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    IPL vs laser: Which method is best?

    Reading time: 6 mins

    Pot-ay-to, pot-ah-to? Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to... Same thing, right? On the outside, IPL and laser hair removal methods might look similar. However, the debate of IPL vs laser is very much ongoing. Don’t they both guarantee smooth skin? Aren’t they both based on light impulses? Well, keep scrolling and you will discover the significant differences between IPL and laser hair removal, which method is easier to apply, and which one achieves better results.

    Man könnte splissige Haare als sanften Appell verstehen, dass der nächste Friseurbesuch ansteht. Aber mal ehrlich: wer mit Apps & Co so gut organisiert ist, kann auf die Erinnerung von Mutter Natur verzichten. Also was tun bei Spliss und vor allem, was hilft wirklich gegen Spliss? Wir geben hier nützliche Tipps gegen Spliss im Haar, wenn er einmal da ist, und sagen dir, wie du mit guter Pflege und entsprechenden Produkten, Spliss vermeiden kannst.

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    Laser and IPL technology: how does hair removal work?

    IPL and laser have one thing in common: their functionalities are based on light impulses. However, as you look a bit closer, you will notice that the technological details differ.

    Laser technology is based on a single, concentrated wavelength that penetrates the skin point by point. It sends the light of a laser through the melanin (pigment that colours your hair) in the hair into the root of the hair. The light converts to heat and destroys the hair follicle and hair bulb to prevent future growth.

    IPL treatment also sends light through melanin to influence the hair follicles and prevent the hair roots from producing new hair. However, in contrast to the laser, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is made up of a wide spectrum of light – like that of a light bulb – which can treat larger areas of skin. Read our article on how IPL treatment works for more information.

    Cost of treatment: at-home IPL vs laser

    Both IPL and laser hair removal can be costly, and it can vary widely by provider. However, as both methods achieve long-term reduction with regular at-home and professional treatment, the initial investment usually pays off.

    Laser hair removal costs largely depend on whether you see a dermatologist or go to a beauty salon. Medical professionals can better analyse your skin and hair and recommend the most suitable technology for you, whereas beauty salons usually don’t have the resources to offer more than one laser technology. Moreover, the risk of burns, irritation, and pigment disorders may be higher. Despite dermatological laser hair removal costing more, it is the safer alternative.

    Just like laser hair removal, the cost of IPL treatment varies widely. Though IPL treatment is provided professionally in beauty salons, you can also buy an IPL hair removal device such as the Philips Lumea Prestige and use it from the comfort of your home. That way, you can save money in the long run and remove your hair when it suits you. No more annoying appointments! Furthermore, your IPL hair removal device is an upfront investment, allowing you to save money in the long run.

    Effort or effortless: How easy is hair removal with laser or IPL?

    Both technologies require regular use at first, since hair can only be treated while it is in the growing phase. With the Philips Lumea Prestige IPL device you can achieve up to 92% hair reduction after the first three or four sessions.1

    With the Philips Lumea Prestige IPL device you can achieve up to 92% hair reduction after the first three or four sessions.1

    Such a device also enables you to apply post-treatment exactly when you need it. Due to the different light technologies used with IPL and laser, an IPL treatment is quicker. The broader light spectrum means that larger areas of skin can be treated while the laser only works point by point. With an easy-to-use hand device such as the Philips Lumea Prestige, an IPL treatment of both your lower legs only takes 8.5 minutes.2

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    Are IPL and laser hair removal treatments permanent?

    Treatment with IPL and laser causes hair that is in the growth phase to shed and prevents the growth of new hair. However, both require further treatment sessions to keep regrowth at bay. Neither guarantee permanent hair removal, but both IPL and laser treatments are promising long-term hair removal solutions.

    Woman in robe sitting on the floor using a white Philips Lumea Prestige to remove her leg hair.

    So, which shall it be? While laser treatment is a good solution to long-term reduction of hair growth, an IPL device is the ultimate alternative to laser hair removal – at home. An IPL hair removal device can treat a wider area of your skin, produces faster results, and can also be safely used at home.


    An IPL device such as the Philips Lumea Prestige not only offers you cost benefits, but is also a reliable, quick, and flexible solution for hair removal at home. You can adapt your hair removal routine precisely to your hair growth, so you can achieve long-term hair reduction and beautifully smooth skin.

    1 Measured on legs, after the initial 3-4 treatments. Individual results vary.

    2 When used corded, time indication for highest setting.

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    Discover your beauty every day.

    Whether you are looking for facial, hair care or hair removal beauty solutions – Philips has everything you need.

    Discover your beauty every day.

    Whether you are looking for facial, hair care or hair removal beauty solutions – Philips has everything you need.

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