Not all home laser & IPL devices are safe for dark skin. See which are best for dark & black skin in this guide from weAreBodyBeautiful.com

Best home IPL hair removal for dark & black skin

I hate waxing. I hate shaving. And good God, I hate epilating. Thankfully, I don’t have to anymore because of home laser and IPL hair removal. It gives long-lasting smooth results. No doubt that’s why you’re here too. You want to buy the best home IPL hair removal device to get long-lasting silky-smooth skin, right?

But whoa there!

Not all home devices are safe for dark and black skin.

That’s why we’ve created this guide. It explains why not all home devices are safe, and shortlists the best safe home IPL devices for dark and black skin. You’ll learn how each is safe for dark and/or black skin and why else we recommend it as a top choice. We’ve trialled and tested all of them to our exacting standards, so you can confidently choose your perfect home device.

WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's recommended best home IPL devices for dark & black skin
WeAreBodyBeautiful’s top recommendations for dark & black skin are the Silk’n Infinity & Braun Pro 3 IPL

The best home IPL devices for dark & black skin

The Fitzpatrick skin tones from 1 lightest to VI darkest.
This guide shares the best home devices for dark skin tones V & VI on this chart

The best fast and affordable home IPL device safe for dark and black skin is the Silk’n Infinity. The Iluminage Touch is more expensive but it’s FDA-cleared safe for dark and black skin too. For dark tones up to Fitzpatrick type V, check out the affordable Braun Pro 3 IPL and Smoothskin Bare. Or treat yourself to the top-notch Lumea Prestige packed with premium features.

The Braun Pro 5 and Smoothskin Pure are also super devices safe for up to skin type V. However, they’re very similar to the cheaper and gentler Braun Pro 3 IPL. Learn more in the reviews below.

Buy the Silkn infinity

Silk’n Infinity

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇺🇸 US | 🇨🇦 CA

Best fast & affordable IPL for dark & black skin

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more
Iluminage Touch pastel blue base unit, thick white cable attached to the small white hand-held wand

Iluminage Touch IPL

Best deals:
Use code WABBTOUCH
🇬🇧 UK | 🇦🇺 AU | 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 US & CA

FDA-cleared for dark & black skin (type V & VI)

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more

Iluminage Precise Touch

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK

FDA-cleared for dark & black skin

👍 Face & small areas

Learn more
Braun Pro 3 IPL best for dark skin up to Fitzpatrick type V

Braun Pro 3 IPL

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇦🇺 AU | 🇺🇸 US

Best for medium & dark skin (to type V)

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more

Smoothskin Bare

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇦🇺 AU | 🇺🇸 US

Good for dark skin (to type V)

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more
Buy the Lumea BRI954 and BRI953

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇦🇺 AU | 🇺🇸 US

Best premium device for dark skin (to type V)

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more
Smoothskin Pure home IPL device

Smoothskin Pure 

Best deals:
Use code WABBPURE
🇬🇧 UK | 🇦🇺 AU | 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 US & CA

Safe for dark skin (to type V)

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more
Braun Pro 5 IPL best fast, no-faff & super-safe home IPL

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇦🇺 AU | 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 US & CA

Safe for dark skin (to type V)

👍 Face, small & large areas

Learn more >>

Also in this guide: Safe for dark skin device comparison table

Before we get to our recommendations, let’s see why not all devices are safe, why some are, and results to expect on darker skin tones.

Why some home devices aren’t safe

Laser and IPL devices send light energy into your skin. A dark pigment (called melanin), that’s in your hair and follicle, absorbs this light and converts to heat. This heat damages key areas of your follicle and stunts your hair, slowing and preventing hair regrowth. Yay!

illustrated chart showing light to dark skin tones and the related density of melanin cells in each. Darker skin has a higher concentration of melanin.
Darker skin tones have much more melanin

However, there’s also melanin in your skin. And dark skin has much more melanin than light tones. So, with little contrast between your skin and hair colour, the melanin in dark skin also absorbs the light energy. The resulting heat causes pain, blisters and even burns! Your skin can also darken or lighten in colour, temporarily or permanently. Yikes!

But don’t despair! Because some home devices use advanced technology making them safe for darker skin.

