The 2019 definitive list of the UK, Australia & North American best home laser & IPL hair removal machines from Philips, Tria, Smoothskin, Silk’n & more.W ant to be as smooth as a dolphin? Well, you need not shave everyday, endure stubble, rash or ingrown hairs. Instead, choose one of these tried-&-tested DIY laser hair removal devices for silky-smooth skin that lasts. There’s something for every skin tone, budget and treatment area.
The best home laser IPL hair removal machines of 2019 are:
- Philips Lumea Prestige IPL – Best overall home IPL hair removal device
- Braun Silk expert Pro 5 IPL – Best home IPL that’s fast, no-faff & super-safe
- Tria Beauty hair removal laser 4X – Most powerful home laser hair removal
- Smoothskin Muse IPL – Sexy, powerful & lasts forever
- Silk’n Infinity 400,000 – Best gentle IPL hair removal for dark & black skin
- Smoothskin Bare IPL – Ultra-fast & best value for dark skin
- Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL – Best IPL hair removal for face
- Philips Lumea Advanced – Best home IPL hair removal for smaller body areas
Before we dive into the round-up, you must confirm home laser & IPL is safe for you. So, first let’s check your skin tone, hair colour and reasons you may be unsuitable to use home laser and IPL hair removal machines.
Is it safe for your skin tone?
Because of the way IPL and laser hair removal works not all machines are safe on dark skin tones. So, first check which skin tone type you are.
We use the Fitzpatrick scale to do this. There are 6 Fitzpatrick types, measured from type I to VI. Type I is the lightest skin and type VI the darkest.
All home-use devices reviewed here are safe for types I to IV, light to mid-brown skin tones. A few more are safe for dark skin up to type V. And a couple are safe for the darkest skin type VI. These use dual energies with very gentle IPL that’s safe for black skin.
This list has a recommendation for type V skin and type VI, and the safe skin tones are clearly shown. If you want a round-up of all choices, check out:
Related: round-up of best machines for skin types V and VI dark & black skin
Will it work on your hair colour?
With home laser and IPL, the darker your hair colour the better.
There’s dark melanin in dark blonde through to black hair. The intense light energy targets the melanin, heats it up and disables the hair follicle. If your natural hair colour is in this range, choose from all home IPL and laser hair removal devices.
With fair hair (light blonde, red, white or grey), you don’t have the dark melanin needed. Your hair can’t attract the light energy so it’s not heated up nor the hair root disabled. Most devices won’t work for you, although a few say they can.
Look out for the hair colour chart with each device review. And for fair hair check out this round-up of the best at home laser hair removal for lighter hair.
You could be unsuitable for laser and IPL hair removal for a bunch of health and medical reasons.
These range from pregnancy and breastfeeding, diabetes, medical and skin conditions to photosensitising medications.
You’ll find these contraindications listed in user manuals. Head over to the brand websites, most have downloadable versions. If you can’t find one, email customer support and ask for it. Don’t buy a machine until you’ve checked them!
You can learn more about these contraindications here.
And there’s more…
There’s much more to learn about home laser & IPL hair removal too. Such as:
- How does laser / IPL work?
- Can I wax or epilate first?
- Which body areas can I treat?
- Does it hurt?
- What results will I get and when?
Find answers to all your questions in home laser & IPL hair removal 101.
Now for WeAreBodyBeautiful.com’s expert round-up of the Best Buy home laser & IPL devices…
1. Philips Lumea Prestige
Overall best home IPL hair removal machine
👍 Worth every penny & a super all-rounder.
Perfect for face, small & large areas, therefore super for whole-body treatments.
More flashes than you’ll ever need, lasting 15+ years of use. It’s one of the best.
Most intuitive & comfortable, fast & packed with top-notch features. Love the curved flash windows.
Long-lasting smooth after 4 to 5 sessions every 2 weeks, plus top-ups every month or so.
- Unrivalled comfort of ergonomic gun-shape
- Easy-flash precise curved windows hug your skin
- Corded & cordless convenience in one
- Skin tone sensor suggests best intensity
- Clinically-proven & CE certification
- 100-day money back guarantee
- It’s quite heavy
- Expensive at full RRP
- Not yet FDA-cleared
The top-of-the-range Prestige models (BRI954, BRI956, BRI953 & BRI950) are worth every penny. No other high-power IPL device gives you so many premium and helpful features in one attractive package. It’s a hard choice to ignore. Let’s see why.
Intuitive, refined & long-lasting
The Philips Lumea Prestige is good-looking, sturdy, solid and refined. And although fairly large and weighty, the ergonomic gun-shape is easy to manoeuvre, intuitive to position and very comfortable to hold. Only a few rivals come close to this exceptional build and feel.
