Choosing an IPL Epilator for At-Home Hair Removal

Quick-quiz "My perfect hair remover"

Why the Term IPL Laser Hair Removal is Incorrect

Many people are unaware of the difference between laser hair removal and IPL and are combining two hair removal methods into the name of one. Just to be clear, we don’t blame anyone as there is an abundance of hair removal options available today. But for your knowledge, we would like to inform you about the differences between laser hair removal and an IPL hair removal system.

IPL stands for Intensive Pulsed Light.

  1. IPL uses multiple wavelengths broadly spread high-intensity light whereas laser epilation only emits one concentrated, precise and optimized laser light.
  2. Seen as the laser has a more precise wavelength with the singular one that it has, results are achieved with fewer overall treatments. Although, the intensity of the laser light is of higher, meaning any skin reactions that occur during the treatment are more likely to be permanent as opposed to the IPL hair removal system.

Similarities include the fact that they both don’t contact the skin, therefore, they are both hygienic methods of hair removal and they both destroy hair follicles in their active phases, therefore they will not grow back if they were destroyed in this part of the hair cycle. Both methods will result in a noticeable hair growth reduction in 6-8 sessions.

The IPL hair removal system has a number of advantages and is among the most popular methods.

What is IPL Hair Removal

IPL is an intense pulsed light which is used to reduce or completely eliminate hair growth for extended periods of time. It is necessary to undergo a series of treatments before achieving the desired results as the light needs to be directed onto the hair in its active growth phase. The process is completely painless and does not cause any irritation and leaves your skin smooth.

The IPL hair removal machine doesn’t come in contact with the skin. For this reason, there is no risk of infection. The whole treatment doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes. Photoepilation can be performed on any part of your body, and the possibility of ingrown hairs is ruled out. In addition, photo epilation causes the skin to produce collagen and elastin, which makes the skin youthful and firm. Until recently, this kind of treatment used to be available only at beauty salons or a specific clinic. Today, however, it can be done at home. You only have to take the time to choose a legitimate photo depilatory, which can be quite expensive.

How an IPL Laser Hair Removal System Works

A photo epilator emits thermal and light pulses which affect body hair. The device emits light which is absorbed by hair and transformed into heat. This thermal energy destroys the hair follicle and blocks subsequent hair growth causing the hair to fall out. The IPL hair removal system does not affect eyesight. It is important to note the fact that photo epilation is only effective on dark hair as this method of hair removal does not work on fair hair or peach fuzz. To eliminate peach fuzz or dark hair ELOS hair removal can cater to your needs.

How to Choose an At-Home IPL Hair Removal Machine

When choosing the best IPL laser hair removal system, consider the following characteristics: pulse strength of the light beam, life cycle of the lamp and the size of the light spot.

  • Pulse strength of the light beam. This is the primary characteristic which defines the effectiveness of hair removal and safety of the treatment. The most preferred pulse strength equals 5 J/cm2, with this level of intensity a skin burn is impossible making them the best IPL hair removal machines to go for. There are devices in which the intensity of the light beam can be adjusted, i.e. made more or less strong. However, you should bear in mind that a stronger light beam may cause severe skin problems.
  • Size of the light spot. This characteristic defines the area of your skin which is treated by a single flash. The smaller the size of this spot, the longer the treatment will take and the more flashes you will have to make. Modern epilators are able to treat 6 cm2 of the skin in a single flash making them the best IPL hair removal models available. Unfortunately, this characteristic is only specified on expensive models. Cheaper models have a considerably smaller area of skin treated in a single flash.
  • Life cycle of the lamp module. The lamp is the only expendable part of a photo epilator which has to be replaced at some point. In cheaper models, it is designed for at least 750 flashes. The resource of the best IPL hair removal epilators is 40 000 flashes, these are used by professionals and are expensive. The less the resource of the lamp, the more often you will have to replace it. It should be noted that the lamp can be quite pricey in some models.

The Best IPL Hair Removal Brands

An IPL hair removal review can tell you a lot about the product. We recommend going over reviews from first-hand users of the appliance in order to get honest information from the users allowing you to understand which is the best IPL machine for you. The pros and cons will generally be displayed and you will easily recognize whether the device is suitable for you.  We perceive the following brands to be the top 3 on our list after comparing and trialing many.

1. Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X

Description:  The Tria Hair Removal Laser is completely safe and effective. It is dermatologist-recommended technology and the first FDA-cleared laser available for home use. Includes a built-in sensor safety feature to ensure your skin tone is appropriate.

The Tria Hair Removal Laser provides professional, permanent results of hair elimination from the comfort and privacy of your own home. It is comfortable to use and has an easy-to-use digital interface which guides you through treatments.  After only a few treatments you will be on your way to permanent silky smooth skin.
Recommended use: Every 2 weeks for up to 3 months. Prepare skin by cleansing, shaving and then towel-dry. Start on a low setting and work your way up.


2. Philips Lumea Comfort IPL Hair Removal System

Description: The Philips Lumea Comfort IPL has five adjustable light energy settings. It is gentle and effective on the most sensitive areas of the body. Treatment areas include legs, armpits, bikini, stomach, and arms.  The device has a skin tone sensor which will automatically detect the hair and skin tone is suitable, if not it will automatically stop emitting pulses.

Unlike other brands, this device does not require any replacement parts and provides more than four years of full body treatments with no replacement lamps.

Recommended Use: Always shave the skin before treatment. Use the Lumea Comfort every two weeks for the first four to five treatments. In between treatments, hair sheds naturally and the growth of hair altogether is reduced. Repeat the treatment when needed.  By following this regimen, you can expect 75% hair reduction after only four treatments (two months).



3. Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001

Description: Gillette Venus Silk- expert IPL is clinically tested by experts, it is FDA cleared. The treatments are gentle and painless. This device has fastest IPL technology allowing you to treat a leg or arm in just 8 minutes, without compromising on the effectiveness. 94% of women experience noticeable results after only 3 months.

There are no hidden costs for gels, replacement cartridges or safety glasses. The hair removal device is safe and clinically tested for use without glasses. It uses the same principles as salon IPL treatments, all in the comfort of your own home.

Recommended use: Shave areas before use with the Gillette Venus razor. In the first phase of your treatment, treat once a week for 4 – 12 weeks. Then adjust to your needs. You will see permanent hair reduction in as little as four weeks.



How to Use an IPL Epilator

You should start to prepare yourself for IPL laser hair removal two weeks in advance. During this time, you should avoid exposing your skin to the sun, refrain from taking antibiotics and check your skin for any kind of rash. Two days prior, shave your body hair in the area you will be epilating with either a women’s electric razor or disposable razors of any kind will do the job perfectly. The length of hair should not exceed 2 millimeters. If your hair is long and thin, epilation will fail.

Gauge your skin tone using the scale, which should be provided with the device. Choose the tone that corresponds to your skin type and adjust the device accordingly. The intensity depends on your complexion: the darker the skin, the lower the intensity should be.

The device is pressed against the skin, switched on and immediately moved on to the next area. You must not return to the places which have already been treated. Treated areas must not overlap.

When treatment is over, apply a cooling and soothing cream.

The epilator must be cleaned with a special solution which comes with the device.

If the treatment has been implemented properly, the hair will fall out within 10-14 days. The effects of this kind of epilation will last for a month. Treatment has to be repeated regularly until the follicles are completely destroyed. This process involves 6 – 10 sessions. The exact number of sessions depends on your hair structure.  Be sure to read up on IPL hair removal reviews to see what the results are like with someone who has similar characteristics as you.

Contra-Indications for Photo Epilation

Photo-epilation is contra-indicated for individuals who have skin inflammations, allergic or photo-allergic reactions or chronic skin diseases, such as rosea or tetter. In addition, individuals with thyroid disorders, malignant tumors, vascular and heart diseases, infectious diseases and those with acute herpes should refrain from using the IPL hair removal system. IPL laser hair removal machines are also contraindicated if you have dark moles, are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are a teenager.

It is advisable to see a specialist before you start going through with the treatment and also be sure to rely on IPL hair removal reviews. All guidelines and precautions must be followed after epilation, which includes avoiding exposure of the treated skin to cold or hot temperatures.



Quick-quiz "My perfect hair remover"


    • fotoepil says:

      It differs from person to person as everyone is individual. But to answer your question on average 8-10 sessions will be enough to be totally hairless.

  1. Gaia says:

    I know the hair needs to be of a certain length, shaved a couple of days before but why is that exactly?

    • fotoepil says:

      Hi Gaia,
      The reason is because shorter hair makes it more comfortable for you and easier for the energies of the laser to travel down to the follicle faster.

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