IPL at home is a delicate balance. If you get it just right, you could be in for the baby soft underarms of your dreams. Overdo it, and you could make things worse for yourself. We’re talking skin irritation on top of just general ineffectiveness.
Can you overuse at-home IPL? You can overuse at-home IPL. If you use your device too often, you won’t speed up your hair removal treatments and could set yourself up for side effects.
Like nearly everything in life, IPL works best when following the recommended treatment plans. That’s typically twice a week over 8 weeks, for starters.
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Risks and benefits of using IPL
What is IPL?
IPL hair removal uses heated light energy to damage the sacs around your hair follicles. Stick to a routine with your IPL device, and you could permanently reduce the regrowth of unwanted body hair over time.
It’s similar to laser hair removal.
Both methods target the melanin, or pigment, at the hair follicle. Laser hair removal treatments use a single heated laser, while IPL treatments use intense or broadband pulsed light. That makes IPL great for larger areas requiring more time under a laser.
Both are effective hair removal methods and are way less painful than methods that pull at the root, like waxing.
You may need extra sessions of at-home IPL hair removal to get to longer-lasting hair reduction than laser treatments, but it’s still important not to go overboard.
Does IPL work for everyone?
We wish we had the best news here, but IPL doesn’t work for everyone. At-home IPL isn’t recommended for those with blonde, red, or grey hair and dark skin. Your IPL hair removal devices must see the pigment at the root to be effective.
If there’s no big contrast between your skin and your hair, the light therapy can’t do its significant work of getting you all slick and hair-free. The ideal scenario is light to medium skin with dark hair.
Laser hair removal may work for darker skin tones, but you’ll need to see a dermatologist or experienced aesthetician for treatments. They can recommend lasers with longer wavelengths that bypass some of that superficial pigment at the top layer of your skin.
You also shouldn’t use IPL if you have epilepsy — the flashing may trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy — or are pregnant or breastfeeding. There’s zero evidence that IPL is harmful during pregnancy, but we can’t exactly test that, either.
If you are a good candidate, there are a few ways to boost the effectiveness of your results without adding in extra sessions:
- Shave beforehand. You read that right. Until you reach the point of ideal hair reduction, you’ll need to shave before your treatments to help the device “see” your hair follicles. Your hair will become much sparser the longer you stick to the program.
- Put down the tweezers. Avoid plucking, waxing, or anything else that pulls hair at the root. Avoid depilatory creams while you’re at it. Shaving is best for that in-between maintenance. Dermaplaning works, too, if you’retargeting facial hair.
- Be kind to your skin. Skip any steps in your skincare routine that make your skin more sensitive. Avoid harsh topical products like acid-based acne medications that make your skin itchy.
- Wear your sunscreen. Shoot for an SPF of at least 30+ and avoid too much sun exposure. Skip tanning on purpose in between treatments. You don’t want to mess with your skin tone; IPL with a sunburn isn’t the most brilliant move.
- Exfoliate. Gentle exfoliation using a product like The Revealer can cleanse, smooth, and soften the skin before and after treatments. IPL isn’t known to cause ingrown hairs, but if you have some lingering issues from that old waxing habit, it can help with that, too.
The Revealer Daily Exfoliating Cleanser with resveratrol, papaya enzymes, biodegradable exfoliating beads, and botanical extracts is a deep cleansing and skin resurfacing treatment packed with powerful antioxidants for brighter, smoother, and softer skin. Reduce irritation and ingrown hairs while revealing… read more
How often should I use IPL?
IPL hair removal treatments are not for daily use. Let’s say it one more time. It’s not safe to use an at-home IPL device every day. If you thought that was some wild loophole, it’s unsafe to use it twice daily.
How many times a week can you use home IPL? You can use home IPL 2 times a week over 8 weeks. That comes out to about 8 sessions per month.
After that first course of treatment, you’ll likely need touch-ups every few months to maintain that smooth skin. If you don’t need treatment during those maintenance sessions, skip it. Take cues from your body’s hair growth cycles.
That’s it. From there, patience takes over as you watch for up to an 80% reduction of unwanted hair on that upper lip, bikini line, and anywhere unwanted hair grows. We’re talking anywhere, by the way.
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Let’s dig into the science of hair growth cycles in case you’re tempted to sneak in a few extra treatment sessions where the sun doesn’t shine.
Your body hair doesn’t just grow all wild like a weed, despite how it may seem when you’re in the middle of a treatment schedule. Hair grows in 3 different phases. There is the growth phase or anagen phase. That’s when at-home laser hair removal devices and IPL work best.
When your hair isn’t actively growing, it’s either in transition (the catagen phase) or resting (the telogen phase). Your handset isn’t as effective during these times, regardless of your hair type and how hard you want it to work.
The point is, you won’t get every single hair during every single session. They don’t grow at the same time. It’s less about playing whack-a-mole and more about sticking to a consistent treatment schedule to hit follicles as they move through the growth cycles.
Risks and benefits of using IPL
IPL is a safe, effective way to get as close to permanent hair removal from the comfort of your home. Side effects are rare, primarily if you use your handsets as directed.
If you’re in the category of sensitive skin types and experience some redness or irritation in the treatment area post-IPL, a cooling aloe gel like The Reviver can calm things down. Any side effects you may experience usually go away within a few hours.
The reviver contains our custom formulation of aloe vera, lavender, azulene, and green tea extract to soothe and protect your skin after your IPL treatment. Aloe and Azulene soothe and reduce irritation due from sunburn, chemical peels and IPL treatments. Lavender essential oils… read more
What are the benefits of using at-home IPL? The benefits of using at-home IPL are convenience, cost savings, and comfort.
Tame that bikini area from the comfort of your home and limit witnesses to any spreadeagle poses. At-home IPL is also easy to fit into your schedule since you don’t need to go anywhere to make it happen.
For many, it’s so much cheaper than professional treatments.
You pay a one-time fee for your device vs. paying per session. That’s more money to treat yourself.
Ready to get rid of unwanted hair?
Let’s assume we’ve convinced you of the pros of at-home IPL for your hair removal needs. Make it happen with The Flasher 2.0.
The Flasher™ 2.0
Safely remove unwanted hair with The Flasher 2.0 by Nood. Works everywhere that hair grows, including bikini, Brazilian, underarms, legs, and face. Start seeing results in 2-3 weeks and permanent hair removal in 6-8 weeks. … read more
Each handset comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with what you see (or don’t see) as you start treatments. That’s less risky than making weekend plans on a Monday.
Learn more about what we’re all about, or get yourself started on your IPL journey. We see hair-free limbs, lips, etc., in your future.