11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (2024)

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (1)

When it comes to hair removal methods, epilating has stood the test of time, and for good reason.

Unlike waxing, which requires a seriously high pain threshold, or razors, which need a new head every month (and still leave us with in-grown hairs), epilating is a fuss-free way to achieve smooth skin, without the rashy side-effects.

However, they don’t come cheap, so we asked our ELLE Lab beauty testers to put the latest models through their paces. Scroll down to see our full edit, along with everything you need to know about epilating.

Which Is The Best Epilator?

Is Epilating Painful?

The number one question people ask before epilating is: ‘Is it painful?’. We’re not going to sugarcoat it; yes it can be. But epilation is on the same pain scale as tweezing your eyebrows, as it plucks hair directly from the root.

Nicole Wedderburn, UK Brand Manager at Remington explains: 'Epilators use a rotating barrel and tweezing mechanic to pull unwanted hair from the root, unlike shaving, which simply cuts the hair at skin level. The barrel is covered in tweezers and, as it rotates, the epilator plucks the hairs to leave your skin smooth and hair-free.'

As with most things you’d rather avoid — say, an unreasonably early morning meeting — the more often you epilate, the easier it gets.

'Typically, epilating causes some minor discomfort,' says Wedderburn. 'This is considerably reduced with repeated use as your skin adjusts to the process and the hairs become thinner.'

Top tip: Try taking a warm shower before using your epilator, or even using it in the shower (if you have a waterproof one) to help soften the skin and ease the pain.

How Often Should You Epilate?

This depends on how quickly your hair grows and what epilator you're using, but typical results will last for at least four weeks (a lot longer than shaving, that's for sure).

'It's beneficial to have a routine when it comes to epilation, as this will help the skin get used to this method of hair removal, making the process more comfortable over time,’ says Wedderburn. ‘After epilating, the hairs are much finer and, over time, it becomes less time-consuming.’

As with most things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Can Anyone Epilate?

Just like trying a new skincare product, it’s best to err on the side of caution when making any changes to your hair removal routine. But can anyone use an epilator? Almost always, yes. 'Anyone can epilate, although it's always advisable to consult your doctor first if you are suffering from any skin irritation,' explains Wedderburn.

For obvious reasons, delicate areas (hello, bikini line) may be a bit tender or just a general no-go area for some. Wedderburn advises using a lower setting or speed on these more sensitive areas.

'Don't use an epilator on the eye area and scalp, and don't epilate on irritated skin or skin with varicose veins, rashes, spots, moles or wounds without consulting a doctor first,' she adds.

To make sure skin is prepped and ready, skincare expert Nathalie Eleni recommends exfoliating 24 to 48 hours before epilating to remove dead skin cells that may trap short hairs underneath. 'This will provide you with a more successful and smoother result,' she says.

'Regular body brushing also works really well ahead of epilating as it increases the circulation, blood flow and drainage from the lymphatic system, which will improve the results. Use a soothing moisturiser afterwards but nothing fragranced or perfumed. For best results, epilate before bed to allow your skin to settle while you sleep.'

How We Test Epilators

In the ELLE Lab, our beauty pros asked testers to try a range of epilators to see how effective they were at removing hair.

Our panel judged them on how easy they were to use, their design, how well they removed hair and how much regrowth was spotted after a period of four and eight weeks of continued use.

To give you even more choice, our ELLE Editors have also picked out their fuzz-fighting favourites below.

Best Epilator

Braun Silk-Epil 9561 Wet & Dry Epilator

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (13)

Best Epilator

Braun Silk-Epil 9561 Wet & Dry Epilator

Now 56% Off

Slow and steady wins the race with epilating (it does pick up all those teeny tiny hairs after all), so you’ll be there a while, which can result in some serious arm ache.

This lightweight option, with a built-in light, means you can take the time to meticulously reach all areas of the body — without needing any weight training to prep.

We found it did a great job on both wet and dry skin. Plus, the pain wasn’t that bad either (with the exception of the underarms and bikini line because, well, ouch…).

Key Specifications

Able to use both wet and dryYes
TypeCordless
Included6 head attachments (shaver head, trimmer cap, efficiency cap, precision cap, massage pad, exfoliating brush) and charging stand.

Runner Up Best Epilator

Braun Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex Beauty Set Epilator 9-100

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (14)

Runner Up Best Epilator

Braun Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex Beauty Set Epilator 9-100

Now 50% Off

Introducing our runner-up epilator, which was nimble to manoeuvre and comfortable to use — so, no post-pamper arm ache here! There’s an unparalleled range of attachments, allowing you to try your hand at facial cleansing with the electric brush head, traditional shaving for sensitive areas, and obviously all kinds of epilating. Some testers did find the eight options overwhelming, but there’s no pressure to use them all.

But back to its main function... it uses 40 tiny tweezers to pluck hair, ensuring smooth skin for weeks. That might sound painful, but testers told us the process was fast and efficient. Everyone agreed that after the eight-week trial, their hair regrowth had slowed right down.

Key specifications

Able to use wet and dryYes
TypeCordless
Included8 head attachments incl. caps (facespa, shaver head, exfoliator, 4 facial brushes)

Best Epilator For Beginners

Braun Silk-Epil 9 9/980 SkinSpa SensoSmart Epilator

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (15)

Best Epilator For Beginners

Braun Silk-Epil 9 9/980 SkinSpa SensoSmart Epilator

Now 53% Off

This kit comes with everything you’ll ever need to get you started on your epilating journey and features an in-built 'smart' sensor that flashes red if you’re applying too much pressure, making it the perfect epilator for beginners.

