Epilators vs Waxing?

Epilators or Waxing – Which at home hair removal method is better for you?

We get common questions like “do epilators hurt?” or “which is better?”. Epilators and waxing both remove hair from the root, so they’re similar in their end result. But the process is different for each. So here’s a guide that compares epilators vs waxing on some key characteristics, like waxing vs epilator pain or which costs more, that can help you determine which of these hair removal methods can work better for you.

In this article:

Epilator definition

An epilator is an electrical hair removal machine that removes hair from the root. It has a set of tweezers on a rotating wheel that quickly removes many hairs with each pass of the epilator on skin. The tweezers grab hair and pull it out. There can be anywhere from 20 to 100 tweezers on an epilator, so the epilator can pull out 2 to 4 times the hair with each short pass.

Epilators can be plug in devices or rechargeable battery powered, for dry use only or for wet/dry that let you use them in shower, and come with a number of helpful accessories that can help reduce the pain.

Want to learn more? Read our complete guide to epilators here, complete with a how to epilate, pain levels, and thorough reviews on some of the better epilators available today.

Waxing definition

Waxing is the process of applying a soft or hard wax on skin in the direction of hair growth, and then then removing the hair from its roots by quickly pulling the wax off. A good quality wax will cling fast to the hairs and not the skin, taking the hairs with it when it is pulled off. Waxes come in two main consistencies – soft wax and hard wax.

Soft wax is the gentler version that is removed with wax strips made of cotton or recycled paper. Hard wax is considered better for waxing coarse hair. It is somewhat less sticky and can be pull off as it cools by gripping the edge of the applied wax and so you do not need any strips for hard wax hair removal.

All waxing also lightly exfoliates the skin by also removing a layer of the topmost dead skin cells.

Want to learn more? Read our complete guide to waxing at home here, complete with a how to wax, pain levels, and thorough reviews on some of the better waxing kits for home available today.

1. Compare – Which lasts longer

Both epilators and waxing hair removal remove the hair from the root. Lets assume that you have a good waxing technique and a good quality epilator and you are not breaking hairs at the skin surface and really are pulling them out by the root: Hair removal by either the epilator or waxing should last equally long, which can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.

But, after you epilate or wax and the hair grows back in, how soon can you wax or epilate? To wax again, you’ll need the hair to grow back to a 1/ 4 of an inch or more. Otherwise, the wax will not be able to grip the hair. On the other hand, a good epilator can grab hairs that are only 1/ 8 of an inch. So you could epilate sooner.

However, some people may find that if they epilate hairs as they come in, they need to epilate more frequently. Hair grows back in stages, so you always have hair growing in. It’s possible that during your regrowth, all the hair that you pulled out previously did not regrow. So you may find yourself epilating more often for everytime hairs cycle through their phases and grow back in. With waxing, because you have to wait until hairs reach a certain length, you may find that you’re able to remove more hairs because more hairs have grown back in since you last removed hair.

So each has its pros and cons. Depending on your lifestyle or needs, you may find that one works better for you.

Winner: BOTH

Both the epilator or waxing win on the basis that they last equally long. But you’ll be able to epilate new growth sooner than you’ll be able to wax new growth.

2. Compare – Cost

Epilators come in all shapes, sizes, and price points from $30-200. Let us say you purchased a mid range epilator for about $100. Epilators are a one time purchase and if you take care of them, you don’t have to buy replacement heads or other parts for a lifetime. So that is a one time cost of $100.

If you’re waxing, you’ll need to replace your wax as you run out. If you’re using a hard wax, then all you need to wax is the wax. But if you’re using a soft wax, then you’re also using disposable wax strips and waxing applicators like popsicle sticks. Gigi brand’s replacement wax cost $10-20 and should last about 3 months even if you’re using it 2x a month. Replacement strips and applicators could cost $25 total but will last the whole year. So doing the math, you might spend $80 max for the first year of waxing at home if you’re hard wax, and $105 max for the first year of waxing with soft wax.

Of course, we compared epilators vs waxing at home for our example here. Getting a wax done professionally will cost much more than this.

Winner: Epilator

The cost of epilators vs waxing is the same for the first year, but you’ll see your costs increase linearly each year with waxing while an epilator is a one time cost.

3. Compare – Pain

Both the epilator and wax pull the hair out by the root so both are more painful than shaving or a depilatory cream which only remove the hair at the skin’s surface and not below.

Epilators can be particularly painful if you normally shave or use a depilatory (chemical shaving) cream like Nair where the hair is not removed from the root but only at the skin’s surface. This is because over time your hair follicle (or root of the hair) regrows more hair each time it’s shaved and the hair follicle gets quite strong over time as it regrows and regrows. When you yank the hair out from its root, the hair that grows back in looks finer.

This is actually what causes people to think that waxing or epilating makes hair grow back less and finer, but that is actually a myth. In reality, shaving makes a thicker follicle (looks darker) and pulling it out from the root makes a thinner hair grow back. There isn’t less hair as a result.

So if you’ve only shaved to date and then you try to use an epilator, you’re pulling out that thicker follicle which will hurt more than if you were pulling out a follicle that had been yanked out recently and regrown. Tweezing out those hairs can be painful.

If you want to epilate long term instead of wax, but have only shaved to date, we recommend that you wax off all the hair once then epilate the regrowth. The epilator will hurt far less in this way.

That brings us to the pain of waxing. High powered epilators can have close to 100 tweezers and can pull a lot of hairs with each pass. Waxing also pulls out a lot of hairs at once. However, the process of putting warm wax on your skin, pressing, and then quickly removing the wax sends a lot of sensory information all at once to your brain and a lot of people find that waxing can hurt less. Some waxes are soothing to the skin as well and can reduce redness while conditioning the skin. Compared to epilating for the first time, waxing hurts less and is easier.

Winner: Waxing

Waxing hurts a little less than an epilator. The sensations are different however, and many people find that they are quickly accustomed to epilator pain and find it easier to deal with than waxing.

4. Compare – How long each takes

Using an epilator is very easy. You plug it in or it is battery powered and ready to go. Pass the epilator on your skin against the hair growth and it will remove double digit numbers of hairs with each pass.

With wax, you have to do some planning to get ready for waxing. Namely, you need to warm your wax which can take 5-15 minutes depending on the wax.

Winner: Epilator

If you account for warming up wax, the epilator can remove hair faster. However, once the wax is warmed up, an experienced waxer will remove hair just as fast as someone who uses epilators regularly.

