WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's round-up of the best home laser & IPL devices specifically for treating your face

3 Best permanent facial hair removal at-home laser & IPL

T his is stating the obvious, but unwanted facial hair is no fun if you’re a lady. And it affects sooo many of us.

I’ve heard many stories from women who struggle. Some spend up to an hour EVERY morning, armed with tweezers and a magnifying mirror, plucking upper lip, cheek, chin, and neck before they can even leave the house. And it breaks my heart because they’re too afraid to let even their significant other simply touch their face 😢.

I know how they feel.

I suffer with PCOS causing facial hair
I have PCOS, and so annoyingly regular facial hairs

I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which results in random dark hairs sprouting on my neck and chin. And they grow FAST. When this started and I got my diagnosis, I was in my early thirties. Luckily, I’d already discovered home laser hair removal. So, I wasted no time zapping the little buggars. Now my skin is smooth again with regular top ups. I’m so grateful I knew what to do because I got my confidence back and feel feminine once more.

Related: the sciency detail of how it works and what it does to your hairs

So, if that’s what you’re looking for too, then welcome 👋. This here round-up guides you to the best clinically-proven home laser and IPL hair removal devices that are especially good for long-lasting facial hair removal.

Why you can trust these reviews

Real tests and comparisons by me and shared on WeAreBodyBeautiful.com
I’ve tested and compared these recommended home devices

First, I test the design, safety features, and how comfortable, precise and easy the device is to use on the face, and how it feels. I also assess any additional special benefits the device offers. And, using my standard formula, I calculate how long the flashes last for treating face and other small body areas like underarms and bikini line.

Next, I compare the effort vs results during the start-up regimen and following top-up sessions. Then, what results you can expect longer term during your maintenance phase and beyond. And finally, I round-up the negatives. So you get fair, balanced and reliable recommendations.

3 Best home IPL & laser for your face (& small areas)

Panasonic ES-WH90, Iluminage Precise Touch & Tria 4X recommended by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com for facial hair removal
Top picks for facial hair removal: Panasonic ES-WH90 (left), Iluminage Precise Touch (middle) & Tria 4X laser (right)

My favourite is the Iluminage Precise Touch home IPL because it’s easy and safe to use for ALL skin tones, you can pluck your hairs before zapping, and it works on fair hairs too. The cordless Panasonic ES-WH90 is next with superb quality and an ergonomic design, plus it doubles as an IPL complexion brightening tool. And finally, the cordless Tria 4X laser boasts precise coverage and the strongest hair zapping power for your longest-lasting results.

These devices are the easiest of all devices I’ve tested to flash around your facial contours. They’re also super choices for other small areas like underarms and bikini line (excluding the Tria 4X for an extensive bikini line). But they’re not good choices for large areas like legs because the sessions take ages.

#1 Iluminage Precise Touch #2 Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL #3 Tria 4X laser
Image
My verdict "Best for ALL skin & hair colours, & you can shave or pluck hairs" "Best quality & also a facial brightening tool" "Most powerful for your longest-lasting results"
Body areas 👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs!
👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs!
👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs
❌ Not extensive bikini line
Why it's best ✅ 2.5cm2 flash window
✅ Easy, precise flashes & comfy
✅ Safe for ALL skin tones
✅ Works on ALL hair colours
✅ Pluck or shave your hairs
✅ 2.4cm2 flash window
✅ Easy, precise flashes
✅ Superb quality & comfy
✅ Cordless
✅ Brightens your complexion too
✅ 0.5cm diameter laser aperture
✅ Very precise & easy flashes
✅ Cordless
✅ Longest-lasting results because it's the most powerful home device
Price 💰💰💰 💰💰 💰💰💰💰
Money back guarantee? ❌ None ❌ None ✔ UK & US
Best deals

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🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🌍 SkinCare RX
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🌍 SkinStore US
All with worldwide shipping options in checkout

🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 order via Amazon
🇬🇧 Tria Beauty UK
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA
🇺🇸 Amazon
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Other choices for your face

There are several more IPL devices you can buy to use on your face. And although not quite as precise and easy as my top picks, they’re still easy enough and very effective. And most of these are also excellent choices if you want to zap large areas like legs too (check the table below). So, if you’re considering one of these, rest assured they’re fine choices.

✅ The Philips Lumea Prestige and Advanced, Braun Pro 5 and Pro 3, each have a small flash window for easy flashes around your facial contours.

