You want to know what the best IPL Lasers are for home use? Then look no further.
First, I’ve written out a short summary of the three best devices, then details about them, and everything you need to know about IPL laser hair removal.
I hope, my IPL Hair Removal 101 and the detailed comparison of the best IPL Devices will be helpful for you. Please feel free to give me feedback or post your questions in the comments!
Summary of the IPL Laser Review 2017
Our Top Pick: Philips Lumea Precision Plus SC2008
- The Philips Lumea Precision Plus was the winner of our tests.
- In the tests, this device brought out the best of IPL laser devices. With the right amount of discipline during use, up to date light technology and a complete selection of attachments, the Lumea Precision Plus is a very effective method of hair removal.
- You notice the first results after around six weeks, and the final results after around ten weeks (you can really see the differences then).
- All in all, the Philips Lumea Precision Plus brings great results with an appealing price tag. The IPL Laser is selling for at the moment and lies in the top third of devices we have tested.
- The reason for this high price is quite simple – the Lumea Precision Plus has the highest quality and out of all the current IPL Laser devices, is most suited for home use.
Our Tip #2: Philips Lumea Essential Plus SC1992
- The Philips Lumea Essential Plus is the younger sibling of the Lumea Precision Plus. This IPL device scored second in our tests and is also less expensive.
- The second place ranking isn’t without reason: the same technology is used in the Lumea Essential Plus as in the bigger IPL Laser.
- The major differences are the shorter life span of the attached light (100,000 instead of 140,000 impulses), as well as not being able to use different attachments for the face or the bikini area.
- On top of that, the device can only be used with a power cable, and therefore isn’t always as easy to use as the Lumea Precision Plus.
- But to be perfectly honest, these are only minor drawbacks and at the end of the day the IPL Laser also performs very well in hair removal.
- It’s important to note that the Philips Lumea Essential Plus has a ‘slide and flash’ feature, so the device doesn’t need to be restarted after each light impulse, but only needs to be moved along. Treatment is therefore a lot more efficient and it isn’t as expensive as the IPL Lasers that have more accessories.
- The most important factor is the price. The Lumea Essential Plus, with a price of is significantly cheaper than the bigger device, even though the difference in usability is slim.
- If you’re buying an IPL device and you want to save a bit of money but also want almost the same quality as the winner of our tests, then the Philips Lumea Essential Plus could be perfect for you.
Our Tip #3: Remington IPL6750 i-Light Prestige
- The Remington IPL6750 i-Light Prestige, that we tested, has only been on the market a little while now and it’s advertised as having an impulse lamp that doesn’t need replacing. To be honest, I was quite sceptical. Even the most modern LED lamps need to eventually be replaced. But I guess you can only check it after long term tests.
- The Remington IPL device comes with some great accessories – as well as the attachment for the whole body, you also get two additional precision attachments for the face and the bikini area. In terms of the accessories, the Remington device is on par with the winner of our IPL Laser Review.
- We were a bit disappointed with the end result though. In comparison to the other devices of similar price, there were more hairs visible after 12 weeks. Therefore, the Philips Lumea IPL Laser devices are definitely a better buy.
- In terms of price, the Remington Prestige is the cheapest of our top three IPL devices – you can get it for $199.99 at the moment. It’s therefore the ideal device for those who are just starting to use laser based hair removal.
Common questions about IPL treatment
How does IPL hair removal work?
The IPL treatment works in a similar way to professional Laser hair removal:
- The skin is exposed to light impulses of varying wavelengths by the IPL device.
- The IPL Laser is then absorbed by the melanin pigments in the hair shaft.
- The hair shaft gets hot from the light and transfers this heat to the hair root.
- The cells in the hair shaft responsible for hair growth are destroyed.
- Hair growth is slowed down dramatically through this process.
What’s the difference between IPL and Laser hair removal?
Both of these treatments work in the same way; through so called photothermic therapy. Laser hair removal treatment is performed using lights of equal wavelength whereas the IPL treatment uses lights of varying wavelengths.
The professional laser devices have, of course, more power, but you need to have taking part in special training to use them. IPL devices for home use, however, only require you to thoroughly read the instruction manual and to set out a treatment plan.
A lot of people in marketing say that IPL treatment is just an advancement of laser depilation. This isn’t true, however. IPL hair removal is a completely different type of treatment.
