An epilator is an electric or a battery-powered device that seizes multiple hairs at once and yanks them out of the body. It works in a manner similar to waxing. While epilators are popular because hair takes a long time to grow back, they can also be extremely painful. Many people use numbing creams before they use their epilator in order to make the process less irritating.
Numbing creams are topical creams that temporarily numb the skin when they are applied. They are designed to ease irritation, itching and pain caused by minor injuries. Some numbing creams require a prescription because they are based on Novocaine.
Numbing creams come in concentrations from 1 to 5 percent. They are thick and may dry on the skin if left there too long. They can be washed off when you are done using them so that you can quickly recover sensitivity in the area.
Numbing creams come in several types. Creams that are designed to ease itching caused by irritation from poison ivy are the most common and easiest to obtain. If you do not have major pain issues with epilating, then this may be enough to make things tolerable. However, if you experience serious pain during epilation, then you should consider an over-the-counter brand or even a prescription cream. These have relatively high concentrations of numbing components in them and should only be used after consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
When you use a numbing cream, do not apply too much at once. As the cream dries out, the effects will decrease. For example, if you are going to epilate your bikini area, use the cream on one side. Then epilate before moving to the other side. Also remember that these creams are being absorbed into your body, so do not overdo the amount you put on.
Many people think that a numbing cream will make epilating completely painless. While this may be true for a few lucky individuals, in general this is not the case. The cream will make the pain less, more like the "mild discomfort" promised by many professional hair removal salons and products, but it will not make it go away completely.
Do not ever apply a numbing cream to your entire body. As the chemicals are absorbed into your body and bloodstream, they can actually poison you if their concentrations are too high. Numbing creams should only be used in sensitive areas that otherwise you might not be able to tolerate epilation in. For less sensitive areas like the legs or back, try to do without. If you must use the cream, then you will need to do your hair removal over the course of several days.