May 16, 2023 4 min read

IPL Laser: What is it?

IPL technology — Intense Pulsed Light — is very likely the future of hair removal. Available for at-home use, affordable and still gives you smooth, hair-free skin for months.

Hair removal using IPL technology has been around for a few years, but it's still little known. Often confused with laser hair removal, this type of "home laser" is a very effective method in the medium / long term, painless, practical to perform in the comfort of your home and affordable.

Due to its numerous advantages and ease of operation, IPL technology hair removal has gained more and more fans and is likely to be one of the most common methods in the near future.

IPL technology works by identifying the pigment in the hair, called melanin, and destroys the hair follicle from the root, preventing new hair from growing. The light focuses on the melanin and the treatment is as effective as the lighter the skin and the darker the hair.

In brown and black skin, success rates are lower, since skin has more melanin and absorbs light that should only be focused on the hair, which can damage the tissues. The same is true for those with light hair, since light is not as able to identify them.

Everyone — men and women — can use laser hair removal, regardless of age. However, it is advisable to wait until after the age of 18, since before that age the hormonal system is still changing.

Laser Hair Removal at Home: Is it Safe?

To get rid of hair for good, many people resort to laser hair removal in beauty clinics. The method, which is already quite popular, can also be done at home, with portable devices. But some care must be followed to ensure the safety of the procedure.

Take care of your skin

Laser hair removal can be done all year round, but winter is the most suitable period because we suffer less sun exposure and the skin tends to be less tanned. This lessens the chance of burns because, in some technologies, light is attracted to the skin's pigment.

For the same reason, skin phototype is also a factor that must be taken into account. Black skin has greater risk of suffering side effects than lighter skin when the procedure is done without the follow-up of a professional.

What results can I expect?

For best results right from the start, ideally you should use the IPL once every two weeks for the first four or five sessions. Then it will be enough to make small touches once a month, or once every 2 months.

One question that comes up a lot is whether the hairs are eliminated for good. The truth is that it depends from person to person. Throughout the treatments, the hair becomes weaker and begins to thin out in certain areas. Maintenance sessions are always necessary — two or three times a year, in most cases.

Is IPL hair removal painful?

No, epilation with intense pulsed light does not hurt. There may be a slight feeling of warmth or tingling with each thrust, but nothing more. This is one of the reasons why this method has been gaining more and more followers, as it is difficult to compete against such an effective, easy to use and painless method.

Using the right pulsed light intensity level is critical. As a general rule, the equipment you purchase will have a guide to help you in this regard and find the setting that best suits your skin tone and hair color.

To ensure your safety and avoid any kind of discomfort or pain, you should avoid repeatedly applying light pulses to the same area and not shave — regardless of the method — irritated skin, wounds, tattoos, infections or burns.

Check our FAQ about IPL Laser Hair Removal at Home to take some doubts that might be on your mind

Can I sunbathe before and/or after waxing?
If sunbathing causes any kind of irritation or allergy on your skin (or, even worse, if you get sunburned) then you should avoid shaving at that time and wait for the next day.

On the other hand, if your skin tone has become slightly darker because of artificial or natural tanning and your skin is not irritated, then the IPL device will be safe. Depending on the model, you can automatically adapt the energy level to the safest and most effective level and there are devices that indicate if your skin has become too dark for the treatment.

After the treatment, it is recommended that you apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 15, or higher, whenever the treated areas are exposed to the sun.

I'm a man. Can I do IPL hair removal?
Everyone — men and women — can use laser hair removal, regardless of age. However, it is advisable to wait until after the age of 18, since before that age the hormonal system is still changing.

That said, waxing should be done on the body, from the shoulders down (chest, back, arms, abdomen, legs). It should not be used on the face, neck or genital area. Use on men's beards or facial hair may produce patchy results.

Read more about if Laser Hair Removal is suitable for Men in this article

Is IPL suitable for intimate areas?
IPL is safe to use on the bikini line, but is not suitable for the genital area, where the skin may be darker in tone and where the hair density is greater, which would absorb more light and epilation could cause discomfort.

Is IPL suitable for facial hair removal?
Epilators using IPL technology are safe to use on the face, but should not be used near the eyes or along the forehead. They are effective on the upper lip (upper lip), chin and jaw line.

However, before using it on the face, you should carry out a small test to ensure that it is not sensitive and does not cause irritation.

Evelyn Setubal
Evelyn Setubal

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