About IPL Hair Removal

How does IPL work?

SmoothSkin devices use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to break the hair cycle and prevent regrowth.
Light energy is transferred through the skin’s surface and absorbed by melanin present in the hair shaft. That light energy is converted to heat energy (below the surface of the skin), which stops the hairs from growing back. Treated hairs naturally fall out over the course of a few days to 1-2 weeks.
Once you’ve completed the initial treatment period you will need to keep up with regular top-ups to prevent hair re-growth. But the great thing is that SmoothSkin devices will prevent hair regrowth as long as you keep treating regularly, so as long as you keep up with your treatments you’ll never have to experience stubbly legs or underarms again. Hoorah!

Does IPL really work?

Yes, we have performed almost 4,000 clinical treatments on hundreds of women with different skin tones to ensure our products are safe and effective in removing unwanted hair*. Users typically see noticeable hair reduction in just 4 weeks and clinical studies have proven long-term sustained hair reduction 1 year after the last SmoothSkin treatment.
**the total number of treatments performed in our SmoothSkin clinical trials

Is IPL permanent?

SmoothSkin are the World’s #1 IPL hair removal brand for safe, fast and permanent hair reduction*. As for ALL home-use IPL or laser treatments, one treatment won’t last forever.

You’ll need to use your device once a week for 12 weeks. This is because hair grows in three distinct and consecutive phases, and not all hairs are in the same phase at any one time. Because the IPL treatment is only effective in one particular phase of the hair growth cycle (the Anagen ‘growth phase’ – since you ask), you should follow your treatment regime until you see the desired results. By following the recommended regime, you’re likely to zap any hairs you missed in previous treatments. Simple science! After 12 weeks, you could see up to 93% hair reduction**.

After the initial treatment regime, you will need to keep treating the hairs every once in a while to avoid hair regrowth. But the great thing is that SmoothSkin devices will prevent hair regrowth as long as you keep treating regularly, so as long as you keep up with your treatments you’ll never have to experience stubbly legs or underarms again.

 

* Source: Maia Research Services: Global IPL Hair Removal Devices Market Research Report – 2019-2020 global sales volume for IPL home devices 

**on legs, after 12 weeks

How long does it take to see results?

You can see visible results in as little as four weeks, depending on your own hair growth cycle. *

* majority of clinical trial participants claimed to see noticeable hair reduction after 4 weeks 

What results can I expect?

We recommend a 12 week treatment programme to experience the full IPL hair removal benefits. But here is an overview of what you can typically expect:

  • After 4 weeks, users typically see noticeable hair reduction.
  • After 8 weeks, hair regrowth slows down significantly
  • After 12 weeks, users see an average 73% hair reduction, with some up to 93% hair reduction.*

 

* *after 12 weeks (legs)

Why do I need to keep using the device for 12 weeks to start with?

Hair grows in three distinct and consecutive phases, and not all hairs are in the same phase at any one time. Because the IPL treatment is only effective in one particular phase (the Anagen ‘growth phase’ – since you ask), you should follow your treatment regime until you see the desired results. By following the recommended regime, you’re likely to zap any hairs you missed in previous treatments. Simple science! After 12 weeks, you could see up to 93% hair reduction*.

*on legs, after 12 weeks

Why do I need to do top-up treatments?

As for ALL home-use IPL or laser treatments, one treatment won’t last forever. Once your initial treatment regime is completed, you will need to keep treating the hairs every once in a while to avoid hair growth starting up again.

How long does a single session take?

A full body treatment with SmoothSkin can take just 10 minutes or less!

To give you some indication of treatment times:
– Lower legs – about 5 minutes
– Upper legs – about 4 minutes
– Underarm, Upper Lip and Bikini Line – about 1 minute

What’s the difference between laser and IPL?

Laser and IPL both work to prevent hair growth by using light and in turn heat to target the hair follicle, in correlation with the hair growth cycle. However, the technology used to deliver the light is really quite different – with the key difference being the kind of light itself.

