But epilation has always been the underdog of hair removal, if you ask us.
It may be associated with a fair amount of pain, but the results are seriously impressive and long-lasting at that, meaning the humble epilator is still a desirable device.
If you're new to epilating, we consulted experts at hair removal brand No!No! who answered all our questions, before trialling seven of the best epilator devices on the market.
What is an epilator?
"An epilator is a beauty device that uses a tweezing mechanism to extract hair from the root so the regrowth is slower than a razor or shaver."
Do epilators hurt and what can you do to make it less painful?
"Sometimes yes – it all depends on the type of hair you are trying to remove. However the more you remove hair by this method the less painful it gets.
You can reduce the pain through a couple of methods, using heat or cold. First, you can have a hot bath or shower beforehand, as this warms the skin, gets the circulation moving and opens the pores so the hair removes a lot easier. Secondly, you can actually “numb” the skin slightly by using ice packs."
How does an epilator work?
"When you switch on your device, the wheel with the tweezers built in spins round, with the tweezers opening and closing at speed. This grabs the hair and removes it quickly. The number of tweezers can vary from device to device."
How do you use an epilator?
"Epilators are easy to use. You turn the device on, place the head against the skin and then move the epilator upwards. The tweezers grab the hair and remove at speed."
How long does epilating last?
"Dependant on the hair regrowth of each particular person, you can epilate once a week or sometimes once every other week. Over time the hair regrowth can become less frequent, and sometimes stop altogether."
Where can you use an epilator?
"People mostly epilate on their arms, legs, back, and toes. You can use epilators on the face, but usually you will get a specific epilator head. You can in theory use an epilator at the bikini line, but as this hair is a lot courser than anywhere else on the body it is a lot more painful!"
See the seven best epilators, tried and tested.
Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex 9010 Epilator, White/Gold
The favourite of our tester, this epilator has a lot going for it. Firstly, it has a sensitive setting as well as full power, meaning if you’re new to epilating, you’ll feel slightly less intimated and can ease into the process. The moveable head is a really big plus, making it far easier to use on areas such as knees and ankles. It definitely becomes less painful as you use it, and it is notably less noisy than other devices tested. It’s waterproof and the wider head speeds up your defuzzing.
Buy now £159.99, lookfantastic
Philips Wet & Dry Epilator Series 8000 BRE740/11
As its name suggests, this can be used on both dry and wet skin, making it a versatile buy. We found the curved head a huge help when using on the legs. Overall, it gives smooth results, despite not picking up slightly finer or shorter hairs. A notable con is the loud noise it makes, but this certainly isn’t a deal breaker. There are extensive attachements for every area of the body.
Buy now £179.99, Boots
No!No! Excellence - Cordless Epilator
There are several features that make this a fine choice, from its handy stand (none of the others tested came with one) to the purse-friendly price tag. The epilator did provide impressive results given that it is so affordable, but there are certain design elements that could be improved. These include the tough on and off button, which is certainly not easy to use one handed, along with the fact there is only one setting. The curved head is also more of a hindrance than a help, as it prevents super close contact needed for shorter hair.
Buy now £28.00, Amazon
Remington EP7700 7-in-1 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator
Remington’s model came a close second to our favourite. It did the job well, resulting in smooth skin and no hair in sight, and its physical features are a big selling point. It has two settings, which can be controlled with a press and slide button that’s very easy to manoeuvre even when used wet. It is lightweight, and has a grippy back meaning more precision and a safer feel. The pack comes with six attachment heads, from one for smaller areas to a massage tool for sore skin. Perhaps the only downside to this one was the noise, which isn’t a huge factor for most.
Buy now £52.49, Amazon
No!No! Genius 4 in 1 Beauty and Hair removal kit
This is a great product set overall, which offers shaving, facial cleansing and massage as well as epilation. Given that the price point is under £35, it’s all the more impressive. The epilator itself has one setting, which if you are new to epilation, may seem a little intense and intimidating. As it’s super slimline, it’s great for smaller areas, but you may get a little fed up with this one if you’re epilating legs.
Buy now £34.99, Boots
Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 Epilator, White/Rose Gold
Our tester used this epilator in the shower, which some experts and brands recommend doing for slightly less pain, as the warm water can feel a little more soothing. However, this made the device slightly less user-friendly, as the slide on-and-off control was more difficult to use. The overall results were good, but it caused small areas of bleeding (which is normal when epilating), and also left a few patches of hair.
Buy now £99.99, lookfantastic
Panasonic ES-EL9A Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator
Panasonic’s epilator is a good mid-range buy with a solid review from our tester. It has three levels of intensity to ensure that it is surprisingly less painful than you’d expect epilation to be. It can be used on both wet and dry skin, but we’d recommend trying it wet with a shower foam for more glide. The LED light is also super handy for spotting missed areas.
Buy now £77.35, Amazon