At-home Hair Removal: IPL VS Epilation

At-home Hair Removal: IPL VS Epilation

 

These days there are seemingly endless ways to get rid of unwanted body hair from the comfort of your own home. Here at Evenskyn, we believe you should be able to use premium beauty treatments without having to book appointments and drive downtown to get them. And when it comes to hair removal, at-home IPL devices are one of the best alternatives to professional care.

But how does IPL stack up against the most popular hair removal methods? In past articles, we’ve discussed how IPL compares to shaving and waxing, and today we’re going to do the same with epilating. Epilators have been used for some years now, and have grown more popular over time. So which hair removal method is the best choice for you: IPL, or epilation?  

Benefits of Epilation

An epilator is an electric device with a rotating wheel at the head. This wheel holds a series of small tweezers that move across the skin, plucking out multiple hairs at a time from the root. The benefits and drawbacks of this method include:

  • Results last longer than shaving or hair removal cream, as hairs are pulled out from the root. Depending on your cycles of hair growth, it can take between 2-4 weeks before regrowth starts to show.
  • Compared to waxing, where hair needs to be grown out for treatment to be effective, epilation is much better at removing short hairs. Epilators can remove hairs as short as 0.5 mm, meaning you barely have to wait between sessions.
  • Though epilation is not a permanent hair removal solution, most hairs will grow back softer and finer compared to regrowth from shaving, as the hairs are removed from the root.

Drawbacks of Epilation:

  • Epilators are painful. Just think of the twinges of pain you feel when tweezing stray hairs, and multiply that by 10! Though the pain will reduce as you become more used to the treatment, there's no denying that the first few sessions will be a struggle.
  • Unfortunately, epilation can cause ingrown hairs, one of the ugliest side effects of many hair removal methods.
  • A common side effect of epilating is red skin in the treated area. This is only a superficial issue, but you may want to avoid epilation immediately before leaving the house. 
  • Though they can technically be used on any part of the body, these devices are not ideal for sensitive areas. Because epilating can be so painful it is often too difficult to use on the bikini area, underarms, and face.
  • Epilators are not a catch-all, and it’s quite common for these devices to miss hairs the first time around. They can also break hairs off rather than uprooting them cleanly, resulting in stubbly regrowth. Getting every hair may take longer than expected, or you may need to do repeat sessions in the following days.

Benefits of IPL:

IPL (intense pulsed light) is a treatment that emits varying wavelengths of light in short bursts. These bursts of light target the pigment in your hair follicles, damaging the roots of your hair and reducing hair regrowth over time. Benefits of IPL include:

  • This treatment is minimally painful, and the sensation is often compared to a rubber band being flicked against the skin.
  • IPL use will get rid of ingrown hairs permanently since it reduces hair growth at the root of the follicle.
  • There is a minimal chance it will damage the skin through hyperpigmentation or scarring, compared to laser. There is also no chance of razor burn which can occur with shaving.
  • IPL treatment is generally quick and easy and takes approximately 15-30 minutes at a time. It can be even quicker if used on small areas such as the armpits or upper lip.
  • After only a few treatments you should notice a significant reduction in hair growth, and for many these results are permanent. 
  • Results last much longer than shaving, and after a number of sessions, your skin can remain smooth for as long as 8 weeks at a time.

Downsides of IPL:

  • Though IPL treatment can produce a permanent reduction of regrowth, unlike laser treatment it does not permanently remove hair at the follicle.
  • Some mild redness and swelling can occur after use. These side effects are superficial and painless but can last for up to 48 hours after a session.
  • The initial price point for many IPL machines can be a stumbling block for some.
  • Many IPL devices don’t work as well on certain skin and hair types and are often less effective on people who have darker skin or blond and light red hair. 

Conclusion: IPL vs. Epilation

Though epilation is a good hair removal treatment for those with enough patience and high pain tolerance, in the end, we believe that IPL wins out. Not only because it’s significantly less painful, but it is also more effective in permanently reducing hair growth over time.

That means you need fewer and fewer sessions after the first 6-12 months of use, saving you time and money. At the end of the day, the best hair removal treatments are the ones that require less of your time and energy. Between these two treatments, IPL is the clear winner.


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