Best home laser & IPL hair removal guide


This is WeareBodyBeautiful’s tried-and-tested best home laser hair removal round-up for January 2019. It will help you decide and save your time.


Just over a decade ago professional laser hair removal changed my life. No more stubble, shaving daily or ingrown hairs.  I could wear whatever I want. I grew confident in my now continuously smooth skin.

But trips to the clinic are expensive and a hassle. I wanted something effective to use at home on my terms. So, in 2014 I started my comprehensive personal research into the home-use market. And I’ve not stopped.

I test and compare home IPL and laser hair removal devices to give you expert recommendations. Keep reading to see my favourite home laser hair removal machines. There’s an in-depth review for each device too.

New to home IPL & laser hair removal?
Start with this IPL & laser hair removal guide with 6 safety & suitability questions to help find your perfect home-use device. And please read this article to understand what to expect from home IPl and laser hair removal results.

 

👎🎁Didn’t get what you wanted?🎁👎

Didn’t get the home laser or IPL hair removal device you wanted for Christmas? Ba humbug! Then why not treat yourself? Check out my best at home laser & IPL hair removal devices and take advantage of the super post-Christmas January sale deals.

Go on. You deserve it!

WeAreBodyBeautiful.com’s expert round-up:

The best laser hair removal at home machines

Better than other review sites, this isn’t just a list of choices on Amazon. Find out which is perfect for you from my tried-and-tested expert round-up of the best home laser & IPL hair removal choices.

Device Features Buy now
The Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 & BRI950 is my best overall home IPL hair removal device

Overall Best IPL hair removal device:

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL
4.9 out of 5
 
  • £269 to £500
  • For light to dark skin & dark hair
  • Best for full body, face and small areas
  • Fast, powerful, packed with premium features
  • 100 day money back guarantee

Learn more

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Best home laser for long-lasting results:

Tria Beauty hair removal laser 4X
4.6 out of 5
 
  • £240 to £350
  • For light skin & dark hair
  • Best for face and small areas
  • Most powerful (diode laser), intuitive, cordless
  • 90 day money back guarantee

Learn more

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Best for no-faff power & endless flashes:

Smoothskin Muse IPL
4.6 out of 5
 
  • £250 to £399
  • For light to dark skin & dark hair
  • Best for full body, face and small areas
  • Speedy & bespoke power with plug-and-go simplicity
  • Made in the UK
  • 90-day money back guarantee

Learn more

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 Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert 5 IPL: best powerful, fast, safe and simple home IPL hair removal device  

Best foolproof home IPL device:

Braun Gillette Venus Silk expert 5 IPL
4.5 out of 5
 
  • £250 to £300
  • For light to dark skin & dark hair
  • Best for full body, face and small areas
  • Fast, safe & powerful, plug-and-go simplicity
  • Reputable brand

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Best value for ALL skin tones:

Silk’n Infinity 400,000
4.4 out of 5
 
  • £140 to £220
  • Clever IPL + Galvanic energies for increased effect
  • Safe on dark and black skin
  • Best for full body, face and small areas
  • Fast treatment times
  • Clinically-proven & FDA cleared

Learn more

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Smoothskin Bare: best ultrafast home IPL hair removal device

Best ultrafast IPL:

Smoothskin Bare IPL
4.3 out of 5
 
  • £150 to £190
  • For light to dark skin & dark hair
  • Best for full body, face and small areas
  • Ultrafast - full leg in 4+ mins!
  • Made in the UK
  • 90 day money back guarantee

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Panasonic Es-WH90: best for facialuse IPL hair removal device

Best for facial hair removal

Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL
4.3 out of 5
 
  • Around £150
  • For light to dark skin & dark hair
  • Best for large & small areas and especially facial use
  • Cordless convenience for facial hair removal
  • Facial skin rejuvenation too - get a bright, healthy glow!

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

Best IPL & RF for dark & black skin:

Iluminage Touch IPL & RF
4.2 out of 5
 
  • £270 to £375
  • For ALL skin tones & most hair colours
  • Best for full body, face and small areas
  • Gentle Elos energy, safe on dark & black skin
  • Proven to work on red & blonde hair
  • Clinically proven & FDA-cleared

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Philips Lumea Advanced: Best at home IPL hair removal for smaller body areas

Best for smaller body areas:

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 & SC1997
4.2 out of 5
 
  • £200 to £300
  • For light skin and dark hair
  • Best for small areas (forearms, underarms, bikini line)
  • Beautiful gun-shape & specialist flash windows for small areas
  • 100 day money back guarantee

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1. Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956, BRI953, BRI950

£269 to £500, clinically proven with CE certification to meet EU safety standards

If you want to be hair-free everywhere and you demand the best, look no further than the new Philips Lumea Prestige models.

It’s my overall best IPL hair removal machine for light to dark skin and dark hair, because it’s designed beautifully to do it all.

See why this is my Overall Best home laser hair removal choice. A petite hand holds the Lumea Prestige BRI956 in a gun-like grasp on its long, tapered handle. Close-up of the simple and clear controls on the top of the gun.

I love the Prestige’s gun-shape. It’s comfortable to hold and feels balanced despite its weight. The long tapered handle gives great leverage. On top of the gun are the simple controls; 5 intensity level indicator lights, power button, battery indicator light, manual up and down selector button, advanced Smartskin sensor button and check-select button. You get interchangeable curved treatment windows that perfectly fit the contours of your body too.

 

The new Philips Lumea Prestige are available predominantly in the UK and Europe, but they are available on Amazon.com and Currentbody.com for Global shipping. Their higher price tag reflects the premium design.

Premium, ergonomic design

Nothing feels as good. It’s sturdy, solid and refined. The ergonomic gun-shape has a perfectly placed flash trigger button so it’s intuitive to position and very comfortable to hold.  The exceptional build quality and flashes that last for 15+ years make it a long-lasting investment.

The body window attachment is large and curved outwards to fit the contours of legs and knees

Online reviews love the different curvy shape and size specialist flash windows. Only the Lumea Prestige has these. The body flash window is 4.1 cm2 large and curved-out. This means it’s easy to get great coverage on your legs and knees. It’s the largest body flash window amongst IPL devices and so combined with the 2 second flash repetition it’s the fastest for treating large areas – especially great for your pins!

 

It works with mains-power and cordless so you can swap whenever, to whichever suits. It’s also effortless to flash thanks to the new curved specialist attachments. They easily fit to the contours of your curvy body so you get perfect coverage.

Total control

With 5 intensity levels to choose from, it operates at higher IPL power than other devices (from 2.4 to 6 .5 J/cm²) so it’ll work faster to reduce your hair growth.  It’s suitable for all but the darkest skin and comes with a new Smartskin sensor to check for a safe tone. Like other skin tone sensors it advises the highest and safest intensity setting for your skin, but it still allows you to adjust it down a notch or two and remain in total control.

Selection of images of the Lumea Prestige that are described in detail in the full review.

The Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 & BRI950 are perfect for full body treatments and small areas too. They’re packed full of premium features from the unique curved flash windows to match the contours of different body areas, dual corded or cordless operation, advanced skin tone sensor that caters for smaller manual tweaks and the fastest application speed of high power IPL devices. It feels great too. Simply the best I’ve tried.

 

It’s fast!

The Prestige is the fastest high power home IPL machine. The large body flash window (4.1 cm²) combined with the fast repetition rate means you can finish a full leg in no time. Philips say it takes around 6.5 mins. For me it took up to 10 mins (but I am incredibly thorough). And in combination with the curved specialsit attachments, treating your full body is a doddle. It’s easy to excellent coverage (no missed hair y bits!) and you can do it all in one session without getting bored or tired.

Money back guarantee

Philips offer a 100-day money back guarantee on the Prestige, Advanced and Essential models. It’s the longest of all guarantees and I love it for the extra peace of mind it gives. Well done Philips.

A few years of Philips research have delivered something that’s so simple, effective and standout. The online reviews love it. I love it. You’ll love it.

It’s perfect for full body treatments, smaller areas and your face too.

Read the in-depth Lumea Prestige review to learn more, or check prices and buy using the links below.

