Home laser hair removal has come a long way in recent years. Many home-use laser and IPL machines can rival the results you would get in a professional salon – and at a fraction of the cost.
No-one wants to be thinking about a last-minute wax just before their wedding or honeymoon. With a whole new range of high-tech hair removal devices hitting the market, you can do it in your own time in the privacy of your home. Razor burn, ingrown hairs and little nicks can be a thing of the past!
If you want to make at-home laser or IPL part of your bridal beauty countdown, here is everything you need to know – from the difference between laser and IPL to the best IPL hair removal machines.
What is IPL?
No doubt you’ve heard of laser hair removal for years but IPL might still be a bit of a mystery to you. IPL stands for intense pulsed light – basically a high intensity beam of light destroys the hair follicle.
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When IPL is used against your skin, it emits wavelengths which target the pigment in your hairs. The light is absorbed by the pigment which in turn heats up the hair and weakens the follicle. This means after repeated use over a few weeks you will see extremely reduced or even permanent hair removal.
Which is Better: IPL or Laser Hair Removal?
Both processes are effective and straightforward – the difference is the type of light wave used.
Laser hair removal uses just one wavelength of light, while IPL uses multiple wavelengths that scatter within the skin. This makes IPL more targeted, but laser delivers a single wave to directly disable the follicle making it better for long-term hair removal. IPL requires multiple sessions on areas of regrowth.
Laser hair removal is also considered more painful than IPL (it’s described like a hot elastic band pinging on the skin), although it’s vastly improved from when it first launched on the market.
For at-home hair removal, IPL might have the upper hand.
The Best Home Laser and IPL Hair Removal Machines
If you are considering permanent hair removal at home then take a look at some of the best IPL machines on the market – and the laser hair removal device that produces proven salon results!
1. Philips Lumea Prestige Removal Device – Amazon, £509.97
Arguably the most recognisable IPL brand on the market, the Philips Lumea Prestige Removal Device comes with a hefty price tag but also promises some of the best results – with an expected hair regrowth reduction rate of around 92% after three weeks of use. The curved design makes the device easy to use and it comes with four different attachments for your body, face, underarms and bikini line. The SmartSkin sensor means that the Lumea can adapt to the right strength for your skin tone and there is also a cordless option.
2. Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL Hair Removal System – Boots £399
The Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL Hair Removal System doesn’t have the sleek style of the Philips Lumea but it does come in a little more purse-friendly at £399. With two attachments and five strength settings, the device can be used on your face, underarms, legs and bikini line. The more frequently you use it, the softer your hair regrowth will become and Panasonic recommends that you use it every three days for two months to see the best results. As an added bonus the facial attachment also revitalises your skin texture.
3. no!no! Compact IPL Machine – Amazon, £89.99
One of the first IPL devices available to buy for home use, the no!no! Compact IPL comes in at less than £100. The small and handy design means you can take it everywhere with you – so if you travel frequently, this would be a great option. The no!no! machine promise a reduction of hair growth after just one use and after four weeks of use they claim you can have up to 90% reduction in hair growth. Safe and painless, you can use this compact IPL on your upper lip, stomach, legs and underarms.
4. SkinSmooth Muse IPL Hair Removal Device – Current Body, £299
It’s pretty but this is no style over substance. The SmoothSkin Muse IPL machine can treat your whole body in just 20 minutes. It chooses the right strength for your skin tone and adapts by area, plus has a gentle mode for more sensitive skin. You’ll see results within four weeks but use once a week for 12 weeks to catch every stage of hair growth.
5. Babyliss True Smooth IPL Hair Removal System – Amazon, £29.99
With a claim of up to 90% reduction in hair regrowth after eight treatments, the Babyliss True Smooth IPL Hair Removal System is an affordable price and perfect if you want to explore the world of IPL without blowing your wedding budget. The device comes with two modes and five light intensity settings so you can find what is right for your skin. It can be used on sensitive areas such as the face, bikini line and underarms, as well as arms, legs and back.
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6. Braun Silk·expert Pro 5 PL5014 Latest Generation IPL – Boots, £282.50
One of the pricier IPL devices on the high-street, the Braun Silk·expert Pro 5 PL5014 Latest Generation IPL is Braun’s fastest and most efficient IPL product and promises permanent hair reduction in just four weeks (when used as instructed). The sleek design and carry case adds to the luxury feel and is a perfect option if you are looking to invest in the latest hair removal technology.
