When it comes to fuzz-free skin, finding the right hair removal method can be a process and there are pros and cons to all available options out there. Waxing can be too painful, shaving too time-consuming and while getting laser hair removal done professionally seems to be the best option out there (maximum smoothness for minimum effort), the cost can be pretty steep and it may not be an option for many of us.
Here’s where at-home laser hair removal devices come in – they are a more affordable option that lets you effectively zap off hair in the comfort of your own home.
But the thought of zapping your face or body with laser on your own can sound terrifying, which is why we’re giving you the lowdown on at-home laser hair removal devices and the best affordable and luxury options that you can consider investing in.
What is laser hair removal?
While the process sounds painful, it actually isn’t too bad. Laser hair removal is essentially a procedure that involves sending a beam of light through the pigment in the hair, which then converts to heat to destroy the root of hair follicles.
This process, when done properly and consistently, permanently prevents hair from growing back and can also help reduce ingrown hair as well.
While it’s true that laser hair removal is much less painful than waxing, there is still some discomfort involved. Generally, the consensus is the more powerful the machine, the more discomfort you will feel.
Some areas can feel more than others but before you reach for your trusted painkiller, you should know that the pain feels nothing more than an ant bite or a snapping rubber band. If you do feel irritation or pain, applying a cold pack to the area right after your treatment will more than suffice.
But remember when we mentioned earlier that laser hair removal isn’t for everyone? Well, you should know that the lasers work best in treating people who have dark hair and light to medium skin tone, not so much for those with grey, white, or light hair.
Depending on which type of laser you go for, some may not be suitable for very dark skin tones as well. This is because darker skin tones have higher melanin levels which runs a higher risk of skin injury when treated with laser.
Skip lasers if you just got a tan too. The extra pigment in the skin can confuse the laser beam and cause it to target the skin rather than the hair follicle, resulting in inflammation, dark spots or white spots in the skin.
Are at-home laser hair removal devices safe?
Like with any new skincare product you try, it is recommended to do a patch test on a small area of skin first before you start zapping your at-home laser hair removal device. Unless you want to risk burning yourself, keep in mind to treat only one area at a time and don’t over-treat by running the gadget in the same area repeatedly.
How to use at-home laser hair removal devices efficiently
Here are seven do’s and don’ts you should follow to in order for these handy gadgets to work effectively and deliver results:
- Shave or trim the hair before you laser
- Don’t wax or pluck the hair – you need the root intact as a target for the laser
- Ensure that the skin is fully washed and clean from any cream or makeup before using the laser
- Avoid scrubs, glycolic acid and retinol creams at least two days before and after treatment
- Stay away from chemical peels and tanning for two weeks before and after laser
- No gym, saunas or hot showers for 24 to 48 hours – doing so puts you at risk of creating a warm environment for bacteria to multiply and give you spots
- Do moisturise the skin after treatment, especially if you tend to get a bit more dry – we recommend aloe vera gels because it’s soothing and cooling for the skin
Ready to zap yourself to smooth, stubble-free skin? Check out these 10 top-rated at-home laser hair removal devices that customers say are powerful enough and as close to an in-office laser hair removal machine as you can get.
Best affordable at-home laser hair removal devices
Feeke Professional IPL Hair Removal Device
Using IPL technology, this option has five energy levels and two modes to choose from: manual, which is good for flashing on small areas like bikini line, armpit, fingers, and upper lip as well as auto, which is meant for sliding on larger body parts such as arms, legs, stomach, and back.
Additionally, it boasts 999,999 flashes, which essentially gives you plenty of mileage without having to purchase a replacement cartridge. It also comes with a LCD screen that tells you how many flashes you have left to use, which we feel is pretty helpful. Do bear in mind that it can’t work on darker skin tones and grey, red, or light blonde hair colours.
It’s rated four out of five stars by over 800 shoppers on Amazon, and one user who’s an avid laser hair removal enthusiast said that this nifty, easy-to-use gadget delivers. “I have not only invested in tens of sessions over the years, but in a similar-intending super expensive device in the past. Sessions with the super large lasers worked, the home-used small expensive device did not so I did not have high expectations when I saw this device but decided to try it out given its popularity and reviews,” she said.
“If you’ve been to any professional laser hair removal session, you know how it feels, and you know how it smells. I was super pleased to have the same feeling. and even more pleased, if not shocked, by the great results.
I love that it is incredibly easy to use, straightforward with letting you know how many treatments it has left, and the option to simply slide and let the device deliver the treatment automatically. It’s so easy to use and so cost-effective, it makes no sense to go back to anything else. Take it from someone who has done this for many years, I highly recommend it!”
Feeke Professional IPL Hair Removal Device retails for S$80.99 on Amazon.
