The 9 Best Epilators of 2024

Bye-bye, razors and waxing strips.

woman with hair free legs tanning on the beach
(Image credit: PeopleImages/Getty)

Hate shaving every day, but still want skin without stubble? Yeah, join the club. While there are plenty of long-lasting hair removal options out there (read: waxing kits, at-home laser hair removal devices, and professional lasers), don’t underestimate the fuss-free convenience of one of the best epilators. But before you leap head-first into the world of epilators, we spoke to dermatologists and experts about what you should know—like exactly what epilators are, how they work, how long the results last, and the details to look for. Not to mention, the experts we spoke to even recommended a few of their favorite epilators to make your search easier. Smooth skin ahead!

What Is an Epilator?

“An epilator is a handheld powered device that mechanically removes the hair,” explains Dr. Snehal Amin, the co-founder and surgical director of MDCS Dermatology. “Unlike shaving, which cuts the hair off at the skin’s surface, epilators remove hair deeper—at the level of the follicle or roots.”  

How Do You Use an Epilator?

Just like using any new hair removal device, using an epilator comes with a slight learning curve. Dr. Kenneth Howe, a Dermatologist at UnionDerm in New York City, explains: “You use an epilator by moving it slowly along the skin surface in the direction of hair growth. You should hold the device at a 90-degree angle to the skin."

How Do Epilators Work?

While epilators often get confused with laser hair removal devices, the two hair removal tools work differently. “Epilators work by grasping hairs and pulling them out by the root. Basically, the same way tweezers do—only you’re tweezing multiple hairs at the same time,” says Dr. Howe. “Some hair shafts may twist and/or shatter when they’re yanked by the epilator. Those damaged hairs may result in ingrown hairs.” 

Howe explains that laser hair removal devices, on the other hand, “work by targeting the pigmented hair bulb.” He says that it's the “heat injury” from the device that keeps the hair from growing. However, he says that the “actual physical hair shaft remains in place.” 

Do Epilators Hurt?

Dr. Howe is quick to note that using epilators does hurt. “[Using an epilator] is difficult for a lot of people,” he says. “I think of it as a waxing treatment in super slow-motion.” 

The Best Epilators

How Long Will the Results from Epilators Last?

The hair removed from your legs, arms, bikini line, or armpits is going to stay away way longer with an epilator than it would with a traditional razor shave. Think: four to six weeks of silky, smooth skin without intervention. 

To get long-lasting results, though, you have to give the epilator enough time to catch all the little hairs. “The epilation process does take time and involves moving the device slowly across the skin, but the time spent will actually make things easier later. Epilation may reduce future hair growth by causing mico-injury to hair follicles,” explains Dr. Amin. 

Meet the Experts

Snehal Amin, MD, FAAD
Snehal Amin, MD, FAAD

Snehal Amin, MD, FACMS, FAAD is co-founder and surgical director of MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, located in Manhattan, Upper East Side, Commack, Hampton Bays and Plainview, NY. As a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, he has:

  • Provided top-notch patient care and life changing skin transformations
  • Published numerous ongoing publications
  • Focused on Mohs micrographic surgery, laser resurfacing, pediatric/adult lasers, and facial cosmetic reconstructions
Kenneth Howe
Dr. Kenneth Howe

As a cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Howe is known for his light touch.  He believes that smaller, earlier interventions allow patients to maintain a youthful appearance while at the same time preventing or slowing further aging. Calm and reassuring in manner, Dr. Howe is an expert in guiding patients through the variety of available options, from the simplest topical agents to cutting edge procedures. He values maintaining an open dialogue between doctor and patient throughout this process.

The goal of all aesthetic treatments, in Dr. Howe’s view, is to achieve and maintain a completely natural look. What is done must be dictated in each case by careful study of the anatomy and structure of the individual face.  This approach is particularly noteworthy in Dr. Howe’s use of injectable fillers and toxins, of which he is a recognized expert.

Julia Marzovilla
Fashion E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the Fashion E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she reviews the latest launches from fashion and beauty brands, finds the best on-sale items around the internet, and interviews experts to find the best products in any category to share with her readers. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site as an expert in everything from the best laptop bags to the best laser hair removal devices.

In her near decade of experience, Julia has both written for several top outlets in the E-Commerce space and worked at major fashion labels. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and worked as the Trending Fashion and News Writer STYLECASTER. You can find her across the internet at @JuliaMarzovilla. In real life, you can find her creating shopping guides for her friends, cooking or baking in her too-small kitchen, or buying tickets for the next time Harry Styles is in town.

Julia has a Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Journalism from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in New York City, her hometown.

With contributions from