The 10 Best Epilators for Smooth Skin from Head to Toe
When it comes to hair removal, there are tons of different routes you can go, but using an epilator is probably one method you've never thought to try, or maybe something you've never even heard of. An epilator is basically an electrical device with tiny rotating tweezers and since it removes hair from the root rather than just trimming it, it's actually a great option for those who don't like to shave every day but don't want the mess of waxing, either. It's one of those meet-in-the-middle solutions you'll be happy you tried.
If you're new to epilating, though, it can be quite an intimidating process, especially when it comes to determining what epilator to buy. That's why we researched the best epilators on the market for seamless, pain-free hair removal and silky smooth legs, arms, bikini lines, and more. To put together this list, we looked at each epilator's head, tweezers, speed settings and power source. The Braun Silk-Epil 9 9-579 Wet & Dry Epilator is a particularly great choice no matter your experience level because it comes with tons of extra attachments and features a wide head for fast yet precise epilation.
Ahead, find the best epilators you can buy, stat.
- Best Overall: Braun Silk-Epil 9 9-579 Wet & Dry Epilator
- Best Value: Remington Smooth & Silky Deluxe Epilator
- Best Splurge: Braun Silk-épil 9 9-030 with Flexible Head
- Best for Face and Upper Lip: Tweezerman Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover
- Best for Travel: Finishing Touch Painless Hair Remover
- Best for Bikini: Epilady Speed Corded Epilator
- Best for Legs: Emjoi AP-18 Emagine Dual Opposed 72 Tweezer Head Epilator
- Best for Underarms: Panasonic Cordless Shaver Epilator
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Philips Beauty Satinelle Epilator
- Best for Beginners: Braun Silk-épil 5 Epilator
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Braun Silk-Epil 9 9-579 Wet & Dry Epilator
Best Value: Remington Smooth & Silky Deluxe Rechargeable Epilator
Best Splurge: Braun Silk-épil 9 9-030 with Flexible Head
Best for Face and Upper Lip: Tweezerman Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover
Best for Travel: Finishing Touch Painless Hair Remover
Best for Bikini: Epilady Speed Corded Epilator
Best for Legs: Emjoi AP-18 Emagine Dual Opposed 72 Tweezer Head Epilator
Best for Underarms: Panasonic Cordless Shaver Epilator
Best for Sensitive Skin: Philips Beauty Satinelle Epilator
Best for Beginners: Braun Silk-épil 5 Epilator
What to Keep in Mind
Most epilators have heads that rotate and flex to the contours of your body, which helps you get hard-to-reach hairs and tricky areas like the underarms. Keep an eye out for this type of head as it will offer more control, less irritation, and more effective hair removal.
You'll want to take a look at how many tweezers are inside the epilator. Epilating larger skin areas like the arms and legs will be easier and faster with a device that has more tweezers, but it may also create more pain if you have sensitive skin. You should also look for tweezers that are wide and long as they will have a better chance at getting in deep as well as reaching short, stubby strands.
Certain models come with special features and attachment heads that help reduce pain in sensitive skin areas, like the underarms and bikini area, which is great for those who are prone to irritation and redness. Look for an epilator with replaceable heads, various speed settings, massage modes, and other features if you want to get the most bang for your buck. Plus, various speed settings allow you to tackle thicker hair and can even help reduce coarseness over time.
Epilators that have both wet and dry functionality are ideal as they offer more versatility and use. Whether you're planning on using your epilator in the shower or out of it, you'll also want to make sure that you've chosen an epilator with an ergonomic, slip-proof grip for a more controlled and precise glide.
Your Questions, Answered
How do epilators work?
Epilators work by removing hair from the root using dozens of rotating tweezer heads. They essentially pluck dozens of hairs at once — even those small, fine hairs that are hard to reach. Unlike shaving, which simply cuts hair from above the skin surface, epilators pull the entire hair out from the root so you likely won't see hair grow back for a few weeks.
How do you safely use an epilator?
Epilators are relatively simple to use. Instead of pressing it against your skin like you would a razor, just hold the device at a 90-degree angle and slowly glide it against your skin in the direction of your hair growth. When you're done, finish up with a soothing body lotion. Dr. Ava Shamban, a Beverly Hills-based, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, recommends using "a light physical or enzymatic exfoliation the day of the treatment to ensure that dead skin cells, excess sebum or build up is broken down and the pathway is clear." She also advises cleaning the device after using it and waiting till hair has returned to 1/8 inch before epilating again.
Does epilating hurt?
Like with waxing, the amount of ouch you feel truly depends on your pain tolerance. If plucking one hair is too much to stomach, you might want to choose another option. Otherwise, it's worth a shot for longer-lasting results. "Minimal discomfort is the best way to describe it," says Dr. Shamban. "It feels like a minor and momentary "zing" to the area that dissipates as soon as you move the roller to the next area. It should not be painful - certainly no more so than tweezing or waxing." Plus, the longer and more frequently you epilate, the higher your pain tolerance will be.