The flashes last for 15+ years of monthly full body sessions. That’s way more then you’ll need to get and stay smooth. It’s one of the best and a super long-lasting investment.
Powerful, safe & total control
The Prestige has 5 intensity levels and it operates at higher IPL power than other devices (from 2.4 to 6 .5 J/cm²). This means if you can use the higher intensities, it gives you longer lasting results than less powerful choices.
This power is balanced with a clever skin tone sensor to keep you safe. It checks then suggests the highest and safest intensity setting for your skin. You can still adjust it down a notch if you need.
And for smaller or harder to reach areas, switch to cordless operation. Simply remove the cord and use it on your face (or more intimate areas) in the privacy of your bathroom. The battery lasts for around 30 minutes.
N.B the flashes are slower used cordless so not designed for larger areas.
Curved windows & fast
The Prestige is one of the fastest high-power home IPL devices. I can finish a full leg in under 10 minutes and a full body in around 40 minutes (and I am incredibly thorough). The flash repetition rate is perfect to glide over your skin but still get precise coverage.
And, in combination with the curved flash windows, gliding over your full body is a doddle. Only the Philips Lumea Prestige has these seemingly simple attachments. And it’s surprising what a difference they make compared to rival devices.
The different curves snuggly fit the contours of your curvy bikini line, underarms and legs. This reduces the faff trying to get good contact on bumpy or awkward surfaces. It’s easy to get a flash and perfect coverage with no missed bits as you glide over your skin. It’s particularly effective for legs and torso.
The models come with different attachments which you can learn about in the full review.
Superb smooth results
Philips say you’ll need 4 to 5 treatments once every 2 weeks to see significant hair reduction. Then less frequent touch-up sessions keep your skin smooth. Most online feedback supports this as did our trial, but results do vary by individual. Find out how and why here.
In our test, hair grew slower after just the first use. With the second session hair was softer and finer with bald patches. These increased after the third and by the fourth treatment skin was smooth almost all over.
Our tester shared “I don’t want any hair to grow back so I did top-ups religiously every 4 weeks. I did about 8 in total and then reduced them to every 8 weeks. I now do one every 3 months and I’m still perfectly smooth on legs, bikini and underarms. And with no painful ingrown hairs!”
You also get a 100-day money back guarantee from Philips too. This is the longest manufacturer guarantee around and superb peace of mind.
Negatives of Lumea Prestige
There’s not much to dislike about the Philips Lumea Prestige. As mentioned above, it’s weighty (560g) because of the rechargeable battery inside. But sessions are fast so it doesn’t get tiresome.
The price tag may put some off. If that’s the case and you can forego the cordless operation and curved flash windows, the Braun Pro 5 (below) may be a slightly cheaper premium option. And an affordable alternative for most is the compact Silk’n Infinity which still gives fast full body sessions.
Philips Lumea Prestige deals
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2 windows for body & face
2. Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL
Fast, no-faff & super-safe IPL hair removal device
👍 Powerful, ultra-fast, super-safe, elegant.
Ideal for face, small & large areas & especially varied skin tones across your body
One of the best with IPL flashes lasting 15+ years of monthly use.
Super-fast, elegant, light-weight and nimble. Perfectly balanced safety and power in every flash.
Silky skin after 4 to 12 weekly sessions, then top-ups every month or so to stay smooth.
- Foolproof, super-safe plug-and-go operation
- Compact, lightweight, robust & elegant
- Ultra-fast IPL – try to keep up!
- Powerful IPL adjusts to your skin tone
- Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
- Getting used to the variable speed flashes
- Expensive at full RRP
- No money-back guarantee
The Braun Pro 5 IPL models (PL5124, PL5014 & PL5137) are the latest high-power IPL from Braun. All the good bits of the earlier Braun model are there, but with simple improvements so it’s even easier to use. At full RRP it’s one of the most expensive but with introductory offers around £300, it’s a steal and well worth your consideration. Let’s see why.
Compact, lightweight & non-stop
The elegant Braun Pro 5 IPL feels quality and robust. It’s small and lightweight so fits perfectly in your hand and is effortless to manoeuvre. You’ll feel no strain as you zap away. The thick, bendy 2-metre power cord gives loads of slack and won’t tangle.
The flashes last more than 15+ years of monthly full body sessions. That’s way more than you’ll ever need to get and stay smooth.
Powerful, super-safe & simple
It’s powerful, with intensities ranging from 3 to 6 J/cm2. So, safely using the higher intensities on fair skin tones, you’ll get longer-lasting hair reduction results compared to less powerful rivals.
