Best home laser hair removal guide & reviews

Got questions about laser hair removal? Not sure where to start or which home machine is best for you? Keep reading my expert guide. It will save your time.

lady looking puzzled, standing next to a large white chalk question mark. She looks like she's got questions and needs help from this best home laser hair removal guide.

I too had so many questions. I didn’t know where to start.

So I spent ages learning about laser hair removal at home. I wanted to know “does it work?”  and “is it permanent?” Once I’d absorbed all the important facts about laser hair removal I then spent even more time researching and comparing all the IPL hair removal machines.

It took weeks.

I read user manuals, all their warnings, dos and don’ts, to triple-check each device was safe for me to use. I found lots of helpful and very important information, sometimes in small print and website FAQs where it’s easily overlooked. I compared all the machines and poured over online reviews until my head hurt!

And now to help you I’ve pulled it altogether in this easy-to-follow guide and list of best home laser hair removal machines. It will help you choose and save your time.

 

In this best home laser hair removal guide…

Is at home laser hair removal right for you?
Start with this guide to see if home IPL is safe and right for you. It’s organised into 6 helpful questions to check your suitability and to help narrow down your choices from the many available and similar devices. Make the right decision: don’t buy anything before you’ve read this guide. Jump to the questions now.

Wearebodybeautiful.com recommended machines
best-buys-logo2My best buy home laser hair removal machines roundup is here. Which is best for getting your full body fuzz-free, just small areas, or your face? Which is best for dark and black skin, for fair hair. Or which should busy mums consider? This isn’t just a list of the choices available on Amazon – this is a genuine round-up of the best.

All scores leaderboard and suitable skin tones for each machine
The third part lists all the at home IPL hair removal machines reviewed on this site listed by rating out of 5. The table shows which skin tones are safe and suitable and what type of treatments I recommend each is best for.


Is at home laser hair removal right for you?

Start here for an easy to follow guide on home laser and IPL hair removalDoes 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 to white)

The darker your hair colour the better. Dark blonde through to black hair has dark melanin pigment that’s required the light energy to target it, heat it and disable the 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. Keep reading to learn which.

Note down your colour and 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 suitable and safe to use 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 at home.

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 best home laser hair removal recommended 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 learn more.

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 a laser hair removal 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.

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.

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.

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.

For your convenience, below are links to the most popular device PDF user manuals that you can check through (correct as of 6th June 2016).

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 make sure you’re safe using your laser hair removal at home, 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?

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?

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.

Complete your treatments in Autumn or Winter months, or if you can’t avoid the sun cover up and use SPF 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 people 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 skin in one or two body areas, or your face, or maybe you want a fuzz-free full body!

The first thing to check for is where you can use the device.

Some home IPL machines are suitable for body only treatments, from the neck down.  Others are safe for facial treatments too. These either have a special filter integrated in the flash window or a specialist facial attachment. The most recent machines are suitable for both body and face treatments.

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

  • The most common treatment areas for men are neck, shoulders, back, chest and torso.
  • For women it’s the upper lip, chin, sideburns, armpits, forearms, tummy, bikini line, legs, feet and toes.
  • At home IPL and laser hair removal is not suitable for use on men’s beards. Using it there can leave unintended bald patches, have little effect after prolonged use and can cause adverse and unsightly reactions.

 

There are a few things to look for in a machine depending on where you’ll use the IPL hair removal device.

Small areas

If you’re treating small areas like underarms, bikini line, tummy and forearms, a small precision treatment window helps to cover these uneven surfaces. 2 cm² is a good size. You want a good number of flashes, but you won’t need hundreds of thousands of flashes as you’ll use relatively few compared to full body treatments.  You won’t notice the treatment times as much either, as it takes just minutes to cover these small areas with flashes.

Large areas

For areas like your back, torso and full legs you’ll need a device with lots of flashes that gives you the most treatments for your money so it’ll last for ages. And it must have fast treatment times too.

Facial use

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, sideburns, chin, upper lip.

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

Women can treat their upper lip, sideburns, cheeks (below the cheek bone), chin and neck, but never use it near your eyes.

Facial use is not recommended for men. There’d be limited results on your beard because of the thickness, density and depth of male beard hair. There’s also a risk of adverse reactions – not a good look on your face.

Full body and face treatments

For this, you’ll need a machine that has it all. Packed with features it must have a small facial attachment, a precision attachment for small, tricky and uneven areas, several years’ worth of full body treatments, fast treatment times and an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to use.