Veet Infini’Silk Light-Based IPL Hair Removal System for Home Use
Meant for use on body only, this FDA-cleared compact device is simple and comfortable to operate for both women and men. Because it can’t be used on skin that’s too dark, it comes with a built-in skin tone sensor to help you detect and avoid the risk.
The brand says that you should see visible results in as few as five treatments but according to an overall review by a small team of testers on Body Beautiful, it’s more ideal for smaller ares because it’s slower and more tedious on larger body parts compared to other devices.
Its 50,000 flashes can last you around five years if you use it on smaller areas like bikini line, underarms, and forearms – that’s about 90 complete treatments. If you use it for full body hair removal, Body Beautiful reviewers say that it can cover around two years worth of treatments (about 30 sessions).
You can use it on black, dark brown, brown, and dark blonde hair as well as light to medium skin tones. Do not use it on dark brown, brownish black and darker skin tones, or on freckles and moles. It’s also ineffective against light blonde, red or grey hair colours.
Veet Infini’Silk Light-Based IPL Hair Removal System for Home Use retails for $158.99 on Lazada, but is currently on sale for $107.93.
BoSidin Face & Body Permanent Hair Removal Device
If you’re looking for a professional-grade option, consider this handheld device from BoSidin. It’s designed with medical-grade materials and comes with integrated skin whitening benefits to help deliver salon-quality removal worth up to 15 years at home.
With its triple high-level UV filter system, you can also rest assured that your skin is protected from the start of your treatment to finish as the multi-filtration system is said to completely block off harmful light before it reaches the skin.
Shoppers rave that it targets hair follicles efficiently and painlessly, and they appreciate that it comes with a pair of protective glasses to wear during treatments.
One happy customer wrote, “I’ve used this on underarm and legs and have seen great results. The results are very similar to laser hair removal, which I’ve done in the past. Great features, and easy to use.”
BoSidin Face & Body Permanent Hair Removal Device retails for approx S$195.36 (US$139.99) on Amazon.
HoMedics Duo One IPL Permanent Hair Reduction
Designed with the two standard modes, this compact handheld gadget employs a combination of IPL and Advanced Fluorescence Technology to remove both finer and coarser hairs efficiently in different regions of the face and body.
It also comes together with an ergonomic Silicone Facial Cleanser that offers deep-cleansing and gentle massaging functions to help clarify the complexion and encourage blood flow for a radiant appearance.
The device scores a 4.4-star rating on Google Reviews and customers generally love its sturdiness and user-friendliness, noting that it reduces hair with little to zero pain and delivers visible results in just a few weeks.
A user of Indian heritage said, “I have medium to light brown skin and dark coarse hair. Up until now, I shave daily to maintain hair-free skin; however, even after shaving I have visible black dots on my skin which many are ingrown hairs.”
“Before using the IPL machine, I ensure my skin was well exfoliated and moisturised a few days in advance. I’ve been using the device weekly for the first few weeks and then found myself using it less and less as I have longer periods of hair-free skin. A few hairs do grow back; however, this is due to areas that I’ve missed.
Also the hairs that do grow back have been growing back a lot finer. I’m so happy with the results that I’ve experienced not only is my skin smoother for longer but the ingrown hair situation has improved greatly and my skin appears more even and clearer. The device is extremely straightforward to use.
So far, I’m extremely happy with this product and will continue to use to see further results. I’m just so happy not to be shaving on a daily basis and can now go weeks until I see any hair growth and even then, the growth is barely visible.”
HoMedics Duo One IPL Permanent Hair Reduction retails for S$262.50 on lookfantastic.
Best luxe at-home laser hair removal devices
SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal Device
Boasting 100 flashes per minute and 30% more energy than the previous version, SmoothSkin Bare+ claims to be the fastest at-home laser hair removal device for face and body in the market. This sleek gadget also has unlimited flashes for your perusal, so you don’t have to worry about running out halfway through your treatment.
On top of that, it also takes safety seriously and has a built-in sensor programmed to activate only after checking your skin tone to see if it’s suitable for treatment – the device is not designed for use on very dark skin.
It has a 4.6-star rating from more than 120 reviewers on Current Body, with one satisfied buyer who saw great results on her Asian skin. She wrote, “Started using this product about five weeks ago to reduce hair growth across all the expected hairy body areas. Went with the product because of the great price point (compared to other leading IPL machines) and really struggled to find something that would work on Asian skin tones.”
“This has worked an absolute dream! I have medium brown skin and very dark hair, and it’s worked smoothly over about 85% of areas treated. Arms have proved hardest to get the flashes going, with quite a few repeat passes at different angles (as this is my darkest skin most exposed to the sun), but even they are have seen reduction in hair.”
Additionally, she went on to recommend weekly exfoliation to prevent clogged pores in the underarm area, and putting on sunglasses during treatment as the flashes can get uncomfortably bright.
SmoothSkin Bare+ Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal Device retails for S$349.00 on Shopee.
