If someone propositions you with the chance of being permanently hair free (or hair growth that is marginally reduced) you would jump at the chance, oui? That's exactly what I did after I first heard about the latest in laser hair removal, the iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Reduction (£375)*. A couple of months ago I attended a launch event that genuinely made me feel super knowledgeable in hair removal, and in truth, a little bit of a science buff. I'm usually pretty lazy and laid back when it comes to hair removal; it's a ritual most feel compelled to adhere to and something that is generally a ball ache to upkeep - gah don't men have it so easy sometimes? Quite honestly, most of the time I'm not overly fussed that my legs are hairy, or that you could plant seeds in my armpit hair, as let's be honest, no one is really going to see. That's not to say that - on occasion - I don't like to caress my freshly washed linen with suitably soft legs, because boy, that's the best feeling ever. What I liked about this new innovation from iluminage was that it was an at-home device, and had been clinically proven to work on all skin colours and the widest range of hair colours - from the fairest to the darkest. I have quite coarse hair, not so much on my legs, but in other areas, so I was skeptical over how well it would work on me. What makes the iluminage Touch different to other hair removal devices, is that it is powered by elōs technology, which has been created by scientists at Syneron, the inventors of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).
It is said that currently, at-home devices for hair removal using IPL or LASER work best for a combination of light skin and dark hair, while light or red hair tends to respond insufficiently to treatment because of the hair's lack of pigment. Elōs technology combines IPL and Radio Frequency energies to combat this issue, meaning it is able to penetrate deeper into the skin to permanently put the follicles to sleep, no matter what skin tone. The iluminage Touch is safe and pain free, with only a small feeling of heat with each pulse of light. I set it to the highest setting and actually found the warmth rather therapeutic, and not at all uncomfortable or painful. The device is suitable for use on the face and body, whereby legs can be treated in ten minutes, and the whole body in thirty. The iluminage Touch comes with a small facial attachment to target those hard to reach areas, which I have not yet tried. This is simply because I don't feel comfortable shaving my moustache and I haven't got around to purchasing suitable wax strips... Now, you're meant to use this device for once a week over a period of six weeks, topping up periodically. The area must also be treated through shaving, waxing or epilating first. I must admit, I did have weeks where I missed a treatment as I found it quite a tedious task to complete, not so much on my underarms, but especially my legs. I found myself sat in my underwear on my bed on many occasion trying to make sure I didn't miss a spot, and ten minutes felt like the longest time. I think I have done around eight or nine sessions now, which I know is over the suggested amount, but at first I didn't find it working how I had expected. I guess I expected to complete my suggested sessions and hair to be completely eradicated from the follicle, however I now understand that's not the case; these things take time and everyone's hair/skin type reacts differently. I also think it will probably work better when combined with waxing, but I don't really have the means or the patience to keep waxing, and you need a fair bit of growth to re-wax, which you simply don't get after one week. I therefore found shaving to be much easier.
What I have noticed while using this, is that my hair growth has severely reduced, and in certain areas of my legs there is no hair, while other parts of my legs now have incredibly fair hair. I found it really difficult to be consistent in the areas that I was targeting as it's easy to miss random spots. My underarms are resisting more to the treatment than my legs, but again, I have noticed slower growth and hairs coming through less-coarse. This may be TMI, but I suffer from a few strands of hormonal hairs here and there, especially on my chest and stomach, which this device has completely stunted the regrowth of. I did have a few issues with in-grown hairs, but nothing a bit of exfoliation couldn't solve, and you get that with the majority of hair removal methods anyway.
Overall I feel like I need to persevere to get the results I need, as well as allow my Mum to give it a go on her facial hair to see if it works well on her (she'll kill me for saying that).