Why some home devices are safe

Several home IPL devices are clinically proven safe and effective on dark skin. They have low energy IPL settings (around 2 to 3 J/cm2), wavelength filters and special configuration of the IPL flashes to make them gentle on darker skin. This means only the longer IPL wavelengths travel through your skin. They jump past the melanin-rich, dark epidermis (outer skin layers) to the hair follicle. So, they’re safe for dark skin. Such devices include the Lumea Prestige, Braun Pro 5 & 3 IPLs, Smoothskin Bare and Pure.

However, even with gentle IPL they aren’t safe for the darkest and black skin tones. These darkest skin tones need even gentler IPL. But the problem is, it’s just too gentle and won’t damage the hair follicles enough to work.

To fix this, some devices combine IPL with other energies. These combinations safely increase the hair’s exposure to IPL flashes whilst keeping dark skin safe. This boosts the effects of the super-gentle IPL which otherwise would not work.

Home devices safe for the darkest skin are available with both IPL + Galvanic energy and IPL + Radio Frequency energy. But before we get to these devices, it’s important to understand what hair reduction results you can expect from them.

Hair reduction results on dark skin

Unfortunately, most brands with devices safe for darker skin tones don’t set realistic expectations about your results. We investigated further to give you an accurate heads-up 🕵️‍♀️.

First, you can expect slower results on dark and black skin when using low IPL intensities. This means it may take slightly longer to get smooth than the advertised start-up schedule. That’s because your hairs absorb less IPL per session than someone who can safely use a higher IPL intensity.

Once you’ve finished the start-up regimen and are smooth, most brands suggest top-ups every 1 to 2 months. But you may need top-ups slightly more frequently, again because of the gentler IPL energy.

Our recommended devices do work, so don’t give up! But prepare yourself for the extra patience and commitment.

Learn more about the importance of top-up maintenance sessions here

Which skin tone type are you?

3 ladies' crossed legs from light to dark skin: Which skin tone type are you?

All home-use devices come with a clear, safe skin tone range noted on the packaging and in the user manual. And most brands use the Fitzpatrick scale to do this.

Created by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick in 1975, this scale estimates how different skin types react to ultraviolet (UV) light. The complete scale details skin tone, hair colour and skin response to the sun. But we use the skin tone scale only.

There are 6 Fitzpatrick types, measured from type I to VI. Type I is the lightest skin and type VI the darkest.

The Fitzpatrick skin tone chart with light to dark tones I through to VI.
The Fitzpatrick skin tone chart

All home IPL and laser devices are safe for Fitzpatrick types I to IV. The rest of this guide shortlists home devices safe for dark skin types V and VI.

Note: Check different body areas because your tone can vary! Your skin tone deepens and darkens in the Summer too. So, choose a device that’s safe for this darker tone.

  • If you’re between type IV and V you can choose a device that’s safe for up to type V or ALL tones
  • If you’re between types V and VI it’s best to choose a device safe for ALL tones

Next, here’s our round-up of best home IPL devices for dark & black skin.

1. Silk’n Infinity

Best fast, affordable IPL for dark & black skin

View deals £150 to £315:
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK
🇺🇸 Silkn.com, Amazon.com
🇨🇦 Silkn.ca

The Silk’n Infinity: Best for dark & black skin
Fitzpatrick colour scale I to VI showing it's safe for I to VI or all skin tones
Safe for ALL skin tones, Fitzpatrick types I to VI light to black skin
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. May work on light blonde, red, white or grey body hair colours, but it's not clinically proven.
Works on black to dark blonde hair, may work on lighter hair

The Infinity is our top choice for dark and black skin, for face, small and large areas. It’s affordable, compact, light-weight and fast. You can zap a full leg in around 12 minutes and your full body in under 40 minutes. It comes with a neat storage case and flashes to last 15+ years of monthly full-body sessions. It’s clinically tested safe for all skin tones and works best on dark hair.

How is it safe for black skin?

The Infinity is safe for dark and black skin because it uses much gentler IPL than other devices, AND combines it with Galvanic current.

The Infinity’s galvanic plate and electrodes create a circuit that sends gentle current into your skin opening your pores wide.

This small, painless electric current flows through your skin widening your pores. This lets the IPL reach deeper-down into your follicle and so is better at heating the melanin-rich cells there. Therefore, you can boost the effect of super-gentle IPL that’s then safe and effective to use on the darkest skin tones.

TIP: The Galvanic energy also means your skin’s extra absorbent so apply moisturisers afterwards for extra soft and hydrated skin! Your pores close naturally a short time later.