Where to buy the Philips Lumea Prestige

Found this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
Philips Lumea Prestige, for body & face **All with Philips Lumea 100 day money back guarantee**
Buy the Philips Lumea BRI956 herePhilips Lumea Prestige BRI956, for body & face: body, facial, bikini and underarm attachments
Buy Lumea BRI956 from Amazon
Buy Lumea BRI956 from CurrentBody.com: UK & Global shipping.
Buy Lumea BRI956 from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders with $100 Christmas cashback, 90 day Lumea trial
Buy the Philips Lumea Prestige BRI954Philips Lumea Prestige BRI954, for body & face: body, bikini and precision attachments
Buy Lumea BRI954 from Amazon
Philips Lumea Prestige BRI950, for body & face: body & precision attachments
Buy Lumea BRI950 from Amazon
Buy Lumea BRI950 from CurrentBody.com: UK & Global shipping.
Buy the Philips Lumea Prestige BRI953Philips Lumea Prestige BRI953, for body & face: body, facial and precision attachments
Buy Lumea BRI953 from Amazon
Buy Lumea BRI953 from CurrentBody.com: UK & Global shipping

Check for any applicable taxes or customs duties for outside UK delivery.

 

2. Tria 4X hair removal laser

£240 to £350, clinically proven, FDA-cleared and CE certification.

If you demand maximum power and want to be hair-free on your face and smaller body areas, the Tria 4X is the one for you. It’s my best home laser hair removal for longest lasting results on light skin tones and dark hair.

A hand comfortably grips the fuschia and white, characterful and powerful Tria Beauty 4X device. the design and perfprmance is impressive. That's why it's my Best at home laser hair removal choice.

The Tria Beauty 4X laser is the only FDA cleared and most powerful hair removal laser for home use. I love the charactful design. It’s comfortable to hold and intuitive to operate. Its best suited for facial treatments and smaller areas like forearms, underarms and bikini. That’s because the 5mm diameter laser aperture takes a while to cover your skin.

 

The Tria 4X is the only FDA-cleared  laser for use at home. This diode laser is the most powerful home-use device available and it’s considered to give the fastest and longest lasting results. Tried and tested by thousands, it’s been available since 2013.

Easy to use

I find the Tria 4X very intuitive and easy to use. The characterful design weighs around 600g but is comfortable to hold. It’s operated via a singe power button and an LED screen. The skin tone sensor activates only on light skin tones (Fitzpatrick I to IV) so it protects darker skin from damage.

Photos of the Tria 4X laser showing the distinct shape with a long, tapered handle and tear-drop shaped head with the small laser aperture on the tip of the nose. A round LED screen and single small pink button on top control the device. The red skin tone sensor light is found on the base of the handle.

The Tria 4X laser is battery operated so there’s no power cord to get in the way. It’s controlled via a single small button and round LED screen on the top of the tear-shaped head. First, unlock the laser by placing the red skin tone sensor on the base of the handle against your skin. Once unlocked, use the small pink button to cycle through the intensity levels . The 5 intensity levels range from 1 (7 J/cm2) to 5 (22 J/cm2) and they’re safe for light to medium skin tones Fitzpatrick types I to IV.

 

Choose your intensity level (1 is low and 5 is high), pulse, beep, lift and reposition all over your treatment area in an overlapping pattern. There’s no trigger to press. The skin sensor around the laser aperture emits a laser pulse when it’s covered by your skin. Easy and safe.

The rechargeable battery takes around 2 hours to charge. The cordless operation means you can use it anywhere without getting all tangled-up. Charge the device regularly every month or so (even if not in use) and the Tria will give you thousands of pulses and several years of use.

Several photos of the Tria 4X in collage. From top left; the laser , power cable and instruction booklet, the flat base of the handle means it's stands upright by itself, close up of the 5mm diameter laser aperture, close up of the intensity levels set to 4 on the LED screen, photos of the device at various angles, close up of the red skin tone sensor light, close up of the LED screen displaying the device outline and padlock showinging the laser is locked.

From the distinctive shape, LED screen and pulse counter to the unique beeps and buzzes it sounds to keep you on track, the Tria 4X is very different to alternative home IPL devices. And because it’s a laser the light is focused onto your skin so you won’t see bright flashes of light as with IPL.
Loads of people choose the Tria over IPL hair removal systems because it’s most powerful. They want the best possible results in the shortest time. However, there are 2 very important considerations for you; how much it hurts and how fast it is to cover your skin. Keep reading…

 

Diode laser

It’s a laser folks so be aware all that extra power means some compromise.

For some users it hurts more than a bit, especially on maximum power. I found it like a sharp hot prick that disappeared instantaneously. Numbing creams or ice help with this. Others say it doesn’t hurt or it’s bearable. As everyone’s experience is different there’s no way to know how you’ll feel. So, weigh this up in your decision.

The laser aperture is small (just over 5 mm) so it takes a long time to zap your skin. It’s time consuming and tedious on large areas like your legs. Plus, it’s easy to lose your place and forget which bits you’ve already zapped! But it’s much more manageable in 30-minute sessions for your face and small areas.

Rechargeable battery

A battery charge lasts for 30 mins or up to 600 zaps. With this you can do your face and both underarms or both sides of your bikini line. Then you’ll need to recharge for 2 hours. Always recharge after use then it’s ready to go for your next session. And you can split multiple smaller areas across days too.

Photos of the Fuschia Tria 4X laser; the box contents next to the small compact box (the packaging is beautiful), a hand comfortably holding the laser, close up of the 5mm laser aperture, close up of the Tria logo printed on the pink silicone grip on the base of the tapered handle.

The Tria 4X laser is best suited to small body areas that you can treat in one 30 minute session and from one battery charge. 30 minutes is about right for the high level of precision and concentration required. So, it works well for smaller areas and the face. Online reviews report long-lasting results.
After 30 minutes it needs another 2 hour charge, so it’s not suited to treating legs and large areas. Plus it’s difficult to get good coverage and keep track of where you’ve zapped.

 

Long lasting results

Tria say you need 8 treatments, 1 every 2 weeks for 3 months. The user feedback supports this. They report great hair reduction results. Some see results after just a few sessions. For others it takes more but they eventually get there and stay smooth with continued occasional top-ups.

If you consistently commit the time and patience needed over 3 months, I think it’s a great choice for the face and small areas. You get a 90-day money back guarantee too.

Read the full in-depth Tria 4X review or check prices and buy below.

Where to buy the Tria 4x laser

Found this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
Buy the Tria Beauty 4X laser: Best for face and small areas with light skin tones and dark hair.
Buy the Tria 4X laser
Buy from Tria Beauty UK: UK delivery, 90 day money back guarantee
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & Global shipping, 90 day money back guarantee
Buy from Amazon: double check a money back guarantee is provided.
Buy the Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser Precision: Best for face & small top-ups
Buy Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser PrecisionBuy from Tria Beauty UK: UK delivery, 90 day money back guarantee
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & Global shipping, 90 day money back guarantee

3. Smoothskin Muse IPL

£250 to £399, clinically-proven, CE certification, Made in the UK.

The Smoothskin Muse is something special.

It’s the first high-power device with unlimited IPL flashes. You’ll never run out. So, you get 100s of full body treatments and decades of smooth skin results. And it’s so safe and uncomplicated to use.

It’s my best IPL hair removal device for fast, no-faff power & endless flashes, for light to dark skin tones and dark hair.

The handsome, ergonomic and sleek, black and gold distinctive design is not the only thing to stand-out with the Smoothskin Muse, a strong favourite amongst my Best home laser removal machines.

The Muse is a handsome looking device. But it’s not just easy on the eye. It’s strong – one of the most powerful home IPL devices. And it’s clever too. The advanced, intelligent skin tone sensor selects the best intensity level for your skin tone. Safety and power in perfect balance. It’s the first powerful IPL to give unlimited flashes. Hard to beat.

 

Striking design

The Muse is beautifully designed.

It’s stand-out firstly because of the glossy-black design with an eye-catching gold-speckled swoosh. Clean lines, elegant curves and minimal controls lend it an alluring sophistication. It looks fantastic.

2 photos of the Muse showing the sleek glossy design with a spreckled-gold swoosh over the top

The Smoothskin Muse makes home IPL hair removal sexy.

And it feels great too. The curves fit naturally in your hand and silicone side strips provide a secure and tactile grip. The superior ergonomic design means it’s one of the most comfortable to hold and precise to manoeuvre. There’s a 2-metre power cable that doesn’t tangle. And a clear view of the flash window thanks to the thoughtful shape and angles. All this means you get great and effortless coverage.

Advanced skin tone sensor

The Muse is one of the most powerful IPL devices. But it’s in combination with clever sensor technology so you get unbeatable simplicity and safety too.

It’s so straightforward and safe to use because the skin tone sensor detects your skin tone and sets the highest and safest intensity level for you. It does this before every flash. So, all you need do is point and zap.

