Do you love having perfectly smooth legs but hate the stubbly feeling a few days after shaving? You’re not alone. As shaving doesn’t remove the hair at the root, it’s common to notice prickly hair regrowth a few days later.
Thankfully, there are some hair removal methods that not only allow for longer-lasting smooth legs, but can also stunt hair regrowth over time and reduce the chance of ingrown hairs.
Keep reading to find out how epilation and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) home treatments work and why these leg hair removal options are heralded by dermatologists and salon experts alike. We’ll also explore the pros and cons of shaving, waxing, and depilatory creams, so you can find the best way to achieve smooth legs for you.
Unlike shaving, epilators are designed to remove hair directly from the roots. This allows for longer-lasting smooth skin on the legs, along with any other area of the body you want to use it on.
Most epilators can be used when the hair is just 0.5mm long, meaning you won’t have to wait a long while for the hair to regrow between treatments. In contrast, waxing can only be performed when the hair is as long as 1.5mm.
How to use epilators for smoother legs
Though many of us have probably heard friends or colleagues talking about this type of hair removal, very few actually know how to epilate effectively, or how epilators work.
Epilators operate with rotating discs that pull the hair out from the root and can be used on wet or dry skin. As with all long-lasting hair removal methods, there is bound to be a little discomfort, though most people report that epilation is less painful than waxing. Another benefit of epilation is that there’s less chance of accidentally nicking the skin and cutting yourself than with a razor.
If you’re epilating for the first time, you may want to check out our preparation tips for epilating body hair to give yourself the best chance of achieving beautiful, smooth legs.
For leg hair removal, you’ll want to choose a good quality epilator, with at least two different settings: one for slower epilation while you are still getting used to the sensation, and one that removes the hair faster and speeds up the process!
For best results, epilate your legs in the evening, to give your skin time to heal overnight and so you can wake up fresh and smooth in the morning!
Begin epilating on the inside of your lower leg (the least sensitive area), using the gentle setting on your epilator.
Pass the epilator lightly over the skin in a circular motion. The circular discs will grab onto your leg hairs and pull them out. Be sure not to press too hard. Give yourself around 30 seconds to complete each area.
Go slowly and be patient at first; once you feel used to the sensation of epilation, you can switch to the fast setting to remove hair on all areas of your legs.
Apply moisturizer or aloe vera to soothe the skin. Your epilated legs should stay smooth for up to 4 weeks after treatment.
Find the best epilator for you
At Braun, we designed the world’s first epilator with a flexible head, so you can achieve perfectly smooth legs with less hassle. The Silk Epil 9 also includes 40 tweezer heads, wet & dry usage, and pressure control to allow you to seamlessly switch from gentle epilating to a faster pace.
While this is our most advanced model, we have a range of epilators to suit your needs and budget – check out the Braun epilator range to find the model that suits you.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL is a relatively new hair removal treatment for hair reduction that you would perform after shaving your legs. It works by focusing a spectrum of light onto small sections of the skin. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle underneath the skin surface, which heats the hair follicle and stunts hair regrowth.
It’s important to note that IPL hair removal and laser hair removal are different treatments. While laser uses a single, dense ray of light to remove hair, IPL provides a less-concentrated, scattered spectrum of light on the skin and hair. This means IPL is a gentler hair removal treatment option that may also be used to treat the appearance of broken capillaries on the legs.
How to use IPL for smoother legs
Remove all visible hair on the legs with your preferred hair removal method. Dry off your legs with a towel, checking all over to be sure there is no hair remaining on the surface of the skin!
Plug in your IPL device and attach the standard head, rather than the precision head. Test it out on your skin by placing the IPL nozzle in full contact with your legs to be sure it’s on and working correctly.
Use gliding mode for IPL on the legs by holding down the button and running along your skin - but if it’s your first time, you may want to use a gentle mode instead.
Wipe the nozzle clean after use. Treat once a week for 4 – 12 weeks to see results, then adjust to your needs (i.e every 1 - 2 months).
Find the right IPL for you
Whether you’re looking for permanent leg hair removal, or a safe, effective IPL for fast results, Braun has a range of IPLs to suit your needs and budget.
Silk-expert Pro 5 PL5137
SensoAdapt technology and 10 intensity levels make the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 device the safest and most inclusive IPL hair removal machine for your skin tone. The safest, fastest, and most efficient IPL for visible hair reduction in just 4 weeks.
Silk-expert Pro 3 PL3132
Achieve permanent hair reduction in just 3 months with Braun Silk Expert Pro 3.
Shaving your legs
Shaving your legs involves running an angled blade along the skin surface to remove the hair. There are two ways to shave your legs: wet shaving in the shower or bath, or dry shaving using an electric razor.
Dry Shaving with an electric shaver
You won’t need to use any lubrication, like gel or cream, to dry shave. The process is simple: you can just run a good quality electric shaver along the ankles and slowly making your way up the legs to remove hair. As with all leg hair removal, you’ll want to thoroughly moisturize the skin afterwards.
Wet shaving is easy to do when you’re in the shower or bath. You can achieve a closer, smoother shave when shaving your legs wet with the Braun Silk Epil Lady Shaver.
Use warm water and shaving cream or gel to lubricate your skin for a close shave and be careful around the ankles and knees – those areas on the legs are most prone to cuts and nicks!
Waxing your legs
Leg waxing is a popular hair removal method that may use a number of products; from sugaring and strip-less hot wax performed in a salon, to the leg wax strips you might have seen in the supermarket.
While there are different treatments available, the process of leg waxing is pretty similar across the board. When the wax substance hardens onto the skin, you can pull it off, removing hair on the leg effectively – though not without pain!
Depilatory or ‘depilation’ creams are used to chemically dissolve hair from the base. Commonly accompanied by an unpleasant smell, hair removing creams aren’t for everyone – though they may be a good option if you want to avoid the razor bumps associated with shaving.
To use depilatory cream on your legs, simply apply the product evenly across the surface of the skin. Wait around 3 minutes for the cream to work its magic, then scrape the hair off using the included spatula. With most depilatory creams, you can enjoy up to four days of stubble-free legs after treatment.