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6 best IPL hair removal machines UK 2023 for home use

Oct 24, 2023

SHAVING and waxing can be a nightmare to keep on top of, not to mention keeping up with the exfoliation and moisturising that comes afterwards to prevent any rashes or nasty ingrown hairs – but that's where one of the best IPL hair removal devices come in.

They’re easy-to-use, hand-held devices that can be used in the comfort of your own home to target the hair follicles directly, using pulsed light flashes to significantly reduce hair growth.

Using an IPL machine at home can give you a super smooth finish, sometimes lasting months afterwards.

Of course, you can venture into a salon for laser hair removal, but it’ll likely set you back upwards of £50 a session and you’ll need multiple for the full effects. It's way more convenient to do your session independently at home rather than rushing out to a salon, too.

IPL machines, on the other hand, start at around £100 and you can use them as many times as you need to – without having to leave the house.

Both IPL and laser hair removal basically do the same thing, using lights to stunt your hair growth – the only real contrast is that an IPL scatters multiple wavelengths all over (laser only targets one wavelength) which means it's great for also reducing pigmentation, blemishes or freckles.

Experts say that IPLs are best for those with lighter skin because darker skin, with more melanin, can be prone to getting burnt by the laser, and it has also been reported that they aren't that effective when used on blonde hair.

To help you understand the market, we’ve found the best IPL machines to shop in 2023, according to reviews, expert opinion and best value for money. And, we’ve even tried some of them ourselves. You’re welcome.

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Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL, £499.99 from John Lewis – buy here

Price: £499.99, Treatment areas: Body, face bikini and underarm, Corded or cordless: Both

The Philips Lumea Prestige is one of the most popular and well-rated devices, and it's not hard to see why.

This one requires half as many treatments as other brands to see results, which is ideal if you’re a little lazy or forgetful like me. You start by doing a treatment once every two weeks for the first four treatments to see significant hair reduction. By your third treatment, you should see up to 92% hair reduction. And as someone who is currently at that point in the process, I can confirm that this is the case.

After the fourth round, you only need to repeat the treatment eight more times — once every four weeks. How low maintenance is that?

To get the best results, you have to be consistent and can't forget treatment days. To save you from marking your calendar, Philips has designed a Lumea IPL app to note down treatment dates and send you a notification when it's treatment day. I found this particularly useful for keeping track of which areas of my body I have to treat on different days.

And if you’re someone who travels a lot, you’ve got no excuses either. The device comes with a pouch for easy storage and packing away, and it works both cordless and plugged into mains.

When you first open the product packaging, you may be a little overwhelmed about all the different components. But it's really easy once you know what everything is. The device comes with four attachments for different parts of your body, so you can use it on your body, face, bikini line and underarms. The body attachment is obviously bigger than the face attachment, so you can get through larger parts of your body more quickly. Philips claims that covering both lower legs will take around 8.5 minutes. I timed it, and as a 5’10 slow first timer it did indeed take me under 10 minutes. And the more I use the device, the quicker I get. And to cover my upper lip, it takes me minutes.

The curved design also helps follows the contours of your body, meaning that no hair is left behind in every pesky nook and cranny – so no more patchy shaves. Rejoice!

I know what you’re really wondering, though: does it hurt? And for me, the answer is no, not really. Device features a SmartSkin sensor, which selects the most comfortable of five different setting options for your skin tone. It's a little more uncomfortable on your bikini line, upper lip and areas where your skin is more sensitive, but it's definitely not painful.

If safety is a concern for, don't worry. The Philips Lumea only flashes when it is in full contact with the skin and the integrated UV filter makes sure that only your hairs are targeted — not the skin.

Even though this device is a little pricey, I’d say it's 100% worth the investment. I’m feeling much more confident in the lead-up to summer and I’m already having to shave my body far less often than I used to.

If you’re not fussed about having the latest version and want to save some cash, go for the Philips Lumea IPL Hair Removal 8000 Series which is currently £329.99 (down from £449.99) on Amazon.

Price: £295, Treatment areas: Face, underarms, body, bikini line Corded or cordless: Corded

If compact is what you want, go for the Silk’n Infinity IPL machine. It's smaller in size than most IPL machines and comes with a cute little carry case, making it easier to transport and store. Plus, it's a little more affordable than a lot of the other options on the market.

Like the Philips Lumea, the device will give you up to 92 per cent complete hair removal thanks to its unique combination of optical light energy and galvanic energy to slow down hair regrowth for good.

