by Heather McClure, Last updated October 11, 2019
I’ve been using an epilator for hair removal for years now for my face, as well as my body. Since I started blogging about my epilator experience, I’ve gotten tons of questions from awesome readers like you. Most frequently, people ask me what epilator I recommend, especially for women’s facial hair.
So what is the best epilator for face in 2019?
After pouring through tons of information, talking to other epilator users, and trying out several epilators myself, I’ve pinned down my faves. In 2019, I definitely think the best epilator for face is the Braun Silk-épil 7 7/880 Sensosmart. This is a high-quality epilator that removes all types of facial hair.
However, this epilator isn’t right for everyone. I found some other popular epilators that may be better for you if you have specific challenges like coarse facial hair or want your epilator for a specific area like eyebrows.
Read on for what you should be considering when you choose an epilator and my full reviews of the five best epilators for face.
How to Find the Best Epilator for Face
How can you tell if a specific facial epilator is worth buying? Here are some things to look for when you’re searching for your best epilator for face:
Area of the Face
If you plan to epilate all over your body, then you will want to consider a full-size epilator first to see if it will fit your needs. Then you won’t have to make two separate purchases just for epilating. And if you plan to epilate your upper lip, chin, cheeks, or neck area, a full-size epilator will work great.
However, if you are going to be epilating your sideburns, between your eyebrows, or above your eyebrows, a smaller epilator is more ideal. Although you can use a facial cap on many epilators to epilate in these smaller areas, it’s still a pain and you are not going to get very precise results.
Hair thickness is really important to consider. Thick, coarse hairs take more power to remove and many small battery operated epilators just don’t work well for this type of hair. You may have to purchase a corded epilator to get the power you need.
On the other hand, fine hair or “peach fuzz” can be difficult for some epilators to remove as well. Epilators with too much power will sometimes break these hairs off at the surface instead of pulling them out by the root. You can usually address this issue by using a lower speed on the epilator and moving the epilator more slowly, but not always.
And then if you have a combination of hair types, you want an epilator that is versatile, with a decent amount of power but also adjustable speeds.
Whatever your hair type, when you are considering an epilator, it’s important to search the reviews to see what people are saying about the effectiveness for different hair types before you buy.
When dealing with facial hair, you don’t want to have to grow out a practical beard before it’s long enough to remove. So you want to get an epilator that will remove super short hairs.
Most Emjoi epilators are purported to remove hairs as short as 0.3 mm. I’ve never measured, but they do remove really short hairs. And most other top epilators, including the newer Braun Silk-épil epilators, can remove hair that is 0.5 mm. So if you’re looking at an epilator that can’t remove hairs that short, I’d skip it and find a better one.
Most epilators for face use are powered by disposable batteries. These can be a pro or con, depending on your preferences, I guess. But just keep in mind that the battery operated ones will be less powerful and you’ll have the additional cost of replacing the batteries.
To work around that a little, you can purchase rechargeable batteries, however.
You can also purchase a rechargeable facial epilator, which comes with a battery that you plug in to charge. However, you will have to worry about charging them before use. A typical epilator requires over an hour to charge. You then will get around 30 minutes of use before you’ll need to charge it again.
These type of epilators are usually wet/dry which means you can use them in the bath or shower. This is nice for epilating other body parts, but not really a good idea for the face.
And then the third option for power is a corded epilator. These have to be plugged into the wall. They are the most powerful epilators.
My Top Five Picks for Best Epilator for Face
Best Epilator for Face and Body: Braun Silk-épil 7 7/880 Sensosmart
If I could only recommend one epilator for face, I would choose the Braun Silk-épil 7 7/880 Sensosmart.
The main reason I recommend the Silk-épil is that it works effectively for most people and all hair types. And it can be used for both the face and the rest of the body, killing all birds with one stone.
This is a wet/dry cordless epilator with lots of power, durability, plus some fancy bells and whistles. It is one of the Rolls-Royces of epilators. And like the Rolls-Royce, there are very few people who have something negative to say about this epilator other than the price.
It’s powerful enough to work for most women, whether you have peach fuzz or thick, coarse hairs. I’ve ventured into many forums for transwomen who struggle with coarse hair on the face and body, and this epilator is raved about there.
For me, it works like magic. It’s much better than many other epilators I have tried, pulling out hairs instead of cutting them off at the skin. This makes the results last a long time.
Cool features include massage rollers that relax skin and reduce discomfort, a “smart light” so you can see what you’re doing better and two different speeds.
