Laser Hair Removal At Home: 13 Best Laser Hair Removal Machines & IPL Devices 2024 | Glamour UK

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Laser Hair Removal At Home: 13 Best Laser Hair Removal Machines & IPL Devices 2024 | Glamour UK

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By Sophie Cockett and Denise Primbet

Throughout the years, at-home laser hair removal machines and IPL devices have been continuously re-affirming their status as one of – if not the – best fuss-free ways to remove unwanted hair. While shaving is an undeniably popular (not to mention the less expensive) method, it may also result in a flurry issues like ingrown hair, itching, irritation, dry skin and the need to repeat far more often compared to alternative hair removal options.

That said, the majority of other hair removal methods such as epilators and waxing often come with either a lot of pain or a high price tag (and in some cases, both). Enter: at-home IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) devices that come well equipped with the latest technology, long battery life and user-friendly software, offering a completely pain-free experience. Plus, unlike in-salon laser hair removal machines, IPL devices are much more compact and are much easier to store.

Don't get us wrong – having body hair is absolutely normal and you should never feel obligated to get rid of it, whether that's on your legs, your underarms or anywhere else. But if you happen to prefer a hair-free finish, you might as well look into a one of the best, painless and convenient hair removal method that there is.

SKIP TO: What does IPL stand for? | What's the difference between IPL and laser? | How laser hair removal works | Is laser hair removal at home safe? | Does it work on everyone? | How can you prepare for a treatment? | The best at home laser hair removal devices.

If there's one thing you need to know about the best at-home laser hair removal machines and IPL devices, it's that they don't come cheap. However, they can still help you save a pretty penny in the long term, considering that once you invest into one, you can pretty much forget about salon visits (unless you wanted to come in for a hair trim or a mani, of course).

So, if you're keen to switch up your beauty routine and are willing to casting aside your trusty razor, waxing kit or an electric trimmer, we've prepared the ultimate guide to the best options on the market right now, and consulted with experts to answer all your burning FAQs. Not to mention, the GLAMOUR team are well seasoned testers who have tried dozens of IPL devices over the years first-hand, so we took the liberty of breaking down every option that is genuinely worth considering – no gatekeeping.

Each of the devices below scored highly when marked against ease-of-use, versatility, pain felt during use, attachments and how quickly we saw results on different skin types. As well as testing the most popular IPL devices such as the Silk N' Infinity, the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5, the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X and the JOVS Venus Pro Skin Rejuvenation and IPL Hair Removal Device, we've made a conscious effort to check the latest customer reviews and spoke to dermatology experts. Below, you'll find the 11 products that made the cut.

Including preparation, cost, and aftercare. 

IPL stands for intense pulsed light. IPL laser hair removal is arguably the most effective hair removal technique around (even more so than your epilator) – namely because it’s a permanent hair removal system for both legs and hard-to-reach areas.

There is a difference. “First and foremost IPL is not a laser, but there are similarities between the two technologies in that both their functionalities are based on light and both require several initial sessions to achieve optimum long-lasting results," Chloé told us. “Neither technology can offer permanent hair removal, but both are great options for achieving long term hair reduction.”

"Laser technology is based on a single, concentrated wavelength that precisely penetrates the skin. The light from the laser goes through the melanin (the pigment that colours your hair) in the hair into the root. The light converts to heat and destroys the hair follicle and hair bulb to prevent future hair regrowth. Laser treatments are carried out either in salons or by dermatologists and require top-up maintenance sessions.

“IPL on the other hand can be carried out either in salon or in the comfort of your own home with a product like Philips Lumea," Chloé continued. "IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is made up of a wide spectrum of light, and can treat larger areas at a time vs a laser." IPL also uses lower energy levels in comparison to full laser treatments, so it takes a little longer to work.

“At-home IPL kits do not come with goggles but can differ for each device, which indicates how low the light technology is compared to in-clinic laser hair removal,” Barbara added.

“With IPL technology, pulses of light are applied to the skin and are absorbed by the roots of hair in the 'growing' phase,” Chloé said. “This light is absorbed by the melanin, which is responsible for the pigmentation in the hair. This light energy becomes warm and stimulates the hair follicle to go into a resting phase, which causes hair to naturally shed and inhibits regrowth. As only the hairs in the growth stage are treated this way, a few sessions are required to target all the hairs to reach the required results.”

