How Long Does IPL Last?

Using the Philips Lumea IPL system under legs

Do you want hair free legs without the hassle of shaving or the pain of waxing?

Maybe you want the permanence of laser but not the huge expense?

Thousands of women turn to IPL every year and it’s easier than ever to get a high quality home IPL machine that is super fast to use. But how long exactly will it give you smooth legs for?

IPL: Permanent or just long-lasting?

Unlike laser hair removal, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is not permanent. However, it can significantly reduce hair growth in general and gives you smooth legs for longer than waxing.

IPL requires multiple treatments in the short term when you first begin. This is because all hair follicles are not active at the same time and IPL only works on active follicles. To ensure all follicles are treated, the first four treatments must be closer together than later treatments.

Philips Lumea systems provide a useful chart to illustrate this:

Diagram showing how long Philips IPL treatment lasts

A useful diagram from Phillips demonstrating how long Philips IPL treatment lasts.

  • One treatment every two weeks
  • After four treatments, switch to maintenance treatments
  • Maintenance treatments can be done every four to eight weeks

Long-Lasting Results

Philips Lumea SC1997 Used on Upper Legs

Philips Lumea can leave legs utterly smooth for eight weeks after the initial four treatments.

Considering two lower legs can be treated in just 15 minutes, having to do this only once every two months hardly seems an inconvenience.

After which, you can spend another two months with smooth legs!

A certain level of permanence

Braun IPL Silk Expert claims to be permanent hair removal - but is that true?

Yes and no.

Both Braun and Philips Lumea IPL devices do permanently reduce hair. So when the Lumea suggests you perform maintenance treatments every eight weeks, that’s not to say you’ll have hairy legs after eight weeks!

It just means that you’ll need to catch the tiny hairs that might be making a break for it.

Even if you cease IPL treatments, your hair growth will be radically reduced. Braun can legitimately say that it offers permanent hair reduction, because a large percentage of your hair will be permanently reduced.

But that’s not to say you’ll never need another treatment.

Braun Silk-expert IPL BD5009

One Device that Never Needs Replacing

IPL treatment isn’t just a way of getting smooth legs for eight weeks at a time, it’s also a huge money saver.

That’s because IPL devices have extremely long lifespans that are directly measurable in terms of ‘flashes’, I.e. The flashes of light the emit during each treatment.

  • Philips Lumea: Up to 350,000 flashes. This means you can use it for several decades, depending on how much of your body you use it on. Just legs? You’re looking at over 20 years of use! One blogger estimated she used 4000 flashes per year for her legs and other areas.
  • Braun IPL Silk-Expert: 120,000 flashes. Over ten years of use, not bad eh?

IPL or Laser Hair Removal?

Our primary aim in life is to have more time for the things we actually enjoy doing, right?

So obviously, the key factor is how long does IPL last? And is it worth investing in salon laser hair removal instead?

Our answer: IPL

  • Gives you smooth skin for 6 to 8 weeks
  • Significantly reduces hair growth
  • If you stopped after eight weeks, your hair would still be barely there and just need sporadic maintenance
  • You only need one, long-lived device
  • It’s much cheaper than laser

IPL isn’t permanent smoothness, but it is permanent hair reduction. If you can spare 15 minutes every two months, IPL is going to be your new best friend.

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