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Why is IPL Not Suitable for Dark Skin? (6 Safety Methods Suggested)

By Viktoria
May 21, 2023
6 minutes

To get rid of a rapidly growing body and facial hair, some people opt for hair removal services at salons while others go for at-home hair removal using waxes or shaving creams. These methods are either painful or a little dangerous, especially for newbies.

They don’t even give long-lasting results. For long-lasting hair removal, other than laser treatment, IPL devices are now trendy.

These devices have made hair removal a lot easy and nearly painless. They can provide results after just a few sessions and help you get smooth skin for a long time period without having to worry about hair regrowth. But, these devices are not for every skin type.

So, this article is going to provide you with an in-depth discussion about everything a dark-skin-toned person needs to know about using IPL devices.

Why is IPL Not Suitable for Dark Skin?

You must have read somewhere that your favorite IPL device is unsuitable for dark skin, and now you are all sad. Well, everything is not always perfect, and instead of worrying let’s stay calm, understand the reason, and find a solution for you.

There is a pigment called Melanin which is responsible for giving skin tone to our body and hair. The more the pigment is, the darker the skin tone gets. Melanin absorbs a variety of different wavelengths of light. In the case of IPL devices, they also emit a broad spectrum of different light wavelengths which are absorbed by the melanin.

As melanin absorbs light, it converts the light energy into heat energy causing discoloration, pain, blisters, and even burns. So, before using an IPL device, you must know everything to ensure safety and the best guide for you can be none other than the IPL Hair Removal Side Effects.

Is there any IPL Device Available for Dark Skin?

If you still can’t get over IPL hair removal, then we can guide you about some IPL devices for different color gradings that even a dark-skin-toned person can use without worries.

Silk’n Infinity

The Silk’n Infinity is safe to use for dark skins up to skin tone V in the USA and Skin tone VI for Europe and UK. This is because the Silk’n for skin tone VI is yet to be cleared by USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The device uses Galvanic current along with special configuration and special sensors to detect your skin type and activate modes accordingly. In this way, only low-intensity is used for dark skin tones which keeps you safe from skin burns.

Braun Pro 5 IPL device

Another IPL device that is safe for you to use is the Braun Pro 5 IPL device. It works with low light concentration and has an auto-adjust mode for every skin type up to skin tone V. With every flash, the auto-adjust mode adjusts the intensity to ensure that people with darker skin tones do not get any blisters, burns, or extra pain.

Iluminage Precise Touch & Me Chic

FDA-cleared Iluminage Precise Touch & Me Chic is an IPL device suitable for skin types V and VI. It gives the best results when used on the face and other small parts of your body. Its small window with many flashes can give good results even in those with darker skin tones. Using the Iluminage IPL device on a low-intensity level is recommended and this might take some more sessions than 7 sessions weekly.

Is It Okay to Use IPL Device for Tanned Skin?

You might confuse Tanned skin with dark skin but they both are very different. Dark skin is the natural skin you have since birth while tanned skin is what you get from frequent exposure to sunlight. So, even if there are IPL devices available for dark skin it does not mean that they will be beneficial for tanned skin as well.

The tanned area of skin can absorb more pulsating light which means more heat and eventually skin burns. That is why, it is best to treat your tanned skin first and then use the IPL device when your tone goes back to normal.

6 Safety Hair Removal Methods for Dark Skin

IPL is not the last option to get smooth skin. There are some other ways and we will guide you about them in this session to make sure your skin stays shiny and smooth.

1. Depilatory creams

Depilatory creams are one of the safest methods you can use to remove hair from your body. They are available easily in the market and you can buy them without prescription. These creams work by dissolving your hair follicles

As they contain a number of chemicals, they can cause reactions so it’s best to do a patch test before applying them on the whole of your body part. They are safe and provide results. The results can last for 2 to 3 days.

2. Waxing

Waxing is something you can easily do at home without having to worry about anything. There are hot waxes and cold waxes available, you can use any type according to your preference. These waxes pluck the hair from your roots making your skin hair-free for a few weeks.

It can be a little painful but you will get used to it after some time.

3. Shaving

Shaving is another method best for safely getting rid of all your unwanted hair. Other than being safe, it is also a nearly painless method and has been practiced since ancient times. For your comfort, there are different shaving razors available today including electric, disposable, and women and men-specific razors.

So, you can easily shave all the areas you want to and get silky, smooth skin. But its effect only lasts for a short time period which means you will require shaving frequently. To get the best razor food yourself, you can check out here .

4. Prescription Creams

If you are afraid of waxing and shaving, you can try the prescription creams prescribed by dermatologists for hair removal. These creams slow down the growth of your hair keeping your skin smooth for a longer time period.

The prescription creams cannot remove the hair from your body so before starting their use, you need to remove your hair using any hair removal technique you are comfortable with.

5. Laser hair removal

If you want long-term results, then laser hair removal is for you. The laser technology uses a light beam to destroy the hair up to the hair follicles. Although it does not provide long-lasting results, the newly grown hair is usually thinner and finer than the previous ones.

It is usually done by professionals and you will have to go for at least 6 to 7 sessions to get the required results.

6. Electrolysis

If you want long-lasting hair removal, you can find electrolysis a worth-it method. This method uses galvanic or thermolytic current to destroy your hair follicles. The professionals insert a small needle inside the hair follicles and destroy them using the current. It is painful and requires a few sessions throughout the hair growth cycle.

Getting confused between the IPL, laser hair removal, and Electrolysis? Check out the IPL Hair removal vs Laser removal vs Electrolysis to understand the difference and make your decision.


As IPL devices are very in now, so removing unwanted hair is not difficult these days. These devices can provide long-lasting results too but the con they have is that they are not suitable for dark skin tones. Although there are some IPL devices with low-intensity modes such as Illimunage, Silk’n Infinity, and Braun Pro 5 available but you might find the processing time taking.

So, there are some other safe ways you can go for like waxing, shaving, using depilatory creams, laser hair removal, and electrolysis to get your required results.

Moreover, if your skin is dark due to any mole, acne, or tattoo, IPL devices can be harmful to you. So, if you have a long-lasting tattoo, you can read The Laser Hair Removal Over Tattoos to let go of your worries and opt for safe hair removal.

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