And it’s also super-safe & foolproof because of the clever skin tone sensor. This does all the hard work for you. It checks your skin and won’t flash if it’s too dark. If safe, it selects the most powerful and safe intensity before every flash. It chooses from 10 increments, double that of rival choices. So, each pulse is perfectly balanced IPL and more precisely matches your skin tone.
It’s ace if you’ve got varied tones across body parts. No need to stop, faff and check! Just plug it in and off you go.
And if it stings a bit on your bikini or underarms, press the feather button to reduce the intensity in gentle and extra gentle mode.
Ultra-fast & precision for face
The flash bulb is supercharged so it’s ultra-fast. And honestly, it can’t get any faster and still be under control!
The light-weight, compact and easy to manoeuvre design works very well with the speed. On the higher intensities I can do a full leg in around 9 minutes. And my full body in just under 30 minutes. It’s the fastest high-power home IPL there is.
And for your face, there’s a smaller precision attachment. It makes it easy to flash on tricky areas around the jaw and the upper lip. It’s perfect for other awkward areas like fingers, toes, and ankles too. (N.B. the PL5014 model doesn’t have the precision attachment).
Excellent silky results
Braun guidelines say you’ll need between 4 to 12 weekly treatments to see significant hair reduction. Once you’re smooth do less frequent top-ups every 1 or 2 months. The majority online feedback supports this as did our trial, but results vary by individual. Find out why and how here.
Our tester noticed slower leg hair growth after 2 sessions. It got softer and lighter after session 3. They had big, smooth hairless patches after 5 sessions which made shaving super quick and without ouchie razor bumps. After 6 sessions there was very little hair left.
So far they say “I’ve now done 6 sessions and 3 top-ups 1 month apart. At first, I’d notice some hairs around tops of my ankles. So, I shaved and flashed them and now they’re no more. I’ll keep going and try dropping the top ups to every 6 weeks. I’m smooth and shaving rash free in time for Summer. I can’t wait to get my legs out!”
The Braun Pro 5 IPL negatives
Just a few niggles from me. I love the ultra-fast flashes but they aren’t always consistently timed. This means you can either glide it too far or not far enough in between flashes. It takes just a bit of getting used to, especially if you’re used to a slower IPL machine.
Also, Braun have now stopped their introductory money back guarantee. That’s a shame because it gives extra reassurance and confidence to purchase. An alternative with a 100-day guarantee and built for speed and precision is the Philips Lumea Prestige.
Prices for the Braun Pro 5 IPL fluctuate. And it may be a bit too steep. If so, but you still want an ultra-fast machine, try the compact Smoothskin Bare. It’s a cheaper alternative which operates at lower, gentle IPL intensities perfect for darker skin tones.
For another affordable alternative try the Silk’n Infinity. It’s fast, so a super choice for whole-body hair removal. Plus, it’s safe for ALL skin tones.
Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL deals
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Braun Pro 5 IPL PL5124 with precision head, razor & premium pouch
TIP: The Braun silk expert Pro 5 IPL has knocked the older Silk Expert 5 IPL model off its perch. You can see a comparison here. But if it’s a bargain you’re looking for you could pick up the older model for close to £200. Check the prices of the Braun silk Expert 5 IPL – it’s still a fab choice.
3. Tria 4X hair removal laser
Most powerful home hair removal laser
👍 Most powerful for home use.
Operation suits face & small areas, but not legs or large areas!
Charge the battery every month to extend the life. You’ll get several years of zaps.
Intuitive, easy to use, but takes extra time, concentration and precision. Limited to 30 mins of use per battery charge.
It works! 8 treatments every 2 weeks for smooth results, then top-ups to stay that way.
- Most powerful home-use device for longest lasting results
- No bright flashes
- Clinically-proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
- Tria’s long & strong reputation
- 60-day money back guarantee from Tria & 90 days from CurrentBody.com
- Hurts for some!
- Takes ages with several charges to zap large areas like legs
- Demands committment
- It’s quite heavy
Available in fushcia, green & blue.
The trusted Tria 4X is a stand-out choice because it’s the most powerful home use hair removal machine. It’s also a laser and not IPL like less powerful rivals. Find out how they’re different here. In short, this means it’s safe for light skin tones only. The increased power also means it can hurt and it’s not suited to treating large areas like legs.
Let’s learn more to see if it’s the right choice for you.
Intuitive, precise & cordless
From the distinctive shape, LED screen and pulse counter to the unique beeps and buzzes to keep you on track, the Tria 4X is very different to 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.
There’s a single power button to operate it and an LED screen on top of the tear-shaped head. It’s very easy to use.
The cordless, characterful design is heavy at around 600g, but it’s balanced and precise to position. And there’s no cord to get in the way either.