7. Sensica Sensilight Pro IPL Device – Boots, £249.97
The Sensica Sensilight Pro IPL Device promises to achieve salon-worthy results from the comfort of your own home. An in-built skin tone sensor means that the device will automatically adjust to suit the needs of your skin and added functionality such as the cordless style, smooth finish and the choice of a pulse mode or automatic mode help give a professional finish.
8. Remington iLight Pro IPL6500 IPL Hair Removal System – Currys £240
Remington iLight Pro IPL6500 IPL Hair Removal System looks impressive considering its mid-range price tag. With five different speed settings, you can adjust to suit your needs and the device can be used on your face, arms, legs, underarms and bikini line. Remington promise a permanent reduction in hair re-growth when used as instructed.
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9. Philips Lumea BRI861 Corded IPL Hair Removal Device – Argos, £169.99
A more affordable IPL model from the Philips Lumea collection, this nifty little corded device is compact and perfect for travel. With repeated use over eight weeks it promises to significantly reduce hair re-growth and leave you with a salon-worthy finish.
10. BoSidin Facial & Body Painless IPL Permanent Hair Removal Device – Amazon, £199.99
The BoSidin Facial & Body Painless IPL Permanent Hair Removal Device offers significant reduction in hair regrowth after just three uses and uses similar IPL technology that is used in professional salons. The easy to hold handle and five speed settings make this perfect for the IPL novice and will leave you with silky smooth skin.
11. Philips Lumea Advanced IPL Hair Remover – John Lewis £250
The mid-priced option from the Philips Lumea collection looks almost as impressive as the luxury model. With multiple attachments and settings, you can tailor each use to both your skin tone and the part of your body that you are targeting. Suitable for arms, legs and more sensitive areas as your bikini line, face and underarms, this device will leave you with a great finish and significantly reduced hair-growth in eight weeks.
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12. HoMedics Duo One Blossom Mini Bundle, IPL Hair Remover and Silicone Facial Cleansing Brush – Amazon, £99.99
If you are looking for a budget-friendly IPL device that still offers great results then the HoMedics IPL mini is perfect for the IPL newbie. You can use the device on arms, legs and sensitive areas of your body. It’s also a perfect option for those looking for permanent hair reduction on their face and it also comes with a silicone facial cleansing brush to give your skin a silky, smooth texture.
13. Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X – Amazon, £244.99
The Tria is the only at-home laser treatment, rather than an IPL device. It’s been lauded for it’s professional results, using the same diode technology found in clinics, just at a slightly weaker intensity. It’s capable of permanently getting rid of 70% of unwanted hair. Featuring five energy-level settings and an LED display that guides you through each treatment, this is great for those committed to permanent hair removal.
14. Sensilight Mini Permanent Hair Removal Device for Women – Amazon, £89
If you’re prone to sensitive skin, especially on your face, then this IPL could be the one for you. Priced at just under £100, the Sensilight Mini works with advanced RPL technology, which makes preventing hair growth quick and painless. The mini machine is easy to store and can be used safely on the face, legs and the underarm area.
15. IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset – Selfie Skin, £184.99
Selfie Skin’s IPL laser hair removal handset uses clinical-grade technology which is gentle on your skin, and promises permanent results after just three to four sessions. Reviews claim that it’s painless and the convenience of using it at home is worth the cost. The mid-price range at home IPL machine also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Laser and IPL Hair Removal: FAQs
If you are unsure if permanent hair reduction is right for you then our frequently asked questions are here to help.
What Does IPL stand for?
IPL stands for intense pulsed light.
How Does IPL Work?
IPL works by emitting a beam of light that picks up the pigment of the hair. It heats up and damages the hair follicle under the skin. Repeated use of this technique over time damages the follicle to the point where the hair will no longer grow back or will grow back significantly slower.
Can Everyone Use IPL or Home Laser Hair Removal Machines?
Your hair and skin colour will determine the effectiveness of the hair removal.
Both types work by targeting the dark pigment of the hair: if you have very fair hair or very dark skin, the light won’t find the pigment as easily. In fact, on brown or black skin, IPL and laser can cause skin discolouration if the wrong type of machine is used.
The best combinations for IPL and laser machines are fair or olive skin with dark body hair. Each at-home device will come with a guide telling you whether it can be used on your skin and hair combination.
How Permanent is IPL and Home Laser Hair Removal?
Results vary from person to person but IPL and laser hair removal are the best solution for long term hair reduction.
How Many Sessions of IPL Are Needed for Long Term Results?
The hair growing cycle is generally 6-8 weeks so two months of repeated use should give you the best results.
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