IPL Underarm Hair Removal - Part I

As much as I love being a girl ... sometimes, it's so hard to be!

For a long time now (and I mean years), I've been meaning to get an underarm laser hair removal treatment. Regular shaving have proven to be damaging for my sensitive skin so I resorted to waxing. The latter is better in terms of smoothness and delayed hair growth. However, it is quite expensive to have them done at least once a month. Personally, the only thing that was stopping me from having an underarm laser hair removal treatment is that it is costly. A session is priced at approximately Php3000 ($67) and at least 6 sessions is needed to complete the treatment and have the most effective results.

This year, I finally decided to get the underarm hair removal treatment. But I still was not ready to shell out that much cash so I monitored several group buying sites here in the Philippines to get more than 50% discount on the treatment. Last month, I was able to purchase 6 sessions of IPL underarm hair removal treatment from S-Bar Spa and Skin Care Center through Ensogo for Php600 ($14) per session! That was 80% off the valued price of Php3000!

I admit that I was still a little hesitant to purchase the vouchers regardless of how much I could save. I didn't want to be impulsive so I repeatedly read the fine print on the deal and did research on the procedure that was offered.

The deal specified that it was for an IPL hair removal treatment. IPL or Intense Pulse Light is different from lasers. The latter uses one beam of light to target a specific part of the body that varies in strength depending on its target. In relation to hair removal, the light or energy heats the hair follicle and if enough damage is done, the procedure can hinder further hair growth. IPL is different as it can produce specific wavelengths that can maximize the damage to hair follicles while minimizing skin damage. Simply put, a laser uses one beam of light and IPL uses several light wavelengths, making it more effective and faster.

I had my first session of IPL underarm hair removal treatment at S-Bar Spa last month and as of this post, I am at my first week since the procedure. To help those that are thinking of getting this treatment, I decided to chronicle my experience here.

Before the actual treatment, I was reminded by the doctor to follow these instructions:
1. No plucking or waxing at least 1 week before the procedure. Shaving is acceptable as long as there's hair growth on the day of treatment. Plucking and waxing has been proven to have much further delay on hair growth.

2. Do not use any whitening product should be used at least 1 week before the treatment. Scrubing/bleaching/peeling is also not allowed.

3. Do not use deodorant or anti-perspirant on the day of the IPL underarm hair removal treatment.

During the treatment, I was escorted by a clinic staff to a room wherein I was asked to remove my upper garment before laying down. She then proceeded to clean both my underarm as preparation for the procedure. After, the doctor gave me special goggles to wear at all times during the treatment. She continued to instruct me to close my eyes during the entire procedure for further protection as the light from the IPL machine is quite strong.

The doctor informed me that there might be a sting for every light emission, much like a feeling of very slightly pulling a hair. This may vary per person. Personally, I felt almost no sting during the entire IPL hair removal treatment. And true to its promise, the procedure only lasted for approximately 10 minutes! That covers both underarms already.

After the treatment, I was asked to follow these instructions:
1. Apply a Post Laser Cream 1-2 times daily , or right after taking a bath for 5 days. I bought the cream at the clinic for Php200 ($4.5). If in case a deodorant or anti-perspirant is inevitable, allow the Post Laser Cream to be completely absorbed before applying the former.

2. Waxing is allowed on the 3rd day after the treatment but it would be the last time prior to the 2nd treatment.

3. Shaving is allowed starting the 3rd day after the treatment and the last time would be at least a week before the 2nd session.

Post Laser Cream

A day after my first IPL underarm hair treatment, I noticed that my hair was a little coarse and curly. I was informed that I'd be able to see hair falls after 3-5 days. Unfortunately, I barely saw any hair loss after 5 days. Although, I was able to pull some hairs out with the use of my fingers! On the 6th day, I just had to shave. :)

My next session at S-Bar Spa is on mid April. The ideal interval between treatments is at least 3 weeks apart.

S-Bar Spa and Skin Care Clinic is located at G/F Ivory Tower Rosewood Pointe Acacia Estate, Taguig City. For inquiries, please call at (02) 577-1973.