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. It’s about long enough to match the concentration needed. Then you’ll need to recharge for 2 hours. Online reviewers often split multiple smaller areas across days e.g. face & underarms, then bikini line. So, treating several areas at once is more manageable.
It’s not suited to large areas like legs. More on that later.
Powerful & safe
Many choose the Tria 4X simply because it’s the most powerful home-use machine available. It’s over 3x more powerful than the highest intensity home IPL at 22 J/cm² vs 6.5 J/cm². And because higher intensities are most effective, it therefore gives the longest lasting hair reduction results of all home devices.
The skin tone sensor activates only on light skin tones (Fitzpatrick I to IV) so it protects darker skin from damage. Use the power button to choose any of the 5 intensity levels. 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 only when it’s covered by your skin. Easy and safe.
Long-lasting results & guaranteed
Tria say you need 8 treatments every 2 weeks for significant results. This takes 3 months to complete. Then do top-ups or spot-zaps as you need them.
The user feedback supports this, as did our user trial. However, results vary by individual. Learn more in the full Tria 4X review.
In our test, hair grew slower after the second and third session. Then after 4 sessions, bald patches appeared. Most of remaining softer and finer hair eventually disappeared after 6 sessions. For the remaining 2 sessions there was very little, barely visible hair to shave.
Our tester said “I did a few more sessions at 4-week intervals because Tria say it’s after 12 sessions you should see permanent results. So, I’ve done a total of 11 now, the last over 2 months ago. My underarms are still gloriously smooth.”
You also get a money back guarantee from CurrentBody.com (90 days) and Tria Beauty UK (60 days). I love this extra reassurance it’s a brand you can trust.
N.B. Guarantees may not be valid if bought from Amazon. Check before you buy.
Negatives of the Tria 4X
It’s a laser folks so be aware all that extra power means some compromise. You’ve 2 things to consider:
#1 For some users it hurts a lot, especially on maximum power 5. It’s a hot topic in the user reviews. Some feel a sharp, hot, very uncomfortable pricking. 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. Numbing creams or ice can help. So, weigh this up in your decision.
#2 It takes ages to cover large areas. The laser aperture is teeny (just over 5 mm) therefore needs lots of zapping and concentration. It’s manageable on small areas but time consuming and tedious on large areas like your legs.
Plus, each battery charge lasts only around 30 minutes. You’ll need several to zap your legs, which probably means dividing them over several days or weeks. It’s therefore difficult to track where you’ve zapped to ensure no missed bits. Home IPL devices require much less effort overall for larger areas.
Look after the battery too. Charge your Tria 4X regularly every month or so (even if not in use) and it gives you thousands of pulses and several years of use.
If you want to be fuzz free all over your body and want a fast and premium device, I recommend the Philips Lumea Prestige, Braun Pro 5 and Smoothskin Muse. For dark / black skin tones and lower budgets try the Silk’n Infinity.
Tria 4x laser deals
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Tria Beauty 4X laser for body & face.
4. Smoothskin Muse home IPL
Sexy, powerful & lasts forever
👍 Handsome, fast & foolproof.
Ideal for small & large areas & especially varied skin tones across your body
Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Hands-down winner!
Fast, sleek, sophisticated plug-and-zap simplicity. Adjusts each flash to your skin tone for non-stop no-faff sessions.
Hello smooth. Up to 12 weekly sessions for long-lasting hair-free results, then top-ups keep it so.
- Plug-and-zap simplicity, super for first timers
- Powerful IPL adjusts to your skin tone
- It’s fast so you won’t get bored or tired
- May work on blonde hair (with more sessions)
- Clinically-proven, CE certified & FDA cleared
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Tricky to flash on your upperlip
- Not available everywhere
- Expensive at full RRP
The Smoothskin Muse is handsome. The Muse is strong, one of the most powerful home IPLs. And clever too because it chooses the perfect IPL intensity for your skin before every flash. The Muse is the latest high-power IPL model from Smoothskin, updating the older Smoothskin Gold. Let’s see if the Muse is perfect for you.
Striking design & endless flashes
I love the stand-out glossy-black design with an eye-catching gold-speckled wave. Clean lines, elegant curves and minimal controls lend it an alluring sophistication. It looks fantastic. The packaging is beautiful too, perfect to store it in.
And the Muse feels awesome too. The curves fit naturally in various holds and silicone side strips provide a secure and tactile grip. It’s comfortable to hold and precise to manoeuvre with a clear view of the flash window. There’s a 2-metre flexible ‘no-tangle’ power cable that stays out of the way most of the time.
It’s also the first high-power device with unlimited IPL flashes. You’ll never run out, for decades of smooth skin results.