In general, it’s definitely true that you can’t mess up IPL treatment as easily as the laser method. IPL is easier to use and if used correctly, is completely painless. That’s why you can get IPL devices for home use and not laser devices.
For which hair colour does IPL hair removal work the best?
As I said previously, the light impulses from the IPL device are absorbed by the hair pigment melanin. The darker the hair, the more melanin it contains, and the more the light is absorbed.
Therefore, if your hair is darker, IPL treatment will work better.
This also means that this kind of hair removal treatment isn’t suitable for people with grey, white or light blonde hair because it doesn’t absorb enough light.
What kind of skin is the IPL treatment suitable for?
The darker the skin, the more melanin it contains and the more it absorbs the IPL light. That means: more light is absorbed by the skin and not that much by the hair. This makes treatment less effective.
Unfortunately, the IPL treatment is therefore only suitable for skin types I-IV of the six skin types. The IPL device needs to have contrast for the light to be absorbed properly. A lasting IPL hair removal treatment works best for people with light skin and dark hair. A lot of IPL devices have sensors that can tell what tone a person’s skin has. The light impulse intensity is automatically adjusted to the person’s skin colour.
Is IPL treatment harmful to your skin?
There have been a few studies on whether IPL is harmful. According to the studies, there is a general consensus that the hair removal method is not dangerous. This doesn’t mean, however, that things can’t go wrong.
For long-lasting, positive results, and to make sure you don’t damage your skin, you should consider the following points:
- Don’t use on very dark skin.
- The IPL device can’t differentiate between skin and hair on dark skin. This is because a large amount of the light energy is absorbed by the skin. This can result in the skin getting very hot, and in the worst case, getting burnt. Because of this, you can only use the IPL treatment on skin types I-IV.
- Before and after treatment you should avoid the sun and tanning beds.
- To prevent the development of moles, avoid over exposing your skin.
- During treatment you should use special IPL safety glasses for protection.
- The flashes of light from the IPL device are so strong that you can even see them through closed eyes. Therefore it’s recommended to use IPL protection glasses that help to block out the light and UV rays.
- Each area of skin should only be exposed once per treatment.
- Don’t overuse the IPL device and try not to flash it more than once on the same spot. Of course, overlapping a little bit is going to happen and isn’t that bad. Only then can you be sure that you’ve completely and thoroughly covered the entire area of skin.
- The area of skin that’s been treated should be cooled down and moisturised.
- To avoid skin irritation, you should care for the skin afterwards – the best way you can do this is to let it cool down and then apply a moisturiser to the area. This massively reduces the risks of side effects.
Worth a Read: Our Best Moisture Cream Review
What are possible side effects from IPL treatment?
You might experience the following side effects:
With correct use, IPL treatment shouldn’t be harmful to the tissue because it’s only heated up a little bit by the light energy. However, if your skin is too dark for IPL treatment or if you use the device on the same spot for too long, your skin may end up burning.
Rashes and skin irritation
IPL treatment can cause skin irritation, rashes, swelling and pigmentation but this is rare. Therefore, it’s recommended that you try out the IPL device on a small area of skin to see how your skin reacts to this treatment method.
If you experience any side effects to the IPL application such as skin sensitivities or allergic reactions, you should stop treatment immediately and consult a dermatologist.
What else should you take into consideration for long lasting IPL hair removal at home?
For effective IPL treatment, you should consider the following:
- The light impulses only work on active hair roots. In other words, only hair that’s in the growing phase. This only includes around half of all hair roots, and just one treatment isn’t enough to reach all hair roots. Therefore, several IPL sessions are necessary, with about six to ten weeks between each. Only with a big enough gap between treatments, can all the hair roots be treated.
- The exact IPL treatment time frames vary among different devices. You can find these in the detailed instruction manual with each device.
- For effective and sustainable IPL hair removal, you should have enough discipline and patience.
- Because the light impulses cover only a small area of skin at a time, treatment can take quite long. Because of that, and the fact that you need to treat your skin several times to achieve the desired result, IPL application is a very time consuming long term method of hair removal.
- Up until now, there are no legal regulations on the standards of IPL devices.
- Therefore you should try not to save too much when buying one, and avoid cheaper brand names. Ultimately, it also comes down to how healthy your skin is.
I hope my IPL Light Review was helpful to you and I’m looking forward to your feedback!
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