✅ The Smoothskin Pure has just one medium-size flash window but is still very easy to flash your face.

✅ The Smoothskin Bare+ and Silk’n Infinity also have just one medium-size flash window, and they require a little more practise to get a flash. However, they don’t take long to master.

Learn more about these in the best allrounder devices round-up and best for dark skin round-up.

Philips Lumea Prestige Philips Lumea Advanced Smoothskin Pure Braun Pro 5 IPL Braun Pro 3 Silk'n Infinity Smoothskin Bare+
Image
My verdict "Top-notch premium IPL, most precise & comfy for all body areas" "Excellent quality home IPL best suited to face & small areas" "Easiest & fastest premium home IPL for all body areas" "Fast & easy premium home IPL for all body areas" "Fast & easy affordable home IPL for all body areas, & darker skin tones" "Fast & affordable home IPL for all body areas, safe for dark & black skin too" "Fast, easy, & affordable quality for all body areas, for light to medium skin"
Body areas 👍 Face, small & large areas 👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs
👍 Face, small & large areas 👍 Face, small & large areas 👍 Face, small & large areas 👍 Face, small & large areas 👍 Face, small & large areas
Flash window & ease of flashes on upper lip, jaw etc 2cm2 face
👍👍👍👍
Easy flashes
2cm2 face
👍👍👍👍
Easy flashes
3cm2 multi-use
👍👍👍👍
Easy flashes
1.65cm2 face
👍👍👍👍👍
Very easy flashes
1.65cm2 face
👍👍👍👍👍
Very easy flashes
3cm2 multi-use
👍👍👍
Takes a little practise
3cm2 multi-use
👍👍👍
Takes a little practise
Why it’s best ✅ Superb quality
✅ Most precise & comfy
✅ Use cordless in your bathroom
✅ Excellent quality
✅ Lightweight gunshape
✅ Precise & comfy
✅ Excellent quality
✅ Easy, plug-in & zap simplicity
✅ Auto-adjusts every IPL flash
✅ Excellent quality
✅ Easy & straightforward
✅ Auto-adjusts every IPL flash
✅ Excellent quality
✅ Easy & straightforward
✅ Low to medium IPL range matches darker skin tones
✅ Safe for ALL skin tones
✅ Sensor protects dark tones
✅ Gentle on skin
✅ Affordable quality
✅ Plugin-&-zap simplicity
Price 💰💰💰💰 💰💰💰💰 💰💰💰 💰💰💰💰 💰💰 💰💰 to 💰💰💰💰 💰💰
Money back guarantee? ✔ UK only ✔ UK & Australia ✔ Worldwide ✔ UK, Australia, US & CA ✔ UK only ✔ US & Canada only ✔ Worldwide
Best deals With 100-day guarantee:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
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No guarantees:
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With 90-day guarantee
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In this best for face home laser & IPL comparison guide

The first part compares how to use these recommended devices from safety & sun exposure, preparing your hairs, how they feel, skin reactions, results and treatment schedules. The second part gives a round-up the pros and cons of each top recommended device.

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Let’s get cracking!

For women only (sorry chaps!)

Close up of a lovely ladies lower face, where you can safely use home laser & IPL hair removal devices
Women can use home laser & IPL from below the cheekbones

Now, this article is written for women because women can safely use home devices on their face from below the cheekbones (there’s an exception to this listed in this guide, but always avoid your lips and eyes). And these devices won’t work on fine and light peach fuzz hairs.

If you’re a chap wanting to zap away your whiskers, please bear in mind:

Most brands say men should not use IPL or laser devices on their face (and some say face and neck).

That’s because:

‼ 🛑 Men’s facial hair is usually thicker, denser, and deeper than lady and body hair. This means the device may not work, or it may cause skin reactions, or patchy results.

‼ 🛑 On the flip side, if it does work the results could be permanent, and if you change your mind later, well, your hairs won’t grow back.  

Close up of a man's dark stubble which could be removed or groomed by professional laser hair removal
Professional laser can safely treat a man’s face and beard

If you want serious results it’s best to seek help from a professional clinic such as Sk:n in the UK. They can help with hair anywhere on the man face, and can also thin or reduce beard hair for a neater and more manageable look.

How to stay safe

Before you start your sessions, charge your device if it’s battery powered, and take time to read the user manual.

read the contraindications in the user manuals
Read the user manual!

