The best home laser & IPL hair removal machines tried & tested by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com

Best tested home laser & IPL for smooth skin (& ones to skip)

H ome laser hair removal was life-changing for me. With a bit of effort, it gives long-lasting smooth skin. That means freedom from daily plucking, shaving and stubble, and no more expensive, painful waxing. It means you can wear what you want when you want and wave toodle-pip to ingrown hairs.

Epilators and razors give smoothskin which lasts a few days or weeks. IPL & Laser is much more long-lasting!
No to this. Yes to longer-lasting, pain & stubble free results!

In this guide you’ll find a round-up of the best, clinically proven home laser and IPL hair removal machines in 2020. We’ve trialled and tested all of them to our exacting standards, so you can confidently choose a device to find your smooth.

But if you’re new to all this and have general questions, first check out this laser & IPL hair removal 101 article. It explains everything you need to know from how it works, who can use it, safety, shaving vs waxing, how it feels, possible side effects to what results you’ll get. Phew.

The best at home laser & IPL hair removal machines of 2020:

The best overall is the Philips Lumea Prestige packed with premium features for fast, precise and easy sessions with excellent results. The Braun Pro 5 IPL isn’t far behind and you should consider it if you want the fastest sessions with minimum faff. If you’re on a tighter budget but still want speedy sessions, the Silk’n Infinity models are excellent value, and safe for dark and black skin too. See the full list below. 👇

Also in this guide: Machines you could consider & Ones to skip

#1 Philip[s Lumea Prestige home IPL

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL – Best overall home IPL hair removal device

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 US & CA

#2 Braun silk Expert Pro 5 IPL

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL – Best home IPL that’s fast, no-faff & super-safe

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

#3 Tria 4X hair removal laser

Tria Beauty hair removal laser 4X – Most powerful home laser hair removal

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK £30 off with code GET30 | 🇬🇧 UK low price | 🇺🇸 US | 🇨🇦 CA

#4 Smoothskin Muse home IPL

Smoothskin Muse & Gold IPL – Sexy & powerful

Best Muse deals 👉 use code MUSESMOOTH: 🇬🇧 UK & 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 US & CA
Best Gold deals: 🇦🇺 AU

#5 Silkn Infinity home IPL

Silk’n Infinity – Best affordable IPL hair removal, for dark & black skin too

Best deals: 🇬🇧 UK | 🇺🇸 US | 🇨🇦 CA

smoothskin Bare+ home IPL device

Smoothskin Bare+ – Best fast, affordable device for light to medium skin

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

#6 Panasonic ES-WH90 home IPL

Panasonic ES-WH90 IPL – Best IPL hair removal for face

Best deal: 🇬🇧 UK

Read the full round-up below for more deals in the UK, Australia, US and Canada. International shipping is available on most products from Amazon and CurrentBody.com

Important safety information

Check out WeAreBodyBeautiful.com's guide to everything you need to know about home laser & IPL hair removal, including importantcontraindications and reasons you may not be safe to use it!
Check the warnings & contraindications before you buy!

Home laser & IPL isn’t for everyone. It works best on lighter skin tones and dark hair. So, it’s vital to know about safe skin tones and suitable hair colours. Look for the skin and hair colour charts for each device below. There are also other reasons you may be unsuitable to use a device. Such contraindications include pregnancy, breastfeeding, diabetes, medical & skin conditions, photosensitising medications and more. Stay safe and learn more about home laser & IPL safety and contraindications here.

Related: Best home IPL for dark skin

See also: Best home IPL for blonde, red & grey hair

How we test

First, we test to see how simple the device is to operate, what safety features it has, and how comfortable, precise and easy it is to use. We test it on different body parts (legs, bikini line, tummy, underarms and face), and we speed test it with the same tester to see how long it takes to flash a full leg and a whole body. We also share how it feels during and after the sessions. And, using our standardised formula, we calculate how long the flashes last too.

