Do At-Home Laser Hair Removal Devices Actually Work?

The day we went into lockdown was two days before my 9th session of laser hair removal. Laser Clinics Australia gave me a courtesy call to say my appointment was cancelled. 

“Oh well,” I remember thinking, “It’ll only be a couple of weeks.” I honestly thought I’d be back backpacking in Thailand within a few months.  

As I’ve discussed on our podcast, in retrospect, I was clearly in denial about the fact our lives were about to completely and utterly change, as I had also just had fresh SNS applied a couple of days earlier. It seemed a pretty foreign concept that these simple, everyday pleasures would be on hold for months. And for very good reason. 

I’m not sure if you can tell by the selection of my Instagram Stories below, but isolation really took a toll on my ability to make sane beauty decisions for myself. I am very surprised I didn’t cut my own bangs. 

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I went out for my first dinner last night and felt naughty. And not good naughty. Not like watching 10 episodes of Normal People in one sitting and eating an entire large pizza to oneself, which had become my new normal. 

The beauty of beauty is that it has been an outlet for the frustrations of being locked up in my one bedroom apartment. Yes, even our sex category. Okay, especially our sex category. 

I Turned To At-Home IPL Hair Removal...

Once I realised that in-clinic laser hair removal was nowhere on the horizon, I promptly did what any sane woman would do: I pleaded with our beauty buyers to start stocking an at-home IPL device on Adore Beauty. And it worked! In return, I promised to be the guinea pig and take progress shots. 

These are just typical Slack conversations between me and our beauty buyers…

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If you want to read more about what exactly an IPL hair removal device is and how it works, read our ultimate guide here.

I decided to not only use Selfie Skin At-home IPL Handset on the areas where I get laser hair removal, but also on my arms where I have never had any laser hair removal. This is so you can see the hair reduction without having previously had laser hair removal. 

What Happened In Areas WITHOUT Laser Hair Removal?

I have quite a few tattoos on my arms, so I had to be extra careful, but with some maneuvering, I saw great results in just 6 weeks. Just as an FYI, the “go away” tattoo pictured below is not what you think. It’s very, very meaningful. I absolutely did not get it after a long day on a winery tour. 

I usually wax my arms, so the hair growth had already thinned (very bloody slowly) in the last ten years. I am definitely not going back to waxing, as the IPL machine has been really effective. I had spent so much money already on laser hair removal in-clinic, I couldn’t justify doing it on my arms as well.

I’ll be continuing my in-clinic on my legs, underarms and Brazilian, but I’ll be using the Selfie Skin At-home IPL Handset on areas like my arms, snail trail, toes, fingers… Yep, I have hair pretty much everywhere. 

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What Happened In Areas WITH Laser Hair Removal? 

I used the Selfie Skin At-home IPL Handset device on my legs, underarms and Brazilian and didn’t see the hair thicken in these areas. My underarms and legs stayed pretty much hair-free. My Brazilian hasn’t been seeing the same reduction in growth as the other areas (even with laser), but still, the hair didn’t thicken up during iso. 

I could make a joke right now that there wasn’t even an opportunity for anyone to notice my Brazilian, but I’m classier than that.  

One thing I want to warn people of is that I started using the device on the highest settings (after months of no hair removal) and I got the same reaction as if I was in-clinic. My legs felt hot with the red bumps you get after laser. They went down within 24 hours with no issues, but I would recommend starting on a lower setting and working your way up. I did this for my arms and it worked really well. 

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...And The Face?

One area that I had been getting lasered in-clinic was my face, but because it was every six weeks, it wasn’t very effective. I had been recommended to come in every two weeks, but who has that kind of time? 

I became very lazy with my lip and chin hair removal, so I’ve been using the Selfie Skin At-home IPL Handset on my face. It’s been a more recent venture, but with the success of my arm hair, I’ve decided to ditch the in-clinic laser hair removal for the at-home IPL hair removal. 

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Before You Start Using This IPL Device:

  • READ THE SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS! And it’s wise to do a patch test first to assess your skin's tolerance. 

  • Start on lower settings and see how your skin reacts. I made the mistake of using the highest setting first, and had some red bumps and irritation. 

  • Shave the area before using the device. Don’t pluck or wax in between treatments. 

  • Use a calming lotion or gel like Skinstitut Laser Aid to soothe the area afterwards.

  • You can use the Selfie Skin At-home IPL Handset on your face, but not near your eyes. Don’t look at the light. I actually wore sunglasses when doing my face. 

  • You will see the best results after about 12 treatments. Repeat weekly for 12 weeks and then monthly for three months after that.

  • Make sure you remove all fake tan on the areas you want to treat.

  • Do not, I repeat, do not use on tattoos! Tattoo removal lasers aren’t the same as IPL machines but they’re in the same family.  

  • Avoid using over any dark freckles or moles.

  • You can expect the hair to fall out 1-2 weeks after each treatment. 

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