It’s one of the pricier models on the market but the Philips Lumea IPL 9000 series comes with a range of detachable heads designed for the face and body, and for precision – so you can focus on different areas, as needed. It’s also a larger device than some others but can be neatly stored at home in the quilted carry bag that’s included as part of the set.
Hair removal is just one of those time-consuming, and often painful, experiences that many of us undergo to get our desired look.
But if you’re tired of having to shave everyday, making monthly appointments to get waxed or battling with hair removal creams, it might be time to consider investing in laser hair removal or intense pulsed light technology (IPL).
Laser hair removal and IPL work by destroying hair roots, via energy produced by light waves. Continued use has proven to reduce hair and stop it from regrowing almost entirely, however it’s long been known as a more costly method of removing body hair, with machines costing upwards of £150. The option of laser also works to remove the pigment in your existing hair follicles over time.
According to sk:n clinic regional nurse trainer Charlotte Lundy, “both IPL and laser can be used for hair removal as the light source is drawn to and absorbed by the pigment in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat destroying blood flow to the base of the hair follicles which causes active hair to shed and in turn disrupts future hair growth.”
She does caution that “it’s important to note that although IPL can be used for hair removal as the light needs to attach itself to the pigment in the hair, it’s not recommended for all skin tones and hair colour. In particular it’s not recommended for black skin or people with fair or red hair, whereas with laser different wavelengths can be used which means it’s suitable for all skin tones.”
If you are choosing to embark upon this method, be aware that using IPL and laser hair-removal devices will require a course of treatment – 12 weeks is usually recommended, plus top ups – to banish those hairs. Each session can be conducted within minutes.
An issue commonly faced with opting for a laser hair removal or IPL programme is that you have to go to a salon to receive the treatment and this can be time consuming as well as invasive, should you not wish to involve another person in your hair-removal plans. The benefit of doing the treatment yourself at home, is that you can deal with the experience yourself and fit it in around your daily routine.
If you’re considering investing in a device to use at home but are struggling to know where to start, we’ve done the work for you and tested the best on the market to find out which ones successfully removed and reduced hair and its regrowth – and with as little pain inflicted as possible.
How we tested
At-home laser hair removal or IPL can appear very daunting to those less familiar with the process, so we started off by assessing how easy it was to set up and use each device. We also measured each machine by how painful the treatment was, how quickly we saw results and the rate of regrowth.
The best IPL and laser devices for 2023 are:
- Best IPL machine overall – Philips lumea IPL 9000 series: £467, Amazon.co.uk
- Best corded IPL machine – Braun silk expert pro 5 IPL machine: £370, Argos.co.uk
- Best cordless IPL machine – Sensica sensilight pro IPL hair-removal device: £375, Boots.com
- Best IPL machine for all areas – Philips lumea IPL 8000 series prestige: £430.99, Philips.co.uk
- Best IPL machine for fast results – SmoothSkin pure fit IPL hair-removal device: £269, Currentbody.co.uk