Our beauty assistant test-drives this at-home IPL device
Ok, let me be honest with you, when the opportunity to trial the new Remington i-LIGHT® Smooth Sense arose, I was pretty hesitant at first. I haven’t dabbled in at-home hair removal methods beyond shaving since having a bad epilator experience way back when those things first hit the shelves. Needless to say, trying home IPL hair removal wasn't high on my agenda! But the temptation of hair-free legs and no longer having to shave regularly was enough to persuade me to give it a go.
And as it turned out, I shouldn’t have been so worried. My experience with it was pretty great.
IPL technology uses intense pulsed light (aka IPL) to zap hairs at the follicle root so that they fall out and don’t regrow as the hair follicle becomes damaged. This nifty device uses similar technology to a professional IPL hair removal, but it allows you to safely do it from the comfort of your own home.
Here are a few thoughts I had about my Remington i-LIGHT® Smooth Sense experience:
#1 / The device was pretty easy to use
Despite my initial concerns, the tool manoeuvres easily to treat different areas and get every last hair (the two different attachments helped with that). I will say, though, that it’s not completely pain-free and there is a little discomfort. Every time the flash goes off, it gives a slight warm, zapping sensation, but it was bearable and is to be expected when you’re blasting away hairs from the follicle root. The feeling was only momentary, lasting for just a split second but I did have to amp myself up before each session and brace myself for the sensation.
As for how long it took to treat an area, I was a fan of using the handy ‘express mode’ which is designed for large areas - you simply run the device over the treatment area and it flashes automatically. I found that doing both my full legs usually took me no more than the length of one Netflix ep (about 30 minutes).
#2 / Tans can complicate things
While this IPL device can work on a wide spectrum of skin tones (including brown skin tones, which can typically can be harder to treat with laser hair removal), IPL treatments don't play nice with a tans (fake or natural).
Because of the timing of this trial, I did have a few occasions I needed to fake tan for, so this did interfere with some of my sessions. It was a bit of an annoyance for me at first (especially over summer), but funnily I think it’s helped me curb my fake tan addiction.
My advice? Avoid the sun and fake tan as best you can when doing any kind of laser hair removal – you’ll see results a lot quicker!
Good to know: If you have light blonde hair or your skin tone is very dark brown to black, unfortunately this device isn’t suitable for you. But fret not as there are plenty of other hair removal options out there!
#3 / It’s going to save you time in the long run
In the debut episode of our new podcast Get Lippy, our editor Carli spoke about her seemingly high-maintenance beauty routine that includes treatments like gel manicures and brow shaping. But as she explains, these services result in her saving time in her daily regimen and mean that she’s actually a low-maintenance gal in the long-run.
I couldn’t relate to this strategy more. I’m forever trying to cut down my ‘getting ready’ time - shout out to my boyfriend Paul for his endless patience when we’re going out – and I found that after continued use of the IPL device, I didn’t have to factor in hair removal steps on days I was wearing skirts or dresses. I noticed that even from my first session, the hairs took longer to grow back than if I’d shaved, and there was definitely less of it.
If you’re also on board with this philosophy, getting a permanent body hair removal device like this one (or one of these reviewed at-home IPL devices) will seriously be one of your best investments. But you have to be willing to commit to see results!
The Remington i-LIGHT® Smooth Sense worked well for me. After completing around eight IPL treatments (I spread each session about two to four weeks apart depending on whether I’d fake tanned or been in the sun), I’m noticing that my legs are pretty much hair-free. I’ve still got a little way to go so will do a couple more sessions to polish them off.
I loved that besides not wasting time travelling to in-salon IPL appointments, I found that even from the first session the number of hairs growing back had dramatically reduced. And, the best part was that when the hairs did start growing back, the hair growth was far slower than after shaving. You just need to make sure that you can put aside the time to actually do the treatments, and, if you’re like me, prepare yourself for the zapping involved.
Also worth mentioning is that at an RRP of $599, the price tag is hefty, but if you’re willing to commit to the treatment schedule and conditions (i.e. no fake tanning, waxing or tweezing) it may be worth the investment for you.
Laser is another option for permanent hair removal. Read our article on laser treatments here.
Have you tried at-home IPL? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below.
Main image credit: Sevak Babakhani
Isobel is BEAUTYcrew’s Junior Beauty Writer. When she's not busy hunting for the latest beauty news, you’ll find her arranging her skincare collection in search of the perfect “shelfie.” Isobel was previously an intern in the beauty department at ELLE Australia.