The inrensity selector wheel illuminating up to level 2. Levels 1 and 2 of the Infinity are safe for dark and black skin.
Levels 1 & 2 are safe and effective on dark and black skin.

The Infinity has 5 intensity levels, but only the lower levels are safe for darker tones. Therefore, to keep dark skin safe, it has a sensor which scans your skin. It activates only the safe intensity levels, that’s 1 and 2 only, for dark skin. Therefore, you can’t accidentally use a high level which can hurt and even burn.

On darker skin, you need more sessions than advertised to get and stay smooth. Using the lowest intensities levels you’ll need up to 12 treatments spaced at 2-week intervals. Then, less frequent top-ups keep you smooth.

However, the safe skin tone guidance differs in the UK/Europe from the US. Learn why next.

Silk’n Infinity & FDA

In the UK and Europe, Silk’n promote the Infinity safe for all Fitzpatrick types I to VI. But in the USA the range is reduced to I to V. So, why the difference?

In the US Silk’n say the Infinity is safe for Fitzpatrick types I to V, but not type VI.

Silk’n Europe have clinical data supporting safety and effect on dark skin tones type V to VI (more on that below). This is enough to market it as such in the UK and Europe. But it works differently in the US. There, Silk’n need clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

US Food & Drug Administration logo
Silk’n Infinity is not yet FDA approved for the darkest type VI skin.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protect the nation’s health by making sure medicines and medical devices are safe and effective. Therefore, before you can market or sell a home-use laser or IPL device in the US, they must be FDA approved or cleared.

If a manufacturer proves their device is similar to a previously cleared one, (called a predicate device), they can get 501K FDA clearance. The Infinity has such clearance for IPL on Fitzpatrick types I to V. However, for clearance on type VI and using combined IPL and Galvanic energies, it’s the first of its kind so no predicate devices exist.

Instead, Silk’n must get approval from the FDA to market the Infinity as safe for type VI. This is a much longer and expensive process compared to clearance. So, for now at least, Silk’n US promote it safe for types I to V only.

I checked with Silk’n and they confirm no matter where you buy it from, all models work on levels 1 and 2 on dark and black skin.

OK. So, what’s this clinical proof on dark skin?

Silk’n Infinity clinical test

I asked Silk’n for more infomration here and they shared a study specifically for skin types V and VI. 👍

Graphic skin tone colour wheel chart
A small study shows the Silk’n Infinity is safe and effective to use on ALL skin tones

The study tested the safety and effect of combined IPL and galvanic current on fifteen women with skin types V and VI. They used either intensity 1 or 2 on dark underarm hair, treating six times at 2-week intervals. And the results show significant hair reduction.

After 1 month the average hair count reduction was 57.3%, and 3 months after the last treatment it was 44.5%. Reassuringly, there were no unexpected side effects or skin damage.

The study concluded:

“Low energy pulsed light combined with galvanic energy may be applied safely and effectively for at-home hair removal for people with dark skin types V and VI.”

IMPORTANT: The study also suggests you’ll need up to 12 treatments on darker skin tones (using intensities 1 to 3) to see smooth results.

Study ref: Gold, M.H. and Goren, H. (2015) The Effect of Novel Low Energy Pulsed Light Combined with Gal-vanic Energy for Home-Use Hair Removal of Dark Skin. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 5, 283-290

In summary…

The Silk’n Infinity is a top choice safe for black skin. It’s affordable and fast, and so super value. Unfortunately, there’s no money back guarantee in the UK and Europe. However, buy from Silkn.com in the US or Silkn.ca in Canada, and you get a 60-day money back guarantee.  If it’s not for you, return it within 60 days for a refund.

If you want a home IPL that’s FDA-cleared for dark and black skin, try the Iluminage Touch instead.

  • Affordable home device safe for the darkest skin tones
  • Clinically proven on all skin tones
  • Skin tone sensor let’s you use only safe intensities for your tone
  • Easy to use with fast sessions
  • 60-day money back guarantee in the US & Canada
  • Not FDA-cleared in the US for the darkest skin type VI
  • Results take longer on the lower intensities/dark skin
  • No UK money back guarantee

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🇨🇦 Silkn.ca

Read the full Silk’n Infinity review

2. Iluminage Touch & Precise Touch

FDA-cleared for dark & black skin

Use exclusive code WABBTOUCH
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK £299 £350
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU $375$489
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA $568 $665

Iluminage Touch & Precise Touch: The only home IPL devices FDA-cleared safe for dark & black skin
Fitzpatrick colour scale I to VI showing it's safe for I to VI or all skin tones
Safe for ALL skin tones, Fitzpatrick types I to VI light to black skin
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown, dark blonde, light blonde and red body hair colours. Probably works on grey and white body hair colours.
Clinically proven to work on on black to red hair colours. Grey should work the same way.

