The best IPL hair removal devices for lasting, silky-smooth skin

Tired of shaving? Our beauty team's favorite IPL hair removal devices offer comfortable, long-lasting hair removal

composite image of CurrentBody, smoothskin and Philips ipl hair removal devices
(Image credit: Future, CurrentBody, Philips)

If you're seeking out one of the best IPL hair removal devices, it's likely you want an effective yet affordable way to slow down hair growth. Unlike other home hair removal methods, IPL not only reduces hair growth but also encourages it to grow back thinner and softer, so the results get better with every use. 

Clearly, IPL is a lot more high-tech than the best razors for women, but how exactly does it work? Intense pulsed light technology involves applying gentle pulses of light to the hair root. The light is then absorbed by the pigment in the hair, called melanin, which causes the follicles to go into a resting phase. This stalls growth, causing the hair to fall out and cumulatively less and less hair to grow back.  

Using IPL hair removal devices boasts several advantages over other ways to de-fuzz. In-clinic laser hair removal has great longevity but is a big financial commitment, shaving is cheap and easy but the gains are short-lived – and let's face it, even the best epilators are tooth-clenchingly painful. While IPL tools aren't exactly cheap, they do offer a great return on investment. The more you use them, the better value they become. 

How we tested these IPL hair removal devices 

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

A small selection of the IPL devices we tested for this guide

A small selection of the IPL devices we tested for this guide

(Image credit: Amelia Yeomans)

On testing, there were several key things we looked out for to determine what made the best IPL tool. Weight and ease of use were key factors, as this impacted the experience of using the IPL and how simple it was to control each device. We also looked at the number of settings each device had, and how many different parts of the body it could be used for. One of the most important points we took into account was how each device felt on the skin and the overall effectiveness of the tool. We also considered design and functionality to determine which IPL hair removal device is really worth the price tag.  

11 of the best IPL devices, tested by our team

JOVS Venus Pro Skin Rejuvenation and Hair Removal Device

(Image credit: CurrentBody)

1. JOVS Venus Pro Skin Rejuvenation and IPL Hair Removal Device

Best IPL device for hair removal and skincare benefits

Specifications

RRP: $349/£319
Areas: Whole body
Includes: IPL hair removal device, Skin Rejuvenation Attachment, Face Filter Attachment, Arm Filter Attachment, Bikini Filter Attachment, Leg Filter Attachment, Underarms Filter Attachment, protective goggles, razor

Reasons to buy

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Multiple settings for the whole body
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Skin treatment setting
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Sleek, trendy design
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Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

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Slightly fiddly for first-timers

The JOVS Venus Pro IPL undoubtedly gets our vote as one of the best IPL hair removal devices. If the gorgeous design didn't have us convinced as soon as we unboxed it, the impressive range of features sold us. 

With six different attachments plus six treatment modes and intensities, it can be used anywhere on the body. The flexible, rotating head also helps with reaching those trickier spots. The JOVS IPL also features a skin treatment setting (not something we've found on many other IPL hair removal devices) that works to improve skin texture, boost collagen, and even out your skin tone. Even some of the best skincare devices can't promise such results. When we tested this IPL, we started on the lowest level, which was totally painless, and gradually worked our way up as we did more treatments. We also found that this process only takes around ten minutes for a full-body treatment, so it really couldn't be quicker. 

For first-time users, this device may seem a little overwhelming. The range of features and removable heads take a little bit of time to wrap your head around, but as soon as you do, it couldn't be simpler. Plus, little extras like protection goggles and a razor prove that no detail has been missed. We love that this one device addresses not only your whole body, but also skin concerns. If you invest in one device, the JOVS will have your every need covered. 

