Messy, painful, ineffective and temporary hair removal methods are no longer necessary. Today, intense pulsed light (IPL) treats unwanted hair with quick and safe bursts of light. We have invested in the latest technology to bring you hair removal treatment that is so straightforward you can continue with your usual routine immediately after treatment. Best of all, this simple and effective approach gives permanent hair reduction, so you may never need to wax or shave again!
Procedure Time15-60 mins
RisksTenderness, redness, burns, pigmentation
Tell Me More
Cosmedic Skin Clinic uses SHR (Super Hair Removal) technology which is far superior to traditional IPL devices, able to treat all hair colours, all skin types and any time of year.
What areas can be treated?
Intense pulsed light treatment can be used anywhere – so whether it’s facial hair, bikini line, underarm or legs, this treatment is ideal for long-lasting removal of unwanted hair.
How does the treatment work?
The IPL device delivers precisely controlled strong pulses of light at specific wavelengths. This light energy targets, and is absorbed by, the pigment called melanin within hair and is converted into heat. The hair transmits this heat into the hair follicle which it destroys and as a result the follicle cannot produce any new hairs. The intense pulsed light is designed to selectively treat only hair follicles so the surrounding skin remains unharmed.
Is it safe and does it hurt?
Clinical trials conducted on intense pulsed light have shown its safety and effectiveness and it has been used on millions of people worldwide. During treatment, eye protection will be used and a cooling gel applied to the skin to minimise discomfort. Additional cooling can be applied using a skin cooling probe.
Intense pulsed light hair reduction is not generally suitable for people with very fair hair (grey, white, very light blonde and even red) because it relies on the presence of melanin within the hair, and these hair colours have very little. Likewise very dark skin types (and suntanned people) may not be suitable as their skin will have very high levels of melanin and so may absorb too much energy. Most people find the treatment is a little uncomfortable but does not hurt – it is often described as the sensation of a rubber band being flicked against the skin.
Are there any side effects?
If you have an active suntan, including the use of fake tans because many of these contain traces of melanin, you may find too much heat energy is absorbed by the melanin-rich skin rather than the hair and mild burning can occur. For this reason you may not be suitable for treatment until the tan has settled. There may be redness of the treated area afterwards although this is usually a sign that the treatment is working and follicles are being destroyed. It is usually mild and settles within a few hours.
What can I expect after treatment?
The hair follicles are damaged by the IPL treatment and the hair generally falls out within 1-3 weeks as the epidermis renews. During this period, the hairs may seem to grow as they are pushed out of the skin. The length of treatment depends upon the size of the area being treated – e.g. the underarms are quick (approximately 15 minutes) and the whole of the legs will take longer (approximately 1 hour). After treatment there may be mild redness and we can recommend and apply some skin-care products to reduce this. Sun-cream must be applied to protect the treated area. More than one treatment is required because of the phases of hair growth – follicles have active and inactive phases and can only be destroyed during an active growth phase. Repeat treatments are often necessary with a minimum period between treatments of 4 weeks. Typically 6 or more treatments are required for optimal results.
Possible side-effects of IPL treatments include:
Redness/heat in the treated area (usually resolves within a few hours to days)
Burns or crusting of the treated area (usually resolves within 2 weeks)
Swelling of the treated area
Other side effects include darkening of pigmented areas (this is normal on treated lesions and will disappear along with the lesion after a week or so), itching of the treated area, infection at the treated area, an outbreak of cold sores in susceptible people and failure of the treatment. Very rarely, there may be hypopigmentation (pigment loss), hyperpigmentation (increased pigment), blistering or scarring.
Hairs do not fall out immediately; they will normally come out after 1-3 weeks with normal epidermal shedding of the skin. They may even appear to grow more initially as they are pushed out. Due to the normal phases of hair growth, not all hair in a treatment area will be successfully treated as they may be in a ‘resting’ growth phase. Hair growth will still occur in between treatment sessions, albeit they may be finer. Depending on the area of the body, hair colour and coarseness and skin type, several treatments will be required – usually ranging from between 6-12 sessions.
After the treatment it is vital that you follow the following guidelines:
Avoid sun exposure/sun-beds/fake tans and ALWAYS wear sun-cream when outdoors (UVA/UVB protection of SPF30 or above) for at least a month.
Avoid plucking/waxing/depilating/bleaching/electrolysis for 4 weeks pre-treatment.
Avoid perfumed products and do not apply make-up to the treated area for 24hrs.
Do not pick or scratch at the treated area, especially if there is a reaction as this may result in scarring or infection – these will settle if left alone.
Avoid moderate-heavy exercise and alcohol for 24 hours following treatment (can exacerbate any skin discomfort/damage).
Avoid exfoliating or peels for at least 2 weeks, and further IPL treatment for at least 1 month.
Drink plenty of fluid/water during the 48hrs after treatment.
Apply ice, recommended skin care products or Aloe Vera to the treated area if uncomfortable or red until it settles down.
Contact the clinic immediately if you have any concerns.