Powerful, fool proof & fast
The Muse is one of the most powerful home IPL devices available. It combines this power with clever sensor technology so it’s very simple and safe to use.
It won’t flash on skin that’s too dark. But on safe tones it sets the highest and safest intensity level for your skin. And it does this before EVERY flash. It’s fool proof.
It boasts 10 intensity levels too. That’s double other rival IPL devices. The levels range from 3 to 6 J/cm² in small increments. So, each IPL flash is more precisely matched to your skin tone. If your skin is fair and the high intensities safe, you’ll get longer lasting results than with less powerful alternatives.
If you’ve got varied skin tones on different body areas, the Muse is a superior choice. That’s because it does all the hard work for you. No need to stop and check the intensity. Just point and zap!
There’s a gentle mode too, so if it smarts a bit on delicate areas like your underarms and bikini line, you can reduce the intensity.
It boasts 10 intensity levels. That’s double most other home IPL devices. They range from 3 to 6 J/cm² in small increments. 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.
There’s a gentle mode too, so if it smarts a bit on delicate areas like you underarms and bikini line, you can reduce the intensity.
And the Muse is one of the fastest to cover your skin in flashes. I meticulously flashed a full leg in just under 12 minutes. My full body took under 50 minutes. That’s quick and so it’s a strong choice for whole body treatments done in under 1 hour.
Super-smooth results & guaranteed
Smoothskin guidelines say you’ll need a treatment once a week for up to 12 sessions. Then switch to top-ups every 4 to 8 weeks. Most online feedback supports this as did our trial, but results vary by individual. Find out why and how here.
Our tester saw a slowing in growth after 2 treatments. Then sparser, finer hair increasing each time until bald patches appeared following session 5. Although totally smooth from session 7, they continued weekly to finish the full 12. Then they switched to top-ups every 8 weeks. Now, they top-up every 3 or 4 months even though they’re still baby-smooth.
Unlike other home IPL devices, Smoothskin say the Muse may work on lighter blonde hair too. You’ll need more sessions overall to see results. It’s handy then that the Muse comes with a 90-day money back guarantee. Try it and return it if you don’t love it. I love this extra reassurance that only a few brands offer. Well done Smoothskin.
Any negatives with the Muse?
Just some minor criticisms. Here goes.
By no means is the Muse flimsy, but it’s not quite as solid as the Prestige or the Braun Pro 5. And the shape takes a little getting used to because you need different grips by body area. It’s trickier if you have small hands.
There’s one multi-purpose flash window. It’s 1 cm by 3 cm a very versatile shape, good for most body areas. However, it can be a bit faffy to get a flash on your upper lip, around your jaw or on toes and fingers. But you work out the best way quickly enough. A smaller flash window would be helpful and you get that and slightly faster sessions with the Braun Pro 5 IPL.
The Muse is pricey. If in budget, it’s worth comparing to the Prestige and Braun Pro 5, especially for whole body smoothness. And check out the cheaper and ultra-fast Smoothskin Bare if you have darker skin. But if you want an even more affordable option that’s still fast, try the Silk’n Infinity.
Smoothskin Muse deals
5. Silkn Infinity
Safe for ALL skin tones, dark & black skin too
👍 Recommended for small & large areas, for ALL skin tones light to black
IMPORTANT: Silk’n in the US and Canada don’t promote the Infinity safe for the darkest and black skin tones. That’s because it’s FDA-cleared for Fitzpatrick types I to V, but NOT the darkest type VI. More below…
It’s superb value with flashes to last 15+ years of use. One of the best.
No-frills, compact, light-weight design. Clever skin tone sensor detects darker tones and activates only the lower, safe intensities.
Get smooth with 4 treatments every 2 weeks, then switch to monthly to stay smooth. But takes longer on dark skin / lower intensties.
- Safe for ALL skin tones including dark & black
- Gentle IPL for painless sessions
- Fast & affordable
- Level 1 intensity safe for tanned skin
- Clinically-proven, FDA-cleared & CE certification
- 60-day money back guarantee in the US (from Silkn.com)
- Not FDA-cleared for black skin (more in the review)
- No clinical proof or explanation how it works on fair hair
- Tricky on upper lip
- No money back guarantee in the UK & Europe
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. And it’s fantastic value.
Silk’n Europe say it’s works on nearly all hair colours, but lighter hair colours only work in combination with lighter skin tones. Therefore black skin and grey hair won’t work. However, they don’t explain how it works on fair hair and there’s no clnical proof. Silk’n US say it may work on fair hair too, if there’s enough pigment.
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 (228g) and easy to manoeuvre with mains-power operation so you can use it anytime.
