for hair removal if you have trouble tolerating the pain involved in traditional waxing. You apply the sugar against the direction of hair growth, and then remove the strip by pulling in the same direction as the hair grows.

Is sugaring really better than waxing? Does sugaring work as well as waxing?

Sugaring is better than waxing for sensitive skin, because it is a less painful method of hair removal, helps condition your skin, and has natural ingrediants. You can also make sugaring wax anytime because all of the ingredients (sugar, lemon, water) are already in your kitchen.

If you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or other illnesses that cause sensitive skin, then sugaring may be a gentler wax alternative for you. You can also safely use sugaring wax if you are allergic to certain stabilizers or chemicals found in traditional waxes.

Sugaring is less painful than waxing because it attaches more to your hair than your skin and so only pulls on the hair. Not only is sugaring is a less painfulful method of hair removal than traditional waxing, but the sugar and water mixture that is makes up the base of the sugaring wax also conditions your skin when you use it to remove hair.

Is sugaring better for ingrown hairs? Does sugaring cause less ingrown hairs? Does sugaring remove ingrown hairs?

If you regularly suffer from ingrown hairs after traditional waxing then you may find that sugaring is better for ingrown hairs. Sugaring causes less ingrown hairs because after applying, you remove the sugaring wax in the same direction as hair growth to pull out the hairs (instead of in the opposite direction like in traditional waxing). This helps remove the hair from its follicle root instead of snapping it off at only skin level, resulting in ingrown hairs when that snapped hair regrows and curls inward rather than regrowing straight out from the root.

Sugaring also helps remove ingrown hairs because sugaring paste acts an exfoliator. When you apply and then remove the sugaring wax from your skin, you also remove the top layers of shedding dead skin. This also occurs when you use a traditional wax, but the sugaring wax is a more gentler process. If you’re prone to redness or rashes after traditional waxing, you may notice that you do not experience these symptoms after sugaring.

If you suffer from severe ingrown hairs, you may need to supplement with a chemical exfoliator that can encourage those ingrowns to surface and shed.

You can also check out our guide on physical and chemical exfoliation to learn more about how exfoliation works.

Can sugaring remove hair permanently? Does sugaring make hair thinner?

Sugaring does not remove hair permanently. Like traditional waxing, sugaring removes hair from the root but does not kill the hair at its root. So depending on how fast your hair grows, sugaring can last from 2 to 4 weeks.

You may notice that sugaring makes your hair thinner, especially if you were only shaving before sugaring. Shaving cuts the hair off at the skins surface and over time the hair can grow slightly thicker or just feel rougher as you continue to shave over time. Sugaring removes the hair at the root and the hair must regrow anew each time. This results in a thinner, finer hairs.

Can you sugar wax your public hairs?

You can sugar wax your pubic hairs and any other hairs on your body. Sugaring can remove all types of hair, no matter how thick. And because sugaring wax sticks to the hair more than the skin, it can take few passes to remove tough or thick hair than traditional wax.

Is sugaring really better than waxing?

If you have a low tolerance for pain, sensitive skin that is prone to redness and rashes after traditional waxing, or are allergic to ingredients found in traditional waxes, than sugaring is really better than waxing.

The end result is the same no matter which method you use, however. Both sugaring and waxing remove hair from the follicle root and last anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks.

Is sugaring bad for your skin?

Unless you have an allergy to sugar or lemon, sugaring is not bad for your skin. If you’re sensitive to only the lemon, it is added in very small quanitities for antimicrobial properties and some sugaring pastes do not have it. If you’re worried, please be sure to patch test in a small area on your arm or neck and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction because attempting to use it on your whole body.

In fact, sugaring is great for your skin. It’s natural ingredients act as a skin conditioner and the sugaring process is much gentler on your skin than traditional wax.

Is sugaring safe for face? Is sugar wax good for face? Can I sugar wax my face?

Sugaring is safe for your face, and anywhere else on your body, including your bikini area. Sugar wax is good for your face too because it’s only made with sugar, lemon, and water, all recognizable ingredients.

You can sugar wax your face easily and you’ll find that you experience much less redness and irritation if you use sugaring paste instead of regular wax.

Does sugaring lighten skin?

Some people report that sugaring lightens skin because of the lemon juice added to sugaring paste. However, the lemon juice acts more as a antibacterial ingredient and is not added in quantities that can lighten your face.

A more likely explanation for any change in your skin’s complextion is due to the exfoliation that occurs when you remove hair. Along with the hair, you’re also removing dead skin cells which can give you a glow almost like you had gotten a facial.

How do you prepare for sugaring? What should I do before Brazilian sugaring?

Here is a checklist for what you should do before sugaring, whether it is a Brazilian or you’re just sugaring your face:

  • Make sure your hair is 1/4 inch long. If it’s shorter, then the sugaring wax may not adhere to your hairs enough to remove them. If they’re too long, then the sugaring process may break them at the skin surface level instead of pulling them out from the root. You can also do a little trim to bring them down to 1/4″ before you apply the sugar paste.
  • Clean your skin of any lotions or creams to make sure there is no residue that will prevent the sugaring wax application. Dry your skin after cleaning. Sugaring wax will not stick to wet skin

What can you not do after Brazilian sugaring?

