As we gear up for warmer weather (at least those us of in the Northern States and cooler climates), many of us are taking a closer look at our skin and body hair from the neck down, which has been hidden underneath several layers for months. For me, shaving can feel like a chore, so I’ve embraced high-tech at-home hair-removal devices that use IPL (intense pulsed light) to keep hair growth halted for much longer. But the best part is that the painful zapping that made me wince is a thing of the past with the new crop of innovations hitting the market today.
One in particular, K-beauty brand Ulike’s new AIR3, which debuts this week, is unlike anything else I’ve tried in the comfort of my own bathroom. It makes pesky hair removal so easy (and gentler, especially on more sensitive areas like the bikini line). You can use it pretty much anywhere hair grows, from your upper lip to your armpits, and the technology is FDA-cleared to be safe. The addition of cooling mimics in-office hair-removal lasers, providing one of the most advanced at-home treatments you can get right now. To learn more about the new launch, I spoke to Beryl Hwang, lead product marketing manager for Ulike’s North America division.
What makes this at-home hair removal device different from anything else on the market?
“Our at-home hair removal device, the AIR3, is different from others on the market because of our patented Sapphire Ice-cooling technology,” says Hwang. “This technology is based on clinical sapphire contact cooling and is specifically designed for at-home hair removal devices. It protects the skin and ensures a comfortable user experience while performing an effective hair removal IPL (light) treatment. Our technology is unique and we’re the first and top company to have it. We’re also proud that Ulike is recommended by top dermatologists worldwide.”
What is IPL for those who don’t know?
“IPL is a type of FDA-cleared light treatment that uses strong pulses of a broad-spectrum of polychromatic light to target the melanin in hair follicles to achieve permanent hair removal results,” Hwang explains. “As the pigment absorbs light, it gets heated up and destroyed. Hair will grow back more sparsely and slower after each treatment, permanently reducing hair growth.”
Is this device a good option for both beginners and experts at at-home laser hair removal?
“Our Sapphire AIR3 at-home hair removal device is suitable for both beginners and experts,” Hwang says. “It’s incredibly easy to use. When you power on the device, the ice-cooling technology operates instantly. You can select the power level based on your preference, and then press the treatment button, and the device will flash. Plus, the stamp and auto-glide modes make a full-body treatment possible in under 30 minutes. There’s no need to take extra time to learn how to use it.”
How does the cooling technology work exactly?
“Once the device is turned on, the active cooling system inside the AIR3 is activated, and you can even can see the sapphire light window gets frosty in five seconds,” explains Hwang. “Our cooling technology works by instantly cooling the sapphire light window in the device. When the sapphire light window is in full contact with the treatment area, it provides real-time cooling throughout the treatment process. This cooling protects the skin and allows for higher fluences to be delivered to the skin, which increases the effectiveness of the IPL hair removal treatment. The flat sapphire also applies light pressure to the treatment area, increasing the absorption of the target chromophore.
The sapphire ice-cooling not only protects the skin and provides comfort, but also ensures a highly effective IPL hair removal treatment. This technology is unique to our product and is not found in any other at-home hair removal device on the market.”
What tips do you have for anyone who is new to DIY laser hair removal?
“For people who are new to at-home laser hair removal, we recommend checking if your skin tone and hair color is suitable for IPL treatment before using our device. [Below are the skin tones and hair colors the device is cleared to treat.] Our device also has a skin sensor that ensures safe and accurate treatment. Also, before using the device, shave the area you plan to treat,” Hwang says.
“We also recommend starting with the lightest power mode (soft mode), and then proceeding with the higher power modes (body mode and power mode). You should also wear protective eyewear during each treatment. After treatment, be sure to moisturize and avoid exposing your skin to sunlight. If you wear shorts, remember to apply sunscreen.”
How often should you use the device, and what results can you expect?
“During the first and second weeks, use it every other day,” Hwang says. “Weeks three through five, use it twice per week. Then, after the initial treatment phase—12 weekly treatments—treat the target area once a month, or as required, to maintain your results.
Most people begin to see evident hair reduction after three to four weeks. After each treatment, hair will grow much more sparsely and thinly, and eventually, the hair reduction becomes permanent. Both the outcome and frequency of treatment are different for each user. According to FDA’s regulations, permanent hair removal means ‘continued and steady reduction of hair over a prolonged period’, which we provide, though some may interpret the term ‘permanent’ differently. Please know that even the photo-therapy used in clinics is not entirely permanent.”