Imene Laser Hair Remover
Not only does this option come with an IPL system that is equipped with 500,000 flashes, it is also the only one we’ve come across that has a built-in ice compress plate to help calm your skin and reduce redness during treatments!
On top of that, it even comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee so that you can buy and try with peace of mind.
One out of the 322 shoppers on Amazon wrote, “I’ve recently purchased this product and let’s just say I’m not disappointed,” said one shopper.
“It was very goof-proof and soothing to use. It’s really nice because it doesn’t hurt. I definitely recommend this product to anyone who doesn’t want to shave every week. I saw a difference in the first day of using it, my hairs were not as thick and were growing slower. I truly believe this product is the best in the market and is priced for a reasonable amount considering how great it works.”
Imene Laser Hair Remover retails for S$370.00 on Amazon.
Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision
We’d forgive you for mistaking this for an adult toy – at first glance, it sure does look like one! Lightweight and ergonomic, this ultra-slim device is designed to target smaller, more sensitive areas such as the underarms and bikini line with dermatologist-preferred diode laser technology.
It also comes with built-in ventilation to keep the device cool during treatment. Take note that the gadget can’t work on hairs that are not brown or black, and it is also not safe for people with darker skin tones as they have a higher risk of skin injury due to higher melanin levels.
Based on 106 reviews on Current Body, it scores 4.5 out of five stars and found itself a fan in a first-time laser user. The customer wrote, “This is my first time doing any sort of laser hair removal treatment, and I found it surprisingly easy.
The device looks bigger and more substantial than I had imagined, and fits in my hand quite well. All you have to do is turn it on and press the laser window to your skin to unlock. When you press the button, you’ll feel a zap on the roots of each hair follicle – the darker/bigger it is, the stronger the zap. I didn’t feel much on level one but it can sting a lot on level three depending on how sensitive the skin is on specific body areas. If you can tolerate it, level three will kill the hair much more efficiently.”
“I’ve done two treatments so far, two weeks apart. I can notice hair thinning considerably and becoming soft, and the areas getting somewhat patchy (since they don’t all die off at exactly the same rate).” When treating the bikini line, she recommends using an alcohol wipe afterwards and applying an anti-inflammatory moisturiser to avoid any bacterial infection.
Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision retails for S$411.50 on lookfantastic.
Silk’n Flash & Go Express Hair Removal Device
Purportedly raved by five million users worldwide (and counting), this device employs a patented and proprietary Home Pulsed Light (HPL) technology to disable hair follicles at the root to prevent them from growing back. The easy-to-use laser system lets you choose from five intensity settings and leaves your skin smooth and bump-free quickly.
Reviewers on the Silk’n official website rated the gadget 4.2 out of five stars, while Nordstrom shoppers love the convenient handheld option. “After my first treatment, I noticed less hair growth. It does take a few treatments to see full results, but it’s worth it,” said one reviewer.
“After three to four treatments, I noticed SIGNIFICANT results. The process is super easy and painless. It’s nice that the flash covers a large area compared to other similar products. So it doesn’t take as long. Also, it’s much less painful and costly compared to waxing!”
Silk’n Flash & Go Express Hair Removal Device retails for S$450.43 on Nordstrom.
LumaRx Full Body IPL Hair Removal Device
This system uses the standard IPL technology, has a built-in skin tone tester and gives you about 65,000 flashes worth of usage, but what makes it worth the splurge is the broad handpiece that’s useful in treating large areas like the legs. According the brand, significant reduction in hair can be observed in as little as three treatments.
One reviewer on Amazon wrote, “I’ve been using the LumaRX hair removal for over a month now and I am blown away by the results,”
“The equipment itself is so user friendly and so professional, I instantly felt like a pro when I used it the first time. I especially like the match skin tone safety feature — I feel confident that I am not going to do anything to damage my skin. Highly recommended for anyone looking to cut down on laser treatment costs!”
LumaRx Full Body IPL Hair Removal Device retails for approx. S$627.94 (US$449.99) on Amazon.
Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Remover
This FDA-cleared device boasts a patented technology that is a combination of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) to help you eliminate unwanted hair efficiently minus the pain. Just how efficient? Well, the brand claims that it’s capable of reducing hair by 94% with seven consistent treatments in six weeks.
The fuss-free gadget has three intensity levels and offers 120,000 flashes worth of treatment – refill cartridges are readily available if you ever require more usage. Best part about this device? It’s suitable for all skin tones and almost all hair colours, including blonde and red hairs.
According to reviews on lookfantastic, customers said that their hairs did become significantly thinner after using it for a couple of weeks. They also observed that hair growth is noticeably slower after using the device too. Customers also appreciate the wide handpiece design which makes treating larger surface areas like the arms and legs much easier.
Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Remover retails for S$656.50 on lookfantastic.