Repeated use of this technique means that, over time, regrowth is reduced. Even when it does grow back in the early days of treatment, it will grow back at a significantly slower rate. You can use IPL technology to banish hair on your legs, bikini line and in smaller areas like your underarms.

Yes, at-home laser hair removal devices tend to be safe and most are FDA-approved. Take the Philips Lumea, for example. “It has been designed and developed with dermatologists and leading skin scientists. It has a number of in-built safety mechanisms, and when used correctly shouldn't have any implications to the skin health.”

The biggest risk with cheaper devices is scarring – though the best way to avoid this is to start off on lower intensity levels, avoid zapping sensitive areas, avoid using the treatment for facial hair or over your neck, and do a patch testing on a small area before committing to your large areas of the body such as your legs. Beginners are advised to wait for three-four weeks post-patch test to make sure you experience no side effects.

When you start using an IPL hair removal device, you should add a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your whole-body skincare routine, as your skin will be more sensitive to UV rays. Also, avoid anything that can irritate your skin like serums, deodorant, hot showers, scented body lotions and perfumes for at least 24 hours after a zap.

IPL is widely considered to be one of the most pain-free hair removal methods, but this ultimately depends on you and the device you're using. Nowadays, many laser hair removal tools has built-in cooling technologies, which makes those quick bursts of light as painless as possible. Naturally, you should also always look to start off on the lowest settings possible to see how you react.

Sadly, IPL devices don't work on all skin and hair types. “Hair colours and skin tone influence how suitable IPL treatment will be on an individual level, meaning that it won't be for everyone,” Chloé told us. "IPL is most effective when there is a greater contrast between the hair colour and skin tone.” Individuals with fairer skin and dark hair have a greater contrast meaning more of the light will be absorbed by the hair rather than the skin.

As with all other IPL based treatments, this light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle. When there is not enough melanin present in the hair, for example in light blonde, white or grey hair, then IPL will not work. Equally, red hair has a different type of melanin present, which cannot absorb the light so again is not suitable for IPL treatment. IPL treatments are also not recommended for those with the darkest of dark skin tones."

IPL, laser and diode lasers can cause skin discolouration in dark skin if the wrong type of machine is used. In fact, when there is little to no contrast between the hair and the skin, your skin will absorb the light which converts to heat and causes pain, blisters and burns. Ouch.

Firstly, “the area must be cleanly shaved within 24 hours prior to the treatment," Barbara told us. “Electric razors are not recommended as the hair is typically left too long. And do not tweeze, wax, or pluck the area being treated between or prior to sessions. Only shave the area."

“Fake tanning products cannot be used for three-four weeks prior to treatment; the area should be thoroughly exfoliated to remove all residues,” Barbara added.

Anything else? Avoid skincare products that can be irritating, such as retinal or brightening ingredients and acidic cleansers prior to your laser hair removal treatment.

After more hair removal content? Head this way for face shavers for women, shaving cream for women and face wax strips. For more from Glamour UK Commerce Editor Sophie Cockett, follow her on Instagram @sophiecockettx. And for more shoppable beauty content from Glamour UK Commerce Writer Denise Primbet, follow her on Twitter @deniseprimbet and Instagram @deniseprimbet.

SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Device Exclusive Collection

Machine type: IPL Flashes: Unlimited Cordless? No Settings: Three Suitable for: Legs, arms, bikini line and face

Why we love it: Available in pink, nude and white as part of an exclusive collection for CurrentBody, this at home laser hair removal device is 30% stronger than the original Bare device, emitting 100 powerful flashes per minute. This means you can complete a full body treatment in just 10 minutes, and you'll see 97% less hair in four weeks. Suitable for use on your legs, bikini line, underarms or face, it uses an intelligent built-in skin sensor which scans your skin to adjust the light intensity for your skin tone – ensuring salon-standard and (most importantly) safe results every time. And with unlimited flashes, you’re equipped with a lifetime of treatments, you don’t need to worry about stubbly legs or prickly underarms ever again. Seriously the best IPL device around.

