At-home hair removal technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with an increasing number of people trying out alternatives to the traditional methods of shaving and waxing. IPL (short for ‘intense pulsed light’) hair removal technology is a fast-growing market that aims to bring the cosmetic process to you, eliminating the need for expensive trips to the salon. It’s often mistaken as a form of laser removal, but actually works by targeting the hair follicle with multiple waves of light - essentially killing the cells that cause hair to grow.
Why Use An IPL Hair Removal Device?
Unlike laser hair removal, which must be carried out by an experienced professional in a safe environment, IPL hair removal can be done by anyone, anywhere. As with anything cosmetic, there can be side effects and potential reactions, but it is generally a very safe procedure to do at home by yourself.
The time it takes to see results varies depending on the handset used and on your skin and hair type, however most users report slowed hair growth within weeks, with significant changes visible after the 8 week mark. It’s important to note that IPL hair removal is not recommended for use on darker skin tones (level 5 and above on the Fitzpatrick scale), due to the effect of light therapy on melanin.
Despite impressive innovations, finding the best IPL hair removal device for your needs can be a challenge. Design features vary between handsets, with each brand using different amounts of light, offering a range of treatment options, and ultimately delivering individual results.
In the guide below we’ve collated some of the best IPL devices available right now, so you could soon be feeling smooth and fuzz-free.
1. Ulike Sapphire AIR+ Dark Green IPL Hair Removal Handset
First up is one of the most popular Ulike IPL hair removal handsets. Ulike uses a medical-grade process to ensure safe and easy hair removal, maintaining the skin’s health while working towards a 90% reduction in growth within just four weeks.
The professional and scientifically-innovated sapphire ice-cooling technology brings to the home consumer a technique that has always been exclusive to cosmetic clinics - until now.
The IPL function typically generates heat, given the intense use of direct light, but Ulike have succeeded in eliminating the uncomfortable, hot sensation often experienced during treatment. Heat output is reduced by 50% compared to a standard IPL device, thereby minimising the risk of heat-related skin injury and providing altogether better dermatological protection.
The Sapphire handset is the strongest of the Ulike hair removal devices, using six-faceted A++ grade sapphire. A higher grade and number of facets corresponds to a more intense hair removal, as the light transmittance is increased.
2. Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device
Philips is a pretty well-known name in the world of beauty and hair removal. Their epilators have proved popular for maintaining smooth legs, while their extensive range of shavers and trimmers have dominated the male grooming market. Given these successes, it makes sense that their IPL device is easy to love.
The most premium design comes with 4 attachments - for the face, bikini area, underarms, and rest of body. Its SmartIQ SenseSkin technology identifies your individual skin tone and adjusts the light setting accordingly, ensuring that your skin stays safe and protected. What’s more, there’s even a free Lumea mobile available to download for access to personalised treatment advice and hair removal tips and tricks.
3. Ulike Sapphire AIR White IPL Hair Removal Handset
The white style is the most basic of Ulike’s IPL handsets, but is by no means basic overall. It boasts the same sapphire cooling technology as its Ulike counterparts, using double-faceted A grade sapphire in its transmission of pulsed light. As a result, it comes in at a slightly lower price point - perfect for more affordable IPL hair removal.
Reviewers love its painless process, as well as the sleek and ergonomic design that makes for easy use. The handset is perfect for travel, too, weighing in at less than 290 grams - so you can have the very best hair removal on the go.
The device offers 5 intensity levels, making it ideal for IPL newbies and those with sensitive skin. This also means it’s suitable for use all over the body, from the delicate bikini areas to tougher lower leg hair, without the need for multiple attachments.
4. Braun IPL Silk Expert Pro 5
This final IPL hair removal device is included as one of the best-selling handsets on the market. It claims fast results - just 5 minutes to treat both legs, on the lowest setting! - as well as an impressively long lifespan; the 400,000 flash bulb life should provide the equivalent of 22 years of treatment. The byproduct of this is that there’s no cordless option, instead requiring access to the mains throughout usage, but the cable is fortunately a substantial 2 metres long. Furthermore, its 10 different settings stand at double the average amount for an IPL device, so it’s easy to tailor it for ultimate comfort on your skin without compromising on efficiency.
Overall, there are certainly some impressive options to choose from when it comes to the best IPL hair removal. Philips and Braun are world-leaders in reliable cosmetic design, while the science behind Ulike’s sapphire technology offers users a premium hair removal experience.