In Partnership with 5minskin.
For years, I’ve been told that “getting lasered” was the easiest solution to living a hair-free lifestyle, but stayed away because it seemed too complicated and time consuming.
“But what about my wax package?”
“IPL laser hair removal is f***ing expensive.”
“I can’t possibly grow out my hair you know where just to get it lasered.”
“Isn’t it painful?”
“Lasers scare me.”
“It messes up your skin, right?”
And, for years, I’ve endured the pain of waxing, the razor bumps from shaving, and the fury of time-consuming hair removal processes that left me wanting to be bear-like most of the year.
It wasn’t until the Hair Removal Gods (aka 5minskin) heard my cries, and agreed to let me try their iconically simple Hair Zapper 2.0. I was hesitant, suspicious, and downright procrastinating the process, but once I gave myself a zap (or two), my absolutist mind was changed.
- Permanent, effective hair removal in just eight weeks
- Super portable and easy to travel with
- Each session is 5-10 min and totally painless
- Competitive price point when you consider you never have to buy a laser hair removal package again
- Zero downtime in between sessions
We don't like
- Directions, while thorough, can seem a little daunting at first (then you get used to it)
- Can take a minute to get used to for the laser uninitiated.
- Requires consistency and commitment of use (this one's for you, my pay-it-awayers!)
In LA, the term “IPL” is thrown around like “BRB.” Everyone and their mother is running around [insert local Erewhon] talking about their latest IPL. But what even is it?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, which—when used during laser hair removal—relies on a broad spectrum of light with multiple wavelengths to destroy the hair follicle without damaging any skin tissue. Similar to regular laser hair removal, IPL flashes light directly onto the skin, which then gets absorbed into the melanin pigments in your hair. This process creates heat in the follicle, interrupting its growth cycle (which eventually leads to no more growth, or at least that’s the hope).
Unlike laser hair removal, however, IPL is less targeted, given that its light source is less specific, meaning that you might need more treatments (typically at least 10 about one month apart) in order to see results. Of course, long-term efficacy depends on factors like skin color, hair color, and hair type, so results can vary.
NO GROWTH IS GROWTH
Okay, so imagine you are about to buy one single session for laser hair removal. What do you think something like that costs? $100? $200?
Just a single session of IPL can cost anywhere up to $300 PER session, depending on what part of the body needs hairlessing. Not only is IPL expensive, but it also requires at least four-to-six weeks of downtime between treatments. I don’t know about you, but those kinds of appointments are usually the first on my list to cancel when I’m not in the mood to check off my To-Do list.
5minskin is here to convince you that you can save money, time, and destroy your own hair follicles without ever needing to leave your bathroom (bedroom, kitchen, or wherever else you like hair removal-ing).
At just $179, their Hair Zapper 2.0 promises quick, easy, permanent, and (most importantly) painless hair removal that’s made for everyone, using the power of IPL. They recommend starting off with two sessions per week for eight weeks to see the most noticeable reduction in hair growth, and then continue with once-per-week maintenance to stave off further growth. With each session taking five-to-10 minutes max, keeping up with your own Hairdashians seems like a very possible request.
I GOT ZAPPED
As seen in the Pro/Cons list above, the directions made me close the box right away, and shove it in the back shelf of my bathroom for a little over a week. I assumed because this was an IPL device that somehow it would be impossible to use.
When I finally overcame my fear of imperfection and rule-setting, I decided to re-unbox my very enthusiastically pink Hair Zapper 2.0 to see what all of this hubbub was about.
My plug-in-able device came with a pair of sunglasses, a razor, two magnetic UV filters, a body scrub, and a moisturizer. “This can’t be so hard, right?”
I decided I would focus on my armpits (hate the word) because I find the upkeep so irritating and frequent. You shave, and then basically the next day, it’s as if it never happened…and I’m not even that hairy of a person! Per the instructions, I made sure to DILIGENTLY shave and then exfoliate using the body scrub so as to improve efficacy before my zap.
After I got out of the shower, I dried off (everything needs to be super dry), and put on my sunglasses (which I recommend, although optional), and I admittedly looked insane—not dissimilar to Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenage in the movie Twins.
Upon touching my skin, I heard a huge ZAP and saw a flash of light, and then obviously freaked out. Addicted to this adrenaline rush, I kept going on Automatic mode at the highest intensity setting, waiting to see what else would happen. Let me just tell you, I had the time of my life.
I went over the whole underarm area (better word than armpit) three times—not to be confused with going over the same spot consecutively three times). It was truly painless and my skin incurred no irritation or damage. To be safe, I applied the 5minskin Body Moisturizer, which uses skin-soothing ingredients like aloe and chamomile, and went straight to bed.
NOT JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN
I’m now a few weeks into my hair removal journey, and I feel pretty committed to the cause.
The entire process is seamless, and I am noticing finer hair growth under my arms. I enjoyed my Hair Zapper 2.0 so much that I’m now venturing into larger territory like my legs to see how vast the hairless landscape really could be.
Honestly, for less than $200, 5minskin is a no-brainer when it comes to at-home laser hair removal. It actually becomes quite exhilarating to experiment with your body hair in this way without having to rely on someone else to do it wrong. For me, a Virgo who likes to be in control, I find it very rewarding to be able to manage this part of my hygiene routine on my own time (and in my own comfort zone).