The Iluminage Touch is suited to face, small and large areas whereas the smaller version, called the Precise Touch, is suited to face and small areas.

The Iluminage devices are popular IPL hair removal choices because they’re the only home devices FDA-cleared for dark and black skin. However, they’re not the top of this list because, compared to the Infinity, the IPL flash bulbs won’t last as long, sessions are slower and they’re more expensive. Let’s learn more about this now.

How is the Iluminage safe for black skin?

The Iluminage devices use much gentler IPL energy than other home devices. And they combine this gentle IPL with Radio Frequency (RF) energy for an enhanced effect. So, what does it do?

Silver RF electrode bars either side of the flash window create a painless RF circuit down to your hair follicles

RF is a painless electric current which travels through the skin from one electrode to the other creating a circuit. Resistance to this current in our cells creates gentle heat, down to the depth of our hair follicles. This gives the IPL flashes easier passage through our skin by following the path of the RF. This means melanin in our hair follicles absorb more IPL energy. Therefore, the combined energies boost the effect of super gentle IPL so it works and is safe for dark and black skin.

Start LOW and progress up only if comfortable

The Touch & Precise Touch have three IPL intensities levels ranging from 2 to 4 J/cm2. There’s no skin tone sensor – simply start on LOW and progress up only if it’s comfortable. Cover your skin in flashes then repeat for a total of 2 or 3 passes. This makes sessions time intensive but ensures you zap each hair with enough IPL energy to work.

FDA-cleared

Syneron Medical developed this IPL + RF technology and called it Elōs. It was first used in professional grade IPL machines, then adapted for home use. The first home Elōs device was FDA-cleared safe for all skin tones back in 2012.

Clearance for this Elōs device was based on similarities to the Tria 4X laser, Remington and Silk’n devices. And because these devices are safe for light to medium skin tones only, Syneron also submitted clinical test data proving safe hair reduction results on all skin types, including V and VI too.

FDA-clearance is a very reassuring thing. Home IPL devices must be approved or cleared by the FDA before you can sell or market it within the US. This rigorous process proves they’re safe and effective.

Shape, design & results

Iluminage Touch: Light-weight, robust corded applicator is easy and comfortable

The Touch’s mains-powered base unit and corded applicator design is slightly outdated but robust and very comfortable to use. It’s simple to operate and flashes on skin contact, so there’s no button to press. The medium flash window (3cm2) fits most body areas, and the precision cap covers half this window for easier flashes on your upperlip. The flashes last around 5 years of monthly whole-body sessions, and whilst this is less than more recent rivals, it’s still very good value.

Light-weight Precise Touch lasts ages for face & small body areas

The Precise Touch is a smaller mains-powered hand-held device that too flashes on skin contact. It has a smaller 2cm2 flash window which is the perfect size and shape for your upperlip, gin and jaw, underarms and bikini line. The flashes last around 10 years of monthly sessions on your face and smaller areas. It’s not suitable for legs and large areas as it uses up too many flashes and takes ages with the small flash window.

With both devices, the flash rate is fastest on the lower intensities safe for dark skin. But, unlike other IPL devices, you must flash each area 2 or 3 times. Two passes are reasonable on large areas like legs, and three for smaller areas like underarms and bikini line where the hair is usually thicker and more stubborn.

On darker skin you may need more than the advertised seven weekly sessions, and/or more frequent top-up sessions too. Results range from totally hair free results to slower growing, much finer hair that’s much easier to manage.

In summary…

Iluminage Devices: Best IPL & RF home hair removal system for dark & black skin & fair hair

The Iluminage Touch and Precise Touch are reassuring choices for dark and black skin because they’re FDA-cleared. The Touch model is good for face, small and large areas, and so whole-body sessions too. The Precise Touch is best for face and small areas because it has a much smaller and more precise flash window. Unfortunately, neither come with a money back guarantee but there’s a special offer discount code below, just for you.