There’s an important list of warnings and reasons you may be unsuitable to use home laser and IPL devices. These range from pregnancy and breastfeeding, to diabetes, epilepsy, chemical peels, and certain medications which can make you extra sensitive to the light. There’s more in each user manual so check the full list to stay safe and learn more about contraindications here.

You must also do a skin sensitivity test patch before doing your full session. There’s more on this in the next sections.

And remember, only use the device on your face below the cheekbones!

With these home devices, you must also protect your skin from sun exposure before and after your sessions. This is very important because your face is one of the most exposed body areas. Sunlight and tanning increase your skin’s sensitivity and so the risk of skin reactions and side effects.

Close up of a lady face in the sun
Wear minimum SPF30 sun protection to keep your skin safe

Here’s the tanning and sun exposure guidance for each device:

Device Use on naturally tanned skin? Use on artificially tanned skin? Cover up & use SPF 30+ Avoid sun before sessions Avoid sun after sessions
Iluminage Precise Touch 2 weeks 2 weeks
Panasonic ES-WH90 Not stated Not stated
Tria 4X 48 hours 48 hours
Use a high SPF30+ to protect your skin fro reactions and side effects of hoe IPL/laser
Protect your skin in the sun!

N.B. Cosmetics with SPF don’t do the same job so invest in a good SPF30+ facial lotion or gel if you don’t use one already! This is my favourite SPF50.

Simple steps to start zapping!

Here’s how you prepare and then zap your areas!

  1. Clean your treatment areas and shave your hair. Don’t apply any creams or moisturisers
  2. Find a comfy area & get set-up
  3. Choose your best intensity level or treatment mode
  4. Position the flash window flush against your skin & flash
  5. Re-position & flash in the next spot, with just the right overlap so there are no missed bits!
  6. Repeat until you’ve covered the entire treatment area

OK, so that raises a few questions which I’ll now answer 🤓

Woah. Shave my face!? Nope – try dermaplaning instead

Removing your surface hair gives best results. That’s because there’s no hair on the surface to absorb the light energy. It’s all directed down the hair shaft, deep inside your follicle where it needs to be. There, it converts to heat and damages key areas, which stunts your hair growth and keeps it in a dormant state.

Shave your facw before IPL/laser sessions - er, no thanks
I don’t think so.

So, shaving your body hair gives hands-down the best results. But shaving your face is so masculine!

I know. So, instead I recommend dermaplaning.

A Hollywood Browzer dermaplaning tool in front of the best home laser & IPL devices for facial hair removal
I recommend Hollywood a Browzer dermaplaning tool to remove facial hairs

A dermaplaning tool is an affordable teeny foldable sharp but safe blade. Use it on on your upper lip, chin, jawline, sideburns, and cheeks.

It’s a very quick and irritation-free way to remove unwanted hair on your face and around your body. No nicks or cuts and gentle enough to use everyday. It removes peach-fuzz and whiskery hairs, and also exfoliates your skin leaving it soft, smooth and extra absorbent for your skincare products.

Related: More about dermaplaning

I think dermaplaning is THE perfect companion to laser and IPL hair removal on your face.

Buy dermaplaning tools:

🇬🇧 Hollywood Browzer duo & all colour options
🇬🇧 Cheaper option (ok, but not as sharp!)
🇺🇸 Hollywood Browzer & all colour options
🇺🇸 Cheaper options (ok, but not as sharp!)

IMPORTANT: DON’T USE HAIR REMOVAL CREAMS because they may cause skin reactions with the light energy.

Can I pluck, wax, or epilate instead?

If your hairs simply grow too quick, dermaplaning still may not be a good solution for you. You may wish to continue with your daily plucking routine alongside a home device until your hairs slow and stop growing.

With most home IPL and laser hair removers you must shave/dermaplane your facial hairs before your sessions. But fortunately, you can pluck, wax, or epilate your hairs with my top recommendation for facial hair removal – the Iluminage Precise Touch. And it’s clinically proven to work if you do.

Pluck with tweezers then zap with the Iluminage Precise Touch - it works but takes longer than with shaving.
Iluminage Precise touch is clinically proven to work on plucked hairs too

In fact, you MUST remove your hairs at the root if you want to use it on fair hairs which are light blonde, red, grey, or white. That’s the only way it’ll work. However, whether you pluck light or dark hairs, it takes twice as long to see results compared to shaving away dark hair. You can learn more about this below in the round-up of why the Iluminage Precise Touch is best for zapping your face.

