Are Crystal Hair Erasers Really Better Than Razors?

For centuries, women were content to let nature take its course when it came to body hair. Then a century or so ago, razor manufacturers took advantage of the new and daring flapper fashion — which showed bare arms and legs — to convince women they should rid themselves of their unsightly leg and armpit hair. Thus began the war against hair that continues to this day, as we search for new ways to de-fuzz that don't end up nicking or irritating the skin, costing a fortune, or leaving annoying strays behind. 

One of the newest products on the market — and, naturally, going viral on TikTok — is the crystal hair eraser. The gadget, which looks something like a metallic bean with a smooth bottom, retails for around $12 to $15 online. It promises to remove body hair more quickly, painlessly, and cleanly than razors. Since erasers don't use chemicals or disposable blades, and they can be used for up to three years, manufacturers tout their environmentally friendly nature. By contrast, you should be changing your razor blades or disposable razors every week or two, depending on how often they're used and whether they're starting to tug on the skin. Crystal hair erasers also exfoliate the top layer of skin, leaving the legs feeling super-smooth. 

Two well-known reality stars have done sponsored promotions for the beauty devices. Many TikTok influencers also swear they're the real deal. But do they really live up to the hype?

Two Duggar sisters say crystal hair removers really work

Despite the magical-sounding name, crystal hair erasers aren't exactly high-tech or innovative: The bottom of the device is made of etched glass. They also don't actually "erase" anything – when rubbed in a circular motion, the glass helps tear off hair and exfoliate the skin cells beneath. Unlike razors, they don't need blades to cut the hair. 

That's a plus for fans of the device — including former reality stars Jill Duggar Dillard and Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth. Like other members of their family, the Duggar sisters are finally able to connect with their fans in a personal way. Sometimes, that connection includes paid sponsorships of products they like. Most recently, Jill and Joy shared testimonials on their Instagram Stories about crystal hair erasers. "I was, like, a skeptic whenever I saw this," Jill admitted. "But I would not have done this advertisement and told you guys about it if it did not work."

To prove the effectiveness of the device, both Jill and Joy tested their crystal hair erasers on their good-sport husbands, Derick Dillard and Austin Forsyth. If this razor alternative can take off the thick fur on a guy's leg, they reasoned, it can work on anything. In Joy's case, it may have worked a little too well. As The U.S. Sun reported, Joy rubbed the eraser on Austin's ankle and calf, leaving a very noticeable large bare patch. "It's gonna take forever to grow back," he lamented.

Some TikTok users say crystal hair removers have a downside

The Duggar sisters' testimonials for crystal hair erasers seem convincing, but do these de-fuzzers really do the job better than razors? Dermatologists have cautioned Allure readers that the friction caused by the erasers is likely to leave skin red and inflamed and increase the chance of ingrown hairs. Because of this, it's best not to use the product on sensitive areas — such as the armpits and the bikini area — until you know how it affects your skin. 

While some users on TikTok rave about the erasers' effectiveness, others, such as Sarah Jane Parker, give them a huge thumbs-down. She calls the eraser "basically a big glass nail file that can cause pretty severe skin irritation and friction burns," adding that it left her arms sore for nearly two weeks. Reviewers on Amazon also criticize crystal erasers for leaving skin feeling "on fire." One dissatisfied customer tried using the device in the shower and found it was hard to hold and to see where she needed to shave, saying "I'm just scared of this thing." 

Curious to try a crystal hair eraser? Test it first on a small area of skin to see how you tolerate it before moving on to bigger areas. Afterward, apply a good moisturizer to prevent inflammation. If you find it doesn't work for you, you can always go back to using your preferred method of hair removal, but it could be a good sustainable swap for your shower routine. Only time and testing can tell.