Top 5 Best Home Laser & IPL Hair Removal: Esthetician’s Choice

After testing & intensively reviewing the latest devices, these are our Esthetician’s Choice for the safest & most effective at-home IPL laser hair removal.

the best at home laser hair removal

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FDA-Approved & Scientifically-Proven Home IPL & Laser to Give Safe & Effective Results

On the quest to be permanently (and gloriously) hair-free, we’ve assessed over 35 of the most reputable and best-selling at-home laser hair removal and IPL devices in the market today.

Our in-house estheticians and laser technicians have chosen the top 5 based on performance, build, specifications, value for money, and our hands-on experience.

This guide includes a detailed product comparison chart, video reviews, user guides, FAQs, and safety reminders–everything you need to know to help you choose the most compatible device to suit you.

If you’ve spent countless hours on hair removal, an at-home laser device is one of the best investments you can buy. One study has shown that up to 95% of patients have noted hair reduction.[1]

cost of laser hair removal
Figure 1.0. Average cost per session and per body area of professional laser hair removal for women. Source: Laser Hair Removal Cost & Prices (National Statistics Report)

With the right machine, you can get permanent hair reduction at just a fraction of the price (vs. in-clinic visits).

This expert guide has a first-rate selection of devices that can give you the best results and value for your money.

Ask the Expert: Are At-Home IPL Laser Devices Worth it? Do They Work?

by Samantha Welch, Esthetician


If you ask a dermatologist or esthetician if at-home hair removal devices work, you'll likely get an ambiguous answer that stirs towards a dubious “it depends.”

This statement isn't surprising at all because we're exposed to marketing materials from laser equipment suppliers that actively encourage skincare professionals to dissuade clients from DIY devices.

I won't say that competition isn't a motivating influence, as there are legitimate concerns here as well—primarily patient safety and product efficacy.

There is less room for error with a professional at the helm of your treatment compared to trying it on your own.

However, other factors are considered just as important, like cost, convenience, and patient capacity.

Most of these home devices use the same IPL and laser technology as some clinics, albeit on a smaller scale. 

And while there is no device that's a one-size-fits-all, these are FDA-approved and scientifically proven to work.[1]

They are intuitively designed and straightforward to use with safety checks on hand.

The onus lies in the device's compatibility with your needs and its proper use.

ANSWER:

  • YES, if you are on a limited budget, are able to choose an effective device that's compatible with your body hair & skin, and have the time and patience to follow treatment schedules strictly at home.
  • NO, if you have skin & hair conditions (i.e., hirsutism, hypertrichosis, etc.), are unavailable to do the treatments on a strict schedule, and don't have the time and patience for DIY.

Ask the Expert: How Do You Get Safe & Effective Results at Home?


ANSWER: Approach your permanent hair removal journey with commitment. Perform due diligence and be a well-informed consumer.

  1. Buy a device that's compatible with your skin type, hair color, and skin sensitivity. 
  2. Take note of the treatment program and see if it's something you can fit into your lifestyle. The schedule has to be followed on the dot for your hair removal to be effective. The timetable will also give you an idea of when to expect results.
  3. Use the highest power setting your skin can tolerate consistently and on schedule. This strategy can give you faster and more effective results. You can only know what power level you're comfortable with through trial and error. Most of our patients build tolerance over time, so don't fret even if you start at low power!
  4. Follow best practices and the enclosed safety protocols to avoid any accidents and maximize your treatments.

Product Comparison Table:
Home IPL & Laser Hair Removal Systems

Esthetician Tip: Save time by process of elimination. Check if the device is compatible with your skin & hair color first, then compare by technology, power, safety, and other features.

TOP 5: Power, COVERAGE, SAFETY, Innovation, & Function

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4XSilk’n InfinityBraun Silk-Expert Pro 5DEESS 3-in-1 ICY COOL Permanent Hair Removal SystemBosidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device
tria 4x laser hair removal reviewDEES 3-in-1 Permanent Hair Removal SystemBoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device
Verdict:Most Powerful At-Home Laser Hair Removal DeviceBest Device for Dark Skin, Light Hair, or Sensitive SkinFastest, Safest & Most Efficient At-Home IPLBest Multi-functional Device: IPL, Skin Rejuvenation, & Acne ClearanceMost Innovative HR System + Skin Rejuvenation
Technology:Diode LasereHPL™ technology (IPL + Galvanic Current)IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT™) + Multi-frequency Continuous Pulse
Energy Fluence / Power:7-22 J/cm²2.5-4 J/cm² + 70-400 microampere (µA) Galvanic Current3 – 6 J/cm²4.8 – 6 J/cm²2.8 – 8.2 J/cm²
Flashes:90,000 pulsesUnlimited flashes400,000 flashes; good for 22 yrsUnlimited flashes500,000 flashes; good for 25 yrs
Safety Mechanism:Skin tone + contact sensorAutomatic skin tone + contact sensorSensoAdapt™ skin tone + contact sensorICE Compress (3-8℃/37-46℉)Dynamic Cooling Device (5℃/41℉) + contact sensor
Skin Tone Coverage:fitzpatrick scale I-VI
Hair Color Coverage:human hair color spectrum
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Esthetician's Choice:
The Best At-Home IPL & Laser Hair Removal Devices of 2022

Our estheticians and laser technicians have tested and reviewed the best-selling at-home laser hair removal devices on the market today.

Our top 5 are the ones that are cut above the rest in terms of technology used, product quality, performance, ease of use, value for money, and our personal experience with using the device. To see all the devices we've reviewed, click here.

tria 4x laser hair removal review

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X

At Home Diode Laser Device for Permanent Results on Face & Body (FDA Cleared)
Verdict: The most powerful at home laser hair removal device

The Bottom Line:

This device is the closest you can get to medical-grade in terms of power and technology. The Tria 4x is the only consumer device able to use a diode laser, one of the only four lasers used by physicians in professional laser hair removal. (The other lasers are Ruby, Alexandrite, and Nd:YAG. No portable versions of these are available as of this year. IPL is not laser; it is light technology.)

If you want the highest chance of getting permanent results at home, the Tria is by far miles ahead of the pack.[2]

The device, however, is also limited by its technology. Diode lasers are only safe to use on light skin and dark hair. The nature of laser delivery also limits it to a tiny flash window size. This feature makes it great for the face but time-consuming to use in large areas like the legs.

The Tria is also a higher-end device and quite a splurge. Certainly not as expensive as professional services, but still an investment compared to the more affordable IPL machines.

Ideal for: Stubborn, deep-seated body hair prone to re-growth where IPL has been ineffective; precision lasering for the face or bikini areas; looking for a cordless and portable device. 

Expert Review

Outstanding Product Lifetime – Launched in 2008, the Tria 4x is tried and tested with over 1,300+ reviews on Amazon. It has been scientifically proven to give permanent hair reduction.[2]

These facts are important because a long product cycle means it has withstood the advent of new technologies and is a testament to quality, durability, sustainability, and efficacy.

True Laser Technology – The Tria has remained the first and only FDA-approved at-home hair removal device that uses diode laser (as opposed to all other at-home devices that use IPL or radiofrequency). Diode lasers are considered one of the most effective laser hair removal technologies used today alongside Ruby, Alexandrite, and Nd: YAG. It has also shown notably superior results compared to IPL.[3, 4]

Figure 1.1. Lasers generate a single wavelength that is extremely concentrated and efficiently absorbed by the pigment in the hair. IPL creates a broad spectrum of light where the pigment absorbs only some wavelengths in the hair and some by the skin.