5. Compare – Skill needed

If you’re a beginner, you probably will remove the same amount of hair faster with an epilator than waxing.

But if you’ve waxed frequently, it will take you the same amount of time to remove hair as if you were using an epilator.

So there is less of a learning curve with an epilator than waxing. However, that learning curve might be worth it because you are far less likely to break hair during waxing because wax does a good job of pulling hair out at the root with little effort. With an epilator, it is easy to get started but there is some skill involved with actually pulling the hair out and not just breaking it. A good quality epilator also helps with this.

Winner: Same for BOTH

6. Compare – Convenience

Lay down a towel and you can epilate anywhere. Especially if you have a battery charged epilator. You can epilate in front of the tv while you catch up on the latest show. You can even take an epilator with you when you travel and epilate in a hotel.

To wax, you need to cover the floor with a disposable cover of some kind (newspaper, a paper bag, etc) to catch drips. You also need a dependable heat source and may need to be near a microwave to reheat your wax or an outlet to plug in your wax warmer. It would definitely be cumbersome to try to take your wax kit with you while travel. However, none of these are are inconveniences if you’re home.

Winner: Epilator, barely

The epilator wins only because it is easier to pack for travel.

So what’s the takeaway?

The epilator wins barely overall. If you’re looking for a quick, easy electronic gadget, have a pain tolerance, and like the convenience of being able to remove hair on the go, then the epilator is your friend. If you have extra sensitive skin, don’t mind the additional prep of waxing, and prefer a tried and traditional method of hair removal, then waxing is your go-to.

That said, you may prioritize one feature or characteristic over the other, so only you can decide which can be a better method of hair removal for you. We hope this breakdown helped you determine which feature was more important and make an informed decision.

Learn more about epilators or waxing at home

Is this the first time you’ve heard of an epilator? If you want to learn more, check out our Complete Guide to Epilating with reviews of the best epilators here.

Or you want to try your hand at waxing at home because those salon visits are adding up? We’ve written a handy Guide to Waxing at home here. Check it out for tips on getting started as well as which wax options are available for different skin types or lifestyles.

Waxing vs Sugaring

Differences between waxing vs sugaring and which is better

In this article:

What is waxing?

Waxing is hair removal method that uses waxes made from resins and tree by-products to remove body hair. Waxing removes the hair from its root, and so lasts longer than shaving or depilatory creams. You can get a wax to remove hair from a professional salon or wax at home.

There are two consistencies available in wax – hard wax and soft wax. Hard wax is applied and then removed by gripping the edge of the applied wax. Soft wax is applied, then a wax removal strip is pressed and smoothed over the applied wax. The wax removal strip is then removed quickly to remove the hair.

Waxing can last up to 2 weeks before new hair grows back in. To wax again, you need to wait until the new hairs grow 1/ 4 inch otherwise the wax will not be able to grab the hairs to remove hair.

Want to learn more about waxing at home? Read our guide to home wax kits, best waxing practices and more.

What is sugaring?

Sugaring is a natural hair removal method that originated in Persia, and is used like traditional waxing to remove hair completely, from the root. Sugaring paste is a simple mix of lemon, water, and sugar melted at low to medium heat until it resembles a candy mix. Once cooled, it can be used just like waxing where you apply the sugar on your skin and hair and then pull to remove the hair.

Sugaring can last up to 2 weeks before new hair growth.

You can make or buy sugaring paste that is meant to be used as a “hard wax” or “soft wax”. Like hard wax, sugaring paste can be applied and then removed by gripping the edges of the applied sugar and pulling away to remove the hair. You can also undercook the sugaring paste to make a soft wax like sugaring paste. This is applied to the your skin and hair and then removed with strips of cotton muslin or another disposable wax strip.

Making sugaring paste yourself is not difficult.

However, if you’re looking to save time or you want to try a sugaring paste before you attempt to learn how to make it yourself, read our guide to sugaring at home to learn which sugaring product can get you started and work best.

There are a few differences between sugaring and waxing.

First, a simple sugaring paste has no additives, essential oils, chemicals, or preservatives commonly found in waxes. So if you have had an allergic reaction to waxing or waxes before, sugaring is a great option for you.

Second, any residue left behind after you sugar can be washed off with water. Waxes need to be removed with post wax treatments or with oils.

Third, the sugaring paste that you use to remove hair is only warm when you apply it to your skin and hair. In comparison, wax is applied hot and removed when it slightly cools. Sugaring paste is an easier and more comfortable way to remove hair because it can be used at a lower heat so you’ll never burn yourself.

And finally fourth, sugaring paste is applied AGAINST the growth of the hair and removed with the growth of the hair. This is opposite of waxing, where you apply the wax in the same direction as the hair growth and remove the wax by pulling against the hair growth.

Want to learn more about sugaring to remove hair at home? Read our in depth guide to sugaring hair removal here.

Compare – Which lasts longer – sugaring or waxing

It depends on how fast your hair grows back in, but for many people, waxing can last around 2 weeks before new hairs grow. Sugaring removes hairs in the same way as waxing (from the root), so it lasts the same amount of time as waxing.

Winner: No clear winner

Both sugaring and waxing last the same amount of time, up to 2 weeks.

Compare – Cost

Sugaring and waxing cost about the same amount of money if you skip the accessories and just compare oranges to oranges. Here’s a breakdown.

An 8oz container of Gigi’s wax costs about $8-9, and an 8 oz container of pre made sugaring paste from CocoJoJo costs about $9.

You can use the same applicators (popsicle sticks) for wax or for sugaring paste. You can also use the same kind of wax/sugaring paste removal strips for both, which you can buy in bulk or tear up an old cotton bed sheet to make strips. One benefit of sugaring paste is that you can throw all of your cotton strips in the washing machine after you have removed hair with them, and reuse them for as long as you want.

Complete kits that include a plug in wax/paste warmer and pre and post treatments for either waxing or sugaring paste are also similarly priced, running from $40 to $120, depending on how fancy you get with the accessories.

We can also compare professional services. If we wanted to get a professional to do it, waxing prices near us in California can cost about $300 dollars for a full body wax. Sugaring costs a little bit more at about $350.

Winner: No clear winner

Sugaring and waxing both cost similar amounts of money for wax/sugaring paste and accessories. Professional sugaring is slightly more expensive than professional waxing.

Compare – Pain

Waxing removes hair but can also remove the top dead layers of skin as a mild exfoliant. Waxes grab both the skin and hair, and so when you pull the wax off of your skin, you are feeling the sensation of both your hair being pulled and your skin being tugged gently.

