IPL Vs Laser: The Main Differences Between Them

IPL Vs Laser: The Main Differences Between Them

IPL is similar to laser treatment. However, a lot of people are asking what is the difference between IPL and laser treatment? today we will answer this question. First of all, the main key difference between laser and IPL is the type of light. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a broadband pulsed light source, on the other hand, the laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. the laser focuses just one wavelength of light at your skin, while IPL releases light of many different wavelengths, like a photo flash. Both methods target the melanin in the hair follicle and permanent results can be expected from both. 

The light from IPL is considered to be more scattered and less focused than a laser. IPL penetrates down to the second layer of your skin called dermis without harming the top layer of the skin known as the epidermis, so it causes much less damage to your skin.

Pigment cells (melanin) in your skin absorb the light energy, which is then converted into heat. The heat destroys the hair follicle to prevent the hair from growing again.

Luckily, you can use IPL on every part of your body. However, it may not work as well on uneven areas. It isn’t recommended for people who have raised keloid scars or those who have dark skin tone. It’s also not as effective on light-colored hair (blonder/redhead) as it is on the dark hair. Nowadays you’ll find a wide range of devices and salon services for both light-based hair removal and laser hair removal.

How to prepare for the IPL procedure?

Before your IPL procedure, you need to consult your dermatologist so that he will examine your skin and let you know what to expect. Let them know if you have any skin conditions that might have an effect on your treatment, as inflammatory acne or eczema for example.

Your dermatologist may also recommend that you avoid certain activities, medications, and other products for two weeks prior to your procedure. In order to avoid any unwanted bad results.

Things you should avoid:

There are a few things that you need to avoid before going to the IPL procedure. These things include: direct sunlight, tanning beds, waxing, chemical peels, collagen injections, drugs that increase your bleeding risks, such as aspirin, creams, or other products that contain vitamin A.

What is the average cost for IPL procedure? 

The cost depends on many different factors. These factors include the type of condition you’re having treated and the size of the treatment area and of course the salon price list itself. On average, IPL costs $850 to $1,500. You might have to pay more for anesthesia, tests, follow-up visits, or medicines. Also, IPL is considered a cosmetic procedure, that’s why you will find that most of the health insurance plans don’t cover the cost.

What to expect during the procedure?

Your skincare practitioner will first clean the area that’s being treated. Then they will rub a cool gel on top of your skin. Then, they will start applying light pulses from the IPL device to your skin. During your treatment, you’ll have to wear dark glasses in order to protect your eyes.

The pulses might sting your skin and it may cause a little pain. Some people described the feeling of being snapped with a rubber band.

As for the duration of the session itself, it depends on the device used, which part of your body is being treated and how large the area is, the treatment should usually take between 20 to 45 minutes on average.

To get the results you want, you may need to have six to ten sessions of treatments. Those treatments should be spaced about three weeks to one month apart to let your skin heal in between each session. 

How well does it work?

Newer IPL devices work about as good as laser treatments for some cosmetic treatments. For hair removal, IPL works better on thick, dark hair than on fine, light hair. You may need to have several treatments to achieve your desired result. Philips Lumea BRI956

Are there any side-effects?

Most people experience mild redness or swelling after the procedure. This typically fades within a day or two. Remember, if these symptoms persist for than more than 2 days you should consult your dermatologist/GP immediately.

In very rare cases, you may experience some symptoms like: bruising, blistering, change in skin color and infection.

What to expect afterward?

You should be able to go right back to your regular activities as soon as the session ends. The treated area of skin in some cases will be red and sensitive for a few hours as if you got sunburned. It may be slightly swollen, too. Your skin will be sensitive for a couple of days after the procedure. You may need to avoid using hot water on it until your skin heals. Your dermatologist should give you a list of what to avoid and expect after your session according to your skin nature.

Are there any alternatives to IPL?

