✔️ FDA clearance: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government agency that regulates the safety and efficacy of products on the market. When an IPL hair removal device is FDA-cleared, it means that the agency has evaluated it and determined that it is safe and effective for consumer use. In other words, the device works as intended, and it will not cause harm if used as instructed. Look for IPL hair removal devices with FDA clearance to ensure it meets these standards.
✔️ Number of flashes: Flashes are the quick bursts of light that the lamp in an IPL hair removal device produces to treat an area of skin. These lamps can burn out just like the standard light bulbs you use around your house. In some IPL devices, the lamp can only produce a limited number of flashes until it burns out, at which point you would need to replace the cartridge or the device itself. So, the more flashes, the better. However, many of the newer IPL devices come with unlimited flashes, which means you don’t have to worry about the lamp burning out while you can enjoy a lifetime of smooth skin.
✔️ Automatic light intensity adjustment: If you’re nervous about trying IPL hair removal, shop for devices that automatically detect your skin tone and adjust the light intensity level. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually figure out what level is best for you by deciphering a skin tone chart in the instructions or by starting at the lowest level and working your way up.
✔️ Safety features: Some IPL hair removal devices have sensors that won’t flash if your skin tone is too dark or if the device is not held properly against the skin. Additionally, IPL is a broad spectrum light, meaning it consists of a range of wavelengths, and this may include UV wavelengths that can damage your skin. Most IPL devices have a filter that blocks out the UV light, but always double-check for it.
✔️ Design and attachments: Think about where you are looking to remove hair on your body. “Choose a device that has attachments to cover smaller, bony, curved areas such as the upper lip, fingers, toes and chin,” Aral advises.
✔️ Clear instructions: Whether you’re new to IPL or a seasoned expert, Aral says you should always read the included instructions before operating. “Look for a product that has a great instruction booklet,” she recommends. You can often find the instructions online or watch a video tutorial before you make the purchase as well.
✔️ Cord length: “Ensure the product has a long enough cord to provide for a flexible user experience,” Aral says. For maximum versatility, choose a device that’s cordless.
✔️ Money back offers: If you’re new to IPL and aren’t sure if it’s right for you, try a brand that offers customers a money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it or aren’t getting the desired results, you can return it for a refund.