Braun Silk-expert Pro5

(Image credit: Braun)

2. Braun Silk-expert Pro5

Best IPL hair removal device for most people

Specifications

RRP: $439/£329
Areas: Body, underarms, bikini
Includes: IPL hair removal device, precision head, premium pouch, razor

Reasons to buy

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Skin sensor for safety
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Safe for intimate areas, armpits, and legs
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400,00 flashes
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Prevents ingrown hairs 
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Doesn't require charging or batteries

Reasons to avoid

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Works best on coarse and darker body hair

This is our second pick of IPL hair removal devices on the market because it does a little bit of everything and does it well. It's easy to use, thanks to simple controls and clear instructions without jargon, it fits comfortably in your hand, and you can keep any discomfort to a minimum with the regular, gentle, and extra gentle settings. This means beginners can start extra gently and build themselves up (we found the extra gentle setting perfect for treating a hairy bikini line). 

The skin tone sensor is another excellent feature and, on testing, ensured we were using the perfect setting for our hair and skin color. It also ensures the device is sitting correctly for optimum contact with the skin to engage the light pulse. We love the app that helps you keep track of your treatment plan too, as sometimes the trickiest part of using IPL hair removal devices is remembering to get them out of the drawer. 

The price point of this IPL device is at the higher end but the results justify the costs. Like many, this device isn't suited for those with very light hair - light hair doesn't contain as much pigment as dark hair does for the device to target - but for anyone else, it's a winner. 

currentbody smoothskin ipl device

(Image credit: CurrentBody)

3. SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Device

Best easy to use IPL hair removal device

Specifications

RRP: $233/£199
Areas: Whole body
Includes: IPL hair removal device, power supply, power cable

Reasons to buy

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Super easy to use
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Pain-free
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Ideal for beginners
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Small and compact

Reasons to avoid

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Limited settings and options

For a reasonably priced, simple to use and effective IPL, the SmoothSkin is your guy. When testing this device, we found it to be one of the easiest to use in terms of setting up and the actual treatment, as well as being nice and light to hold.

The instruction manual that comes with the SmoothSkin explains the process in an extremely easy-to-follow way, which is why it has our vote as the best user-friendly IPL. It promises 97% less hair in 12 weeks, which is slightly longer than some of the other IPLs we've tested, however, this device is also significantly cheaper than most. When testing, we found that it also delivers a full-body treatment in 10 minutes with absolutely no pain, so despite the simple design and lower price tag, it works just as well as its more expensive competitors. 

There is only one setting and two treatment modes on this IPL, so it is definitely one of the more basic devices we have tried. For those who have extra sensitive skin or want the option of different settings for different areas of the body, this may not be the one for you. However, if you are a beginner or want something simple and reliable, you really can't go wrong. 

Lumea IPL Advanced

(Image credit: Philips)

4. Philips Lumea IPL Advanced

Best intimate IPL hair removal device

Specifications

RRP: $319.99/£359.99
Areas: Body, face, bikini
Includes: IPL hair removal device, face attachment, bikini attachment, pen trimmer, travel case

Reasons to buy

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Ideal for sensitive areas
+
Light and compact
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Simple to use
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Smart skin tone sensor

Reasons to avoid

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Pricey

It's no secret that Philips makes some of the best beauty gadgets on the market, but are the brand's IPLs worth the price tag? We certainly think so. Philips offers a wide range of IPLs that all function slightly differently, and this Advanced model is perfect for removing hair on the more sensitive areas of the body, such as the bikini line and face. We appreciated the compact pen trimmer that comes with this IPL, which is ideal for on-the-go use. While many other IPLs typically require weekly treatments, the Lumea Advanced only needs two a month for the first six weeks, then monthly top-ups to maintain results - perfect for low-maintenance beauty lovers.

When we tested the Lumea Advanced, we noticed how lightweight and easy to hold it is. It is cord-powered so doesn't boast a wireless function, however, the extra-long cable makes for easy usage anywhere. We also found that it sits somewhere in the middle of the complexity scale. It has five intensity settings and three different attachments – more than some of the basic IPLs we've tested – but each is very simple to use. Plus, it comes with a handy travel case that fits all components inside, so it is easy to store as well as carry around with you. 

