Home Fashion & Beauty Beauty Photo Epilation (IPL) at Home: Is It Safe or Should You Stick...

Photo Epilation (IPL) at Home: Is It Safe or Should You Stick to Regular Epilators?

Zerxza.com may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page but we only feature brands or products we trust.

Readers' Picks

9 Ways How Wearing Too Much Make Up Ruins Your Skin Completely

Smart marketing campaigns, beautiful packaging and branding, and gorgeous cover girls drive millions of women to cover their skin in makeup day in and...

Magnetic Eyelashes: What Are They & How Do They Work

Women are obsessed with longer, fuller, bigger lashes, and they’ll do just about anything to get them. From hundreds of mascara options to eyelash...

What You Can Do to Be More Attractive Without Wearing Makeup

For many women, makeup is a must-have. In fact, you might be so used to wearing makeup that you’re afraid you won’t look attractive...

Math in Makeup: Geometric Makeup Dazzles Beauty Gurus

Geometric makeup hit the runways in 2017 and it wasn’t long before Instagram was flooded over with angles, edges, bold colors and striking shapes...

What Women Sacrifice for Beauty (and Is It Always Worth It)

Beauty is a passionate topic for many women. It’s fun to play with makeup, explore hair styles, and enjoy the latest fashion trends. But...

Makeup Free Life: Is it Possible and How You Can Still Look Pretty

Makeup is everywhere. There’s even a “no-makeup” look you achieve with - you guessed it - makeup! But if you’re thinking of going for a...
18-Month Risk-Free Sleep Trial

Body hair – the bane of every woman. For decades, women have tried to find better techniques for getting rid of annoying hair, but until now, these techniques have been either inefficient or extremely painful.

For that reason, most women have opted either for the methods that need to be used very often – such as shaving – or more long-lasting but painful methods such as waxing or epilating.

But what if there’s a hair removal method that combines the best of two worlds – long-lasting results with minimal pain? The good news is: there is and it’s called light-based hair removal.

The fascinating world of intense pulsed light (IPL)

Light-based hair removal utilizes a technology called intense pulsed light (IPL). This technology has been used in cosmetology and medicine for years as IPL has been deemed to be an efficient way to treat several conditions, including sun damage, skin pigmentation and much more.

During treatment, a flashgun-like device is used to emit light on the surface of the skin which travels through the skin with one purpose: to find melanin which is located in the vastest concentration in the root of the hair. The light will travel until it hits such a place. When it does, the light is absorbed and turned into heat which will essentially burn the hair-producing part, thus resulting in hair removal.

Since the light needs to be absorbed by the pigment, it doesn’t work that well with very light hair. The most effective result is seen by those who have light skin but dark hair. The darker the hair, the more effective the result is.

While IPL technology does essentially remove hair, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a one-time quick fix that will permanently remove all of the hair. As experts have said, it’s not a permanent hair removal method, it’s a permanent hair reduction method – you’ll definitely have less body hair but not all of the hair will be removed.

Why is that so? The explanation is actually quite simple. The thing is, not all hair is active all the time. IPL treatment will target only the hair that’s currently active.

Usually, it will take about 8 to 10 treatments to get rid of most visible hair and these treatments should be about 4 to 6 weeks apart. Mostly, hair reduction of 60-80% can be expected.

IPL vs lasers: what’s the difference?

When talking about light-based hair removal treatments, there’s actually one method that’s often mistaken for IPL: laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal and IPL are very similar, even so much that many clinics and spas confuse these two. In their essence, both technologies utilize light energy.

Laser hair removal devices use just one very strongly concentrated wavelength of light which tries to target one specific pigment. IPL devices, however, use a wider spectrum of wavelengths and thus, the light isn’t so intense. For that reason, IPL technology isn’t so prone to burning the skin while regular laser hair removal is notorious for that.

Laser hair removal emits stronger light that penetrates deeper than IPL, so it’s also entirely possible for IPL to miss a few more hairs than the laser method would. But on the upside, as mentioned – you’ll be less likely to burn yourself.