In contrast, sugaring paste does not stick to the skin at all. It only grabs hair and removes it when pulled away without any of the exfoliation of waxing. So sugaring is a less painful hair removal method than waxing.

The sugar in the sugaring paste can be a gentle conditioner for your skin as well. If there are essential oils in your sugaring paste, these can act as skin conditioners as well.

Winner: Sugaring

Sugaring does not grab skin like wax does and so is less painful.

Compare – How long each takes

For this we aren’t going to count the prep time for sugaring or waxing. What does this mean? For waxing, there is prep time involved for warming the wax and for sugaring, you either need to make the sugaring paste or like wax, you need to warm the sugaring paste.

Prep aside, the actual process of sugaring can take longer than waxing, especially the “hard wax” type of sugaring paste.

Waxing involves applying the wax in lines with an applicator stick, and then removing it with a strip or by gripping the edge of the cooled wax. With sugaring, you take a wad of sugar and work it with your hands and fingers to make it more sticky and easy to apply. Then you take the sugaring paste and apply it to your hair, grab the edge and remove the sugaring paste and hair quickly. Before reapplying sugaring paste, you take what you just removed and work it between your fingers again, before you take it and apply it the next area with hair. This process takes a little time to do well efficiently.

With waxing, it is applied while hot and pulled, applied and pulled. Sugaring takes a little more finesse and time because the sugaring paste is not as hot and so it must be worked with your hands to make it easy to apply.

Winner: Waxing

Waxing is somewhat faster to do than sugaring, but not by much. The process is similar for both, but sugaring’s extra step adds a little time.

Compare – Skill needed

As you might have caught on in the previous comparison, sugaring has an extra step because it is used at a cooler temperature than waxing. But does it make sugaring harder to learn?

Actually waxing and sugaring require the same physical skills to remove hair from the root without breaking it halfway. Sure, there is some extra skill needed to manage the sugaring paste, but the application of wax or sugaring paste on your skin and then its removal is the same.

It takes a little practice with both waxing and sugaring to realize how fast and at what angle you should pull to remove the entire hair. If you’ve had a professional wax session before, then you have a good idea of how to grab the wax or sugar and quickly flick your wrist to remove the hair with the least amount of pain. But even if you haven’t, it only takes 1 or 2 tries before you get the handle on the best way to remove sugaring paste or wax.

Winner: No clear winner

Both sugaring paste and wax remove hair in the same way and so require the same type of skills to do well.

Compare – Convenience

Sugaring and waxing are definitely far more convenient than shaving because they last so much longer.

Between the two, sugaring might have a very slight edge over waxing in terms of convenience because you can just wash off the residue of the sugaring paste when you are done removing hair. To remove wax residue, you have to use an oil that will stop your skin from feeling tacky or sticking to clothes. But with sugaring, you can just hop in the shower or wash the area you just sugared with some warm water to remove all stickiness.

Winner: Sugaring

Sugaring is a slightly more convenient process than waxing because its residue is easier to remove.

Summary – So which is better

Sure, we have broken down the pros and cons of both sugaring and waxing and it may seem like sugaring is the better option. But we don’t think sugaring has a clear leg up over waxing. We think that sugaring and waxing are very similar, but with one big difference:

Sugaring has all natural ingredients and so is better suitable for those with sensitive skin that is easily irritated or acne prone.

Waxing has more options in terms of aromatherapeutic benefits via essential oils and skin conditioners as well as types of wax, like for face or for bikini.

Otherwise, whether you choose waxing or sugaring is up to your personal preferences or adventure level.

To learn more about sugaring, read our guide to sugaring at home and how to pick a sugaring recipe or product to get starting on removing hair with sugaring.

Want to get into waxing? Read our guide to the best wax kits available today and how to wax at home as painlessly as possible.

How to prevent ingrown hairs after waxing

And how to treat ingrown hairs after they show up

When you wax your hair, you pull it out from it’s root or follicle. Sometimes, when the hair regrows, it can regrow inward rather than outward like normal. This results in an ingrown hair which can be annoying to deal with. So how treat ingrown hairs before they happen?

In this article:

Waxing Technique

I’m going to assume its not your technique of waxing your hair, and move onto how to prevent ingrown hairs on legs, arms, face, bikini, or other parts your body via exfoliation. But before I do, a quick explanation.

Sometimes if your professional waxer is in a rush or maybe you’re waxing at home
and you haven’t quite figured out the technique, the hair might be breaking instead of being pulled out. This can cause ingrown hairs. Notice if your professional waxer is pulling the wax or wax strips off your skin surface at a 45 degree or lower angle. This means, let’s say your leg is laying horizontal on a table. The waxer should not be pulling the wax strips off in a motion that goes up vertically, but the removing wax motion is also more horizontal like your leg than vertical. I remember when I first started waxing at home, afraid of the pain, I’d pull up towards the ceiling. So bad technique could be a reason for ingrown hairs.

Why Exfoliate?

However, everyone, despite technique, is prone to some (or many) ingrown hairs when the hairs grow back in. So how to prevent them? One word with many methods – Exfoliation.

Exfoliating the top and dead layers of your skin can help remove those layers before they trap hairs underneath and cause ingrown hairs. Rather than waiting for ingrown hairs to happen, and then dealing with them, it’s better to exfoliate as a preventative measure. Exfoliating helps speeds up the shedding of your outer layers, which happens naturally but at a slower pace.

There are 2 types of exfoliation, physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation, that can help prevent ingrown hairs as your new hairs grow back in.

Let’s take a closer look at physical and chemical exfoliation.

Physical Exfoliation for Ingrown Hairs

Physical exfoliation manually rubs off your outer layers of dead skin faster than they fall off so that new hairs do not get trapped beneath those layers of skin.

There are several ways to physically exfoliate and most of them happen during your shower or bath. You can dry brush before showering, but loofas, hand sponges, exfoliating scrubs all help remove dead skin while you are showering or bathing.

Here are some recommendations and short reviews of good physical exfoliators:

1. Exfoliating Gloves

These are gloves that you can wear in the shower and have an abrasive texture. You put the gloves on, grab your body soap and lather up the gloves. Then you rub your soap lathered gloves over your legs, arms, and rest of body like a loofah. While you soap your body, the abrasive texture of the gloves helps exfoliate each limb of your body.

This is a great, lazy man’s way to physically exfoliate in the shower because it combines soaping and exfoliating. We also throw our exfoliating gloves into the washing machine with our weekly laundry to sanitize. It takes a much longer for these to wear out to need replacement than loofas or other sponges.

