The best of the best gadgets, according to dermatologists.
After experiencing the many pitfalls of shaving (ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and speedy re-growth), we’re contemplating alternative methods of hair removal this season. And since professional laser hair removal isn't the most budget-friendly option (initial sessions can cost upwards of $600), we're looking at the next best thing: at-home laser hair removal gadgets.
We need to reassert, before we go any further, that body hair is a completely natural, normal thing, and you should absolutely not feel compelled to remove it if you don't want to-it's a personal choice. (If you're a body hair, don't care kind of person, more power to you!) But if you're into the idea of laser hair removal, want to save some money, but are a little freaked about the idea of doing it at home, we've got you covered.
New York-based dermatologist Josh Zeichner, MD, considers at-home lasers a safe alternative. "Lasers work by emitting a beam of light that is absorbed by a specific target in the skin," Dr. Zeichner explains. "In this case, the light is absorbed by pigment in the hair follicle to heat it up and destroy it, so the hair does not grow back. At-home devices work similarly to professional treatments, but use lower energy levels. They are more time-consuming to use, but can help. They are also a great option to maintain improvements between professional treatments." (As an interesting FYI, Dr. Zeichner adds that, "Each treatment causes some degree of damage to the hair follicle resulting in thinner hair, and it often takes multiple treatments to completely remove hair. For this reason, the term laser hair removal is a bit of misnomer, and it should probably be called laser hair reduction.")
Along with Dr. Zeichner, we chatted with Howard Sobel, M.D., NYC dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin, Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D., dermatologist and medical director of Ingleton Dermatology, and Rachel Nazarian, M.D., dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group, to tell us the best devices that really, truly work.