  • Clinically proven & FDA-cleared safe & effective for dark & black skin
  • Small, robust & easy to use
  • Lightweight applicator flashes on skin contact
  • Decent lamp lifetime & replacement cartridges available
  • Faster sessions on dark skin using low intensity
  • Expensive at full RRP
  • 2 or 3 passes per area is time consuming
  • Results may take longer on the lower intensities/dark skin
  • No money back guarantee

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Buy the Iluminage Touch home IPL

Iluminage Touch
Use exclusive code WABBTOUCH
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK £299 £350
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU $375$489
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA$568 $665

Buy the Iluminage Precise Touch home IPL

Iluminage Precise Touch
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK £240

Read the full Iluminage Touch review

3. Braun silk expert Pro 3 IPL

Best for medium & dark skin (to type V)

View deals £180 to £400:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop
🇺🇸 Amazon.com

Braun Pro 3 home IPL best for dark skin
Braun Pro 3 home IPL perfect for dark skin up to Fitzpatrick type V
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe to use on light to dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Not safe for the darkest skin (type VI) or on dark freckles and moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair. Doesn’t work on light blonde, red, white or grey body hair.

The Braun Pro 3 IPL is the perfect choice for dark skin. It has specially configured low intensity IPL that’s safe for up to Fitzpatrick type V. It’s clinically proven safe and effective and it’s FDA-cleared. Here’s why we recommend it for dark skin.

Simple, safe & gentle IPL

First, it’s super value. The Pro 3 IPL is Braun’s affordable mid-range home IPL device. It shares the same compact, comfortable ergonomic design as the more powerful and expensive Braun Pro 5 IPL, but in white and lilac. It’s mains-powered with a long and flexible cord. The flashes last 15+ years and it has excellent build quality.

Next, just like the Braun Pro 5, it has plug-&-zap simplicity with a clever and super-safe skin tone sensor. This auto-adjusts the three IPL power intensities before every flash to match your skin tone. But it has a less intense IPL energy range than the Braun Pro 5. And this is good because these lower energies are the safe maximums for darker skin. Therefore, you needn’t pay more for a high-power device when you can’t use the high intensities anyway.

  • The highest intensity is 4 J/cm2 which is safe for light to medium-dark skin type IV
  • The lowest is 3 J/cm2 which better suits darker tones up to type V
Gentle mode and low intensity IPLs on the Braun Pro 3 IPL, recommended for dark skin Fitzpatrick type V.
‘Feather’ gentle mode and low IPL intensity level 1 safe for dark skin type V

The Braun Pro 3 also has a gentle mode. This lowers the intensity so is good for sensitive areas like bikini line and underarms which can sometimes sting a bit.

Fast sessions

The Braun Pro 3 IPL also gives fast and accurate sessions. On the highest IPL intensity, you get a steady flash rate every second. And it’s slightly faster on the lower intensities safe for dark skin. In our tests, it took on average 11 minutes to flash a full leg, and around 30 minutes for a whole-body. It’s one of the fastest home IPL devices.

Treat weekly for up to 12 sessions to get smooth results. Then switch to less frequent top-ups to stay smooth. Braun suggest every 1 or 2 months, however you may need them more frequently when using the lowest intensity level.

In summary…

We love the Braun Pro 3 IPL for face, small and large body areas, and so whole-body sessions too. The lower intensities are perfect for darker skin tones and it’s an affordable, top performing device. If you live in the UK or Ireland there’s also a reassuring 100-day money back guarantee.

  • Super-safe skin tone sensor auto-adjusts gentle IPL to your skin
  • Affordable compact, quality & fast sessions
  • Clinically proven, CE certified & FDA-cleared
  • 100-day money back guarantee in UK & Ireland
  • Expensive at full RRP (offers are common)

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Buy the Braun Pro 3 IPL

Braun silk Expert Pro 3 deals
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Read the full Braun Pro 3 IPL review

4. Smoothskin Bare

Good for dark skin type V

View Bare deals:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop
🇺🇸 Amazon.com

The Bare: strong choice for dark skin / type V
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe to use on light to medium dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Not safe for the darkest skin (type VI) or on dark freckles and moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair. Doesn’t work on light blonde red, white or grey body hair.