2. Exfoliating Scrub

Only a few years ago, a lot of exfoliating body scrubs had tiny plastic beads in them that you would feel as the exfoliating beads. Then when you rinsed off in the shower, those plastic beads went down your drain and out into rivers and oceans and started collecting and harming fish populations. Finally, they banned these plastic microbeads. Still, we are not comfortable recommending brands (ahem, rhymes with “hives”) that used to use those beads, but yes those brands do work, and yes they are cheaper. We aren’t about shaming you for your purchases, but we wanted to explain why we aren’t recommending a more obvious brand.

Personally we’ve found that whatever they’re using as the new natural replacement for those beads are still too hard or too big to properly exfoliate. In contrast, charcoal, sea salt, or brown sugar make for a great and natural exfoliant that dissolve after long contact with water.

We can recommend Natural Activated Coconut Charcoal body scrub and Himalayan Salt Body Scrub.

Here are more exfoliating body scrubs. Search for “natural body scrubs” or “exfoliating body wash” to find specific products that might work for you.

3. Loofah

This one you probably already use or know of. Wet and lather your loofah with body soap and then rub your limbs in a circular motion to soap and exfoliate simultaneously.

This is a cheap, economical solution. If you change out your loofah every 3 months like you’re supposed to, this costs you a total of $10-15 per year.

We can recommend this pack of Ecofriendly loofahs. Purchased once a year, they’ll last you a whole year without having to think about buying a replacement.

4. Dry brushing

Dry brushing is another multi use option for physical exfoliation. It’s commonly used as a preventative for cellulite by stimulating your lymph nodes and skin, and is done before stepping into the shower while you are still dry. Physical exfoliation is actually a side effect benefit of dry brushing.

So if you want to target both physical exfoliation and cellulite, dry brushing is a great option.

We like the dual purpose of this Wet and Dry Brush for days where you don’t have time to do a full body dry brush before your shower.

Downsides of physical exfoliation

It’s very easy to get overzealous about physical exfoliation and end up damage your skin’s moisture barrier. Physical exfoliation gives you immediately smooth skin and so you might be inclined to enthusiastically scrub your skin daily and by the time you realize you over did it, it’s a little too late.

So we highly recommend that you start with a 1-2 times a week schedule. Moisturize once you get out of the shower and pay attention to your skin. Is it feeling tight during the day or visibly showing dry skin? Scale back. No? You could add a 3rd session in the week if you want to, but again pay close attention to your skin.

If you’re using a loofah or a glove sponge, be sure to replace or sanitize them regularly.

Chemical Exfoliation for Ingrown Hairs

Chemical exfoliation uses an acid to help remove a certain layer of outer shedding skin with each use. These acids can include AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids, or even ASAs or Acetylsalicylic Acids.

There are further types of AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids, BHAs or or beta hydroxy acids, and ASAs or acetylsalicylic acid – like glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid , and even aspirin. Each of these acids have different sized molecules and target the skin in different ways, that we’ll cover shortly.

AHAs are commonly used for antiaging functions because they help increase skin cell renewal, or help remove outer dead skin to show the inner younger skin. Learn more about alpha hydroxy acids via our guide to AHAs.

BHAs are another penetrative acid that helps remove the outer layer of skin. Learn more about beta hydroxy acids via our guide to BHAs.

And ASAs can be used to help unblock pores and reduce inflammation, and act as a painkiller.

Note: This might be obvious to some readers, but we still wanted to make note. Do not use chemical exfoliators immediately after hair removal! It will hurt. Give your skin a chance to heal, at least 24 hours and even 48 hours to be sure. Then proceed with chemical exfoliation.

Here are some recommendations and short reviews of good chemical exfoliators:

1. Amlactin Body Lotion


This is our favorite everyday chemical exfoliator for ingrown hairs because it is a body lotion not just a treatment and so it is easy to use this daily as your post shower moisturizer and ingrown hair preventative at the same time.

It has 12% lactic acid and most people are able to use this lotion every day without over exfoliating their skin. That’s another great thing about Amlactin Body Lotion – it was made for daily use so it’s amount of acid is effective enough to exfoliate but not so high that you could run into problems with over exfoliation. Lactic acid is also considered a mild acid because its molecules are bigger than say, glycolic acid. The smaller the molecule of the acid, the more likely it is to penetrate your skin and the riskier it is to use on a daily basis.

Finally, there is a BIG WARNING about using AmLactin daily we must share: YOU HAVE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN on top of using this lotion. We cannot emphasize that enough! Never use an AHA acid (lactic, glycolic, mandelic acids) on your skin without using sunscreen as well. These acids speed up the turnover of skin cells but also make your newer skin underneath very sensitive to sun damage. You don’t want to be getting rid of the top layers, getting nice young baby skin, only to be aging it faster and causing irreversible damage to your skin. For more on AHAs, check out our skincare guide to AHAs.

So if you do not wear sunscreen or are likely to skip sunscreen, DO NOT USE this. If you plan on using it only in an area that will not see sun (like bikini area), then it’s okay to use.

Read more verified reviews of Amlactin Body Lotion here.

2. Tend Skin


Tend Skin is our favorite ingrown hair preventative and treatment. Unlike Amlactin which acts as both a body lotion and an exfoliator, Tend Skin is specifically an ingrown hair product that can used only on your ingrown hairs or you can treat any larger area that is generally prone to ingrown hairs to get them before they begin.

Tend Skin uses an ASA, or Acetylsalicylic Acid, which is another word for aspirin. Yes, aspirin. It acts as both an anti inflammatory and unclogs your pores and so is highly effective on ingrown hairs, both as an ingrown hair treatment and as an ingrown hair treatment. It’s an industry favorite and for good reason. It does what it says it does!

Read more verified reviews of Tend Skin here.

3. Other AHA acids for ingrown hairs

We like Amlactin but we also wanted to make note that you can use almost any AHA acid or chemical exfoliator that you use on your face as an ingrown hair treatment with the proper care and attention. Amlactin makes it easy to moderate the strength of lactic acid in a formula for everyday use. But if you use lactic, glycolic, mandelic acid at home for your face and skin, you can use it on say, your bikini line, to deal with ingrown hairs as well. For more on AHAs, check out our skincare guide to AHAs.

The key to using these acids for ingrown hairs to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Pay attention to your skin. Is it a extra strong acid that you use once a week on your face, like a 50% lactic acid peel? It might be too strong for as a regular ingrown hair treatment. A 10-15% acid that you use as part of your nightly routine might make for a better regular treatment.

