This post has been sitting in my to-do folder for agesssss since I always get questions about at home ipl hair removal, so I figured many people are in fact looking for info, and I'm more than willing to help out!
I've always struggled with hair removal. I have fair skin and dark (and plentiful) hair, and to top things off, I'm very prone to all things fun like razor burn and ingrown hairs. I had tried everything, really: hair removal creams (smells horrid and burns the skin if I leave it on long enough to actually remove all of my hair), shaving with the direction of the hairs (great if you want to have permanent stubble), epilation (extremely painful if your hair is thick and your skin is thin, up to three days of bruises and ingrown hairs), waxing (same deal as epilation). Only thing that did work was PFB vanish, a roll-on shaving lotion that disinfects your skin after hair removal and contains exfoliating agents that stimulate your skin renewal, keeping the skin thin and making it easier for new hair to break through rather than grow in. However, it was still a permanent hassle in the summer months,
Ipl hair removal seemed to be the best option for me, as it would radically reduce the hair growth and remove the roots of the hair as well, which was a pro for me since my skin is so thin that you could still "see" the dark roots underneath even if I had shaved. I had been looking at groupon type deals to get ipl hair removal done somewhere, but the prices were steep and research told me that the results would not be permanent. Since my pockets aren't that deep and I feel ridiculous spending that much money to get rid of hair, I kept putting it off. However, when one of my friends was putting up her Remington i-light Pro for sale, I pounced on that deal, and I'm so happy that I did!
In short, this is how ipl (and laser) hair removal works: the machine emits pulses of light that heat up any type of dark pigment in your hair, basically burning the roots of your hair and damaging those roots to the extent that they won't produce new hairs for months and months. Yes, "dark pigment" includes possible moles or your own dark skin, so this procedure is not suitable for people with darker skin tone or lots of birthmarks! On my own pale skin with dark hair however, this worked perfectly.
The Remington i-Light pro is very simple to use; you just switch it on, then you hold your arm over the little window until it beeps to tell you if your skin tone is light enough to safely use the device, and the i-Light pro will suggest the best light intensity for you to use.
The device has a small (about 3 x 1.5 cm) window that zaps your hairs with light, and it also comes with an even smaller window to use on your face for more precise use. You start out with shaved skin: if you use it on longer hair, you might get some minor burns. Once the device is powered on, you have offered up your arm for verification of skin tone and chosen your light intensity (I usually used the lowest one), you just press down the head of the device so that the window makes contact with your skin. Once you hear the "beep" that tells you the device is ready to blitz your hairs, you press the button and feel a small pang of heat. It's never nearly as painful as epilation or waxing.
Slowly make your way over the area you want to make hair free, and repeat the treatment once a week/every two weeks. After about four weeks, you should notice your hair falling out naturally and not coming back. I think it took me about 2 months to get the end result I was dreaming of: 90% reduction of hair growth! I honestly didn't believe it would work as well as it did so I was over the moon.
Is it permanent? No. After about half a year, I noticed that my hair was slowly coming back. However, it only took me about three treatments to get back to my previous end result, so the upkeep is absolutely minimal compared to the hassle of hair removal before I tried the i-Light pro. Cost-wise it is infinitely more cost-efficient than going to a salon to get ipl hair removal because you only pay once instead of going back again and again for hundreds of euros.
Only extra cost you have to keep in mind is that after x flashes, the bulb in your device might burn out and need replacing, but I've seen replacement bulbs online for about €30 so that's nothing to worry about. In fact, I would suggest buying one of these to share with a friend! You could easily split the cost and use it for a month each to be free of hair for half a year, which would make this option so much more affordable. Since you only need to use it once in a while, sharing it is a possibility.
Only negative I can come up with is that the window is so small that doing my legs would take me absolute ages, and since shaving works for my legs, I just don't find it worth the work. For my bikini area however, this has been a godsent.
If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to help! It's been two years since I started using this and I'm still incredibly happy with it. I was not sponsored in any way for this review :-)