The Science Behind IPL: How it Works

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019 | Selfie Skin AU

IPL, we’ve all heard of it, but do we actually know the science behind what it does and how it works? Hair removal can be a messy and awkward process that we tend to put off. You either need to commit to shaving, waxing, hair removal creams or get a stranger to deal with it. Fortunately, we now have the option of performing IPL in the comfort of our own homes, meaning no formattable appointments. IPL (Intense pulsed light) makes use of light therapy. In short, the light transfers into heat when it comes in contact with your skin, ensuring the hair follicle so it stunts hair growth.

Before you start zapping away, let's unpack how IPL actually works and if it’s for you...


Unlike short-term hair removal methods, for example; shaving, creams or waxing, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), is a modern type of hair removal used for permanent/long term. The light energy from IPL is absorbed by the melanin in the hair, which then turns into heat and destroys the hair cells.

So first things first, IPL is NOT laser, however, they have been known to get confused with each other as they both use light energy to slow down and reduce hair growth. In 1976, the first studies of IPL treatment were performed on vascular lesions. Many more studies were then done followed by various applications, one being, hair removal. The same with lasers for hair removal, many began to realize the opportunity and first reposted a clinical study on commercial IPL machines in 1997.

Beauty spas and professionals began to operate IPL machines with 6-8 treatments at 6-week intervals. And even more recently we have been introduced to home IPL units. At-home IPL units are becoming increasingly more popular for hair removal but also for those who suffer from spider veins and pigmented cells.

It has been known that IPL handsets don't work as well on people with darker skin, however, after 6 months of researching we have finally created an IPL at-home device that is more suitable for darker skin tones as it is a broad-spectrum light. See below a skin chart on what skin tone it works on best


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