Just like putting your makeup on, there’s an art to epilating. While dozens of women swear by this method of hair removal, there are plenty of others who claim that the agony of it all just isn’t worth their while.
Could it be possible that they’re just not doing it right? Read these tips and decide for yourself:
1. Choose the right epilator for you
First things first, you need to make sure you’re using the right epilator. There are many different kinds available, and many women find that one style is far less painful, or far more efficient, than another style. Some epilators have a rotating disc mechanism, some use rotating spirals of wire, while others use multiple tweezers to yank those irritating hairs out of your legs. It may be that you have to try all three types before you find the one you’re most comfortable with.
While the hair-pulling mechanism is the most important consideration, be aware of other features that may make your experience more rewarding. You can choose between dry and wet epilators, corded or cordless, while some more expensive models are designed with in-built massagers or cooling devices to lessen the pain, features that can make epilating much more bearable.
2. Starting out
For first time epilators, it’s advisable that to do so at night time, or even one day before you step outside and flaunt your newly de-haired legs. For most women, the first few times they epilate will almost certainly be painful, and they’ll definitely experience a lot of redness.
Many women advise taking a hot bath before they epilate, and this is especially advisable for first times. The warm water helps to open up those pores, so you can wash away any oil on your skin. It’ll also help the hair to stand up on end, which makes them a better target for your epilator.
3. How to epilate the right way
As stated above, epilating is almost a kind of art – there’s most definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about it, so pay attention and focus on what you’re doing.
The trick to successful epilation is holding the epilator at a 90° angle at all times. Most epilators will tell you to do just that in the instruction manual, as this is the optimal angle at which the hairs should enter the epilator, so the tweezers or discs can grab those hairs securely from the bottom.
The second most important tip is to epilate in the opposite direction your hair is growing (against the grain, if you like). Third, while you should never push the epilator too hard against your skin, it must always remain close to the skin – so apply very gentle pressure as you epilate at all times. Fourth, don’t rush it! You need to move the epilator slowly across your skin.
While epilating, be sure to use your other hand to stretch the area of skin you’re going over, as this will help the hairs to stand up on end and make them easier to grab. Just remember that no matter how expensive your epilator is, or how many rave reviews it’s received, no device is perfect. No doubt you’ll come across some difficult areas where you’ll need to go over the hair two or three times.
4. After epilating
Silky smooth skin is the ultimate goal, and unless that can be achieved it’s probably not worth putting up with the pain of epilating. Even so, you should realize that epilating alone is not going to achieve that goal. Your skin will only feel smooth so long as it’s kept well moisturized, and so it’s essential that you exfoliate immediately after you’ve finished epilating (not to mention, at least once a week!).
Jump right in the shower after epilating and apply a good exfoliating scrub, and don’t forget to rinse it off well.
You’re also going to need to lock that moisture into your skin, and the best way to do so is by applying body oil five minutes after you get out of the shower. Oil helps to keep your skin hydrated, and ensures a gorgeous sheen as well.
5. Final tips (so you don’t scream the house down!)
• Never, ever epilate when your hair is too long, as doing so is sure to be much more painful than normal. The optimal length with most epilators is between ½ and ¾ of a centimeter, although this might vary from model to model, so be sure to check. If it means shaving your legs first of all and then waiting a couple of days for the hair to grow back – so be it!
• If epilating really gets too painful, try switching between your arms and legs.
• If you find you’re starting to sweat while epilating, throw on some talc and make sure the area of skin is dry before you continue.
• Last of all, you might want to avoid epilating while you’re on your period – lots of women say it makes the experience far, far worse!