Here’s a comparison table of how you can prepare your hairs with my recommended devices:

Device Shave or dermaplane Pluck/wax/epilate
Iluminage Precise Touch
Panasonic ES-WH90
Tria 4X

How to get a comfy set up

Top down shot of WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's three recommended home devices for facial hair removal
Cordless devices are handy to use in the bathroom or anywhere else you fancy!

I also have a few helpful tips I wish I’d known before starting my home sessions. Here they are:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time. Until you know how long each session takes, make sure there’s nothing to rush you. I find a quiet Sunday or Monday evening works best for me.
  2. No interruptions either. You don’t want anyone bothering or distracting you. So, wait until you’ve tucked in your little kids, and your big kids are preoccupied with something else.
  3. Choose a comfy and private spot. Cordless devices are helpful because you can lock yourself away in the bathroom, but behind closed doors in your bedroom is just as good.
  4. Use in a well-lit room. First, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing, which is handy. Second, if you choose an IPL device, the flashes are bright and will seem more so (and irritating too) in a darker room.
  5. You’ll need a mirror. A handheld mirror, pedestal or wall mirror work equally well, but you must be close to it to get precise flashes on your skin for no missed hairy bits!
  6. Use a mains extension cable. If you choose a cabled device like the Iluminage Precise Touch, a mains extension cable comes in handy if you don’t have a socket close by in your chosen comfy spot.

Which is your best intensity level?

All three of my best for face devices recommend starting on the low intensity levels and working your way up until you find your most comfy power level. And you must remove your hair and zap a test patch of your skin at each level, and then wait a bit to make sure you’ve no skin reactions. Then you can carry on with your full session.

start on the lowest intensity level and move up only if comfortable
Start on LOW/level 1 with all three devices

TIP: you can first test the sensation on the inside of your arm before zapping your face!

The lower intensity IPL flashes from the Panasonic ES-WH90 and Iluminage Precise Touch are safe for darker skin tones. All intensities of the Tria 4X laser are safe for light to medium skin tones. However, you’ve five ‘comfort’ levels to choose from because the higher levels create more heat and can sting. There’s more on what sessions feel like next.

What will it feel like?

My recommended devices are very intuitive and easy to use. You must concentrate to get good accurate coverage across your skin and so you don’t lose your place too. But all are easy on small facial areas which don’t take very long.

You’ll hear the cooling fan whir and a small pop with each IPL flash. The IPL flashes are bright but harmless when flush against your skin. If you find them irritating, sunglasses help ease the glare. But you don’t need protective goggles.

The Tria 4X laser is a bit different – the flashes aren’t visible. Therefore, so you know what’s going on, it beeps with each successful flash, and buzzes if it couldn’t flash properly.

Tria 4X laser in the foreground
Unlike home IPL, you see no bright visible flashes with the Tria 4X laser

And the flashes feel different with each device because they range in light energy power.

The Iluminage Precise Touch uses gentle IPL flashes 🐇coupled with Radio Frequency. It’s safe for all skin tones, but use the lower intensity levels on darker skin. The flashes feel warm on your skin. Plus, with this gentle IPL there’s lower risk of any skin reactions and side effects.

With the Panasonic ES-WH90 you can use the higher IPL intensities on fair skin. These feel hot 🔥 and can sometimes sting. However, you can simply lower the intensity so it’s more comfortable. And although you can use the lower levels on darker skin tones (to type V), I think the gentler Iluminage Precise Touch is a better choice for that.

For some using the higher intensities, the Tria 4X laser can sting more than a bit! Not everyone feels this, but the number of user reports of pain are notably higher with the Tria 4X than with rival home IPL devices. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know what it will feel like for you. However, if it’s too owie you can lessen the sting by simply lowering the intensity, applying ice or a topical numbing cream before zapping.

Here’s how the three devices compare for power and sensation:

Device Type Power J/cm2 My sensation grade*
Iluminage Precise Touch IPL & Radio Frequency 3 to 4
Gentle warmth
Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL Panasonic won’t share this info ⚡⚡⚡
Warm to hot
Tria 4X Laser 7 to 22 ⚡⚡ to ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡
Can sting a lot for some!

* Sensation grade is based on our tests and informed by feedback patterns & consensus from collated user reviews

What are the possible skin reactions & side effects?