3 photos of the smoothskin Muse showing the gentle activation 'feather' button, skin tone sensor windows and intensity indicators.

The small skin tone sensor windows at either side of the flash window check your skin tone before EVERY flash. They choose the safest, most powerful of the 10 intensity levels (ranging from 3 to 6 J/cm2). All you do is point and zap.
There’s a gentle feather mode too, so if it smarts a bit on delicate areas like you underarms and bikini line, you can reduce the intensity.

It boasts 10 intensity increments. That’s double most other home IPL devices. So, each flash is the best possible intensity for your skin tone. Each flash is the perfect balance of safety and power giving your best possible results in the shortest time.

It’s fast

I love there’s no faff with the plug-and-go operation. And that it gets the job done fast too.

It’s one of the fastest to cover your skin in flashes. You can finish a full leg in around 8 to 10 minutes. That’s quick and so it’s a great choice for full body treatments and larger areas done in around 1 hour. It’s one of the easiest to fit into your day and complete the weekly sessions.

90-day money back guarantee

Smoothskin are confident you’ll love the Muse and to prove it it comes with a 90-day money back guarantee. This is great peace of mind and reassurance that only a few brands offer. Smoothskin customer service is also excellent as is their support programme. Highly recommended.

Great results

The Muse and the earlier Gold model both deliver great hair reduction results. The start-up phase is a treatment once a week for 12 weeks. The top-ups every 4 to 8 weeks. I saw a slowing in growth after just a few treatments and sparser, finer regrowth after a few more. Overtime, I needed less regular top-up treatments to maintain my hair-free results.

Various images of the smoothskin Muse: the small attractive box, box contents, user manula, power cord, simple controls, skin tone sensor and tapered treatment window. Beautiful!

I’m impressed with everything about the Muse. The packaging is beautiful, the messaging and manual clear and friendly. It looks fantastic, attractive for both men and women and the performance is top-notch. It’s a top choice and I recommend it highly.

Premium choice

The Muse is an excellent choice because it’s powerful yet safe and almost effortless to use. The quick sessions are much more manageable compared to other IPL and laser choices. And with unlimited IPL flashes it promises decades of smooth skin results. It’s pricey, but worth it.

It’s one of the best for smooth hair-free results on your full body and smaller areas alike.

Read the full in-depth Smoothskin Muse review or check prices and buy below.

Where to buy the Smoothskin Muse

Found this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
Smoothskin Muse IPL for body & face
Buy the Smoothskin MuseBuy from Currentbody: UK & Global shipping, 90 day money back guarantee.
Buy from Amazon: UK shipping, 90 day money back guarantee.

Check for any applicable taxes or customs duties for outside UK delivery.

 

4. Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert 5 IPL hair removal device

£250 to £300, clinically proven, FDA-cleared and CE certification.

If you want something very easy to use, try this.

The Braun Silk expert IPL is so straightforward to use. It’s a fine choice if you want a simple but effective machine to get the job done quickly.

I recommend the Braun Silk Expert 5 IPL for powerful & foolproof home IPL hair removal for light to dark skin and dark hair.

3 photos of the Braun Silk expert5 IPL from the side, front and top-down.

Just plug-in-and-go with the Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert 5 IPL. I love the simplicity. The skin tone sensor makes treatments so easy and straight-forward because it detects your skin tone and chooses the safest and most powerful intensity for you. It does this before every flash. And it’s fast too. It’s ergonomic, stylish and elegant. A brilliant choice for light to dark skin and dark hair.

 

The Braun IPL is widely available in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Globally. It’s pricey at full RRP, but offers are common.

It feels balanced in your hand, is comfortable to use, looks great, and the lamp lifetime gives 15+ years of use. The design has simplicity in mind and it delivers some distinctive premium features.

Advanced skin tone sensor

Just like other devices, the Braun IPL won’t flash if it detects a skin tone that is too dark. But it takes skin safety and ease of use even further. When a safe tone is detected, it selects the optimum intensity level for you. It checks before every single flash, so you don’t have to. No fuss.

3 photos of the Venus Silk expert 5 IPL showing the flash window and skin tone sensor windows, flash button and gentle mode 'feather' button, and the IPL energy intensity level indicator lights

The skin tone sensor windows sit at either side of the flash window. They only activate on Fitzpatrick tones I to V, so the darkest skin is protected. But not only that, it chooses the optimum intensity level for you before EVERY flash. So you get safety and power in perfect balance when it selects 1 of 10 intensity levels best suited to your unique skin tone. It’s foolproof. And if it smarts a bit just activate gentle mode to reduce the intensity.

Powerful IPL

It also operates at higher intensities than other devices (from 4 to 6 J/cm²) so it’ll work faster to reduce your hair growth.  But if it stings on sensitive areas just press the gentle mode to reduce the intensity.

It’s fast

You don’t need to faff about changing treatment windows either – it has just one. At 1 cm by 3 cm it’s big enough to get accurate coverage on large areas and small enough to position on your upper lip (with just a bit practise).

It’s fast too – one of the fastest that operates at higher intensity. On the highest level it flashes every 2 seconds so it takes from just 8 minutes to glide over a full leg. It’s a great choice for quick full body treatments and treating larger areas. And for smaller areas too.

9 photos of the Braun Silk Expert 5 IPL showing the packaging, box contents, user manual, the device from different angles and in the hand, and the 3cm2 flash window with skin tone sensors on either side.

The Braun / Venus Silk Expert 5 IPL is a great choice for full body treatments and small areas too. The design and comfort is excellent, and the 1cm x 3cm flash window is the optimum size for covering large areas fast, but also for getting good coverage on small areas like your upper lip. The stand out feature is the advanced skin tone sensor. There’s simply no fuss or faff involved. It’s a fine choice.

 

Braun are a trusted brand with a great reputation and the online reviews love this Silk Expert 5 IPL. It’s often on offer too so it’s a great value buy.

Read the in-depth Braun Silk Expert IPL review or check prices and buy using the links below.

Where to buy the Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert 5 IPL

If you found my review helpful and decide to buy, please support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com by shopping through my links (I earn commission for sales but this doesn't increase your price).
Please also check for any taxes or customs duties applicable for delivery to your home country.

Compare prices of all Silk expert IPL models on Amazon
Buy the Braun Silk expert IPL 5001 hereBraun Gillette Venus Silk Expert IPL 5001, for face & body
Buy from Amazon: UK, Europe, USA, Canada & Global shipping options
Buy from BestBuy.com: USA orders
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: (no razor included) Australia orders, with 90 day money back guarantee
Buy the Braun / Gillette Silk-Expert IPL BD 5009Braun Silk expert BD 5009 for face & body, plus body exfoliator
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK, Europe, USA, Canada & Global shipping options
Buy from Amazon: UK, Europe, USA, Canada & Global shipping options
Buy the Braun / Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL BD 5008Braun Silk Expert BD 5008 for face & body, plus facial cleanser
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page

 

TIP: Aside from the distinctive sleek black colour the Smoothskin Gold is almost identical to the Braun Silk-expert. This isn’t surprising because Cyden Ltd manufactures both.  Both give fast and fuss-free treatments. And they both have the same intelligent skin tone sensor, although they give them different names. They also have 4+ star online review ratings, so check prices and be confident that whichever you choose its a quality choice.

 

5. Silkn Infinity 400,000

£140 to £220, clinically-proven, FDA-cleared, CE certification.

The Silk’n Infinity is fantastic value.

I recommend the Silk’n Infinity home IPL because it’s unbeaten for value. The flashes last ages and it’s fast. It’s safe for ALL skin tones, yet without compromise on power. And all at an affordable price.

Photos of the Silk'n Infinity; vibrant pink and white packaging, the box contents, close up of the vents and power cable on the Infinity, the s cm2 flash window, the compact white device, silkn logo detailing on the storage case and the power button and intensity level indicator wheel.

It’s been a long wait for an affordable home IPL that’s safe for ALL skin tones. But finally, the Silk’n Infinity is here. Don’t let the compact, simple exterior of the Infinity fool you either. It doesn’t have a fancy shape or extra attachments but it more than makes up for that with a superb lamp lifetime, fast treatments and some clever tech inside. Keep reading to learn more.

 

The Silk’n Infinity is available in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada with Global shipping from CurrentBody.com. Excellent value offers are common.

There’s a lot to love about this small but mighty device.

Simple, curvy design

The Infinity’s design is compact and curvy. The elegant lines sit comfortably in your hand. It’s light-weight and easy to manoeuvre with mains-power operation so you can use it anytime.