In short, IPL devices produce a wide range of wavelengths of light to produce a single white flash. This light can appear with an orange/red glow when the device is flashed against the skin, like a camera flash. Lasers use one wavelength of light which creates a single beam, like a laser pointer.

As a result of these differences, laser and IPL treatments vary in terms of:

Treatment time: Because the beam of light used in laser treatments is very concentrated, laser devices have a very small treatment window. Thanks to the broader flash of light used in IPL, IPL devices feature a bigger treatment window and so can cover a much larger area at once, meaning a much faster treatment time in comparison to laser. With SmoothSkin’s products you can complete a full body treatment (full legs, underarms, upper lip and bikini line) in less than 10 minutes!

Pain rating: The single, more pointed beam of light used during laser treatment is often reported to be more painful than IPL treatment.

Cost: Laser light is expensive to generate, and so, in salons especially, laser treatment comes with a hefty price tag whereas IPL is often much more affordable.

Longevity of results: As a trade-off for the increased price tag and pain level, the results from laser treatment can mean fewer top-ups are required between sessions. But, as with any kind of light-based hair reduction, you’ll always need to continue with top-up treatments to stop hairs from growing back. With SmoothSkin Pure, our most powerful device, you’d only need to complete your top-up treatments around every 4­­-8 weeks.

Safety: Laser light is very powerful and can even be dangerous. Because of this, at-home laser hair removal devices use significantly reduced power, especially in comparison to their ­expensive salon equivalent. The bonus of IPL treatment is that it’s much safer to use as the light is less concentrated, and so can be used at-home risk-free for long-lasting results. SmoothSkin products are clinically proven to be safe and effective and use salon-standard IPL technology at home.

To summarise, IPL can give the same standard of results as laser-treatments, as long as you follow the prescribed treatment regime – and keep on top of top-up treatments! In return for your dedication to your regime, you can save time, money and endless trips to the salon, completing your treatments in the comfort of your own home. What’s not to love?

Does IPL hurt?

Not really, most people describe it as a slight tingling or warm sensation. In recent clinical trials, users rated the discomfort of a SmoothSkin treatment at just 1 out of 10. However, this varies from person to person, dependent on their hair colour and hair density. If you are a little sensitive to the treatment at first, remember SmoothSkin Pure features GENTLE MODE, which can help you get used to the experience.

Is IPL safe for my eyes? Do I need to wear eye protection?

SmoothSkin devices have been developed with safety at the forefront and are safe to use for eyes without the need for eye protection. However, some users do find the flash bright and prefer to wear sunglasses or sun-safe goggles during treatments.

All SmoothSkin products have a unique, built-in safety feature and will only flash when pressed firmly against your skin, never into the air. However, you should never attempt to fire on to or close to the eye itself.

Is IPL safe for my skin?

Yes. SmoothSkin devices have been clinically proven to be safe and effective, with close to 4,000 treatments performed on different skin tones*.

All SmoothSkin devices contain integrated UV filters to protect your skin against harmful light and a skin tone sensor to prevent the device from flashing unless it detects full contact with a safe skin tone.

IPL technology is unsuitable for use on very dark skin, or Fitzpatrick skin tone VI. Dark skin contains a high amount of pigment (melanin) and so will absorb more light, which, in extreme cases, can result in potential burns, discolouration or even scarring. All SmoothSkin devices are fitted with safety sensors to ensure that they don’t activate on unsuitable skin tones, but before you order a SmoothSkin product, please make sure you’re suitable for IPL treatment using the below chart and once purchased, remember to complete a patch test before treatment.

SmoothSkin Pure even has an intelligent skin tone sensor which automatically adapts the energy output to your individual skin tone, delivering the safest optimal treatment with every flash.

[NEED DIAGRAM]

*the total number of treatments performed in our SmoothSkin clinical trials

Is IPL at home the same as salon IPL treatments?

