IPL Treatment Cost: Is It Worth It?

IPL Treatment Cost: Is It Worth It?

Sam Garst Sam Garst
9 minute read

IPL treatments are like the Swiss army knife of skincare. The same methods used to tackle unwanted hair are just as good at improving the tone and texture of your skin. 

Boom. Science.

IPL cost is where it gets tricky. It depends on what you’re using it for, the treatment area, and even where you get it. In general, you can buy an at-home IPL device for just $189 (one-time), but salon IPL treatments average about $412 per session.

The Flasher™ 2.0

The Flasher™ 2.0

$169.00 $270.00

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

Let’s start with how IPL is so versatile for all the things.

About Intense Pulsed Light Treatments

IPL treatments use light energy to target hair follicles and unwanted pigment in the skin. When used for hair removal, that light energy damages the hair follicles to the point of permanent hair reduction in the targeted areas.

When used as a skin rejuvenation treatment, IPL photo facials use that heated light energy to target unwanted pigment responsible for skin issues like:

  • Sun damage and sun spots
  • Age spots
  • Rosacea
  • Broken capillaries or blood vessels
  • Acne scars
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Birthmarks and vascular lesions
  • Uneven skin texture
  • Uneven skin tone and discoloration

Photorejuvenation also gives you a collagen boost as your skin heals post-treatment. Healthy collagen production is what’s responsible for fighting back against the most obvious signs of aging, like wrinkles and aging spots.


How much does IPL cost?

Salon IPL costs an average of $412 per session, according to a 2020 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). That’s about $6 more than the previous year, so you can assume it’s gone up some since. At-home IPL devices cost $189 or more, but you won’t get the same results for some IPL uses at home vs. going to a salon.

If you’re feeling some sticker shock from the salon price, that total doesn’t differentiate between skin resurfacing and hair removal procedures. An IPL photo facial generally costs more than a quickie trip to your local medspa to care for your prickly armpits. 

Does insurance cover IPL? IPL is not typically covered by insurance because it’s generally considered a cosmetic procedure. In rare cases, your doctor may be able to convince your insurance company to cover hair removal due to a hormonal condition like PCOS, but that’s not the norm.

Cost of IPL Photofacials

The average IPL photo facial at a salon or dermatologist’s office costs $300-$600 for a single session. That’s higher than the cost of IPL therapy for unwanted hair, but that magical light therapy works harder in these sessions.

You’re potentially targeting multiple skin issues and signs of aging each session with long-lasting results and zero downtime. It costs a little extra for all of that.

Cost of Hair Removal

The cost of a professional IPL hair removal treatment varies quite a bit. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 for a tiny area like upper lip hair to $300 per treatment for a large area like your legs. Love buying in bulk? Some providers offer discounts on packages.

The total cost is less than most professional laser hair removal treatments but still quite a bit if you’re working out the price for a full round of treatments. Most IPL fans need at least 6-8 intense pulsed light therapy treatments for long-lasting, even permanent results.

Note that you’re more likely to find IPL for hair removal in salons and med spas. Most dermatology offices use lasers for hair removal to cover more skin types and IPL for skin rejuvenation. 

Here’s the skinny: If you’re going to use IPL for hair removal, just do it at home. The Flasher 2.0 is $189, and you can use it for years! It’s easy, pain-free, and works for most skin and hair types.

The Flasher™ 2.0

The Flasher™ 2.0

$169.00 $270.00

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

Factors the Impact Cost

There is a lot at play regarding the total cost of IPL treatments. Everything from the size of the treatment area to how many sessions you’ll need matters when it comes to your bottom line and your bottom itself. 

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How many IPL treatments do you need? How many IPL treatments you need depends on the state of your skin and hair and the purpose of your treatments. Most people need 6-8 sessions of IPL for hair removal and 4-6 sessions for skin concerns. 

From there, expect touchups every month or 2 for IPL hair removal. Photofacials last anywhere from 6-12 months, but much of that depends on you. Avoid too much sun exposure or tanning, and lather on that broad-spectrum SPF when you’re out for optimal results.

A note: At-home IPL hair removal takes more like 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks.

IPL Cost Near You

The cost of IPL also depends on where you live. A larger city may charge more at the outset but be more likely to offer package deals. A provider with more experience will likely charge more than an IPL newbie. Assume you’ll pay a pretty penny for celebrity IPL providers. 

What’s included in that price?

The price per session typically covers your time under the laser light. If you have sensitive skin and need a numbing cream, that may cost you extra. (IPL is way less painful than laser hair removal, but some say it feels like a rubber band snap.)

Consultation fees vary by provider, too. Some spas or cosmetology offices include a free consultation with a potential booking. Others put that fee toward your first session.

Are IPL Treatments Worth the Cost?

IPL treatments are worth the cost if you’re a good candidate for IPL hair removal and photo facials.

IPL for hair removal isn’t recommended if there isn’t a significant contrast between your hair and your skin. You could put yourself at risk for side effects like hyperpigmentation in the treated area if you insist on trying it out anyway.

Those with darker skin colors may see more success with electrolysis or laser hair removal that uses longer wavelengths to get beyond that first layer of pigment. 

If you are a good candidate for IPL, you must embrace touchups to keep things nice and smooth. (You should expect an 80-85% permanent reduction in unwanted hair, so it gets pretty darn close.)

Is IPL treatment worth the money? IPL treatment is worth the money if you want a safe, effective way to manage unwanted hair and improve various skin conditions. Both require upkeep, though.

IPL photo facials are effective, but they won’t reverse the aging process. You’ll need to see a specialist for that.

We’re kidding. You can’t reverse aging. Just wear your sunscreen.

If you aren’t sure whether IPL is right for you or don’t have the cash to treat yourself, your average cost goes way down with an at-home IPL device like The Flasher 2.0.

Home IPL Devices

At-home IPL devices are a much more cost-effective way of treating yourself. You pay a one-time fee for your device and you’re good to go. You don’t have to pay per session every time you feel like some skincare. 

You’ll likely need more sessions vs. salon treatments — we suggest twice a week for 8 weeks before getting into a touchup routine — but you’re not paying every time you use the device.

Keep in mind that most DIY devices are marketed for at-home hair removal. If you’re here to address that weird spot on your face, an IPL photo facial or your neighborhood dermatologist may be the way to go. Also, you may want to get that checked out anyway.

IPL vs. Other Hair Removal Method Costs

IPL photo facials are cheaper than cosmetic treatments like chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, or Botox. IPL treatments for hair removal cost less than laser hair removal but more than less permanent solutions. 

Hair Removal Method Session/Treatment Cost Number of Treatments Needed
Laser hair removal $50-$900 4-6 initially with touchups every 6-12 months
Electrolysis $75-$200 per hour 10-16 total
Prescription creams $177-$225 per tube Twice daily for as long as you don’t want to see hair
Waxing $10-$280 Every 2-3 weeks
Depilatory creams $5-$15 Every 2-3 days

Noodists Pay Less for Hair Removal

You know where this is going. If you’re here for hair removal, it’s much cheaper to pay a one-time fee for an at-home device than pay per session every time you see a long chin hair. If you want to treat your body right before and after, order The Noodist Kit.

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Each kit comes with your IPL device, a tube of The Revealer, our exfoliating cleanser, and The Reviver, our post-treatment cooling gel. If you’re bad with long-term relationships, grab our Nood Pro Membership. We’ll help you stay on track for the best results. 


  1. Plastic Surgery Statistics Report (2020)
  2. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

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