Efficacy – Because this device uses a diode laser instead of IPL, it's capacity for energy fluence (the hair eliminating power) gives it a powerful edge over its counterparts. It maxes out at 22 J/cm2  while the rest averages at 8-9 J/cm2.

And the general rule in laser hair removal–the higher the power, the more effective the hair removal treatment will be.

Safety – Unfortunately, the risks that come with using high fluences also apply here. Some side effects are benign, like temporary redness, pain, swelling, and discomfort. It should feel like a very mild sunburn at most and disappear in a few hours. The more long-term complications are discolorations like hyper- and hypo-pigmentation that could take weeks to get rid of.

As long as you always refer to the skin sensor and patch test, you should be able to minimize these risks.

If you have sensitive skin or low pain tolerance, you can start with lower power and work your way up. The optimum power setting should be the highest level you can go to without experiencing discomfort—the perfect balance between efficacy and safety.

When you get professional laser hair removal, the power level your esthetician will use on you will gradually increase in time. This is because you will naturally be able to improve your threshold as you get used to the laser. This increase is also necessary because as your hair starts to grow thinner, the higher the laser power required for hair removal to be effective.

If you're only able to start at a low power level, you can try to gradually increase it as you go along. The Tria's high power ceiling of 22 J/cm2 gives you ample room to pick up the intensity once you reach a hair loss plateau that most people quickly reach with lower power devices.

Design & Ease of Use – In terms of the device's flash window, it's pretty small compared to its other counterparts. This is a byproduct of using a diode laser, which is a focused beam, instead of IPL, a broad-spectrum light. I've found that it's easier and very precise to use on smaller areas like the upper lip, but very time-consuming when doing larger parts like the arms or the legs. It took me an hour at the very least–and just the legs! You’ll have to carve time in your schedule if you want to use this in those areas.

It’s battery-powered as well, which makes it a pro (more portable, no tangly cords) or a con (needs recharging), depending on your preference.

Skin Tone & Hair Color Coverage – One of the most common limitations of at-home hair removal machines is that their efficacy depends on the person’s skin tone and hair color. The Tria falls under this limit of being effective only for light to olive skin tones (Fitzpatrick Skin Tone I-IV) and only with naturally dark hair color.

Treatment Plan – The initial set of treatments that you’ll have to do is once every 2 weeks for 3 months. After that, just touch up as necessary.

Key Specifications

Technology:DL (Diode Laser)
Laser Class: 1
Maximum Energy Fluence/Power: 7-22 J/cm2
Output Wavelength810 nm
Skin Tone Coverage: Fitzpatrick I-IV (light to olive skin tones)
Natural Hair Color Coverage: Naturally dark hair
Skin Tone & Contact Sensors: Yes, via manual digital checking upon opening the device
Recommended Treatment Schedule & Results: Once every 2 weeks, up to 3 months or until necessary
Lifespan/No. of Flashes: Built-in laser – 300 battery recharging cycles or 90,000 pulses
Flash Window Size: .81 cm2
Flash Speed: 5 secs
Power System: Battery-powered, 30 mins
Can be used with a pre-treatment gel? No

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The first and only FDA-cleared at-home laser hair removal device that uses a true laser, diode (vs. IPL or radiofrequency used by other devices).
  • Diode laser is proven to be more effective than IPL and requires fewer sessions to achieve permanent results. It is one of the most effective (and expensive) types of hair removal technology also used by high-end clinics and dermatologists worldwide.
  • Has the highest energy fluence/power of any at-home device at 7-22 J/cm2 vs. the normal rate of 4-8 cm2
  • The Tria 4x has won InStyle's 2020 & 2021 Best Beauty Buys Award, where they survey top dermatologists to find out which laser devices they recommend.
  • No eyewear is needed as the device has a Class 1 laser, the safest type that cannot emit radiation at any hazardous levels.
  • Safety features include a skin tone sensor that protects the skin and a contact sensor to protect the eyes.
  • Perfect for precision lasering; targets small areas like upper lips, underarms, and bikini lines
  • For those who have tried IPL technology and been proven to be ineffective for their hair growth, especially those dealing with hirsutism or PCOS
  • More portable and safer to use in the bathroom since its battery-powered
  • Brand Reputation. Tria Beauty has more than two decades of building innovative hair removal devices with solid customer support—something sorely lacking in cheap, off-brand devices.

Cons:

  • Small flash window size, inefficient to use in larger areas like legs and arms
  • People with low pain tolerance may not be able to maximize its high energy levels without numbing creams or cooling gels
  • High-end, one of the most expensive at-home devices
  • Needs re-charging after 30 minutes of use

Videos

Video: The technology behind Tria’s Hair Removal Laser | Tria Beauty®

Video Review: No More Shaving?! OMG! Tria 4X Laser Hair Removal At HOME 2 Month Test Review!

Promos & Coupon Codes

Tria 4x Coupon Codes

Get the best price with the latest premium promo and discount codes when you buy the Tria laser 4x online.

Tria hair removal sales and special gifts are limited-time offers.

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silkn infinity review

Silk’n Infinity Hair Removal Device

At Home Permanent Hair Removal, Lifetime of Pulses, No Refill Cartridge Needed – IPL Laser Hair Removal System
Verdict: The best at-home IPL for dark skin, light hair, & sensitive skin

The Bottom Line:

If you’ve been shopping for at-home IPLs, you’ll notice that almost all of them limit skin coverage to medium skin tones and naturally dark hair.

This is because the mechanism of laser hair removal itself called selective photothermolysis is very high risk for dark skin and ineffective at all for light hair.

IPL targets melanin and causes damage to it with continuous application.

Every hair removal machine's goal is to ensure that its heat energy is localized to just the melanin in the root of your hair, not the surrounding skin.

Unfortunately, no IPL or laser equipment outside of professional Nd:YAG machines and long-pulse diode can do this with dark skin tones without some degree of complications like burns.

Most devices can’t differentiate between melanin in the hair and the skin.

What makes Silk’n Infinity unique, however, is it doesn’t just use IPL but a combination of it with galvanic current.

Galvanic current opens your pores and gives the IPL more straightforward access to your hair follicle.

This process amplifies the device’s hair-eliminating ability and reduces the need for dangerously high energy fluences to achieve the same results.

This unique hair removal system is their proprietary eHPL™ (enhanced home pulse light).[5]

With its fool-proof automatic skin sensor, temporary pressure markings, longer wavelength, and low energy fluence—you'll have to really try for anything to go wrong using this device.

I've been using this at max level 5, and it only feels like a tiny, minute zap. It’s a great, relatively painless, and very safe option for sensitive skin, light hair, and skin tones up to Fitzpatrick VI.

Silk’n Infinity is one of the only three portable devices we've found to be up to standard in safely and effectively treating dark skin. (The other ones are mē Smooth and illuminage touch elos.)

The galvanic energy also gives you extra skin rejuvenation, a very nice addition, especially since EMS (electro-muscle stimulation or electrotherapy) treatments like this are very expensive. I wouldn’t mind a free 2-in-1 body rejuvenation!

That said, its superior safety measures seem to come at the expense of time and effort.

The estimated time to see results are within 5-6 months of recommended use. Quite a leap in comparison to other devices that averages 3-4 months.