Now you know which areas of your body you’ll treat with your IPL device, 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 $700.

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

Why is there such a large price range?

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.

There were just a few  IPL / laser hair removal home-use machines available over 5 years ago. And they cost a premium price. Today the premium brand prices haven’t dropped that much, but the specs and performance of the machines has vastly improved.

And now there are more affordable options too. Established and new brands have released basic, lower-cost machines.  But it’s not always obvious what more, or less cash, gets you.

Here are a few things that account for a high or low price:

Number of flashes

A higher number of flashes from the lamp provides loads more treatments. The first home use IPL machines had a tiny number of flashes. Some gave just 1,000 flashes from each expensive replacement bulb. Brands quickly realised they could keep prices high and out match their competition by increasing the number of flashes. So they gradually started to rise.

Devices with tens of thousands built-in flashes followed, still accompanied by the expensive replacement cartridges. Next, excellent value devices gave a 100,000 flashes.  Now in the past few years, you can buy models from Philips, Smoothskin and Silk’n with up to a humongous 400,000 flashes. These promise several years of use and generally you’ll pay more for them. So always check the lamp lifetime.

Each of my reviews tells you the total body area you can cover with the flashes from each device. In addition, I’ve used a consistent formula to estimate the total number of full body treatments for each device. This shouldn’t be taken as an exact number, because every one is of a different size. However, it is a fair and  standard way to compare and contrast devices to see which give you more or less treatments for the price.

Premium features

4 icons denoting cordless design, safe for all skin tones, fast treatments, skin tone sensor.

From top left: a cordless design, safe for all skin tones, fast treatments, skin tone sensor that selects your intensity level. All unique features that dictate a high price tag.

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

You’ll pay more for a device that offers a unique and desirable benefit, usually from £££ to ££££ range.

These ones have desirable features that cost more cash. For example:

  • The latest Philips Lumea BRI956 operates both cordless and mains-powered, has 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 Smoothskin Gold and Braun IPL have fast treatment times and a hassle-free skin tone sensor that chooses the intensity level for you.
  • And the Iluminage Touch and Precise Touch is safe for dark and black skin tones, and it’s the only device proven to work on light hair.

Basic design models

Basic models are cheaper to produce, lower priced and therefore more affordable.

In the £ to ££ range, they are functional and straightforward, but they don’t compromise on safety or results. They are usually mains-powered, of a smaller design and they come without extra precision attachments. The number of flashes and their treatment times vary by device.

Older models

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

Choose your price range

The machines on this site are categorised by their prices in £ GBP and $ USD. Most devices fall into the lower ranges, but unsurprisingly the most desirable and popular are in the higher ranges.

Each machine reviewed on Wearebodybeautiful.com is assigned one of the following price categories:

£ GBP

  • £ – up to £149
  • ££ – £150 to £249
  • £££ – £250 to £349
  • ££££ – £350+

$ USD

  • $ – up to $199
  • $$ – $200 to $349
  • $$$ – $350 to $500
  • $$$$ – $501+

We 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!

Make a note of your budget price range. Then move onto the next step and start your search for your perfect home laser hair removal system.

Now, shortlist the best devices 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?

 

Now you can create a shortlist of machines based on your answers. Check out the Wearebodybeautiful  recommended best buy machines and scores leaderboard below.

 


Best buy roundup: Best home laser hair removal machines

Best buy home laser hair removal round up reviewsIf you’re busy and don’t have the time to read through several in-depth reviews, then take a look at my recommended best buy home IPL hair removal machines.

  1. Overall best home laser hair removal device
  2. Recommended for fast, safe and simple use
  3. Best home IPL hair removal devices for dark and black skin
  4. Best budget home IPL hair removal device

 

1. Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956, BRI953, BRI950: Overall best home device

best-buys-logo 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 home IPL hair removal machine because it’s designed beautifully to do it all.

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 review: looks good, comes with so much good stuff!The new Philips Lumea Prestige are available in the UK and Europe, and their higher price tag reflects the premium design.

It’s not yet available in the USA. An excellent alternative is my Best Buy for fast, safe and simple use.

It feels 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 years make it a long-lasting investment. It’s suitable for all but the darkest skin and comes with a new Smartskin sensor. 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.

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.  A few years of Philips research have delivered something that’s so simple, effective and standout. And if that’s not enough, boy is it fast – from just 6.5 minutes to treat a full leg.