More specifically, on dark blonde to brown hair, you can expect to see between 50 and 60% of hair reduction after 10 to 12 sessions. If your hair is brown to black, you’ll see between 60 and 70% reduction in 8 to 10 sessions.

The typical treatment schedule is quite laidback and involves doing the first four treatments two weeks apart, waiting four weeks between treatments five, six and seven, and then treating as needed until desired results are achieved from treatment eight onwards. It could take about five to six months to see permanent hair removal.

It's easy to keep track of your treatment plan with the Silk’n app, too. Just pair your device with the app using bluetooth, tap the area of the body you’re looking to treat, and then fill in details about your skin tone and hair colour, the number of treatments so far, and the treatment date. Then, the app will ask you questions about your skin to determine a suitable energy level for the first session, before giving you instructions on how to do it.

I’m currently on treatment four and I’m already starting to see my hair grow back slower and sparser, and will update this article after I’ve finished the entire schedule. But right now, I’m really impressed and enjoying using this device.

This IPL machine is very easy to use, once you know how. The instruction manual is quite hefty, but it's important to read it before use so that you understand the difference between pulsing or gliding. To put it simply: for smaller areas, you’ll probably want to "pulse" the machine, which means continually pressing the button while you zap the hairs in a line. "Gliding" — pressing and holding down the pulse button and sliding across the skin at a consistent speed — is better for larger areas.

The main downside to the Silk’n Infinity 400,000 is the fact that it won't work for everyone. If your hair is very, very blonde, red or grey, or you have very dark skin, you can't use it. The device has a colour sensor that checks your skin colour at the start and sometimes during the treatment. If you don't see a light pulse and the skin tone warning indicator light is blinking rapidly, you must not use it. If you do, you may experience adverse effects like burns, blisters or skin colour changes.

Price: £182.40, Treatment areas: Body, face bikini and underarm, Corded or cordless: Corded

The SmoothSkin Bare works quickly and is the ideal device to remove unwanted facial hair in seconds, including stray hairs on the upper lips, jaw line, and side burns.

It also works on other parts of the body, too, with 100 flashes per minute for a quick overall result (it claims to treat your whole body in 10 minutes).

It's suitable for use on your entire body, including the legs, bikini line, underarms and facial hair.

Plus, it even checks your skin tone before each flash and only activates if it's safe to do so, meaning you have ultimate peace of mind before you embark on your pain-free, hair-free treatment session.

Price: £372.99, Treatment areas: legs, arms, chest, back, face, underarms and even the pubic areas, Corded or cordless: Corded

Ideal for both men and women, this IPL hair removal machine can cause permanent hair reduction in as little as four weeks.The device can treat both of your legs in less than five minutes and has even been rigorously tested by the Skin Health Alliance to ensure the technology used is safe.

Braun's IPL is suitable for chest hair, the back, arms, underarms, stomach, legs and face – with a precision head that's great for delicate, sensitive areas (like the upper lip and around the jaw).

It adapts automatically to your skin tone while you use it, and is effective on light to medium skin tones, with hair ranging from natural blonde to dark brown or black.

For under £300, you’ll get the device, a super cute white and gold travel or storage pouch, and a Venus razor for those stubborn hairs that are determined to stick around for the party a little longer.

Price: £375.00, Treatment areas: Body, face bikini and underarm, Corded or cordless: Cordless

First of all, how cute is the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X?!

Tria's super cute, hairdryer-like design is cordless and easy-to-use to help remove up to 70 per cent of unwanted hair in just two treatments over the course of three months.

After around two to three months, Tria claims that hair growth will appear lighter and much finer, with some hair follicles deactivated for little regrowth!

This one has a dermatologist seal of approval, as well as the FDA's, and is suitable for most hair and skin types.

An interactive LED display helps guide users through each treatment, making hair removal simple and fuss-free. Banish those razors for good!

Plus, this cutie also comes in a green colourway to match your style, or bathroom décor.

Price: £375, Treatment areas: legs, arms, chest, back, face, underarms and even the pubic areas, Corded or cordless: Cordless

This cordless, at-home RPL device is a well-rated choice from Sensica that uses FDA-cleared Reactive Pulsed Light technology, which combines IPL with an automatic skin tone and contact sensor to react to your skin tone and its condition.

This device has six different energy levels to allow you to personalise the treatment experience, and reviewers describe it as ‘easy to use’, ‘charges quickly’ and gives ‘great results’.

