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Perhaps you’ve heard the term IPL when browsing treatments in a salon or delving into the world of at-home hair removal, but do you know what it is and how it works?

What is IPL (INTENSE PULSED LIGHT)?

Intense Pulsed Light therapy (often referred to as IPL) is a non-invasive treatment often used in hair removal devices.

It differs from Laser technology in that it uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths to ensure wider coverage on the skin’s surface, often resulting in quicker treatment times.

Many of our devices also offer Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) technology that continuously assesses the skin type to ensure the correct light strength is being used on each area.

How does it work?

It channels high-intensity pulses to directly target light energy into the hair shaft.

The melanin in the hair shaft quickly absorbs the light energy, which in turn generates a gentle heat below the skin’s surface. It’s this same energy that disables the hair follicle and stunts hair growth.

However, as hairs grows in three consecutive phases and at different times, it’s important to follow a regular treatment plan to catch any unwanted hairs that were missed in previous sessions.

The longer you continue to use the technology as a maintenance method, the better the results will be.

How many IPL treatments does it take to see results?

With most IPL devices, you’ll need to treat the desired areas once a week for 10-12 weeks. Many customers do start to see results in as little as 4 weeks, as their hair begins to grow back slower, lighter in colour and much finer than before.

Does IPL have any side effects and is it safe?

Yes, at-home IPL treatments are safe. You should always purchase your device from a trusted brand and official retailer. Most devices come with a built-in skin sensor and UV filter to protect your skin.

To check if IPL treatments are safe for your skin type, you should always check the user manual and Fitzpatrick Scale. Generally, IPL devices are mostly suitable for those with skin tones I to V on the Fitzpatrick Scale and those with dark blonde, brown or black hair.

How long does IPL last - is it Permanent?

IPL treatments permanently reduce hair regrowth, meaning that after your initial treatment period, you’ll only need to complete top-up treatments every 2-8 weeks. How long you can go in between these top-up treatments depends on which device you use.

Does IPL Hurt?

Most of our customers find that IPL treatments are comfortable. When carrying out your treatments, you will feel the heat from the device and a slight stinging sensation.

Can I do IPL while breastfeeding?

No, you shouldn’t use an IPL device while breastfeeding.

Can you use IPL on your face?

Yes most devices allow you to treat the hair on your face too. Men shouldn’t use an IPL device on their face as the results may be permanent or leave unintended bald patches.

Can you use IPL on tattoos?

No, do not use an IPL device over tattoos.

Can I use IPL technology at home?

Absolutely. IPL devices allow you to work quickly across the skin, with some models allowing you to treat the whole body in just 10 minutes.

The good thing about this treatment type is that you don’t have to wait for regrowth for the technology to work, so your treatment plan can fit in around your schedule.

Although you may still feel a slight sensation throughout your treatment, IPL is certainly less painful than many traditional hair removal methods.

The result is typically over 90% hair reduction over 3 months, with visible results after just 4 weeks.

Our product expert says…

IPL can be an incredibly effective way of saving you time and money on those all important hair removal appointments. When choosing an at-home hair removal device, it’s important to make sure it’s suitable for your skin type and hair type - if you are unsure we are always on hand to provide a free consultation.