Yes. SmoothSkin uses the same IPL technology used in salons across the world to achieve outstanding results. The professional products, however, allow a trained therapist to use much higher energy levels than the home use IPL products in the market today. This just means that you may need to top-up more often to maintain your results.

With over 30 years’ experience in light-based hair-removal technology, SmoothSkin has developed the perfect combination of speed and energy to achieve the best at home IPL hair removal results.

Are there any side effects from IPL treatment?

All SmoothSkin devices have been independently tested for efficacy (that’s the ability to produce the desired effect) and, of course, safety. If the device is used in accordance with the instruction manual, you shouldn’t experience any adverse side effects.

You might experience some minor skin reactions immediately after treatment such as redness or warmth, but this is nothing to worry about.

We recommend that you conduct a patch test 24 hours before your first treatment.

If you do notice any other side effects, stop and get in touch with us for advice on what to do next. You can find more information on these here.

Will there be any regrowth?

The secret to staying silky smooth is to keep at it and stick to your treatment regime. With regular use, you will see fewer and fewer hairs growing back. These hairs should also be finer, lighter in colour and grow more slowly. As time goes on, you will be able to completely replace your shaving routine.

Your Suitability for IPL treatment

Is IPL suitable for me?

IPL is safe and effective for use on most skin tones but there are several instances where we don’t recommend the use of IPL treatment.

Firstly, IPL is unsuitable for treating grey, red or very light blonde (white) hair. Very fair and grey hair doesn’t contain enough melanin to absorb the light energy in the follicle, whilst red hair contains a different form of melanin altogether which isn’t responsive to IPL. It is possible to see results when treating darker blonde hair, but you may need a few extra treatments to get the same standard of hair reduction.

IPL is also unsuitable for use on very dark skin, or Fitzpatrick skin tone VI. This is all down to the way in which the technology itself works. Dark skin contains a high amount of pigment (melanin) and so will absorb more light, which, in extreme cases, can result in potential burns, discolouration or even scarring. All SmoothSkin devices are fitted with safety sensors to ensure that they don’t activate on unsuitable skin tones, but before you order a SmoothSkin product, please make sure you’re suitable for IPL treatment using the below chart and once purchased, remember to complete a patch test before treatment.

Remember, the skin tone in the areas you wish to treat may be lighter than those often exposed to sunlight, such as your arms or your legs, so please consider this when checking your skin tone suitability.

 

[NEED DIAGRAM]

 

Finally, IPL is not recommended in individuals:

  • with skin cancer
  • with Skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis
  • with medical conditions including diabetes or epilepsy,
  • taking medications that can cause sensitivity to light including some acne treatments and anti-depressants;
  • with a number of tattoos or moles in the area they wish to treat.
I’m taking medication – does this affect my suitability?

Yes. Certain medications and skin care products can have photosensitive properties which can cause an adverse reaction to IPL treatment.

Please check the advice leaflet of any medication or skin care product containing active ingredients you are currently using and, if you need further clarification, check with your doctor. We also recommend you check out our FAQ on medical conditions.

Are there any medical conditions that mean that I shouldn’t use the SmoothSkin system?

Yes – there are a number of conditions that may affect your suitability for IPL treatment.

These include (but are not limited to): skin cancer, or any other localised cancer in the areas to be treated; history of vascular disorder, such as the presence of varicose veins or vascular ectasia in the areas to be treated, skin which is sensitive to light and easily develops a rash or an allergic reaction; diabetes; lupus erythematodes; porphyria ; congestive heart disease; skin infections, eczema, burns, inflammation of hair follicles, open lacerations, abrasions, herpes simplex, wounds or lesions and haematomas in the areas to be treated.

This list isn’t exhaustive, if you need further clarification, please check with your doctor. We also recommend you check out our FAQ on medications.

I have epilepsy – can I use SmoothSkin?

No. If you suffer with epilepsy, the flashing light emitted from the SmoothSkin device may trigger a seizure or epileptic fit.

I have diabetes – can I use SmoothSkin?