The Bare is another super match for darker skin up to type V. Just like the Braun Pro 3 IPL, it has specially configured low intensity IPL that’s safe for dark skin up to Fitzpatrick type V. However, this model is now discontinued by Smoothskin. You may find final stock available. But once it’s gone, it’s gone forever!

This clinically-proven affordable home IPL is lightweight, incredibly comfortable to hold and effortless to manoeuvre. It’s mains-powered with a long flexible cord, feels solid and looks stylishly-neat and fun.

And it’s ultra-fast too. You can flash a full leg in around 5 minutes. It’s the perfect speed to glide smoothly across your skin and cover it accurately in flashes.

Close up of the SS flash button illuminated white, and then red.
The flash button illuminates red if the sesnor detects a skin tone that’s unsafe

There’s an automatic sensor to check your skin’s not too dark. And importantly, the IPL flashes are of just one lower intensity at 3 J/cm2. That intensity is safe for tones I to V. And because darker skin tones need lower intensities, it’s the perfect match for type V skin! This means you needn’t pay more for a high-power device when you can’t use the highest intensities anyway.

Use the Bare weekly and keep going until you’re fuzz-free. Then do top-ups as you need them to stay smooth. Smoothskin suggest every 2 or 3 weeks.

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🇬🇧 Amazon UK
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5. Philips Lumea Prestige

Best premium device for dark skin (to type V)

View deals from £300 to £500:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 Amazon.com

Favourite premium home IPL safe for up to type V
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe to use on light to medium dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Not safe for the darkest skin (type VI) or on dark freckles and moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair. Doesn’t work on light blonde, red, white or grey body hair.

The Prestige is our favourite overall home IPL device for face, small and large areas and whole-body sessions. But, because it’s not safe for the darkest tones, it does not top this list. However, if your skin is up to type V, then it’s most certainly worthy of your consideration. The lower IPL intensities are safe for dark skin. Here’s why we love it.

Top-notch features

The Prestige has the best build quality of all the devices tested. We find this gun-shape the most comfortable and intuitive. It’s attractive, solid and durable with a long, thick and bendy power cord. The IPL flashes last for 15+ years of monthly body sessions too.

The skin tone sensor won’t flash if your skin is too dark for the selected intensity level. Plus, it also recommends the maximum safe intensity for your tone. And this is important because it has powerful IPL (up to 6 J/cm2). This is too intense for darker tones where just the lower intensities are safe.

Selection of images of the Lumea Prestige that are described in detail in the full review.
Packed with premium features

Use it corded for non-stop, fast flashes on legs and other large areas. Or simply remove the cord for tricky areas, or for nipping into the privacy of your bathroom. No other home device offers this flexibility. The large curved flash window makes zapping legs easier, and there are smaller ones for face, bikini line and underarms too.

Finally, sessions are fast and accurate. A full leg takes around 10 minutes and a full body about 35 minutes. You need around 5 sessions (one every 2 weeks) then less frequent monthly top-ups. You may need a few more sessions to get smooth and slightly more frequent top-ups using the lower intensities.

In summary…

The Prestige is a super choice and we love these premium features. They get the job done fast and well. You also get a reassuring UK 100-day money back guarantee to try it out.

However, it’s expensive! If it’s too much, rest assured the more affordable Silk’n Infinity and Braun Pro 3 IPL are excellent choices.

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Buy the Lumea BRI954 and BRI953

View Lumea Prestige deals £300 to £500
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
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🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 Amazon.com
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA,

Related: In-depth Philips Lumea Prestige review

6. Braun Pro 5 IPL & Smoothskin Pure

Safe for dark skin type V | £275 to £610.00

Braun Pro 5 IPL & Smoothskin Pure IPL Safe for dark skin type V
Braun Pro 5 and Smoothskin Pure autoadjusts the flashes to suit dark skin up to type V
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe to use on light to medium dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Not safe for the darkest skin (type VI) or on dark freckles and moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair.

These two devices are all recommended best buys, clinically-proven and FDA-cleared safe for skin types up to type V.

They’re good looking, simple and easy to use, give fast sessions and have a long UK money back guarantee. They also have a super-safe skin tone sensor which auto-adjusts the IPL intensity level to your skin tone. They’re especially convenient if you have varied skin tones (up to type V) across your body. No need to faff about changing levels because it does it all for you.

