what is epilating smooth legs

What is epilating, and does it hurt?

You woke up early to spend the time to shave your legs properly. We mean the whole thing: exfoliating your skin, taking your time with the curve of your kneecap, everything. You’re tired, but now you have smooth legs you can’t wait to bare today in the dress you picked out. Everything was great until you hopped out of the shower. A brief chill made your legs prickle, undoing all of your work. Now you just want to rip all of the hair out already. We feel you; we’ve been there. But, maybe like you, we can’t afford the upkeep of waxing, so an epilator was the solution. But wait, what is epilating? We’ll explain.

Waxing and laser hair removal have obvious value. It’s a load off the mind to be able to skip out of the door in the morning and ignore the razor. But sometimes their cost outweighs the value. (Or, even if it doesn’t, you just don’t have the money to invest right now.) But you’re not tied to the razor. An affordable middle step is investing in an epilator. There’s just one thing you’re still not clear on: What is epilating?

Wait, what is epilating?

So, what is epilating anyway? It’s sort of like that wax you get, but without a messy home kit full of half-melted wax. (You know you tried it once and made a mess. We did, too.) Epilating is the process of using an epilator, a small electrical device that essentially plucks hairs out one-by-one or in small groups. An epilator looks just like an electric razor, except it boasts tons of tiny tweezers ready to grab your hairs while it rolls across your skin. Think tweezing your eyebrows, but somewhere closer to the speed of waxing.

If you’re thinking that sounds horrible, we get it. But there are some true payoffs to epilating that make it worth consideration. Here’s what might sway you to try it at least once.

The benefits of epilating

Since you’re pulling the hairs out at the root, they’ll take longer to grow back in. That means more time with silky smooth legs before the stubble interrupts short season. Although experience varies person-to-person, users report smooth legs for two weeks up to a solid month. Even better, like your eyebrows, you’re damaging the hair follicle slightly every time you epilate. Over time, you’ll notice less hair growing back and even potentially lighter, thinner hair in place of your once dark and thick stubble.

what is epilating

Angelina Litvin

But one of the best benefits is the savings. Unlike waxing, your investment is upfront and there’s little to no recurring costs along the way. Once you have an epilator, you have an epilator. It’s there for you to use whenever you need it as long as you keep it charged. Keep an eye on sales for even more savings because, yes, they are up for occasional discounts. I picked mine up in this year’s Prime Day, snagging it for 40% off.

But wait, do epilators hurt?

Seriously, do epilators hurt, is probably what you’re still wondering. Epilating dates back to the 80s, so if you ask women who have stuck with it since then, the answer will probably be no. Think about tweezing your eyebrows. The first couple times it did hurt a bit, but that faded, and fast. Now you don’t bat an eye when you pluck an errant hair. They say epilating is the same way.

But does epilating hurt for me? I’ve only used mine twice, so I’m a novice. I also never got my legs waxed, preferring to save the money and shave at home. For me, yes, it still hurts. It is, however, a very specific pain. It’s somewhere between the pluck you know from your eyebrows and a burning sensation that fades into a warm tingle. After a couple minutes the pain turns into mild discomfort, though certain areas are more sensitive than others.

What’s the best epilator for me?

After sorting through tons of reviews, I finally chose the Braun Silk-épil 9 9-961V Epilator bundle. It boasts one of the highest tweezer counts on the market (40) and comes with accessories for exfoliation to keep ingrown hairs at bay. The bundle also comes with a smaller epilator for delicate areas like your bikini line and eyebrows. Altogether it usually sets you back $149 on Amazon, but Prime Day marked it down 40%.

If you know you have sensitive skin, though, you should go with an epilator with fewer tweezers. It will take longer to get an area done, but you’ll feel less pain while you’re doing it. An epilator made specifically for tender skin with good reviews is the Braun Silk-épil 3-3270 Epilator. The company itself markets this as “the light way to remove hair.” It’ll only cost you about $35 on Amazon, and it’s available through Amazon Prime if you’re itching to get started.

Stay tuned for tips and tricks for epilating, coming soon to keep your beauty regimen drama-free.

Lexie Barnhorn

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