3 photos of the compact and curvy Silk'n Infinity device with a shape designed for comfort and grip.

The mains-powered Silk’n Infinity is lightweight (228 g), compact and curvy. It feels good to hold with a secure, natural grip where the underside curves in at the widest part of the device (4 cm wide). It fits comfortably in your hand with the rounded back resting on your palm. There’s a large flash button on the top. It’s easy to handle.
The power cable fits snug in the base and it’s 180 cm long to the power plug.

 

It’s simple and no-frills, so don’t expect multiple flash windows or a fancy ergonomic shape. But don’t underestimate it either. Because there’s some clever tech inside. Plus, features usually only found on premium models.

Lamp-lifetime is one of the best

The lamp-lifetime of flashes is one of the best.

The 400,000 flashes cover a total body area of 1,080,000 cm2. In other words, it boasts 15+ years of monthly full body treatments. It may as well say ‘endless flashes’ because you’re never going to run out.

And unlike other brands, Silk’n encourage you to share it. One model even comes with a hygienic cleansing stand so it’s safe to share with friends and family.

Clever, dual energies

Unlike most other brands the Infinity uses a combination of 2 energies. These work together to increase the hair removal effect of IPL.

Photo of hand holding the Infinity with a thumb on the shiny silver base electrode plate, and a close up photo of the silver 'touch electrode' strip running around the flash window.

Press the flash button with the silver ‘touch electrode’ around the flash window on your skin, and your fingers or thumb on the silver ‘base electrode’ plate on the bottom of the device. This emits both IPL and galvanic current into your skin.
The galvanic energy opens your pores so exposing more of your hair to the IPL. More IPL then targets your hair follicle. It’s more efficient so gentler IPL is used which is safe for dark and black skin.

 

The IPL combines with galvanic current. Galvanic current works to open your pores, so exposing more of your hair to the IPL. It’s more efficient at reaching and stunting the hair follicle for faster results.

This clever approach also increases the effect of lower intensity IPL, which you can use on darker skin tones. So it’s safe for darker and black skin tones too.

Skin tone chart showing it's safe for all skin tones from light to black. Hair colour chart showing it works on dark blonde to black hair colours, but's it's unclear if it works on blonde, red or grey /white hair

The Silk’n Infinity is safe for all skin tones. Levels 1 and 2 are safe for darker tones. Read the in-depth review for details of the clinical test. Level 1 is safe on sun tanned skin too.
Silk’n say it’s suitable for nearly all hair colours too, but lighter hair colours only work in combination with lighter skin tones. It’s not clear if this is clinically proven.

Adaptive IPL

The Infinity has a range of 5 intensity levels. The low intensity levels 1 and 2 are gentle (as low as 3 J / cm2) and safe for dark and black skin tones.

The higher intensity levels have a more powerful IPL (up to 4 J/cm2), they’re designed for lighter skin tones to give you your fastest results.

Clever skin tone sensor

So, with this range, it’s important to choose the right IPL intensity for your skin tone. And the Infinity has that covered too.

Close up photo of the intensity level indicator lights,lit up green in a wheel of segments from 1 to 5. Close up photo of the flash window with smaller, narrow skin tone sensor window below it.

The skin tone sensor is the smaller window below the flash window (right). Press the power button to scroll through the intensity levels (left). As you press the flash button it checks your skin tone but won’t flash if the intensity level is too high for your skin tone. Instead the blue indicator light (between the green 1 and 5 indicators) rapidly flashes blue. Lower the intensity level and the Infinity will flash on the levels safe for your skin tone.

 

The clever skin tone sensor checks your skin tone and activates only the safe intensity levels, so it protects darker skin tones too. If your skin tone is dark or black you can use it on intensity levels 1 and 2.

It’s fast!

The Infinity flashes every 1 to 2 seconds. It’s fastest on the lower intensity levels. You can treat a full leg from around 10+ mins. That’s the same as other premium models. It’s a super choice for full body treatments and large areas done in one session.

With handy hard storage case

It’s the little things that make the difference. And the Infinity comes with a sturdy, shimmery-silver, nicely finished storage case. A small thing that gets a lot of mentions in the user reviews because it keeps everything together and then easily stored in a draw.

3 photos of the silver, sturdy square storage case with the lid closed, the lid part opened and opened to show the Infinity device and power cable.

I love the silver, shimmery storage case with beautiful Silk’n detailing. There’s a secure zip-around lid, a moulded cradle for the Infinity and power cable, and a handy pocket for the manuals and cleaning cloth. It all stores neatly in a draw, a helpful bonus.

 

Unbeaten for the money

The Infinity has a lot of positive feedback from very satisfied users. And I’m surprised there’s not even more given it’s so affordable. The only improvement would be a UK money back guarantee. But even without that, I think it’s worth every penny.

Read the full Silk’n Infinity review here or check prices and buy below.

Where to buy the Silk’n Infinity

Found this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
Silk'n Infinity, IPL & Galvanic energies: for body and face
Buy the Silk'n InfinityBuy from CurrentBody.com: Free UK delivery and Global shipping options
Buy from Amazon: UK and European orders
Buy from Silkn.com: US orders, 60 day money back guarantee

Check for any applicable taxes or customs duties for outside UK delivery.

 

6. Smoothskin Bare ultrafast home IPL hair removal device

£150 to £199, clinically proven, FDA-cleared and CE certification. Made in the UK.

Do you want stubble-free pits and pins but but think home IPL is too boring and tedious? Can’t fit it into your busy days, or just too lazy to keep up with it? Think it takes an age to treat your full body? Think again.

Don’t be fooled by the no-frills design and affordable price tag. The new Smoothskin Bare changes everything.

The Smoothskin Bare is my best ultrafast home IPL hair removal choice for light to dark skin and dark hair.

Don’t be fooled by the simple, compact design of the Smoothskin Bare. The curvy shape is light (185g) and fits perfectly in your hand. The quality build has no controls other than the flash activation button on the side. So it’s incredibly simple. There’s one low intensity level that’s safe for all skin tones of Fitzpatrick types I to V. And it’s ultrafast – the fastest out there – from just 4 mins per full leg!

 

The Bare is available in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and ships Globally from various sellers. It sells for under £200 / $299 USD and around $399 AUD.

Ultrafast, like no other

The Smoothskin Bare smashes the competition. It truly is unique for 2 very good reasons.

First, it comes with unlimited flashes so you’ll never run out.

Second, it’s ultra-fast. A full leg takes from just 4 minutes!

That’s possible because the one low intensity level (at 3 J/cm²) takes only 0.6 seconds to recharge between flashes. It really does smoothly glide over your skin and the flashes come at just the right time (unlike other devices where you ‘slide and stop, slide and stop’). And the low intensity level is gentle too, so it’s safe for darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick types I to V).

Simplicity itself

No dials, no charts, it’s so simple to use. There’s just the single flash button. You just plug it in and go.

6 photos of the SS Bare showing the packaging,box contents, and the simple curvy design.

From the moment you examine the packaging it’s obvious the Bare is a quality device. Smoothskin do a great job of explaining everything and the box is perfect to safely store it in. This curvy beaut fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and is effortless to manoeuvre. And the unlimited flashes are fast – it’s the fastest of all home IPL devices. Ultrafast.

 

Easy to commit

Those who have failed with IPL in the past because it’s too boring and tedious can commit and continue with the quick and regular treatments. Those with a hectic schedule can find the spare minutes to squeeze it in. And busy mums can finish their whole treatment in one go without interruption.  The Smoothskin Bare makes it easier to commit to regular, fast treatments that keeps your stubble away!

Game-changer

The online reviews love it rating it 4+ stars. Several think it’s a game-changer in home hair removal and I agree. It easily wins my recommended Best Buy for ultrafast treatments, and at a lower budget price too.

Read the full Smoothskin Bare review here or check prices and buy below

Where to buy the Smoothskin Bare

Found this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
Smoothskin Bare, for body & face
Buy the Smoothskin Bare hereBuy from CurrentBody.com: UK & Global shipping, 90 day money back guarantee.
Buy from Amazon: UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Global orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia Orders, with 90 day money back guarantee.

 

7. Panasonic ES-Wh90 IPL hair removal and skin rejuvenation

£150, clinically proven, CE Certification.

Team Panasonic didn’t spend too much marketing budget on the Panasonic ES-WH90.  They didn’t give it a sexy name, and the packaging is plain dull. But they did get the device design and function spot on.