Since the head (where all the tweezer are) has to be big enough to use on your body too, it’s going to be bigger than many other facial epilators. However, there are a few reasons I still recommend this epilator specifically for facial hair.
This version of the Braun Silk-épil has a slimmer head than newer versions. It’s the perfect size for chin hair. And can still be used pretty effortlessly on the upper lip. Additionally, it has a pivoting head that pivots up to fifteen degrees and works nicely for hard to reach areas on the face, jaw, and neck.
If you want a smaller head, it comes with a facial cap that you can just pop on. This exposes fewer tweezers.
The “SensoSmart” technology is another cool feature that prevents the epilator from getting too close to your skin and potentially cutting it. Which is especially important when dealing with your face. Just make sure you are getting the 7/880 model because not all Silk-épil 7 epilators come with this feature.
Like other Silk-épil epilators, it has “close grip technology.” It can grip and remove hairs as short as 0.5 mm. This is especially important when dealing with the face so you can remove those hairs as soon as they start popping up and avoid a five o’clock shadow as much as possible.
For most women, I think this is definitely the best epilator for upper lip hair and chin hair, despite the wide head. But if you were wanting something to use around the eyebrows, then I’d go for a smaller epilator.
And of course, even the best epilator for face can’t be all rainbows and butterflies.
Some people report that the extra power and speed makes for a more painful experience. This is true, but any epilator that works well is going to hurt. This didn’t bother me because I was already used to epilation by the time I bought mine. However, if you are an epilator virgin, this may be a problem for you.
A few people have complained online that the epilator they received was a dud, but the warranty makes that less worrisome.
And then there is the price. It’s one of the pricier epilators on the market. However, as of writing, this epilator has hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon alone, so I’m not the only person who loves it.
Being the inherently cheap person I am, it took me several years to finally shell out enough money to buy my first Silk-épil. I would have saved myself tons of time and headaches if I had just bought it sooner. It was totally worth the investment.
Want to know more about this model? This is a great video review of the Silk-épil 7 with a demonstration on the arms and face:
- Removes hair well on both the face and body.
- Lots of extras including an LED light, attachments, massaging rollers.
- Waterproof so you can use it in the shower.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Pretty darned pricey, but cheaper than the Silk-épil 9.
- Painful, but mostly because it’s pulling out those hairs really well.
- Almost too big for the face.
Runner-Up: Braun Silk-épil 9 9-579
The Silk-épil 9 is Braun’s newest epilator model. I’m including it because it’s very similar to the Silk-épil 7 and is equally effective in removing all types of hair. There are a few differences, however.
The Silk-épil 9 has a wider head. This actually isn’t a great thing if you are using it exclusively for the face, though. So that reason alone may make the Silk-épil 7 a better choice for you.
On the other hand, most Silk-épil 7 epilators don’t have SensoSmart technology, which I think is a great feature to have when you’re epilating the face so you ensure that you don’t end up with an injury on your face that could possibly turn into a scab and then a scar.
So if you can’t find the Silk-épil 7 model 7/880, you might be better off with a Silk-épil 9, especially if you plan to use your epilator for legs, arms, or other body parts where the larger head will save you time.
I recommend this 9-579 model specifically because it includes the facial cap, plus a trimmer cap, shaver head, a massage cap, and a bonus facial brush that exfoliates the skin. This brush may be too harsh for some people’s faces, but it can also be used to exfoliate and prevent ingrown hairs on the legs and body.
Here are two awesome videos showing how to use a Silk-épil 9 on the face:
- Newest Silk-épil model so has the newest engineering and extras like a facial brush.
- Sensosmart technology reduces the chance of pinching skin.
- Bigger head will remove more hair from body.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Most expensive epilator in this post.
- Wider head can be difficult to use on the face.
- Painful, but again, this is because it actually pulls hairs out well.
Best Budget Epilator for Face: Emjoi Epi Slim
If you’ve never used an epilator before or you just need an epilator for face only, the Emjoi Epi Slim is the best place to start. This facial epilator is affordable and works well for the price, which makes it one of the best epilators for beginners.
Unlike the Silk-épil 7 and 9, the Epi Slim doesn’t have any bells and whistles. It’s simply a small non-waterproof epilator with a few tweezers, powered by two AA batteries.
The main advantage, besides the lower price, is the size. It’s one of the smallest epilators on the market and can be easily used on the chin, upper lip, sideburns or above the eyebrows. You can also fit it in your purse for hair removal on the go.
Unfortunately, it’s not the abosolute best at pulling out all hairs. I’ve found I have to go pretty slowly or it will just cut off the hairs at the skin’s surface instead of pulling them out.
