How to choose the right home IPL hair removal device

How to Choose The Right Home IPL Hair Removal Device

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Removing those unwanted hairs from our bodies has been something we have struggled with for ages. At this juncture, it is not something to worry about anymore thanks to the groundbreaking hair removal methods that allow to remove the hair permanently, such as IPL and laser hair removal techniques. In this article, we will focus on the IPL hair removal technique (Intense Pulsed Light). This technique, once available only in professional clinics and spas, is now easily accessible for at-home use. Now, with all the IPL devices available on the market, you maybe wondering, how to choose the right IPL hair removal device for you? And what are the criteria to consider before buying it?

Although most pulsed light epilators are quite similar, they still have some small differences. In order to help you make the best choice, we will provide you, in this article, with all the criteria to take into account before purchasing an IPL epilator.
Main Criteria for Selecting a Quality Home IPL Device - How to Choose The Right Home IPL Hair Removal Device
There are several factors you need to know before purchasing an IPL device. Here are the mains ones to consider:

The compatibility of the epilator with the color of skin and hair

Since the flashes will be sent directly to anything black, this type of epilator targets mainly dark pigmentation.

Thus, intense pulsed light is only effective on dark hairs, including black, dark blond, brown and dark brown hair. Only a few devices can treat red hair. However, the treatment will not be effective on light hairs, such as light blond, grey or white hair.

With regard to skin color, this type of device offers better results on naturally white to slightly dark skins. In fact, most IPL epilators will offer you treatments on skins with phototype I to IV, only a few devices can also treat type V skins.

Due to the risk of burns, people with very dark skins (Type VI) are deprived of this procedure.

Window size

First of all, it is important to know that the application window is the glass surface that will be in contact with your skin during the procedure, the wider the window, the larger the area it will cover. Your choice will then depend on the parts of your body that you need to treat.

If you are looking for a pulsed light epilator to treat only the face, armpits or bikini area, we recommend a device with a small window between 2 and 3 cm².

If you want to treat larger areas, such as legs, back, or torso, we recommend that you choose a device with a wide treatment window ranging from 4cm² to 7cm², to allow you a fast and effective session.
If you are looking for a complete treatment, in other words: legs, back, underarm and face, we recommend to purchase a device with several window sizes. This way, you can change the window depending on the area to be treated.

Operational power (in Watts)

It is known that the more power the machines use, the more effective they are, which is true for this machine too, the higher the power of the IPL device, the better the results. If the power is lower, the treatment will take a little longer before the hair disappears.
Several factors will make an IPL device work effectively but for the best results, ensure you choose a device that has 2000 Watts or higher.

Energy per Flash

The energy per flash of pulsed light epilators is expressed in “Joules”, it varies between 3 to 9 joules per cm². To choose the right energy for you, you need to identify your skin type.
If your skin is thin and sensitive, we recommend devices with lower power, i.e. between 3 and 6 joules per cm². If, on the other hand, your skin is hard enough and can withstand more intense light energy, choose a more powerful IPL device.

The number of light pulses

The number of light pulses determines the lifespan of the device. It can range from 50,000 to 450,000 flashes. Be aware that the more flashes the device has, the higher the price will be.
So which of these pulsed light epilators to choose? It depends on your budget, but it is more profitable to invest in a device that has a maximum number of light pulses to ensure that it will serve you for several years.

How long does the device run

You will find some devices that will need you to put them off after around 4 to 6 hours of usage to allow them to cool down. This is called restriction, and a good device should not have that. Get a device that you can only put off when you need to. One that can be able to work for more than 8 hours will be a better choice.

The price

The price of the epilator is an important criterion to consider. After identifying the qualities and characteristics of each model, the next step is to know its price. It is obvious that en entry-level epilator will not have the same qualities as a high-end one, but be aware that the best device is not necessarily the most expensive.
You can easily find different models of inexpensive and yet very good quality pulsed light epilators.

Power: Mains-powered or battery-powered

There are three types of pulsed light epilators, those that are mains-powered, those that are battery-powered and those that have both of these power modes.
Keep in mind that the devices that are mains-powered offer a high and constant power, while with the battery-powered ones, the power can sometimes be reduced.
However, the wire in the mains-powered device can sometimes be annoying, especially when you want to treat sensitive areas such as underarms or bikini area. The best choice to make is, therefore, a device that has both power modes.

How Does IPL Hair Removal Work?

IPL works with the use of a series of energy waves, unlike laser machines that work using a single focused kind of beam. In IPL, the energy from light waves is emitted and absorbed by the dark pigment that is found on the skin, which is your hair. When that kind of energy falls on the dark pigment (chromophore), it is directly converted to heat that will cause damage to the hair follicles. Hair grows in cycles and is influenced by hormonal changes. So when the root center of the follicle is destroyed, then it inhibits the continuous growth of hair.

Is At-home IPL Hair Removal Device Safe?

Yes, it is a safe item that you can use, provided that you follow the manufacturers’ guidelines and instructions. At home, appliances have been designed or made to work at lower energy levels. That is why they will consume more of your time but can help you in a great way. They also become great for use for improvements between professional treatments.

What Are The Side Effects of IPL Hair Removal?

After you have done IPL treatment, you will experience some slight tenderness and even redness of the skin. It will also be accompanied by some slight swelling.

You may also experience some slight change in skin color, the skin may get darker or lighter, but this is temporary and should fade within 2 days. Keep in mind though that you should avoid exposing the area to the sun and use sunblock to prevent further damage.

Conclusion: How to Choose the Right IPL Hair Removal Device

We hope you enjoyed this guide on the main criteria to consider before buying an IPL epilator. This type of device cannot be purchased without some research; identify your skin type, hair color and especially, the area or areas you would like to treat.

It is good to know that IPL hair removal has been proved to provide you with up to 90% of permanent hair reduction, for this reason, there will be some regrowth, and thus, you will need to redo the treated areas maybe after 6 – 12 months.

Finally, you can see which model suits you best by checking out our guide to the best at-home laser and IPL hair removal devices on the market.
Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.