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.
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 means the Infinity uses gentler, less intense IPL but with the same effect as more powerful devices. Our tester felt no discomfort even on sensitive areas. So, it’s a fantastic choice if you’re a bit squeamish or apprehensive about it all!
It also means on the lowest intensity levels it’s safe for the darkest and black skin tones. However, it’s a bit confusing because Silk’n only promote this in the UK and Europe.
UK & Europe: 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.
US & Canada: the Infinity is FDA cleared for FitzPatrick types I to V, so not for the darkest and black skin tones. They say don’t use any level on suntanned skin. Until Silk’n have approval from the FDA they can’t promote these benefits.
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.
So, with this range, it’s important to choose the right IPL intensity for your skin tone. And the Infinity has that covered too.
Clever skin tone sensor
The clever skin tone sensor checks your tone and activates only the safe intensity levels, so it protects darker skin tones too.
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 above) rapidly flashes blue. Lower the intensity level and the Infinity flashes on the levels safe for your skin tone. If your skin is dark or black you can use it on intensity levels 1 and 2.
The Infinity flashes every 1 to 2 seconds. It’s fastest on the lower intensity levels. Keep the flash button pressed for continuous flashes and glide it over your skin roughly 1 cm at a time (the height of the flash window). Although you can’t see the flash window you get used to the motion quickly.
You can treat a full leg from around 12 mins on intensity 5. 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 easily stored in a draw.
Lovely smooth results
The Infinity gives excellent hair reduction results on all skin tones. However, with darker skin tones using the lower intensities (levels 1 to 3) Silk’n say you’ll need more treatments to get to smooth.
Light skin and intensities 4 & 5
For lighter skin tones using the higher intensities (4 and 5) do a treatment every 2 weeks for 4 sessions. This takes 6 weeks to complete. Then switch to monthly sessions and keep going until you’re able to reduce the frequency even more.
In our test, leg hair grew slower after the second session. After three, there was less hair. And it felt soft and was finer and lighter. Large bald spots began to appear until after 4 sessions there were just a few patches of hair left. Our tester did another 5th session after 2 weeks and then was totally smooth. They then switched to sessions every 4 weeks.
They’ve now done 5 bi-weekly sessions and 5 monthly sessions. They share “An occasional soft hair appears until zapped, then disappears. So, my legs look and feel fuzz-free and smooth. The top ups are no bother because they’re quick, and are worth it to stay smooth. I’ll try doing them every 6 or 8 weeks after I’ve finished a few more”.
Dark skin and intensities 1 to 3
For dark and black skin tones using intensities 1 to 3 you’ll need more treatments for the IPL hair reduction effects to work. Therfore, it’s important you have realistic expectations about your effort, patience and commitment and the speed of results.
Based on the Silk’n study on dark skin tones (V & VI), the participants saw on average a 57% hair reduction after 6 sessions spaced every 2 weeks. That takes 10 weeks to complete. So, it’s fair to suggest you’ll need about the same again to get to smooth.
Therefore, Silk’n recommend 12 sessions at 2 week intervals to get smooth. This takes 22 weeks / 5 months to complete. Then, switch to top-ups as you need them to maintain your results.
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 detailed Silk’n Infinity review here or check prices and buy below.
Silk’n Infinity deals
6. Smoothskin Bare
Ultra-fast & best value for dark skin | £150 to £190
👍 Recommended for face, small & large areas, for light to dark skin tones (but especially dark)
👉 AND for busy lifestyles, the lazy or committment-shy
Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Superb value.
No-frills but exeptionally comfortable, handy, uncomplicated & ultra-fast, thanks to one low intensity level. Won’t flash if skin’s too dark.
Use it weekly until smooth, then as needed to maintain results e.g every 2 to 3 weeks. More regular sessions but super-quick!
Safe skin tones:
- Affordable quality that’s light-weight & ultra-fast
- Dark to medium skin: Low intensity is a perfect for your skin tones
- Plug-and-zap, one-button simplicity
- Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Light skin: Low intensity means more regular top-ups
- It’s too cute 😍
Available in black, black & white, turquoise, raspberry, nude.
Do you want stubble-free pits and pins 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.
The Smoothskin Bare is my best ultrafast home IPL hair removal choice. It’s a fab choice for light to dark skin tones, but especially dark.
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.
Don’t be fooled
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.
And don’t dismiss the affordable price tag. The new Smoothskin Bare changes everything.
Ultrafast, like no other
The Smoothskin Bare is truly 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 it flashes IPL at one low intensity level (3 J/cm²). This takes only 0.6 seconds to recharge between flashes. It really does glide smoothly over your skin because 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). If you have darker skin you’ll only use the lower intensity levels, so consider the lower-cost Bare over more expensive devices with a low to high intensity range.
