9 Best IPL Hair Removal Devices 2024 UK

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9 Best IPL Hair Removal Devices 2024 UK

Body hair is an entirely personal choice. For those who love and embrace theirs, we say 'carry on living your best life' – but if you choose to prune, shape or remove what you naturally have, that's also your prerogative.

Anyone who does remove their body hair on a regular basis will know that shaving and waxing can be itchy, sometimes time-consuming and expensive. Enter the at-home IPL, otherwise known as an intense pulsed light hair removal device.

Let us bring you up to speed on what they actually do, along with the ELLE Beauty Lab's top picks.

IPL hair removal devices are hand-held machines that remove any unwanted hair by directing a powerful beam of light at the follicle, damaging its root and stunting regrowth (sometimes permanently). You can glide them over larger areas of the body, such as your legs, or use the stamp mode to target smaller areas more precisely – think your bikini line or upper lip.

The best at-home IPL devices can be pricey — expect to pay from around £200 — but they’re also an investment that could save you money over time (and stop you throwing so many rusty razors into the bin).

For effective results, you're advised to shave before using your IPL hair removal device, rather than waxing or epilating. Some hair needs to be present in order for the light to target it, but if the hair is too long, it will be harder for the light to reach its final destination: the follicle.

The biggest downside to IPL hair removal devices is that they're only effective on hair that is a contrasting colour to the skin. People with pale to medium skin tones and dark hair will see the best results. Sadly, if you have dark skin, light hair or tattoos on the areas you want to de-fuzz, IPL isn’t for you.

IPL hair removal should also be avoided during pregnancy and by anybody undergoing certain medical treatments.

Most brands suggest using your IPL device regularly over the course of three months, followed by additional top-up sessions. With consistent use, hair should start growing back more slowly and finely, before stopping altogether.

IPL hair removal is safe, as long as you use a device from a trusted brand and follow the instructions carefully. The procedure is quick and shouldn’t hurt; it may feel hot and tingly (similar to a quick elastic-band snap).

Side effects including redness and slight discomfort aren’t unusual and shouldn’t last, but blisters and burns are rare. Always see a doctor if you suffer an adverse reaction after using an IPL device.

IPL is not the same as laser hair removal, which uses a different, more powerful light source to target a concentrated area of body hair and permanently stop regrowth after four to eight treatments.

IPL can be done at home but laser hair removal can only be performed by a trained professional. As you'd expect, an at-home device will require more consistent use — and patience — to achieve equivalent results.

We asked 140 testers to try out a range of the best IPL devices over six to 12 weeks, noting how effective they were at removing hair on the legs, underarms, upper lip and bikini line. They also assessed how long it took for regrowth to appear, how easy the device was to control, and how comfortable it felt to use.

These are the ones they think are worth spending your money on.

If you’re anxious about any discomfort, let this professional IPL device reassure you. It has 10 intensity settings — double that of most of its rivals — and a skin tone sensor to ensure zero pain during use. It’s rapid too, treating both legs in under five minutes at its lowest setting!

All our testers were satisfied after completing the three-month course and liked that this machine came with a complementary razor for touch-ups. It has enough flashes to last for 22 years, here's to long-lasting results.

The second entry from Philips in our line-up, this IPL device includes some of the same swanky features as our winner but at a slightly more affordable price point.

Our panel found it made a real difference, reducing not only regrowth but also the thickness of the hair, both on the body and face, in just four weeks.

The included precision attachment made it easier to target smaller spots, while the wider heads were great for covering larger areas. After 12 weeks, all noticed a visible reduction in hair, and there were no reports of pain or irritation.

This cordless IPL device was our panel’s favourite for tailored treatments and speedy results. The majority of our testers reported a major reduction in hair growth after just one month of use — and almost no regrowth after the full 12-week course.

Simply click one of three attachment heads — for body, face or bikini — onto the device and it will switch to a tailored programme for that zone, using either the stamp or slide treatment mode.

Its in-built sensor identifies the most comfortable of five light settings for your skin tone. This smart, if slightly bulky, machine also has an accompanying free app that lets you create a bespoke treatment schedule.

The automatic glide function on this cordless IPL device eliminates the need to hold down a button while you de-fuzz your legs, speeding the process up. It’s pain-free to use on both the face and body, thanks to a skin tone sensor that selects the most comfortable of its six intensity settings.

It also comes with two attachments for targeting specific body areas with greater precision. Our testers noticed their regrowth become sparser over the first month, with barely any hair after three.

We've got pretty high standards when it comes to investing in beauty devices, which is why this multipurpose tool impressed. The 2-in-1 model features a separate LED attachment, which aims to leave you hair-free and with firmer-looking skin.

A standout feature when it came to hair removal was its ICE tech, which cools skin down as you zap, to help keep discomfort to a minimum. Another is its unique rotating head, which our testers found got into pretty much every nook and cranny.

Overall, our panel loved this luxe, high-quality device and were pleased with its hair-removal powers after just six weeks.

Bondi Body founder, Trish Coulton, set out to create a device that could achieve the same results as her London salon at home — and, judging by our results, it’s safe to say she’s done a good job.

Don’t be fooled by its slim, lightweight frame, this is a seriously powerful IPL tool, with eight settings boasting full-body versatility (and, better yet, no need to switch heads for different areas).

Despite it being a corded model, our panellists found the device intuitive, comfortable and easy to use; even beginners were able to precisely target hard-to-reach areas in minutes. They appreciated the auto-function, too, which meant they could zap their hair while watching TV or listening to a podcast (yes, it’s that quiet!).

After the 12 weeks were up, testers reported visibly reduced hair growth, and said that they intended to continue using the product post-trial.

Last minute getaway? No problem. This newest offering from Philips proved to be its fastest yet for nipping hair in the bud. Our testers were pleased to see results in as little as three weeks, with everyone satisfied at the lack of regrowth.

It was a great all-rounder too, proving to be effective on facial and body hair, with many testers saying it was also a game-changer around the bikini line. One tester raved: 'Hair regrowth has become less frequent after use, and it's even less dark and thinner than before.'

If you’re not sure where to start on your IPL journey, this is a beginner-friendly device. Keeping things simple, it only has three settings (meaning it’s not as overwhelming as some other models) and testers found the process completely fuss-free.

It can be used on both the face and body, and it was effective at reducing hair regrowth after eight weeks of use. It’s not the speediest but it isn’t as eye-wateringly expensive as others on our list either, and still delivers.

The compact size of this neat little machine helps you reach trickier areas like behind the knees. It isn’t cordless, but it won’t take up much space in your bathroom. Those of you with sensitive skin will appreciate the built-in skin sensor that matches your skin tone to its optimum light setting.

This is another device that boasts its own app — simply connect to it via Bluetooth and set up a personalised treatment plan. Our panel recommend using it for the full 12 weeks as guided, but they began noticing finer hair after the first four. It’s simple, but effective.

Denny is our Beauty and Grooming Tester and has an in-depth knowledge and background in beauty and PR. She has spoken on panels with Cosmetics Executive Women (CEW) and has worked with many beauty brands as a commercial model.  Since joining in October 2022, she has worked on numerous testing categories including over 18 different brands for vitamin C serums, scalp scrubs, shampoos for dry hair and many more. She has over 20k followers on TikTok where she shares beauty and fashion tips otherwise better known as Denny Daily.

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9 Best IPL Hair Removal Devices 2024 UK

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