Belfast Telegraph

Say goodbye to shaving and become a smooth operator

 

From waxing to epilation, you don't need a razor and foam for silky, fuzz-free legs, writes Katie Wright.

Waxing

Can anyone do it?

"In general, everyone can do at-home waxing," says Veet's beauty expert Nichola Joss. "However, if you are prone to being very sensitive or have an existing skin condition, it's best to seek out professional advice for the best type of waxing or hair removal."

Which is better for beginners, wax strips or hot wax?

"Both are appropriate for beginners. Both are easy to use, effective and results-driven compared to shaving, epilating or laser - all of which can be aggressive and damaging to skin."

How long does it last?

"With waxing, you can have smooth hair-free skin for up to six weeks."

Does it hurt?

"It can be slightly uncomfortable. The best way to minimise pain would be to completely prep the skin by cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising beforehand."

Is it expensive?

"Waxing is far more cost-effective and time-efficient to do at home than in the salon."

Any other tips for beginners?

"Have all your tools and products to hand. Read through the instructions and allocate enough time. And always remember to carry out a patch-test 24 hours before."

Try it at home with:

Veet Stripless Wax, £15, Tesco.

Nair Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Wax Strips, £6.99 for box of 20.

Epilation

What is it?

Epilation devices feature a rotating head that catches and plucks hairs out one by one.

Can anyone do it?

"Women with all skin types can use epilation as their method of hair removal," says GP and skin expert, Dr Anita Sturnham. "But people with more sensitive skin may prefer to epilate as there are a number of ways to ease the initial pain."

Does it hurt?

"Epilating allows you to reach all areas of the skin easily with the stretch of one arm, so the other hand can be used to hold skin taut to ease the pain some experience. Some epilators can also be used in the bath or shower, which softens the hairs and desensitises the skin for a gentler experience."

Why is it better than waxing?

"Waxing requires approximately 2mm of hair regrowth, which is inconvenient and can lead to an awkward in-between stage. The Braun range captures hairs as short as a grain of sand (0.5mm)."

Is it expensive?

"While the purchase of an epilator is an initial expense, this should be seen as an investment purchase to last for countless treatments. A recent survey by Braun revealed that home hair-removal treatments can save up to on average £567 per year."

Any other tips for beginners?

"Exfoliate first, avoiding the risk of ingrown hairs and ensuring every hair is captured. And don't apply products straight after."

Try it at home with:

Braun Silk-epil 5 Extra Soft Wet & Dry Legs and Body Epilator, £55, Tesco.

Panasonic ES-ED96 Epilator, £99, Amazon.

IPL

What is IPL?

IPL stands for intense pulsed light. In terms of hair removal, a flash of light is absorbed by the pigment in a hair, which 'zaps' the growing cells beneath it.

Can anyone do it?

"We don't recommend it for very dark skin, or very light body hair," says Leah Richards, of SmoothSkin. "Very dark skin has a considerable amount of pigment and will absorb more light than the skin can handle, so can potentially burn, discolour or scar your skin. Very light body hair is the opposite, as there isn't enough pigment in the hair shaft, which IPL heavily relies on."

How long does it last?

"One treatment won't last forever. You will need to keep treating the hairs every once in a while to avoid hair growth starting up again. We recommend to treat the area once a week, then top up treatments."

Does it hurt?

"IPL doesn't hurt. You'll feel a slight sensation, but it won't be painful. It'll feel like a gentle flick of an elastic band."

Is it expensive?

"IPL might seem like an expensive way to de-fuzz, but we've done the maths and over time you can make a huge saving compared to other more conventional (and more painful) hair-removal methods. The average razor blade lasts just a month - if you include shaves, blades and foam, you could soon be spending £8 per month. For a one-off payment of just £199, SmoothSkin Bare offers unlimited flashes so it will last a lifetime."

Any other tips for beginners?

"Always do a quick patch-test before getting started on your treatment."

Try it at home with:

SmoothSkin Bare Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal System, currently reduced to £179 from £199.

Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL Hair Removal, £349.99.

Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Reduction System, £299.99, CurrentBody.

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Device SC2007/00, currently reduced to £275 from £475, CurrentBody.

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