This is also probably one of the reasons I’ve seen a good number of negative feedback.

If you’ve been conditioned by regular devices to see results in 12 weeks, you would be expecting the same here.

It’s important to remember, though, that ultimately, other devices aren’t close to capable of treating light hair and dark skin.

This has been scientifically proven to work if you do it right[6]—it just might take ages.

If you manage your timeframe and expectations, Silk’n can deliver where other devices can’t.

Ideal for: Light to dark skin (Fitzpatrick I-VI), Sensitive Skin, Low pain tolerance, and people with time and patience.

Expert Review

Outstanding Skin Tone Coverage + Safety – There are fewer laser hair removal options for darker skin due to the high risk of skin damage. The Silk’n Infinity covers ALL skin tones and has mechanisms in place that ensure safety in all facets. A failsafe skin sensor and controlled levels of IPL power ensure that only the appropriate energy levels can be used on certain complexions. Contraindications aside, there is very little risk for side effects compared to most laser devices, and it is relatively painless.

What makes this wide coverage possible is its patented eHPL™, a combination of IPL technology + galvanic energy. They work simultaneously to temporarily open your pores, giving the light easier access to the hair shaft.

I've also noticed that the Silk'n Infinity has a wider spectrum of wavelength than most devices at 475-1200nm, which is near-infrared. This means it can reach roots at varying depths and deliver hair-eliminating energy where necessary.

light therapy, depth of penetration by wavelength
Figure: Displays depths of penetration. Shorter wavelengths are more potent, but longer wavelengths reach deeper and are safer for dark skin tones.

Longer wavelengths penetrate deep into the skin and can reach even the deepest-seated hair roots that are even out of reach by some lasers. This means less damage absorbed by your epidermis in relation to your hair follicle and ensures a safer hair removal procedure.

Skin Rejuvenation – A byproduct of galvanic energy is also skin rejuvenation. You'll feel a slight tingling current that stimulates your skin and makes it easier to absorb skincare products. Applying moisturizers after each session will leave your skin feeling smooth and very soft.

Design & Ease of Use – It's light and intuitive to work with. Very convenient especially for travel.

The pulsing and gliding features give you full control of your flashes. The only problem I had with using it is on the upper lip. The galvanic plate where the lamp is located is a bit bulky and hard to press down on the right area.

It also comes with a scheduling app that you can supposedly connect via Bluetooth on your phone. Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me make it work and just ended up scheduling it on my calendar.

Efficacy – While they have gone above and beyond on safety, it may have come at the expense of time and effort.

A typical full hair cycle growth spans about 18-24 months.

Below is the recommended treatment time when using the device:

  • Treatments 1-4: Plan two weeks apart.
  • Treatments 5-7: Plan four weeks apart.
  • Treatments 8 +: Treat as needed, until desired results are achieved.
Fitzpatrick Skin TypeHair ColorArea of the Body2Average Number of Treatments1
I-IVLight brown to brownLegs, Arms, Bikini Area, UnderarmsSessions 10-12, approximately 4 weeks apart.
I-IVBrown to blackLegs, Arms, Bikini Area, UnderarmsSessions 8-10, approximately 4 weeks apart.

1. Individual response depends on hair type and biological factors. Some users may respond quicker or slower than the average no. of treatments.
2. One cannot expect permanent hair removal in single or even double treatment sessions. The duration of the resting period also depends on the body area. Source: Courtesy of brand.

While 8-12 sessions are a tad longer than most professional hair removal, it lags behind its competitors.

Tria’s treatments are every other week for 3 months, while Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 and DEESS are once a week for 12 weeks.

I’m not sure why this is, I think once a week is completely reasonable.

I’m extrapolating here, but it might look bad on paper if you go weekly and wait that long for results.

This is likely because of its low average light fluence that root damage takes a very long time to accumulate.

I think this type of commitment has to be emphasized early on to re-adjust people’s expectations. If you’ve looked at other devices, you’ll likely be conditioned for treatments that take a few months at best.

And if you don’t see quick results, it's easy to assume the device isn’t working.

My advice, take advantage of those unlimited flashes and do it once a week. You’ll catch hair at its most vulnerable, the anagen phase, if you go at this frequency.

(Don’t bother with anything sooner like every other day, that’s not enough time for the follicles to transition from active to resting.)

In any case, you’ll need to be patient and persistent with this.

Keep in mind that this is what it takes to ensure safety for high-risk skin tones and light hair that’s out of range in every other at-home hair removal device.

Value for Money – Unsurprisingly, this device comes out at the higher end with its patented technology, market duopoly, and unlimited flashes that guarantee a lifetime’s worth of use.

Overall – If you have the patience and discipline, this can be a lifelong investment for your hair removal needs.

Key Specifications

Technology: Enhanced Home Pulsed Light™ (Optical light + Galvanic current)
Maximum Energy Fluence/Power: 2.5-4 J/cm2
Galvanic Current: 70-400 microampere (µA)
Output Wavelength475-1200 nm
Skin Tone Coverage: Fitzpatrick I-VI (light to dark skin tones)
Natural Hair Color Coverage: Naturally dark to blonde hair, as long as there is enough pigment to draw light
Skin Tone & Contact Sensors: Yes, automatically detects skin tone at the start and throughout the session
Recommended Treatment Schedule & Results: Treatments 1-4: Plan two weeks apart.
Treatments 5-7: Plan four weeks apart.
Treatments 8 +: Treat as needed, until desired results are achieved.
Lifespan/No. of Flashes: 400,000 or Unlimited flashes
Flash Window Size: 0.9cm x 3cm (2.7cm2)
Repetition rate: 1.0 Hz maximum
Power System: Mains powered
System Weight: 225 grams
Can be used with a pre-treatment gel? No, and not really necessary

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • FDA Cleared and Approved by Health Canada, GMP & ISO Medical.
  • One of the few portable devices that can be used on ALL skin tones including brown, black, or Indian skin, and has one of the broadest coverage of hair colors
  • One of the safest at-home laser hair removal machines due to the brand’s proprietary Enhanced Home Pulsed Light™, and its numerous failsafe mechanisms: Automatic Skin Color Sensor, Recessed Flash Window – Protects the Skin, Prevents you from accidentally wasting any flashes
  • Skin Contact Sensor – Protects the Eyes
  • Among longest wavelength compared to average IPL devices, which ensures that it penetrates far into the skin to reach deep-seated hair roots and is safer for darker skin tones
  • Brand Reputation. Silk’n has more than a decade of building innovative hair removal devices. They are one of the first companies to get FDA clearance for home IPLs way back in 2008.
  • Unique cleansing box that provides thorough disinfection and allows device sharing, something actively discouraged with most at-home laser hair removal devices
  • Small, light, and easy to use on small and large areas of the body
  • Silver casing makes it convenient to bring for travel
  • Solid customer support—Something sorely lacking in cheap, off-brand devices.
  • Skin rejuvenation is a byproduct of galvanic energy, a type of electrotherapy that’s used in facials and body treatments

Cons:

  • Enhanced Home Pulsed Light™ has intrinsically low energy fluence. This is to emphasize safety, especially for darker skin tones. This comes at the expense of quicker results and will likely take you longer than advertised to see permanent hair reduction. You’ll need patience and discipline in keeping to your schedule.
  • If you buy the cleansing box bundle and share the device with multiple people, you can run out of flashes. That “lifetime use” is really for one person. Since the silk’n cartridge is built-in, you’ll have to buy a new unit once the lamp runs out of flashes.