I am thankful for group buying sites like Ensogo for helping me purchase my vouchers for the IPL underarm hair removal treatment. The 80% discount gave me and a lot of girls a very large savings. Without these group buying sites, I would have remained hesitant to avail of the procedure.

I will be posting my observations and personal experience after each session so make sure you subscribe so that you will not miss a post. :)

1st and 2nd photo credits to S-Bar Spa and Skin Care Center.


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  1. Cool! Thanks for sharing.. I've thought about that too, but it's way to expensive! Those group buying sites - what is that?

  2. Hey Swaafie! Group buying sites are actually online sites that offers big big discounts on products or services with the requirement of bulk buying. I bet there's at least one in your country! :) Taking my purchase for example, S-Bar Spa approached Ensogo (a group buying site) and made a deal to offer 80% off on their IPL underarm hair removal treatment. Most of the time, companies would set a minimum no. of sales before a deal is on.

    I hope I was able to explain it clearly. :)

  3. Hi Rina! I came across your blog while researching for IPL laser hair removal..and because of your post I was convinced to buy 6 vouchers from Dermaesthetique through MetroDeal :D Like you I also wanted to have an underarm hair removal for so long now. Thanks to MetroDeal I was able to get it with a huge discount! I'm about to call them for an appointment. I will surely monitor your blog to compare our experiences :)


  4. I was so happy to see that there are group buying sites offering that recently! But I've only recently started waxing my underarms; I've decided to see how it goes for a couple of months first. And then I'll buy from group buying sites later :D

    I've tried laser treatment before, too, and it was so fun to see how hair just falls off, yeah? Sana tuloy tuloy lang ang pag-promo ng mga salon. Hehehe.

  5. Hi, Gemma! I personally find this group buying sites helpful in getting much much more value for money. I'm looking forward to our exchanging of notes! :)

  6. Hi, Sarah! I was regularly waxing my underarm for years until I decided to get the IPL hair removal treatment. With waxing, hair growth was delayed for more than week. Although, it would be much better not to worry about underarm hair so when I saw the great deal, I grabbed it. :)

    When you tried the laser treatment, it was just one session? Is the procedure for permanent reduction of hair growth?

  7. So cool that you got a really good deal for it! I gotta check out those group buying sites :D

  8. hi! i just bought five vouchers (P300 each, 91% off) from metrodeal for the same treatment at la estetica. should i buy one more? thanks for sharing your experience. i look forward to mine. :)

  9. ooops, four vouchers lng pala from Metrodeal. and then one voucher from Ensogo which I purchased some time in January. all in all, five vouchers.

  10. Hi, edelweiza! I asked the doctor before I purchased my vouchers and I was advised that I need at least 6 sessions to have the most effective results. Based on consultations and experiences of friends that already underwent the treatment, you'll have very minimal hair growth after your 4th session. But after a few months, there will be still some very thin hairs that will grow. This is why you need at least 6 sessions. Best will be to consult the doctor when you get your treatment. :)

    Good luck! I'm scheduled for my 2nd session this weekend. I'll make another update after that. I hope you can share with us your experience too. :)

  11. Hi Rina! I'm done with the first session. Bilis lang pala talaga! I blogged about it on my personal blog:


    I can't wait for my second session! :)

  12. Hi. Thanks for posting this. I just bought 4 vouchers from them and tns is my first time to buy from this group buying sites. I'm not based in Manila so I wanna know if it's easy to book an appointment with them using the vouchers. Thanks.

  13. Hi, janet!
    Yes, based on my experience with S-Bar, I didn't have a hard time booking an appointment with them. Good luck with your treatment. :)

  14. Hi! How many shots were used on each of your underarms?

  15. I can't exactly remember how many shots per session but the doctor explained to me that more shots are done as you progress through the treatment to target hair follicle that are under the skin. I mentioned this in my final post of my IPL experience. :)

  16. thanks rins,i was about to purchase same deal at groupons.ph,but i was a bit hesitant...the offer was up to 6 sessions for only P1140,and that was too awesome for a price.but i only think of getting 4 sessions for P800 because the voucher is only valid for 3 months,and im thinking that 3 months may not be enough for 6 sessions..thanks..please update us on the progress of your treatment..looking forward:')