Skin redness is a common skin reaction, as is hot and tingly skin. It can also feel dry and itch a bit too. These should wear off within 24 to 48 hours. To help, you can cover with ice, a cool face cloth, cooling water sprays, Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser.

If you’ve no skin reactions after your session, you can apply your usual lotions, potions and cosmetics. Wear a sunscreen with minimum SPF30 too. This lowers your risk of experiencing some of the rare home IPL and laser side effects.

TIP: If your skin becomes irritated by your products, wash them off and cover your face/avoid the sun until your skin returns to normal.

Side effects are rare but can occur, usually if you use too high an intensity for your skin tone and/or have exposed it to excessive sunlight. Side effects include temporary or permanent patches of light or dark skin, burns, excessive redness and swelling around your hair follicles, blisters and scarring.

Another extremely rare side effect on the face and neck is called Paradoxical Hypertrichosis. Paradoxical Hypertrichosis is increased hair growth in the treatment areas. The reasons behind it are unknown but it’s thought to occur more frequently in users with darker skin tones.

What results will I see and when?

All home laser and IPL devices recommend a start-up treatment schedule, followed by less frequent maintenance sessions.

Here’s a facial areas comparison schedule for the Precise Touch, Panasonic and Tria 4X:

Device # of start-up sessions Frequency Top-ups
Iluminage Precise Touch 7 for dark hair
14+ for fair hair & plucked hairs
Weekly As needed, usually every 4 weeks
Panasonic ES-WH90 10 Weekly Every 2 to 4 weeks, or as needed
Tria 4X 8 Weekly Start monthly, then as needed

TIP : previously shared information from Iluminage customer support advises you can use the gentle Precise Touch on your face up to 2 to 3 times per week.

So, although the number of start-up sessions varies for each device, most users respond as per the following:

  • After 1 or 2 sessions you’ll still see hair. And it doesn’t fall out immediately. Shave/dermaplane as you need to and before your next session.
  • After 3 to 5 sessions you should see finer and lighter hair which grows much slower.
  • After 6+ sessions hairs should be very fine with just light regrowth, or may even be gone altogether! You may not need to shave/dermaplane between sessions.
  • After that, continue as directed to complete the full regimen or start your maintenance phase with top-ups every 4 weeks or so.

Some users experience very fast results, whereas others need 2 or 3 times as long. It varies by individual and all brands state this in small print or in their user manuals. So, if you don’t see results within a few goes, don’t give up! Stick at it and give it more time.

And your top-ups are super important to. A recent long-term study of home IPL devices found that the top-up sessions continue to work on your hair follicles. The effect deepens, so the more you do the longer your hair-free results last. If you have the best results this means smooth skin for several months at a time. A Tria 4X study shows the same and they suggest a total of 12 sessions for smoothness that lasts several months.

Iluminage Precise Touch, Panasonic ES-WH90 & Tria 4X recommended by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com for facial hair removal
Recent studies show the more top-ups you do, the longer you stay smooth

However, everyone is different. You may need more regular top-ups than this. Also, inactive hair follicles can wake up and sprout new hairs that you’ll need to zap! This is especially relevant if you want to manage hair growth due to PCOS. So, keep this in mind and keep any unrealistic expectations in check (along with the over-exuberant marketing claims made by some brands!)

Related: are results from the Tria 4X really permanent?

The Pros & Cons: best devices for your face (& small areas)

🥁🥁🥁
Alrighty then!

Now’s time to look at the pros and cons of each recommended device for long-lasting facial hair removal…Here’s a quick summary comparison of the key spec and performance data. Then a pros and cons review of each device in more detail.

Iluminage Precise Touch Panasonic ES-WH90 Tria 4X Laser
Type, weight & operation IPL & Radio Frequency
285g
🔌 Mains-power
IPL
360g
🔋 Cordless
Diode Laser
360g
🔋 Cordless
Power 2 to 4 J/cm2
3 intensity levels
Panasonic won’t share this info 7 to 22 J/cm2
5 intensity levels
Lamp lifetime 10+ years
For monthly face & small area sessions
10 years
For monthly whole-body sessions
3+ years
For monthly face & small area sessions
Sensor ❌ Start low & only move up if it’s comfy ❌ Start low & only move up if it’s comfy ✅ Safe tone unlocks laser
Use the most comfortable level
My comfort & ease score 👍👍👍👍 👍👍👍👍 👍👍👍👍
My sensation score Gentle warmth ⚡⚡⚡
Warm to hot
⚡⚡ to ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡
Can sting a lot for some
Money back guarantee? ❌ None ❌ None ✔ UK, US & CA, Australia

#1 Iluminage Precise Touch

Best for all skin & hair colours
& you can shave or pluck hairs

👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs!