Videos

Video: Infinity HPL

Video Review: Silk'n Infinity Tutorial – How To Use

Promos & Coupon Codes

Silk’n Infinity Coupon Codes

Get the best price with the latest premium promo and discount codes. Sales and special gifts are limited-time offers.

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logo

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*at the time of publishing. Subject to change.


braun silk-expert pro 5

Braun Silk-expert Pro 5

Permanent IPL Hair Reduction, SensoAdapt™ Skin Tone Sensor
Verdict: The safest & most efficient home device

The Bottom Line:

From the brand that makes it it's business to keep you flawlessly hair-free, comes their latest product yet.

The Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 is clinically tested for permanent hair reduction.

Braun has even taken it one step further and was awarded accreditation by the Skin Health Alliance, a team of independent dermatologists that perform scientific reviews and clinical trials on skincare.

Silk-Expert is the only IPL device that automatically adapts to your skin tone, making it one of the safest laser hair removal devices today.

Because skin tone varies across different body parts, you may have to adjust your device’s setting according to each area. This is usually done manually and greatly influences the outcome of your treatment. (Too low and it won’t work, too high and you can get burned.)

Silk Expert’s intelligent SensoAdapt™ technology continuously reads your skin tone at 80x per second and re-calibrates itself as you glide it across your skin. This ensures that the light intensity is always right for maximum safety and optimum efficacy.

It has 3 levels: Normal, Gentle, and Extra Gentle. You can adjust this accordingly, depending on how sensitive your skin is.

Another plus is its built-in cartridge that loads up to 400,000 flashes. This number will take a long way because you only have to glide over every area once (vs. other devices that offer a higher number of flashes but requires that you go over areas 2-3x.)

The speed is also the fastest we've seen, clocking at just .05 – 0.9 seconds. Combined with its large window, which opens at 3 cm2, areas like your legs and arms can be done in no time. The noise level compared to most machines is also much lower.

It has an energy fluence of up to 6 J/cm2 and covers the normal spectrum of skin tone and hair color (light to dark brown, dark hair).

Initial treatment involves 4-12 weekly sessions. Once completed, you can top up once every 1-2 months for maintenance.

Several editions come with either: Standard, Wide, or Precision heads, a facial cleansing brush, or a Gillette razor. It also comes with a pretty creme traveling pouch.

An app is also available on iTunes or Google Play to help schedule your sessions and maximize your device.

Ideal for: Full body treatments, Fool-proof treatment that’s almost free from trial-and-error (you only have to adjust for pain tolerance)

Expert Review

Unparalleled Safety – The mechanism of having the device choose the most optimal setting for maximum safety and efficacy is similar to that of Silk’n Infinity.

Silk’n checks your skin tone at the start of your treatment, and only occasionally during.

However, as skin tone changes in different parts of the body, this leaves a tiny window for error. And it only takes a second to flash and injure your skin.

(Although in defense of Silk’n, its highest energy fluence of 4 J/cm2 is the lowest “Extra Gentle” of Braun’s. So, unless you have very sensitive skin, Silk’n really shouldn’t hurt.)

Basic light indications of the LED Power Bars and what they mean.
Basic light indications of the LED Power Bars and what they mean.

What elevates Silk Expert to another level is its ability to check your skin tone at 80x per second using its proprietary intelligent SensoAdaptTM technology.

This risk of injury or flashing energy above what your skin can tolerate is almost non-existent.

The only variable left is your pain tolerance, which shouldn’t be much of an issue if you always start with the “Extra gentle” mode and just adjust to how much you can tolerate.

In my experience, the lowest setting feels like nothing. (Important to note that I’ve worked and received professional laser treatments in various capacities over a decade, so my baseline for pain is likely higher than normal people.)

The median or “Gentle” setting is a warm sensation, while the “Normal” or highest setting is a bright and small snap on the skin.
This should be tolerable for most people, but the best practice is to always start at the lowest setting and work your way up.

Up to 10 energy levels – Most devices only average about 6 energy levels. Having 10 allows much more precision in energy output and the ability to treat subtle shades on the skin in between.

Efficacy & Compatibility – With its rigorous testing and scientific backing, there’s no question that this device works.

There really isn’t a downside to the SensoAdaptTM technology, unless you’ve hit a wall and are open to hacking the process to achieve better results.

For instance, if your complexion is in the Fitzpatrick IV range, the device can work say on the underside of the arm where it's lighter, and not the other.

There’s no bypassing this safety mechanism—if the Silk-Expert says this area is too dark, it won’t flash.

If your skin tone is a bit ambiguous, the Silk’n Infinity may be the better choice for you as it covers all skin tones.

Value for Money – This is also on the higher end of the spectrum considering its brand, proprietary technology, and over 300,000 flashes to last 15 years.

Overall – Great device that you really can’t go wrong with as long as you’re well within the skin tone coverage. If you want a hassle-free treatment without any trepidation, just start at “Extra Gentle” and the device will take care of the rest.

Key Specifications

Technology: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Maximum Energy Fluence/Power: 4-6 J/cm2
Flash Speed:0.5-0.9 seconds between flashes; ‘Gliding Mode’ for large areas triggers more flashes and lesser missed areas
Output Wavelength510 – 2000 nm
Skin Tone Coverage: Fitzpatrick I-V (light, medium, and dark skin tones)
Natural Hair Color Coverage: Naturally black or brown hair. This may not be effective on grey, white, blonde, or red hair.
Skin Tone & Contact Sensors: Unique Intelligent SensoAdaptTM skin tone sensor that continuously reads your skin tone at 80x per second and adapts the IPL intensity
Recommended Treatment Schedule & Results: 1x a week for 12 weeks. Treated hairs will naturally fall out within 1-2 weeks. Around 4 weeks, you should see a reduction in hair growth. After the 12-week program, there should be a significant reduction in hair with those left being lighter and finer. With continuous monthly treatments, you should be able to maintain a reduction in unwanted hair.
Lifespan/No. of Flashes: 400,000 flashes; equivalent to 22 years of full-body treatments
Flash Window Size: Standard Head: 3 cm2, Precision Head: 1.5 cm2
Power System: Mains powered
Can be used with a pre-treatment gel?No, and not really necessary

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Intelligent SensoAdapt™ skin tone sensor automatically adjusts the device to your skin tone for safety and efficacy
  • Customizable modes for skin sensitivity – ‘Normal’, ‘Gentle’, or ‘Extra Gentle’ modes
  • 400,000 flashes, good for 22 years of use. One of the best home laser hair removals in terms of cost per use.
  • For use on face & body treatments unlike most IPL devices
  • ‘Gliding Mode’ for large areas triggers more flashes and lesser missed areas & ‘Precision Mode’ for treating small or sensitive areas like the bikini line, underarms, knees, shins, ankles, and face for females.
  • Has an app to schedule your sessions or read up on how to maximize the device: check it out on iTunes, Google Play.
  • Comes with Gilette’s Venus Razor

Cons:

  • Uses IPL which has bright flashes, you’ll want safety glasses for extra eye protection
  • Flashes during the gliding mode can be inconsistent depending on how hard you press, takes practice
  • It may not be effective on extremely strong, resilient hair

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izmIFUctWgk

Video: Braun Silk-expert IPL for Permanent Hair Removal | Braun IPL

Video Review: BRAUN IPL SILK EXPERT REVIEW + Q & A

Promos & Coupon Codes

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DEES 3-in-1 Permanent Hair Removal System

DEESS 3-in-1 ICY COOL Permanent Hair Removal System

Multi-functional device: IPL, Skin Rejuvenation, & Acne Clearance
Verdict: The best multi-function at-home laser hair removal

The Bottom Line:

A great deal and real value for money with its unlimited flashes and 3-in-1 functionality. It's 3 optical filters offer hair removal, skin rejuvenation, and acne clearance.