Sugaring is far less restrictive than traditional waxing, but you should still take care for 1-2 hours right after you remove hair with sugar wax. Here is a checklist for what you should NOT do immediately after a Brazilian or bikini sugaring:

  • Avoid the sun or wear protective clothing and a hat. Protect your skin from sun damage
  • Dont use any scrubs or loofahs. Your skin was exfoliated during sugaring and you dont want to overdo it.
  • Avoid swimming, saunas, hot tub, flotation tanks, hot yoga and baths,
  • Dont use any chemical exfoliators or skincare acids. Your skin is still too sentiive for these, and you will experience stinging and pain if you apply skincare acids too soon.

Does sugaring help with strawberry legs?

Sugaring can help reduce the strawberry affect on your legs and arms through exfoliation. Be sure to follow up with a gentle, non-comodogenic lotion, like Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Vanicream Life Lotion, or Aveno Daily Moisturizer to help reintroduce some moisture to your skin after your sugaring session to help further reduce strawberry legs.

How long does sugaring last the first time? Does sugaring hurt less the second time?

Sugaring will last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks the first time and each time you sugar after that. The speed depends on how quickly your hair typically grows back.

If you only shaved to remove hair and then decided to switch over to sugaring instead, sugaring may hurt more than average during your first time. This is because you’re ripping out thicker hairs that are a result of shaving regularly over a period. However, after your hair is pulled from the root during your first sugaring session, the hairs will have to regrow from the root and will grow in a little finer. Any subsequent sugaring sessions will hurt a lot less.

Can sugaring hair be too long? How long does pubic hair need to be for sugaring?

Sugaring hair can be too long. Any hairs that you want to remove with sugaring, whether it is pubic hair or your mustache, should be about 1/4 inch long. If the hair is too short, the sugaring wax will not be able to grip the hairs to pull them out. If they’re too long, you run the risk of breaking the hairs at the skin surface when you remove the sugar, resulting in ingrown hairs.

If your hairs are too long, you can use a trimmer to trim them down to about 1/4″ and then use the sugaring wax to remove them.

Can you shower after sugaring?

This depends on your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you should wait several hours before showering. And when you do, try to use warm water instead of a hot shower.

If you do not have sensitive skin, you should have no issue if you shower after sugaring.

Does sugaring cause wrinkles?

Sugaring does not cause wrinkles. There is an idea that because youre pulling your skin when you sugar away hair, the process causes wrinkles. However, this is a misunderstanding. If you notice more wrinkles after waxing then we recommend using a non comedogenic lotion soon after sugaring to help replace moisture lost during the sugaring process. The wrinkles are a sign of lack of hydration. Some lotions you can use are Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Vanicream Life Lotion, or Aveno Daily Moisturizer.

Is sugaring cheaper than waxing?

Sugaring is cheaper than waxing. You can make sugaring wax at home because the ingredients are already in your kitchen – sugar, lemon, water. Even if you do not make it at home, you can use cotton strips to remove the sugaring wax and then wash the strips in the washing machine and reuse. You also do not need to use any post waxing oils to remove any stickiness from your body because you can just use a wet towel or gently rinse the area with warm water to wash off the sugar paste.

Does sugaring leave red bumps?

Unless you are allergic to sugar or lemon, sugaring will not leave red bumps or cause you to break out with acne. Sugaring is a gentler form of traditional waxing and does not grip the skin in the same way as wax. It only grabs the hairs and then removes them without pulling on the skin too much. If you notice red bumps, make sure you are cleaning and drying your skin before sugaring.

Best 7 Epilator Reviews for Better Hair Removal

A complete guide: Epilator hair removal

Epilators have come a long way since we started using them for hair removal a few years back, with an infinite number of features, speeds, colors. There are so many options that it is confusing to pick a good epilator unless you are an epilator veteran. To skip ahead in this guide, please expand the table of contents below.

In this guide:

Reviews of the Top 7 epilators in 2018

With prices ranging from $30 to $160 and up to 10 features to shop from, picking one of many epilators available in 2017 can be overwhelming. To help you make your choice, we have rounded up the top 7 epilators of 2018. Each epilator is broken down into features as well as cons to make it easier to find the one that best suits your lifestyle and hair removal needs.

  1. Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 – Our Top Pick Epilator

This is not the most expensive epilator out there but it IS the best epilator that money can buy in 2018. Let’s see why.

The head of this epilator is extra wide, which helps remove more hair in each pass. The head vibrates while in operation, which minimizes the pain that you might feel while epilating. The vibrations help massage and numb your skin. And finally, the Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 epilator head also pivots with your body. This helps keep the epilator head flat on your skin’s surface in trickier areas like under arms or behind knees.

Thanks to its Micro Grip tweezer technology, the tweezers on this epilator are much longer and wider than standard. This makes this hair removal device even better than waxing, picking up hairs that you may not even see. The Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 can pick up even a grain of sand!

It is cordless, with the longest lasting battery on the market, and can be used in both wet and dry environments. It’s also easy to clean with a detachable head, which you can wash or use the included cleaning brush.