When it comes to the effectiveness of hair removal, both methods are fairly similar and will require a similar amount of treatments too, though IPL is said to require a few extra sessions.

Are lasers and intense pulsed light treatments safe or will they give you cancer?

Since we’re dealing with lasers, light and a bit of sci-fi kind of devices in these treatments, there’s one horrific myth circling around: people are afraid that light-based hair treatments will cause cancer.

One extensive 2017 study focused on that myth and found that to be nowhere near the truth. According to the study, being repeatedly exposed to intense pulsed light will not increase cancer risk since a typical wavelength that’s used in IPL devices is not capable of doing any photochemical reactions with melanomas. Melanomas would simply absorb that wavelength and turn it into heat but in no way would the light contribute to the melanoma’s growth. As the study said, the melanoma would develop as it would have done even without the IPL treatment.

Simply put: intense pulsed light devices can’t give you cancer.

The biggest risk of using intense pulsed light devices is burning yourself and causing some issues due to a severe burn (which might happen, for example, should the device malfunction). During normal use, you wouldn’t burn yourself to such extent to actually consider it an injury.

However, photo epilation will create a kind of sunburn-like sensation where your skin is reddish and sensitive (and might be also peeling). Experts recommend staying away from direct sun exposure at least 4 weeks before and after the treatments.

As with every procedure, there are some other side effects to note. These are noted to be the most common side effects of intense pulsed light treatments (according to this study):

  • Redness (in 87% of cases)
  • Hyperpigmentation (60%)
  • Hypopigmentation (20%)
  • Blood spots (purple-colored spots on the skin) (27%)
  • Blisters (20%)
  • Swelling (13%)
  • Crusting (13%)

Most likely you can expect your skin to be red and you might look like you have a sunburn, but other than that, you’re not likely to experience any serious side effects. And most importantly – you don’t have to worry about cancer.

Is IPL hair removal painful?

One of the biggest perks of IPL technology is its relatively low pain level in comparison to other hair removal methods. It’s definitely not completely pain-free, but as DermNet NZ has explained: “The sensation has been likened to a light pinch or the snap of a rubber band.”

All people have different pain tolerance levels though and of course, some skin areas are more sensitive but at the most part, IPL is times and times less painful than good old epilating.

The best part is, you don’t need to go to a salon anymore to give your skin an IPL treatment. With devices such as Braun’s Silk-expert or DEESS hair removal system, you can get the same salon-treatment at home. While the initial cost of the device seems hefty, it’s nothing compared to the cost of going to multiple treatments. Plus, you can remove your body hair from the comfort of your home.

Safe, efficient and almost pain-free: IPL technology is a blessing for every woman.

Latest at Zerxza

Cinnamon: Spice Fit for Kings

To most people, cinnamon reminds Christmas or absolutely divine pastries. But this great spice doesn't just make your house smell like Christmas....

11 Financial Decisions That Keep You Poor

On first glance, you think you are completely responsible with your finances. You work hard, don't spend overly much but yet you...

Sex Machines: 400 Bucks and Satisfaction for Life

Some sex toys have made their way into the mainstream. Vibrators, for example, are so normal nowadays that most people have at...

Burglars Were “Social Distancing”? Reports Show Potential Rise of Crime After Restrictions Are Eased

The stay-at-home order has brought one interesting perk: the majority of states saw a significant decline in burglaries and in some regions,...

Do You Need Love in Order to Be Truly Happy? New Research Has an Answer

For decades, many people have adamantly believed that the next natural step in their adulthood is to find a partner and get...

If Healthy Food Would Be More Attractive, Would You Eat Them More Often? Professors Say You Might

We are what we eat but what if what we eat is dependant on how it looks like? In...

Lack of Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet May Lead to Lethal Consequences

If there's one golden rule of healthy eating that most of us tend to ignore, it's the habit of eating fruits and vegetables. However, lack...
shop katy perry collections

Related Articles