When it comes to precise and reliable hair removal on areas like the face, the Advanced model has our vote. This is due to its small size and precision attachments that are perfect for small-area treatments. Plus, its speedy results are ideal for hair in places like the face that you may want gone quicker than the legs. If intimate areas like the bikini line aren't your target area for hair removal, or you want something slightly more multi-functional, check out our thoughts The Philips Lumea Prestige may be a better option, and you can read our thoughts on that further down. 

Sensica Sensilight Pro Permanent Cordless Hair Removal Device Unlimited Flashed for Women

(Image credit: Sensica)
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5. Sensica Sensilight Pro Permanent Cordless Hair Removal Device

Best cordless IPL hair removal device

Specifications

RRP: $365/£379
Areas: Face, body
Includes: IPL hair removal device, 4.5cm treatment head, 2cm treatment head, charging cable, portable pouch

Reasons to buy

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Rechargeable
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Unlimited flashes
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Six functions and two windows 
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Cordless, portable, and good for travel

Reasons to avoid

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Higher cost

Yes, this is one of the priciest IPL hair removal devices on our list, and could certainly be considered a luxury item. However, it does boast some high-spec features that justify the investment. For one thing, it’s cordless, which makes treating hard-to-reach bits of the body so easy you can throw out your best bikini trimmer for good. 

When we tried it, that cordlessness also meant we could use it wherever was most comfortable - be that bed or on the sofa in front of a movie – rather than being dictated by where the plug sockets are in our home. Being battery-operated also meant we could also easily take it with us wherever we went, which will be good news to frequent flyers should you fancy a mid-vacation IPL sesh (to each his own).

Other reasons why we love it? This device provides unlimited flashes – unlike many others, with only a limited amount – which meant that we were able to use it as long as we wanted and take our time. It has two interchangeable windows to get to work on skin smoothing hair removal in both small and large areas, so we were also able to use it on the upper lip or leg areas all in one session. 

BoSidin Permanent Hair Removal Device for Men and Women

(Image credit: Bosidin)
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6. BoSidin Permanent Hair Removal Device for Men and Women

Best premium IPL hair removal device

Specifications

RRP: $339/£397
Areas: Face, body, underarms, bikini
Includes: IPL hair removal device, sunglasses, shaving knives, power adaptor, two laser attachment heads, wipe cloth

Reasons to buy

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FDA-approved
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Six functions to target each body area 
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Faster flash speed
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The cooling function reduces pain
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Kit includes sunglasses

Reasons to avoid

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Blonde, red, and gray hair might be harder to remove

If you're prepared to spend large and want one of the best IPL hair removal devices in return, trust that the BoSidin won’t leave you disappointed. Not only is it FDA-approved, but it also comes with all the tools you need to treat every nook and cranny plus excellent bonus features that make it stand out from the crowd. 

As with our winning device, the JOVS, one of the best BoSidin features has to be the 180-degree rotating head, which makes treating awkward angles like the bikini line a breeze. It also has an unusually fast flash speed, meaning treating larger areas takes less time than almost any other hair removal method, even if you are a master of how to shave your legs quickly without razor burn. Plus, we get six functions that target hair in each region of the body differently. Unlike other IPL devices on our list, we love that this unit provided a cooling function called the dynamic cooling device (DCD). This replicates professional laser hair removal, which often uses cool air to calm the skin. We found here it really helped keep discomfort to a minimum, and our bikini line was definitely thankful. 

However, this device is not without caveats: the price may be too steep for some, and, blonde, gray, and red hair may not contain enough pigment for a very effective reduction. Design-wise, we were tickled by how its sleek, futuristic look resembles an oversized AirPod, but are more impressed with all the features it packs into that stylish casing. 