It’s a fantastic choice for full body, small areas and facial hair removal. And I highly recommend it for facial use because the design matches those needs perfectly. And the lower price is right because you don’t really want to spend a fortune for such a small body area.

close up photo of the facial attachment logo, and three photos of the device held in various grips showing how easy it is to thee the flash opening for precision positiong.

The Panasonic ES-WH90 has a terribly unimaginative name. But a seriously good design. The cordless, ergonomic shape and flash operation controlled by the attachments combine for perfect facial use. It’s a solid, quality bit of kit from a great brand for under £200. A great all-rounder but I love it for facial use.

 

The Panasonic ES-WH90 is available in the UK and Europe. Fantastic offers off the RRP are common.

Here’s why I love it for facial use.

Perfect shape

At first glance it doesn’t look like anything special. There’s no fancy detailing, interesting shape or retro styling. But hold it in your hand and you’ll appreciate its form.

The long wand-like shape has subtle curves to fit comfortably in your hands. The gentle yet secure grip means it’s easy to move and position around your face. And the angled head affords a precise view of the flash-end as you look in the mirror.

Photo of the Panasonic ES-WH90 with facial attachment in my right hand, held as is best for facial use.

The 21 cm long, gentle curved body is smooth and matt-white. It’s 360g and feels robust. It’s made of a high-quality plastic with a delicate shimmer. I like the way it reflects the light. There’s just 2 simple buttons to control the device. And no cord so you can use it in the privacy of the bathroom. The facial attachment (pictured) has a raised lip so it’s easy to see and position it on the upper lip and for facial rejuvenation.

 

The facial attachment tapers-in and shapes around the flash window. There’s a raised lip too, so you can see exactly where you’re placing it – it’s perfect for your upper lip.

Comfortable and intuitive

There’s just 2 buttons to control it. One to power it on and the other to select your intensity level. I never accidentally pressed the buttons during my treatment.

Several photos of the Panasonic ES-WH90, close-ups and at different angles.

The Panasonic ES-WH90 has 5 internsity levels – you need to test patch your skin to find the best for your tone. There’s no skin tone sensor. You get two interchangeable attachment heads. The body attachment is 5.4 cm2 large and the facial attachment 2.4 cm2 small. It takes 3 hours to fully charge and you get 600 flashes from it – enough to complete a full body treatment. Care for the battery by charging it every few months when not in regular use.

 

There’s no flash button either. I like this because there’s no strain on your hand. Instead, the attachments have a switch mechanism in the attachment heads that controls the flashes. The heads press-in and spring back up again. Press it against your skin for a flash and lift it to stop. It’s intuitive and very simple to work.

The flashes come continuously as you move the device and keep the head pressed agianst your skin. an in-built safety mechanism stops after 10 flashes. Simply lift from the skin and press down to start another set.

No skin tone sensor

The Panasonic ES-WH90 doesn’t have a skin tone sensor.

It’s safe for light to dark tones (all but the darkest) so you must work out which intensity is best for your skin. For darker skin tones, this means some uncertainty and is a bit of a faff. So, check out my recommendation for all skin tones above. But if you have lighter skin tones most of the levels will be safe for you anyway.

Years and years of use

The lamp lifetime is long. The intensity level determines how many flashes you get. The higher levels mean less flashes. But even then, you get up to 100,000 flashes. With the large body attachment that’s enough for 540,000 cm2 body area. That equals 135 full body treatments giving over 10 years of monthly use.

Close up photo of the 5.4 cm2 large body attachment on the Panasonic ES-WH90.

The Panasonic ES-WH90 has an excellent lamp lifetime and lasts from 10+ to 15+ years of monthly full body treatments, depending on the intensity level used. The large 5.4 cm2 flash area of the body attachment is easy to use on your legs, bikini line and underarms despite the size. That’s because the flash mechanism makes it easy to get contact and flash.

 

It’s fantastic for all types of treatments. With the smaller facial attachment too, you’ll get years of long-lasting smoothness. And skin rejuvenation treatments for a glowing complexion.

IPL for skin rejuvenation

Intense Pulsed Light is not only for removing unwanted hair. It’s also used in beauty clinics to rejuvenate skin. The IPL reaches into your skin and triggers it to produce more collagen. With continued use, this makes your skin brighter and evens out discolouration for a more even tone. Your skin appears suppler and glows. Learn more about this in the full review.

Panasonic suggest you use it with the facial attachment (avoiding the eye area) every 3 days for 2 months to notice the rejuvenation effects. I love this added benefit from the Panasonic for not only smooth skin, but an added glow too.

Close up photos of the clerverly designed facial attachment on the Pansonic ES-WH90.

I recommend the Panasonic ES-WH90 for full body, small areas and facial use. But I particularly love it for facial use, because it doubles as a skin rejuvenation beauty tool for your face to make our skin glow. Bonus.
It takes about 5 mins to cover your face and neck (avoiding your eyes and lips) using the facial attachment. It’s easy to fit in every 3 days after cleansing, before moisturising and heading off go to bed.

 

It’s deserving of my best buy award for facial use and glowing skin!

Read the full Panasonic ES-WH90 review here or check proces and buy below.

Where to buy the Panasonic ES-WH90

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Buy the Panasonic ES-WH90 - best for facial userPanasonic ES-WH90 for body & face, with facial attachment
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8. Iluminage Touch advanced IPL & RF hair removal system

£270 to £375, clinically proven, FDA cleared, CE Certification.

Because of the way IPL works, most home-use devices aren’t safe for the darkest skin. The Intense Light heats up the dark melanin in dark skin which hurts and burns. It used to be your only choice was to pay for expensive professional laser treatments at a clinic.

It’s the same pesky science behind IPL that means it won’t work on fair hair too. Fair hair (light blonde, red and white / grey) lacks the dark pigment found in black, brown and dark blonde hair. The Intense Light needs this dark pigment to heat it up which in turn damages the hair follicle, so the hair stops growing.

Sad times.

But one home-use machine that uses a special energy combination is available. It’s the clinically proven Iluminage Touch, and it takes the prize for Best home IPL hair removal for all skin tones and most hair colours.

2 photos of the Iluminage Touch with a compact base unit and small handset attached by a long flexible cord that doesn't tangle. It's styled in white and glossy pale blue.

The Iluminage Touch: best buy home IPL hair removal machine for dark and black skin and fair hair, to treat face and large body areas. It’s a base unit with a comforatble to hold handset on a long flexible cord. It uses a gentle, combined IPL and RF energy. It’s clinically proven and FDA-cleared as safe and effective for all skin tones including dark and black skin and fair hair.

 

It’s available in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and shipped Globally too.

Safe & gentle Elōs energy for dark skin

This cleverly designed Iluminage Touch uses Elōs energy. It’s a combined Radio Frequency (RF) and Intense Pulsed Light that’s safe and effective for all Fitzpatrick skin types I to VI, light to black.

Together they’re extremely effective at targeting the hair follicle. Therefore, it needs only very gentle IPL. This extra gentle energy is clinically proven safe for dark and black skin tones to give long-lasting hair-free results.

3 photos of the Iluminage Touch: press the elos button to select the energy level from 1 to 3 and back to 1 again, the selected enegery level illuminates on the base unit, the 2 silver RF bars above and below the large flash window.

The Iluminage Touch has 3 elos energy levels. The combined Intense Pulsed Light and Radio Frequency energy is very gentle yet effective at reaching the hair follicle, heating it up and disabling it. This means it uses less intense light energy so it’s safe for dark and black skin. The RF energy is transmitted from the 2 silver bars top and bottom of the flash window. They keep you safe too because the IPL will only flash when the 2 bars are covered by your skin.

 

How does the Iluminage Touch work on fair hair?

Works on fair hair

For it to work on fair hair you must remove the hair at the root instead of shaving immediately before your treatments. So, what happens?

Plucking, waxing and epilating pulls the hair from the follicle and leaves a small amount of blood behind. The Elōs energy works to target the dark blood left in the follicle. This heats up and damages the follicle to disable it. You must also wax or epilate before each next treatment to ensure any newly growing hair has a blood deposit to target.

You get an epilator adaptor with the system.

There are a few things you should note if you want to use the Iluminage on fair hair:

  1. It’s harder to spot results. That’s because you must wax, pluck or epilate before treatments which removes the hair entirely. So, you won’t notice the stunted hair growth after treatments as you do with shaving.
  2. Iluminage advise it takes longer than the 7 weekly start-up sessions to see best results. This isn’t clear on their website or packaging which is frustrating because it’s important to have realistic expectations. Be prepared you may need almost double the advertised sessions.