No. We do not recommend SmoothSkin devices for use in people with diabetes.

Can I use SmoothSkin on Rosacea (red lines on legs and face)?

No – SmoothSkin is not recommended for use on areas containing Rosacea.

Can I use SmoothSkin on visible veins on the area I want to treat?

We suggest you seek medical advice as we can’t be sure of the depth or prominence of the veins.

What is the recommended minimum age?
We don’t recommend individuals under the age of 18 use SmoothSkin IPL devices. The devices have not been tested on this age group, and the body undergoes a number of hormonal changes during adolescence, so treatments may be less effective at this time due to rapid hair growth.
Can I use SmoothSkin on freckles and moles?
No – do not use the device over large very dark freckles or moles.
Will SmoothSkin work on Asian, Oriental, dark or tanned skin?

Yes, SmoothSkin is suitable for all but very dark skin tone.

Before you order a SmoothSkin product, make sure your skin tone is suitable using the below chart, or check here and once purchased, remember to always complete a patch test before your first treatment.

[INSERT CHART]

 

* From an independently approved clinical study

Will SmoothSkin work on blonde, grey or red hair?

IPL is unsuitable for treating grey, red or very light blonde (white) hair. Very fair and grey hair doesn’t contain enough melanin to absorb the light energy in the follicle, whilst red hair contains a different form of melanin altogether which isn’t responsive to IPL. It is possible to see results when treating darker blonde hair, but you may need a few extra treatments to get the same standard of hair reduction.

Can I use SmoothSkin products while I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

No, do not use SmoothSkin devices if you are pregnant or breast feeding, as our devices have not been tested with these individuals.

Can men use SmoothSkin products too?

Of course! SmoothSkin devices are not gender specific, but just remember that the results will be permanent. Always complete a patch test before your first treatment.

Can I use SmoothSkin products over my tattoos?

No – SmoothSkin is not suitable for use on tattoos.

About your treatments

Will I see results faster if I use my SmoothSkin twice in one week?
No – we recommend that you do not use more than once per week. This will have no effect other than to irritate your skin.

IPL is also unsuitable for use on very dark skin, or Fitzpatrick skin tone VI. This is all down to the way in which the technology itself works. Dark skin contains a high amount of pigment (melanin) and so will absorb more light, which, in extreme cases, can result in potential burns, discolouration or even scarring. All SmoothSkin devices are fitted with safety sensors to ensure that they don’t activate on unsuitable skin tones, but before you order a SmoothSkin product, please make sure you’re suitable for IPL treatment using the below chart and once purchased, remember to complete a patch test before treatment.

Remember, the skin tone in the areas you wish to treat may be lighter than those often exposed to sunlight, such as your arms or your legs, so please consider this when checking your skin tone suitability.

 

[NEED DIAGRAM]

 

Finally, IPL is not recommended in individuals:

  • with skin cancer
  • with Skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis
  • with medical conditions including diabetes or epilepsy,
  • taking medications that can cause sensitivity to light including some acne treatments and anti-depressants;
  • with a number of tattoos or moles in the area they wish to treat.
Do I need gel?

No, do not use gel with this device.

How often do I need to use my SmoothSkin?

It’s important to follow the recommended treatment regime to get maximum results from your SmoothSkin device.

·       For SmoothSkin Pure and Pure FIT:

 We advise treating once a week for 12 weeks initially, and then just topping up as required, usually once every 4 – 8 weeks to keep regrowth at bay.

 

·       For SmoothSkin Bare+ and Bare FIT:

We advise treating once a week for 12 weeks, and then topping up as required, around once every 2-4 weeks, just to prevent hair-growth.

Why do I need to remove hair first?

For IPL treatment to work efficiently you must remove any hair from above the surface of the skin prior to each treatment, ideally while keeping the root in place.  Therefore, you must shave before treatment.

Can I remove hair in between treatments?