Where to buy the Philips Lumea BRI956 & BRI950

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.
Philips Lumea Prestige, for body & face

Buy Lumea BRI950 from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee. Search "BRI950".
Buy Lumea BRI950 from Amazon: UK & Europe orders.
Lumea 100 day money back guarantee - visit Philips.co.uk to to learn more.
Buy the Philips Lumea BRI956 here Buy Lumea BRI956 from Amazon: UK & Europe orders.
Lumea 100 day money back guarantee - visit Philips.co.uk to to learn more.

Read my in-depth Philips Lumea BRI956 and BRI950 review to learn more including detailed photos.

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

Read my full Lumea Prestige review to learn why it’s different and if it’s right for you.

 

2. Braun Silk Expert IPL: Fast, safe and simple

If you hate faff, try this.

Fast 'as lightning' treatment iconThe Braun Silk expert IPL is so straightforward to use. It’s a fine choice if you want a simple plug-and-play machine to get the job done quickly. I recommend it for fast, safe and simple home IPL hair treatments.

The Braun Silk-Expert IPL device is my recommended best home laser hair removal device for fast, safe and simple treatments.The Braun IPL is available in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. It’ pricey at full RRP, but offers are common. The design has simplicity in mind and it delivers some distinctive premium features.

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. And if it stings on sensitive areas just press the gentle mode to reduce the intensity.

It’s fast too. On the highest intensity, it flashes every 2 seconds so it takes from just 8 minutes to glide over a full leg. 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 comfortable to use, looks good, gives several years of use and Braun are a trusted brand. It’s often on sale too.

Where to buy the Braun Silk Expert IPL

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.

Compare prices of all Silk expert IPL models on Amazon
Buy the Braun Silk expert IPL 5001 here Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert IPL 5001, for face & body
Braun Silk-Expert with razor: UK & International 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 5009 Braun Silk expert BD 5009 for face & body, plus body exfoliator
Buy Braun silk expert from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee. Search "Braun IPL".
Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy the Braun / Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL BD 5008 Braun Silk Expert BD 5008 for face & body, plus facial cleanser
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy the White and Purple Braun Silk expert IPL 3 (BD 3001) Braun Silk Expert 3 BD 3001 with Venus Razor
Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy Braun silk expert 3 from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee. Search "Braun IPL".
Buy from Shavershop.com.au (no razor included): Australia orders, with 90 day money back guarantee

Read my in-depth Braun Silk Expert IPL review for more detailed information and photographs.

Detailed images from the Gillette Venus Silk expert IPL review

Read my in-depth review of the Braun / Gillete Venus Silk expert IPL to learn if it’s the right choice for you and to see detailed photos.

 

Smoothskin Gold black ergonomic hand-held device for the 120 and 200 models. The 300 model is silver and black.

The Smoothskin Gold is is very similar to the Braun Silk expert IPL. That’s because they’re both manufactured by Cyden Ltd, so the technology is identical. They have the same treatment times and skin tone sensor. Compare prices to see which is the best deal.

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 whichever you choose you can be confident its a quality choice.

If you like the bonus exfoliator or cleanser that come with the Silk expert, choose that. Otherwise just double check how many flashes each model’s lamp comes with, compare and choose the one with the lowest price tag. Read the SS Gold full review to learn more, or check prices and buy using the links below.

Where to buy the Smoothskin Gold

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.

Where to buy Smoothskin Gold, for face & body
Buy the Smoothskin Gold here Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee and other great deals. Search "Smoothskin Gold".
Buy from Amazon UK & International orders: SS Gold 300, SS Gold 200 & SS Gold 120
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders, with 90 day money back guarantee.

 

3. Iluminage Touch & Iluminage Precise Touch: best for dark and black skin

Wheel of skin tone colour swatches for Fitzpatrick types I to VIIf you have dark or black skin (Fitzpatrick skin type V or VI), most home IPL hair removal systems aren’t safe for your skin. But Illuminage Beauty provide unique FDA-cleared technology that is safe and effective.

Choose from the Iluminage Touch for full body and face treatments or the Iluminage Precise Touch best for face and small areas like underarms and bikini line.

These cleverly designed devices use Intense Pulsed Light and Radio Frequency energies (called Elōs energy). This combined energy is extra gentle so safe for dark and black skin tones, yet still proven to give long-lasting hair-free results. Learn more about this in the full reviews.

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

The Iluminage Touch: best home IPL hair removal machine for dark and black skin to treat face and large body areas.

The machines are available in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada.