However, when it has fresh batteries and I take my time, I do get good results.
And if you really needed to use it for the rest of your body, it’s possible. I’ve epilated my whole legs with one, but it does take a loooonnng time.
Despite the low price, these suckers are pretty durable. I’ve had mine for a few years (and I drop it all the time).
If you’ve been wondering about whether epilation is right for you or not, just bite the bullet and buy one of these things. They are not just cheap but also cute AF, with several different designs and patterns to choose from on Amazon.
And here’s one of the best videos I’ve found on the Emjoi Slim:
- Inexpensive for an epilator.
- Small size makes it easy to use on the face.
- Removes hairs as short as 0.3 mm.
- Must buy AA batteries for it (they aren’t included) and they will need to be replaced fairly often.
- Not uber-powerful, especially if you don’t have good batteries.
- Can’t use on the body very easily.
Best Epilator for Coarse Facial Hair: Braun Silk-épil 3
The Braun Silk-épil 7 and 9 both work well for coarse facial hair, but they are expensive. And if you are wanting a epilator for face only, you probably don’t want to dish out $100+. So, I racked my brain to decide on the best mid-range epilator to recommend for coarse facial hair.
Since my facial hair is mostly thin, light hairs, I did tons of research to make sure I was recommending a product that has worked well for many women with coarse facial hair.
I wanted something that had a solid reputation for removing coarse or thick facial hair, but also small and gentle enough to work easily on the face. I don’t want to sound like a paid salesperson for Braun, but after hours and hours of research, the Braun Silk-épil 3 stood out as the best choice.
This epilator has been around for a while, so it’s been well tested and the pros and cons are very apparent. It’s a corded epilator so has lots of power to pull out coarse hair without problems. This makes it a great choice for budget-conscious women who need a more powerful epilator than the Emjoi Epi-Slim.
Here’s an unboxing video that shows you what this epilator looks like:
Since the Silk-épil 3 is an older model, and everyone tends to just buy the newest model, I didn’t find any videos of it being used on the face. But here is a demo of a similar model that has been discontinued (Braun 5318 Silk Epil Soft Perfection) on a woman with coarse facial hair from PCOS:
- Really affordable and powerful epilator.
- Small size that works well for the face, but can be used on the body too.
- Pulls coarse hairs out pretty well.
- Not waterproof.
- Must be plugged in to use.
- Painful and may pinch skin if you’re not careful.
Best Cheap Epilator for Peach Fuzz: Bellabe Facial Hair Remover
If your facial hair is just a little peach fuzz, you may not be committed to hair removal enough to pay much for an epilator. In that case, the Bellabe may be perfect for you.
The Bellabe is a manual epilator. So basically, it pulls hairs out with a spring like the original epilators from the 1980s. But instead of the springs moving automatically like those epilators, you hold the spring with little handles and roll it yourself across your face.
While you’re moving the spring, it opens and closes, gripping hairs and pulling them out, similar to threading.
The main advantages are it’s small size, simplicity, and it’s hypoallergenic coating, which makes it great for sensitive skin. Plus, it’s inexpensive.
I recommend this mostly for finer hairs, though, because it tends to break coarser hairs off at the surface.
Also, some people find it more painful than electric epilators. This may be due to the fact that it tends to take longer. I know that I’ve found it unbearable to use the Bellabe on my cheek hairs even though a regular epilator doesn’t bother me there.
And like other electrical epilators, you still need to avoid using it around your eyes or you may pull out eyelashes. So if you were hoping it to use it for that, you may be better off with a good pair of tweezers.
And here’s a video showing how to use the Bellabe on your face:
- Super small and easy to navigate around the face with.
- Hypoallergenic metal.
- Doesn’t work well on coarse hairs.
- Takes a while to pull all the hairs out.
- Not as durable as modern electric epilators.
Best Epilator for Eyebrows: Gillette Venus Face Perfection
This epilator is essentially the same as the Braun Face. Braun and Gillette are both part of the same company (Proctor and Gamble) and both of these epilators are the same design, just marketed with two different names and different attachments.
I am specifically recommending the Gillette version because it comes without the attachments and therefore, has the lowest price. There are several different Braun versions with different attachments for facial cleansing and exfoliation, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend them for most people because they could be too harsh for facial skin.
As for the epilator itself, it’s honestly mostly so-so with catching hairs. Some people seem to get great results, but most people report that it misses hairs so you have to go over areas multiple times and sometimes finish up with tweezers to get some strays.
