Rachel is experienced with facial epilators and shares tips for a beautifully smooth face.
This is a little embarrassing, but I . . .
. . . I have hair on my face.
And I don't mean your standard soft and nearly invisible peach fuzz. Oh no no no, my friends. I'm a woman, boobs and all, and the hair on my chinny-chin-chin could rival any man's. Alright, it's actually not that bad. But it IS noticeable. Noticeable enough to get stares and comments. Noticeable enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Noticeable enough that, on some days, I feel down.
Shaving Didn't Work
That's when I began the lovely escapade known as shaving. Which, to be honest, sucked. My hair would grow back so quickly that I'd have to shave my stubble one to two (yes, two) times a day.
Tweezing Was Better
Absolutely desperate to find a way to better get rid of this facial hair, I stumbled upon tweezing. And let me tell you, it was a God-send. Kind of painful? Haha, yeah. But only at first. My facial hair grew back sooo much more slowly, my face was finally SMOOTH, and there was no stubble! No little shadow chin while the hair grew back in after hours.
The problem was, tweezing each individual hair on my chin took a long, long time. Like an hour. And I would get neck cramps from having to angle my face every which way so that I could see the hairs in the mirror. It was just too time consuming. On top of that, the pain lasted the entire time.
Epilating Is the Best
Then, by the power of Grayskull: Walking into a Sally's, I came across an amazing beauty tool known as an epilator. And, my friends, I have never looked back.
Needless to say, I have a lot of experience with epilators. And, to help those of you ladies out there who have unwanted facial and neck hair, keep reading.
What Is an Epilator and How Does It Work?
An epilator is a small hand-held machine that holds a bunch of tweezers (some epilators have 70+ tweezers). It removes the hair by grasping them all at the same time and then pulling them out. Sounds like a horror movie, I know, but really it's a fun process (for me anyway) and not as bad as it sounds.
The epilator has a rotating head with tiny half-discs. As the head moves in a circle, the discs come together and apart to work like tweezers. They grab the hair as they close in, and pull it out as they rotate. This whole process happens very quickly.
Epilating basically works like really fast tweezing or waxing. Depending on how fine your hair is, some hair that is tweezed may get cut off instead of tweezed out. However, if you already use tweezers, you can most likely benefit from using an epilator.
FYI: Epilators can be pretty loud. I have two epilators and they both sound like little engines. But don't worry. Using one for the first time can be intimidating, but you will quickly get used to it.
Tips for Using an Epilator on Your Face
- EXFOLIATE! Get a luffa and exfoliate both before and after using an epilator. This step will make epilating easier and prevent ingrown hairs.
- For the love of God, TUG. Tug the skin tight, tight as you epilate. This is very, very important. Taunt skin allows an easier time for the hair to be pulled, significantly lowering the chances of broken hair!
- Do not apply lotion or oil before epilating. Clean and dry skin is what you need.
- Some epilators are water-proof, but most are not. Make sure you read the manual. The two epilators I recommend later, for example, are not water-proof.
- Hold the epilator perpendicular to your body, not parallel. Make sure the skin is pulled tight.
- Take a pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol about 30 minutes before you start. This will help with the pain that can come with epilating. The more you epilate, the less you will need to take pain medication.
- Don't rush. You have to take your time with epilating.
Emjoi Tweeze eRase for Facial Hair
Frequently Asked Questions About Epilators
How Do I Deal With Ingrown Hairs?
I've been facial epilating for about seven years now, and I still occasionally get ingrown hairs. The best two things you can do to prevent ingrown hairs are 1) exfoliate and 2) use an ingrown hair serum. If you're not exfoliating, start now. That said, sometimes exfoliating just isn't enough. We weren't really meant to shave or tweeze our bodies in the first place.
- I use a product called Tend Skin, which helps get rid of ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and razor burns. Tend Skin can be a little rough for those with sensitive skin.
- I'd also recommend visiting your local wax center or salon and asking for a recommendation on a good product for ingrown hairs. I also really, really love to use European Wax Center's Ingrown Hair Serum. It's great for those with sensitive skin.
- You can also use an ingrown hair extraction tool.
Can I Use an Epilator on My Face?
Yes! The epilators I recommend near the bottom of this article are what I use and recommend for others looking to use a facial epilator.
Can I Use an Epilator on My Underarms?
Yes! One common question women have is whether using an epilator will prevent the discoloration or darkness that some people get on their underarms. It won't. It won't darken the skin, but it won't lighten it either.
How Do I Clean My Epilator?
Use alcohol (or an alcohol-based cleaner) to clean the "blades". This is very important. You could get an infection or bumps on your skin from not properly cleaning your epilator. Do not just use water.
Should My Hair Be Short or Long? Does It Matter?
Yes! A good length for epilating and waxing is one centimeter. Don't let the hair get too long--the longer the hair, the higher the chance the hair will break off or not be pulled out completely. Let broken hairs grow out before attempting another tweeze.
What About Baby/Talcum Powder?
Some people use powder to absorb moisture on their skin before epilating. It helps, to be honest, but according to some sources, talc can be dangerous for your health (in fact, I've come across some baby-related websites that tell you not to use the stuff). Look for a baby powder that doesn't contain talc, such as brands with rice powder or corn starch as the first ingredient. As an example, Burt's Bees has a baby powder that is talc-free.
Can I Use an Epilator on My Bikini Area?
Yes, just be careful!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can I use an epilator on my cheeks?
