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At home IPL vs Laser - What's the difference?

Many people use the terms IPL and Laser hair removal interchangeably. Both methods use light energy to remove hair, but that’s where the similarities end.

We’ve prepared a go-to comparison guide, so you can get all the info and make the best decision for you.

Lets start with the basics...

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser uses selective photothermolysis which targets the melanin in the hair follicle. Melanin is the naturally occurring component which gives skin and hair its colour.

Importantly the laser energy is only absorbed by the melanin and avoids the skin tissue. How efficiently, comfortably and safely a laser targets melanin, is dependent on its wavelength

Our dual Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers, are able to target everything from fine, light hair and light skin to thick coarse hair and dark skin; reach the deepest level of dermal papilla which contains the blood supply to all new hair growth.

Less effective lasers can only reach the follicle, and are not suitable for fitzpatrick skin types beyond 1-3.

What is IPL?

Intensed Pulsed Light Technology uses broad spectrum light with multiple wavelengths scattered over the surface of the skin and looks like a camera flash, this damages the hair follicle and reduces hair growth.

The light is much less targeted, and it cannot determine the difference between melanin on skin and melanin in hair. Because of this, IPL is most effective on dark hair on fair skin, the risks of skin burns, skin damage and even blisters increases where the contrast between skin and hair colour lessens - so it is not suitable for anyone with olive skin tone or darker.

1. How Effective is the Treatment?

Probably the most often asked question, because results is the end goal of both methods, lets compare below...



  • IPL does not penetrate as deep as laser

  • More scattered light results in more treatments needed; it can be very hard to judge long term results or advise clients up front

  • Treatments are more frequent and top up treatments should be ongoing to maintain results

  • Our Motus AY Laser delivers 100% of the light emitted to the hair follicle with Alexandrite laser and the dermal papilla with ND:YAG laser

  • A course of 6-8 is recommended to target all the hairs growing in the anagen phase; clinical testing shows this as optimum for permanent reduction in hair growth

Winner : Laser delivers a more effective & consistent treatment


2. How Safe are the Treatments?

Safety is paramount with any skin treatment, lets view the risks involved for both...



  • More energy is left on the skin surface

  • It is not safe for skin darker than olive tones

  • Although initially safety might seem higher, with less powerful light emissions - more treatments are required leaving extensive time for skin damage

  • Misuse of at home devices increase the risk of burns and causing long term skin damage

  • No energy is left on the skin, the sapphire cooling tip delivers a cool sensation eliminating risk of burns making it a safe option for dark skin

  • Our laser is the first FDA approved Laser working in Pain-free mode and used within the NHS

  • The MOVEO technology is the only of its kind on the market bringing groundbreaking technology which is safe for all skin tones.

Winner : Laser has targeted treatment reducing long term exposure and unnecessary skin damage - Our Motus AY is tested safe for all skin tones


3. How Long do Treatments Take?

We are all short on time, treatment time can be an important factor to consider...



  • IPL can be very quick

  • Easy to cover large areas such as back, legs and torso

  • Takes longer to see results, top up treatments will be needed to maintain results

  • Our Laser clinicians are trained to work quickly but larger areas take more time as the treatment is targeting each area

  • Our clients see reduction in ingrown hair and skin quality after the first session, and on average a notable reduction in hair growth after 3 sessions*

Winner : Laser; even with slightly longer sessions visible results are seen much quicker than IPL


3. How Much does it Cost?

Studies report the average woman spends up to £23,000 on a lifetime of hair removal, if it part of y

our regular maintenance, it is well worth investing ...



  • This can be very affordable with at home devices being sold for as little as £50

  • Needs little pre-treatment or aftercare purchases, plus you have the comfort of your own home

  • This starts as little as £30 per area per treatment for a course at Laser-Skin

  • It is an investment, we have package deals and offer everything on 0% finance options

  • There is no pre treatment or special aftercare to purchase

Winner :

As a permanent solution & long term investment - Laser Wins


Many people achieve good results from IPL, those that fall into the optimal bracket and are able to maintain it long term may find this the best option for them.

They are very affordable these days and you have the comfort of being at home watching TV whilst you do it!

However; if you're serious about wanting Long Term results, which are delivered safely and efficiently Laser is the clear winner.

Many of our clients have been unsatisfied with IPL in the past or can't keep up with the ongoing maintenance. It is also inaccessible for many people due to their skin tone.

We remind anyone seeking Laser Hair Removal that not all Lasers are equal; the results shared, efficacy and safety in this comparison are only regarding our superior MOTUS AY and MOVEO technology from Lynton Lasers

You can learn more about our technology from Lynton Lasers, and if you have any questions or queries please get in touch via here or social media

We would love to hear your experience with Laser or at home IPL devices

* Results vary by client

*IPL or Laser only use a reputable and trained service provider, if doing IPL at home, read all manufacturers instructions carefully and always patch test any treatment



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