IPL is stronger than LED laser therapy so if you’ve been looking to buy those separately, you’re going to save a lot!

However, if you’re only interested in the hair removal aspect, you might want to shop around for other devices you can maximize.

The DEESS also has an additional safety feature that comes as a cooling mechanism to reduce any potential epidermal or skin damage. This lessens pain as well for those with sensitive skin and low pain tolerance.

This is likely to compensate for its lack of an automatic skin sensor that comes with higher-end devices.

There’s not much to calibrate at 5 levels in any case, but something worth noting especially if you have a darker complexion or if you’re treating regions that have darker tones, eg. bikini area, underarms, etc.

The risk is just higher and you’ll have to mindfully test it every time or always start low.

Its speed is also noteworthy, clocking at just 0.9 secs/flash as opposed to most devices that average 3-5 secs per flash. This makes treatments easier and faster, especially if you’re working in automatic mode.

The design is rather unique as well. It not only has the handheld flash but a holder too, which doubles as a container for the extra filters. This makes the entire thing bulky though and is less convenient to travel with.

This device also has an upgraded lamp that extends its durability and offers unlimited flashes for a lifetime of use. No need to buy additional cartridges or replacements.

Ideal for:
Fitzpatrick I-V with naturally dark to dirty blonde hair, Sensitive to heat and pain, those looking at IPL or LED light therapy for skin rejuvenation and/or acne clearance

In-Depth Review (Soon)

Expert Review

Value for Money – One of the few IPL hair removal home systems that come with not just a hair removal filter, but also optical filters for skin rejuvenation and acne clearance. These, paired with its offer of unlimited flashes, makes this an unbelievable deal.

light therapy, depth of penetration by wavelength

Most hair removal devices have a fixed filter to output only wavelengths between 640-1200nm. The DEESS maximizes its IPL in a really clever way by mimicking how professional devices do it.

This is one of the reasons why getting in-clinic IPL is relatively cheaper compared to real lasers like diode or Nd:YAG—IPL machines have an array of other skincare functions besides hair removal. This means the clinic has more services to offer and has an easier ROI (Return on Investment) on a very expensive machine.

IPL is also stronger and more effective than LED light therapy for skin rejuvenation and acne. Having both practically for free saves you multi-fold if you’re planning to purchase a separate device for it.

Safety & Comfort — Like the Bosidin, this also comes with a cooling 8°C/46.4°F mechanism to ease some of the heat on the skin. I personally don’t think it’s needed if you have a lighter skin tone, but those with darker complexions might experience pain more intensely on the higher levels.

You can also use the cooling function separately as a post- or pre-treatment compress, something I haven’t seen at all in any other device.
One thing to note is that the flash is exceptionally brighter on this device. The package comes with pretty cool sunglasses so you’re covered, but you can’t really go without them. No other people in the room either, for safety.

Speed – It boasts a 0.9 second per flash, which is very fast in comparison to other devices that average around 3-5 secs. What the box doesn’t tell you is that this applies only to level 1. As you go up a level, I’ve noticed that the reloading slows down especially if you have the cooling on.

Not a dealbreaker, but something to keep in mind.

It’s still faster in any case since this deceleration happens to most devices as you level up, and those have a much lower baseline.

Product Design – The body itself feels durable enough. It comes with not just a handheld device but a holding station for easier access and safekeeping. It also doubles as a container for the other filters so you won’t lose them.

(I thought it was a charging station for a minute and the device was battery-powered, but I was wrong. Maybe in the future?)

The device itself is ergonomic and easy to handle but being tethered to the holder limits its portability.  You might have difficulty packing this for travel.

Power – It says 4.8 j/cm2 on Amazon while in another retailer, it advertises energy fluence of up to 6 j/cm2. What’s odd is that it is neither on the box nor the manual! As my niece would say—pretty sus.

In any case, it’s a small gap and we can just assume it covers that range when you adjust levels.

Treatment Plan – This is pretty off-track as well–advising hair removal sessions once a week for 6-12 weeks, making 2-5 passes every treatment.

In my opinion, this is the right way to do it across ALL devices because this is a more infallible method of catching your hair at its most vulnerable—the anagen phase.

Skin rejuvenation is also once a week with 2-3 passes, while acne clearance is once every 2-3 days with 2-3 passes each time.

Key Specifications

Technology: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Maximum Energy Fluence/Power: 4.8-6 J/cm2 (Disclaimer: Varies in different promos. Not specified in box.)
Flash Speed:0.9 secs/flash
Output WavelengthHair Removal: 510-1200 nm, Skin Rejuvenation: 560-1200 nm, Acne Clearance: 400-700 nm
Skin Tone Coverage: Fitzpatrick I-V (light to dark skin tones)
Natural Hair Color Coverage: Naturally dark to dirty blonde hair
Safety Protocol: “ICY COOL” Cooling mechanism
Recommended Treatment Schedule & Results: Once a week for 6-12 weeks, 2-5 passes each time. Once a month for maintenance.
Lifespan/No. of Flashes: Unlimited flashes
Flash Window Size: 3.1 cm2
Pulse Duration:2-3 ms
Power System: Mains powered
System Weight: 950 grams
Can be used with a pre-treatment gel? No, and not really necessary

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Value for money 3-in-1 multifunctional device for hair removal, acne clearance, and skin rejuvenation
  • Unlimited shots with its upgraded lamp, no need for replaceable cartridges
  • Advanced cooling system that increases comfort and helps reduce epidermal damage
  • ICY COOL feature can also be used independently as a cooling compress
  • Very fast in terms of flash speed, clocking in at 0.9 flash per second whereas most devices average around 3-5 seconds per reload. This cuts treatment time significantly.
  • Has a manual and automatic mode for easier operation
  • Has a separate holding rack for the handheld device and filters for safekeeping
  • The handheld device has a 120-degree ergonomic design for easier maneuvering in different angles

Cons:

  • If you’re not interested in acne clearance or skin rejuvenation, you won’t be able to maximize the device
  • In terms of safety, the cooling system seems to compensate for the device’s lack of skin sensor
  • The flash is extremely bright, which necessitates eye protection. The good news is that it comes with its own cool-looking sunglasses.
  • Cooling and raising energy levels to slow down the flash speed
  • The separate rack makes the device a bit bulky and inconvenient to travel with

Videos

Video: DEESS – New Arrival: Cooling IPL GP590 Operation Video

Video Review: AT HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL | IPL Deess Ice Cool beauty device by Beauty Budget Moms


BoSidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device

Bosidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device

Optimal Pulse Technology™, Multi-frequency Continuous Pulse, Dynamic Cooling System + Skin Rejuvenation + 450,000 flashes; good for 20 years
Verdict: The most innovative at home laser hair removal device

The Bottom Line:

The Bosidin boasts of several key technologies that give it an edge over its contemporaries.