No dials, no charts, it’s so simple to use. There’s just the single flash button. Just plug-in and go.
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!
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 darker skin tones and ultrafast treatments. All at an affordable 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.
7. Panasonic ES-Wh90 IPL hair removal & skin rejuvenation
Best for face | Around £150
- For light to dark skin & dark hair
- Large, small areas & especially facial use
- Cordless convenience for facial hair removal
- Facial skin rejuvenation tool for healthy radiance
- 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.
Safe skin tones:
The Panasonic ES-WH90 is available in the UK and Europe. Fantastic offers off the RRP are common.
Here’s why it’s my best home laser hair removal for face.
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.
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.
It takes 3 hours to fully charge and you get 600 flashes from it. Care for the battery by charging it every few months when not in regular use.
Comfortable and intuitive
There’s just 2 buttons to control it. One to power it on and the other to select your intensity level. There are 5 intensity levels to choose from. I never accidentally pressed the buttons during my treatment.
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 against 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 machine 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 5.4 cm2 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.
It’s fantastic for all types of treatments. With the smaller 2.4 cm2 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 targeting dark spots and pigmentation. It also triggers collagen production. 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.
It takes between 5 to 10 mins to cover your face and neck (avoiding your eyes and lips) using the facial attachment. Use it 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. It’s deserving of my best buy award for facial use and glowing skin!
Read the full Panasonic ES-WH90 review here or check prices and buy below.
Related: Do I have to shave my face?
Where to buy the Panasonic ES-WH90Found this review helpful? Please shop via my links to support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com.
|Panasonic ES-WH90 for body & face, with facial attachment
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Boots.com
Check for any applicable taxes or customs duties for outside UK delivery.
8. Philips Lumea Advanced
Best for small areas | £200 to £300
👍 Recommended for face & small areas, for light to medium skin tones and dark hair
The flashes last 15+ years of monthly treatments. It’s one of the best.
Quality, intuitive gun-shape, precise & comfortable, plus specialist flash windows. Average speed sessions.
Lovely & smooth after 4 to 5 sessions done every 2 weeks, plus top-ups every month or so.
Safe skin tones:
- Eye-catching, retro-styled, light-weight & comfortable gun-shape
- Flash windows for different body areas
- Won’t flash on too-dark skin
- Clinically proven & CE Certification
- 100-day money back guarantee
- Slow to cover large areas like legs & torso
- Power cord sometimes gets in the way
- You must choose your intensity level
- Not FDA-cleared
Available models: BRI923, BRI922, BRI921, SC1997 and SC1999
True, Philips reserve all the premium features for the Lumea Prestige range. But don’t overlook the Lumea Advanced. It’s more affordable but still with the 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.
Skin tone sensor
The Lumea Advanced has a basic skin tone sensor. It’s the small window below the flash window. 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.
The maximum intensity is 5 J/cm2 .
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.
Specialist flash windows for best results
The Lumea Advanced specialist flash windows are a thoughtful addition.
All 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 and BRI923 there’s a 2 cm2 bikini area window too. This has an extra filter targeting 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.
Perfect for smaller areas
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. Large areas take a while. Try splitting them across days into 30-minute sessions so it’s not too tedious.
Or choose a faster device, like the Lumea Prestige, if you want to treat your full body in one sitting.
Good-looking & super 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
Advanced BRI923, BRI921 with Pen Trimmer or Cleansing brush
You could consider…
Whilst their features and specification aren’t as good, you could consider these machines if they’re priced lower than the best alternatives above.
Remington iLight Ultra
Decent for face & smaller body areas | $350 to $469.99 | Buy from Amazon
The iLight Ultra is available in the US and Canada. It’s a decent choice from a trusted brand with strong online feedback. The model design has been around for quite a while. But it’s still easy and comfortable to use.
You can treat your body and face (women only from the cheeks down).
You get a 3 cm2 body attachment and a 2 cm2 face / precision attachment. It flashes every 3 seconds so you get around 20 flashes per minute covering 60 cm2 of your skin. This is below average and slow. So, it’s best suited to treating smaller area like your face, bikini line and underarms because they don’t take so long with fewer flashes.
The lamp lifetime is decent, especially for smaller areas. It gives 65,000 flashes. With the 3 cm2 body flash window it’ll cover a total body area of 195,000 cm² for up to 3 years of full body treatments. That’s enough to get and maintain your smooth results for years.
And the ones to skip 👎…
Most of the machines in this group crop up in other lists, so I think it’s worth understanding where you can better spend your hard-earned cash. Most are simply old models. They work and often have lots of positive reviews. But they are costly and you can get much better value and performance from other choices.