The Iluminage Touch is the best home IPL hair removal machine out there for dark and black skin to treat your face and large body areas. It’s 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. Great value replacement flash cartridges provide extra peace of mind should you run out. It has a facial adaptor too, so I recommend it if you have dark or black skin and want to be hair free on your face and all or several larger body areas. Learn more in my in-depth Iluminage Touch review.

 The small 2cm2 treatment window on the Iluminage Precise Touch is a great choice for treating the face and small areas, and it's safe for dark and black skin, so it's my recommended best home laser hair removal machine for dark and black skin.

The Iluminage Precise Touch: best home IPL hair removal machine for dark, black skin to treat face and small body areas (underarms, bikini line, forearms)

The Iluminage Precise Touch is less expensive than the Touch. It’s a small, mains-powered, compact hand-held device. It’s very easy to use.

It has just one small 2 cm2 treatment window, so it’s designed for treating small areas. For this gives several years of use, so no replacement flash cartridges are necessary or available.  Treatment times are fastest on the low intensity levels, which are best suited to dark skin also.

I recommend it if you have dark skin and want to be hair free on your face and a few small areas like underarms and bikini line. Learn more in the Iluminage Precise Touch review.

Where to buy the Iluminage Touch and Iluminage Precise Touch

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.


Buy the Iluminage Touch.
Suitable for ALL skin tones and hair colours. Best for full body and large area treatments

Buy the Iluminage TOUCH here Buy from Sephora.com: Search 'Iluminage', USA orders, Free delivery
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee and other offers. Search "Iluminage Touch".
Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy the Iluminage Precise Touch.
Suitable for ALL skin tones and almost all hair colours. Best for face and small area treatments

Buy the Iluminage Precise Touch here Buy from Sephora.com: Search 'Iluminage', USA orders, Free delivery
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee and other offers. Search "Iluminage Precise Touch".
Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page

 

4. Smoothskin Bare: Best budget home IPL hair removal device

best-buys-logo Don’t be fooled by the no-frills design and affordable price tag. The new Smoothskin Bare changes everything. It’s my recommended best budget buy home laser hair removal choice.

The Bare is available in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia and it sells for under £200 / $299 USD and around $399 AUD.

The Smoothskin Bare is my recommended budget best home laser hair removal device offering superb value for under £200It beats several other low cost devices to the Best buy award 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 just 4 minutes!

That’s possible because the one low intensity level takes only 0.6 seconds to recharge between flashes. And the low intensity level is gentle too, so it’s safe for darker skin tones.

Those who have failed with IPL in the past because it’s too boring and tedious, can commit and continue with the quick treatments. Busy mums can fit it into their hectic schedule. The Smoothskin Bare makes it easier to commit to regular, fast treatments that keeps your stubble away! Read the full Smoothskin Bare review here >>

Where to buy the Smoothskin Bare

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.
Buy the Smoothskin Bare here Smoothskin Bare, for body & face
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee. Search "Smoothskin Bare".
Buy from Amazon: UK orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia Orders, with 90 day money back guarantee.

 


All scores leaderboard and suitable skin tones

The table below shows the Wearebodybeautiful.com rating out of 5 for all the reviewed devices. Sort the data by clicking the headings, click the images or names to read the full review.

Fitzpatrick skin tone types 1 to 6

Check which are suitable for your skin tone against the Fitzpatrick scale.

And which match your budget:

£ GBP

  • £ – up to £149
  • ££ – £150 to £249
  • £££ – £250 to £349
  • ££££ – £350+

$ USD

  • $ – up to $199
  • $$ – $200 to $349
  • $$$ – $350 to $500
  • $$$$ – $501+

 Star ratingSafe forSkin types
& hair colour
Type
Price GBP
Price USD
Philips-Lumea-BRI956-review-thumb
The Lumea Prestige models are My Overall Best Buy home IPL device
4.9

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956
Body & Face

I to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, with flashes to last 15+ years. It does it all - you can use it both corded or cordless, with the advanced skin tone sensor or manual controls. The x4 specialist treatment windows are shaped to match your curves. It's intuitive, comfortable, easy to use, with exceptional build quality. Online reviewers love it.
My Overall Best Buy home IPL device
Philips-Lumea-BRI953-review-thumb
4.8

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI953
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, with flashes to last 15+ years. It does it all - you can use it both corded or cordless, with the advanced skin tone sensor or manual controls. The x3 specialist treatment windows are shaped to match your curves. It's intuitive, comfortable, easy to use, with exceptional build quality. Online reviewers love it.
My Overall Best Buy home IPL device
Philips-Lumea-BRI950-review-thumb
4.7