DEESS Permanent Hair Removal System

(Image credit: DEESS)
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7. DEESS Permanent Hair Removal System

Best IPL device for skin rejuvenation and hair removal

Specifications

RRP: $449/£326
Area: Face, body
Includes: IPL hair removal device, sunglasses, power plug and integrated cable, warranty card, user manual

Reasons to buy

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Provides unlimited flashes
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Includes skin rejuvenating light 
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Acne light can help tame breakouts
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A cooling tip device reduces pain 
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Speedy flash

Reasons to avoid

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Not cordless
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Bulkier

While IPL devices offer longer-lasting results than shaving, some can cause irritation and inflammation, especially on sensitive skin types. Because this IPL hair removal device has a built-in cooling tip, more reactive users won’t have to worry about painful hair removal for sensitive skin - the device's icy feel keeps skin cool and comfortable from start to finish. It's fast too,  with an 0.9-second flash that makes it possible to treat a whole area in 10 minutes. This means less lingering over one area and less chance of setting off a reaction. 

We also love this device’s impressive bonus features; it offers unlimited flashes, and its skin rejuvenating and acne lights work much like red light therapy devices to promote collagen production, and can also help with how to get rid of acne and breakouts. Though there are some setbacks though: this device is on the bulkier side and is not cordless, so we didn't find it the most comfortable or convenient to maneuver. Those who worry about sensitivity and inflammation or want to blend their skincare routine with hair removal should find it a fair trade for those extra features though. 

COSBEAUTY Laser Hair Removal Device

(Image credit: COSBEAUTY)
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8. COSBEAUTY Laser Hair Removal Device

Best budget IPL hair removal device

Specifications

RRP: $290/£124
Areas: Legs, underarms, bikini line, face
Includes: IPL hair removal device, one hair removal treatment lamp, safety sunglasses, user manual guide

Reasons to buy

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Virtually painless
+
Five light settings
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Comfortable, even on sensitive skin
+
Portable
+
More affordable option

Reasons to avoid

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Must be plugged in 
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Not as powerful as other IPL devices

Don’t let its lower price tag fool you: This IPL hair removal device can handle any removal job, big or small - it just might take a little longer to get there. It also boasts most of the features you would want and expect from these tools, including five laser settings and two adjustable flash modes to ensure all skin types - sensitive included - can use it to remove hair on the upper lip, legs, and underarm areas.

We found one of the best things about Cosbeauty is how it feels. It doesn't cause pain to the skin and instead provides a gentle warming sensation that isn't even remotely unpleasant. With that said, this is largely down to being a slightly less powerful device, so you will probably need more sessions for the same hair reduction as you would get from its pricier counterparts. Still, we found that the comfortable treatment was a good motivation to persevere with our IPL hair removal journey. We also appreciated the nods to safety, such as including a pair of light-proof glasses to shield your eyes from light exposure. 

While this device can help you ditch the disposable razor, keep in mind that it is best suited to remove darker hair, so lighter body hairs may still remain after using it. Plus, it has the drawback of not being cordless. Overall, we feel this is an impressive option at a lower price point than others on this list, and it could be a great starting point into the world of IPL devices for those not wanting to splurge $300+ just yet.

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device

(Image credit: Philips)
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9. Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device

Best intelligent hair removal device

Specifications

RRP: $599/£450
Area: Body, bikini, underarm face
Includes: IPL hair removal device, body attachment, power supply, storage bag

Reasons to buy

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Intelligent programs 
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Versatile, for use in many areas
+
Skin tone sensor
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Comfortable to use
+
Cordless

Reasons to avoid

-
High cost 

This device rings in at the highest price on our list, but that can be justified by its versatility and intelligence. The second Philips IPL on the list, this one provides a different experience from the Advance model, which is why we think both deserve a mention. The Lumea Prestige works on the principle of taking the guesswork out of hair reduction, so you simply input the area you wish to treat and the device picks the perfect treatment protocol for you, from the strength of the light to the length of the session. This is a godsend for anyone who finds IPL offputtingly complex, especially when treating several areas. 

Safety is catered for here too. The Lumea Prestige can be used on the body, underarms, legs, bikini, and face as desired and the Smartskin sensor selects the right settings for your skin tone and hair color, so you can zap away with confidence. We love the wide treatment window for the body, which can cover large areas in one go, while the curves and smaller heads of the other attachments helped us get right into more awkward areas like the upper lip and armpits (no more stressing over which body hairs you shouldn't pluck). We also found this one of the most comfortable IPL hair removal devices we tested thanks to the lack of wires, and the reassuring safety features meant we could keep one eye on Netflix while we zapped without worrying.  