There is a built in light for better visibility. To help with sensitive skin areas, the Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 epilator offers 2 speeds and an efficiency cap. This helps maximize hair removal and control how much hair you want epilate at any time.

Last but not least, the Braun epilator comes with 7 extras! Yes, SEVEN! This includes a shaver head that you can use to shave, a trimmer cap for trimming hair, an efficiency cap, a high frequency massaging cap, and a facial brush. The facial brush helps remove makeup and physically exfoliate any dead skin through micro vibrations. All of these attachments are waterproof just like the epilator itself. The seventh extra is a recharging stand for the epilator.

(The main epilator head is considered the 7th attachment, as all of the caps are interchangeable and some can even be doubled up, with 1 over the other.)

To read more about Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 product specifications, click here.

What could be better

There are really no issues with this epilator. We had to think hard about this but here are two potential issues.

Initially, we considered the price to be a downside of this epilator. But after taking the number of attachments into consideration, the price is a 1 time cost that can save you money on razors, facial brushes, and a trimmer. For this many uses, the 1 time cost is more than reasonable.

The second potential downside could be that you cannot use the epilator and charge at the same time. The epilator must be charged before or after each use. This could be a matter of habit for you. If you wax at home, you have to heat up the wax before you can use it. Similarly, by keeping the recharging dock nearby and in sight, this problem can easily be avoided. Just remember to charge after each use so you’re ready for the next time.

To read more customer verified Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 reviews, click here.

Summary

By almost exceeding in each of the potential features that an electric epilator can have in 2017, the Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 is an incredibly feature heavy hair removal tool. If you’re looking for an investment epilator that has multiple uses, this is your epilator!

BUY NOW: Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579

2. Panasonic ES-ED90-P – Runner Up Epilator

The Panasonic ES-ED90-P epilator comes in a close second to the Braun Silk-epil, offering another excellent choice minus a few features.

This epilator comes with a 60 degree pivoting head with a built in light and 2 operating speeds to epilate more or less sensitive areas of your body in 1 go. With 46 tweezers, it falls into the mid to high range for tweezer power.

It also comes with 6 attachments. Two of these attachments are epilating attachments, with a gentle epilation cap attachment and a precise cap attachment. The gentle cap is meant for areas of your body that have a low tolerance to pain as it reduces the number of tweezers running along your skin. The precision cap makes the head smaller so you can epilate smaller areas with more accuracy. The precision cap could be especially useful for men for beards.

Other attachments include a shaver head, a bikini comb cap, and a pedicure buffer for removing dry skin and calluses.

This epilator also works in wet and dry environments.

To read more about Panasonic ES-ED90-P product specifications, click here.

What could be better

Again, like the Braun, price and rechargeability are the main but still minor concerns. This is still an excellent investment in terms of price in that it is far less than even 1 salon wax session.

This epilator cannot be recharged while using it, like some corded epilators. Be sure to charge immediately after each or every few sessions to make sure it always runs when you need it to.

To read more customer verified Panasonic ES-ED90-P reviews, click here.

Summary

This is another best contender in the best epilators money can buy. It is missing some of the features, like micro grab technology, a trimmer or a facial brush, from our top pick, but adds some feature options to make up for it. Depending on what extras you’ll use the most, the Panasonic ES-ED90-P could be your top choice.

BUY NOW: Panasonic ES-ED90-P Epilator

3. Emjoi AP-18 – Most Powerful Epilator

Let’s start with the main feature that makes this epilator such powerhouse – It has 72 tweezers! This is almost double our first pick and runner up. With 72 tweezers, the Emjoi AP-18 is an ideal epilator for legs, arms, or other areas with a lot of hair or dense hair. Epilating with the Emjoi AP-18 will be much faster than either the Braun Silk-epil or the Panasonic epilators.

However, this may not be the best epilator for a beginner for the same reason. 72 tweezers pulling hair is going to hurt much more than half that number. The Emjoi AP-18 also does not have any massaging or vibrating attachments that will help numb the pain for a beginner or for someone with low pain tolerance.

But if you’re a seasoned veteran or have used an epilator 4-5 times, this is a powerful machine for you. Even if you are a beginner and plan on removing a lot of hair via epilation, it would be possible to build up tolerance and good technique by using it in smaller areas first.

The second feature unique to the Emjoi is the dual opposed heads. What this means is that the tweezers are not just at the top of epilator, but rounded out to extend out the top as well as the sides. These dual opposing heads allows greater flexibility as you travel over your body with the epilator. You can use it both on the right and left, and angle accordingly as you epilate.

The Emjoi AP-18 is corded with a 6.5 feet cord and offers 2 speeds.

It also boasts a Skin Glide technology that helps it grab all hairs on your skin. This technology helps it “scoop” up any hairs that are sitting flat and remove them from the root.

To read more about Emjoi AP-18 product specifications, click here.

What could be better

The Emjoi AP-18 does not have a built in light or shaving attachments. There is no efficiency cap, but you may not need one with the 72 tweezers and dual heads!

It is not water resistant, but it comes with a cleaning brush for good hygiene. It certainly is missing many of the features that our top picks have.

To read more customer verified Emjoi AP-18 reviews, click here.

