For many, epilation seems a painful experience since it is removing hairs directly from their follicles. Even though pain tolerance differs from person to person, people with sensitive skin find using epilators painful. Epilators have moved on to be almost pain-free during the last decades, and it is possible to significantly reduce epilation pain, or make it completely painless and enjoyable. With proper preparation and aftercare, it is possible to achieve pain-free epilation from the comfort of your home.
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1. Take a warm shower before epilation
Prepare your skin for epilation first by having a warm bath before you begin the treatment. Warm water makes your hair soft and opens up your skin pores. It also keeps your skin lubricated making the epilator easily glide over your skin.
Epilating during your shower or bath routine reduces epilation pain significantly. It also gets rid of sweat or lotion residue from your body and makes your body ready for epilation. Epilating a skin full of oil or lotion will result in only snapping the fossils instead of removing the hair directly from its follicles. If you are epilating dry, take a shower a couple of hours or at least half an hour before the treatment to reduce the pain.
2. Exfoliate your skin
One of the main causes of epilation pain is ingrown hair. Ingrown hair is hair that grows back towards the hair follicle creating a painful tiny bump. To avoid ingrown hairs and dead skin cells, exfoliate your skin a day or two days before epilation. Regular exfoliation helps to reduce epilation pain if you are a regular user of epilators. It also clears your pores and lets your skin absorb products better.
To exfoliate your skin, first, choose a scrub with your favorite scent. Relax in the bath for a few minutes till your pores are open and then apply the scrub to your skin in a circular motion and massage it for a few minutes. Finally, remove it with a warm washcloth, or you can use an exfoliation brush to exfoliate your skin and finally apply enriching moisturizer for a smooth finish.
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
Tree Hut scrub is formulated from 100% pure natural Shea butter and sugar with no parabens or harmful chemicals. The Sugar grains in the scrub polish away dead skin cells and ingrown hairs from your skin while the shea butter moisturizes the treated area.
Shea butter is considered a skin super-food as it is rich in vitamins. The oils in the scrub are formulated from natural avocado, almond oil, and orange oil to prevent dryness and make your skin glow. The scrub has come up with 15+ different scents that you can choose from.
Dylonic Exfoliating Brush
The Dylonic exfoliating brush removes ingrown hair and dead skin cells from your skin with just a few circular motions. It is a chemical-free option to exfoliate your skin and make it ready for epilation. You can exfoliate wet or dry based on your preference.
Start with light pressure and straight-line movements against the hair grains and then you can do circular movements with a little more pressure when your skin adjusts to the routine.
3. Use a wet/dry epilator
Wet/dry epilators are waterproof epilators that you can use in a bath or shower or for dry epilation. They give you closer grips, efficient and much less painful epilation. First, choose a good quality wet/dry epilator. Low-quality epilators might not do the job well and maybe more painful. While in the shower, start epilating with the lower speed setting of the epilator. After your skin familiarizes itself to the process, switch to the high-speed setting. Wet epilation is much less painful than dry epilation as water softens the skin and opens the pores.
4. Trim or shave before epilation
Epilation is less painful on shorter hairs. Removing long hair strands from its roots is more painful than removing a shorter one. The hair also might break and increase the probability of ingrown hair. Even though there isn’t the right length for epilation, hair length between 2mm to 5mm is the optimum for epilation. Most Braun Epilators remove hairs as short as sand or 0.5mm. Shave or trim down your hair with an electric shaver or trimmer two or three days before epilation, especially if it is your first time, and then use an epilator.
5. Keep your skin taut
Keeping your skin taut gives the tweezers of the epilator easy access to remove the hairs. It also helps you grab more hair and avoid trapping your skin with the tweezers of the epilator. With your free hand, stretch your skin and slowly guide the epilator towards the direction of hair growth positioning it at a 90-degree angle to your skin. Try to avoid force or pressure as it may cause irritation and skin damage. Keeping your skin taut especially helps when you epilate your underarms and bikini line.
6. Use epilators that have a higher number of tweezers and wider head
A Higher number of tweezers and wider head means removing lots of hairs in a single stroke. The Braun Silk-épil 9 epilators have 40% wider heads and 40 tweezers while most entry-level epilators have 20 tweezers. Epilators with a higher number of tweezers and wider heads require much fewer passes to remove hair from your skin and get the job done in much less time and pain. Use narrow epilation heads /precision heads/ on more delicate and hard to reach areas like the bikini, armpits, and face.
7. Use the low speed setting
Most epilators have two speed settings. The low-speed setting guides the epilator slowly on your body while the high-speed setting guides it faster. Using the low-speed setting helps to reduce the epilation pain and remove hair from sensitive areas like the bikini area or the face. If it is your first time for epilation or you have sensitive skin, use the low speed setting to reduce the pain and give your body time to adapt to the epilation process. One of the causes of epilation pain is applying extra speed and pressure on the skin. The skin is the most delicate body organ and it is sensitive to pain. Press the epilator down gently and glide it over your skin applying the right amount of pressure.
8. Use a numbing cream
If you have sensitive skin, or using an epilator for the first time, or removing hair from sensitive areas like the bikini area, underarms or face, use a lidocaine numbing cream to reduce epilation pain. Lidocaine Numbing creams usually used to reduce pain for waxing and laser treatments. For epilation, numbing creams numbs your skin for an hour and makes the epilation much less painful.
Buy over the counter lidocaine numbing cream, do a patch test by applying a thin layer of the cream on a small test area. Wait for a couple of minutes and if your skin seems normal, apply a thick layer on the treatment area. Wait for an hour till your skin absorbs the cream and begin your epilation. You will experience much less pain or no pain at all. Remember to do a patch test and use the cream as only directed.
Numb Master Topical Numbing Cream
Numb Master is one of the best and top-rated over the counter numbing creams with 5% lidocaine. It is FDA approved and fast-acting pain reliever cream. Apply a thick layer of Numb Master on the treatment area, wait for 25 minutes, and begin epilation.
If you have sensitive skin or epilating sensitive areas including the face, use the cream before beginning epilation. Numb Master is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, and use only as directed.
9. Give your skin time to adapt itself to the treatment
The first time of epilation is always the most painful. The second session will have bearable pain and the third and following sessions most likely are pain-free. Things synchronize through experience. Through repeated use, the pain reduces significantly as your skin adapts to the treatment. After each epilation session, hairs that grow back get thinner and fewer making the process easier and less painful time after time.
If you are epilating for the first time, first read the instructions given by the manufacturer of the epilator to be more aware of its features and usage. Do it frequently, like epilating every other day for the first weeks till you familiarize yourself with the process and develop pain tolerance. As you continue epilation, you will witness your hair growing back thinner and fewer making the epilation process less painful than before.
10. Avoid taking caffeine like coffee or soda and epilate right after your period
Stimulants like coffee and soda make your skin sensitive and feel more pain than usual. Wait six to eight hours till the caffeine exits your system to make your epilation session less painful. Besides, your body will be more sensitive to pain during your menstrual time, thus epilate right after three or four days after your period.
11. Consider taking a pain killer
Taking over the counter pain killer like Advil an hour before epilating helps to relieve the pain. Taking a pain killer is advised only if it is your first time of epilation or for the first beginning sessions. It shouldn’t be a habit as you continue to use an epilator, you will get accustomed to the process and you won’t notice the pain as much.