Weigh out the pros and cons of at-home IPL devices before deciding whether to invest in one of the tools.
Anyone who feels forced to try hair removal now has a variety of options to select from. There are more methods of hair removal than you can count on two hands, including depilatory lotions, sugaring, and traditional razors.
One popular option that provides a longer-lasting result than shaving or even waxing is IPL hair removal. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons [ASPSmost ]’s recent Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, it was one of the top five most common minimally invasive treatments in 2020. Although the procedure may be associated with med spas, a number of at-home IPL machines have recently entered the market, presenting an alternative for those who’d prefer handle things themselves.If you’re wondering whether the ability to use the tech from your home is too good to be true, here’s the full scoop.
What do at-home IPL Device do?
These handheld equipment emit scattered light in the form of IPL, or intense pulsed light. According to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, “These are devices that emit a wide spectrum of light to treat the skin.” Although the technology is different from laser hair removal, it is similar. IPL emits numerous wavelengths, whereas lasers only emit one, according to Dr. Zeichner, who claims that technically speaking, “[IPL devices] are not lasers.” In addition to its effectiveness in lowering hair production, IPL can also be used to treat dark spots, broken capillaries, and redness. Different filters are employed to regulate the amount of light that the apparatus emits.to offer a customized treatment that addresses your particular need,” says Dr. Zeichner.
A board-certified dermatologist at La Jolla Laser Dermatology, Azadeh Shirazi, M.D., explains that “[IPL] employs a big [dose] of light to capture certain targets in the skin.” “The melanin would be the objective in terms of hair eradication.” (Remember: Your skin and hair naturally contain the pigment melanin.) IPL equipment are filtered to emit light at a wavelength of 600 to 700 nanometers when the goal is hair removal. This light can selectively heat and destroy melanin without heating the surrounding skin, she explains. The melanin in a hair follicle is heated by light, which destroys the hair follicle and reduces hair development by causing the hair strand to fall out. (Although full benefits only ever amount to a decrease and require numerous sessions to attain,
According to Dr. Zeichner, home IPL devices like those made by Kenzzi, SmoothSkin, and Braun employ the same technology but operate at lesser energy. That, of course, involves a cost. The IPL devices at home are going to be much weaker in terms of the amount of energy that they’re able to deliver, so the results won’t be as good, says Dr. Shirazi. “The IPL devices in the office are obviously going to be a lot more powerful and hopefully are being used by trained professionals,” he says. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, however, released a tiny study on at-home IPL equipment that showed a 78 percent reduction in hair at the one-month point and 72 percent reduction after three months, with participants receiving biweekly treatments with an at-home device over the course of six weeks.
What are the benefits of utilizing IPL equipment at home?
According to Dr. Shirazi, you can cure your facial hair or give yourself a full Brazilian using at-home IPL devices on any part of your body where there is hair. Comparing at-home IPL treatments versus in-office procedures can help you save money. According to the ASPS research, home IPL devices typically cost $150 to several hundred dollars, whereas a single professional IPL session will cost an average of $412 in 2020. According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the majority of individuals require six to twelve IPL treatments to see full effects.Then there is the matter of convenience. If you typically shave, switching to an IPL at home will save you time. Braun advises applying its Silk Expert Pro 5 once per week for four to twelve weeks, then once to twice per month for maintenance, to give you an idea. Taking control of the situation also removes any uneasiness you could experience while having a stranger treat your bikini region while you try to strike up a conversation.
What drawbacks are there to attempting IPL at home?
IPL can cause mild discomfort. Corey L. Hartman, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Birmingham, Alabama, finds it uncomfortable to think of placing the technology in the hands of laypeople because it also has possible adverse effects. According to Dr. Hartman, inappropriate usage of IPL can result in “blistering, redness, scarring, discolouration, hyperpigmentation, discomfort, seeping, or crusting.” IPL equipment “is not casual.”
Dr. Shirazi concurs, saying, “I’ve seen some awful burns and terrible scars from IPL done in the office and done at home.” It’s tricky because you’re tinkering with heat and energy, and if your skin takes all of it in, you could burn yourself.Additionally, it’s possible for IPL and laser equipment to have the exact opposite effect of what you intend. According to Dr. Shirazi, you can actually stimulate growth if you try to eliminate hair using conservative or low energy light settings. “Laser therapies may cause a condition called paradoxical hair stimulation. The hair follicle is not sufficiently chilled by the low energy, but is sufficiently stimulated to grow.” You may have heard of low-level laser emitting caps made to encourage hair growth because of this.
Another serious drawback? Dark skin tones, which naturally have more melanin than lighter skin tones, are not good candidates for IPL, and neither is light-colored hair. “The melanin on the skin’s surface will be captured by the light as it passes through. The likelihood that the skin will absorb all the energy increases with the amount of melanin present, which could result in a burn.” On their websites, IPL device manufacturers frequently include charts suggesting which skin tones should never use their goods.
Is at-home IPL ultimately worthwhile to try?
On whether at-home IPL is worthwhile or even okay to try, the experts consulted for this subject had differing opinions. According to Dr. Zeichner, if you purchase an at-home IPL device, you may anticipate that it will consume less energy than professional machines, making it safe to use at home. “The development of hyperpigmentation is the major potential concern linked with utilizing IPL devices,” he claims. Because of the safety precautions put in place, at-home devices pose a very minimal danger and can be used without a doctor’s supervision.
Last but not least, in Dr. Shirazi’s opinion, IPL is safe to try at home as long as you: a) don’t have a dark skin tone; b) have read up on IPL; and c) have managed your expectations. Before employing one of the devices on a sizable region, “I usually urge that patients conduct a test spot, wait a day or two, and make sure that your skin is not reacting in an undesirable sense,” she says. Another piece of advice: “You have to be really careful going around curved areas, so particularly around the bikini or contours of the face it’s really important to have good contact [between your skin and the device] because if you’re at an angle or you don’t have full contact of the light with the area, it could cause problems.
She continues, “You might just be transmitting pure heat instead of the light, which would prohibit the device from working properly.
According to Dr. Shirazi, it’s probably advisable to see a professional because they’ll use a lot more potent gadget if you want to dramatically slow down the growth of your hair. In my opinion, at-home IPL is OK for usage as a maintenance procedure, but it won’t be as successful as in-office IPL. Additionally, she notes that IPL is “far weaker” in general than lasers for hair removal.
There are several alternatives to explore if at-home IPL doesn’t feel comfortable for you but you still want to get rid of your body hair. dematting combs for pets here