Of course! For the very best results from your treatment, we recommend shaving, but you can also wax, epilate or pluck any hairs if you’d prefer.

Do I have to shave my face too?

Yes. Every area you are treating with IPL needs to be shaved first.

Why do you recommend shaving ahead of other hair removal methods?

For IPL treatment to work efficiently you must remove any hair from above the surface of the skin prior to each treatment. Shaving will keep the root in place to help target the follicle and ensure maximum efficacy – and so maximum results.

What’s the difference between SmoothSkin Pure and SmoothSkin Bare+?

SmoothSkin Pure is the most powerful IPL device on the market. It features the latest in IPL technology to deliver a powerful IPL treatment for quick and long-lasting results. SmoothSkin Pure has an intelligent Smart Skin Sensor that checks your skin tone before every flash and automatically adapts the energy output for a bespoke IPL treatment. The device has three comfort settings (power, speed and gentle) and can be used in stamp mode for smaller areas and glide mode for treating larger areas fast. We advise you use SmoothSkin Pure once a week for 12 weeks to start with, then drop down to maintenance treatments around every 4-8 weeks.

SmoothSkin Bare+ is ultrafast and the simplest device to use. It has just one button to operate the device and delivers a full body treatment in just 10 minutes. It has a built-in safety sensor, but unlike SmoothSkin Pure has just 1 power setting to treat all suitable skin tones effectively. The device can be used in stamp mode to treat smaller areas such as underarm or glide mode to activate the super speedy treatment on larger areas. We advise you use SmoothSkin Bare+ once a week for 12 weeks to start with, then drop down to maintenance treatments around every 2-4 weeks.

Can I use SmoothSkin while I’m in the bath?

No. DO NOT USE near bathtubs, showers, basins or other vessels containing water. If your SmoothSkin device becomes wet, it should not be used. DO NOT use if the device has been exposed to water.

Is SmoothSkin suitable for use on the male face?

Yes. SmoothSkin devices are not gender specific, but just remember that the results will be permanent. Always complete a patch test before first treatment.

Is SmoothSkin suitable for use on the female face?

Yes, you can safely treat the face, cheek and jaw line, the upper lip, neck and chin areas. However, DO NOT use on eyebrows, eye lashes, the scalp, lips, nostrils and ears.

Can I treat my eyebrows with my SmoothSkin device?

No. Never attempt to flash a SmoothSkin device near the eye area.

Can I use SmoothSkin to treat the male pubic area?

Yes, but you mustn’t use the device directly on mucus membranes, directly on the genitals (pubis bone, perineum and scrotum) or around the anus.

Can I use SmoothSkin to treat the female pubic area?

All SmoothSkin devices are safe and gentle enough to treat the bikini line. SmoothSkin products have not been tested for use in Hollywood or Brazilian style treatments, and so are not suitable for this purpose.

Do not use SmoothSkin devices directly on the genitals, around the anus or on mucus membranes. The genitals and anus may have a darker skin colour and/or greater hair density.  Using the device in these areas may cause discomfort/pain or injure (burn, discolour or scar) your skin. 

Some users can find treating the bikini line a little more sensitive, so if you’re using SmoothSkin Pure, this may be a good time to turn on gentle mode.

I’m not seeing results, is there anything I can do?

SmoothSkin has clinically proven results, however, everyone is different. Treatment success can depend on a number of issues such as catching the hair at exactly the right stage of growth, or even hormone changes / imbalances.

– Have you completed your full 12-week treatment regime?
Hair growth is cyclical and IPL treatments are only effective during one of the three growing phases (called the Anagen phase). Not all hairs are in the same phase at the same time which is why you need to keep up with your treatments. You may have missed a treatment or perhaps you didn’t catch the hair at the right stage.

– Have you checked the hair tone chart?
Whilst the device may flash, IPL has little or no effect on naturally very blonde, grey or red hair. This is because lighter or red hair does not contain enough pigment, or melanin, and so is unable to absorb light energy. It is possible to see results when treating darker blonde hair, but you may need a few extra treatments to get the same standard of hair reduction.