  17. Hi, risse.
    I actually finished my 6-session treatment. Please refer to this link to view the 2 more posts that I made regarding my IPL experience:

    IPL Posts

  18. hi, i tried purchasing IPL vouchers from different stores... i had my first 4 IPL treatment at S Bar and i really had a great experience with the doctor and the attendants. the doctor even told me that normal IPL is 22 shots each armpit. i believe that that is the only clinic which is facilitated by a doctor. i bought vouchers from Skin Central in St. Francis Square and its really frustrating cause they use bulb and say that its only for 3 shots.. and its frustrating... i went to Biocare in Annapolis and they said its 80% off and when they did the treatment they only gave me 3 shots each... it seems that the clinics for online buying says its off but they also cut-off the shots that they should be giving... i am not sure if you are all aware of it but it seems its so frustrating and seems they are joking... hope next time you go to clinic verify how may shots they give you and compare cause we don't really get our money's worth and we don't get any discounts at all because there service is also cut off... hope you see that... and hope you observe it so far S Bar gives us the discount with the real treatment unline |Skin Central and BioCare.

  19. hello can you contact me at 09351136633. coz i bought a unlimited session of ipl hair removal at mendez medical group , its from ensogo. not sure if its worth it. im worried :( please contact me and share you whole experience. im anxious :( THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  20. I live in Ivory tower and had no idea that S-Bar offered that. :) Update us with their services ha.

    I bought vouchers from Deal Grocer and will try naman the one from Laser360 in Forbes Park.

  21. hello miss rins, im now due for my 5th IPL this 25th , though sometimes I'm a bit too conscious since my underarm hair is still very visible.. and im not a fan of shaving.. my doctor told me not to continue my underarm waxing since i started my IPL sessions until i finished my 8 sessions. now i wonder why i am not allowed to go on waxing?

  22. hello miss rins, im now due for my 5th IPL this 25th , though sometimes I'm a bit too conscious since my underarm hair is still very visible.. and im not a fan of shaving.. my doctor told me not to continue my underarm waxing since i started my IPL sessions until i finished my 8 sessions. now i wonder why i am not allowed to go on waxing?

  23. @Darina23
    This is how my doctor explained it to me when I was still undergoing IPL treatment. The IPL treatment targets the hair follicles. Do you remember that you are always advised not to shave a week before your session? It's because it is easier to see and target hair follicles if there is hair visible above the skin. Imagine if you maintain your waxing regimen during your IPL treatment, it would be harder for your doctor or the one administering the IPL to target the follicles since waxing delays hair growth longer than shaving. This is also the reason why the IPL shots increases as you move from session to session since you have less hair visible after every treatment.

    I hope I was able to explain it enough. I would recommend asking your doctor. I'm sure he/she will be very accommodating to answer any of your concerns.

    Good luck!

  24. MISS RINS.. VERY WELL EXPLAINED. THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME ANSWERING MY QUESTION..I have done a lot of blog scouting and you were kind enough to answer in just a short notice..big help =) MORE POWER.. GB

  25. amor26:

    Hi Rins, I enjoy reading your blogs (any topic) and i think we do have the same interest when it comes to a gurl thingy :)
    I bought a voucher in ensogo for UNLIMITED IPL in Vanity Skin Aesthetics for 10mos for only ₱1999 .. yeah, it sounds too good to be true but im crossing my fingers now .. dame ko kase nababasa dito na na-cut yung sessions nila ..
    Anyway, the Post Laser Cream, what is that for? And how much does it cost? pwede bang wala nalang nun? It is way out of my budget na ata (haha, kuripot).. Nakalimutan ko may mga ganun ganun pa nga pala mga beauty clinics when i purchased my voucher ..

    hoping for your response :) GB

  26. @amor26
    The post laser cream was for maintenance after the procedure. I mentioned the cost in the post. :) I recommend asking your doctor about it during your session if you really need it. Good luck with your IPL experience. :)

  27. Hi,
    How long each session should normally takes? My daughter getting IPL on her underarm and abdominal area, and each session for both area takes only 5 min. and she has done 4 treatments so far and only see 10% reduction on hair. I paid $1500.00 so far. Someone please advise!