Again, if you’re using an AHA anywhere where it will see the sun, wear sunscreen!

We like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Lotion with 8% Glycolic acid and CosRx AHA 7 Whitehead Power which also has glycolic acid.

Here are some more of the gentler AHA options. Use keywords like “10% glycolic acid” or “15% lactic acid” to see more specific products.

4. BHA acids for ingrown hairs

Have you tried AHAs and found them to be too hard for your sensitive skin? Or you don’t wear sunscreen regularly enough to use an AHA?

You can use a BHA, beta hydroxy acid, that act as a gentler exfoliator and does not make your skin sensitive to sunlight. You have probably heard of BHAs like salicylic acid and azelaic acid being used commonly as acne medications and in anti aging formulas. Their main role is to penetrate pores and clean them out from the inside, which can make BHAs very effective for ingrown hairs. They can target the ingrown hairs before they become inflamed. Like AHAs, they help speed up skin cell renewal. For more on BHAs, read our skincare guide to beta hydroxy acids or BHAs.

Pregnant women should not use BHAs. Unlike AHAs, BHAs are most effective at low dosages.

We like CosRx BHA Blackhead Power and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Gel with 2% Salicylic Acid.

Here are other BHA options. Use keywords like “2% BHA” or “2% beta hydroxy acid” to see more specific products.

Treatment: How to treat ingrown hairs after they show up?

In an ideal world, you stop getting ingrown hairs altogether. But sometimes all of our best efforts to prevent ingrown hairs, you wake up with an angry red spot marking the beginnings of a hair that didn’t grow up and out.

To treat ingrown hairs that are already showing, we recommend more of the preventative measures – physical or chemical exfoliation. If you’re using chemical exfoliation, you could also spot treat.

Once the ingrown hair’s head starts to show (it will start to look darker because the hair is visible), you could also use an extractor to encourage it come out altogether. Use this very gently however. Press the looped oval around the hair and if it doesn’t come out easily, leave it, spot treat and try again the next day.

The solutions for preventing and treating ingrown hairs are mostly the same. But its better to start before they appear. It is a bit more effort but make it a routine and it will be worth it long term to not have to treat ingrown hairs.

Home Remedies for ingrown hairs

Alright, so it’s late at night and there is nothing you can buy that will show up immediately. What to do? Here is how to treat ingrown hairs after waxing with home remedies in a pinch.

1. Aspirin

As we mentioned, in the industry favorite ingrown hair preventative and treatment – Tend Skin – aspirin plays a major role. Do you have any aspirin laying around? Crush a tablet of aspirin on a flat hard surface using the back of a spoon. Gather up the powder and add a few drops of water. Mix until it forms a paste.

You can apply this paste on your ingrown hairs to help reduce redness and encourage the pore to open up. Is this recipe a total replacement of the benefits of Tend Skin. No, but this great for reducing irritation right this minute.

2. Witch Hazel

Some people swear by witch hazel as an ingrown hair treatment. So how does this work?

Witch hazel is an astringent. It helps shrink your skin and pores and by forcing this constriction, it helps the pore push the irritating hair to the surface.

So this is another great way to treat ingrown hairs after waxing with home remedies. It may not be strong enough but it is worth a shot if you have some witch hazel at home.

Try a Different Method of Hair Removal

Sometimes no matter what we do, the ingrown hairs do not lessen or go away. If that’s the case, it’s worth considering a different method of hair removal. Other than waxing, you can look into using an epilator. Or you can look into a more permanent method of hair removal like IPL or laser hair removal.

Best 5 At Home Waxing Kits

A complete guide to: At home waxing

Hair removal by waxing is most commonly done in professional salons by aestheticians. If waxing is your go to form of hair removal or you want to try saving time and money, waxing at home is a great option. At home waxing kits make it easy to prep and wax with little clean up needed. And they can save money. Let’s learn more about about the at home wax kit options available today.

In this guide:

Reviews for 5 of the best home waxing kits

We used countless home waxing options to select the top 5 home waxing kits available today. To help you select one to try, we evaluated each of them on features, ease of use, preparation, and clean up. Lets see what they are.

1. Gigi Student Starter Kit: Our Top Pick Home Waxing Kit

The Gigi Student Starter Kit is best kit available today. It includes everything you will need to have a salon like waxing experience right at home. The kit comes with a wax warmer, muslin wax strips in 2 sizes, applicators in 2 sizes, Pre Epilation Oil, Pre Hon, a wax off, Slow Grow, and Gigi’s All Purpose Honee wax. Gigi makes more 20 different types of waxes for different parts of your skin, from Tea tree wax as a softer antibacterial option for your face to All Purpose Honee for a 1 for all body areas solution, and the Brazilian wax for very coarse pubic hair.

Read more about our favorite waxes from Gigi.

This kit includes 1 can of Gigi’s All Purpose Honee and any of the waxes can be purchased alongside if you want a wax tailored to other areas of your body. All of Gigi’s waxes can be used with this system.

The Gigi Student Starter Kit comes with a wax warmer that you can plug in. The warmer has 3 settings at low/medium/high heat and you heat the wax to high to melt and then lower the temperature to keep it warm. The warmer also has a cover that you can use to cover up the wax container, if need be.

There is a paper collar included in the Gigi Student Starter Kit that goes around the can of wax before you put it in the warmer. The collar helps prevent drips as you scoop up wax from getting on the warmer. You can toss the collar after every or every few uses. The collars can be repurchased in packs.

However, you may quickly realize the collar is just a donut cut out of hard paper. An economical way to replace these collars can be to keep 1 collar and use it as a template to cut a new out of cardboard, cardstock, or hard paper.

The Pre Hon is a skin cleanser that is meant to be the first step of the waxing preparation. It cleans the skin of any make-up, body oils, and deodorants, and helps protect the skin from any irritations.

A bottle of Pre Epilation Oil and of Post Wax Cooling Gel are also included in this kit. The pre-epilation oil helps prepare your skin for hair removal by helping the wax removing strips grip hair rather than skin. This makes the process less painful. The post wax cooling gel helps calm your skin after hair removal.

The Slow Grow lotion is the last step of the waxing process and helps slow down future regrowth of hair through an anti-keratinization process. It also has argan oil which moisturizes and protects the skin.

And finally, the Gigi Student Starter Kit comes with popsicle stick like applicators that are wide and cut at an angle, in 2 different sizes. The can be used to scoop up and apply the wax. Once you’re done, you can throw the stick away and start with a new one during your next wax session. Popsicle sticks can be purchased for pennies at any craft store.


