Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is the latest trend for long-lasting hair removal. Standing out from laser hair removal, IPL hair removal is less painful while providing equally lasting results. However, precautions must be taken to achieve the desired effect. We have listed for you everything that needs to be done and what should be avoided when using pulsed light hair removal.
Pulsed light hair removal: what to do and what not to do.
Pulsed light hair removal: what needs to be done.
Protecting the skin from the sun.
Protect your skin from the sun before, during, and after your sessions with pulsed light. Indeed, UV radiations are the cause of tanning, which is characterised by a higher rate of melanin on the skin's surface. Tanning then risks attracting the pulsed light to your skin rather than the hairs, potentially causing discomfort or even a burn. If you cannot avoid sun exposure, use a sun care product on the face and body with a high protection factor, ensuring to cover the areas to be treated.
Shave before the sessions.
It is recommended to shave the hair on the area to be treated one to two days before the session to promote light absorption. In this way, the pulsed light can directly reach the hair roots, which allows for quick results.
Allowing the skin to "breathe".
Wait a few days after the session before applying any type of care product, such as deodorant or makeup, in order not to further sensitise the skin.
Adhere to the established programme.
It is strongly recommended to adhere to the prescribed session schedule and not to hasten the process. Indeed, closely spaced sessions will not accelerate the results. Similarly, sessions that are too far apart will not yield effective results, as you risk missing the hair growth phase. During this phase, hairs are particularly receptive to pulsed light due to the maximum concentration of melanin.
Pulsed light hair removal: what not to do.
For your safety and to avoid risks, it is recommended to take some precautions when following a pulsed light hair removal program.
Exposure to the sun.
Indeed, as previously described, exposure to the sun is not recommended, as it will increase skin sensitivity and promote tanning. The latter can cause burns during the session, as it presents a high level of melanin on the skin's surface. Moreover, directly exposing oneself to the sun after the session is not a good idea, as the skin is still highly sensitised and is more prone to sunburn.
Waxing or bleaching body hair.
If you wish to remove your hair between sessions, use a razor instead of waxing, bleaching your hair or applying a hair removal cream. These practices alter the hair growth cycle and its ability to absorb light. However, it is recommended to shave within the 48 hours preceding the session.
Taking photosensitising medications or applying photosensitising skincare treatments.
This technique is incompatible with medications or any other photosensitising compounds that may pose risks, such as burns, depigmentation or an increased sensitivity to light in general. This is the case for certain active ingredients found in the composition of skincare products like retinol, fruit acids (AHA), etc.