Best At Home Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin

IPL devices for dark skin

In 2024, home laser hair removal is revolutionary when it comes to long-lasting hair removal at home, and is a godsend for those of us who want to remove body hair (almost) permanently.


Laser hair removal for dark skin can get a bit complicated, because of the high levels of melanin in darker skin.

As an expert in laser therapies, I created this guide to give you a straightforward explanation of why most home laser devices are not safe for dark skin and explain the technology of the few that are safe, their pros and cons, and what to expect from each one.

👉 In a Hurry?

See our short comparison table below, or jump to our detailed reviews!

Laser Hair Removal DeviceBottom LineSkin TonesBest Price
Illuminage Touch
Best Overall for Dark Skin
FDA-cleared I to VI skin tones -
Light to black
$449 at Brookstone
Kenzzi Laser Hair Removal
Best for Brown Skin
FDA-cleared I to V skin tones -
Light to Clay
$105 on Amazon
Me Sleek
With elōs technology
FDA-cleared I to VI skin tones -
Light to black
$119 at Planet Beauty

This post may contain affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.

Does Home Laser Hair Removal Work for Dark Skin?

Until a few years ago, you couldn’t find a home laser hair removal device that was both effective and safe for darker skin and black skin.

Early laser technologies had trouble differentiating between dark skin and dark hair, which posed risks for dark-skinned people, including hyperpigmentation, blisters, and scarring.

However, recent technological advancements have made it safer to do laser hair removal on dark skin at home.

The Iluminage Touch is the only FDA-approved permanent hair reduction laser for at-home use on the richest skin tones.

It uses a method called Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) to remove unwanted hair.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

how does IPL for dark skin work

Laser hair removal home devices use lasers to target melanin (the pigment that gives hair and skin its color) inside the hair follicles and destroy them.

The problem is:

The darker your skin, the more melanin it contains.

This means that the thermal energy produced by the lasers can target the same melanin in your skin – and burn it.


How can the laser “know” to target only the melanin in your hair follicles – and not your skin?

Here’s how:

In 2024, hair removal technology has advanced to the point where the best home devices can adjust the parameters (wavelength) so that the laser only hits the melanin inside your body hair (which is usually darker in the hair follicle) – without damaging the surrounding skin tissue.

The 5 home devices you’ll find below can detect your skin tone (1-6 on the Fitzpatrick skin types I to VI – light to black) automatically – and adjust the wavelength to bypass the melanin in your skin, yet still target the melanin in the hair below it.

Which Skin Tone Type Are You?

Manufacturers use the Fitzpatrick skin chart to show the appropriate skin tones for their devices.

The comprehensive Fitzpatrick scale provides information on skin tone, hair color, and skin’s reaction to sunlight.

However, when it comes to home laser and IPL treatments, we exclusively rely on the skin tone scale.

Use the Fitzpatrick scale to check different body areas, because skin tone can vary.

Also, consider that your skin tone darkens or deepens in the summer.

Choose a device that’s safe for your darkest tone in the areas you want to remove hair from.

The Fitzpatrick Scale

fitzpatrick scale for laser hair removal

  • Type I: Light, pale white skin that always burns in the sun and never tans
  • Type II: White, fair skin that usually burns in the sun and tans with difficulty
  • Type III: Medium white to olive skin that sometimes burns mildly in the sun and gradually tans
  • Type IV: Olive, mid-brown skin that rarely burns in the sun and tans with ease to a moderate brown
  • Type V: Brown, dark brown skin that very rarely burns in the sun and tans very easily
  • Type VI: Very dark brown to African American skin that hardly burns in the sun

The 5 Best IPL Devices for Dark Skin 

Here are our detailed reviews:

1. Iluminage Touch – Best IPL for Dark Skin

illuminage touch review

  • Skin Tones – I to VI
  • Technology – RF & IPL (Elōs energy)
  • Lamp lifetime – 300,000 flashes

 $459 on Amazon / $449 at Brookstone

The Iluminage Touch uses FDA-cleared technology for permanent results on all skin tones – I to VI on the Fitzpatrick scale and can be used on the face and bikini area as well.