It even comes with an exfoliating brush head, which we found managed to keep ingrown hairs at bay. It removed hairs immediately too, while less regrowth was spotted after eight weeks.

Key Specifications

Able to use both wet and dryYes
TypeCordless
Included7 head attachments (razor, trimmer, massager, optimal skin contact attachment, facial epilator attachment, peeling brush, gentle peeling brush), bikini trimmer with 2 attachments, 1 x AAA battery and a storage bag.

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Best Value For Money Epilator

Remington Smooth & Silky EP7 7-in-1 Epilator

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Best Value For Money Epilator

Remington Smooth & Silky EP7 7-in-1 Epilator

Epilators aren’t cheap but when they come with an array of heads to provide you with everything from a foot scrub to a bikini trim, you’re really getting your money’s worth.

This one comes with seven — yes, you read that right — attachments, which we found did a stellar job. It removed hair immediately and we spotted less regrowth after just four weeks.

Key Specifications

Able to use both wet and dryYes
TypeCordless
Included7 head attachments (Ultimate Contour Cap, Massage Cap with Aloe Vera, Detail Cap, Shaver Head, Bikini Comb, Exfoliating Brush & Pedicure Head).

Best Epilator For Use On Dry Skin

Philips Wet & Dry Epilator Series 8000 BRE740/11

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Best Epilator For Use On Dry Skin

Philips Wet & Dry Epilator Series 8000 BRE740/11

Now 48% Off

Aiming to provide you with smooth legs in just 10 minutes, we noticed this made a significant difference when it came to regrowth, with hairs disappearing all together in certain areas of the legs, underarms and bikini line. It was gentle on skin too, while still providing a lasting smoothing finish.

Key Specifications

Able to use both wet and dryYes
TypeCordless
Included8 head attachments (shaving head, trimming comb, bikini trimmer head, bikini trimmer comb, body exfoliation brush, pedicure foot file, delicate area cap, optimal contact cap,), pouch and cleaning brush.

Best Epilator For Use On Wet Skin

Panasonic Wet & Dry ES- EL9A Epilator

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Best Epilator For Use On Wet Skin

Panasonic Wet & Dry ES- EL9A Epilator

Now 23% Off

This came with a wide variety of extra attachments — we particularly loved the trimmer and exfoliator brush for preventing painful ingrown hairs — and worked brilliantly on wet skin.

Hair growth after the eight-week trial period either grew back finer and sparser or not at all. Pure magic we say.

Key Specifications

Able to use both wet and dryYes
TypeCordless
Included8 head attachments (epilator head, gentle cap, sensitive area cap, shaver head, pop up trimmer, bikini comb, sonic scrub brush, foot care head), pouch and cleaning brush.

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Best Corded Epilator

Braun Silk-Epil 5

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (19)

Best Corded Epilator

Braun Silk-Epil 5

Now 50% Off

Getting that salon-worthy experience doesn’t have to be expensive. This gadget comes in just under £60 and manages to do a decent job.

The lower cost does come at a compromise though — it isn’t cordless, which isn’t a total deal-breaker if you prefer to be out of the shower but it does mean you have to have a socket close by. It effectively removed hair from the comfort of our own bathroom though, so what’s not to love?

Key Specifications

Able to use both wet and dryNo, only dry
TypeCorded
Included6 head attachments (shaver head, trimmer cap, sensitive area cap, facial cap, massage cap and skin contact cap) and cooling glove.

ELLE Editors' Picks

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (20)

Remington Remington EP7500 5-in-1 Corded Epilator

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (21)

Remington Remington EP7500 5-in-1 Corded Epilator

Now 16% Off

This handy epilator comes with five different attachments, so you can find the perfect setting for every area of the body.

The massage technology means it can remove hairs with minimal pain, so no unwanted tears are shed in the process.

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Braun Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex Epilator

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (22)

Braun Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex Epilator

Now 45% Off

This ultra-flexible device allows you to get into all the difficult areas at any angle, so you can epilate with ease. It's proven to be able to catch 3x shorter hairs than your average wax to give you your smoothest skin ever.

If you're worried about going overboard with your epilating, you don't have to worry with this guy, as it has a red light signal that flashes when you apply too much pressure.

Braun Braun Face, Facial Epilator and Clensing Brush - 810

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Braun Braun Face, Facial Epilator and Clensing Brush - 810

Now 48% Off

Despite what you may think, yes you can epilate your face. If your skin isn't on the sensitive side and you're up for the challenge, this sleek kit is the one to keep your brows in shape.

The epilator also comes with a cleansing brush head, so you really do get your money's worth.

Philips Satinelle Essential BRE285/00

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Philips Satinelle Essential BRE285/00

Not only does this device come with an array of different head options (even one to massage your skin post-epilation), but the two-speed device allows you to build up your tolerance so it's not a total shock to the system.

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (25)

Tested byNora Merik

Beauty and Grooming Tester

Nora is our Beauty and Grooming Tester and has a master's degree in cosmetic science. She is using her expert knowledge of product development, formulation, product evaluation and market research to test a wide range of hair and beauty products in the beauty labs for Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, ELLE, Men’s Health. In the lab she uses a variety of methods such as the Diastron, The Multi Skin Test Centre, The VISIA Complexion Analyser to test anything from hydration, skin barrier function, pore size and more.

11 Epilators For Salon-Worthy Smooth Skin In Your Own Home (2024)

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