By Shannon Campbell.
If you’ve given up on the more traditional methods of hair removal like shaving and waxing, we don’t blame you. They can be messy, painful, or just fail to give you the results that you want. So no doubt you’ve looked into IPL as a better alternative.
IPL (or Intense Pulsed Light) is a form of hair removal, similar to laser removal, that uses different wavelengths of pulsed light to target and destroys your hair follicles. Over time those hairs grow back slower and thinner until hair regrowth is sparse and significantly reduced.
As effective a form of hair removal as IPL is, it’s important to know a few things before you jump into IPL sessions or choose to purchase your own at-home device. We’re going to share a few things we think you should know about IPL hair removal.
You Don’t Have To Be A Trained Professional To Use IPL
These days, IPL technology is advanced enough that it can be used safely and effectively as an at-home treatment. Handheld devices are really common, and not as expensive as you might expect. And no, you don’t have to be a qualified professional to use them - you just need to do your research and follow instructions.
This is a big reason why IPL has soared in popularity, becoming as popular, if not more, than traditional laser hair removal. If you’re looking for a reliable and effective IPL at-home device to start off with, check out the EvenSkyn® Pulsar, which provides optimal results with maximum comfort.
It Can Be Painful
Some people will insist that IPL treatment is completely painless. And that can certainly be true, but it doesn’t apply to everyone. For some, a session will feel like little more than an elastic band being flicked lightly on the skin. For others, it can be more painful, or simply uncomfortable.
One thing to note is that IPL is almost always going to be more painful in a salon or beauty clinic than it will be with an at-home device, as their machinery is going to use stronger wavelengths of light in comparison. If you have a low pain threshold, an at-home IPL device will work better for you. But if you prefer treatment from a professional, you can always apply a topical numbing cream beforehand to minimize pain.
You Can’t Use It On Tattoos
Intense Pulsed Light is designed to target dark pigment - exactly like the ink used for a tattoo. IPL won’t be able to distinguish your hairs from your tattoo ink. For this reason, you cannot use IPL technology on tattooed skin, and doing so could result in severe and painful consequences.
On the less serious side, you may end up with skin pigmentation issues and faded, dull tattoos...and on the more serious side? You could end up with blistering and burns on your skin, which will not only be very painful but may result in permanent scarring, and a distorted tattoo.
IPL Can Also Be Used For Skin Rejuvenation
This can be mind-blowing for people who think IPL is only used on hairs. That’s because the light waves used in IPL are drawn to pigment - they not only target the melanin in your hair follicle, but also the melanin in skin pigment and hemoglobin in your blood cells. This can make it useful for targeting conditions like spider veins, age spots, and sunspots. Regular use of IPL results in brighter and younger-looking skin, however, this kind of treatment has to be done in a salon.
These are just a few things we think you should know about IPL hair removal, whether you’re planning to book an appointment or buy a device, or if you’re just considering it. IPL is a fantastic hair removal treatment, but it isn’t as simple or straightforward as you might think.
And this list is not exhaustive - there’s a lot more to IPL than what we’ve shared here. For more information, check out our second part of this article, where we cover more important facts you should know about IPL hair removal.