Clinically Proven and FDA cleared

Elōs energy is clinically proven safe and effective on all skin tones (including dark and black). It’s also clinically proven to work on light blonde and red hair. Grey and white hair was not part of the clinical tests, but the principal is the same so Iluminage say it will be just as effective. The FDA have cleared the devices too, so there’s extra independent verification for peace of mind.

Colour charts showing FitzPatrick tones I to VI (light to black), and all hair colours dark blonde to black, light blonde, red and grey / white. The Iluminage To9uch is clinically proven safe and effective for all.

The Iluminage Precise Touch uses advanced Elōs energy. This combination is clinically proven and FDA cleared for safe and effective use on darker and black skin tones. And unlike other devices it’s also clinically proven to work on fair hair too (light blonde and red). Please note: Grey / white hair was not included in the clinical tests but works by the same principle.

Easy to use

The Iluminage Touch is mains-powered, has a compact base unit with corded hand-held applicator and is extremely easy to use. The big treatment window is designed for covering large body areas like full legs and torso. Application is fastest on low intensity, which is also best suited to dark skin.

You get plenty of flashes for 5 years of fully body treatments (different models are available) and excellent value replacement flash cartridges give extra peace of mind should you run out. It has a facial adaptor too, so I recommend it your face and full body or larger body areas like legs, back or torso.

Photos of the Iluminage Touch showing the base unit and handset, large flash window and facial adaptor, epilator adaptor and the contents of the box.

The handset is very comfortable to hold and easy to position. It has a large 3.3 cm² flash window suited to treating large body areas like legs. The facial adaptor fits over the top and creates a smaller area to treat your upper lip. There’s no flash button – you press the elos activation button and as long as the two silver strips are in contact with your skin the flashes just keep coming! It’s comfortable and straightforward.

Read the full in-depth Iluminage Touch review, or check prices and buy below.

Where to buy the Iluminage Touch

If you found my review helpful and decide to buy, please support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com by shopping through my links (I earn commission for sales but this doesn't increase your price).
Please also check for any taxes or customs duties applicable for delivery to your home country.
Buy the Iluminage Touch
Suitable for ALL skin tones and hair colours. Best for full body and large area treatments
Buy the Iluminage TOUCH hereBuy from CurrentBody.com: UK, Europe and Australia, with Global shipping options.
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9. Philips Lumea Advanced for smaller body areas

£200 to £300, clinically proven, CE certification to meet European safety standards.

This beautiful and ergonomic home IPL is built to last. I recommend this for hair-free results on smaller body areas like arms, underarms and bikini line.

Photo of the small and lightweight gun-shaped Lumea Advanced held by a small hand in different grips.

With the Lumea Advanced you get non-stop corded power up to 5 J/cm2. The very comfortable, ergonomic gun-shape is very easy to manoeuvre. Built to last, the flash bulb gives 15+ years of use. It’s quick to cover smaller body areas and the specialist flash windows are a thoughtful addition here too. It looks and feels expensive, but it’s surprisingly affordable.

 

The Lumea Advanced is Phillips mid-range home IPL range. It’s predominantly available in the UK and Europe, and with Global shipping from CurrentBody.com.

True, Philips reserve all the premium features for the Lumea Prestige range. But don’t overlook the Lumea Advanced. It’s more affordable but with that exceptional Philips build quality – way better than similar priced alternatives.

Love the gun-shaped design

I love the gun-shape of the Lumea Advanced. It’s light-weight at about 370 g yet not flimsy at all. It feels natural to hold and very easy to manoeuvre. The robust, well-balanced ergonomic design stands apart from alternatives at the same price. And the lamp is one of the best giving 15+ years’ worth of full body treatments. It’s a reassuring investment.

Photos of the Lumea Advanced in a left hand grip, close up of the flash trigger with braille-like bobbles, the power cable snug in the tapered handle and the flower pattern vents on the rose gold top with power button and 5 intensity indicator lights.

The gun-shape fits perfectly in my hand and the tapered handle ensures a secure grip. The 192 cm extra-long power cable stays out of the way and gives plenty of slack. I can position it precisely with good visibility of the flash window and controls on the top. And my forefinger rests naturally on the braille-like trigger button without any strain.
It feels great to hold.

 

Skin tone sensor

The Lumea Advanced has a basic skin tone sensor. It checks your skin at the start and periodically throughout. It flashes on fair to medium skin tones (Fitzpatrick I to IV).  So, it won’t flash on darker skin.

Close up photo of the large body attachment with small skin tone sensor window, the ready light illuminate red then white,and the 5 intensity indicator lights all lit up to 5.

The skin tone sensor is the small window below the flash window. Select your intensity level by pressing the power button to scroll up the 5 levels. Place the window on your skin and if your skin is too dark the ‘ready’ light on the back shows red, or white if it’s safe.

 

It’s straightforward, particularly if you’re fair-toned across most body areas. I just select the most comfortable of the 5 intensity levels (5 for me) and off I go. Simple and safe.

Specialist flash windows for best results

The Lumea Advanced models come with a large 4 cm2 body flash window. You also get a 2 cm2 precision or facial window for better and easier coverage on your face, upper lip and trickier areas.

And with the SC1999 there’s a 2 cm2 bikini area window too. This has an extra filter that targets the stubborn bikini line hair so it’s more comfortable to use at your highest, safe-setting. The other attachments still work, but it’s a clever, gentler bonus with less sting.

Great for smaller area

The flash rate is just above average. At the highest power level it flashes every 3.5 seconds. Coupled with the large flash window you can cover a full leg in 15+ minutes. That’s ok, but choose a faster device, like the Lumea Prestige, if you want to treat your full body in one sitting.

Close up of the large 4 cm2 body flash window with the smaller 2 cm2 precision attachment in the background.

All the Lumea Advanced models have a large 4 cmbody flash window. At the highest power level 5 it flashes every 3.5 seconds. Keep the braille-like trigger pressed for ‘Slide and flash’ mode with continuous flashes. It’s ok for treating large areas like your legs, but they take a while. So, I recommend splitting large areas across days into 30-minute sessions so it’s not too tedious. It’s better suited to smaller areas. The small 2 cmfacial and bikini attachments do a great job.

 

Good-looking & great results

Philips say you need 4 to 5 treatments every other week to see noticeable results. This is what the 4+ star online feedback says too. They love the Lumea Advanced. The 100-day money back guarantee from Philips is a reassuring touch. But I think it’s unlikely you’ll need it.

And finally, it’s pretty with a retro feel too. The two-tone white and dusk-gold colour way is feminine and there’s a cute flower-like pattern made by the air vents on top.

I recommend the Lumea Advanced for treating smaller body areas like forearms, underarms and bikini line and for fair skin and dark hair. You can often find it on offer at around £200 too.

Read the full tried-and-tested Lumea Advanced review here, or check prices and buy below.

Where to buy the Philips Lumea Advanced

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Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 & SC1997 for face & body **All with Philips Lumea 100 day money back guarantee**
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Buy the Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997, with precision and body attachments
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Start here for an easy to follow guide on home laser and IPL hair removal

Is it right for you?

Laser hair removal at home

Does your skin and hair colour make you a good candidate for home IPL / laser? Or is there another reason you might not be suitable for treatments? Start by answering these questions to be sure home laser hair removal is safe and right for you.

They’ll also help you to shortlist the many available home use devices to those that best meet your specific needs and budget.

      1. What hair colour do you have?
      2. What skin tone type do you have?
      3. Do any of these apply to you?
      4. Do you tan regularly?
      5. Where do you want to be hair-free?
      6. What’s your budget?

1. What hair colour do you have?

Body hair colour circles: Black, Dark brown, brown, dark blonde, light blonde, red, grey and white.

Dark blonde through to black hair works well and the’re plenty of devices to choose from. Just a few devices work on fair hair (light blonde, red, grey and  white)

The darker your hair colour the better. In dark blonde through to black hair there’s a dark pigment called melanin. This is what the intense light energy targets, heats it up and disables the hair follicle. If your natural hair colour is in this range, you can pick from all home IPL hair removal devices.

If you have fair hair (light blonde, red, white or grey), you lack the melanin that conducts the intense light to heat up and disable the hair root. Most devices won’t work for you. But a special technology does works on light hair and is available in a few devices.

Jump to my best home IPL hair removal recommendation for fair hair

If you have brown or black hair let’s carry on to see which skin tone type you have.