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI950
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, with flashes to last 15+ years. It does it all - you can use it both corded or cordless, with the advanced skin tone sensor or manual controls. The x2 specialist treatment windows are shaped to match your curves. It's intuitive, comfortable, easy to use, with exceptional build quality. Online reviewers love it.
My Overall Best Buy home IPL device

4.5

Braun / Gillette Venus Silk-expert IPL
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
From $$$
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, and with the advanced skin tone sensor it's foolproof. 300,000 flashes - more then you'll ever need lasting 15+ years. Online reviewers love it. Almost identical to the Smoothskin Gold.
It's my Best Buy for fast, safe and simple treatments.
The Smoothskin Gold review
4.5

SmoothSkin Gold 300
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
From $$$
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, and the advanced skin tone sensor means it's foolproof. 300,000 flashes - more then you'll ever need lasting 15+ years. Online reviewers love it. Almost identical to the Braun Silk Expert IPL.
It's my Best Buy for fast, safe and simple treatments.
The Smoothskin Gold review

4.5

SmoothSkin Gold 200
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From ££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, and the advanced skin tone sensor means it's foolproof. 200,000 flashes - plenty flashes to last 10+ years. Online reviewers love it. Almost identical to the Braun Silk Expert IPL.
It's my Best Buy for fast, safe and simple treatments.
Smoothskin Bare review
4.4

Smoothskin Bare
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

From ££
From $$
Best suited to: Full body & face or small area treatments.
This no-frills device operates at a single low intensity so treatments are ultrafast. Perfect for full body treatments and small areas alike. You'll need more treatments overall but they'll take half the time of the next fastest device. Great for anyone with a busy schedule (or just plain lazy).
It's my ultrafast, budget Best Buy
Philips Lumea SC2009 scores 4.6
4.4

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2009/00
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Smaller areas and face.
Premium cordless design with x3 specialist attachments that'll last 15+ years of use. Check out my Best Buy recommendations with faster and better application times for full body treatments. The Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 is the updated and latest model version.
Philips Lumea Prestige Sc2007/00 review
4.4

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2007/00
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From £££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Smaller areas and face.
Premium cordless design with x2 specialist attachments that'll last 15+ years of use. Check out my Best Buy recommendations with faster and better application times for full body treatments. The Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956 is the updated and latest model version.
The Philips Lumea Advanced Sc1999 review
4.3

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
Standard

From ££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Smaller areas and face.
The mid-range option from Philips, usually less expensive than the flagship Prestige. It's mains-powered, has an intuitive gun-shape design and x3 specialist treatment windows (including a bikini treatment window).
A good choice, often on offer. The lower price means it's great value for treating smaller areas and your face.
The Smoothskin Gold review
4.2

SmoothSkin Gold 120
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Premium

From ££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
It's one of the fastest, and it's foolproof. 120,000 flashes - will last 5+ years. Online reviewers love it. Almost identical to the Braun Silk Expert IPL White & Rose Gold model. The 120 model now has limited availability in favour of the 200 and 300 model.
The Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997
4.2

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
Standard

From ££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Smaller areas and face.
The mid-range option from Philips, usually less expensive than the flagship Prestige. It's mains-powered, has an intuitive gun-shape design and x2 specialist treatment windows.
A good choice, often on offer. the lower price means it's great value for treating smaller areas and your face.
Silkn Flash&Go Express review
4.2

Silk’n Flash&Go Express 300,000
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

From $$
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments or smaller areas.
This no-frills device from Silk'n is fast, easy to operate and will last up to 15 years of full body treatments. A great budget choice. The lower price tag makes it a value choice for treating smaller areas too.
Read the Iluminage TOUCH review
Best Buy for dark and black skin tones
Safe for all skin tones
4.1

Iluminage Touch 300,000 flashes
Body & FaceAll tones I to VI
Black to dark blonde,
light blonde and red*
Premium

From ££££
From $$$
Best suited to: Full body & face treatments.
This uses a gentle, combined Radio Frequency and IPL energy making it safe and effective for dark to black skin tones. It also works on fair hair.
It's my Best Buy for dark and black skin tones and most hair colours for treating large areas or your full body.
The White and Purple model of the Braun Silk expert
4.1

Braun Silk expert IPL 3 with 250,000 flashes
Body & FaceI to V
Black to dark blonde
Standard