Summary

While we wouldn’t make it our top choice, this is a great epilator to have in your hair removal tool arsenal because it is incredibly powerful. Don’t look to the Emjoi AP-18 for features. This is a workhorse epilator and exceeds expectations in the main goal of an epilator – remove hair.

BUY NOW: Emjoi AP-18 Epilator

4. Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator – Best Hypoallergenic Epilator

The Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator is a different kind of powerhouse in that it is a highly efficient epilator for those with sensitive skin.

It only has 36 tweezers but has the “highest tweezes per minute”. There are 2 speeds on this epilator. So while there are far less tweezers, at each of the 2 speeds, the tweezers rotate very quickly to pull out hair quickly. This makes the Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator perfect for causing the least amount of discomfort on sensitive skin.

Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator has another helpful feature for those with sensitive skin – all 36 tweezers are 24 karat gold plated with antibacterial properties. This plating makes the tweezers hypoallergenic and decreases ingrown hairs.

It includes a massage attachment that helps numb your skin during epilation. Like the Emjoi AP-18, it is not water resistant but includes a cleaning brush. It should not be used in the shower.

This epilator is also cordless and rechargeable. In fact, you can use it while it recharges unlike the other epilators we have covered so far. This allows you to use this epilator in any dry situations at any time!

To read more about Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator product specifications, click here.

What could be better

It would be nice to see Emjoi make their epilators water resistant. The Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator has so many features alongside great epilation technology. Being able to use it in the shower would round out its feature list and make it contender for a wider audience.

To read more customer verified Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator reviews, click here.

Summary

It’s hypoallergenic tweezers and fast rotating tweezers make the Emjoi Soft Caress epilator a unique product. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to ingrown hairs, this is the epilator to get.

BUY NOW: Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator

5. Remington EP7030 – Best Value Epilator

If you’re worried about, there are a few decent options in a lower price range that offer a good value as a beginner epilator. The Remington EP7030 is one of the best in this category as Remington is one of the original companies in the epilator industry.

The Remington EP7030 epilator has 40 tweezers and operates at 2 speeds. It also has a pivoting head with a few cap attachments. The precision cap, perfect angle cap, and massaging cap all help you customize your experience according to what area you are epilating. There is also a built in light for better visibility.

It is rechargeable with a power adaptor and otherwise cordless, and can be used wet and dry. You can wash it off in the shower after use by removing the head or use a cleaning brush, also included.

To read more about Remington EP7030 product specifications, click here.

What could be better

The epilator is highly functional, but lacks additional features that make this a versatile travel friendly tool. It also lacks some technological developments in terms of tweezers and epilator motor like our other picks.

To read more customer verified Remington EP7030 reviews, click here.

Summary

There is a low frills epilator that does the job, and does it well. If you’re a student or not sure about epilation as a hair removal process in general, this is an excellent experimental product. That’s not to say that it is not good for long term use. These epilators will run for years. So if you find that you don’t need more features, you’ll find the Remington EP7030 performs very well.

BUY NOW: Remington EP7030 Epilator

6. Codream 4-1 – Best Value Epilator with Features

Are you looking for a beginner epilator with a few more multi-purpose functionalities? Look no further than the Codream 4-1 epilator.

It is a lesser known epilator with a younger brand. But don’t let that hold you back if the features make this an appealing choice for you.

The 4-1 refers to the 4 functions this epilator offers via attachments – epilator, shaver, hair clipper, and callus remover. Amongst the extras, the callus remover on Codream 4-1 is highly rated attachment. In terms of multifunctionality, this is a powerhouse.

It is rechargeable via power adaptor and can be used while plugged in or as cordless. There is a built in LED light. The epilator head can be removed and washed with water. But the epilator itself is not wet/dry and should be using in dry places only.

To read more about Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 product specifications, click here.

What could be better

In terms of features, making the whole epilator water resistant would make this epilator well rounded.

Aside from features, the Codream 4-1 epilator does lack the latest technology in both tweezers
and epilator motor.

To read more customer verified Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 reviews, click here.

Summary

Want an beginner, budget friendly option that offers more features and versatility than the Remington EP7030? The Codream 4-1 is your epilator.

BUY NOW: Codream 4-1 Epilator

7. Philips Satinelle HP-6401 – Best Starter Epilator

For our last review, we asked ourselves – What is the cheapest basic epilator that does the job?

Why bothering asking this question? We recognized that sometimes you want to spend the least possible money to figure out if a particular hair removal method even works for you. With that in mind, we concluded that if you want a basic starter epilator, the Philips Satinelle HP-6401 is one to try.

It has 21 tweezers, 2 speed setting and an efficiency cap. You can also wash the top epilator head by taking it off the body of the machine, which is not water resistant.

It is a little louder than the other epilators we have reviewed. It is also corded.

To read more about Philips Satinelle HP-6401 product specifications,click here.

What could be better

Almost everything.

This epilator has none of the features of our epilators and no additional attachments. It has a low number of tweezers and no built in light. And it is not water resistant and so cannot be used in the shower.

To read more customer verified Philips Satinelle HP-6401 reviews, click here.

