I've had professional laser hair removal before on my bikini line, but not only was this extremely expensive, it hurt. A lot. Like stabbing needles to my bikini line. So after I ran out of pre-paid sessions I didn't go back for more, as though there was a significant decrease in hair growth it still wasn't done enough for me to feel comfortable in a bathing suit without shaving. Which leads to red sore ingrown hair bumps and so on. So, in an effort to save money, and get more control I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Silk'n Home Pulsed Light system from Sephora.
There are very few reviews on this system itself that are not company funded I've found, but I figured it was worth the risk as a similar product the Boots IPL has quite a few reviews over in the united Kingdom and has had good results. So, this is the beginning of my journey to not being asked if someone can borrow my furry leg warmers. (Yes, I was asked this. I figured no one would care in Africa that I didn't shave my thighs seeing as I didn't want the irritation on the sensitive skin there in a place with all kinds of bacteria my body has no immunity to. And naturally I'm a dark blonde so I didn't think it was that dark. Turns out I figured wrong.)
The idea behind these home light hair removal systems bases in how light exposure works. For those of you who don't know basically light is absorbed by dark colours and reflected by light colours, the most ideal being of course black and white respectively. The light from the system is attracted to the dark coloured hair. The light then travels along the hair shaft to the base of the follicle beneath the skin and hits the hair follicle (the cell which the hair grows from) essentially frying it. This makes it so the follicle either can't make more hair or impedes hair growth because it's damaged. Because of this it is important to note that skin colour and hair colour are important factors for the system to work. This method has been tested by the FDA as safe if you use it as directed.
Medium to Dark skin (whether tanned or natural) cannot use this system, because the light won't be able to find the dark spot (the dark hair) and will absorb everywhere, potentially causing bad burns in your skin. On the other hand, people with red, blonde, and white/grey hair have the opposite problem as the light is reflected everywhere, not able to find the hair here either, so is unable to fry the follicle too.
The Silk'n is easy to use, just plug it in, turn it on and wait for the fan to start going. When it's ready you place the window where the light comes out over the skin and a sensor on the side detects whether the skin you are planning to use it on is light enough for safe use. If it is it allows you to press the button on the top and the light flashes if it is safely pressed down on the skin. It's quite bright so be sure to either close your eyes or look away when you press. It won't damage your eyes if you do accidently look (which I did) but you will get light spots for a bit which is uncomfortable. It takes three seconds for the lamp to recharge for the next pulse which is fast enough because it takes about that long to move to the adjacent spot. I worked in rows so I didn't miss a spot (which I'm sure I did anyways). A thing to note is that those of us with freckles should invest in a white eyeliner pencil. I got this from the Boots system as they recommend it. It's the same idea as with the dark skin, to fix this and use the machine over the freckle or pigmentation spot be sure to cover it completely in white eyeliner so it reflects the light back and you won't get burned there.
It's also important to remember that you need to shave before using this (a sad fact I know). This is so as the hair takes in the heat it doesn't burn your skin as it lays against it. Plus the blunt cut end of the hair makes a larger "dark spot" for the light to target so hopefully it works better.
The Silk'n system comes with:
- The charging base unit
- one lamp cartridge
- Instructional DVD
- Instructional Booklet
- Cord to connect base unit to handle
- Cord to connect base unit to outlet
- One year Warranty confirmation slip
So I'll update in a couple weeks with my hair growth and what the increased energy levels were like. If you have any questions or would like further info on something send me an e-mail, leave a comment or check out the Silk'n Sensepil website here. Or you can look at the Sephora listing here. Is hair removal something you're interested in? Do you think it's a neat idea or a silly one? Let me know!