For starters, epilators work by “plucking” the hair from its root. Naturally, that’s supposed to hurt – and yes, it does, but only if there aren’t any precautions taken to reduce the pain. In fact, epilating can be a painless process, irrespective of the skin type or length of the hair.
Below is a checklist of some of the methods I use to lessen the intensity of pain during epilating.
Wet the Skin Before Epilating
This is an easy and straightforward way to reduce epilating pain. Because I have a dry and wet epilator, I simply jump into the shower, lather the skin with a foaming cream or gel and start to epilate in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Of course, there’s a slight amount of pain, but I can tell you that it’s tolerable. While epilating under water may take relatively longer to get rid of the hair, it reduces the pain by up to 40%. Never mind about the water bill, – epilating under water will not have a significant impact on the cost of water.
Those who don’t own a dry and wet epilator can take a warm bath to help open the skin pores before epilating. (This applies to those with a dry only epilator).
Exfoliate to Get Rid of Dead Skin Cells
When I don’t have a lot of time to epilate in the shower, I prefer exfoliating a day or two before epilating. Apart from eliminating dead skin deposits, exfoliation also gets rid of a significant percentage of ingrown hairs. In essence, this means that most of the hair is gone by the time I epilate which by extension translates to lesser pain. It also reduces irritation and inflammation of the skin after epilating.
I would recommend using a standard scrub or an exfoliating glove for this process.
“Tighten” the Skin While Epilating
Some call it holding the skin taut, but I prefer referring it as tightening the skin because I feel it describes the action better. What does it involve? Well, the title says it all – it entails holding the epilator with one hand while the other hand “tightens” the skin. Even though I don’t use this method quite often, pulling the skin as tight as possible will significantly reduce the amount of pain.
Numb the Skin Before Epilating
A numbing cream formulated with lidocaine can help lessen the intensity of epilating pain. Numbing creams containing Elma can also be used to reduce pain. I have never used a numbing cream before, but it is important to check the active ingredients before applying it on the skin, in particular for those with sensitive skin. Better yet, seek the advice of a dermatologist regarding the cream’s active ingredients and the reaction it would have on the skin.
Important Tips to Remember
- Applying ice on the skin after epilating can help reduce irritation
- Some background music will help distract the mind from the entire process
- Avoid epilating during the menstrual cycle when the skin is more sensitive
- Caffeine increases the skin’s sensitivity – avoid it before epilating
Epilating doesn’t have to be a painful process. All it takes to reduce pain while using an epilator is to make sure that the hair is as loose as possible. Besides, for those who have the money to spend, there are high-end epilators that come with an integrated massage system to reduce the pain and the sensation.