Cons

If you do not have an outlet that is close to where you want to use this, thena microwavable wax might be a better option. You can certainly microwave Gigi’s wax and use it as well

Summary

This is an all service wax kit meant for long term use. You may have even seen it in professional wax salons. If waxing is your go to choice for hair removal, you want a full body wax solution, and you are looking for the best at home wax kit that will last years – the Gigi Student Starter Kit is your choice!

2. Body Honee Extra Strength – Best microwavable wax

The Body Honee Extra Strength at home wax kit is the best microwavable wax option available today. The wax included in this kit is ready to use after microwaving for 1 minute. It can used on coarse hair on arms, legs, underarms, or anywhere else on the body.

However, it is extra strength, and should not be used on on your face, head, nose, or ears. Body Honee also has a separate Hard Wax that can be used for facial waxing.

The Body Honee Extra Strength at home waxing kit also comes with soothing oil based towelettes that should be used after waxing to remove any wax residue that might make your skin stick to clothing. The towelettes are 1 use only and are available for re purchase. But you can also use coconut oil, jojoba oil, or any other oil that suits your skin.

For the actual waxing, this kit offers 2 wood spatulas for applying the wax (in the same direction as the hair grows) and 8 wax strips to remove the wax and the hair (against the direction of hair growth).


Cons

There is the obvious downside of heat. Microwavable wax will cool down faster than a wax sitting on a plugged in warmer. To wax larger areas like full legs, you may need to reheat the wax in the microwave.

This is not a con as much as it is a comparison. This is a more basic kit than the Gigi at home wax kit as it is missing many of the pre and post treatment oils and lotions. However, you may find that they are not as essential for you. You can also try these products in addition if you decide that waxing is your preferred way of removing hair.

Summary

If you do not have an outlet for heating up your wax, a microwavable wax like Body Honee Extra Strength is the best and most convenient way to wax at home.

3. Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit

If you’re looking for all of the extras of the Gigi Student Starter kit but with a microwavable wax, then the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit is worth a look.

The Bliss Poetic Waxing kit was first created for use in Bliss Spas, and then opened to the public in this waxing kit. It was one of the first at home waxing kits available on the market, and Bliss wax can be used anywhere on your body and face.

The cup of Bliss Poetic wax in this kit can be warmed up by heating it in the microwave in 30 second spurts. The cup makes it easy to use and reuse by reheating later.

The wax can be used both like soft and hard wax. It does not include any wax strips or muslin. But it has 6 spatulas in 2 different sizes to apply the wax. Then it can be removed with muslin or you can remove the wax like you normally would hard wax. Using the hard wax method of removing allows you to wax without any muslim strips.

There is a few extras in the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit. First, there is a Super Skin Cleanser to remove body oils, makeup or other product from your skin to prepare the wax to stick to your skin and hair. The kit also comes with a Bliss Poetic Waxing pre and post waxing oil to help the wax stick to the hair and not the skin and help reduce pain. And finally there is an Ingrown Eliminating pad included to help prevent ingrown hairs.


Cons

The microwavable container in this kit is made of plastic, which makes it easier to handle while hot but also cools down the wax faster. So to wax larger areas you’ll need to microwave a few times to keep the wax at a workable consistency.

Summary

If you want a “spa like” at-home waxing experience but prefer microwavable wax instead of using an outlet, try the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit.

4. Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll On Wax – Best Roll On Wax

Let’s start with the best thing about the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax: you can wash it off. Yes, that is right. This wax can be washed off! So no sticky residue ever. With the other waxes we have reviewed, you must use a post wax oil or treatment will helps remove wax residue.

In addition, the strips part of the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax kit are ALSO washable. Just like you can wash off any wax residue, you can also throw the wax strips into the laundry or hand wash them to remove the wax. Then when the strips are dry, you can reuse them!

Both of these conveniences make this a great at home waxing kit, but an even better waxing kit that can be used if you need to travel! Need to wax your legs because you didn’t have time at home and are now on the go? This kit allows you wax at home or elsewhere. Just wash your strips and pack them away.

This wax can be warmed up in the microwave or hot water and then applied onto your skin. The tube of wax looks like a toothpaste tube with a ball that rolls at the end, which applies wax to your skin. Once you are done, just wash off the ball applicator, put the cap back on, and put it away for next time.

As mentioned, this kit also comes with wax strips that can be washed. If you run out of strips or use them enough to wear them out, you can also cut up strips of muslin cloth instead or buy a pack of new Nair wax strips.


Cons

On some of these tubes of Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax, the applicator balls can get a little messy. While you can certainly wash off the wax, you may end up wasting more wax than if you used a kit with a warmer or a microwavable cup.

Summary

The Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax is our favorite on the go AND at home wax kit. It is minimal fuss and it works.

5. Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strip Kit

The Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strip Kit is the most minimal of the at home waxing kits available. It features 40 wax strips and 4 finishing wipes to remove wax residue.

Unlike the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax’s tube applicator, the Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strips offers the wax right on the strip. To use, rub a strip between your hands to warm up the wax, then grip each side of the wax strip and pull it apart.

In this way, each strip becomes 2 wax strips. Each wax strip can be applied to your skin in the same direction as your hair growth and then removed in the opposite direction. Then the wax strip can be throw away.

These at home wax strips can be used anywhere on your body or face. They only get as warm as you are able to warm them up between your hands, so there is no risk of burning your skin. Veet also makes a Facial wax kit with smaller strips that can work better for eyebrows or other facial waxing, but you can also cut the wax strips in this kit down to a smaller size.

The 4 finishing wipes help get rid of any wax residue. You only need 1 for each time you wax, and these can be repurchased if you decide you like them. If not, you can also use any kind of non comedogenic oil to get rid of the post waxing stickiness.


Cons

One big negatives is that if you need to wax a large area like legs more than once, you’ll need several of these at home wax strip kits. However, they certainly make do if you need a solution that works and is convenient.

This kit also does not come with many of the pre or post waxing treatments that several of our other options include.

Summary

You can’t wax endless with this kit, but it takes up even less space in your luggage than the Nair wax kit. Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strip Kit is a great utilitarian solution for a woman on the go.

Types of wax

Wax for hair removal comes in two forms – hard wax and soft wax.

Hard wax is also referred to as non strip wax, peelable wax or hot wax. Hard wax has long been advertized as the better wax as it is supposed to remove all hair without grabbing onto the skin. Commonly, it’s the recommended wax for brazilians or upper lip hair removal. It’s called hard wax because it is liberally applied while it’s pliable and viscous and then it is removed when it hardens.