IPL isn’t the only method used to remove lines, spots, and unwanted hair. Your other options include:

Lasers: The most common technological method nowadays. The laser uses a single, focused wavelength of light to remove unwanted hair, wrinkles, sun damage, and other spots. There are two types of laser treatments ablative and non-ablative. Ablative treatment is when the laser removes the top layer of skin. Meanwhile, non-ablative is when it heats the underlying tissue without damaging the top layer. Laser treatments require fewer sessions than IPL, and they can be used more effectively on dark-toned skin. Costs for laser skin usually go around $3000 for all sessions combined.

Fraxel laser treatment: The Fraxel laser is considered a nonablative treatment because it penetrates under the surface of the skin without harming the top layer. Some Fraxel treatments treat a fraction of the skin and may then be termed a fractionated laser, treating part of the skin in an ablative manner. Fraxel laser can be used to treat sun damage, lines and wrinkles, and acne scars. After the treatment, the skin regenerates itself. You’ll need several treatments to see results. Fraxel laser treatments cost around $1,000 per session. Types of Laser Hair Removal

Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion uses an abrasive device to gently sand off the top layer of your skin. It can be used to fade age spots and areas of darkened skin. It can also reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll need a series of treatments to see improvement, and the results are usually temporary. The average cost of a session is $138.

IPL Vs Fraxel Which Is Better?

There are many options to remove unwanted hair today. This makes it harder to decide which is the best method for your skin tone and your budget. IPL and Fraxel are very common now. Fraxel is also called fractional laser. There are many differences between them but both are effective in making your skin healthier and shiner. Continue reading to find out how.
Fraxel: this technology uses CO2 laser to increase the production of the collagen in your skin which result in making your skin look healthier.
IPL (intense Pulsed Light): this technology uses ligt wavelengths to treat skin. It helps with broken vessels, acne treatment and removing age spot. People also use it for treating hyperpigmentations. It is cheaper than fraxel. IPL costs around $500 per session. Fraxel costs around $1000 per session.

Best IPL Hair Removal at Home

Here is a list of the best Philips Lumea series:

Philips Lumea 9000 Series BRI958, BRI957

Philips Lumea 9000 Bri957

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL 8000 Series BRI949

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL 8000 Series 4 attachments

Lumea Prestige 8000 Series is your solution to remove hair at home with ease and safety in any area. The device comes with 4 smart attachments for the body and face specially designed to perfectly fit the curves of your body. It also has the smartSkin and SenseIQ technology features and 450,000 flashes, equivalent to 39 years of lifetime.

Philips Lumea IPL 7000 Series Advanced (BRI923)

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Philips Lumea 7000 BRI923 Advanced is the latest and top-rated version of the 7000 series. Contains 3 attachments for the body, face, and bikini and is the only version of this series with Special treatment bikini hair, it also comes with the Lumea IPL app for follow-up and skin analysis.

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So, let’s discuss first the pros and cons of IPL compared to other cosmetic treatments.


  • Effective: as the treatment works very well to get rid of unwanted hair and to fade lines and spots.
  • Time-efficient: as the sessions are quicker than any other methods. Nevermore than 45 minutes.
  • Safe: as the light doesn’t affect the top layers of the skin, so you’ll have fewer chances of developing side effects than with using a laser or dermabrasion.
  • The recovery is fast. Usually in 2 to 3 days and you can return back to normal activities.


  • Long time for the desired results as you will need to attend several treatments in order to get the results you want.
  • It doesn’t work very well on dark-toned skin and light hair(blonde/redhead).

You should discuss all the options with your dermatologist, including the benefits, possible side-effects, and costs, to decide which treatment will work best for you IPL or laser or other treatments.

IPL stands for intense pulsed light. It’s a type of light therapy used to treat wrinkles, spots, and unwanted hair. You can use IPL to minimize or remove: age spots, sun damage, freckles, birthmarks, varicose veins, broken blood vessels on your face, rosacea and hair on your face, neck, back, chest, legs, underarms, or bikini line

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