Price range 💰💰💰

Fitzpatrick colour scale I to VI showing it's safe for I to VI or all skin tones
Safe for ALL skin tones, Fitzpatrick types I to VI light to black skin
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown, dark blonde, light blonde and red body hair colours. Probably works on grey and white body hair colours too.
Clinically proven to work on on black to red hair colours. Grey should work in exactly the same way.
The Iluminage Precise Touch is WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's #1 home IPL device for facial hair removal
#1 because ✅ super design, ✅ for ALL skin tones & ALL hair colours, ✅ pluck vs shave

Iluminage Precise Touch deals:

When you shop via my links I earn a small commission (but your price stays the same). And I really appreciate your support 🙏!

🇬🇧 🌍 CurrentBody.com
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🌍 SkinCare RX
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🌍 SkinStore US
All with worldwide shipping options in checkout

The Precise Touch sits in the top spot for facial sessions not only because the design works very well, but because it’s clinically proven safe for ALL skin tones, works on ALL hair colours and you can pluck as well as shave before your sessions. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Design & quality

very easy to flash your face with the Iluminage Precise Touch home IPL
Easy.

The design works very well for facial sessions because the Precise Touch has a small 1 by 2cm flash window. This fits nicely on the upper lip and against other facial contours (such as the jawline) for easy flashes. Despite the boxy design it’s not too heavy, is comfy to hold and, thanks to the tapered end, it’s easy to see where you’re positioning it when looking in a mirror too.

The small 1 by 2cm flash window on the Iluminage Precise Touch fits your facial contours and other smaller areas very well.
Small, easy to position and zap, flash window
A hand holding the Iluminage Touch in a comfy grip with thumb resting in the underside dimple
A tad bulky but the grippy dimples make for a comfy grip

The build quality is decent too, with a 175cm slightly-tangly mains cable. There’s enough slack next to a power outlet, but an extension cable gives extra flexibility. And you get plenty of flashes for face and small body areas to last 10+ years of monthly sessions. Buy from CurrentBody.com for a 2-year warranty, but unfortunately there’s no money back guarantee.

TIP: If you want to treat your legs too try the Iluminage Touch instead.

It’s very simple to operate with just a power button, and Elos button which scrolls through the three intensity levels. There’s no skin tone sensor, but it’s not vital because the IPL is gentle.

Start on LOW and work up to MEDIUM and HIGH levels only if it’s comfortable

There’s no flash button to press either. These come automatically (give it a second or two!) when the two silver RF contact bars are against your skin. Place the window flush and firmly against your skin. After it flashes move to the next spot and repeat, covering your skin in adjacent flashes.

And the Precise Touch is slightly different to other devices because, instead of flashing your skin just once, you must do it 2 or 3 times. This is so enough IPL energy reaches down into the follicle. Wait a minute in between passes. I like this because I’m less worried about overlapping flashes and missed areas.

Safe for dark skin

The Iluminage devices combine very gentle IPL with Radio Frequency (RF) energy. RF is a painless electric current which travels through your skin and down to the hair root, creating gentle resistance, and so heat. This gives the IPL flashes easier passage through your skin by following the path of the RF. Therefore, it can use much gentler (but still effective) IPL, that’s safe for dark and black skin. The flashes are also the most comfortable of the devices we’ve tested, and with the least skin reactions.

Close up of the two silver RF electrode bars at the top and bottom of the Iluminage Precise Touch's flash window
Silver electrode bars create an RF circuit through your skin down to root level and back to the electrodes

Learn more about this FDA-cleared technology for black skin here.

Works on fair hair too

The Precise Touch is also clinically proven effective on fair hair (blonde and red) if you pluck, wax, or epilate immediately before your sessions. This helps the IPL work on hair colours without the melanin pigment found in dark hair. Instead, the IPL energy targets the small blood droplets left behind in the follicle after it’s pulled out.  

Note: Although the Iluminage clinical tests don’t include grey/white hair, it should be effective in precisely the same way as blonde and red hair.

I love the Precise Touch works on all hair colours because it means, as you get older and your hairs turn grey, you can still zap them away!

