Epilators provide an efficient and convenient alternative to time-consuming hot wax treatments and shaving. They result in elegant, silky smooth skin with long-lasting effects.
Epilators for women are usually gentle on the skin, causing a relatively painless sensation when compared to waxing and completely avoid the fast reappearance of shaving stubble.
Best Epilators to buy in 2021
Before we get into our picks for the best epilators to buy in 2021, here’s a comparison table highlighting some of the main features of our top choices. Remember, these features are what should determine the best epilator for you, so go through each of them carefully.
1. Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex 9-010
The revolutionary design of the 9-010 features a unique, fully flexible, angled head. It provides superior control and manoeuvrability for improved reach, particularly in awkward areas of the body. The head also has an exceptional width, making epilation fast and efficient.
The Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex 9-010 can be used wet or dry and is completely waterproof. Being able to use the epilator submerged significantly reduces the amount of pain you will feel, there’s even an anti-slip coating on the ergonomic handle that makes it comfortable to use in wet conditions.
Inside the head are forty stainless steel tweezers that have an increased length and width to easily remove hairs as short as 0.5 mm, this ensures you’re always getting as close to silky smooth skin as possible. Included is an attachment for sharp, effective shaving and an additional cap that conveniently adjusts it to trim long hair.
The exfoliating brush has strong yet gentle bristles to invigorate your skin by removing dead skin cells, leaving it with a smooth, glowing appearance. The device has two speeds for gentler epilation in sensitive areas of the body.
The Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex 9-010 also includes SensoSmart, an advanced system that activates a red light if you are exerting too much pressure. The device is comfortably lightweight to use for long grooming sessions and has a relatively quiet operating mechanism. There is a generous running time of fifty minutes while recharging takes approximately two hours.
- Unique, flexible head makes epilating effortless
- Can be used submerged to help reduce pain
- SensoSmart helps you control pressure to prevent scratching the skin
- Hairs can break off if they are too long
- One of the most expensive models
2. Braun Silk-Epil 7 7-561
This affordable cordless epilator can be used wet or dry, providing a high level of convenience and versatility, particularly for newcomers to epilating. The ergonomic, elegant design of the device makes it comfortable to hold securely even if your hands are wet.
The head features a pivoting mechanism enabling you to maintain excellent control when negotiating angles or curves. It also includes small massage rollers that help to provide a comfortable, reliable performance during use.
There are forty individual tweezers inside the compact head with the capability of removing short hairs that are no more than 0.5mm in length. Made of hypoallergenic stainless steel, the tweezer mechanism can be rinsed under running water for easy cleaning and maintenance.
A Smartlight illuminates the skin to effectively highlight fair or stray hairs. The Braun Silk-Epil 7 7-561 has two speeds that are controlled by a large, centralised dial that is easy to use even in damp conditions.
It has a running time of forty minutes, and recharge takes as little as one hour – making this epilator one of the fastest recharging models available. The set comes with eight versatile attachments for shaving, trimming and exfoliating. Also included is a rounded tip bikini line trimmer that can be used like a pen for easy control.
- 40 tweezers in the compact head provides effective hair removal
- Smartlight easily detects individual hairs
- Can be recharged in just one hour
- The running time often seems considerably less
- Pivoting head needs careful handling otherwise tweezers can catch the skin
3. Braun Silk-épil 9-890
The extra-wide head of this elegantly designed epilator provides fast, even hair removal in both dry and wet conditions. It’s 100% waterproof for versatile use underwater, which may help to reduce any discomfort.
Hairs are plucked by forty stainless steel tweezers which offer a high degree of control through the pivoting action of the head. There is an additional massage cap that can be fitted to minimise any discomfort when using the device sensitive areas.
Sturdy, but lightweight, the Braun Silk-épil 9-890 is ergonomically designed, making it comfortable to hold during lengthy sessions. The large speed dial is easy to adjust and includes a gentle speed for sensitive hair removal.
A Smart sensor instantly turns on a red warning light if you are applying too much pressure to prevent you from damaging your skin. There is also an additional cap for the head that massages the skin to help reduce discomfort.
Run time is very generous at fifty minutes, while recharging can take up to two hours. Included is an optional shaver head with a cap that enables you to trim long hairs. For versatile grooming even in sensitive areas, the package also contains an additional bikini line styler for precise trimming.