– Have you tried treating stubborn areas multiple times in one go?
With SmoothSkin Bare+ you can treat stubborn areas, such as underarms, with multiple passes, running your device over the same area a maximum of 3 times. Just be sure to move the device between shots and then come back to the original site, rather than treating 3 times continuously.

Remember, all people are different and we don’t all see results at the same time.
If you need some help or advice, contact us.

Which product is better for me?

SmoothSkin Bare+ and Bare FIT are ultrafast, in fact they are the fastest devices in the market in their category. Bare+ and Bare FIT have a single energy setting of 4J / cm2 that is suitable for all skin tones. The Bare range is super speedy and lightweight with unlimited flashes, and you can complete a full body treatment in as little as 10 minutes. It has a simple one-touch operation and can be used in stamp mode to treat small areas such as underarm or glide mode for super speedy treatment on larger body areas such as legs. After completing the initial 12 weekly treatments, use as required to keep regrowth at bay – usually once every 2-4 weeks.

SmoothSkin Pure and Pure FIT are the most powerful on the market. With 10 energy settings ranging from 3 – 6 J / cm2, three comfort modes (power, speed and gentle), 2 operating settings (stamp and glide), and our intelligent Smart Skin sensor to automatically adapt the best energy setting to your unique skin tone, SmoothSkin Pure uses the very latest in IPL technology to provide bespoke treatments and a luxury IPL experience tailored to you. After completing the first 12 weekly treatments you can drop down to top ups to keep your skin hair -free, usually once every 4-8 weeks.

Can SmoothSkin be used on any part of the body?

Most areas of the body can be treated with the exception of: mucus membranes (i.e. inside nostrils, lips of mouth, ears, inner labia), directly on the genitals (including pubis bone, perineum and scrotum), or around the vagina or anus. We don’t advise you treat the facial area above your cheekbones.

Can SmoothSkin be used before or after tanning (exposure to direct sunlight)?

Yes, SmoothSkin devices can be used year-round. We just ask you to be extra careful during the summer months, or if you’ve been away on holiday. There are some precautions to take before and after tanning – both via sunbeds and prolonged exposure to the sun, as this increases skin sensitivity (a little sun on your skin from being outside isn’t a problem!).

Tanning before using SmoothSkin:

* Wait at least 2 days after tanning before you use SmoothSkin.
* Do not use SmoothSkin if you have sunburned skin and for as long as the sunburn persists.
* Be aware that all types of tanning darken the skin.

Tanning after using SmoothSkin:

* Your skin will be more sensitive directly after the treatment.
* Wait at least 24 hours or until all redness has disappeared before you expose treated areas to the sun.
* Cover treated areas when you go out into the sun or use a sunblock (*50 SPF) in the 48 hours after treatment.

Can SmoothSkin be used with self-tanning / fake tanning products, including gradual building self-tan moisturisers?

No – Do not use SmoothSkin if you are undergoing a self-tanning regime.  There may be photosensitive properties in the self-tan moisturisers that could affect your skin’s reaction to IPL.

Can I use moisturisers, deodorant or anti-perspirants after SmoothSkin treatments?

Yes, but only after treatment, not before.

Can I treat my underarms if I have deodorant on?

No. To avoid any possible interactions, skin should always be clean and dry.

Can I treat my underarms if I am using extra strong anti-perspirant treatments such as Odaban?

To avoid any possible interactions, skin should always be clean and dry before treatments. We would recommend an interval of at least one week between applying Odaban and using SmoothSkin products. This is because Odaban and other similar products often result in a toxic skin reaction, or inflammation. If there is inflammation in the skin at the time of IPL treatment there is a risk of skin burn.

Can I use SmoothSkin to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Yes. SmoothSkin products have given excellent results on the excess hair growth caused by PCOS. We would recommend using SmoothSkin Pure, our most powerful device for long-lasting results on the most stubborn hair.