Pluck or shave

You can shave, dermaplane or pluck your facial hairs before zapping with the Iluminage Precise Touch
You can shave/dermaplane, pluck, wax or epilate hairs with the Precise Touch

The clinically proven fair hair regimen also means if you really don’t want to shave your dark facial hairs, you can continue plucking as usual. Just zap the plucked follicles 2 or 3 times after (with a break between zaps).

However, there’s just a teeny droplet of blood for the IPL to work on. So, be prepared you’ll likely need double the sessions overall vs shaving (14+ sessions). And because you remove the entire hair, it’s harder to tell how it’s working. Stick at it.

Here’s a quick recap of why the Iluminage Touch is #1 for facial hair removal, plus the negatives too:

  • Decent quality & comfy
  • Safe for ALL skin tones
  • Decades of flashes for small areas
  • Works even if your dark hairs turn grey
  • Clinically proven & FDA-cleared for fair hair
  • Small accurate flash window & easy flashes
  • Can pluck, wax, or epilate hairs before sessions
  • No money back guarantee
  • It’s quite expensive at full RRP
  • Several more sessions than advertised for fair/plucked hair users

If you need more info read my in-depth Iluminage Precise Touch review. But if you’ve decided the Precise Touch is for you, please support my future reviews and shop via my links. I earn a small commission, but your price stays the same.

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#2 Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL

Best quality & also a facial brightening tool

👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs!

Price Range 💰💰

Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe to use on light to medium dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Not safe for the darkest skin (type VI).
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair. Won’t work on red, light blonde, grey/white hairs.
The Panasonic ES-WH90 is WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's #2 home device for facial hair removal
#2 because ✅ quality & design, ✅ cordless ✅ brightens complexion too

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The Panasonic ES-WH90 comes highly recommended for facial use because of the top-notch quality and precise design, cordless operation, and you can use it around your face to fade discolouration and brighten your complexion.

Top-notch quality, design & cordless

the Panasonic ES-WH90 is ergonomically designed to suit the face
Easy peasy.

This thoughtful design makes zapping your face particularly easy. The long smooth wand-shape is intuitive to grip and the angled end gives excellent visibility for flashing your face whilst looking in a mirror. The small face flash window perfectly fits all facial areas and it’s very easy to flash. You press the raised lip into your skin to make a flash. Lift, reposition and repeat in adjacent flashes covering your skin. You can see and feel exactly where your flashing. Plus, there’s less escaping bright light.

The Panasonic ES-WH90 long wand-shape is comfy and intuitive to grip
Comfy, cordless intuitive grip
The face attachment attached to the Panasonic ES-WH90 device
Small, precise flash window & button in one!

It’s very simple to operate to with just a power button and intensity level select button. But there’s no skin tone sensor, so start on the lowest level and move up only if comfortable. There’s no cord to get in the way either so you can use it anywhere. It takes 3 hours for a full charge and this lasts around 600 flashes which is many more than you’ll need for your face, and a few small areas if you choose so (but not legs!)

Press the 'select' button to cycle through the IPL intensity levels on the Panasonic ES-WH90 device
For medium & darker skin start on low level and move up only if it’s comfortable & you’ve no skin reactions

And the materials and build quality are superb. It feels solid and robust, without any creaks or cracks. It’s fairly heavy (360g) because there’s a rechargeable lithium battery inside. But this simply adds to the expensive feel.

You get plenty of flashes too. They last more than 15 years of monthly whole-body sessions, so that’s decades of flashes for just your face! It also comes with a 2-year warranty, but unfortunately there’s no money back guarantee.

Note: there’s also a large flash window attachment you can use for faster treatments on the rest of your body.

Beauty tool to brighten complexion

Not only does the ES-WH90 zap your facial hairs, but you can use it to brighten your complexion too. The IPL heats melanin pigment in your outer skin layers. This encourages the surrounding skin to repair and refresh it for a smoother, brighter, and more even skin tone. The effects build gradually.

Choose a safe intensity for your skin tone and, with the face attachment on, cover your face in adjacent flashes. Always avoid the eyes and lips. Do this every 3 days for 2 months and Panasonic say you’ll have ‘fine, smooth skin that glows’. Panasonic provide brief details of their 32 subject clinical trial on their website.

The Panasonic ES-WH90 is a very good and affordable choice for just IPL facial hair removal. But I love this additional use as a simple skin brightening beauty tool for light to medium skin.