I’ve expounded a bit on the review below, but I can say that it’s a novel approach to IPL that puts great emphasis on safety and efficacy.

That said, although these methodologies have been scientifically proven to be effective, whether they translate to the device is another thing.

Bosidin is FDA-clear and EU-CE compliant, but there is a notable absence of independent peer-reviewed studies pertaining to the device itself. (I have paid subscriptions to several medical journals, and they’re not hiding in there.)

This might just be an oversight as it is a foreign brand, but it is something to keep in mind.

Another unique feature is its highly customized “Modes” made for each region of the body. This, combined with its 6-level energy settings, can give you a tailored treatment unlike any device I’ve seen before.

Included is a Skin Rejuvenation setting with its separate filter and an advanced cooling feature called ‘Dynamic Cooling Device. This protects your skin from epidermal damage when using high energy levels.

Overall, this does seem to make the process easy and foolproof.

Personally, though, I think these modes are unnecessary and can actually be constrictive to the device’s potential.

Treating hair at this stage should primarily depend on skin and hair type, less on anatomical sites. Hair on the face, for instance, can be as thin as peach fuzz to thick, coarse beards. You just don’t treat these the same.

They don’t provide data beyond the basic parameters either, so I’m unsure how each mode is exactly calibrated for each body part. (There is one hair removal filter, so I can’t imagine it’s much.)

If you're going with this model, you'll have to hack your way beyond these ‘Modes' if you ever reach a plateau on your hair reduction.

At least you’ll have a hefty 500,000 flashes to work with! That's good for about two decades or so of use.

Another very important thing to remember is that recommended treatments are to be done 1-2 times a week for the initial 8 weeks. If you’ve tried other devices before, you’ll notice that most of them only require sessions once every 2 weeks.

If it does what it says on the tin, it is one of the most innovative at-home devices out there and well ahead of your run-off-the-mill IPL machine.

In-Depth Review (Soon)

Expert Review

The Bosidin has a laundry list of features that may be overwhelming at first glance, with all of them seeming new and unique to the brand.

Safety & Comfort – Some of this I’ve seen in their previous models, namely their contact cooling system that’s now known as DCS or ‘Dynamic Cooling System’ from the previous ‘ICE Technology’.

It’s a metal plate surrounding the flash window that maintains a temperature of 5°C during treatment.

This is a well-established safety technique in professional laser hair removal that helps protect the epidermis from overheating and relieves you from any pain caused by high energy densities.

I’m actually surprised this feature isn’t more ubiquitous, especially with the higher-end models. Then again, some of these devices work with such low fluences that it seems almost unnecessary.

Innovative Hair-Eliminating Technology – The two stand-out technologies that give this an edge are their use of Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT™) and Multi-frequency Continuous Pulse Technology (MFCPT).

OPT is not new per se, as several professional machines use this for hair removal, the Lumenis M22 being the most prominent. It is, however, never been utilized for an at-home system.

The working theory remains the same: to sustain the energy pulse as it penetrates the skin. This minimizes any diminishing returns that naturally occur during energy absorption by the target.

Figure 3.1. IPL light scattering as it penetrates deeper into the dermis vs. sending a steady light down with OPT.

This means less energy is needed to properly heat the root. It’s overall safer, more effective, and less prone to side effects.

The idea is sort of similar to the Silk’n Infinity, where you’re giving the IPL more direct access to the hair follicle.

It’s actually pretty clever, albeit only vaguely explained in their promotional materials.

The other is their ‘Continuous Pulse Technology‘.

Now, this seems like complete marketing terminology. What they’re describing is a technique in professional laser hair removal where you combine low fluence or energy with a high repetition rate.

(Though to be fair I suppose they had to call it something.)

It’s a novel approach to selective photothermolysis, the primary mechanism of hair removal where you target the melanin in your hair so it absorbs enough heat and destroys itself without damaging any of the surrounding tissue.

The standard way to do this is to use high-energy pulses to deliver light and heat to the follicle.

Using ‘Continuous Pulse Technology’ however, you’re firing energy at a lower level instead but doing it at a very, very rapid pace so your hair is slowly accumulating thermal damage to the root.

This technique is used to reduce the risk for those with sensitive skin and low pain tolerance while keeping clinical efficacy.

Now, these two methodologies have been clinically proven to work—BUT whether it translates to this device specifically is up in the air.

They do have FDA clearance and are EU CE compliant, but no traces of peer-reviewed studies are available in major scientific publications as far as my paid subscriptions can see. This implies corporate-backed studies which we’d have to take with a grain of salt.

Highly Customized Settings – This comes two-fold: through a rotating knob that has 6 energy levels to control the strength of the IPL, and another 6 modes that calibrates the device to whichever region of the body you’re going to use it for.

This seems like a user-friendly feature, but I think this can be limiting and, in the long run, detrimental to results.

Figure 3.2. Bosidin with various modes and specific protocols for each anatomical site. Courtesy of brand.

There are only two classifications of hair: terminal or coarse hairs and vellus or thin hairs.

Which type of hair grows where can be individualistic and not always dependent on regions of the body.

One example is how a woman of middle-eastern descent will likely have terminal hairs on her legs while someone of Asian descent will likely have vellus hairs on the same area.

There are other parameters more important for efficacy than anatomical sites.

But a normal person won’t know this, which just defeats these features' purpose. Not to mention the wasted time of using the wrong settings.

It also doesn’t help that the manual has no technical specifications. Until they attach specifics on those parameters, I’ll have to look at this approach discerningly.

Overall: If it does what it says, a truly innovative device that can go far. It could use peer-reviewed papers as it doesn't have a brand reputation to back them up.

Key Specifications

Technology: Optimal Pulse Technology (OPTTM) + Continuous Pulse Technology
Maximum Energy Fluence/Power: 2.8-8.2 J/cm2
Flash Speed:0.6 secs/flash
Output WavelengthHair Removal: 650nm – 910 nm, Skin Rejuvenation: 500nm – 600 nm
Skin Tone Coverage: Fitzpatrick I-IV 
Natural Hair Color Coverage: Naturally dark to dirty blonde hair
Safety Protocol: Dynamic cooling devices (DCD), Skin contact sensor
Recommended Treatment Schedule & Results: 2x a week for the first 4 weeks, 1x a week for the 5-8th weeks, 1x every 2-4 weeks after 8 weeks
Lifespan/No. of Flashes: 500,000 flashes
Flash Window Size:  3.0 cm2
Additional Peripherals: SR / Skin Rejuvenation filter, Safety glasses, Shaving razors
Power System: Mains powered
System Weight: 480 grams
Can be used with a pre-treatment gel? No, and not really necessary

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Virtually painless hair removal with its DCD or ‘Dynamic Cooling Device’
  • OPT™ technology improves IPL’s hair eliminating abilities
  • Multi-frequency Continuous Pulse Technology (MFCPT) for improved efficacy and safety
  • 6 customized modes specific to each body part: face, arms, legs, bikini area, underarms + SR or Skin Rejuvenation
  • 6 energy levels for strength adjustment
  • 180-degree rotating head for easier maneuvering in different parts of the body
  • 500,000 flashes for over 20 years of use
  • Comes with safety protective glasses and an SR filter
  • Esthetically pleasing product design, real fancy-looking
  • Excellent customer support, in my experience. Replies within 12 hours.