Summary

Remember this is a basic, no frills epilator. It is much lower in price than the others we have picked to review here. But this is also a best selling epilator and has been for many years. So it may not be fancy, but it works! The Philips Satinelle HP-6401 would be a great epilator to start your epilating journey with, and later adding a second more efficient epilator to your hair removing arsenal!

BUY NOW: Philips Satinelle HP-6401 Epilator

What is an epilator?

Epilators still enjoy a somewhat anonymous status. Many women have never used or heard of an epilator! This is ironic because epilators can be the ideal method of hair removal for a lot of people, men and women.

The epilator is a hair removal device that uses groups of tweezers to remove hair from it’s root. The tweezers are usually metal or ceramic. As you pass the epilator over your skin, its many tweezers rotate to grab many hairs and remove them completely just like waxing.

Epilation allows you to be hair free for longer than shaving, similar to waxing. Like waxing, when the hair regrows out from its root, you must epilate to remove it again. Depending on fast your hair grows, you could enjoy smooth skin for 1 to 3 weeks!

So why is the epilator a better alternative to shaving or waxing?

Long lasting smooth skin

Epilating gives long last smooth skin. If you remove hair by shaving, you are probably shaving anywhere from every 3 or 4 days to daily. Epilating is like waxing. It removes the hair from the root. So you have to epilate only as often as your hair regrows from its roots. That means you can enjoy smooth hairless skin for a week up to 2 or 3 weeks!

Easy

It’s also as easy as shaving, if not easier. Epilators come in many features, from cordless to rechargable to waterproof to vibrating heads that numb your skin. There is no nicking your skin or causing razor burn like shaving.

It’s definitely much easier than waxing. You may need to recharge your epilator, but there is no warming up of wax or other preparation. You even don’t need to wait for your hair to grow out ¼ of an inch, like for waxing. You can epilate the minute you start to see or feel hairs. And you can epilate from anywhere, home or a hotel.

Cheap

If you shave, how often you buy new razors or razor heads? Or you may go to a wax salon, which can cost up to $200/visit. Not to mention having to schedule an appointment and worry about hot wax burns. Even if you wax at home, you’re spending money on wax refills or waxing strips.

An epilator is a 1 time cost for several years. With epilators ranging from $40 to $140, you only have to spend that once to epilate for years. Without a doubt, epilating is the cheapest hair removal solution available to men and women today. And with technology improving every single year, epilators are becoming a go-to for hair removal for more people every year.

Features of an epilator

There are over a hundred epilators available to try out there today. You could start with any of them. So which one do you pick up? What are the differences between each epilator? Are they all the same? Why are some more expensive than others?

A few years ago, a lot of epilators were fairly straightforward. They only worked if plugged into an outlet, in dry environments (not in the shower), and sometimes hard to clean. Today, epilators are available with lots more features. Here are some of the features we looked at to differentiate a good epilator from a better one to find some of the best epilators available to us in 2017:

Pulls hairs rather than breaks hairs

A common question we get is: do epilators cause ingrown hairs? They can with a low quality epilator. So what does that mean?

A good epilator will grab the hairs at their roots to pull it out completely. It should not be grabbing hairs halfway and breaking them. This will lead to faster re growth because the hair was not removed and only broken, like shaving.

It could also mean more ingrown hairs because when a hair is pulled until it breaks halfway, it is stretched out. After it stretches and snaps, it curls back towards the skin and could become an ingrown hair.

Number of tweezers

The more tweezers on the head of the epilator, the faster you’ll pull out more hair. Each of the tweezers grab hairs as they rotate.

So with an epilator that has a high number tweezers, you’ll be pulling out more hairs per pass of the epilator over your skin. This can be great because you’ll spend less time epilating.

At the same time, if you have low tolerance for pain, more tweezers could also mean more pain. So it is important to know how many tweezers an epilator has, so you can make an informed decision.

Cost

Epilators can cost anywhere from $30 to $150 and prices go up with increased features, details, and accessories. Lower priced epilators can have lower number of tweezers and less convenient details, but are a good place to start if you are unsure about epilation.

On the other hand, if you wax often or use a hair removal method that removes hair from the roots, a good quality epilator can be a useful tool. While the initial cost can seem high for an epilator will all of the features, bells and whistles available, the money you save by replacing wax salon fees quickly makes the epilator a good investment.

Efficiency cap

If you have low pain tolerance, the epilator cap is a must have. It is an attachment cap for the epilator head, where all the tweezers are, to help lessen the pain of epilating.

It is curved and helps optimize the surface area that touches your skin to maximize the angle needed for epilation. The shape of the attachment cap helps you keep the epilator at a 90 degree angle, which is the best angle for epilation. It also makes epilating less painful.

Easy to clean

This is another must have. To make sure your epilator works for a long time, you want to be sure to clean it. The tweezers that pull hair out rotate at the top the epilator. In a good epilator, you are able to take that top portion off or apart to clean out any hairs that might have gotten stuck in there while the tweezers rotate.

A clean epilator will also help keep your skin free of any acne or similar breakouts that are a result of bad epilator hygiene.

Speed options

Variable speeds help you control how fast or slow the tweezers turn. This is especially useful when you are epilating a curved and sensitive area, like an armpit or the back of knee. These areas can hurt a lot more.

