Light-based home use hair removal is more efficient than wax treatment

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Intense pulsed light (IPL) home use hair removal is more efficient and is as well tolerated as hot wax treatment, according to a recent study.

The researchers decided to compare the tolerance and efficacy of the E-One IPL system (manufactured by France-based company E-Swin) with hot wax hair removal, as they claimed the latter is the most common hair removal mechanism chosen by consumers to use at home.

Volunteers were recruited to undergo hair removal using hot wax and the IPL treatment on either their right or left underarm, and photos following treatments were given to independent clinicians who were not aware of which treatment had been given.

In total, 63 volunteers were recruited by the team of researchers that included Hertsel Adhoute from E-Swin, as well as other scientists based in hospitals and dermatology centres in Paris and Aix-en-Provence.

Mild skin reddening

According to the team, side effects of the two methods were fairly similar and mainly consisted of skin reddening.

After the first treatment, the E-One device was significantly less irritating than the hot wax; however in general this difference in irritation became less significant as the treatment period progressed. In all cases skin reddening was mild, they claimed.

In terms of efficacy, the researchers explained that they did not quantitatively measure efficacy but rather compared the two treatments in order to identify which was more efficient.

Excluding the first treatment day, results show that areas depilated by the IPL device had less hair then symmetric areas treated by hot wax, during a full year of treatment.

However, the researchers did note that definitive epilation is not yet possible with the IPL treatment. Instead, ‘partial results are made possible for a majority of people with reasonable tolerance’.

Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
DOI: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2010.00523.x
Randomized study of tolerance and efficacy of a home-use intense pulsed light (IPL) source compared to the hot-wax method
Hertsel Adhoute, Zohra Hamidou, Philippe Humbert, Cindy Lyonnet, Marie-Anne Peuchot, Pascal Reygagne, Chantal Reynier, Stephanie Rivoire, Guy Simoneau, Gerard Toubel

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