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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Sabine Wiesel

Best epilators for long-lasting at-home body hair removal

Body hair removal is a personal choice, but for those of us who like to de-fuzz, we have a choice to make: which hair removal method to use.

With so many on offer, there’s one that stands out for an at-home, fuss-free technique that can last up to four weeks. Enter, epilating. Here’s why you should consider converting (if you haven’t already). 

There’s no doubt shaving is still the most popular body hair removal method, mainly because it’s quick, easy and has a cheap initial cost. Yet, as hairs are only trimmed at the surface when shaving so many of us are left with stubble after just 24 hours. 

Those looking for more long-lasting results turn to waxing, as pulling your unwanted hairs out at the roots gives you the smoothest skin for the longest period, but this method also has its cons: namely, cost in time and salon-visits – because it’s just too fiddly to really do it yourself.

Meeting in the middle, with the efficiency of shaving and the long-lasting effects of waxing there’s epilating. Let us dive deeper… 

What is epilating?

Epilating is using a small hand-held device (called an epilator) that plucks hairs out from the roots. You can think of them as electronic tweezers that sit on a rotating head and pull your body hair as you place it over your legs, bikini line, underarms or face.

What are the benefits of epilating?

Pulling body hairs out at the roots using these hair removal tools leaves you with smoother skin for longer (just like waxing) – up to a month depending on the individual. But, unlike waxing, it’s easy and convenient to do on yourself with no mess involved. 

The latest innovative epilators can catch and pluck body hair out as short as 0.5mm, so there’s no awkward grow-out stage like there is with waxing when you have to wait for hairs to be long enough to grip. 

Plus, hair grows back softer, finer and for some even at a slower rate the more you epilate. And yes, there’s an investment cost, but it’s nothing when you add up the amount you spend on razors in all the years you’ll have your epilator. 

Does epilating hurt?

Just like waxing, epilating can feel a little uncomfortable if you’re not used to it, especially in more sensitive areas. It’s tolerable though, and the sensation lessens with time the more you practice. It helps to have a warm bath or shower to open your pores and soften your body hair beforehand. 

Best epilators at a glance:

Shop the best below

Braun Silk Epil 9 Flex Epilator

Best for: All over epilating 

You’ll find Braun has the most extensive selection of epilators, with this one being their latest and, in our opinion, best yet. What makes this model stand out from the rest is it’s the first epilator with a flexible head. A must-have feature for making epilating the more intimate and harder-to-reach body hair more comfortable. This is coupled with the fact that it’s 100 per cent waterproof, so you can use it in the bath or shower.

The wide head contains 40 long tweezers that make catching even the shortest hairs effortless – those hairs that wax can’t grip. This is further helped with a red light indicating you are applying the right amount of pressure. It comes with different attachments too, this box contains a trimmer and shaver head for grooming, but you can pay a little extra for useful attachments like an exfoliating brush head.

Buy now £150.00, lookfantastic

Philips Series 8000 Wet and Dry Epilator

Best for: Easy-to-use epilator

Designed for speedy hair removal, the wide head on this epilator not only rotates faster than any other on the market but it’s also packed with 32 ceramic hypoallergenic long tweezers so you can remove more hair in one go. If that’s not impressive enough, it can even pluck tiny hairs (as short as 0.5mm) that you won’t miss thanks to the built-in spotlight – ensuring you always stay silky smooth. 

Just as its name suggests, it’s suitable for use with warm water so ideal for those looking to relax the skin for a more comfortable epilation. Plus, it comes with five accessories, one of which is the optimal contact cap that stretches the area you’re epilating and reduces discomfort further. Other handy attachments that you’ll want to use include a delicate area cap for gentle precision, a shaver head and a trimming comb.

Buy now £129.99, Boots

Magnitone Pluck It 2 Super Glide Compact Epilator

Best for: Budget epilator

For those looking to spend less, Magnitone has this value-for-money epilator in its collection of accessible electronic beauty devices. Lightweight and compact, this tool comes with two interchangeable heads. There’s a regular head to use on larger areas like legs and underarms, and a precision head perfect for the bikini line.

Despite its budget price tag, there are still two speeds so you can dial up the tempo when going over larger areas for quicker results, and down when using it over awkward areas, like knees and ankles. It’s fully charged with a USB after around an hour and will give you 60 minutes of gliding time.

Buy now £40.00, Boots

Panasonic ES-EY90-A511 Wet and Dry Epilator

Best for: Leg epilating 

Using a whopping 60 tweezers on double rotating discs, the generous head on Panasonic’s epilator makes epilating large surfaces like the lower legs fast and efficient, as you can remove more hair per stroke. And, with a 90° pivot, the head fits the contours of the body so that you can capture those pesky short hairs easily too. 

For comfort, this is another model that can be used with water, and there are three speeds to choose from so you can epilate at your own pace. It also comes with an LED light, so you don’t miss any unwanted hairs. The light also handily blinks to help guide you to the right pressure to use. You’ll find the same model with basic attachments at a lower cost, but we like this version that comes with a sonic scrub brush for exfoliation and a foot care head for head-to-toe grooming.

Buy now £149.58, Amazon

Braun FaceSpa Pro

Best for: Facial hairs and peach fuzz

If you’re looking to de-fuzz more than a rogue facial hair or two, this all-in-one facial device comes with a facial epilator attachment. Using 10 micro-openings that pluck 12,000 times per minute, its serious pace means it can capture the finest hairs down to 0.02 mm of width and only 0.5 mm of height. Thus, it makes light work of tackling baby fluff, peach fuzz and sideburns, as well as the upper lip, chin and monobrows. 

More than just a facial epilator, it’s a first-rate cleansing brush and a skin-toning micro-vibrating head that works a treat paired with your serum or moisturiser to help encourage the production of collagen and elastin. So many features in just one youth-boosting tool!

Buy now £86.95, All Beauty

Tweezerman Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover

Best for: Facial epilating manually

This clever little gadget acts as a manual epilator for unwanted facial hairs on the upper lip, chin, cheeks or neck. Simply place the flat side of the coil tip where you want to remove your unwanted hairs and rotate the silver nozzles above the pink handles in the direction the arrows point to pull out hairs from the root. 

It takes a little practice, but after a few attempts, you quickly get used to using it. On a pain level, it feels just like threading – a quick sting at most. But, a word of warning, this isn’t for brows and nor does it claim to be. While it removes the hair between brows well, when we went in on the eyelids, we pulled out eyelashes. Our mistake!

Buy now £22.00, Sephora


Braun Silk Epil 9 Flex Epilator is a worthy epilator investment because it ticks so many boxes. It’s easy to use on all areas thanks to its flexible brush head that makes light work of getting to even the most awkward, intimate areas. It’s waterproof so you can use it in the bath or shower for added comfort, and it’s quick to use over larger surfaces like legs and underarms.

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