2. What skin tone type do you have?

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

Which Fitzpatrick skin tone type are you?

Because of how laser and IPL hair removal works, it’s safe and gives best results on lighter skin types. This is because the light energy heats-up dark pigment in the hair follicle and leaves the light colour skin unharmed.

There’s much more dark pigment in darker skin, so the light energy heats the skin too. This causes pain and damage. There’s a very high risk of developing skin reactions, such as temporary or permanent skin darkening or lightening, strong redness, burns and blisters.

We use the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale to confirm the skin tone types that can safely use IPL and laser hair removal.

There are 6 skin tone types, measured from type I to VI. Type I is the lightest and type VI the darkest. Some device manufacturers recommend a maximum energy intensity level for your skin type too.

Use the chart and the information below to see what skin tone type you are:

Colour circles showing the Fitzpatrick skin tone types 1 to 6

      • 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 black skin that never burns in the sun and tans very easily

If you have dark brown or black skin, skin tone type VI, just a few home IPL hair removal options are available. They are safe because they use special technology.

Check out my recommended best buy for dark and black skin.

If your skin is dark up to skin tone type V, you have a couple of options that are safe to use at home. But you may be better off with the recommendation for skin type VI as it’s likely to give quicker results and much less discomfort.

If you have lighter skin tone types I to IV you can choose from all laser and IPL home hair removal devices. Keep reading to my best at home IPL hair removal recommendations to find your ideal device.

Note down your skin tone type and let’s move on to check if there are any health or medical reasons you can’t use a device.

3. Do any of these apply to you?

A comprehensive health history questionnaire

Professional treatments start with a comprehensive health history consultation. You have to do your own consultation when choosing an at home system. Do your research!

You could be unsuitable for laser and IPL hair removal at home for a bunch of health and medical reasons. You’ll find warnings and contraindications listed in the user manuals. Don’t buy a machine until you’ve read them.

So what type of things are we talking about?

There are things that could injure your skin or make existing skin conditions worse. Things like aesthetic skin treatments and peels, medicines, skin conditions and diseases.

Some medications and diseases also make you more sensitive to light. IPL and laser hair removal treatments, combined with this photosensitivity, create a high risk of side effects. Possible side effects are burns, blisters, temporary and permanent skin darkening (hyperpigmentation), skin lightening (hypopigmentation), or scarring.

Other common conditions make you unsuitable too. Pregnancy and implants are examples where we need more tests and trials to prove it’s safe to use the home-use devices. Manufacturers therefore responsibly add these conditions to the list of warnings.

This collated list of reasons you may be unsuitable to do IPL and laser hair removal at home comes from various brand user manuals. Read through it and double check none applies to you. And please remember, this isn’t a substitute for doing your own specific research before you buy. You must read the user manuals for each device, and consult your doctor if you’re unsure about anything.

warnings-exclamation

Read the list of health and medical warnings we’ve collated from the user manuals and ALWAYS check the manual of a device you choose before you buy it.

 

The brand manuals present this information in very different ways. Some use catchall general statements and some use very specific examples. Even if none applies to you, the lists can feel overwhelming and make the devices seem unsafe. But see it for what it really is – they are there to protect you. It’s very important to thoroughly check your suitability against these lists.

Visit the brand websites to check the user manuals. Most provide download links but in some cases you may need to contact customer support to get an up to date copy.

If none of the reasons apply to you, move on to learn more about home IPL and laser hair removal and tanning.

4. Do you tan regularly?

Do you like to tan regularly, sunbathing by natural sunlight, artificial light or fake tanning lotions?

Is it likely you’ll tan during the first few months of your IPL at home treatment regimen?

Ladies tanned legs relax on a beach and in the sunshine.

I love to sunbathe and feel healthy with a tan. But tanning and laser hair removal don’t mix.

These are often overlooked but important questions to ask if you are thinking about laser hair removal at home. If you answer yes, this is very important: IPL / laser hair removal and tanning don’t mix for two big reasons.

      1. Safety: The combination increases your risk of skin reactions
      2. Effect: Tanning darkens your skin so you’ll need to user a lower power intensity level. The higher levels are most effective.

To protect your skin and keep you safe, the device manufacturers provide warnings and guidelines around fake tanning, sun bathing and sun exposure.

So what are the guidelines?

Before your treatments

The manufacturers advise different guidelines for how long you must avoid the sun before your treatments. These vary from a cautious 4 weeks, a more manageable 7 days and a short 48 hours. Perform a new patch test to check your skin sensitivity once you’ve waited the guideline time after tanning.

Here’s why: Whether you tan easily or slowly, natural and artificial sunlight increases the melanin in everyone’s skin.  If you use IPL after sunbathing or sun exposure you’ve got a high risk of reactions and damage to your skin such as burns, blisters and temporary and permanent skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) or lightening (hypopigmentation) or scarring.

After your treatments

Post-treatment sun exposure manufacturer guidelines vary too. The most cautious advises to avoid the sun altogether for 2 weeks after your treatments. Another recommends at least 7 days. And just one suggests 48 hours, then use a minimum SPF 30+ in the sun for 2 weeks after your treatment.

Here’s why: laser and IPL makes your skin extra sensitive so it’s at more risk than usual from sunburn after your treatments.

Tanning with creams

Wait for the artificial tan to disappear completely before treating your skin with IPL.

Should you avoid tanning altogether?

Yes. The majority of guidelines mean it’s safer and more effective to complete the full treatment regimen before you start working on your tan.

A colourful beach umbrella provides shade from the sun

Most treatment regimens take about 3 months to complete. Can you avoid the sun and stop fake tanning for that time?

 

Complete your treatments in Autumn or Winter months, or if you can’t avoid the sun cover up and use minimum SPF30 sun lotions. It’s best to stop using fake tan lotions too.

Once you’ve completed your treatment regimen, it’s easier to plan occasional top-up treatments safely around sun exposure and tanning.

To sum up, without a natural or artificial tan:

      • You can use the highest energy intensity level suitable for your skin type, and so get best results
      • You don’t increase the risk of sunburn after a treatment
      • You don’t increase the risk of post-treatment skin reactions
      • You get the best results from your treatment regimen

For some working to these guidelines is impractical or the need to tan outweighs the need to treat their hairy areas! You must decide if laser hair removal at home is right for you and so avoid buying a device that gathers dust in the bottom of a draw.

If that’s all good, let’s now see which body areas you want to treat.

5. Where do you want to be hair free?

Perhaps you crave silky smooth legs with no more ingrown hairs, a hair-free chest or maybe you can’t wait to banish that underarm shaving rash. And so many want a touchable smooth face or a fuzz-free entire body!

Lets look at the common areas for both men and women and what a good choice is for each.

Women

You can choose to treat just a few areas or go for smooth on your entire full body from the cheekbones downwards. Common areas are the upper lip, chin, jawline, sideburns, armpits, forearms, tummy, bikini line, legs, feet and toes. From the very honest online reviews you can also add the neck, chest, around the nipples and bum.

Several ladies with hursutism and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which cause male pattern hair growth, use IPL and home laser to successfully manage their excess facial and body hair to get their confidence back.

Full portrait of a lady in underwear with the most common treatment areas for women highlighted,

So what should you look for in a device?

Face

You need a device that’s safe for facial use. The most recent machines are. These either have a special filter integrated in the flash window or a specialist facial attachment.

Ladies only: you can treat your face from the cheekbones down (sideburns, chin, upper lip). Sorry lads!

Ladies only: with a safe for facial use device you can treat from the cheekbones down (upper lip, sideburns, chin, jawline, neck). NEVER use it on your eyebrows or near your eyes.

 

A must-have is a small treatment window, safe for facial use, that you can position with precision. A good size IPL flash window for this is 2 cm². This allows you to place it accurately and get full contact on small tricky areas like your upper lip.

If you have fair hair, or the occasional grey whisker, you can choose a device that’s effective on that too.

Go to the Best RF & IPL hair removal device for facial treatments

Small areas; bikini & underarms

For small areas an average size flash window will do the job, around 3 cm². Look for a device that isn’t too bulky so you can position it accurately on the uneven bikini and underarm skin curvature. An ergonomic design with a clear view of the flash window also ensures you get good coverage so no hairs escape.

IPL devices are quick to cover small body areas. You can choose one of the fastest and literally be done in under 10 minutes. A laser will take considerably longer than IPL but it’s still doable for small areas. You can split into manageable 30 minute sessions by small area.

