How does IPL hair removal work? Your questions answered

For years, IPL hair removal was just a secret for those in-the-know – a whisper making the rounds among the salon-going set. Now that whisper is more of a shout. With IPL technology like the Philips Lumea Prestige now available for home use, plenty of us are buzzing about this new hair removal solution that gives you smoothness for weeks at a time. In fact, millions of women are already using it. So what is IPL, anyway?


We wouldn’t have created the Philips Lumea Prestige if we weren’t absolutely certain that IPL was the future of hair removal. Now that future is here – and with it, the answer to all your most urgent questions. How does IPL work? Who does IPL work well on, and what does it feel like? What are the benefits of IPL hair removal? Let’s take a look.

What is IPL hair removal?

 

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light technology. Home IPL hair removal devices apply very gentle pulses of light to the hair root. This makes the hair go into its resting phase: the hair you have falls out, and gradually your body grows less hair in that area.

 

That smoothness lasts a long time, too. The result of 14 years of research, Philips Lumea Prestige delivers a whopping 8 whole weeks of freedom from hair after the first four treatments*. It’s not just for legs either: smart curved attachments allow you to reach and safely treat your underarms, bikini area and face. So IPL really can take the place of shavers, wax treatments or epilators.

 

*When following treatment schedule, measured on legs, individual results vary.

How does IPL work? 

 

So that answers ‘what is IPL?’ – now for the details. IPL works thanks to a pigment in hair called melanin: much like a dark sheet on a hot day, the melanin helps the hair absorb the light from the flashes, stimulating it to go into its resting phase. This leaves you with smooth, hair-free skin.

 

So, how do you do IPL hair removal at home? Using the Philips Lumea Prestige is easy:

 

  1.  Shave, epilate or wax the area to remove the hair. If you choose to epilate or wax, make sure you do it the day before you do your treatment. 
  2. Select the right light intensity for your skin tone.
  3. Turn the Lumea on, and wait for the ‘ready to flash’ light to come on.
  4. Press the ‘flash’ button.
  5. Move on to the next spot!

 

It takes less than 8.5 minutes** to do your lower legs with the Philips Lumea Prestige. Once the hair stops growing back, you can leave out the shaving step and just use the Lumea to keep your skin beautifully smooth.

 

To see positive results from the get-go, use the Lumea Prestige once every two weeks for the first four treatments. After that, you should only need to do minor touch ups every 4-8 weeks

Does IPL hair removal work well?
What results can I expect?

 

If you’re using the Philips Lumea Prestige, you’ll start seeing results pretty quickly – and after the first four treatments, long-lasting smoothness should be yours.

 

  • Enjoy 92% hair reduction after just three treatments*.
  • After the first four treatments, you have up to 8 weeks of freedom from hair removal***.
  • Hair that does regrow is thinner and softer.

 

We have some very satisfied customers! Read our reviews on the product page here.

 

*When following the treatment schedule, measured on legs, after 3rd treatment, individual results may vary.

***When following treatment schedule, measured on legs, individual results vary.

Does IPL work on all types of body hair?

 

You can use the Philips Lumea Prestige to remove hair on your legs, underarms, bikini line and face. It comes with different curved attachments for different body areas, so it’s easy to reach and treat each one the right way. The five graded light settings and SmartSkin sensor mean that you can always make sure that your skin is getting the gentle treatment it needs.

Here’s a quick lowdown on each of the different Lumea Prestige attachments for IPL hair removal at home:

 

Body attachment: A generously curved design follows the natural contours of your body, letting you effectively treat large areas like the legs, arms and stomach. Broader 4.1 cm2 window size lets you treat these areas quickly, so you can get on with your day.

  • Time: 8.5 minutes to treat lower legs*.
  • Hair reduction satisfaction rate: 83% for legs***.

 

Bikini area attachment: A more delicately-curved design and a transparent filter allow for the effective treatment of hard-to-reach areas. 3 cm2 window size for a tighter range of focus.

  • Time: 2 minutes to treat bikini area *.
  • Hair reduction satisfaction rate: 78% for bikini area ***.

 

Underarm attachment: No hair is left behind when you’re using this specially-curved attachment. Again, the 3 cm2 window size helps treat stronger and thicker hair accurately.

  • Time: 2.5 minutes to treat underarms *.
  • Hair reduction satisfaction rate: 86% for underarms ***.

 

Face attachment: Flat design with slightly narrower nib and an extra integrated filter. 2 cm2 window size gives you safe and very precise treatment on the chin, upper lip and sideburns.

  • Time: 1.5 minute to treat face areas *.
  • Hair reduction satisfaction rate: 84% for face***.

 

*When used corded, time indication for highest energy setting.

*** Study conducted in Netherlands and Austria with 46 women, after 3 treatments on armpits, bikini, legs, after 2 treatments on face.

Who can try IPL hair removal at home?

One question we hear a lot is ‘does IPL work on my skin/hair tone?’. IPL hair removal is very effective on a wide range of hair colours and skin tones, with a few exceptions:
As you can see from the chart, IPL devices like the Philips Lumea Prestige work well on dark blonde, brown, and black hair, and most skin shades apart from very dark tones.

What is IPL like? Does IPL hurt?

 

Simply put, no – it doesn’t hurt. The Philips Lumea Prestige went through clinical testing with over 2,000 women to make sure that it felt gentle and easy to use. Most users reported a slight warm sensation with each flash, but that’s all. That’s one of the reasons over 1.5 million women all over the world are now using IPL: who could say no to pain-free, lasting hair removal?

 

The key is to use the right light intensity setting on your Lumea. There are five to choose from, and a handy guide is included in the pack to help you find the right setting for your skin tone and hair colour.

 

To avoid any twinges, it’s best to follow the usage guidelines carefully. Shave the area before using Lumea and avoid flashing the same area repeatedly. And, as you can imagine, it’s best not to use IPL (or any other hair removal treatment) on broken or irritated skin, tattoos, infections, or burns.

 

Have any other questions about IPL, or the Lumea range? Check out the main Lumea page here.

 

*When following treatment schedule, measured on legs, individual results vary.

**When used corded, time indication for highest energy setting

***When following the treatment schedule, measured on legs, after 3rd treatment, individual results may vary.

Related product:
Lumea Prestige

Lumea Prestige

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