Here’s a quick recap of why the Panasonic ES-WH90 is our #2 for facial hair removal, plus the negatives too:

  • Clinically proven
  • Quality, comfy & precise shape
  • Cordless design for bathroom use
  • Small flash window & easy flashes
  • Very accurate push-flash mechanism
  • Doubles as a beauty tool to brighten your complexion
  • No skin tone sensor
  • No money-back guarantee
  • Not yet FDA-cleared in US

If you need more info read my in-depth Panasonic ES-WH90 review. But if you’ve decided it’s for you, please support my future reviews and shop via my links. I earn a small commission, but your price stays the same.

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#3 Tria 4X laser

Most powerful for your longest-lasting results

👍 Face & small areas
❌ Not legs (& extended bikini line is difficult!)

Price range 💰💰💰💰

Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to IV, but not V and VI (the darkest tones).
Safe to use on light to medium skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV). Not safe for dark & black skin (types V & VI).
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair. Won’t work on red, light blonde, grey/white hairs.
The Tria 4X is WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's #3 recommeded home device for facial hair removal
#3 because ✅ cordless, ✅ precise & easy to use ✅ most powerful

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The Tria 4X laser is a firm favourite for facial hair removal on light to medium skin tones because it’s cordless, easy to use and the small laser aperture covers facial contours very well. But mostly because it’s the most powerful home device for your longest lasting smooth results.

Cordless & easy to use

teent laser zaps from the Tria 4X cover your face
Teeny zappage

The shape, design, and weight of the Tria 4X laser suits the small movements needed to cover your skin in laser zaps. And it works very well on your face too.

hand holding the Tria 4X laser balanced in a comfy upright position
Heavy (600g) but balanced & comfy
Press the pink button topower on the Tria 4X and to scroll through the 5 intensity levels.
Easy to use LCD screen and single button controls

The long, tapered handle is comfortable to hold and the teardrop-shaped head means you can see clearly in mirror exactly where your placing the small laser aperture. The 600g weight is mainly in the head, but it feels balanced in your hand. This, and the teeny 0.5cm laser aperture ensure close, accurate contact along your skin.

Close up of the small 0.5cm diameter laser aperture on the Tria 4X laser
Teeny laser aperture easily flashes flush against skin

It requires close concentration, but it’s easy to position and flash around your facial contours. There’s no flash button. With a safe skin tone, unlock the device using the sensor on the bottom. Choose your intensity level and place the laser aperture flush against your skin. Once it beeps, move it 0.5cm along your skin for the next flash. This creates an overlapping pattern of circles along your skin.

TIP: The precision and close concentration needed makes an extended bikini line (i.e. between and around your legs) rather difficult with the Tria 4X. Ask a helpful assistant or use an IPL device with a bigger flash window.

And there’s no mains cord to get in the way because it’s battery powered. Each charge takes 2 hours and lasts for 500 to 600 zaps which is roughly 25 to 30 minutes of use. This is ample for your face, and a couple other small areas if you fancy (but not legs!) Charge it after use so it’s ready to go for the next time, and to maintain the battery. You’ll get at least 3 years (and probably more) of regular use from the Tria if you care for the battery.

Most powerful home device

But the biggest draw of the Tria 4X is that it’s the most powerful home device you can buy.

5 power intensity levels up to 22 J/cm2 – the most powerful home device

The power intensity ranges from 7 to 22 J/cm2. So, if you can use it on the highest intensity, it promises you your longest lasting results of all home devices once you’ve finished the start-up schedule. How this compares to IPL devices it’s not possible to say because everyone’s results are different. And you’ll still some top-up sessions for maintenance too.

Also, remember that for some users, this extra power stings and is very uncomfortable. Therefore, you may need to use one of the lower intensity levels.

Here’s a quick recap of why the Tria 4X laser is our #3 for facial hair removal, plus the negatives too:

  • Easy to use
  • Years of laser zaps
  • Most powerful home device
  • Use anywhere cordless design
  • Clinically proven & FDA cleared
  • Small, precise laser aperture for accurate coverage
  • Battery lasts plenty long enough for facial zappings
  • It’s quite heavy
  • Hurts for some!
  • Expensive at full RRP
  • Difficult to get close enough to zap a precise extended bikini line!

If you need more info read my in-depth Tria 4X review. But if you’ve decided it’s for you, please support my future reviews and shop via my links. I earn a small commission, but your price stays the same.

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