3 photos of the advanced sensor technology on the Braun Pro 5 IPL.
The automatic skin tone sensor on the Braun and Pure IPL mean it’s the best for varied skin tones up to type V.

However, we think the Braun Pro 3 IPL is a better choice if you have dark skin (type V). That’s because it too has all these features, and is usually more affordable by up to £100/$100. In addition, the low to medium power intensity range of the Braun Pro 3 IPL better suits dark skin. The Braun Pro 5 and Pure have a higher IPL range which you can’t use anyway (so why pay more?)

But if you have the monies and your heart set on either of these, rest assured they’re excellent choices for dark skin.

Found this review helpful? Please support future reviews and shop via these links. I earn a small commission, but your price stays the same.

Smoothskin Pure home IPL device

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Related: In-depth Braun Pro 5 IPL review

Best home IPL for dark & black skin comparison table

Here’s a comparison table so you can compare & contrast the detailed device specifications of the recommended safe for dark skin devices:

Silk’n Infinity Iluminage Touch Iluminage Precise Touch Braun Pro 3 IPL Smoothskin Bare Philips Lumea Prestige Smoothskin Pure Braun Pro 5 IPL
Price
£140 to £220

£299 to £350

£240

£180 to £300

£150 to £199

£300 to £500

£250 to £399

£249 to £610
Type IPL & Galvanic energies IPL + Radio Frequency IPL + Radio Frequency IPL IPL IPL IPL IPL
Safe skin tones Dark & black tones
Type V & VI
Dark & black tones
Type V & VI
Dark & black tones
Type V & VI
Dark tones
Type V
Dark tones
Type V
Dark tones
Type V
Dark tones
Type V
Dark tones
Type V
Power 5 levels
3 to 4 J/cm²
3 levels
2 to 4 J/cm²
3 levels
2 to 4 J/cm²
3 levels
3 to 4 J/cm²
1 level
3 J/cm²
5 levels
2.5 to 6.5 J/cm²
10 levels
3 to 6 J/cm²
10 levels
3 to 6 J/cm²
Safe levels for dark skin Level 1 or 2 Lower intensities Lower intensities Lower intensity There’s just 1! Lower intensities Lower intensities Lower intensities
Skin tone sensor Activates only safe intensities No No Auto-matches intensity & disables on too dark skin Disables on too dark skin Optional intensity match & disables on too dark skin Auto-matches intensity & disables on too dark skin Auto-matches intensity & disables on too dark skin
Hair colours Dark hair All hair colours All hair colours Dark hair Dark hair Dark hair Dark hair Dark hair
Operation Mains-power, 180 cm cord Mains-powered base-unit with corded applicator Mains-power, 180 cm cord Mains-power, 200 cm cord Mains-power, 200 cm cord Cordless & Mains-power, 200 cm cord Mains-power, 200 cm cord Mains-power, 200 cm cord
Flash Windows x1 multi-use flash window Medium size flash window
Small precision cap
x1 small flash window All models multi-use window
Small precision window with some models
x1 multi-use flash window Large curved body window & small flat face
Small curved precision window with some models
x1 multi-use flash window All models multi-use window
Small precision window with some models
Lifetime 15+ years of use
1,080,000 cm²
5 years of use
396,000 cm²
1 year full body sessions
10 years small area sessions
240,000 cm²
15+ years of use
1,200,000 cm²
Unlimited 15+ years of use
1,025,000 cm²
Unlimited 15+ years of use
1,200,000 cm²
Speed per leg Advertised: 8 mins
Test: 10 to 12 mins
Advertised: 10 mins
Test: 14+ mins
N/A Advertised: 9 mins
Test: 11 mins
Advertised: 4 mins
Test: 7 mins
Advertised: 7 mins
Test: 10 mins
Advertised: 5 mins
Test: 10 mins
Advertised: 5 mins
Test: 9 mins
Proven? Clinically proven, FDA-cleared (but not on Type VI skin) Clinically proven, FDA-cleared Clinically proven, FDA-cleared Clinically proven, FDA-cleared Clinically proven, FDA-cleared Clinically proven Clinically proven, FDA-cleared Clinically proven, FDA-cleared
Warranty 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years
Money back guarantee 60-day (US & Canada only) No money back guarantee No money back guarantee 90-day UK 90-day UK 100-day UK 90-day international 100-day UK

Image sources:

The feature image depicts the original and in-progress artwork “Humanae” by Angelica Dass

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