From ££
From $$
Best suited to: Smaller areas and the face.
This is a reduced spec and cheaper version of the Braun Silk Expert. It'll last ages but application time is slower than other options. If it's on offer, I think it's a good choice for treating small body areas like underarms, bikini line, forearms and face. That's because application time is fast enough for these areas.
iluminage Precise Touch review: for small body areas and the face

4.0

Iluminage Precise Touch
Body & Face All tones I to VI
Black to dark blonde,
light blonde and red*
No-frills

££ / $$
Best suited to: Smaller areas and face.
This uses a gentle, combined Radio Frequency and IPL energy making it safe and effective for dark to black skin tones. It also works on fair hair. The lamp lifetime from the 120,000 flashes model is poor, but cheaper replacement bulbs are available meaning you won't have to buy another new device at full price.
It's my Best Buy for dark and black skin tones and most hair colours for smaller areas and your face.
4.0

Philips Lumea Essential BRI861
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

From ££
Not available in USA
Best suited to: Smaller areas
A decent budget choice that'll last ages, but application time is slower than other options. So I think it's best suited to treating small body areas like underarms, bikini line and forearms.
Philips Lumea Comfort SC1981 mains powered device  is small and lightweight with top of the range features and functions
3.6

Philips Lumea Essential SC1983
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

££ / $$$$
REad the Iluminage TOUCH review

Safe for all skin tones
3.5

Iluminage Touch 120,000 flashes
Body & FaceAll tones I to VI
Black to dark blonde,
light blonde and red*
Premium

From ££££
From $$$
Best suited to: Face and small areas
This uses a gentle, combined Radio Frequency and IPL energy so it's safe and effective for dark and black skin tones. It also works on fair hair. There's ample flashes for small areas, but choose the Iluminage Touch if you want to be fuzz-free over your full body.
It's my Best Buy for dark and black skin tones for treating small areas like face, bikini line, tummy, underarms and forearms.
remington-ilight-prestige-ipl6750-review
3.5

Remington iLight Pro IPL6750
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
Standard

£££
Remington iLight Pro IPL6500 review
3.5

Remington iLight Pro IPL6500
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
Standard

££
Remington iLight Ultra review
3.5

Remington iLight Ultra
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
Standard

$$$
Silkn Glide 150000 in purple
3.5
Silk'n Glide 150,000 / Flash&Go Compact
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

££
Best suited to: Smaller areas (underarms, bikini line, tummy and forearms)
This no-frills, low-cost option from Silk'n will last 5 years but the application time is slow so it's not the best choice for your full legs and full body. It's better suited to smaller areas where you won't notice the speed. Takes practise on upper lip and uneven surfaces.
Philips Lumea Comfort SC1981 mains powered device  is small and lightweight with top of the range features and functions
3.5

Philips Lumea Comfort SC1981
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

££ / $
Remington iLight ipl6250 review
3.4

Remington iLight Essential IPL6250
Body onlyI to IV
Black to dark blonde
Standard

££ / $$
Silkn Glide 50,000 in green
3.3

Silk'n Glide 50,000
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

£
Best suited to: Smaller areas (underarms, bikini line, tummy and forearms)
This no-frills, low-cost option from Silk'n will last 5 years if used on smaller body areas. And the application time is slow so it's not the best choice for your full legs and full body. It's better suited to smaller areas where you won't notice the speed. Takes practise on upper lip and uneven surfaces.
Silkn Glide 30,000 in blue
3.2

Silk'n Glide 30,000
Body & FaceI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

£
Best suited to: Smaller areas (underarms, bikini line, tummy and forearms)
This no-frills, low-cost option from Silk'n will last 3 years if used on smaller body areas. And the application time is slow so it's not the best choice for your full legs and full body. It's better suited to smaller areas where you won't notice the speed. Takes practise on upper lip and uneven surfaces.

Veet Infini'Silk review
2.9
Veet Infini'Silk
Body onlyI to IV
Black to dark blonde
No-frills

$
Me My Elos Pro Ultra scores 68%
2.6

Me My Elos Pro Ultra 200,000 Pulses
Body & Face All tones
I to VI
Black to dark blonde, light blonde, red, grey / white*
Premium

££££ / $$$$
* Clinical trials showed the devices to be effective on light hair (blonde and red) but white and grey hair were not included in the trial. If you have lighter body hair it will take longer than the recommended treatment regimen to achieve your optimum results.
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