Features two different modes to adjust comfort level
Includes shaver and trimmer attachment
Requires many passes to remove all hair
Isn’t portable or waterproof
Somewhat painful and is temporarily irritating
Braun Silk-Epil 3 3-270 Epilator
We put Braun's Silk-Épil 3 3-270 Epilator to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
There’s much more to hair removal than shaving and waxing, and as a perpetually hairy person, I’m definitely intrigued by any alternative method that can both keep me smooth for longer and be executed from the comfort of my own home. That said, when I had the opportunity to test out Byrdie’s favorite budget epilator, the Braun Silk-Épil 3 3-270 Epilator, I immediately hopped on board.
I’m still pretty new to epilation, and having tested only one other device before this one, I was already weary of the pain and irritation that comes with the process. However, this one is equipped with a 20 tweezer head (indicating it wouldn’t be too intense) as well as a gentle setting, so I was curious to see if this would be a more tolerable hair removal experience.
Read on to hear my thoughts.
Uses: Body hair removal via epilation, electric shaving, and electric trimming
Price: Around $40
Best features: The Braun Silk-Épil 3 3-270 Epilator features a 20 tweezer epilation cap with two different speed settings to ensure comfortable epilation for your skin type and area of the body, a Smartlight that reveals even the finest of hairs during use, and SoftLift Tips to lift flat-lying hairs for easier removal.
About the brand: Founded in 1921 by mechanic and engineer Max Braun, the innovative and design-focused Braun offers the latest in technology across a number of different product categories, including personal grooming and hair removal, electric toothbrushes, kitchen and household appliances, and clocks and watches.
About My Body Hair: Thick, dark hair that grows back quickly
Shaving my legs is probably my least favorite thing to do, and since I’ve been blessed with Sicilian genes, I have to shave mine every two to three days if I want my legs to stay smooth. Dark stubble grows back in what feels like minutes (but really, 24 hours), eventually growing in thick and dark. Waxing has never really been my thing unless for my brows or upper lip, so I was initially pretty interested in giving epilation a try, excited by the idea of being smooth for weeks rather than a day.
The 3 3-270 is intended for body hair (meaning: do not put this anywhere near your face), so I solely tested this one out on my legs. (It can be used on the underarms too, but my sensitive pits prefer to go au naturel.) After allowing a good bit of leg hair to grow in, I tested it on two different occasions over the course of the week, taking note of how well it got the job done and how long it kept me smooth.
The Science: Epilators help you stay smoother longer with initial irritation
Epilation is similar to waxing in the way that it removes hair from the root, rather than cutting the hair at the surface of the skin like a razor. While it’s much less messy and doesn’t involve sticky wax, it’s still pretty irritating and will take your skin a few hours to calm down and actually feel smooth.
Essentially, epilators tweeze large surface areas of the skin at once—which, as you can imagine, is quite uncomfortable and can be pretty painful depending on the area of the body and how sensitive your skin is. Typically, they’re designed with a rolling head that contains anywhere from 20 to 70 tweezers; the more tweezers, the more efficient (and likely the more painful). Like waxing, you can expect redness, bumps, and irritation for the first few hours after using, which is why it’s best to epilate in the evening so that your skin can calm down overnight.
There are also some risks involved with epilators if not used carefully. When Byrdie spoke with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rita Linkner about epilation, she wasn’t exactly a fan and recommended shaving instead. “These devices can cause secondary issues if used aggressively,” she says. “You can cause a decycling of hairs, which is one of the causes of ingrown hairs. I have personally seen hyperpigmentation and ice pick scars happen to patients who are overly aggressive with their epilator devices.” With that said, you should be careful when using any epilator, especially for the first time. Follow the directions and start slow on the lowest, gentlest speed setting, and work your way up.
How to Use: Guide the device against hair growth
To prepare your skin for an epilation session, be sure that the skin is dry and free from any grease, creams, or deodorants. Freshly exfoliated skin will also help the process. When you’re ready to begin, make sure the device is charged and that the epilation head has been thoroughly cleaned. Then turn it on, choosing the setting that’s best for you (I for gentle epilation, and II for more efficient epilation), and gently rub the area to lift any shorter hairs. Holding the appliance at a right angle against your skin, guide it without pressure against the hair growth.
For legs, it’s best to start from your lower leg in an upward direction, being sure to keep the leg stretched out when epilating behind the knees. For underarms, keep your arm raised up and guide the device in different directions to capture all of the hairs.
