The Braun Silk Epi - An honest review (aka OUCH)
The Braun Silk Epi - is it for you?
I was minding my own business at Bed, Bath and Beyond one day recently when I saw the Braun Silk Epi and a light went off in my head (at first, I wish I'd stayed in the dark...). This innocuous pink "shaver" (epilator really) looked easy enough and, really, it claimed to keep the hair away from my legs for 19 days AND the advertisement said it was painless! I was IN!
So, after shelling out my hard earned bucks, I walked off with a torture device that would pull the hair out of my legs by the very roots meant to hold it in! WTH? What had I done?! Ah, but, dear readers, my experience with the Braun Silk Epi gets better. Read on, mon ami...
Update 6/5/12: I've been using my epilator for months now and there's some things I like about it and others, not so much - I love that the hair that grows back is softer so it's not prickly. I don't like that I still have to use it every other day - Braun says you'll only have to epilate every 19 days, but I'm not sure where they got that statistic. I have to do my legs every other day or the hair gets too long to do and it really hurts! On the hurting front, it's much better now. You'll truly get used to it.
First things first - what is the Braun Silk Epi?
The Braun Silk Epi is an epilator. By its very nature, an epilator looks like a normal electric razor but is, in fact, a device that has lots of little teeny weeny "tweezers" (mine has 40 sets) that grab ahold of individual hairs and yank them out by the root. Removing the hair root means that the hair doesn't grow back very quickly - a good thing. Getting used to using an epilator and having your hair yanked out by the root takes a while - a bad thing.
Some epilators that are on the market, like my Braun Silk Epi, come with a refrigerator cooling pad which is supposed to be applied to an area to be epilated. Supposedly, once the area is cold, yanking the hair out by the root won't hurt as badly. This was obviously an advertising ploy created by men who don't use the thing. Don't buy into that farce! The first 3 times I tried to use the refrigerated pad, I found absolutely no difference from going at my leg hair without it. So, don't pay more for the refrigerator pad.
My particular epilator has a light on the front which is very helpful in illuminating the hairs in its path. Makes it much easier for us older folks to see the little buggers.
The Braun Silk Epi also comes with 3 different heads you can use. One head has massaging rollers which I'm not going for. It's the one though that they tell you to use when you start epilating as the massaging rollers are supposed to stimulate the skin before and after epilation. The other head is for "advanced users" and seems to grab the hairs quicker and more smoothly. Finally, there's a trimming head if you want to shave "sensitive skin areas." I haven't tried to epilate anything but my legs nor will I....
My Braun Silk Epi 5 also comes with 2 speeds - slower for prolonged pain or faster for immediate pain...
My Braun Silk Epi 5
This is the exact epilator that I purchased. See that cooling glove? Not so much....
Other highly rated epilators on the market
The below epilators all have good reviews (at least 4 stars). Now, remember, none of them are painless, I don't care what the advertisers say. They just can't be. Reach up on your head and pull just one hair out. Feel that little sting? Multiply it by a hundred...
Still, I do now love my Braun Silk Epi. It's taken me 3 weeks to fully get used to it but I wouldn't be without it now.
If you prefer a cordless epilator...
The Braun Silk Epi 3 is an electric epilator so it has to be plugged in. I think I prefer it this way as I don't think I'd want to try to use a cordless epilator if it wasn't fully charged. I can just think of the hair being pulled out s-l-o-w-l-y as the battery died. But, if you prefer, here's the leading cordless epilator, the Emjoi Soft Caress Cordless Hair Remover.
Your chance to have your say.
Anyone can comment in this poll so give me your comments.
Have you ever used an epilator?
My first try with the Braun Silk Epilator
I'll attempt to describe what my very first experience was like with my new Braun Silk Epi but you might have heard me yell all the way over to your house. I mean, this thing HURT.
The instructions said that the hair should be between 0.05 and 2 mm (that's a day or two growth for me) in order to effectively let this little device grab onto the hair and pull them out. So, I shaved one day and waited. On day 2, I figured I'd have at it.
