Female_ArmpitNothing beats epilating for smooth, silky, hairless underarms – no need to shave every other day, no waxing appointments to make, and no worries about ingrown hairs, redness, or irritation. But, like anything, you can’t just dive right into epilating – without taking the proper steps beforehand and during the process, you will find yourself dealing with a lot more pain and removing a lot less hair than you want! Here are some great tips to make your experience as comfortable and effective as possible.

 Don’t expect the process to be painless. Especially if you are new to epilating, or you have very thick underarm hair, you have to be ready for some pain. The first time will probably be the worst – most women find that the pain subsides to mild discomfort over time. All the pre-epilation wipes, massaging heads, and pro tips won’t change the fact that you are essentially plucking out your hair with tweezers. But, all that pain means that you can expect longer hair-free periods, and the hair will grow back thinner and finer than it was. So, brace yourself, but don’t be too scared! It gets easier over time, and you’ll love the results.

You must, must, MUST exfoliate before you epilate. Exfoliating will get rid of old, dead skin and make it easy for your epilator to grab the hair without tugging at your skin or leaving nicks and cuts behind. Any ingrown hairs will also be freed so that the epilator can grab them instead of leaving them behind. Exfoliating scrubs are easy to find at your local pharmacy or beauty store; sugar scrubs are great as well and you can even make them at home as long as you have sugar and oil!

Take some ibuprofen or aspirin before epilating. If a glass of wine is more your thing, go for that! Any pain-killing, anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication will help a lot of the pain of epilating, and will also reduce any puffiness or redness afterwards.

 Make sure you keep your skin taut during the process. It’s a lot easier to pluck your skin if it is hanging loose – use one hand to hold the epilator, and use the other to pull your skin tight and straight. Underarms are full of nooks and crannies and can be especially hard to manage, but if you make an effort to keep your skin taut it will make all the difference!

 Never let the epilator touch your skin. It won’t be the end of the world if it does, but it can be painful and leave you with nicks. Instead, hover the epilator head right at the end of the hair and let it do the work of pulling it out. Your underarm skin is very receptive, so while a small cut will not ruin your life, it will hurt more than on your legs or other, less-sensitive areas.

 Trim your underarm hairs before you start. Longer hairs are more painful to remove, so to make your first time easier use scissors or a trimmer to cut your longer hair.

 Don’t use any products on your underarms right after epilating. Your skin will be especially sensitive right after epilating, so it’s best to avoid moisturizers and deodorants after epilating. It’s best to epilate at night before bed; this way, any redness or puffiness will subside by the morning and you won’t need to worry about body odor from not applying deodorant! Plus, sleep really helps your body repair itself so you can wake up to smooth, hair-free, and healthy underarms.

 Go slow. Epilating hurts, so it’s natural to want to get it done with as quickly as possible. But, you are much better off doing a thorough job the first time so you don’t have to go back and touch it up. Move slowly, let the epilator pluck all the hair from one section before moving to another, and trust that doing it right once is better than having to do it twice!

Clean your epilator. Most epilators come with removable heads, making them easy to clean. If you don’t keep your epilator clean and tidy, it simply won’t work as well over time and you will find yourself going over one area over and over again.

 Don’t shave in between sessions. Even if you don’t get all the hair off with your first session, don’t make up for it by shaving. Shaving doesn’t take the hair out by the root so you will find your hair growing back coarser and thicker than before! If you still have some stubble or missed spots during your epilating, just wait a week or two and epilate again. If you’re anxious for that silky smooth feel, you can pluck or wax leftover hair in between epilating.

Epilating can be scary if you’ve never done it before, but don’t let the talk of pain scare you away! It’s easy to achieve epilating perfection if you go about it correctly and follow this sound advice. Your first time won’t go perfectly, but you will definitely notice the difference and over time you’ll wonder how you ever lived without an epilator before!