Pros: We love that there are three operating modes to allow for a tailored treatment plan – Gentle, Speed and Power. In each of the three modes, you can use the Glide or Stamp method, adjusting to the surface area you’re working on. Simply shave your treatment area, leave it to dry, lay the device flat to your skin, and moisturiser after you've finished. Oh, and it comes with a two-year warranty.

Cons: It doesn't work on grey, red, blonde or red blonde hair. It also doesn't work on very dark skin.

Philips Lumea IPL 8000 Series Hair Removal Device

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: 450,000 approx. Cordless? No. Settings: Four attachments, and the SenseIQ technology detects your skin tone and indicates a comfortable light setting for you. Suitable for: Legs, underarms, bikini line and face.

Why we love it: Philips knows that not every body is the same, so they've included different attachments to cater to every one's curves and different areas of your body. Each curved attachment ensures optimal skin contact. The large, curved body attachment offers fast and effective treatment on larger areas (only 8.5 min to treat lower legs), while the underarm attachment is specifically designed to treat hard-to-reach underarms. There's an intelligent bikini attachment, and a small face attachment for gentle and precise treatment for the upper lip, chin and jawline.

Philips claims that it'll deliver a 92% reduction in hair after just three sessions, and they recommend that you use the Lumea device every fortnight for your first four sessions, then follow up with touch-ups once every eight weeks.

Pros: It's really easy to set up – you simply plug it in, press the button and then take your pick from five intensity settings. No replacement lamp is needed – the lamp has enough flashes to last for up to 20 years – and you can download a free Lumea app for personalised guidance and support throughout treatments, which we found super helpful.

Cons: It's corded, so you can't wander far from your plug socket for conducting treatments. That said, it doesn't stop you reaching trickier areas. The only other con is that the flash is quite bright, so a pair of protective glasses included in the kit would have been appreciated.

Sensica Sensilight Pro with RPL Technology For Permanent Hair Reduction

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: 600 per charge. Cordless? Yes. Settings: Five. Suitable for: Legs, arms, stomach, back, shoulders, bikini area, underarms and face.

Why we love it: Perfect for on-the-go laser hair removal, this cordless at-home IPL device boasts unlimited flashes for a lifetime of use. It safely adapts to your skin tone and can treat your legs in just 15 minutes. It's suitable for use on your legs, arms, stomach, back, shoulders, bikini area, underarms and face, making it a great all-rounder.

Pros: It has a really strong battery life; the charge lasts for approximately 600 flashes. There is also a safety feature which stops the device from flashing when you're not in full contact with your skin.

Cons: Some reviewers have been slightly disappointed by not seeing immediate results, though this is normal for at-home laser hair removal. Others reported that it felt very hot, even on the lowest setting.

Braun Silk·expert Pro 5 PL5124 Women’s IPL

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: 400,000. Cordless? No. Settings: 2 sensitive modes. Suitable for: Legs, arms, chest and back to the face, armpit and bikini areas.

Why we love it: This Braun IPL tool, the Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5117, is the safest, fastest and most efficient IPL device from Braun to date. You can treat both legs in less than five minutes at the lowest energy level and use the precision head to reach difficult areas.

Pros: We love its compact design, and the fact that it emits 400,000 flashes which is 30% (!) more than the previous Silk Expert 5.

Cons: There are quite a few hair and skin tone combinations that this device is not suitable for (there's a really handy diagram which will help you determine if it will work for you on Amazon), and some reviewers report it as being a little painful.

SmoothSkin Pure Fit IPL Hair Removal Device

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: Unlimited. Cordless? No. Settings: Ten. Suitable for: Legs, arms, armpits, bikini line, face, lip and toes.

Why we love it: This device is one of the most powerful IPL machines around. With 10 different energy settings and three modes to choose from, you'll be able to rid yourself of unwanted body hair in just 12 weeks. After that, you'll just have to maintain as needed – easy as 1-2-3.

Pros: Very powerful and capable of up to 130 flashes per minute.

Cons: Not suitable for blonde, red blonde, red and grey hair.

Sensica Sensilight Mini 300K Pulses Device

Machine type: RPL. Flashes: 300,000. Cordless? No. Settings: Undisclosed. Suitable for: Face, body and legs.