If your epilator has two or more speeds, you can continue epilating up an arm or leg by just slowing it down when you reach a sensitive area.

Built in light

Most of us will epilate in a bathroom, and sometimes bathrooms do not have the best light at night. Having a built in light at the head of the epilator that shines on your skin can be really helpful when you have to epilate during an evening.

The built in light can help you see hairs that are shorter or finer so that you don’t end up with patchy areas due to bad overhead lighting.

Accessories

There are a lot of accessories available with some epilators. Some accessories make the basic epilator into a powerful 7-in-1 or 5-in-1 tool with attached heads for shaving hair, exfoliating, or even scrubbing your heels.

Epilators with accessories can be the ideal choice for anyone who travels or does not have a lot of storage in their bathroom because one tool does so much more than just epilate!

Cordless

Corded epilators work just as fine as cordless or rechargeable epilators. However, if you travel or your bathroom outlet is too far to be comfortable, a cordless option can be a small detail that offers tremendous convenience.

So think about where in your home you will be using your epilator, and if having a cordless epilator will make your life easier. Alternatively, if you travel often, cordless is definitely the way to go.

Wet/Dry options

Want to be able to shower and epilate in 1 go? A wet/dry epilator might be your best friend. These epilators can be used in the shower with the water running. This helps with cleaning up the hair that is epilated and the epilator itself. As these epilators are water resistant, you can wash the epilator and the tweezer heads and let it dry in the shower for the next time.

These epilators are also ideal for travelers, who can use in hotels and airbnbs without worrying about the mess and cleanup.

What about pain?

All this talk about removing hair from the root brings us to an important question – How much does it hurt?

The answer depends on your tolerance for pain. We have found that it hurts less than waxing but more than shaving. However, if shaving gives you ingrown hairs then trading your razer for a good epilator may still be worth it. A well designed efficiency cap also helps with any pain you might experience.

Even if you do experience pain from epilation, there are a number of ways you can reduce epilator pain.

All in all, unless your pain tolerance is insanely low, don’t be put off by the reports of pain. With some practice, the epilator can become your go to tool for hair removal.

Epilator & Epilation FAQ – Questions from our readers

Below we have answered frequest questions about epilators and how to use them from friends and readers. 

Do epilators work well?

A good quality epilator like the Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 or the Panasonic ES-ED90-P works extremely well to remove hair from anywhere on your body. Epilators can remove hair as well as waxing sessions at a salon and last just as long, with none of the preparation or cleanup required after waxing. And you can epilate hair quickly, almost as quickly as shaving.

Is an epilator better than shaving? Do epilators last longer than shaving?

Epilators are better than shaving if you’re looking for hair removal that lasts longer. Because epilators remove hair from the root like waxing, epilator hair removal lasts longer than shaving. 

Most people find that epilator hair removal will last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.

Can you use an epilator on pubic hair?

You can use an epilator on pubic hair. However, unless you have a high pain tolerance and plenty of experience removing hair, we would not recommend using an epilator on the most sensitive areas of your genitals. You can easily use an epilator on the pubic hair around your bikini line but any lower than that may hurt a lot. 

Can I epilate everyday?

You can epilate everyday if you see hair. It may seem like some hair grows back faster but this is because hair grows in cycles. So you can easily epilate as frequently as you wish. Unlike waxing, where you may end up over exfoliating your skin if you try to wax everyday (when you pull out the hair, you also pull away some of the top layers of shedding skin), you can safely use epilators everyday without hurting your skin.

Is it better to epilate wet or dry?

If you’re pressed for time, it is better to epliate dry than wet because the latter will take a little bit longer. However, if you want an easy place to wash away the hairs, clean the epilator, you can epilate wet skin just as easily as dry.

If you have a wet/dry epilator like the Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 or the Panasonic ES-ED90-P that can be used in the shower on wet skin or after you’ve dried your skin, you can epilate wherever is most convenient for you. Not all epilators are suited for wet environments.

How often should I epilate my legs?

You can epilate your legs as often as you see hair on your legs, even everyday. Hair grows in cycles and you do not need to allow a certain period of time for recovery like in waxing before attempting to remove hair again. If you are someone who finds themselves needing to shave everyday, you may find that you can save a lot of time by epilating your hairs every few days.

Does epilation reduce hair growth?

Epilating does not reduce growth, though this is a common myth. Many people use an epilator after shaving for many years, and so go from seeing their hair regrow within days to not having to worry about hair removal for weeks after using an epilator.

This is because an epilator removes the hair from the root like waxing and shaving only cuts it off at the surface, and so the hair takes time to regrow from the root instead of continuing growth from where it was cut off.

So while it may feel like epilation reduces hair growth, it only forces the hair to regrow from the root. If you want to try a hair removal method that reduces hair growth, check out our guide on at home laser hair removal.

Can epilating permanetly remove hair?

Epilating does not remove hair permanently. Like waxing, it only removes the hair from the root, without damaging the root and so it will regrow. 

If you want to try a hair removal method that permanently removes hair, check out our guide on at home laser hair removal.

Is epilating bad for your skin?