It's ideal for use across the whole body, and included is a precision tip that's suitable for sensitive or delicate and tricky-to-shave areas, giving fuss-free, long-lasting results.

The best facial hair removal machine for you depends on your needs and your price budget. If you’re prepared to splurge, the best and most high tech IPL machines to remove hair on your face elsewhere are Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal and the Silk’n Infinity 400,000. However, if you’re only using the device to remove hair from your face, you may want to spend a little less money and opt for a cheaper machine like the SmoothSkin Bare+ IPL Hair Removal Device.

Yes, they really do. How? IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light technology.

The laser removal targets melanin, the hair's pigment in your follicles.

The melanin helps the hair absorb the light from the flashes, stimulating it to go into its resting phase. This leaves you with smooth, hair-free skin.

You’ll start seeing results pretty quickly, although you’ll need several treatments for long lasting results.

Do bear in mind that you will see better results if you have dark hair and fair skin as opposed to darker skin or blonde hair.

Although IPL will permanently reduce the amount of hair on your body, it is unlikely to result in the removal of all hair.

It works effectively on a wide range of hair colours and skin tones, apart from very dark tones.

It also unsuitable for those who suffer from a skin condition.

As you can tell from the broad range of prices, IPL machines aren't all the same. Some give you results quicker than others, and some require less treatments. In the majority of cases, you get what you pay for.

Most at-home IPL machines take about three months of consistent use to give you effects, but there are some which require less than that.

Obviously, they also differ in size and weight, and many people prefer using those which are more compact and lightweight.

The amount of time it takes for a full body treatment takes between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your tool.

On average, quality IPL machines tend to set you back around £150-£400.

Although, as you can see from our guide, there are also cheaper options starting from around £50, which still have good reviews too.

You can find plenty below the £100 mark, but they just might not be equipped with the smart, protective technology that comes with the pricier machines.

If you love having a smooth, hairless bod, then IPL machines are definitely worth your time and money.

Undergoing the hassle of shaving is worse enough, and then there's the horror of waxing – does anyone actually enjoy that?

According to reviews, people report results of less hair within the first three months, although they’re best for people wanting to reduce their hair growth, not get rid of it entirely.

Another plus side of IPL machines is that they can help with lightening dark areas on your skin, as well as providing anti-ageing qualities such as massively dulling the appearance of scars.

It's important to do your research before purchasing an IPL machine, particularly as on darker skin tones, they can cause scarring or hyper-pigmentation which is basically discolouration.

Unlike salon laser hair removal, at-home IPL devices spread heat across multiple areas which does not target the hair follicles enough to permanently destroy them, and that can leave the fine hair that grows back slightly stubborn when it comes to hair removal treatments.

Of course, there is also the risk of missing out patches and giving yourself an uneven finish (it can be tricky to master), but in terms of general health and safety, you can rely on well-known brands to give you a full rundown.

Well, to find the best IPL hair removers, you’ve come to the right place. All of the bad boys on our list boast great reviews and are from trusted brands.

You can rely on household names like Panasonic, Braun and Philips to offer good quality, smart machines. However, Silk ‘n’ Infinity has received some stellar feedback from multiple sources in the past and Sensica's Sensilight is a well-known IPL too.

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Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL Silk’n Infinity 400,000 SmoothSkin Bare+ IPL Hair Removal Device Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL READ MORE: Philips Lumea BRI958/00 9000 Series Cordless IPL, £499.99 from John Lewis – buy here Price: Treatment areas: Corded or cordless: Silk’n Infinity 400,000 Silk’n Infinity 400,000, £295 from Look Fantastic – buy here Price: Treatment areas: Corded or cordless: SmoothSkin Bare+ IPL Hair Removal Device SmoothSkin Bare+ IPL Hair Removal Device, £182.40 from Amazon – buy here Price: Treatment areas: Corded or cordless: Braun IPL Silk Expert Pro 5 Braun IPL Silk Expert Pro 5 PL5137, £372.99 from Amazon – buy here Price: Treatment areas: Corded or cordless: Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X – Fuchsia, £375 from LookFantastic – buy here Price: Treatment areas: Corded or cordless: Sensica Sensilight Pro with RPL Technology For Permanent Hair Reduction – Bronze, £375 from Boots – buy here Price: Treatment areas: Corded or cordless: Do home IPL machines work? Does IPL hair removal work permanently?