Why we love it: Who needs razers and waxing strips? This lightweight and compact device is great at eliminating hair growth at the root without causing any pain. Clinically-tested and proven to leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

Pros: Small, lightweight and easy to handle.

Cons: Not suitable for darker skin tones or very light hair colours.

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Silk'n Infinity 400k Permanent Hair Remover for Light to Dark Skin

Machine type: eHPL. Flashes: 400,000. Cordless? No. Settings: Five. Suitable for: Legs, arms, armpits, face and bikini line.

Why we love it: This laser hair removal device is suitable for light and dark skin and promises to reduce hair growth after every single treatment. It works by opening up your pores, which allows light impulses to better reach hair follicles.

Pros: Works well on darker skin and can be used across most body parts.

Cons: Some customer reviews say that you might need some patience with thicker hair.

Bondi Body Laser @ Home V2.0

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: 300,000. Cordless? Yes. Settings: Eight. Suitable for: Legs, arms, armpits, face and bikini line (even for sensitive skin).

Why we love it: If you're someone who has more sensitive skin, not to worry – you too can enjoy IPL from the comfort of your own home. The latest Bondi Body laser device provides visible results in just weeks, helping stunt hair growth and even clearing out hyperpigmentation and broken capillary veins. It's light and easy to use, and even comes with its own pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from those pesky little flashes.

Pros: Safe for sensitive skin and relatively painless to use.

Cons: Not suitable for blonde, red, white and grey hair colors as well as very dark and very light skin tones.

Philips Lumea IPL 9900 Series Hair Removal Device

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: 450,000. Cordless? Yes. Settings: Five. Suitable for: Legs, underarms, bikini line and face.

Why we love it: If you're a fan of the best-selling Philips Lumea, then you'll looove the latest model. The 9900 Series offers three new AI-powered features that provide smart skin analysis straight to your smartphone to help guide you and improve your overall hair removal experience.

Pros: New AI-powered features, plus Philips offers the device on a Try & Buy monthly subscription to save on up-front cost.

Cons: This hair removal handset is quite expensive.

Sensica Sensilight The IPL Hair Removal

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: 200,000. Cordless? Yes. Settings: Two. Suitable for: Larger body parts, including arms, legs and underarms.

Why we love it: I know what you're thinking – another IPL device from Sensica? Well, that's how good the brand is. The Sensilight Yang is particularly good with larger body parts and can even deal with your full leg in just under 8 minutes. Comfortable to use and easily fits in the palm of your hand.

Pros: Precise and lightweight, easy to use.

Cons: Not suitable for use on light hair and dark skin tones.

Ulike Sapphire Air+ IPL Hair Removal Handset

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: Not specified. Cordless? No. Settings: Five. Suitable for: Face and larger body parts, including arms, legs and underarms.

Why we love it: Instead of heating and zapping your skin, this unique at-home hair removal device uses ice-touch technology to gently and painlessly get rid of unwanted hair. And while the device itself is relatively pricey, it's definitely worth the splash since you can easily use it on pretty much any part of your body, including your face.

Pros: Relatively painless to use and incredibly versatile.

Cons: The skin tone sensor does not work with darker skin tones, as well as lighter hair colours.

FOREO Peach 2 IPL Hair Removal Device

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: Not specified. Cordless? Yes. Settings: Five. Suitable for: Face and larger body parts, including arms, legs and underarms.

Why we love it: Having to zap hairs away for seemingly endless amounts of time everyday can seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, this FOREO device fixes that. It vibrates on your skin and opens up your pores, making it work more effectively than your average hair removal machine.

Pros: Incredibly fast treatment times, promising just 10 minutes to treat the entire body.

JOVS Venus Pro Hair Removal Device

Machine type: IPL. Flashes: Not specified. Cordless? No. Settings: Six. Suitable for: Body, face, underarms and bikini area.

Why we love it: This IPL device comes with built-in cooling technology that produces a flash every 0.6 seconds. Just one use a week helps keep unwanted hair growth at bay and can even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Lightweight and incredibly easy to use.

Laser Hair Removal At Home: 13 Best Laser Hair Removal Machines & IPL Devices 2024 | Glamour UK

Best Mini Projector Pros: Handy rotating head that can twist and help reach any body part.