Top tips for those too terrified to epilate!

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Newspaper advertisement for women's depilatory powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am lucky - I am naturally blonde. OK so I "help" the hair on my head where the greys are taking over but it was originally blonde so when it comes to shaving legs etc I can afford to be a bit lazy because like most blondes you have to look closely at, or stroke my legs (!) to notice I'm hairier than a caveman.

Having said that I do like to keep relatively smooth. I always used to use an electric shaver but they don't seem to last very long before you have to replace the foil or the whole thing. I gave up and turned to disposables, with the occasional foray into the world of hair-removing creams and lotions for holidays etc.

I have always been too terrified to try waxing or epilating. The world seems to be split into two camps - those who are happy ripping out their "objectionable hair " (see advert on right!)  by the roots to enjoy weeks of fuss-free smoothness and those of us who prefer to risk slicing an artery or choking on chemical fumes for a day or two of smoothness followed by stubble worthy of a man at five pm.

Last week I was invited to learn about the next generation of lady-care - the fabulously sleek Braun Silk-epil 7 "SkinSpa" whilst lounging in a lovely London hotel being pampered by beauty experts.

I confess that on the morning of the event I shaved and shaved again in the hope that if asked to volunteer for a trial in front of the other bloggers I could decline with the excuse my legs were baby-smooth. I had no wish for my peers to see me wincing and sobbing. I don't cope with pain well.

But I needn't have feared. No-one tried to hold me down. But I was given the chance to try out the cordless and rechargeable gadget in the privacy of my own home. The SkinSpa comes with 5 heads including a lovely gentle exfoliating brush-head to ensure supersoft skin and to cut down on ingrowing hairs post epilation. It's easy and lightweight to hold and small enough to manoevre easily.

I was given a few tips to make sure that epilation would be as pain free as possible - plus I've found out a couple myself. And here they are:

  • If possible (which it is with this model of epilator!) epilate in a nice warm bath or shower so your pores are open and the hair comes out more easily. This is a top tip and the one which made me think maybe I could convert.
  • Exfoliate FIRST! This apparently makes the job easier and helps prevent ingrowing hairs.
  • Pull the skin taught - prevents dragging.
  • Don't let hair get too long before depilating. The Braun SkinSpa claims to remove hairs as small as a grain of sand - so epilate regularly and before long it should be a pretty pain-free experience.
  • Some people recommend taking painkillers half an hour before trying epilation for the first few times until you are used to it. After a few sessions apparently hair comes out easier anyway, and there's less of it so it won't be long before depilating is as quick and pain-free as shaving.
  • Apply a soothing mild lotion after epilating to cut down on the redness which might appear the first few times you use an epilator. It might be wise to try the first time one evening or on a day you don't plan to expose your legs in case they do stay red for a while.
There's no doubt that if you can be brave and master the epilator you will have longer between hair-removing sessions which is ideal for holidays. They have certainly come a long way since the first models which looked like hospital equipment! Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I was given a free Braun Silk-epil epilator (available from the Boots website priced £99.99.) Views and opinions remain my own.
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