Phillips says this is their most efficient device yet too, with studies showing up to 92% hair reduction in three treatments, with the average user achieving 78% hair reduction on legs after 12 treatments. Certainly, this is a high-cost purchase, but if you offset it against the price of 12 waxes, this starts to feel like a great investment in a smoother future. 

Bondi Body IPL device

(Image credit: Bondi Body)

10. Bondi Body Bondi@home Laser

Best IPL device for quick results

Specifications

RRP: $250/£199
Area: Entire body (except the male intimate area and face)
Includes : IPL hair removal device, safety sunglasses, charging cable, storage bag

Reasons to buy

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Powerful
+
Easy to use 
+
Less painful than other models 
+
More affordable option

Reasons to avoid

-
Overheats more easily 

With a lower price point of $250/£199, we were eager to put this budget-friendly model to the test. The Bondi Body range was founded by Trish Coulton, who has 20 years of professional depilatory experience and used her expertise to craft a device that will deliver speedier results than its competitors - the brand claims you'll notice a difference in just four treatments and a significant hair reduction in five weeks. 

You'll need to use the device twice a week, which is a little more labor-intensive than the treatment protocols than other IPL devices, but the extra weekly session soon pays dividends. Typically it can take around three months for body hair to be reduced with consistent use of IPL, so we did find it promising to see thinner and sparser hair after just three weeks of using this on our legs and underarms (it's worth noting that the Bondi Body isn't suitable for use on the face). With that said, you'll still need to wait 12 weeks in total to completely treat an area.

The second big promise from Bondi Body is that its IPL device is painless, and we can confirm the brand delivers. While there is a feeling of warmth across the skin while using the device, there's no pain or discomfort. It's also suitable for sensitive skin and has eight settings - more than we've seen on other models. In all honesty, this IPL device is up there with the best of them, for a significantly lower price. 

Silk'n Infinity IPL Device

(Image credit: Silk'n )

11. Silk'n Infinity IPL Device

Best IPL Device with an accompanying app

Specifications

RRP: $399/£295
Area: Body, underarms, bikini, face
Includes: IPL hair removal device, power bank, plug, instruction manual, cleaning cloth

Reasons to buy

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Attractive and compact design 
+
Simple and easy to use
+
Accompanying app useful for tracking treatments and reminders 
+
Suitable for use on the whole body 

Reasons to avoid

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Results take longer, so persistence is key

The Silk'n prides itself on being a device that's suitable for all skin tones, though has the caveat that the treatment is most effective on skin and hair colors with the most contrast between the two. The Infinity has a built-in skin color sensor, which scans that skin to help determine effectiveness, meaning if your skin tone isn't suitable for the energy setting you're using, you'll be alerted with a flashing light and the device will stop emitting light. You can also connect the device to an app that will track your treatments and provide reminders so you don't miss one - very useful as consistency is crucial when it comes to getting good results. 

The brand recommends using the machine every two weeks for the first two months, then every four weeks after that. After three weeks of use, we saw a slight change in the thickness and amount of hair, though the results weren't as noticeable as other brands, such as the speedy Bondi@home laser. However, the simplicity of this device and its accompanying app make it an attractive option for anyone that's new to IPL, particularly so for those with medium to deep skin tones.

Sample provided by Boots


Your IPL hair removal device FAQs

How to choose an IPL hair removal device

To choose an IPL hair removal device, board-certified dermatologist Dr Debra Jaliman (opens in new tab) (MD) advises making several considerations:

  • Research: “Read online reviews and blogs before you choose one,” says Dr Jaliman. “You’ll also want to look out for devices that are FDA-cleared and approved.”
  • Cost: “Don’t look for a bargain or try to skimp on price, because what you pay for is what you get,” she says. An expensive device could feature technology for a cleaner, more efficient process.
  • Features: “You’ll want to purchase an IPL device with enough power and energy, and one as close to an in-office laser hair removal machine as you can get,” she explains. “Also look for a unit that has several treatment levels, and for one that targets the pigment in the hair follicle.”
  • Flashes: The number of flashes indicates how long the device will last before the lamp needs to be replaced. A good IPL hair removal device should have between 150,000 to 250,000 flashes.
  • Suitability: IPL devices shouldn't be used during certain periods of life when hormone imbalances happen - specifically pregnancy, breastfeeding, and your period - doing so can affect pigmentation and cause hyperpigmentation or melasma. If in doubt, ask your doctor before using.