It has a CE certification to meet EU standards as well.

This device uses Elōs energy, which is a combined Radio Frequency (RF) and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) that’s safe and effective for all Fitzpatrick skin types I to VI – light to black.

Imagine you have a garden with unwanted weeds that you want to remove. IPL can be compared to shining a bright flashlight over the garden.

The intense pulsed light targets the dark pigments in the weeds, which absorb the light and heat up. This process damages the weeds and inhibits their growth.

Now, let’s say some of the weeds have deeper roots that are harder to reach.

This is where RF comes into play. RF can be compared to using a gentle vibrating tool that helps loosen and break up the roots.

When used together, IPL and RF complement each other’s strengths.

Illuminage touch before and after

The Iluminage Touch has a compact base unit with a corded hand-held applicator and is extremely easy to use. It has an easy glide design, a lightweight wand, and simple controls.

👉 Treatment time – for dark skin use low-intensity levels. A full leg will take about 10 minutes, but slower if used in the higher intensity levels.

The recommended treatment plan is once a week for at least 7 weeks – then occasional treatments to keep the results. This device allows you to continually move the device along your skin, without pausing for each flash (unlike other devices).

👉 Replacement Parts – the initial quartz cartridge that you will first receive with the device will last for about 120,000 flashes, which is plenty.

In the future, you can buy another cartridge, as well as cartridges for epilating shaving or a precision head for treating hard-to-reach areas with IPL.

illuminage touch for dark skin reviews

👉 Power Supply

The Iluminage Touch is mains-powered, so you don’t have to wait for the battery to charge before starting your home laser hair removal.

It also means it has a consistent output throughout your treatment, giving you the best result.

Here’s how you use it:

Illuminage Touch Pros

  • Works for all skin types and most hair colors
  • Comes with optional attachments (to shave or wax during treatment)
  • Painless and safe for dark skin
  • No waiting for charging
  • Quick treatments
  • Comes with replacement cartridges


  • It cannot be used by people who have epilepsy, light-induced seizures, or chronic migraines. Also don’t use if you have an active implant, such as a pacemaker, insulin pump, etc.
  • Men are advised not to use it on their face, jaw, or neck.

make sure you do not zap any areas where the hair has not been fully removed, it will leave pieces on the lens you cannot get off.

Available on Amazon ($459) and at Brookstone ($449)

2. Kenzzi IPL Laser Hair Removal – Best for Brown Skin

Kenzzi laser hair removal review

  • Skin tones – I to V
  • Technology – IPL
  • Laser lifetime – 10 years

$105 on Amazon

The Kenzzi is one of the best laser hair removal home devices for dark skin, because it has 5 different power settings to suit a darker skin tone or sensitive skin, while still delivering results at all levels.

The low-energy IPL settings, wavelength filters, and special configuration of the flashes make it gentle and suitable for darker skin.

You can use the Kenzzi if your skin is as dark as Clay 2-3 in the picture below:

kenzzi IPL laser hair removal results

If your skin color is Clay 2-3 – only use up to Intensity level 3 – and start by testing it at Intensity level 1.

Results are noticeable within 3-4 weeks, and if for some reason it doesn’t work for you, Kenzzi offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.

The Kenzzi laser hair removal is safe, gentle, and easy to use, and the price is not higher than average.

However, make sure you follow instructions and don’t use it more than once a week.

kenzzi IPL hair removal lreview

Available on Amazon ($105)

3. Silk’n Infinity – Painless

silkn infinity home laser hair removal for black skin

  • Skin tones – I to VI
  • Technology – IPL & Galvanic current
  • Lamp lifetime: 500,000 flashes

✅ $483 at Look Fantastic

The Silk’n Infinity laser hair removal device is a rare find for people with dark-brown skin.