Cons:

  • The device is a bit unbalanced with the head being so much heavier than the handle. This makes it a bit tricky to handle.
  • Ergonomics issue—the flash button and the mode button are aligned at the front and back. This can be confusing at times and I tended to misfire while using it.
  • Found that it easily overheats as if I use it for longer than half and hour.
  • In my opinion, the custom mode can hamper instead of enhance efficacy (See expert review above)

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LOuRaDv4S0

Video: BoSidin Laser Hair Removal designed to deliver long-lasting visible results in just 8 weeks

Video Review: LASER HAIR REMOVAL AT HOME | BoSidin OPT Laser | Review (Not Sponsored)


Buyer's Guide:
How to Choose the Best At Home Laser & IPL Hair Removal Devices

While there are countless features common and unique to each machine, some are more important than others. These are the most crucial features to remember when buying a laser hair removal device because they will determine how effective your treatments will be.

01

Check if Your Hair Color is Covered

The darker the hair, the more effective the laser.
human hair color spectrum
Figure 6.1. Natural Hair Colors

Hair removal lasers work by their ability to target melanin, ie. the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes its color. Since the ultimate target is the root of your hair, the more melanin it has ie. the darker the hair, the more effective the laser will be. If your hair has little to no pigment, lasers will have difficulty targeting the root under the skin. (Dyes won’t work as it doesn’t reach the root.)

Make sure that your natural hair color is covered by your chosen device.

02

Check if Your Skin Tone is Covered

The higher the color contrast between the skin and hair, the more effective the laser device.
fitzpatrick scale I-VI
Figure 6.2. The Fitzpatrick Scale Skin Types.

There are 6 types of skin tones under what’s known as the Fitzpatrick scale, I-VI from lightest to darkest. As opposed to hair color, you want the laser to ignore your skin and pass through it. This is to avoid epidermal injury. So, the less melanin you have, the more it can focus on its target—the root of your hair.

Because of the limitations of lasers and IPL in both the depth of penetration under the skin and its capability of targeting melanin, most types of laser technology can only work with light skin tones. Only the Nd: YAG has been proven to be effective up to V-VI. This technology, however, isn’t available for home use as of yet.

Check if your skin tone is within the scope of the device’s range.

03

Find out What Laser or Light Technology is Used

Lasers are more effective than light (IPL) in removing hair.
Figure 3.1. Lasers generate a single wavelength that is extremely concentrated and efficiently absorbed by the pigment in the hair. IPL creates a wide spectrum of light where only some wavelengths are absorbed by the pigment in the hair and some by the skin.
Figure 6.3. Lasers generate a single wavelength that is extremely concentrated and efficiently absorbed by the pigment in the hair. IPL creates a wide spectrum of light where only some wavelengths are absorbed by the pigment in the hair and some by the skin.

Lasers and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) have been proven highly effective for permanent hair reduction. There are different types of lasers used in hair removal, but only one type (diode) has been patented for home devices. IPL is by far more widely used because of its affordability and ease of access.

Clinical studies, however, show that diode laser is more effective and gives faster results than IPL. Diode is also one of the laser technologies preferred by physicians for professional hair removal.

04

Compare Energy Fluence/Power Ranges

The higher the Joules per flash or J/cm², the more effective it is in removing hair. and the higher the risk of side-effects occuring.
Figure 4.1. Example of a device with 5 levels of IPL intensity. Courtesy of IMENE Beauty.
Figure 6.4. Example of a device with 5 levels of IPL intensity. Courtesy of IMENE Beauty.

This is the strength of the laser or light that targets the hair pigment, all the way to the root, to disable its growth. In clinical studies, higher energy has been found to be 2-3 times more effective than devices with lower energy. This also coincides with the depth of laser penetration, or how deep into the skin it can go to reach the hair root.

Each device have different ranges and a good indicator of how high it goes is pricing.

On the other side of the coin, a higher amount of heat dispersed means a higher risk for adverse effects. This includes discomfort, pain, redness, swelling, burns, and pigmentary changes.

The most efficient way to is to balance efficacy with your safety and skin sensitivity. This means setting your device to the highest energy level your skin can tolerate. Best practice is to start with level 1 and work your way up.

Additional Safety Tools & Reminders

While we all want results, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your safety. There are horror stories about lasers out there that could have been 100% preventable had they just taken enough precautions. Even the best photo epilators can turn awry in the wrong hands.

01

UV Resistant Glasses (Optional but encouraged)

These devices emit flashes of light that direct exposure may potentially be harmful to the eyes. It’s actually recommended on most manuals that you look away from the device when it’s activating (which is annoying and inconvenient). You can use these UV-resistant glasses as a precaution.

Recommended: LaserPair IPL Glasses, OPT Safety Glasses 200-1400 nm Eye Protection Goggles

02

Pre-Treatment Cooling Gels (Optional for very sensitive skin)

One of the side effects of laser or light treatment is a tingling sensation similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. The higher the power or energy fluence, the stronger the sensation.

For those with very sensitive skin or low pain tolerance, a calming pre-treatment gel might be needed to reduce any stinging or redness caused by the treatment. (This is compulsory in our practice but in-clinic lasers are also 4x-6x more powerful than at-home lasers.)

Also, note that not all home devices can be used in conjunction with a pre-treatment cooling gel. The Tria for instance specifically prohibits any lotions or gels to come in between the skin and the device window. We’ve checked and added this precaution in our review, so make sure to thoroughly check the specs before buying one.

If you have sensitive skin but the device you’ve chosen can’t be used with a pre-treatment gel, use a post-treatment healing gel instead (up next!).

Recommended: Cooling Gel Use with for Laser Hair Removal Device and RF Radio Frequency Facial Machine

03

Post-Treatment Healing Gels (Optional but encouraged)

These post-procedure gels promote skin recovery. It provides moisturization, alleviates redness, and gives a cooling sensation after treatments.

Recommended: Made from Earth Cucumber Cooling Gel – Organic Cucumber, Aloe Vera and Vitamin C, EltaMD Laser Enzyme Gel Cools and Moisturizes, Post-Procedure Gel, Dermatologist-Recommended

04

Contraindications or When You Can’t Get Laser

These are the basic precautions across all at-home laser hair removal treatments. For a definite list, please refer to the enclosed leaflet in your machine. They should be similar to the list below as the general guidelines are the same across the board.

Do not proceed if you have:

  • Sensitivity to light (photosensitivity)
  • Damaged or irritated skin
  • Had skin peeling, plucking, epilating, or waxing in the last 6-8 weeks
  • Have tanned or sunburned skin. Wait for the skin to go back to normal before proceeding
  • Are breastfeeding or pregnant
  • History of pre-cancer or skin cancer
  • Anywhere near water in case of electric shock
05

Areas You Can’t Use Them On or Where You Can’t Get Laser

Do not use on:

  • Eyebrows or areas above the cheek line as the laser light can cause eye damage. It’s highly recommended to use UV glasses as a precaution.
  • Areas of the body with tattoos, dark brown or black spots (dark moles, large freckles, birthmarks, or warts)
  • Areas with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, herpes, active infections, or wounds
  • Skin tones or hair colors outside the advised coverage
  • Ears, nipples, and other sensitive areas
  • Don’t use this in areas where you may want to grow your hair back. Long-term usage may be irreversible or permanent. Always be vigilant in removing hair safely.