And no matter what device you end up purchasing, being realistic about your results is crucial. “Go in thinking you will reduce hair, instead of completely eliminating or removing it,” advises Dr Jaliman.

How do IPL hair removal devices work?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light technology and is most commonly used for hair removal. IPL works by using a handheld device and moving it across the skin, delivering flashes of light to target the melanin in the hair. The light is then absorbed by the hair root, heating it up, and ultimately destroying the papilla or root of the follicle. This plays a key role in the regulation of hair growth.

The hairs you already have will then fall out and eventually, hair will grow back thinner and more sporadically, without pesky ingrown hairs. Double win! In terms of how long it takes to see results, devices can differ and it does depend on the area you're treating. So hair removal from the face might take less time than removing thicker leg hair. Typically, users find between six and ten treatments are needed, usually at intervals four to six weeks apart.Celebrity aesthetic aesthetician Sadaf Jaffari (opens in new tab) explains, "IPL takes on average about six sessions to get rid of 70% of hair permanently."

Does IPL hair removal hurt?

Pain levels vary for everyone but, generally, you can expect a little discomfort with IPL. Many find it far preferable to waxing and epilating, and roughly on par with a professional laser.

"The pain is normally strongest in the first treatment when hair is thicker and darker and attracts more light and heat," Jaffari explains. "The less hair there is as the treatments go on the less painful it becomes, but also it’s all based on the patient's pain threshold."

"At-home IPL machines work by applying the administered gel to the area and then pulse the device over the area, many clients have reported this option is more painful because IPL engages all the skin and hair whereas laser focuses on the hair follicle itself," says Pulse Light Clinic (opens in new tab) senior consultant, Barbara Taylor. 

Reviewers describe the sensation of using at-home IPL as being flicked with a rubber band or as short zaps. This also depends on the device used and the sensitivity of your own skin. However, a common theme throughout reviews is that the discomfort eases with continued use. 

What is the difference between IPL and laser?

IPL and laser hair removal are not the same. Where laser uses single-spectrum light, IPL uses multi-spectrum lights. That means, for laser hair removal, the light is densified and it precisely targets the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding skin. For IPL, the light is scattered, making it weaker but also gentler on the skin. Many experts recommend IPL as an effective treatment for rosacea as well as hair removal, while other pro methods are preferable for those with certain hair colors. 

"Many at-home IPL devices do not work if your skin is dark or hair light due to the lower intensity to target pigment in the hair follicle than those used professionally," explains Taylor. "Grey, blonde and finer hairs are generally harder to treat with any method, and professional in-clinic electrolysis treatment would be best for this for small areas."

As well as rosacea, IPL can be used to treat other skin conditions, too. "IPL is used most commonly as a hair removal tool but can also help to remove spider veins, improve skin texture and pigmentation and reduce acne," adds Jaffari.

Does IPL remove hair permanently?

In short: no. IPL is not permanent. However, it does reduce hair growth significantly and can give you hair-free skin for longer than both waxing and shaving. Plus, it's far less painful than waxing.  

"Often after six sessions you expect to lose up to 70% of the hair," Jaffari explains. "However the sleeping hair follicles can also start to grow, so more sessions are needed to destroy those hairs. You could be hair-free for a few years, but many need to have top-up sessions after that as maintenance." 

Is IPL hair removal safe?

As long as the IPL hair removal device you buy is from a trusted brand and you follow the directions for use, the treatment is perfectly safe. If, however, you start experiencing any adverse side effects like a rash or extreme pain, do consult a doctor.