Because this IPL hair removal device combines Galvanic energy, which is a small electric current that makes your pores dilate so the IPL reaches deeper into the follicle.

It can, therefore, use very gentle (and effective) IPL – safe for dark skin and all skin types. (See this study)

The galvanic current makes your skin super absorbent so apply moisturizers afterwards for extra soft and hydrated skin!

silk'n infinity laser hair removal review


The Silk’n Infinity (FDA-cleared and clinically tested) comes with a built-in skin sensor, the price is affordable, and it is compact, lightweight, and fast.

Attention – only the lower levels are safe for darker tones. Therefore, to keep dark skin safe, it has a sensor that scans your skin.

It only activates the safe intensity levels, 1 and 2 only, for dark skin.

Therefore, you can’t accidentally use a high level that can hurt and even burn your skin.

Through my research – on darker skin, you need more sessions than advertised to get and stay smooth.

Using the lowest intensity levels you’ll need up to 12 treatments spaced at 2-week intervals. Then, less frequent top-ups keep you smooth.

It comes with 500,000 flashes (enough for 15 years of full body treatments, which you won’t need…) and a nice storage case. No extra cartridges are needed.

at home laser hair removal for dark skin

Silk’n Infinity Pros

  • Works for most skin types and most hair colors
  • Five power settings (low intensity recommended for dark skin)
  • Infinite pulses, no need for replacement parts
  • Painless
  • Quick results
  • Galvanic energy leaves the skin smoother


  • Using it at a high level may hurt and cause damage

✅ Available at Look Fantastic ($483)

Important note:

Be consistent with your home treatments, and don’t lose hope before at least 7 weeks go by. We are all different and some skin tone combinations take a little longer.

It’s worth the wait!

4. Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001

 braun gillette silk expert review

  • Skin tones – I to V
  • Technology – IPL
  • Lamp lifetime – 500,000 flashes

$379 on Amazon

The FDA-cleared Braun Gillette Venus IPL device fits people with I to V skin tones, which means it may not work for people with VI skin tones (very dark brown to black skin).

But, for people with light to brown-dark skin, it’s a safe and effective, clinically proven IPL hair removal home device.

braun gillette laser skin tone chart

Results are expected after only 4 weeks (up to 3 months), and treatment time for large areas is only 8 minutes.

The Gillette laser hair removal treatment device has a skin tone senser, which modifies the treatment as you move it across your skin (80 times per second!).

You can choose between 2 intensity settings – normal/gentle. Then the device automatically adjusts the energy output between 10 levels to give you the best results for that pigment area.

It is easy to use in the gliding mode for large areas, or alternatively, the precision mode ensures that smaller areas (like the upper lip) are treated safely and gently.home laser hair removal for dark skin This device comes with a free APP, with a calendar to guide you through sessions and help you plan your hair elimination process.

Gillette IPL 5001 Pros

  • Fast treatments, quick results
  • Painless treatment
  • Safe and effective for dark skin (I to VI skin tone)
  • No downtime for recharging – corded
  • Comes with a Gillette razor to shave before treatments
  • Comes with a handy calendar app to plan your treatments


  • May not work for very dark to black skin

The Braun IPL 5001 is an effective, safe, and painless laser hair reduction device that can help you finally eliminate (or at least significantly reduce) your body and facial hair.

It fits dark skin tones; however, it may not work for black skin.

Available on Amazon ($379)

5. mē Sleek – with elōs Technology

me sleek laser hair remova lfor dark skin

  • Skin tones – I to VI
  • Technology – IPL & RF (elōs” energy)
  • Lifetime –
  • Warranty – 1 year

$119 at Planet Beauty ⬇️price

The mē Sleek uses the FDA-cleared “elōs” technology and advertises 94% hair reduction over 7 weeks.

It is approved for facial hair (under the cheeks only) and it also uses patented Elos technology that is clinically proven and FDA-cleared to be safe and effective for all skin types and tones.

mē Sleek has 3 IPL intensity levels (ranging from 2 to 4 J/cm2).