  28. @Anonymous
    Results vary per person. I suggest consulting your doctor so he/she could properly explain to you the procedure and other important questions you might have regarding the results of the procedure.

  29. is the treatment limited only to once a month? because i bought a voucher from ensogo also, im on my 4th session now and since from the start i never experienced to have a hair fall from my underarm, it didn't curl also. On my voucher it says that it is unlimited for 1year, but then they're just scheduling me once a month so it's just like i bought 12sessions only and not unlimited.

  30. @maecel
    Based on my experience, the doctor advised a 3-week interval between sessions. Results per person varies. Are you saying there haven't been any hair loss since your 1st session? I recommend you consult with your doctor regarding your concerns. She would be the best person to explain the procedure to you. :)

    May I also invite you to read the rest of my IPL experience here:

  31. To those who plan to avail the promo of Mendez group, please read this. I found this at http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=248879&page=2.

    URL: Mendez Clinic hair removal procedure that allegedly left burn marks in her armpits and legs

    At Large : She deserved it?

    First posted 00:48am (Mla time) Nov 26, 2005
    By Rina Jimenez-David
    Inquirer News Service

    Editor's Note: Published on Page A15 of the November 26, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    THE cynical and judgmental might say that Rina Turingan Laud had it coming -- risking her health and her appearance for vanity's sake. By now, you might already know of her story, which has been carried by TV and radio news shows -- of how her legs and, to a lesser extent, her armpits were subjected to second-degree burns after she went for "laser" hair removal at the Mendez Face and Body Clinic in Makati City.

    I won't be surprised if not a few viewers and listeners reacted to her story by exclaiming that she deserved it for being so "maarte" [finicky]. That certainly was my reaction when I first heard the news, and before I met Rina and her husband personally.


  32. continuation..

    Granted, Rina may have been motivated by vanity, if not laziness, and perhaps foolishness in seeking the "treatment." "For convenience," she said simply when I asked what motivated her to go to the Mendez clinic. "I was sick and tired of shaving and having my legs waxed, and I wanted to get rid of my body hair permanently," she added. Also part of the attraction was the 80 percent discount "promo" offered by the Mendez Clinic for "laser" hair removal, in observance of its eighth anniversary.

    What she didn't count on, certainly, was to get burnt in the process and have her legs -- "flawless," as her high school classmate, broadcaster Karen Davila, describes them -- scarred and disfigured.

    * * *

    LAST Oct. 6, Rina and a friend went to the Mendez Clinic to undergo "laser" hair removal. After they paid, she recounts, the clinic staff asked them if they were willing to wait or just set another appointment because the machine had overheated allegedly due to overuse. But after a few minutes, they were told the machine was functioning again and they could start with their treatment.

    The attending doctor, said Rina, was Dr. Rose Delez, who began by asking how much pain she could tolerate. When her friend assured the doctor that Rina had a high pain threshold, the doctor agreed that she could probably withstand the maximum intensity, which would guarantee better results. But Rina had her fears. "I kept asking the doctor if higher intensity levels could burn my skin," she recalls. Dr. Delez, in a "mocking" tone brushed off her concerns, declaring, "Laser does not burn the skin, only hair follicles."

    The doctor then began to slowly increase the intensity level of the machine, settling on intensity level 12; she started treating Rina's armpits before moving on to the latter's legs.

    "After the procedure on my armpits, I felt stinging sensations which I thought were normal and which eventually went away after a while," Rina recounts in a statement. But even as the doctor was working on her legs, Rina remembers that the machine malfunctioned and they had to send in a technician to "supposedly recalibrate the machine."

    This is how Rina recalls what happened next: "Towards the end of the treatment, I was already starting to feel uncomfortable because of stinging sensations all over my legs ... when it was over, I noticed the dark stripes all over my legs. When I inquired about them, Dr. Delez replied, 'Namumula 'lang 'yan [Iit's just turning red],' to which I did not agree for they looked brown to black." When Rina expressed fears that she had been burned, the doctor retorted: "'Di ba sabi mo i-maximum ko, kasalanan mo 'yan. [Didn't you tell me to use the maximum? It's your fault]." This the doctor would repeat many times that afternoon.

