What is Intense Pulsed Light Technology?

Apparently Alexander the Great had an obsession with shaving, Cleopatra enjoyed regular sugaring sessions and Julius Caesar plucked unwanted hairs with a set of tweezers[1].  Depending on what was in vogue at the time, people have always liked to remove unruly body hair in various places[2]. Alas, do you find the prospect of waxing, shaving, or using depilatory creams for the rest of your life seems utterly unappealing? It can be costly to buy razors and all of the accessories that help you keep your skin silky smooth. Perhaps you prefer the allure of a more long-lasting hair removal solution. Well then IPL may be just what you’re looking for.  


What is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light Technology (IPL) has been around since the early 2000s. It is a non-invasive and non-ablative hair reduction technique that uses high intensity pulses of light to target unwanted hair and stop its growth from the root. It may be a more long-lasting solution to hair reduction and can be especially effective in removing darker, thicker hairs.


How Does IPL Work?

The glass surface of the IPLhead is applied to individual hairs. It delivers short pulses of heated light to dissolve hair directly from the root.For IPL to be most effective, it needs to be carried out when the hair is freshly cut. IPL doesn’t work as well if hair is targeted when shedding or if it hasn’t been cut for a long time. There’s a higher concentration of pigment when hair is freshly cut. IPL works best when pigment levels are higher as it makes hair more vulnerable to damage from the light.


What Happens During Treatment?

Professional IPL sessions generally take place within beauty salons or dermatology clinics by professionally-trained aestheticians[3] according to each country’s regulations. A topical anesthetic may be applied to the area but it’s not always necessary. Each treatment tends to last about 20 minutes and it takes around 4-6 sessions every 3 or so weeks to achieve significant results. Patients need to wear protective eyewear and oftentimes, a cold gel is applied to the skin to keep it cool. IPL devices tend to have built-in cooling systems to prevent burning of the skin. It’s extremely important to avoid excess sun exposure before an IPL treatment[4].


IPL vs. Laser Hair Removal

There is virtually no post-treatment resting period required so you can return to work straight away if you wish. It’s also much speedier to reduce hair growth using IPL than through the use of laser hair removal.[5]

One of the biggest benefits of IPL is that it can treat larger areas of the skin simultaneously.


IPL Treatments at Home

Veet® Infini’ Silk™ PRO IPL is an easy-to-use hair reduction device. A safe pulse of light stops hair growth directly at the root - giving you salon-style hair reduction in a short space of time. The Infini’ Silk™ PRO IPL contains a skin colour sensor and recessed lamp. It has a smaller treatment surface with a Precision Lamp Cartridge that is specially designed for the smaller areas of the face and other difficult-to-reach parts of the body.


If like Cleopatra, you dream of satin smooth skin but without depilatory creams, wax or razors then IPL at home could be the best route for you. It’s also perfect for getting to grips with more obvious darker, fuller hairs. If you’re pressed for time, IPL can be carried out during your lunch break with virtually no post-treatment resting period required. Should salon trips seem inconvenient, it’s best to carry out IPL in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Whichever method you opt for, once you let IPL grow on you - hair doesn’t have to.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/making_history/makhist10_prog12e.shtml

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/making_history/makhist10_prog12e.shtml

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390232/

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390232/

[5] http://nomasvello.co.uk/ipl-treatments-vs-laser/