When you’re finished, unplug the device and remove the epilation head. Thoroughly clean the rolling tweezer element with the cleaning brush dipped in rubbing alcohol. It’s suggested to apply a calming cream or lotion post-use, so opt for something nourishing and unscented to avoid any further irritation.
Design: Easy to use, but requires an outlet
The Silk-Épil 3 3-270 Epilator is pretty sleek in design, a flat egg-shaped device that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It’s easy to maneuver and guide over different parts of the body, though it’s important to note that it’s not cordless and must be plugged into an outlet while in use.
The cord is a decent length, but is still limiting as to where you can use the device.
It’s also important to note that unlike many other epilators on the market, this one isn’t waterproof, so you can’t take it into the shower with you.
The Initial Results: Slight discomfort and irritation
As one would expect, ripping multiple hairs out of their roots at once doesn’t feel very nice.
Epilation is known to be far from painless, but I was surprised at how tolerable this one was compared to others I’ve tried.
It certainly didn’t feel great, but I wasn’t wincing, which was a plus. While using it, it took quite a few passes over each area to remove most of my hair, and though I chose to test it in patches in order to compare regrowth, I estimate it probably would have taken me a full hour to get both legs entirely bare. After finishing each patch, my skin looked pretty bumpy and slightly irritated, so I applied a light unscented lotion and let it calm down. By the next morning, any irritation had dissipated and my legs felt pretty smooth, though I noticed that a few hairs were broken off just above the surface rather than pulled from the root, which left a bit of stubble.
The Final Results: Pretty smooth legs a full week later
A full week later, the areas of my leg that I epilated were still pretty smooth. The few hairs that seemed to have broken at the surface grew back as if I had shaved, but for the most part, my legs were still silky and soft.
Overall, the results lasted much longer than if I had shaved.
I would definitely use it again but would take my time to make sure every single hair was removed from the root and avoid any surface breakage.
The Value: Budget-friendly
The Silk-Épil 3 3-270 Epilator typically retails for around $40, which I think is a pretty wallet-friendly price, especially considering that most others will cost you $100 or more. Sure, it doesn’t come with a slew of attachments and features like some of the fancier devices and kits out there, but it gets the job done effectively and relatively gently.
Similar Products: You’ve got options
Braun Epilator Silk-Épil 9 9/890 ($150): The first and only other epilator I’ve ever tested is another Braun model, the Silk-Épil 9 9/890. A more advanced version of the Silk-Épil 3 3-270, the 9 9/890 boasts more features and comes with all sorts of attachments (which is reflected in its $150 price tag). In addition to including a separate shaver head and trimmer clip-on like the 3 3-270, it includes facial hair and skin contact epilation caps and a separate body hair trimmer that can be used to tidy up the bikini line and other sensitive areas. Its epilation head features 40 tweezers compared to the 3 3-270’s 20, which makes it much more powerful, plus its waterproof, cordless body allows it to be used both wet and dry.
Having tested both firsthand, I appreciated that the 9 9/890 was portable and could be used both in and out of the shower, but I honestly had a much better (and less painful) experience epilating with the 3 3-270. Both took multiple passes to remove hair (despite the 9 9/890 having more tweezers), and I’d take having to be near an outlet over wincing in pain any day.
Emjoi Emagine Epilator ($70): If you’re looking for more efficient epilation, especially for a larger area like the legs, a device with more tweezers will get the job done much more quickly and will require fewer passes over an area. Emjoi’s Emagine Epilator features an impressive 72 tweezers—the most out of any epilator on the market and over 50 more than the 3 3-270—which means pesky leg hair doesn’t stand a chance. However, beginners be wary: If your skin is sensitive or you’re not used to how uncomfortable epilation can be, this one will be far from painless.
I was hesitant about epilators going into this review, but the Silk-Épil 3 3-270 Epilator managed to change my mind. The process was uncomfortable, yes, but this one was much more gentle than epilators I’ve used in the past, making a great introductory device for anyone new to epilation. It still took quite a few passes to fully remove all of my hair, but the end result was long-lasting smooth skin with only minor temporary irritation.
- Product Name Silk-Epil 3 3-270 Epilator
- Product Brand Braun
- UPC 069055879771
- Price $40
- Weight 0.57 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.56 x 7.09 x 7.76 in.
- Material Stainless steel/plastic
- Included Silk-épil 3 3-270 Epilator with epilation cap attached, shaver head, trimmer cap, smart plug cord, cleaning brush
- Warranty 1 year limited warranty