Intense pulsed light, commonly abbreviated IPL, uses high-intensity light sources for an array of skin treatments including permanent hair removal and the treatment of acne, pigmented lesions and vascular lesions. If you are getting IPL treatments on your face for the purpose of permanent hair removal, you need to shave your face on the day of each of your IPL hair removal treatments. If you are getting IPL treatments on your face for a reason other than hair removal, you most likely do not need to shave your face prior to the treatments, but you should check with your IPL treatment provider just to be sure.
Confirm your IPL facial hair removal appointment date with your treatment provider. Shave on the day of your appointment.
Wet the skin and hair on your face prior to shaving to soften the hair. Taking a hot shower or bath prior to shaving will also help soften facial hair.
Apply shaving gel or cream to the areas of your face you plan to shave.
Shave in the direction of your hair growth to prevent irritation and ingrown hairs. After you have finished shaving, gently wash your face with warm water. Do not apply any aftershave, lotion or cream to the shaved area, as these products may interfere with your IPL hair removal treatment.
Repeat this shaving process before all of your IPL hair removal treatments. You may require anywhere between five and 10 treatments, at three- to six-week intervals, depending on the amount of hair you are getting removed from your face, your hair type and color and your hair's growth cycle.
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- Contact your IPL treatment provider for more specific instructions about shaving prior to your IPL treatments.
- Do not wax or use any depilatory creams on your face in between IPL treatments.
- Failure to shave your face prior to your IPL hair removal treatment will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment and may cause superficial thermal injury on your face.
Lisa S. Kramer is a licensed attorney practicing civil litigation and estates and trusts law in southern Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude. Kramer earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.