First, up the Remington iLight models – Remington iLight Pro & Pro Plus Quartz.
Remington iLight range old models
These models are predominantly available in the US & Canada. They all have the same design but with different colours. The models are easy to use, reliable and they work. They’ve a lot of positive and recent ratings too.
So, what’s up with them?
Firstly, all these models take ages to cover your skin in flashes. Their speed is ok for smaller areas where you need relatively few flashes. But slooooow, tedious and tiring on large areas like legs.
Secondly, they’re safe for light skin tones only (Fitzpatrick types I to IV). There’s a skin tone sensor but it’s in the base unit so you have to power-on, pick it up, position on your treatment area and scan. It’s cumbersome. It unlocks for flashes if the skin tone is in safe range. Other more advanced devices check your tone frequently or before every flash from the flash window e.g. Braun silk Expert Pro 5.
And finally, and most importantly, each model comes with a different number of IPL flashes. The value from the lamps varies from rubbish to poor. In combination with the speed, this makes them devices you should skip in favour of a better machine (like those in the Best Buys above).
Here’s a quick review of the lamp lifetime value for each.
Remington iLight Pro lamp lifetime
Don’t buy | $300 to $500 +$$$ on refills
This is often the number # 1 home-use machine on other lists. And this vexes me because there are far better value machines for you to choose!
iLight Pro is safe for body treatments only. It’s is an old model which works with refill cartridges. You get a measly 1,500 flashes per cartridge. With the 2 cm2 flash window that equals a treatment area of just 1,200 cm² from each refill. At the time of writing it comes with 4 refills.
Using my standardised calculation the 4 refills give almost enough for one full body session (full legs, underarms, forearms and extended bikini line). Therefore, you’ll need to buy a lot of them.
A replacement cartridge costs around $15. So, add the cost of the refills on top of the machine. It costs way more than other choices that give a much better lamp lifetime straight out of the box. It’s rubbish value. Don’t buy it.
Remington iLight Pro Plus Quartz
Don’t buy | $300 to $500 +$$$ on refills
This is better, but still poor value. The Quartz is safe for body and face and is a step up from the Pro. It gives 30,000 flashes so with the 2 cm2 flash window you can cover a total body area of 60,000 cm². That’s enough for around 15 full body sessions to last almost 1 year. For this reason, it’s an ok (but underwhelming) choice for smaller body areas like face, bikini, underarms because you’ll use less of the flashes per session. But definitely not for legs.
Remington sell replacement 30,000 flash cartridges at around $100. Add this to your total cost if you want to treat your full body because you’ll need a few. Just don’t buy it. This is a far superior choice for a similar price.
Silk’n Flash & Go
Don’t buy | $200 + $$$ on refills
This is the purple, mains-powered gun-shaped model. It comes with different number of flashes either 1,000, 5,000 or 125,000.
It’s an old model, over 8 year old now. Silk’n don’t promote it anymore in the UK, Europe, US or Canada in favour of their newer models.
However, you can still buy it on Amazon. On Amazon.com it costs around $200, and has over 1000 reviews rating it over 3 star. And based on those reviews, people are still buying it.
So, why should you NOT buy it?
First, it’s tediously slow to cover your skin in flashes. Therefore, choose a newer, faster model from the Best Buys if you want to treat large body areas like your legs.
Secondly, the lamp lifetime is pants. That’s because the Silkn Flash & Go is an outdated flash cartridge refill model. At the time of writing you can buy a 5,000 flash model on Amazon.com for around $200. Those 5,000 flashes combined with the 4 cm2 flash window gives you around 5 full body treatments. That’s one of the worst value machines you can buy. Home IPL has come along way since these poor value refill machines.
True, you can buy replacement 1,000 flash cartridges for $40. But that gives only enough flashes for just 1 full body treatment. So, you’ll need to invest in several more to get smooth and stay that way. The machine cost plus several refills is expensive and very poor value.
In comparison, the Lumea Advanced has 250,000 built-in flashes and lasts for 15+ years of monthly full body sessions. It’s awesome value.
If you already own the device, there’s a good-value upgrade option. It’s the Silk’n long life upgrade kit of 125,000 flashes for $99. It gives approximately 125 full body sessions for 5+ years of monthly use. However, if you don’t already own the device, please check out the best buy machines for similarly priced alternatives with superior value, specification and performance.
TIP: If you do buy refills be sure to buy them direct from Silkn.com. They still support and manufacture the refills. Negative feedback for cheaper refills bought on Amazon shares they fail or don’t work. It’s not reassuring.