However, it’s far more difficult to wax with hard wax and even takes experienced estheticians longer to wax the same area with hard wax than with soft wax. It can also be more painful. Even in professional settings, a brazilian with hard wax may take several attempts. Hard wax is applied when warm and becomes less sticky as it cools on your skin. It is then grabbed from an end by hand and quickly removed, taking the hair with it. Because there is no strip, it can be more difficult to get a grip and remove firmly, and so can be a messy and painful process.

None of the at home wax kits we review here have hard wax. All of them use some form of the other type of wax – soft wax.

(If you prefer the hard wax method, we recommend sugaring for a friendlier and less painful at home wax option. Learn more about sugaring.)

Soft wax is referred to such because it is applied when it is soft and removed while it is still soft. After soft wax is applied to your hair, a piece of muslin or wax strip is placed over the wax. When the muslim or wax strip is quickly removed, the hair goes with it, resulting in smooth and hair free skin. The strip or muslin can be discarded. Soft wax also helps exfoliate your skin and removes mature and baby hairs. Soft wax leaves your hair feeling smooth!

Many of the at home waxing kits offer soft wax in several forms – microwavable wax, wax strips, roll on wax, and wax that needs a heat set up. Each of these offer a different kind of convenience and need some kind of electric or or manual heat to soften the wax so that it adheres to your skin.

So why at home waxing?

First, professional salon waxing can really add up. It costs anywhere from $30 per visit for a small area to more than $500 per visit for full body waxes. That can be $6000 or more per year!

Let’s compare that to an at home waxing, which costs about $100 a year which some of the higher price options and even less with a lower cost one. A huge cost difference!

Another great thing about at home waxing is that it can be more convenient to be able to wax at anytime in your own bathroom rather than going to another location for a salon appointment.

If you have never had a professional salon waxing, we do recommend that you go once to see how the professionals wax once before you try at home. If you don’t have access to salons near you and have never waxed your hair before, we recommend watching a video on waxing technique first.

If you have had a professional waxing, then you have an idea of how the wax is applied and removed. Even still, there can be a learning curve to getting the wax temperature warm enough to work but not too warm, how to apply, and how to remove. However, after waxing a small portion once or twice, this learning curve can be overcome quickly.

Features of at home waxing kits

There are many features available in at home wax kits and they come in many price points. So what are the most useful features that make one wax kit a better option than the next? Here are three features to look for.

Preparation

Many of the best at home wax kits available today are soft wax. To use soft wax for hair removal, you have warm the wax so that it can stick to and remove your hair. Some at home wax kits have microwavable wax, others come with a custom heating machine, and others just need to be warmed up by rubbing your hands together. So the first feature to look for is what heating source you will need for the wax.

The most efficient at home wax kits come with their own wax warming machine that can be plugged in. These warming machines heat up the wax to different temperatures to ready the wax for use and then help keep it at an even temperature while it is used. You do need an electrical outlet near where you would like to use it.

If you do not have an outlet then microwavable wax can be very convenient. This type of wax can be microwaved for a short time and then used until it cools. Wax does not cool very quickly so you can use it for as long as it easy to work with, and then microwave again. If you need to wax in a location that does not have an accessible outlet nearby but want to wax a large area, then microwavable wax is a great solution.

Finally, there are roll on and wax strips. This type of wax can be warmed with your hands. They can be rubbed between your hands to warm up and then applied to your skin and removed for smooth skin. This type of wax can be great for small areas or for quick waxing where you do not have time to wait for wax to warm up.

Does it work?

The second important feature to consider in each at home wax kit is the efficiency – does it remove hair well? Several factors work together to create a good at home wax kit.

The wax must warm enough to use comfortably via the recommended heating method by the manufacturer, whether by microwave, by hand, or by heat warmer.

The wax strips, whether built in or offered separately as rolls, should be easy to use and easily remove the wax with little to no residue.

Some wax kits also offer accessories like catch collars that help catch extra wax or wide popsicle sticks that help spread the wax on your skin in decent quantities. These can be thrown away each time you finish waxing. These accessories are cheap but if you do not want to spend money on more, you can easily find cheaper or almost free options. We’ll cover these as we review the top at home wax kits later.

Cleanup

Finally, the last important to feature to note in these at home wax kits is how easy is it to cleanup. Does the kit offer options or accessories that can be tossed after every use and that help with cleanup?

Perhaps the wax applicator can be tossed after each use. The wax strips can be thrown out. Is the wax easy to work with at a good consistency that does not drip? Some waxes are very drippy and not cool to a easy-to-work consistency very easily and these waxes can create a bigger mess in your bathroom than is worth it.

How to wax

1. Prepare

To get started, gather your wax, popsicle stick applicators, and wax strips. Warm your wax in the microwave, hot water, or wax warmer to a comfortably warm temperature so that you do not burn yourself.

If you bought wax strips in rolls, cut a few pieces off the roll in various sizes. Wash your skin with a warm water to remove an lotions or body oils, or apply a pre waxing treatment that will remove any lotion residues from your skin.

2. Apply wax

Dip your applicator in the wax, let some of the excess drip off back into the wax container, and apply on your hair IN the same direction as your hair grows.

Depending on what you are waxing, you can get different applicator styles that can make it easier to apply the wax. Regular rounded applicator sticks are great for larger areas. The rounded applicator sticks also come in a convenient smaller size for under arms or smaller areas. Then there are also skinner angled applicator sticks that are great for eyebrows or for achieving straight lines on your bikini wax.

3. Remove wax

If you’re using soft wax, press your wax strip down on the applied wax. Then pull the wax strip off in the direction OPPOSITE hair growth. You’ll find best results in you pull at a 10-20 degree angle from your skin surface. Don’t pull straight up at 90 degrees because you’ll end up with broken instead of pulled hairs. You won’t be able to pull the wax strip off as fast either, which will also cause more pain.

A common mistake with waxing yourself is to pull the wax or the wax strip up and away. What does that mean? So let’s say your leg is horizontal to the ground and you are waxing your elg. This means, because you’re anticipating pain, you pull the wax away towards the ceiling at almost a 90 degree angle. You’re probably also breaking hair and at that angle, pulling your skin more than you need to.

What you actually want to do is remove the wax a very low angle compared to the body part your are waxing. So if your leg is horizontal, you apply the wax horizontally, and then try to remove the wax by pulling in a close to horizontal angle. This way can reduce broken hairs, remove hairs from the root, and reduce pain.