So, after taking a hot bath and exfoliating both legs, I plugged in my Braun Silk Epi, touched it to my shin, screamed and threw the thing on the floor! True story! I looked at it with a loathing I rarely feel. After rubbing my one, teeny bare spot on my leg (and it was bare), I tried it again. Same result. Pure torture. But, I had paid $60 for the thing and wasn't about to let it beat me.
That first day, I never cried but, man, the pain sure made me sweat. That first day, it took about 40 minutes to do both legs from the knee down. I was sure thinking that shaving was easier and much less painless, even if I always was walking around with scabs on my shins and knees.
But, ah, the next morning, I woke up to hairless legs! It was then that I "got it!" I had just a few little stubbles so I pulled out my epilator again and, ouch! Sure hurt as much as the day before! But, the results were great.
The third day, I had a few more hairs to epilate. Not quite as bad, pain wise, as before. Cut to the chase:
Three weeks later, my legs are mostly clear and, when I do have to epilate with the Braun Silk Epi, it feels more like a tingle now. Either my legs have gotten tougher or I've gotten used to the thing. And, I'll bet you will too.
This has GOT to have been created by a man
OMG! I can't imagine the pain from applying a spring to hairs and then letting it go. I thought this was so ridiculous, I had to include it here on this page.B001FXUTUM
Using a water proof epilator is supposed to make the process much less painful, and, I suppose, that makes sense. Doing the epilation in a warm bath has got to be less painful as your pores are already open and the hair would pull out easier. I just bought my Braun epilator and am happy with it but I am tempted to try one of the highly rated wet/dry epilators.
Panasonic ES2045P Wet/Dry Two-Speed Epilator with Three Heads
Panasonic ES-WD51-P Epiglide Ladies Wet Dry Epilator, Pink
Panasonic ES2045P Wet/Dry Two-Speed Epilator with Three Heads
Braun SE7281WD Xpressive Body System Rechargeable Wet & Dry Epilator
Emjoi AP-17DB Dolphin Wet/dry Epilator, Marine Blue
Panasonic ES2216PC Close Curves Wet/Dry Ladies Shaver with Bikini Attachment, Mauve
A few tips if you're going to try epilation
The below are some things I've learned, mostly by trial and error, when using my epilator. Perhaps these tips will help you survive!
- Use your epilator after a warm bath. Bathing in warm water will enlarge your pores and will allow the root hair to be more easily released by the skin.
- To avoid ingrown hairs (those little razor bumps you may find after wards), exfoliate the skin with a mild bath scrub or a loofa sponge before epilating. Removing the top layer of the skin with an exfoliant will help the returning hair grow up straight.
I'd also suggest buying one of these below products which really work to keep ingrown hairs to a minmum - note: these are not just for the bikini zone:
Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel, for Bikini Area, 4 fl oz
Bump Zapper Severe Bump Kit
- Hold skin taut and it will hurt less. This means doing a smaller section at a time but it's worth it.
- Bite on a bullet - only kidding. Epilation is not really all that bad, once you're used to it.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize your epilated areas afterwards - got that? I truly can't stress moisturizing the epilation area enough. It will make all the difference in the world. Here's a few good epilization solutions:
PX EJ AFTER EPILATION CREAM
Gigi Post Epilation 16 oz. Bottle # Gg-0720
GiGi Post-Epilation Lotion, 16 Ounce
The end result
AKA: Do I like epilation?
I love the thing now! It's been 3 weeks since I bought my Braun Silk Epi 5, and I'm never going back to a regular razor. I love that my legs stay mostly hair free, even in the warm weather here in Key West. The pain is much less, and, in fact, as I mentioned, is now just a slight tingle as most of the hair is gone.
I'm only sorry I never tried epilation before. My legs are as smooth and moisturized as they've ever been. Give it a try.
Please leave me comments, the good, the bad, or the ugly about this Squidoo article. I frequently check the comments and add or delete to the article depending on what you guys say. Thanks.
PS, anyone can comment - not just Squidoo members.