Epilating is not bad for your skin and is a skin safe method of hair removal. If you have sensitive or thin skin, you can remove skin along with hair if you wax or sugar your facial hair. If you shave your facial hair, you run the risk of razer burn and skin irritation. A high quality and gentle epilator like the Braun Silk-epil 9 9-579 or the Panasonic ES-ED90-P can help you avoid these types of skin irritation and last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.

Does using an epilator darken skin?

Using an epilator does not darken skin. It is a skin safe method of hair removal. You can safely use epilators to removes your hair without any damage to your skin, no matter your skin tone. 

Which is better – epilator or laser?

Epilators are better than laser if you want to save money but want a hair removal method that lasts longer than shaving, up to 2-4 weeks at a time.

Laser hair removal is better than epilators if you’re looking for a permanent hair removal method. Laser kills the hair at the root instead of just pulling it out. To learn more, check out our guide on at home laser hair removal.

Can you epilate armpits? How often should you epilate your armpits?

You can epilate your armpits easily. You can epilate as often as you want, or as often as you notice hair. Epilators are great at removing hair from nooks and cranies and is great for all types of hair, armpit and otherwise.

Does epilating cause strawberry legs?

Epilating does not cause strawberry legs. Like waxing, epilators pull the hair out from the root instead of just cutting it off at the surface like shaving (shaving results in strawberry legs). 

You can also use a non comedogenic lotion like Aveeno Moisturizer or Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion right after you have finished epilating to replace any moisture lost during the epilating process and further reduce any risk of strawberry legs.

What are the benefits of epilating?

Here are some benefits of epilating:

  • Results in long lasting smooth skin (anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks)
  • An easy method of hair removal that anyone can do at home
  • Great for removing all of your hair
  • Gentle on thin or sensitive skin
  • Cheaper than spending money on salon visits to remove hair with waxing. 

How long does hair need to be to epilate? Can you epilate long hairs?

You can epilate hairs of any length, but you’ll have more success epilating hairs between 1/8 to 1/4″ long. If the hair is longer, you may end up breaking the hair instead of pulling it out, and then that hair will grow back faster.

You can epilate long hairs. For best results, we recommend trimming hairs that are longer than 1/2 inch to anywhere between 1/8″ to 1/4″.

Can you epilate your face? What is the best facial epilator?

You can easily epilate your face hair. Certain epilators like the Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator are gentler on sensitive skin and can work really well for facial hair removal or even bikini hair removal. Read our review on the Emjoi Soft Caress Epilator at the top of this article.

Does numbing cream work for epilating?

Numbing cream works well for epilating and can help reduce pain. Numbing creams target the pain receptors in your skin’s dermis and epidermis and temporarily prevent them from relying pain to your brain. Numbing creams can work for an hour to an hour and 30 minutes, giving you a window to remove hair with minimal pain, and are a great tool if you suffer from sensitive skin or want to remove hair in a sensitive area like face or bikini. Here’s our guide to numbing creams for epilators and hair removal.

How long does epilating last?

Epilating will last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. Like waxing, epilators remove hair from the root and so epilator hair removal will last as long as it takes for your hairs to regrow from the root.

How long do epilators last?

A good quality epilator will last years. I have used an older model Braun epilator for 10 years before upgrading to a wet/dry model. If you take care of epilator, clean out the epilator “teeth” (the roters that pull out the hairs) regularly, and use as it is directed, you can expect your epilator to last a decade or longer. Of course, you may choose to upgrade sooner like I did.

Should you shave before epilating?

You should not shave before epilating because then the epilator will nothing to grip and pull out. If your hair is too long, you can use a trimmer to shorten the hairs.

Does epilating cause hair to grow back thicker?

Epilating does not cause the hair to grow back thicker. In fact, you’ll notice the hairs come back finer over time. Because the epilator will remove the hair from the root, it will need to regrow from the root and will grow back finer than if you had shaved the same hair.

Can I do a Brazilian with an epilator?

Technically you CAN do a Brazilian with an epilator, but it is not something we would recommend. You can easily remove hair around your bikini but anything lower than that will hurt a lot because it’s a sensitive area. It’s especially difficult to use an epilator on yourself in that area. And as an epilator removes hairs in approximate groups of 5-30, you’ll feel a lot more in a sensitive area like your public area. We recommend waxing or laser hair removal for better results.

Do epilators break hairs?

A good quality epilator like one of the ones we recommend at the top of this article will not break hairs and will only pull them out from the roots. A cheaper epilator can break hairs which will result in ingrown hairs. So invest in a well reviewed device and you will have no issues.

Should you moisturize after epilating?

You can moisturize after epilating with a non comedogenic moisturizer like Aveeno Moisturizer, Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion, or Cetaphil. It’s a great idea to do so because it helps replace any moisture lost in your skin during the hair removal process.

How do you epilate for the first time?

Here’s how to epilate the first time and any subsequent times:

  • Clean your skin of any lotions and creams
  • Hold your epilator at a 90 degree angle to your skin 
  • Turn the epilator on and move it in the same direction as your hair growth
  • Go over the same area once more if you see that a few hairs were missed
  • Clean your skin with warm water or a damp towel
  • Moisturize with a non comedogenic lotion like Aveeno Moisturizer or Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Do epilators leave stubble?