Always follow safety precautions for electrical devices. Most of us will do this in the bathroom, so be careful to not get the machine or the charger damp or wet. To avoid accidents, don’t put it next to the tub or sink. Keep the cord away from heated surfaces like towel rails to avoid electric shocks.

How to Use IPL & Laser Hair Removal at Home: Step-by-Step

Esthetician Tip #1: Perform at night so any lingering redness would disappear by morning. You can also shave in between your schedule when the killed off hair under the skin starts to push itself out, but avoid waxing or plucking. You need that root intact for this to work.

Esthetician Tip #2: I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping to your schedule in the early stages of your treatment. There is a small window in between treatments where your hair is in its growth period. This is when laser treatment is at its most effective. If you let too much time lapse before permanently disabling your hair follicle, you’re running the risk of your hair repairing itself. Healthy hair is more resilient than you think!

silkn infinity review

Total Time Needed :

45

Minutes

Required Tools:

– Shaver
– At-home laser hair removal device with IPL window attached (if applicable)
– UV glasses (optional)
– Scheduler of choice

Things Needed?

– Post-treatment gel or lotion

General Steps:

Step 1

Prep your skin. Cleanse and dry the treatment area before your laser session.

Step 2

Shave the area thoroughly. Your hair will be heated in the process, and any protruding strand left that comes in contact with your skin during the laser treatment can be painful. Just think of your hair getting toasted on top of your skin. It’s going to hurt and give off a burning smell too!

DO NOT PLUCK OR WAX. You need the root intact and in contact with the surrounding area of your follicle for the laser to destroy. Remember, the laser will look for the melanin in your hair so if it’s missing, your treatment will be rendered useless.

If you have sensitive skin, apply a pre-treatment cooling gel. Just make sure that your device allows the use of gels or soothing lotions, as some explicitly forbid anything to come in between your skin and the device. (Refer to the Key Specs of each device above, we’ve checked this for you.)

fitzpatrick scale I-VI

Step 3

Check the target area's skin tone compatibility with your device. This process differs with every model but there should be a mechanical method to check whether your skin tone is within their range of coverage.

Some devices have a separate skin tone checker. For others, this comes as an automatic safety feature where it checks your skin tone before every flash. If a particular area of your body is out of range, the device won't flash at all. This is very convenient since different parts of the body have different skin tones, and is especially useful for people with darker skin types.

Figure 4.1. Example of a device with 5 levels of IPL intensity. Courtesy of IMENE Beauty.

Step 4

Do a patch test to determine the optimum power level you should use for each session. This isn't necessarily the highest setting your machine can go, but the highest possible level your skin can tolerate. Remember the higher the power, the more effective your treatments will be. However, this also means a higher risk for side effects like pain, redness, or burns. You need to find the right balance of safe and effective for a successful treatment.

Don your UV glasses for safety, and do a patch test. Pick a random part from the different areas you want to treat and work your way up from the lowest to the highest setting. Stop immediately if you feel pain. Observe the area for about 10-15 minutes and check for any side effects.

As you continue your treatment, you can try to gradually increase your power level as you build a tolerance to the laser and as the hair gets thinner and thinner. This is standard procedure in our clinic and with all professional laser hair removal.

Step 5

Treatment proper. Move in a grid-like pattern to avoid patchy results.

Avoid flashing in succession at the same spot. You can pass over areas once or twice if indicated by your device. (Some allow it, others discourage the practice.)

Step 6

Apply post-treatment healing gel or lotion to the area to soothe the skin and facilitate healing. At most, it should feel like a mild sunburn. Any redness should fade within a few hours.

Avoid getting the area wet for at least 24 hours. If you're going under the sun, apply an SPF of at least 30+.

Step 7

Schedule the next treatment according to instructions given on your chosen device. If you want to have continuous hair loss, you have to systematically injure your hair follicle over and over until it reaches a point where it's either unable to re-grow hair or minimize its growth from terminal or thick hair, to vellus or fine hairs. Going too long without treatment, especially in the earlier stages, will give your hair follicle a chance to heal itself.

It's critical to strike during the anagen phase when the hair starts to repair itself and melanin is in abundance at the dermal papilla, where the growth factors are. This cycle occurs in just a few weeks during the start of your treatment, and will gradually extend to months or years once cumulative damage to your hair follicle occurs.

Strictly keeping to a schedule is crucial to permanent hair removal. There’s usually an app that comes with each brand to help you keep track. Even easier, log every schedule in advance on your calendar so you won't miss a session.


Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most common questions new users have regarding laser hair removal:


References:

  1. Gold, Michael H et al. “Low-energy intense pulsed light for hair removal at home.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 3,2 (2010): 48-53.
  2. Wheeland RG. Permanent hair reduction with a home-use diode laser: Safety and effectiveness 1 year after eight treatments. Lasers Surg Med. 2012 Sep;44(7):550-7. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22051. Epub 2012 Aug 7. PMID: 22886431.
  3. Ormiga P, Ishida CE, Boechat A, Ramos-E-Silva M. Comparison of the effect of diode laser versus intense pulsed light in axillary hair removal. Dermatol Surg. 2014 Oct;40(10):1061-9. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000138. PMID: 25229781.
  4. Klein A, Steinert S, Baeumler W, Landthaler M, Babilas P. Photoepilation with a diode laser vs. intense pulsed light: a randomized, intrapatient left-to-right trial. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Jun;168(6):1287-93. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12182. Epub 2013 Apr 2. PMID: 23278132.
  5. Gold, Michael & Goren, Hela. (2015). The Effect of Novel Low Energy Pulsed Light Combined with Galvanic Energy for Home-Use Hair Removal of Dark Skin. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 05. 283-290. 10.4236/jcdsa.2015.54034.
  6. R. Stephen Mulholland (2009) Silk'n™ – A novel device using Home Pulsed Light™ for hair removal at home, Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 11:2, 106-109, DOI: 10.1080/14764170902902806

The Top 5 Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices of 2022

Expert on-hand reviews from estheticians on the best at-home laser hair removal devices that deliver professional results.

Samantha Welch

the best at home laser hair removal
Tria Beauty 4x
Silk ‘n Infinity
Braun Silk-expert Pro 5
DEESS 3-in-1 ICY COOL Permanent Hair Removal System
Bosidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device

Summary

Among 35 devices we've reviewed, we've selected the top 5 that stood out based on performance, build, specifications, value for money, and our hands-on experience.

The Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X is the only diode laser available for home use. This device makes it the most powerful contender by a large margin, clocking in at 22 J/cm2.

The Silk'n Infinity Hair Removal Device is a gentle laser perfect for sensitive skin, dark skin, and light hair. One of the most enduring product lines from a trusted brand in hair removal.

The Braun Silk-expert Pro 5 is also one of the safest and most efficient laser home devices with its automatic skin sensor and ergonomic design.

The DEESS 3-in-1 ICY COOL Permanent Hair Removal System is a unique, multi-function device with skin rejuvenation and acne clearance properties. 

The Bosidin Painless Permanent Hair Removal Device is a new and innovative device with proprietary technologies.

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Samantha Welch

Samantha Welch is an esthetician and professional makeup artist. She co-founded Healthy Beautiful to create a space where she can share her experiences and channel her love for all things beauty. Samantha believes that through education and resources, everyone can make informed choices that can change their lives.