The main advantage is that this is the only epilator designed to be used near the eyebrows. You can use it above your eyebrows or between them, which is great for those of us with unibrows who don’t like plucking or waxing. But you still can’t safely use it under your eyebrows or to completely shape them, so you will still need to use tweezers or other methods for that.
So basically, unless a unibrow is your biggest facial hair issue, this is probably not the best epilator for you. However, if your unibrow is your kryptonite, this low-cost epilator is probably worth a try.
Here’s a video of a woman who is a bit more enthusiastic about it than me, demonstrating how well it works for her:
- Great for shaping tops of brows and removing your unibrow.
- The design makes it easy to hold and move around the face.
- Affordable price and includes two AA batteries.
- Not the best at grabbing hairs, especially coarse ones.
- The batteries will have to be replaced fairly regularly.
- Removing hair from the body will take too long to even try.
Is an Epilator the Best Way to Remove Your Facial Hair?
If buying an epilator scares you, remember that there are many options to control facial hair in women.
If hormones are the cause, a trip to the doctor may help. He or she can offer you advice and possibly a prescription that will help solve the underlying cause of your hair growth.
Besides this, there are multiple facial hair removal methods: waxing, shaving, electrolysis, laser, creams, shaving, threading, and epilating, each with their pros and cons.
For most women, laser or electrolysis are the ideal methods for facial hair. These two hair removal methods can have permanent results in many instances.
Unfortunately, these two methods cost a pretty penny. We’re talking potentially thousands of dollars. So for most of us, it’s out of reach. But don’t fret, my dear! There are still several more options.
Removing Hair at the Surface
Shaving removes hair at the surface. It is fast, easy, and inexpensive. But is it a good choice for women?
Shaving grows back quickly, and since it makes hair ends blunter, hair appears thicker when it grows back. It is also harsh on the skin.
According to Anita Bhagwandas, a beauty editor at the Guardian, “Shaving is not only inflammatory (causing sensitivity), but it also makes the skin look more papery and thin. Add a five-o’clock shadow to the mix and you’re undeniably causing your skin damage.”
Removing Hair from the Root
Waxing, some depilatory creams, and epilating are tactics that remove hairs at the root. This means that hair takes longer to grow back (up to two to six weeks), freeing up precious time.
Even more, hair tends to grow back thinner over time. This is a big advantage for women with facial hair. But these methods have some cons too.
Waxing is done at a salon or home. Either way, you’re dishing out money regularly. And waxing rips tons of skin cells out with all those hairs.
This can result in inflammation, red bumps, and rashes for some women. According to Evergreen Beauty College, “Your face may look slightly blotchy after your waxing session.”
With waxing, the hair will be gone for a while, but you’ll have to let some stubble grow out before you can wax again. There is also a risk for ingrown hairs.
And did I mention these methods can hurt like a mofo?!
A less painful way is using depilatory creams. These dissolve the hairs instead of pulling them out so that part doesn’t hurt. However, they are full of nasty chemicals that may or may not affect your skin with burning or rashes. They smell, well let’s just say….not pleasant.
And then we have epilation. This is done via threading or with a mechanical epilator. Of course, using an epilator is my favorite.
Sure, the other removal methods have their place and purpose, depending on your skin type, hair type, and preferences. But for me, an epilator is about as good as it gets in the hair removal realm, especially if you are specifically using a good quality epilator.
Can You Safely Use an Epilator on Your Face?
When I first started using an epilator, facial hair wasn’t even on my radar. However, after I started mastering epilation, I started to wonder if I could use it to remove my facial hair as well, specifically since my peach fuzz was darkening as I aged. Before I took the plunge, I decided to do some research to see if using an epilator on my face was a good idea or not.
So can you use an epilator on your face? Epilators can be safely used on the face to remove hair from the chin, upper lip, cheeks, sideburns, and between eyebrows. However, it’s not recommended that you use an epilator too close to the eyes.
I’ve personally gotten great results from using an epilator for my facial hair. However, the quality and type of epilator you use can affect your results. There are also several side effects to prepare for and prevent when venturing into facial territory.
Advantages of Epilating Your Face
Why would you even want to use an epilator on your face instead of the other hair removal methods out there? One of the main reasons I love it so much is because I have incredibly sensitive skin.
I can’t use creams or waxes because my skin will either break out in a rash or sometimes even tear. Since epilators don’t actually touch the skin, I can use them without causing skin irritation, which is especially important when it comes to the face.