If you use your epilator incorrectly or use a cheap epilator, you may notice that you get stubble in just a few days and your hair removal does not last the expected 2 to 4 weeks. Remember to use your epilator in the same direction as hair growth and if that does not work, invest in a better quality epilator. Check out our epilator recommendations at the top of this article.

Do you epilate against hair growth?

You should epilate in the same direction as hair growth. If you epilate against hair growth, you may break the hairs which will result in those hairs growing back quickly as stubble or worse, ingrown hairs.

Do Epilators Cause Ingrown Hairs?

Short answer: No. If you are using a high quality epilator the right way, epilators should NOT cause ingrown hairs.

However, you ended up here because you are using an epilator that is causing more ingrown hairs than you expect. So why is this happening? Let’s go over two explanations and how to avoid them for the future.

In this article:

1. Hair is breaking instead of being pulled out from the roots

Sometimes hair breaks at the surface of the skin instead of being pulled out. You may think that the epilator is removing hair and not the notice the difference. But it will grow out quickly like as if you had shaved instead of waxed.

These hairs were pulled at by your epilator but broke before they could be yanked out. Because they were pulled and then broken, they are more likely to curl inward and cause an ingrown hair. So why does this happen?

There are three possible reasons for this.

Loose skin

First, you may not be pulling your skin taut before passing over it with your epilator. The epilator is not able to grab the hair near its root to pull it out completely and instead grabs the hair shaft midway and ends up breaking it. So what can do you do to prevent this?

Make sure your epilator head is as flat as possible on your skin so that it can grab the hair close to the root and remove it. In areas such as your arm pit or your upper thighs, use one hand to pull the skin tight and then epilate. If these areas are especially sensitive, check out our tips for less painful epilation.

Worry about the pain

This brings us to our second reason. Sometimes, when we first start epilation, the pain is intimidating. If you’re starting out and it hurts, you may be afraid to press the epilator head flat on your skin. The epilator will feel less painful when it is only breaking hairs halfway and more painful when you’re pulling the hairs out by your roots. So you may only be skimming the skin surface, only breaking hairs… and ending up with a lot ingrown hairs.

Ingrown hairs are even more painful than epilating, and can be prevented! So if epilating is too painful for you to do right, consider another less painful hair removal method. Shaving alongside a home laser hair removal might be a good option for you. Here are our recommendations for the best home laser systems.

Cheap epilator

Finally, the last potential reason could be a cheap epilator or one that has a low number of tweezers. The tweezers are the mechanical pieces that rotate in epilator and pull the hairs out. The higher number of tweezers, the more hair grabbed and pulled out by the epilator. A lower number of tweezers could mean less hair is being grabbed at the root and some hair is attempted to be grabbed but is just pulled halfway until it breaks. A good epilator has anywhere from 20 to 60 tweezers. Some epilators even come with 100+ tweezers!

Epilators can last a long time. So there is no reason to assume that you have a low quality epilator causing your ingrown hairs. We recommend that you try the other tips in this article first before concluding that the problem is your epilator. However, if you’d like to upgrade to a better epilator and smoother skin without ingrown hairs, here are our recommendations for the best epilators available in 2017.

2. Lack of exfoliation

The other major key to preventing ingrown hairs is exfoliation. Exfoliating regularly helps turn over the top layer of skin. It also makes sure that hairs do not have opportunity to grow inward or into the skin’s top layer and become a painful ingrown hair. Your skin sheds every day and exfoliation helps speed up this process. Some people shed skin faster than others. You may be prone to more ingrown hairs because your skin does not shed as fast.

There are two ways to exfoliate – physical and chemical.

Read our guide on Physical and Chemical Exfoliation.

Physical exfoliation includes using brown sugar or coffee or a formulated body scrub like Gigi No Bump Scrub to help remove dead skin. You can also use a loofah or pouf to lightly scrub your skin. This can be done both inside the shower with your body wash or you can do a dry scrub with a dry scrub brush right before you hop in your shower or bath.

Chemical exfoliation involves using a lotion or cream with exfoliating acids, like alpha hydroxy or AHA, to speed up the skin cell turn over. Common AHA acids include lactic acid, glycolic acid, and more. Be careful if using both chemical and physical exfoliation at the same time. Over exfoliation can ruin your skin’s natural moisture barrier, overdry your skin, and takes longer than you think to reverse. So if you plan on using both physical and chemical exfoliation, check with your dermatologist.

We also recommend that you always wear sunscreen if you are using a chemical exfoliant, because they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Both have their pros and cons. As for which is better, it depends on a few factors – your sensitivity level, how much time you want to spend on exfoliation, and your type of skin. To pick which is best for you, read more about the pros and cons of chemical vs physical exfoliation.

Ultimately, there are many possible reasons why you are getting a lot of ingrown hairs from epilating your hair. Be sure to eliminate each of the above reasons and maybe even try an updated or new epilator. If you continue to get ingrown hairs, despite exfoliating, good epilating technique, and a high quality epilator, we recommend trying another method of hair removal. Ingrown hairs are not just painful, but can cause long term scars. While there are certainly ways to fade scars over time, it may be better to switch back to shaving, try a depilatory cream, or combine shaving with an at home laser hair removal system.