    * * *

    AS the minutes ticked by, the burning pain in Rina's legs only intensified, her cries bringing another doctor to look in on her. When she demanded that they call Dr. Joel Mendez himself, they tried to delay as long as they could until Rina herself limped out of the room to the front desk to demand that she be allowed to talk to Mendez. Mendez then instructed the staff to put topical anesthesia and an aloe vera mask/peel on her legs.

    Rina says she was also shocked to find that the clinic did not even have basic first aid medication, and it took the staff 30 minutes to buy the topical anesthesia from a drug store. When her cries became louder as the pain increased, Rina was transferred to an enclosed room so that the other clients would not hear her.

    Dr. Mendez, whose face adorns his clinic ads, showed up at the clinic 45 minutes later.

    * * *


  33. WHAT alarms and offends Rina, as well as her husband, is that even as she was transferred to another room, the clinic staff continued to administer "laser" treatments "as if nothing happened." Rina's friend had to point out to Dr. Mendez how insensitive it was of them to continue the treatment "without bothering to find out what truly transpired or checking for any malfunctions in the machine ... if only to appease us, the aggrieved customer." The staff finally put a stop to the treatments, but continued accepting prepayments for later procedures.

    When the pain subsided, says Rina, she contacted her cosmetic surgeon who told her to proceed to the Cardinal Santos Hospital. Dr. Mendez followed them to the hospital and instructed Dr. Barba to ride with them to Cardinal Santos. He also contacted Dr. Cathy Velez, the supplier of the machine, to meet them.

    In fairness, Dr. Mendez offered to shoulder all the expenses Rina has incurred, although in a statement, he insisted that the procedure done on her met the highest medical standards. But Rina has proof of the botched procedure: her once-fair and smooth legs now bearing dark, unsightly "zebra stripes." "I can't even wear mini-skirts anymore!" exclaims Rina, a slim, fair, athletic mother of three. And for good measure, not only will her scars remain for at least a year, that is, if her doctors ever succeed in removing them. Neither will she be able to shave nor wax her legs in the meantime.

  34. @Marife Carmona
    Thank you for sharing this story. What a coincidence that the client and I share the same name! It is akways important to make sure that the person attending to the service we availed is in the right position to perform the treatment. :)

  35. Contrary to common belief that IPL is for everybody, patients with white European descent can benefit the most with the IPL technology. Other ethnic origins can still go through with IPL given that proper skin testing, examination of skin type, and over-all discussion on other pertinent health condition like history taking of past and present illnesses and the like, is taken prior to treatment.


  36. I went through my first session of IPL hair removal at Mendez clinic in Megamall more than a week ago. I had my lower chin done. Unfortunately, I was not satisfied with the results. I do not see any hair reduction at all. I have had my underarms and whole legs done in SkinStation where they use diode laser. The first sessions I had with diode gave me 80% reduction in underarm hair and 30-40% in my legs. I have always been a fan of diode laser, however, I still bought the IPL voucher from Ensogo since I was so enticed by the low price. After this, I will probably never go through IPL again, no matter how cheap the price is.

  37. I am always scare of all types of Laser treatment but after read this post, Gradually my mind has been washout over various types of surgery. your post is inspired to me eliminate of unwanted fuzz from my leg..Thanks

    ipl laser treatment :- http://www.drtroell.com/ipl-photofacial-treatment/

  38. I highly needed a laser removal treatment but did not know how can this be possible. Good thing I have searched your blog and get informed. Since I am already using effective underarm peeling set then having a laser hair removal could complete my vanity needs. Thank you again!

  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  40. HI Rina. thanks for posting your IPL experience. how was it? i just read your blog to check for IPL reviews. This was posted 2yrs ago so im curious how it ended up, can you send some recommendation and tips on my personal email? jttupa@yahoo.com i will appreciate it a lot. thank you! hoping for your response

  41. the normal IPL is total of 22 shots for both underarms? the 99php voucher that I bought from MetroDeal, Radianz Medical Clinic only gave me 4shots for each voucher! :(

  42. I accidentally wash my underarm after an ipl treatment what should i do?

    1. I don't think washing is not allowed after the treatment. Was it right after? If unsure, consult your doctor. :)

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