Most devices provide ample flashes for these small areas too to give years of use.

Some other IPL devices have specialist flash windows with filters to better target stubborn bikini line hair. And one has shaped underarm and bikini flash window attachments to better fit your body curves giving superior coverage.

All of my Best Buy recommendations make great choices. But here are my favourites for smaller areas:

  • Philips Lumea Prestige – #1 best overall home IPL – fast and with with several specialist flash windows to fit the contours of your body
  • Silk’n Infinity 400,000 – superb value, safe for black skin – is safe for ALL skin tones including dark and black, and at a great price too
  • Philips Lumea Advanced with a great gun-shape and specialist attachments
  • Tria 4X laser – FDA-cleared diode laser – this diode laser is the most powerful FDA-cleared device available for home use
  • Smoothskin Muse – no-faff & foolproof – this powerful IPL has a versatile 3 cm² flash window for all body areas. It also checks and selects the optimum intensity level for your skin before every flash. It’s foolproof.

 

Full legs / Full body & face treatments

For this, you’ll need a machine that has it all.

For legs you need something with lots of flashes so you’ll never run out. And mains-power operation so you don’t run out of charge. Plus an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to hold and easy to manoeuvre so you can reach the backs of your knees and thighs. And it must be fast too, because you don’t want to spend ages doing it.

It must be easier to position and flash on your face and on smaller areas like your bikini line, ankles and shins too.

There are several IPL devices that fit the bill. Try these:

  • Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 – #1 best overall home IPL – this good-looking IPL device is powerful, intuitive and comes with contoured windows to fit your curves. Suitable for all but the darkest skin tones with flashes that last for decades. It’s the fastest high-power IPL out there and simply the best I’ve tried for large and small areas alike. Unbeaten.
  • Smoothskin Muse distinctive, sleek and handsome IPL you just want to hold. Suitable for all but the darkest skin tones. Fast to cover large areas and it’s no-faff as it chooses the optimum power from 10 intensity levels. A powerful beauty that also gives you endless flashes.
  • Braun Silk Expert 5 a powerful IPL, that looks the part. Suitable for all but the darkest skin tones. The advanced technology in the skin tone sensor means it’s foolproof to use
  • Smoothskin Bare – ultrafast – small and perfectly formed this little dude is different. With one lower intensity level you just plug-in-and go. It’s safe for all but the darkest skin tones, gives unlimited flashes and it’s ultrafast. Great for you if you’ve limited time to spare, or you lack committment to the regimen. You can do a whole body in 10 to 20 mins!
  • Silk’n Infinity 400,000 – superb value, safe for black skin – this small but might device combines galvanic and IPL energies for a super efficient and safe treatment. It’s safe for all skin tones including the darkest and black. It’s fast and at a great price too.
  • Iluminage Touch a gentler IPL combined with Radio Frequency energy. This special technology is FDA cleared and clinically proven safe and effective for all skin tones including the darkest and black. It also works on fair hair too.

 

Men

The most common treatment areas for men are neck, shoulders, back, chest and torso. From the online reviews other men share they treat their legs, underarms and bikini / Brazilian too.

Full portrait of a man in shorts and vest with the most common treatment areas for men highlighted.

For both men and women home IPL and laser hair removal is not suitable for use on the genitals or anus. Skin in this area is usually darker and so there’s a higher risk of burns and side effects.

IMPORTANT: Although I’ve found several Youtube reviews with men using IPL on their beards, all manufacturers warn home IPL and laser hair removal is not suitable for use on men’s beards. There’d be limited results because of the thickness, density and depth of male beard hair. Using it can cause pain, leave unintended bald patches, have little effect after prolonged use and can cause adverse and unsightly reactions – not a good look on your face.

You’ll need a device with lots of flashes so it’ll last for years on these larger body areas. And it must be fast to apply too. You’ll need an ergonomic design that’s comfortable, easy to manoeuvre with good visibility of the flash window – especially if you’re treating your torso and chest. You’ll also likely need a helpful assistant if you’re treating your back!

Although lower energy IPL devices are effective, you may prefer one of the most powerful to get fastest and longer lasting results.

Try these:

 

So, not all machines are equal and they come at different prices. Next let’s look at the cost of the machines.

6. What’s your budget?

IPL and laser hair removal kits range in price.  Those available in the UK range from around £150 up to £500. In the US they range from around $100 up to $800.

Boots Smoothskin, first model available in 2009.

The first model Boots Smoothskin cost £300+ back in 2009. Today, prices stay the same for premium brands, but the specs and performance has vastly improved.

The first home IPL machines cost a premium price. Today, the premium brands cost about the same but now with vastly improved specifications and features. And there are more affordable options too from both established and new brands. But it’s not always obvious what more, or less cash, gets you. Or which is the best in a specific range.

Let’s dig into why there is such a large overall price range.

Premium devices £££+ / $$$+

Most brand machines have identical features such as basic skin tone sensors and a glide mode. But a few do stand out from the crowd because they offer something more or something unique.

The latest Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 is powerful, fast, operates both cordless and mains-powered, has unique curved treatment windows to fit the contours of your body and a reassuring skin tone sensor that advises the best intensity level for your skin. The build quality is unsurpassed and it has a lamp lifetime of 15+ years too.

The Braun Silk expert 5 IPL is powerful, fast and a hassle-free skin tone sensor that chooses the intensity level for you. It’s ergonomic, elegant, well-built and foolproof.

The Iluminage Touch uses an advanced dual energy (IPL and Radio Frequency) so it’s safe for dark and black skin tones. And it’s the only technology clinically proven to work on light hair (Blonde and red).

Mid-range £££ / $$$

Some brands create slightly lower spec versions of their flagship models to fit a different price point. In general they have the same build quality, a shorter lamp lifetime, some are less powerful and with slower application speed.

The Braun Silk Expert 3 is the reduced specification version of the Silk Expert 5. You can see a comparison here.

The Philips Lumea Advanced has some great above average features and great build quality, but the cream is reserved for it’s big sister – the Lumea Prestige. Compare the Lmea Prestige and Advanced here.

Other brands simply design and price their models at a mid-range.

The Silk’n Infinity 400,000 is an excellent value choice. The simple, no-frills design is impressive because it’s fast and safe for dark and black skin. It rivals the premium models. Finally, an affordable home IPL hair removal device that’s safe for all skin tones.

The compact Silk’n Flash&Go Express is a solid and attractively priced mid-range spec with great features. It has flashes to last 15+ years, a maximum IPL energy of 5 J/cm2 and it’s fast to apply too. A good value choice for full body or smaller areas.

Basic design models ££ / $$

Basic models are generally of a simple, hand-held, compact design. They’re functional and straightforward, but they don’t compromise on safety or results. They’re usually mains-powered, with one multi-use flash window and slightly less powerful than the other models.

The lamp lifetime varies by device – some give many and some relatively few years of use. Application speed varies too.

The Silk’n Flash&Go Compact is good value and affordable. It has flashes to last 5 years and a maximum IPL energy of 5 J/cm2. But you compromise on application speed so full body treatments are slow.  A good value choice for smaller areas.

The Smoothskin Bare stands-out. It’s surprisingly affordable for such a thoughtful, ergonomic and well-presented device. It takes a bold approach with one low IPL energy of 3 J/cm. It takes slightly more frequent treatments but they’re ultrafast and easy to fit in. This ones for anyone with a hectic schedule or motivational issues.

Older models

You can still buy models that were released several years ago. Newer models have surpassed their spec and these old models have lowered their prices to look more attractive, or to shift the remaining stock.

Amongst these are the Remington iLight and Silk’n Flash&Go models. They’ve got loads of online reviews but please do your research. Their specification is outdated – specifically, their application speed and the lamp lifetime from each. Refill cartridges are expensive over time and offer poor value compared to the latest devices from Smoothskin, Braun and Philips.

I try to find the cheapest deals and find retailers who offer additional perks such as superb customer service, money back guarantee periods and discount codes. But prices and availability vary by country and retailer, so shop around!

Now, choose the best IPL / laser for you

By now, you’ll know if you are suitable for home IPL hair removal treatments, and you’ll have answers to these questions.

  • What hair colour do you have?
  • What skin tone type do you have?
  • Do any of these apply to you?
  • Do you tan regularly?
  • Where on your body do you want to be hair-free?
  • What’s your budget?

 

The best home laser hair removal reviewed by We Are Body BeautifulSo, now you can find your perfect home IPL or laser hair removal device in my best laser & IPl hair removal device round-up.

 

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