Do Epilators Hurt? Yes! How To Calm The Pain

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

If you’re considering getting an epilator, one of the key questions you’ll ask is: do epilators hurt?

Yes, epilating hurts, sometimes quite a bit! For many, it’s like getting a tattoo. Is there anything you can do to make it hurt less?

Yes, there are ways to make epilation less painful. For example, you can epilate in water. If you want the less painful option, go for water epilating. 

In this article, we’ll show how water epilation is better for your skin than dry epilation. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which method works best for you. 

By the end, you’ll understand why epilating in water is less painful, and for many, a great option. With frequent usage, you’ll have smoother skin in the long run.

So let’s begin!


Do Epilators Hurt?

Epilators get a good grip on your hair follicles, then rip them out in a cluster. It hurts a lot, though the amount of pain depends on the location on the body you’re working on.

For example, the bikini area hurts more than the arms, because there are more nerve endings in the bikini area.

We have put together an article on the epilator pain scale to go into more detail on this.

Does Epilating In Water Hurt Less? – Explained

No products found.

When epilating in the shower or bath, the pain your skin experiences is minimized.

Make sure to take a warm shower or bath before epilating to open your skin’s pores and soften the hairs on your body. 

Wet epilation is a good idea because it keeps your skin lubricated. This makes it easier to glide the epilator across the surface.

In addition, you can clean your epilator before you go. 

Note: most epilators are wet/dry, and can be safely used in the shower or bath. But be sure to check that the epilator you’re using is safe for the shower. If’s it’s not water-safe, then epilating in the shower will definitely be more painful. And deadly.

How To Epilate In Water

Philips Epilator

Relax your body by staying in the water for 5 minutes before epilating. By doing this, you give your skin time to open up the pores and reduce the impact of the tweezers. Avoid using hot water, as it would only cause additional pain throughout the procedure.

Once ready, turn on the epilator, start removing hair from the leg, and move slowly towards other regions. If it’s hard to reach an area like your back, don’t be afraid to ask someone to help with that area. 

Shaving 2-3 days before epilating will help the process go smoother. That’s because you’re keeping the hair in a clear and organized manner.

Always be patient when using an epilator. This will ensure that your cuts are precise and less destructive on your skin. 

How To Reduce Pain During Epilating

Philips Epilator

Let’s face it: it’s virtually impossible to have a painless epilating session.

While the tweezers are designed to remove your hair, you still have to be careful while using them.

Here are some ways to reduce your pain before and after you use an epilator:

1. Moisturize

Moisturized skin is the key to any successful skincare operation. Apply a moisturizer onto the skin 1-2 days in advance to reduce irritation. This will lead to smooth results and create silky skin. 

2. Use Numbing Creams

For those who have sensitive skin, try using a numbing cream. Look for one that contains Lidocaine and then place it on the area you’re attempting to exfoliate. 

However, numbing creams can be expensive, so make sure you use them for the extremely sensitive areas of your body (i.e., bikini line and face). Read the instructions before using them to prevent the chance of skin irritation. 

See also: Best Laser Hair Removal Numbing Cream

3. Start Slow

It can be tempting to use an epilator at high speed at first to get it over with. But you’re harming your skin in the process. Start at the lowest speed. This results in a smoother, cleaner tweeze compared to high-speed hair removal.

After a few minutes of using the epilator, you can increase the speed if you think it needs readjustment.

4. Shave Beforehand

When epilating, you’ll want to shave your hair a few days beforehand. Doing so reduces the amount of hair the epilator needs to pull up.

Unlike razor shaving, you don’t have to wait for your hair to grow to a considerable size to remove them. 

See also: What’s The Difference Between an Epilator and a Shaver?

5. Go Slowly

If you want the best results with an epilator, always go slowly. Start by moving it at a 90° angle and placing it towards the skin’s surface. This reduces the risk of epilation pain and ingrown hairs. 

Remember, if you are experiencing pain from your epilator, it could be due to the increased pressure on the skin. 

6. Exfoliate Your Skin

You’re going to have to exfoliate your skin before using an epilator. You remove pores and dead skin cells that are detrimental to your skin by doing so.

Alternatively, dry brushing is just as effective at reducing your epilation pain. 

7. More Tweezers = Less Pain

When looking for an epilator, the more tweezers, the better. They have fewer strokes through the hairy areas because they can track multiple hairs at once.

That way, the passes aren’t painful, and you can clean your skin more easily.

8. Use it Frequently

If you’re trying to remove hair from your skin in the long term, then you should use your epilator once every four weeks. This gives the hair enough time to grow back.

After repeated usage, you will get used to the epilator. 

Like any waxing routine, the first time you use an epilator is going to be the worst. But the pain will subside after continued usage, so make sure to use it when it’s the right time for it. 

Why Should I Epilate In Water?

While water epilation has better pain relief, it has more benefits than that. Here are some of them:

Easier Clean Up

If you’re cleaning your hair dry, you’re going to experience a lot of mess afterward. You’ll have to spend more time cleaning the hair from the ground, making the cleaning process seem longer than it needs to be. 

With water epilation, you can rinse the remaining hair down the drain. This results in a more streamlined cleaning process. So use water epilation. If you want optimal hair removal and less clean-up time, use water epilation. 

Reduced Pain 

Epilating in the water allows your skin to become more relaxed. Your nerves are unable to process multiple forms of pain at once. So the water will keep your nerves from processing the pain from the epilator.

Should I Epilate While Dry?

No products found.

Alternatively, you can remove hair from your skin via dry epilation. You probably won’t be smiling like in the stock image above, though!

Dry epilation provides more convenience than epilating in water. You can simply charge your epilator and start removing unwanted hairs immediately. 

However, you might experience more pain through using this method. If you’re afraid of using water, then go for the dry method. But clearing your hair while wet is a better option if it’s your first time epilating. 

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).