With a price tag under $200 and bold claims of “permanent results” and “money-back guarantees,” the Epila Personal Laser Hair Remover has generated its share of attention in the at-home laser hair removal market. Essentially, the Epila is promising the same privacy, convenience, and results of FDA approved products like the TRIA laser system, all at a much lower cost. If this sounds too good to be true, you’re certainly on the right track. By most accounts, the Epila system is not the real deal.
It’s no newsflash that at-home laser hair removal products are becoming all the rage of late, highlighted by the FDA approval bestowed upon the TRIA laser system last year. For the most part, the main criticisms of these at-home lasers has involved two key points: (a) they are not as powerful or effective as professional laser hair removal, and (b) since they’re being handled by non-professionals, they can pose greater risks of scarring or other side effects. Regardless of these issues, though, there has been no denying the legitimacy of the TRIA-- as well as the Silk’n SensEpil system-—as credible options for removing unwanted hair. Unfortunately, it was just a matter of time before various scam products would begin to infilrtrate the at-home laser hair removal industry, much as they have in most other corners of the market (home electrolysis, epilators, depilatory creams, etc). Epila appears to be the most successful product to make this move, offering its “personal laser hair remover” for just $179—hundreds less than both TRIA and Silk’n SensEpil.
Epila runs a very professional website, citing clinical studies from Harvard University and Stanford University in which the product delivered a “90% success rate.” The device, which looks a bit like a ‘90s era cellular phone, is a diode laser that works under many of the same principles as the TRIA, with several power settings to boot. Applied to the skin, light energy waves target melanin pigmentation in the hair follicle, heating and “destroying” the follicle. This process is said to be “painless” and to take less than “an hour per leg.” While NOT approved by the FDA, Epila promotes its CE certification, a European standard for health and safety. All in all, Epila’s basic information doesn’t raise a huge number of red flags. In comparison to TRIA and Silk’n SensEpil, it appears to be at least a potential low-end competitor.
Unfortunately, customers who’ve elected to try the Epila Personal Laser Hair Remover don’t seem to support the claims that Epila itself is making on its site. On almost every major hair removal discussion forum and product review board, the consensus is disappointment and frustration with the quality, results, and side effects of Epila use.
As a diode laser, Epila can pose serious risks to people with darker skin tones, and it is not likely to offer any assistance to those with lighter hair pigments. Still, the product claims to work successfully for everyone except those with the darkest complexions. As a result, many customers have purchased the device only to realize that they were never truly a candidate for a diode laser in the first place. Other Epila customers have noted that, even when operated on dark hair and fair skin, the laser can prove quite dangerous, singeing surrounding skin as much as the underlying hair follicle.
Risk factors aside, though, most customers are identifying the Epila laser system as a scam simply for its lack of results, rather than in its abundance of side effects. Admittedly, even a professional laser hair removal treatment will require multiple sessions and plenty of patience. And even the most successful laser treatments will usually only deliver permanent hair reduction, rather than total permanent hair removal. Still, far too many customers have called out Epila for its simple inability to deliver any of the results promised in its promotional materials. Used at a max setting, the device can cause skin damage and serious pain. At a lower setting, the light energy may not be able to advance deep enough to successfully impact the hair follicles. In the end, Epila’s most consistent results have seemingly been a whole lot of unhappy customers.
To add insult to injury, a disturbing number of Epila laser customers have also expressed serious doubts over the company’s legitimacy. Many have reported sending multiple emails with no replies, and failing to be able to reach any Epila representatives over the phone. This certainly would fly in the face of Epila’s own claims of offering “easy returns,” “money-back guarantees,” and “1 year replacement warranties.”
So, is Epila a scam? Well, in the product’s defense, it’s certainly true that more customers will be inspired to complain about a product online than to sing its praises. However, in the world of laser hair removal, there is absolutely no denying that both TRIA and Silk’n SensEpil have garnered far more positive reviews (percentage wise). And professional laser treatments—not surprisingly—have generated more positive responses than all the various at-home lasers combined.
We would all love to think that a cheap, easy-to-use product could eliminate our unwanted hair and end our need for shaving for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, Epila is not that product. Science may very well catch up with Epila’s bold claims within our lifetimes, but in the meantime, a hair removal patient’s best bet is still to meet with a laser specialist who can assess his or her candidacy for the treatment. Every hair removal clinic in the Hair Removal Forum network offers free consultations, so feel free to contact us today to schedule a meeting with a laser hair removal specialist near you. He’ll be happy to answer your questions on Epila, TRIA, and clinical laser treatment options.