How does IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) really work and is it better than Laser hair removals?

What is IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)

IPL is an abbreviation “intense pulsed light”. IPL is a form of light therapy, used for hair removal and other various dermatological procedures for skin care.
IPL can be compared with laser hair removal and they are both long-term procedures for reducing hair growth. They are both very effective, but for best results, you should choose only one type of treatment.
Furthermore, both types of treatments are great for preventing hairs from re-growing and reduce the growth speed of remaining hairs.
Many patients of both Intense Pulsed Light and laser hair removal have positive feedbacks and successful results.
IPL is not only intended to remove facial hair, but IPL is also great for arms, neck, back, chest, legs or bikini lines.

Unlike surgical or other invasive treatments, IPL does not require a lot of recovery time – only 1 to 2 days!

How does IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) really work

Woman having hairs on her upper lip removed by IPL hair removal

The Intense Pulsed Light is specially designed to target certain structures. In hair removal situation, IPL is designed to target the melanin pigments and in other treatments like the treatment of spider vein, the IPL targets the hemoglobin in the blood.
IPL absorbs the energy of the light and producing heat to the hair, which results in damaging the follicle. Finally, the hair will fall off within a few hours to a few days, depending on the treatment.
As with most light-based treatments, Intense Pulsed Light works by emitting a wavelength into the skin. Just like hot sunny days, where dark or black clothing absorbs the heat, while white clothing just reflects it.
The Intense Pulsed Light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair or skin. IPL rapidly turns to heat which kills the growing hair cells or damaging the skin and prepares for new regeneration.

Many IPL machines have inbuilt cooling systems!

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) can do more than hair removal

How does IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) really work arm
Young woman having IPL hair removed under arms

Beside hair removal, IPL has other great effects as well, IPL can reduce/remove:

  • age spots
  • rosacea
  • acne spots
  • dark spots from sun damage
  • freckles
  • birthmarks
  • Varicose veins
  • broken blood vessels on your face
IPL is suitable for both Men and Women!

What are the benefits of using IPL

Unlike laser hair removal treatments, which have just one specific wavelength emitted depending on your target, IPL has multiple wavelengths.
These wavelengths are between 500 and 1,200 nanometres that penetrate and scatter within the skin.
IPL only penetrate your skin and work from beneath the skin.

Protect your eyes with special glasses!

How to prepare for IPL treatment

How does IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) really work faceFirstly, you should always ask for a patch-test by the clinic. If you have an IPL hair remover yourself, then test it carefully on the specific areas. The skin reacts differently from are to area on your body.
In order to have the best results, consult the clinic 2-3 weeks before the treatment for important information.
How to prepare for IPL treatment – It’s a good idea to:

  • Shave the areas that need treatments, NOT WAXING!
  • Start moisturizing daily 3-4 weeks before the IPL treatment and feel free to use other skin care products.
  • Wear protective eyewear whilst carrying out your IPL treatment.
  • Put on loose fit clothes.
How to prepare for IPL treatment – DONT DO:
  • DONT WAX within 3-4 weeks before your IPL treatment, because the hairs are being pulled out!
  • We advise NOT to do IPL treatments if you have dark or very dark skin.
  • Please DONT use IPL on Tattoos as Tattoos will fade
  • DO prepare yourself for a certain level of pain!
  • No collagen injections
  • Try to Avoid Chemical peels
  • Avoid any form of tanning, including tanning lotions, solariums or tanning out in the sun.
A bikini treatment takes around 20 minutes!

What is the actual difference between IPL and laser treatment

How does Intense Pulsed Light really work
Woman resting after an Intense Pulsed Light treatment

Like said before, Laser hair removal technology has just a single specific wavelength emitted depending on your target. IPL has multiple wavelengths.
Intense Pulse Light vs Laser! I believe the names says it all. Light vs Laser? I think Laser wins, and yes, Laser is much more powerful than light. That is also why you need fewer treatments with a laser than with Light.
IPL is more careful and gentle to your skin because the light penetrates to the second layer of your skin. Dermis is the name of this layers and because the light only penetrates your skin, it will not damage the skin.

Hair removal treatment require about 7 to 10 treatments. Toning of skin requires less

What is the risk using IPL

There are no major risks using IPL. If you finish a patch-test successful at your clinic.
Most people experience mild swelling or redness after the treatment, but they normally fade within a few days.
In special situations and for certain skin types, you might experience:

  • Infection
  • bruising
  • change in skin color
  • blistering
  • burnings
  • permanent pigmentation changes, if you have very dark skin. Why? IPL concentrate on dark spots

If you have light skin and normal skin type, then only minimal side effects.

IPL Treats Rosacea Successfully!


As a result of the above subjects, we list our conclusions regarding IPL treatments.
How does IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) really work bikini

  • Also try IPL for arms, neck, back, chest, legs or bikini lines.<
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal treatment penetrate your skin with lights and heat, so no damages to your skin.
  • IPL treatments hurt more on your skin than Laser hair removal treatments.
  • Intense Pulsed Light hair removal devices can be bought cheap, typically from 200-1000 USD for an amateur private device.
  • Laser are much more direct in it’s targeting than IPL treatments because IPL spread lights.