Earlier this year HoMedics launched the Duo Salon IPL*, their latest home hair removal device featuring some truly innovative new technology. Being that I’m already an advocate of IPL hair removal I was thrilled when HoMedics sent me one to put through it’s paces. I’ve been using the device for over six months now so I thought it was about time to tell you all about it and give a proper long term review of the IPL hair removal method.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) devices emit a gentle pulse of light which travels down the hair follicle to heat the hair at its roots. This causes the roots enter a sleeping phase, effectively stunting any hair growth and eventually the hair sheds away naturally. It works by using the hair pigment to attract the light and the skin tone to conversely not attract light, so this makes it most effective for those of us with a combination of light skin tone and dark hair colour. (Note that as a result of the science behind it, it isn’t recommended for darker skin tones, blonde or red hair colours).
I found this device really easy to use. It turns on at the base, then you set it to the level of intensity you require and then place the window over the patch of skin you want to treat. The green light will stop flashing when it’s charged and ready, at which point you can press the button to emit the pulse of light. Then you just move the device to the next area to be treated and repeat the process.
So the big question is does IPL hurt? In my case, I’d have to say that yes it does a bit sometimes, but nothing worse than waxing or epilating! The pain is momentary as you press the button, a small warm zap then it’s over. Sometimes my skin feels a little bit warm for a few minutes and then calms down again, I haven’t noticed anything that lingers beyond that.
I find that there are a couple of factors that affect how much discomfort I feel:
Firstly, certain areas of my body are much more sensitive to the treatment. I hardly flinch at all when I do my underarms, bikini and lower legs but I have been known to utter some choice expletives when I treat my knees, ankles and upper thighs!
Secondly, the Duo Salon has 5 settings with 1 being the least intense and 5 being the most intense, and thus the one you’re most likely to feel. I’d recommend starting low and gradually increasing the strength to build up your tolerance.
Finally, where I am in my cycle affects my sensitivity to the pulsed light – right before my period it stings like an absolute mofo, whereas the rest of the time I’d only feel a slight discomfort.
As mentioned above the Duo Salon has 5 settings. On the lowest level it emits a super fast 2 flashes per second and you don’t have to wait any length of time between pulses. This allows for incredibly speedy at home treatments that can be completed in just 20 minutes. On the lower settings the pulse is not so intense though so this does mean that you might need to go over the area a couple of times to get good results.
After experimenting with different settings, I tend to keep it set to maximum level 5 now. This means that the device needs a few extra seconds between pulses to charge up again so the treatment time is a bit longer, but the pulse is strong enough that I only ever need to treat each area once which I prefer.
What I have found really special about this device (and utterly fascinating every single time I use it!) is the Active Cooling technology which is a world first for an at home IPL device. I don’t know what sorcery went into it’s creation, but basically when you press the glass to your skin to begin the treatment it feels icy cool, soothing your skin and helping to prevent skin irritation.
The Duo Salon comes with an aesthetically pleasing white carry case which I keep out on display between treatments. It’s got a handle so it’s easily transportable too.
I also really like that it’s got a facial attachment and technology which makes it suitable for all types of hair. The attachment is magnetic and clips straight on and off.
Just make sure you read the instructions and use a low setting if you do try it on your face. Don’t use level 5. Telling you on behalf of a friend.
IPL devices don’t offer permanent hair removal so to begin with you need to repeat the treatment every two weeks, then repeat the process every 2 to 6 weeks thereafter. In my case, I can go a good 3 weeks before I notice any kind of growth at all now, sometimes up to 5 whole weeks! Even when the hair does return it’s patchy and soft, nothing like the stubble that I’d get from shaving.
The Duo Salon normally retails at £499.99 (reduced to £399.99 at the time of writing) and is available from Homedics, as well as Boots and Argos too. I guess whether it’s a worthy investment really depends upon each individuals own needs. I’ve got really sensitive skin which is easily aggravated by razors and depilatory creams, especially my underarms, so long lasting hair removal has always been something that I’ve spent money on via regular spa waxes and epilators. With IPL the results are by far the most long lasting of any at home device I’ve ever used so as with many things, I’ve found that you get what you pay for.
Have you tried IPL hair removal? Would you consider it?
*Disclaimer: I was gifted this device in return for an honest review. Hopefully you’ve found it helpful but do let me know if you have any questions, either in the comments below or to my Twitter @lovedbylaurac and I’ll do my best to help!