I'm all about smooth, hair-free skin, especially as the summer is upon us. I'm pretty sure most of us are. My under-arms, legs, bikini area — even some areas on my face like my upper lip need constant attention to remain smooth and hair free. And I'm pretty sick of all the shaving, waxing and using cream depilatories. While I have been treating Caci to professional laser permanent hair removal treatments, I have been sticking it out and removing hair all of those old fashioned ways until now. I have decided to go the route of permanent hair removal but I am going to do it myself at-home. Luckily, there are plenty of good options for permanent at-home hair removal available.
I am testing 3 permanent at-home hair removal systems and will be until I get the permanent results I need. These systems are all a little different so that means I will need to be using them for a while — most likely months. The 3 systems I am testing: Venus Silk-expert powered by Braun, iluminage Precise Touch and Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X. Let me break them down for you.
Venus Silk-expert powered by Braun
I was so excited when I heard that Gillette was taking their Venus brand (that we all know and love) and joined forces with the Braun brand to give it some major technology so we can have some permanent hair reduction results AT HOME. Always at the forefront in the hair removal category, they have done it again.
Venus Silk-expert ($399) is powered by IPL technology which is intense pulsed light technology. IPL emits gentle pulses of light beneath the surface of the skin and when the hair follicle and root absorbs the light, it transforms into heat which basically breaks the hair growth cycle. Venus Silk-expert also features a SensoAdapt™ skin tone sensor that ‘reads’ your skin. Why is this important? Well, for IPL to work correctly, your skin tone needs a specific energy level; use too much and you could have discomfort OR if you don't use enough, you won't have results. The SensoAdapt™ skin tone sensor ensures that the Venus silk-expert delivers just the right amount of light to work and permanently remove hair. I'm all about safe and effective results!
I am using the Venus Silk-expert on my legs as out of all 3 devices I have, it seems to treat the largest area at one time. I use it once a week, and following the instructions, I need to use this for 12 weeks to see results. Based on the short trials I have done with at-home permanent hair removal devices in the past, I am sure I will be using this (as well as the others) longer, but on schedule, until hair is completely gone.
Venus-Silk Expert is really simple to use. I plug it in, turn it on, and start gliding it over my legs very slowly. There is also a way to treat smaller areas, but since I am treating my legs, I don't do precise, pinpoint like treatments. It does feel like little rubber-bands snapping or prickling, but not hard or that uncomfortable that would ever stop me from using it. It takes me about 40 minutes to complete both legs.
iluminage Precise Touch
iluminage Precise Touch ($245) uses elōs technology to permanently remove hair at-home. What is elōs technology? Elōs technology actually combines the best of both Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies to deliver fast, safe and effective results.
The iluminage Precise Touch is a compact device that fits into the palm of my hand and is great for smaller areas, but would also work on larger body areas. This is good for accurate or precision treating and that is why I am using it on my face. It is important to note that not all at-home permanent hair removal systems are safe for using on the face, so you need to be careful when selecting them. iluminage Precise Touch is FDA-cleared for use on the face.
As I mentioned, by combining both technologies, speed is a factor in the iluminage Precise Touch so I only need to use this for 7 weeks before I will see results and then, per instructions, will treat on a monthly basis until all hair is permanently removed.
There is also a bit of the same warm, rubber-band snapping feeling when using the iluminage Precise Touch and I'm actually a bit more sensitive to it than the others, but I think it's because I am using it slower, in a precise area, and on my face. It still is nothing that would have me discontinue using.
Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X
I've used a Tria Hair Removal in the past and should have continued on after my initial treatment. I did have results as in my hair growth had subsided for a bit and was growing in much slower and grows in (still to this day) more sparse and is much more fine. I am determined to make it disappear for good this time around. This Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X ($449) is definitely made to be stronger (I can feel it) and deliver better results than the earlier versions.
Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X is an FDA-cleared laser for at-home use that uses diode laser technology to permanently get rid of hair. This one is only meant to be used on fair to medium skin tones with contrasting brown to black hair. I am using this laser on my underarms.
I am treating my underarms once every other week, and in terms of pain, this is the most painful out of all three. There are different setting, and I could definitely use a lower setting, but I want results. Knowing what I do from going along with Caci at her professional appointments, when it comes to the laser, the higher the setting, the better. I've also learned from her appointments is that the underarms are the most sensitive place for permanent hair removal treatments, so, it IS going to hurt in this area more, so I am bearing with the pain.
Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X treats a smaller area compared to the other two devices I am using, so it is definitely a more precise treatment area. It takes me about 10 - 12 minutes to treat each underarm. Remember, I am only using this one once every other week. I need to use the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X for 12 weeks before seeing results and then follow up with monthly treatments until permanent results are seen.
I plan to update you later this year, sometime this fall, with my at-home permanent hair removal results so stay tuned.
FYI: The difference between IPL and laser hair removal.
Sometimes consumers use ‘IPL’ and’ Laser’ interchangeably as generic names for light based hair removal devices for example, calling all light based hair removal devices laser hair removal. The mode of action is the same for both technologies (targeting the melanin in the hair follicle) and in terms of reported hair removal results, there is no principle difference. Individual efficacy depends on other factors like overall treatment regimen, energy output and even coverage.
The most important difference is the type of light used to achieve results. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) has a broad range of wavelengths and a wider beam of light vs. laser light’s narrow focus, single wavelength beam of light.
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