personal laser hair removal machine
personal laser hair removal machine
After experiencing the many pitfalls of shaving (ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and speedy re-growth), we’re contemplating alternative methods of hair removal this season. And since professional laser hair removal isn’t the most budget-friendly option (initial sessions can cost upwards of $600), we’re looking at the next best thing: at-home laser hair removal gadgets.
We need to reassert, before we go any further, that body hair is a completely natural, normal thing, and you should absolutely not feel compelled to remove it if you don’t want to—it’s a personal choice. (If you’re a body hair, don’t care kind of person, more power to you!) But if you’re into the idea of laser hair removal, want to save some money, but are a little freaked about the idea of doing it at home, we’ve got you covered.
New York-based dermatologist Josh Zeichner, MD, considers at-home lasers a safe alternative. « Lasers work by emitting a beam of light that is absorbed by a specific target in the skin, » Dr. Zeichner explains. « In this case, the light is absorbed by pigment in the hair follicle to heat it up and destroy it, so the hair does not grow back. At-home devices work similarly to professional treatments, but use lower energy levels. They are more time-consuming to use, but can help. They are also a great option to maintain improvements between professional treatments. » (As an interesting FYI, Dr. Zeichner adds that, « Each treatment causes some degree of damage to the hair follicle resulting in thinner hair, and it often takes multiple treatments to completely remove hair. For this reason, the term laser hair removal is a bit of misnomer, and it should probably be called laser hair reduction. »)
Along with Dr. Zeichner, we chatted with Howard Sobel, M.D., NYC dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin, Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., dermatologist and medical director of Ingleton Dermatology, and Rachel Nazarian, M.D., dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group, to tell us the best devices that really, truly work.
According to Ingleton, the majority of at-home hair removal devices don’t actually use lasers, but rather Intense Pulse Light (IPL), a technology that targets your hair’s melanin to permanently destroy the hair follicle after repeated treatments.
Ingleton’s favorite IPL device? The Remington iLight Pro Plus. “Not only does it give off a total of 30,000 pulses before it needs to be replaced, but its design allows for the easiest and fastest treatment of larger areas of skin,” she says.
But, like many IPL and laser devices, the Remington iLight isn’t safe for darker skin tones, she notes. “Most devices will actually block you from starting a treatment if your skin or hair color isn’t the ideal mix,” she explains. Darker skin tones are at a higher risk for burning, since the device can’t differentiate between hair and skin.
“The Silk’n Infinity also uses IPL light, but unlike the Remington, it’s safe for all skin colors,” says Dr. Ingleton. The petite, circular design allows for easy, all-over treatments, and it’s also equipped with five energy-level settings for a genuinely customizable experience.
If the steep price tag turns you off, Dr. Ingleton adds that the Silk’n Infinity’s lifespan makes it worth the investment to her. “It stores 400,000 pulses before it dies, so it’s going to last significantly longer than most devices,” she explains.
Zeichner is also a proponent of this device. « This laser emits a broad spectrum of light, rather than a single wavelength. The technology, known as intense pulsed light, can be used across a variety of skin types, even those with an olive complexion. »
Just short of $450, the Tria will cost you a pretty penny—but seeing that it’s the first and only FDA-approved laser for at-home use, it’s become a favorite among derms and patients for legit, professional-level results. “I’m a fan of this device because it has high energy levels and it’s super easy-to-use,” says Nazarian.
With five energy-level settings and an LED display that guides you through each treatment, the Tria is pretty much the ideal introduction to at-home hair removal. “As with all laser hair removal devices, I recommend working with clean, freshly shaven skin. Make sure that you aren’t able to see hair above skin level,” Dr. Nazarian says.