The next best thing is how smooth it leaves my face. Unlike shaving, epilation pulls the hairs out by the root, so there is no stubble later. And the hairs typically come in a little finer or become finer over time if you keep epilating regularly. So even if I let my facial hair grow out a bit, it’s not that noticeable.
And after you get into a routine, it takes almost no time at all to keep your face smooth and hairless. I spend less than an hour a month keeping my unibrow and mustache at bay.
Side Effects of Using an Epilator on Face
Now for the bad news. Epilation doesn’t work perfectly for everyone. If you are sensitive to pain, have coarse hair, or are prone to ingrown hairs, epilating your face may not work out as well for you.
Here are some possible side effects to be aware of:
- Pain! This is probably the thing that people complain about the most. But luckily for most women, facial hair is really fine and doesn’t hurt that much to pull out. The pain also decreases over time. Most of us have already been tweezing or waxing so it’s not much different than that.
- Ingrown hairs are also high on the list of horrible side effects. These are hairs that become trapped under the skin and cause pimples or cysts. The more coarse your hair is, the more likely that you’ll get ingrown hairs when epilating. However, if you take some precautions and exfoliate a lot, you can cut down on the risk of getting ingrown hairs.
- Inflammation is another possibility. Even though an epilator isn’t usually touching your skin, the irritation of the hair follicles can cause your skin to become inflamed which may result in redness, swelling, bumps, or some bleeding. Luckily, these side effects are temporary and will go away within a few hours.
How to Get the Best Results When Epilating the Face
These are some of the steps I take when I epilate my face to prevent side effects and get the best results.
- Buy an epilator intended for the face. There are specific models for facial hair that are much smaller, lighter, and easier to use on the face. If you don’t want an epilator just for your face, however, you can buy full size epilators that come with attachments that make the epilator heads smaller for using on the face.
- Make sure your hair is the right length. If you’ve already waxed or removed facial hair, wait until your hair is about two to three millimeters long before trying to epilate. If it is much longer than that, however, you should probably shave it and wait for it to grow back to about two millimeters. Otherwise, it will be more painful pulling out longer hairs.
- Read your owner’s manual. This should be a given, but let’s be honest here, most of us don’t do this. But your manual may have info that I don’t know that could save you some major headaches.
- Test a small area first. This step is especially if you’ve never used an epilator at all or have coarse facial hair. A small test patch will let you see if you will get a lot of side effects or have problems with ingrown hairs. Wait about a week or two and if everything seems okay, proceed with the rest of your face.
- Cleanse and exfoliate. Take a hot shower to cleanse and exfoliate your face. Or use a sink and then use some hot steam to open up pores. This helps reduce the pain and makes the process go more smoothly.
- Just do it. Pull your skin taut and move the epilator head against the direction of the hair growth until all your hair is gone. Stay clear of your eyes or the super delicate skin near your eyes.
- Soothe your skin. Use some ice or a skin soothing gel if your face is feeling inflamed to help reduce the swelling and pain.
- Finish up. Apply some witch hazel or your favorite toner to close your pores and disinfect.
- Exfoliate like mad. Carefully exfoliate the next day and every other day (if your skin can tolerate that much exfoliation) to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Check yourself out. Take a look at your results and then try not to obsessively touch your skin all day because it feels so soft and smooth.
- If you’ve never epilated before, try out a patch on your lower leg before your face to see how painful it is. This is usually one of the least painful areas to epilate. If you can’t handle the pain here, you may want to skip your face altogether.
- If you are worried about pain, take a non-steroid anti-inflammatory like acetaminophen about 30 minutes before you start epilating.
- Remember to charge your epilator or replace the batteries before each epilation session.
- Save epilation for right before bedtime so that you can sleep through any lingering pain. This will also leave plenty of time for redness and irritation to go away before you have to be at work, school, or out in the public.
- Don’t forget to clean your epilator regularly to keep in working properly and sanitary so you don’t end up with breakouts or infections.
Although it’s not for everyone, using an epilator to remove facial hair is safe and easy to do from home.
I recommend investing in the best epilator you can afford to save yourself from wasting time or getting bad results. The Braun Silk-épil 7 7/880 Sensosmart is a nice, high-end epilator that gets the job done on not only the face but the body and legs as well.
However, if you do have a tight budget, even some inexpensive epilators can do a good job if you’re patient and take your time.
Have more questions about epilation? Check out the Epilator FAQ and Beginner’s Guide!
Evergreen Beauty College: Different Facial Hair Removal Methods: Waxing, Threading, Depilatory Creams, Laser and Electrolysis
The Guardian: Why it’s a terrible idea for women to shave their faces