Next to make-up brush washing, unwanted hair removal has got to be up there with the most hated beauty chores, right? As someone with dark hair and fair skin, shaving, waxing or epilating is all part of daily life, especially in the summer. It's nice to have a bit of a break in the winter when you can hide away in thick wooly tights a lot of the time! I've never considered having a salon based laser treatment, as I don't think my level of hairiness is all that extreme, but an at home solution I can try myself is very tempting. Panasonic have asked me to try out their IPL hair removal system, which works to delay regrowth over time with continued use, so I thought I'd start off by sharing my first impressions.
First things first, let's cover off what the product is and how it works. IPL means 'intense pulse light' and by treating your hairy areas with the light over a continued period, they'll grow back more slowly in future, and also lighter and finer. It's not going to stop hair growth completely and permanently, but the aim is to reduce both the visibility of the hair, and the time it takes to grow back each time you remove it. The IPL hair removal system itself doesn't remove the hair - you should use it on hair-free skin after you've de-fuzzed through another method such as shaving. You then work on the areas you want to treat by moving the device across the skin whilst it 'flashes'.
It's recommended that you should use the IPL system once a fortnight on the areas you want to treat, and that you should continue for at least six to ten weeks to see the best results, but in theory the more you use it, the lighter your hair will become. Also the treatment works best on those with fair skin and dark hair, so I'm expecting really good results personally.
The hand-held device is actually cordless, which makes it really easy and convenient to use - you only need to plug it in for charging, and that takes about an hour, Once fully charged you'll get over 600 'flashes' before you need to charge again. It's really light-weight, and the instructions are easy to follow too. There's an additional bulb in the box too.
So far I've been giving this a go on my legs to see how I get on, and I'll then progress onto more sensitive areas once I'm happy with how it all works. Using it on both legs only takes ten minutes once you get the hang of it. There are five intensity settings to choose from, so to start with I went for the lowest level, but I'm planning to move up an intensity setting each time I use it. I was bracing myself for a potential bit of pain along similar lines to epilating, but it didn't hurt at all - I just felt a warm sensation, and my skin seemed to feel smoother after I'd finished. I was using the lowest setting as I mentioned, so the warm sensation might be a little uncomfortable on a higher level, but I think it's best to build gradually with each use and to only go as high as you feel happy with.
I'm really surprised at how quick and easy the IPL system is to use - before I tried this I knew very little about the process, and had no idea it would be so simple. I think the only downside I've noticed, is that you can't use this product on the face - most of us have a bit of a 'tache situation going on even if we don't like to talk about it, so that was a bit of a disappointment to me, but aside from the face you can use it all over the body. I'm looking forward to seeing how much of an effect this can have on my hair regrowth over the next couple of months - hopefully I'll be a whole lot less fuzzy in time for spring!