Now that bare legs season is here, the topic of hair removal is back at the top of the beauty agenda. From shaving and waxing to epilating and professional laser treatments, there's a lot to consider, along with the matters of time, cost and most importantly, pain.
In recent years, IPL or intense pulsed light removal treatments have become more accessible as brands such as Remington and Philips have launched their own laser products.
These IPL systems work by using highly concentrated light to destroy the hair follicles. However, questions around the safety of doing this at home can often put people off, not to mention their price (the Remington IPL systems start at £199.)
To find out more about the subject, we spoke to hair removal expert Dr Barbara Kubicka about the difference between using IPL at home and in a salon and the benefits of using it over other hair removal options.
Is it better to visit a salon to get IPL instead of doing it yourself at home?
IPL in a clinic is much stronger, plus the equipment is used by a professional who understands the safety measures involved. In terms of the price, it's better to use the home systems. They're great for people who might be shy about coming into the clinic or for those with busy lifestyles. Ideally, clients will visit a salon and use the home systems to maintain their hair removal.
What can IPL users do to make the treatment as safe as possible?
Preparation of the skin is key. Always shave the area you wish to treat first and set the right light energy required for your skin tone. Use an exfoliator in-between treatments to reduce the risk of in-grown hairs too. At first, try to use the treatment every few weeks.
Why is IPL better than alternative hair removal options?
It's the only one that targets hair and removes it permanently. It destroys the hair follicle while shaving only removes the hair from the top. Waxing and epilating do remove the hair from the roots but it still grows back. It's also a good option for people with ingrown hair.
Can you use IPL on your face?
Choose a system has been made to work on sensitive areas. For example, the Remington i-Light Pro Face & Body system has been designed for treating the face as well as legs, underarms and bikini line.
Once you've bought the system, is it expensive to run?
The light bulbs can easily be replaced - they cost around £5 and can be found in Boots. Although the systems cost a lot, the results are more effective and longer-lasting than other treatments.