If you’re using hard wax, use your fingers to grab one end of the wax and quickly pull off the wax to remove the hair. If you can’t get a grip, use your finger tips to slightly peel up one side so you can get a grib

4. Soothe skin

Your skin will be very red after the hair is pulled out, and may even feel like it is burning. Immediately after pulling off the wax,
you can press down on the wax area to lessen the burning sensation.

After you are done waxing the entire area, you use a post waxing oil to sooth and condition your skin. You can also use an all natural aloe vera gel to quickly heal any over exfoliated skin (waxing can sometimes pull off skin too, aka exfoliation, and sometimes it is too much) or soothe any redness. You can also apply a light hydrating lotion that will not clog pores.

What about pain

Waxing can be a little painful. However, many find that it is less painful that many of the other long lasting hair removal techniques. Some may even find it waxing less painful than epilating or that epilators work better on their arms and waxing is less painful on their legs.

As you start waxing at home, you will also notice that the pain improves with your technique. You should apply the wax in the direction that hair grows and remove the wax strip against the direction of hair growth. You’ll find that there is a sweet spot angle at which the strip should be removed for little to no pain. If you have never had a professional waxing, we do recommend you experience at least session and watch closely. But if you can’t, there are countless video tutorials available on technique that can help you perfects yours for a painless wax experience.

10 tips for pain less epilation

Do epilators hurt? How to make epilating easier and pain free

Using an epilator can be incredibly painful. Like waxing, the epilator removes hair by yanking many hairs out from their roots at the same time. Pain tolerance varies from person to person. For those with sensitive skin, using an epilator for the first time can be a scary and painful task.

But it doesn’t have to be. With some planning, epilation pain can be reduced or even eliminated. Using the following tips, you can make epilation hair removal as easy and painless as shaving but with longer lasting results.

In this article:

Tip 1: Epilate right after a warm bath or shower

Warm baths or showers make your hair softer and open the pores in your skin. Epilating is easier right after a warm shower for this reason.

You can also epilate while in the shower, which can make clean up easier. This brings us to our next tip…

Tip 2: Use a wet/dry epilator

Wet/dry epilators can be used in a shower or bath in addition to dry situations. These epilators are waterproof. Epilating in the middle of shower can make it easier to contain and clean up the hair. You can also wash off your epilator while still in the shower.

Many wet/dry epilators are travel friendly and you can use them in your home or in a hotel. For example, the Braun Silk Epil 9 comes with led lights and is battery powered. So is the Panasonic ES-ED90P which also has multiple epilator heads that allow you to epilate, shave, and do it a pedicure.

Tip 3: Pull skin taut

Make sure the epilator has a flat tight skin surface to skim along, so that it can capture as many hairs in every pass. Pull your skin taut in areas such as your armpits or upper thighs or wherever your body is softer. Less passes over skin means less pain.

Tip 4: Avoid goosebumps

Try to epilate when you are warm, if you are prone to goosebumps. Goosebumps make it harder for the epilator head to touch a flat skin surface. This can result in the epilator breaking hairs halfway instead of pulling them out from the root. These hairs will grow out sooner and will feel like stubble. Epilate when your skin does not have goosebumps for a longer smoother result that does not hurt as much.

Tip 5: Exfoliate

Exfoliating your skin a few days before epilating helps remove dead skin and any ingrown hairs that need to be epilated. Also exfoliate a few days after epilation to minimize ingrown hairs. Add a little brown sugar in your normal body wash for a natural scrub or a body wash scrub like Gigi No Bump Body Scrub.

For a spa like exfoliation, use exfoliating gloves like the Aquasentials Exfoliating Bath Gloves. The gloves are also good for reducing ingrown hairs after epilating. They make it easy to exfoliate and act as a loofah for your body wash.

Tip 6: Shave for an easier start

Shaving is an indirect way of exfoliating. Shaving 2-3 days before your first epilating session is a good way to start slowly. Shaving will reduce the number of hairs available for epilating and your first time will be less painful. As you condition yourself to the minor pain, you can continue epilating every few days with more hairs as they grow back out.

Tip 7: Use a numbing cream

If you are extra sensitive, use a numbing cream like No Scream Cream to numb your skin temporarily for epilation. You won’t feel the pain as much. This is especially an option for more sensitive areas of the skin, like under arms.

If you experience pain after epilating, press a cold compress or an ice pack immediately on the skin to numb the skin. You can also use products like witch hazel toner or an antiseptic lotion like Finipil to reduce the pain, prevent ingrown hairs, and keep the newly smooth area clean. If you are prone to breaking out after hair removal, Finipil can go a long way to help keep your skin hairless without break outs.

Tip 8: Take an over the counter pain medication 30 minutes before epilating

A last ditch option can be a regular strength over the counter pain medication for short term numbing. For best results, take 30 minutes before epilating.

HOWEVER! It not recommended that you take pain medications for every hair removal session. If you are not able to tolerate the pain, it is a better idea to look for a different method than epilation. Shaving, depilatory creams, laser hair removal are all great and less painful options.

Tip 9: Wait 6-8 hours after coffee or soda

Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel greater pain sensation while it’s in your system. It takes 6-10 hours for caffeine to exit your system. It will vary person to person, but you may find that waiting until there is no caffeine in your system means a less painful epilation session.

Tip 10 (for women): Epilate right after your period

Epilators do hurt more during menstrual bleeding. Many women report their bodies are the least sensitive to external pain in the 3 or 4 days right after, and most sensitive right before their period. You may or may not also notice a similar pattern with your own pain tolerance. If you do, then you will find it less painful to epilate right after your period. So if you have trackable or regular periods, epilating during your next period or in the days after might be easier.

Other women report low sensitivity during ovulation, due to the increase in hormones. By keeping track of your sensitivity over the month, you might find that you are more or less sensitive to hair removal pain during certain body events. These windows might make for an ideal time for a pain free epilating session.

Still no luck?

Have you already tried all of these and epilating is still painful? Shaving might be a good painless backup for you. But you still have to shave more often to maintain smooth skin.

Waxing is also a similar option. Getting waxes at salons can add up. But nowadays there are more and more at home waxing systems on the market that can save you money.

If epilating, or waxing, are too painful and you find that you have to go back to shaving, an at home laser system might be a good option for you. It requires shaving before use. With each use, it also helps kill the hair follicles. Over time, you will see less hair growth and have to shave less often. So if epilating or waxing don’t work for you or your lifestyle, try an at home laser hair removal system along with shaving for long term benefits.