Answer: You can use a facial epilator on your cheeks. However, I wouldn't recommend it. You might be overly concerned with baby hairs -- really fine hair that you're really only going to notice by staring at a mirror for a while, especially a zoom mirror, such as a 2x or 3x mirror. For unwanted hair on the cheeks, I'd recommend a regular tweezer or not doing it at all, depending on where the hair is located. Close to the hairline around the upper part of the cheekbones for instance. However, if not careful enough, could hit the hairline.
Question: I epilate my upper lip and I do exfoliate it before and after epilation. But I get little bumps and they turn into pimples which are very awkward to look at. Can you please help me with this problem?
Answer: So for my upper lip I actually don't epilate because that particular area is SO sensitive. I have found a woman's face hair trimmer helps with that issue way better than an epilator or singular tweezing for thicker, longer hairs. I have found with some people that those bumps are actually a sort of reaction to the hair being removed, like an allergic reaction (though not necessarily), where the skin is just real sensitive.
Ashe on June 25, 2020:
I bought the Venus facial epilator but afraid to continue to use it. It seems to break the hair instead of pulling out the root.....should i get a better epilator? I heard you shouldnt use non facial ones on your face. Do they leave stubble?
sasha smith on May 09, 2018:
I really like my karmin epilator, I recommend it.
Sara on August 19, 2017:
I've epilated my face once and I was happy with the results. But I'm scared of using the same epilator on my body, because if i use the epilator on my face, will the germs/bacteria from my other body parts stay on the epilator blades and break out my face?
Rachel (author) from United States on April 27, 2015:
For me, it's once a week. I just started taking a medication that should hopefully slow the growth soon.
Tessa on February 13, 2015:
What I'd like to know is how often do you find you have to use the epilator?
Jeri on December 21, 2014:
I have a central nervous disorder that makes shaving feel like I'm dragging a serrated knife against the bone. I truly hope this works. The pain is going to be great, but if I only have to do it once every month and a half, it beats shaving every other day!
Rachel (author) from United States on October 21, 2014:
I'm so sorry! I am too 29 and dealing with the -exact- same thing. Just recently got the Tria for my chin, but alas--not seeing results. Back to shaving and epilating!
CC on September 21, 2014:
I have Polysystic Ovaries, so I my hormones are all out of whack and I have gross amounts of hair in all the wrong places, especially my chin. It is thick, it is black and it is plenty! I have been shaving since i hit puberty. I am now 29. The hair on my chin has been an on-going struggle, it effects my life, my self esteem and my confidence. It makes me sick to my stomach everyday just thinking about my chin. I have to shave every day and sometimes twice, so i am constantly getting razor burn and bumps. It just destroys me. I haven't tried laser removal as the lady said because I have PCOS that it would just come back. I have tried electrolosis, it was just too painful for me. That's why i am a little scared to use an Epilator, even though ive bought one already, lol. The hair on my chin is a little too short right now because I just shaved yesterday, so i am waiting for it to grow out. I am trying to talk myself into trying it on a different body part. I have a very low threshhold for pain, lol. Anyways I just wanted to say to "Hersame" that this article really helped me and gave me really great tips, im still very nervous, but it's helped me calm down a bit, lol. Just thank you for writing this and I can really very much relate to your chin issue!
Mariam on August 07, 2014:
I have brown epilator 7, but i founditvery painful to useon bikni area.
Any tips to avoid pain plz..
T on April 10, 2014:
Can I epilate my underarm without using an underarm cap? :/
Erica on April 05, 2014:
Do you use anything while epilating, like for instance a gel, foam or even soap?
ylen on May 02, 2013:
I never ever leave comments BUT!! I can't tolerate pain very well at all, I want to scream when I get a wax and have left with half done so I didn't think an Epilator would work for me because of the pain. However, I really like that I tried it and am hooked. I used in on my bikini area, my legs (eeks that took a few tries to get used to the stinging sensation) and yesterday my underarm. I am glad I bought one, I have course hair that grows fast, I have to shave everyday so this is money well spent. :) And I got mine on clearance, it was $59 and was marked down to $29. I am not sure how to clean the heads with alchohol though as mentioned above since it's not water proof.
emma on July 16, 2012:
is there one without sound?
MyEpil on January 26, 2011:
I used the Emjoi epilator almost everyday in the summer but I'm not going to tell you to use it. Everyone is different. Before you jump on the epilator bandwagon, it's important to figure out what it's really like. Your expectations, hair density, pain tolerance are all important factors.
If anyone's interested, I've written my experiences over 6 months (plus tips and other info) in my blog.
tactilicious on June 06, 2010:
braun silk epil for me, about 6 years now. It really doesn't hurt as much as people say, and once the hairs get thin and lighter, it really is no big deal at all.
FCI103 on March 02, 2010:
Definitely agree Silk Epil is the best since they stay working. However don't agree with staying away from Epilators over $100. If I did I wouldn't own the best one ever made(in my opinion)Silk Epil Xpressive Wet/Dry. Will agree if you're not totally dedicated to hair removal, no need for the better one. Sure can't understand what all the crying is about getting ingrown hairs. I mean sure yanked hair hurts a bit, but chopping your skin with a razor or getting a chemical burn from wax or depilatories? Believe me that is the worse of the evils, especially on underarms or private parts! Sure the Epilady was a drag, but these Epilators of today are faster than waxing, but only if you take your time and not try to rush hair removal. Somethings being slow pays off, and with Epilation is a windfall going slow. From all the years of hair removal(23years)believe me have learned a lot!
Rachel (author) from United States on August 21, 2009:
I know. I love epilating.
Ronaldo on August 16, 2009:
Really epilation is great fun!!