My epilator horror story

I have been contemplating electrolysis and laser hair removal and browsing their respective forums for many months now. That said, it is my awful experience with epilators that has prompted me to finally create a user name just so I could make sure everyone was aware of the worst case scenario. Afterall, I didn’t think I would be posting such a thing.

I have the Opti Max Emoji and used it for about a year and a half. I loved it. It was convenient, not that painful once you got used to it, and it left my legs both looking and feeling smooth (something razors have not done for me in ages, as I have dark coarse hair). I cannot remember how far into it my epilator began giving me trouble but what I do know is that I looked at my legs a few months ago and realized they were a complete disaster. They were covered in ingrowns, and scars from the ingrowns, which had become infected, and dark spots where particularly deep ingrowns had grown too far below the skin to ever surface. Mind you, I use tendskin, I exfoliate, I moisturize, and I don’t recall ingrowns having been a serious problem before this even though I did occasionally wax. My epilator, which I thought had saved me, had absolutely butchered my legs. I could not wear dresses or shorts because my legs were so marked up that it was truly unsightly. They simply grew worse with ever hair growth cycle. The hairs could not, and are still struggling to, grow out normally!

It has been almost three months since I have used the epilator on my legs and they look remarkably better. However, I spent the first part of my summer, in pants while I let all the hair grow out and the scars fade. The scars are not gone and I still have ingrowns, but its getting better. The epilator wreaked particular havoc on my bikini line, which I still mourn over. Did I mention that I have some fine hairs which have grown completely under my skin, fully extended, not even curled! It is just absurd.

Perhaps my experience was unusually bad, but is it really a risk you want to take? If you are at all prone to ingrowns stop using it now. If you have sensitive skin, scar easily and are prone to hyperpigmentation. Stop. Its really not worth it. Sure, it reduced the hair from my shaving days, but I’d give it up in a second to get rid of the scars on my legs & bikini, and the horrible hair growth that keeps resulting in more of them. Its been both embarrassing and inconvenient and I hope nobody finds themselves in such a predicament.

Yes, put this thing in the garbage. You may want to consider lasing your legs and finishing with electrolysis. GentleLase (alexandrite) would be great. If you want electrolysis, then you must find an electrologist that has invested in a profesional machine that does MicroFlash or PicoFlash thermolysis. These modalities of thermolysis allows the electrolysis process to move along much faster and with more comfort for the client. Micro and Pico are deadly to hair follicles, too. I had my leg hair removed in the '70’s when the equipment was not so good and my skin outcome was horrible. I’m hair free today and my skin is back to babyhood skin. I notice the smoothness of my legs every single day. Best thing I ever earned money for, hands down.

Glad your skin has been given a rest and is healing. Thanks for relating your story about your epilator journey. You did a random act of kindness today that will help others avoid misery.


I wish I had been introduced to this site before I bought my Braun silk epil. I wouldv’ve been spared the same fate of ingrowns and scars all over my legs, arms, and abdomen.
I’m glad to hear your legs have improved after 3 months of not using your epilator. I’ve stopped using mine for over a month and my legs and abdomen still look horrible. At least, my arms are looking better.

Right now, I’m just happy to know that I’m not the only one who has these problems and I can also do something to fix them.

Though I am a long time lurker I felt compelled to create an account and respond to this thread. Thanks so much for posting this. I agree with you 110%. I have experienced the same thing with my epilator. I was using it for about a year when I really examined my legs and bikini line and was horrified. I thought the ingrown hair problem was temporary but it wasn’t. The scarring is so bad it looks like I have a skin disease on my bikini line. I have since stopped epilating but after 4 months I have only noticed minimal improvement and I still get ingrowns when I have never ever gotten ingrowns from shaving…beware of these things! I believe I have permanantly distorted the follicles on my legs.

You guys should consider laser to remove these follicles altogether. Once they’re gone, the skin will gradually improve as well. I’ve experienced that myself.

exactly the same experience - i wish i had stopped sooner too. i have been waxing regularly instead for just over a year now and there’s a huge difference. no more ingrowns on my lower legs, very few on my thighs (but unfortunately they are still the deep ingrowns and full hairs growing beneath the skin). the bikini line is still a bit of a problem in terms of ingrowns but nowhere near as bad as it was with epilation, when i would regularly have huge boil type spots. i have started laser on my underarms now and hopefully will move onto my bikini line when i can see the underarms are responding well. i hate looking at it, even when it’s hair free it looks terrible with all the old scars.

How, exactly, can the epilators have this effect on the skin and hair while waxing does not?

Epilators are kind of hap-hazard in their ripping motion. Waxing at least pulls everything in one direction, thus not having as many hairs that come out like the epilators. The same thing happens, just not to as many hairs on each treatment.