May 4, 2023/Skin Care & Beauty

Do Crystal Hair Erasers Actually Erase Hair?

They work for some skin types but are less efficient — and messier — than shaving

person holding smooth leg up

“My boyfriend is obsessed with my legs now!” the spokesmodel (who gets paid to have great legs) exclaims joyfully. It’s part of a viral advertisement for one of the many crystal hair erasers flooding both the cosmetics market and your social media feed.


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The breathless marketing campaigns for these products make them seem like a lot more than just another hair removal fad. Forget the boyfriend: These things may just be the key to world peace!

But what exactly are crystal hair erasers? And are they even half as magical as the ads suggest? We asked aesthetician Lori Scarso, who was kind enough to try one out for us.

How does a crystal hair remover work?

Here’s the basic pitch.

Crystal hair erasers are handheld hair-removal devices that fit in your hand like a computer mouse. The top is smooth, while the bottom is a crystalline surface — which is a less-scary way to say etched glass.

According to the manufacturers, if you lightly rub the crystal hair eraser on your skin in a circular motion, the hair will clump together and slough off. The result is similar to shaving, as you’re removing the hair at the follicle opening, not the root (like you do with waxing).

But wait … there’s more!

Because crystal hair erasers effectively buff the hair off your skin, they exfoliate it, too. According to the advertisements, that means you can say goodbye to “strawberry legs,” ingrown hairs, skin irritation and razor burn — and hello to softer, smoother skin.

And crystal hair erasers are reusable, saving you money and reducing waste.

There’s a reason the ads are everywhere: This new category of cosmetics has people very excited. But does it deliver on all those promises?


Yes and no, according to Scarso.

“It does work,” she says. “It’s painless and it’s easy. I feel like it was a little more time-consuming than shaving, but that could be due to the product that I used.”

But there’s one part of the experience that never seems to make it into the videos: The yucky stuff. “It’s a little messy,” Scarso notes. You have to use the product on dry skin. The result, according to Scarso: “You’re going to have skin cells all over your clothes.” She suggests using crystal hair erasers in the bath or shower so you can wash both your body and the debris off afterward.

If the idea of cleaning up human snow makes you a bit queasy, this is definitely not for you.

Who should (and shouldn’t) use a crystal hair eraser

There are very few (if any) one-size-fits-all hair removal solutions. What works like a charm for one skin type or hair texture can cause major problems for another. And the same applies to crystal hair erasers. Scarso notes that while she found it an effective and pain-free option, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have the same experience.

“These products can be abrasive,” Scarso explains. “It requires a little bit of pressure on the skin, going around in circles. So, it may cause a little redness, irritation or rash if it’s used too much.” If you have particularly dry or sensitive skin, crystal hair erasers probably aren’t the best option for you.

Scarso also points out that if your skin has been compromised in any way, you shouldn’t use a crystal hair eraser. That includes if you currently have a sunburn, if you’re using retinoid or retinol products or if you have a medical condition such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, keratosis pilaris or even run-of-the-mill acne.

As that long list suggests, crystal hair erasers definitely aren’t for everybody. But they are right for some.

For example — while it’s not part of the standard pitch — Scarso suggests that crystal hair erasers could be a great introduction to shaving.


“I think this would be a nice start for someone, maybe in their preteens, who’s afraid of using a razor,” she says. Because of how the product fits in your hand, it may also be a good option if you don’t have the manual dexterity to hold a razor.

It may also be worth trying if you’re looking for a long-term, inexpensive and environmentally conscious alternative to shaving and waxing.


Here are a few things to be aware of before you decide to take the crystal hair eraser for a test drive:

  • There are a lot of them. This category of products has exploded over the past few years, so there are a lot of options to choose from. Depending on what you buy, you could spend anywhere from $7 to $60. Make sure you do a little research before you purchase one to make sure you’re getting a crystal hair eraser that uses high-quality materials. Remember: These things are made with etched glass. And you’re rubbing them on your skin.
  • Follow the directions. We know it looks pretty hard to mess this up. But many people do. Especially with so many crystal hair removers available, you need to make sure you’re following the instructions for your specific eraser, even if they differ from what you saw on Tik Tok. Again: We’re dealing with etched glass, here. Better safe than sorry!
  • Do a patch text first. Test the crystal hair eraser before using it all over your legs or arms. Some people experience skin irritation and rash. You want to make sure you’re not one of them before you buff your bod.
  • Don’t use it on sensitive areas. Some crystal hair erasers say they’re safe for use on your armpits and bikini line, but, once again: Etched glass. “I feel like it’s safe to use it on the leg, the arm maybe,” Scarso says, adding, “But I would avoid sensitive areas, especially the face because it can be abrasive.”
  • Make sure your skin is dry. Scarso recommends using crystal hair erasers on dry skin. Product reviews suggest that using them on wet skin can be both irritating and ineffective.
  • Apply light pressure. If you scour yourself with etched glass, it’s probably not going to feel great. Apply light pressure instead and remember that this form of hair removal takes longer than shaving.

Crystal clear

Crystal hair eraser advertisers have made some really big promises. In some cases — for some people — they deliver on them.

But they aren’t revolutionary. In fact, they don’t even really change the game: The results are very similar to shaving, take longer to achieve and leave hair and dead skin cells everywhere.

Crystal hair erasers are, in a word: Fine. And you should try one if you want to. They’re cost-effective and reusable, so they’re definitely worth considering. Just don’t expect any miracles.

As an aesthetician, what’s Scarso’s preference for hair removal? Wax, if your skin can tolerate it. Or laser hair removal — if your wallet can tolerate it. Both options will give you cleaner, longer-lasting results, with less etched glass.

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