- Extra-wide head provides generous coverage
- Sensor technology alerts you if too much pressure is applied
- Massage cap helps to make epilating gentler
- Occasionally breaks hairs causing patchy regrowth
- Slow speed setting not always effective at removing hairs
Best Epilator Buying Tips
Although all epilators use the same principle of hair root removal, there is a wide range of models to choose from.
Important factors to consider include choosing a wet or dry operating system, the effectiveness of the head’s hair removal mechanism and whether cordless epilators offer more advantages than corded.
Wet versus Dry Epilators
Both wet and dry epilators have distinct characteristics that affect performance and results.
The best battery operated wet versions are guaranteed to be 100% waterproof, making them perfect for use while in the bath or shower.
The main advantage is that warm water softens the skin and opens the pores slightly to enable the hairs to be pulled more easily from the roots’ follicles. Soap can help to act as a lubricant to improve the manoeuvrability of the device and to cushion the action of the head’s mechanism.
Dry epilators are usually corded, providing the convenience of consistent power, but they cannot be used in wet conditions. They generally result in a faster, more effective removal of hair than wet models.
Without the presence of slippery water, individual hairs can be firmly gripped and pulled cleanly from the follicles. This helps to reduce the risk of ingrowing hairs and results in smoother, silkier skin.
Regular epilator users frequently claim that wet operating mechanisms are less painful than dry models. However, it’s best to remember that everyone’s sensitivity to pain is unique, making it difficult to form a conclusive judgement unless you’ve personally tried both.
Corded versus Cordless Epilators
Corded epilators run on electricity, providing an uninterrupted power source. They are ideal for long or impromptu hair removal sessions as they are available to use at any time. However, they only offer a dry operating mechanism and cannot be used in a wet environment.
Cordless epilators are available as both wet and dry models. Powered by batteries, they are easily portable and convenient to use in any location at home or on holiday. However, the main disadvantage can be a reduced performance when the battery power is low and waiting for the device to recharge.
Some epilators can take up to fifteen hours to become fully charged. Typical running times can vary widely between thirty and fifty minutes.
Hair Removal Mechanisms
The original epilators used a spring coil mechanism to catch the unwanted hairs, but they were unreliable and often painful. Modern designs feature rotating discs or tweezers that move at incredible speed.
This type of head contains rows of rotating discs manufactured from stainless steel or ceramic. Both materials are rust-resistant, hypoallergenic and easy to clean, but the ceramic version can often have a rough texture to help catch the hairs more effectively.
High-quality epilators usually include tweezers of robust stainless steel that snap together as the head rotates, precisely plucking individual hairs before releasing them.
The action is incredibly fast and considered by many users to be more effective and less painful than the discs. Fast, effective hair removal depends on the number of tweezers the head contains, which can vary considerably from eight to around fifty.
Do epilators hurt?
As you are pulling out hair by its roots, epilators will normally cause a certain amount of discomfort. However, most feel that this process is less painful when compared to waxing, keep in mind that everyone’s tolerance to pain will differ.
Pulling your skin taut, exfoliating prior to using an epilator and using a numbing cream are all great options to consider if find using an epilator to be painful.
How long does it take for hair to grow back?
Depending on your individual cycle for hair growth, epilation usually leaves your skin smooth and completely hair-free for two weeks. The hair then gradually regrows to its full length during weeks three and four.
How does epilation compare to waxing and shaving?
Epilation and waxing have identical regrowth patterns, but shaving needs to be carried out every three days as it only removes the tip of the hair, leaving the root intact. Epilation is the simplest and fastest method.
Do I have to wait for hair to completely regrow before using an epilator?
No. You can effectively use an epilator on hair that is between three and five millimetres.
Why does hair break off when I use an epilator?
It could be the length of the hair. If it’s longer, perhaps around ten millimetres, you’ll gain more satisfactory results if you trim the hair first.
Does epilating make hair increase in strength?
It’s quite the opposite! Regular epilating gradually reduces the number of times the root can regenerate and causes the regrown hair to become finer.
Will using an epilator dry my skin?
All types of exfoliating and hair removal can encourage dry skin, but using a moisturiser with a gentle formulation should help to prevent redness and keep your skin in good condition.
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Hopefully, our epilator reviews and buying guide has convinced you how fast and effective epilation can be compared to alternative hair removal methods.
The best epilators should have the ultimate convenience of wet and dry systems, a tweezer mechanism, choice of speeds for a gentler action on sensitive skin and versatile accessories for trimming long hair before use. Our featured models offer excellent value for money across every budget range.