REVIEW | The Happy Skin Co IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset is a game changer

Picture not described: 1.jpg Image: Getty

Image: Finder Photography

My skin feels like a newborn baby dolphin and seriously, it's a mood.

Let's be honest, hair maintenance is just a pain. Whether you shave or wax, it's a task that is irritating and time-consuming and I'm over it. And I'm not just talking about the ingrown hairs or the cuts on the ankle, either. Can we just address the fact that Brazilian waxes are still a thing? No thanks.

Personally, I haven't waxed anything except for my eyebrows in the last seven years... at least. It's just too painful and I don't care if I look like a distant cousin to Chewbacca, it's just not happening. Shaving's not much better. It takes about 0.2 seconds before the hair grows back out again and I can thank my Italian genes for that. Yes, you can get laser hair removal done at the salon but it's so expensive that it's hard to justify.

So when the Happy Skin Co IPL at-home laser landed on my desk, I was more than excited to give this gem a red hot go. I'd already seen it all over social media with multiple Insta-babes rocking soft silky skin, and I was incredibly keen to see if this product really worked.

Product summary

Picture not described: IM2.jpg Image: Getty

Image: Finder Photography

The Happy Skin Co IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset is an at-home hair removal product. The brand's website states that these handsets "utilise clinical grade technology that has been adapted for safe and effective" use.

In case you're new to laser hair removal, I'll break it down for you quickly. The heat of the laser kills the hair follicles so that, over time, the hair does not grow back. The product description of the Happy Skin Co handset states that it takes about 4-5 weeks to notice a proper difference in hair density and growth, and about 10-12 weeks for the hair to be completely gone.

It has five settings of intensity. This means that you can adjust how much you really want to zap your hair follicles. It also means that you can lower the intensity on more sensitive areas. Unfortunately, the two main downfalls of this product are that those with darker skin tones cannot use the handset, and you can't laser over tattoos. You can't laser deeper skin tones because the light from the laser won't be able to properly penetrate through darker skin. You can't use the laser on tattoos because the laser will be attracted to the dark pigment and causes the ink to scatter.

However, one sure-fire positive is that Happy Skin Co offers a 10-year warranty on its IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset. Not a lot of retailers offer a warranty of this length, and it just shows that the brand has a lot of confidence in its product.


User test

Week 1:

Anyway, now that you know what we're dealing with, let's get into the juicy stuff. To say I was excited to get started is a severe understatement.

After reading the user manual I realised that I first needed to scrub off my fake tan and shave the areas that I was going to laser. This isn't really any different to normal laser services but removing fake tan is always a pain. For someone who wears it every week, having to exfoliate my tan off completely was something I wasn't necessarily looking forward to but I was obviously happy to do it for the promise of hairless skin that would feel as smooth as ancient river stones.

The user manual stated that I should use the handset once every week and that there was no point in doing it more than once a week because the hair follicle won't have grown back so there won't be anything to zap.

The process was a lot simpler than I expected. You just plug it in, turn it on and set your intensity level. The handset has a sensor that tells you when it's pressed against your skin and a little pink light will blink. You then press the button and bam – laser.

When I told people about this product the main question I received was, "Does it hurt?" Honestly, I had the laser on the highest setting and it did not hurt at all. You feel a small amount of heat, but other than that there is literally nothing.

I have pretty thick hair (again, Italian genes) so I really wanted to kill those nasty hair follicles. You're able to go over the same area up to three times but I just stuck to doing it once for my first go. It took me about 30-40 minutes to do my entire body but it was still quicker than I expected. Some areas were definitely a little more sensitive but it's super easy to adjust the intensity level.

Now I know you're not supposed to see results instantly but holy moly. After doing this just once my skin felt so ridiculously soft AND my tan has never gone on so flawlessly. Plus, I noticed a difference in how quickly my hair grew back from the first go. Normally after I shave I can start to feel some spikes after two days. It was literally six days until I felt like I needed to shave and that, for me, is completely unheard of.

Week 5:

By week 5 I felt like I had found my true love. My handset and I were now in a committed relationship. I could see a significant difference in my body hair. Not only was it thinner and lighter but the time it took to grow back became longer and longer. Is it magic? No, it's science.

One thing I did note after using this product for a few weeks is that the flash of light from the laser is brighter than my future. I'd definitely suggest wearing sunglasses and obviously not looking directly into the light if you value your retinas.

Picture not described: IM3.jpg Image: Getty

Week 10:

I AM A GODDESS. I AM A SILKY SOFT BABY DOLPHIN WITH GORGEOUS HAIRLESS SKIN AND I AM AUTOMATICALLY BETTER THAN ANYONE WHO STILL POSSESSES BODY HAIR.

Just kidding (no I'm not).

If you haven't caught on by now, it's safe to say I'm a fan. Honestly, by week 1 I was already loving this product. By week 10 I was wondering if it was possible to marry an inanimate object. As someone who has incredibly sensitive skin, this product has been a lifesaver. I've always struggled with shaving as it tends to irritate my skin, but it's now a problem of the past.

I will say, doing your whole body in one go can feel a little like a chore, but given that you own the handset, you can do it in stages. You can commit to doing your legs for 10-12 weeks, then your arms and so on.

Image: Finder Photography

The final verdict:

Pros

  • In the long run, it's an incredibly cheap option compared to waxing, shaving and salon laser removal
  • It's not painful
  • Long lasting results
  • Simple instructions
  • 10-year warranty
  • Noticeable difference after 5 weeks

Cons

  • Can't be used on deeper skin tones
  • It's an expensive outright payment
  • You can't laser over tattoos
  • I did feel the need to wear sunglasses due to the bright flash of the laser
  • The handset did get a little hot after continuous use so I'd give it a few minutes' break between sections

I'm not normally this aggressive in my shopping suggestions, but if you do one thing in 2019, it should be to give the Happy Skin Co IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset a go. From someone who used to have incredibly thick, dark and stubborn hair, this thing really works.

It is definitely a big downfall that it doesn't work for those with darker skin tones, and to be honest, that's the only thing I'd list as a significant fault. Even though the flash is bright, you can wear sunglasses. Even though it gets a little hot after continuous use, you can give it a little break. Even though it is an expensive outright payment, you can use Afterpay on the Happy Skin Co website.

In reality, the pros far outweigh all of the cons for those with lighter skin tones. It makes this product a no brainer and I'm already recommending it to every person I know. You don't even have to take my word either. The product has over 1,300 reviews and holds a 4.5/5 star rating.

How much does it cost?

The Happy Skin Co IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset retails for $299. As I said, this might feel like an expensive outright payment, but the website does offer Afterpay if you'd like to break it up into a few smaller payments.

You'd also pay $209 at most laser clinics for only one session of your legs, Brazilian and underarms, so this product really offers much more bang for your buck.

Where can you buy it?

You can purchase the Happy Skin Co IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset direct from the brand's website, which also offers express shipping for $14.99.


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