The lower ones are safe for the darkest skin tones. However, there’s no skin tone sensor – simply start on Low and move up if it feels comfortable.

me sleek review

Treatment frequency can be no more than once a week, but you can do top-ups as needed. You’ll have to avoid sun exposure for 2 weeks before and after treatments.

me Sleek Pros

  • FDA-cleared and safe for all skin tones and types
  • Feels warm to the touch, doesn’t burn
  • Flashes on skin contact, no button to press
  • Offers professional-like results


  • No money-back guarantee
  • Slow and time-consuming sessions
  • Less effective on thicker or coarse hair

Available at Planet Beauty ($119)

Is Laser Home Removal Safe for Facial Skin?
See the pros & cons of using laser facial hair removal at home, and the only 2 devices safe for your face!

Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal Safe?

Our research found at least 4 studies that concluded that laser hair removal is generally safe. For example, this study, that tested home laser devices found:

The home-use diode laser was safe and highly effective at permanently reducing unwanted hair

While home laser hair removal is generally safe, some people are advised to avoid it:

  • Don’t use it if you suffer from light-induced seizures, epilepsy, or chronic migraines. Do not use if you have an active implant.
  • Do not use it on your ears, nipples, or other intimate areas.
  • Men cannot use laser devices on the face or neck.
  • Don’t use it if you are under 18 years old.

We recommend using safety glasses when doing the treatments – in case you accidentally look directly at the light – which is very bright.

safety glasses for laser hair removal at home

Does IPL for Dark Skin Remove Hair Permanently? 

Laser hair removal doesn’t get rid of hair forever, but it significantly reduces hair growth and makes the hair weaker, lighter, and finer with more and more treatments.

Laser hair removal works by heating hair follicles to stop new hairs from growing, which puts the follicles in a state of dormancy for a long time – much longer than shaving or waxing.

When the hair does grow back (sometimes after 6 months or more) – it becomes lighter and finer.

How Do You Prepare Your Body for Laser Hair Removal?

Most experts agree that shaving your hair immediately before a laser hair removal session gives the fastest and best results.

You can also epilate, wax, or pluck with some devices, but it’s best to follow each device’s instructions and guidelines.

Clean your skin before the treatment, wear comfortable and loose clothes, and apply numbing cream if provided with the machine. Lastly, Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

To your health and happiness,



Evidence‐based review of hair removal using lasers and light sources. M Haedersdal, HC Wulf, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2005.01327.x

Incidence of side effects after laser hair removal. Lanigan, Sean W, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 49, Issue 5, 882 – 886, DOI: 10.1016/s0190-9622(03)02106-6

Meital James
Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

12 thoughts on “Best At Home Laser Hair Removal for Dark Skin”

  1. So is there ANY machine at home device that can be used for the genitial area for dark skin?

  2. Since one of the reasons home hair removal machines cannot be used on the genital areas due to the genital area usually being darker skin, is there any reason why any of these three machines not safe for genitals?

    • This makes sense Jack, but I do know that the manufacturers recommend against using any home device on these areas. Plus, it’s not just the skin tone, it’s the skin’s general sensitivity in these areas that play a part in this concern.

  3. I’m in between IV and V skin tone based on that chart in the summer.
    Which one would you recommend. addionally,have you heard of the tria 4 is this good for darker skin tones?

  4. Please tell me the right home laser that can be used on the face to remove beards. I am a male, dark in complexion, an African.

  5. The Elos product line is discontinued… wasting the purchase of the device… which actually does work for dark V-VI skin

  6. Thank you for sharing your research so generously. I’ve been enjoying reading a number of your articles about LEDs, infrared, and laser devices.

    I’m wondering what happened to the Iluminage Touch. All 5 of the reviews that were posted on Amazon from 7/2018 through 12/2018 were 1-star. Have you looked to see if the Elos Touch is the same device?


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