All home IPL and laser hair removal devices require effort and commitment. So next, we calculate the effort needed vs results during the start-up regimen and following maintenance sessions. Some are far less time-intensive than others so it’s important you choose something you can stick with.

And finally, we round-up any negatives for you to consider. We share these results in this guide to bring you fair, balanced and reliable recommendations. Be sure to read the full reviews of your favourites for even more detail and photos.

Off we go.

1. Philips Lumea Prestige

Overall best home IPL hair removal machine

View deals £386 to £500:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK, CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 CurrentBody US & CA

See why this is my Overall Best home laser hair removal choice. A close up of the gun-shape Lumea Prestige on its side, the beautiful packaging and the distinctive device shape with the unique curved attachments.
A superb choice for small or large areas, especially legs & whole-body sessions.
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe for skin tones I to V, light to dark skin

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

Lamp lifetime
More flashes than you’ll ever need, lasting 15+ years of use. It’s one of the best.

Ease of use
Most intuitive & comfortable, fast & packed with top-notch features. Love the curved flash windows.

Effort & Results
Long-lasting smooth after 4 to 5 sessions (1 every 2 weeks), plus top-ups every month or so. A low effort device.

Pros

  • Unrivalled comfort of ergonomic gun-shape
  • Easy-flash precise curved windows hug your skin
  • Corded & cordless convenience in one
  • Powerful, safe & fast
  • Clinically-proven & CE certification
  • 100-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • It’s quite heavy
  • Expensive at full RRP
  • Not yet FDA-cleared in US

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

Futuristic gun-shape, perfectly placed trigger and long tapered handle for reach and leverage

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

3 images showing how the Smartskin sensor works. The magnify glass button activates the sensor, the 1 to 5 intensity level indicators illuminate white in a round as it works. The 'tick' button lights-up white once it is done along with the maximum appropriate intensity indicators. Press the 'tick' button to choose it.
The Smartskin sensor tells tells you your best intensity, and you can manually adjust it down a notch if need be.

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.

Fast flashes & curves to fit your bits & pins! The best for full body sessions.

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.

Learn about the attachments with the different Prestige models here.

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.

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.

It’s not yet FDA-cleared in the United States. However, it is clinically -proven safe and effective for home use. It also meets all the European safety and manufacturing standards, and some voluntary standards too. It’s CE certified, so rest assured it’s safe and it works.

Selection of images of the Lumea Prestige that are described in detail in the full review at wearebodybeautiful.com
The Philips Lumea Prestige is perfect for full body treatments and small areas too.

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.

Read our in-depth Philips Lumea Prestige review with summary video

View Philips Lumea Prestige deals

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

International shipping from Amazon and CurrentBody.com

Buy the Lumea BRI954 and BRI953

Lumea BRI954/3
3 windows for body, face & bikini/underarms
🇬🇧 Amazon UK, CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 CurrentBody US & CA, Amazon BRI953

Philips Lumea Prestige BRI956

Lumea BRI956/49
4 windows for body, face, bikini & underarms
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Amazon.com BRI949

2. Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL

Fast, no-faff & super-safe IPL hair removal device

View deals £299 to £599:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop, CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA

Ideal for small and large areas, especially varied skin tones around your body
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe for skin tones I to V, light to dark skin
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

Lamp lifetime
One of the best with IPL flashes lasting 15+ years of monthly use.

Ease of use
Super-fast, elegant, light-weight and nimble. Perfectly balanced safety and power in every flash.

Effort & Results
Silky skin after 4 to 12 weekly sessions, then top-ups every month or so to stay smooth. The lowest effort device.

Pros

  • 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
  • 100-day money back guarantee from CurrentBody.com

Cons

  • Getting used to the variable speed flashes
  • Expensive at full RRP

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

Just 292g, it’s very comfortable in different grips, easy to position and the tangle-proof cord stays out of the way.

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.

The blue skin tone sensor lights scan your skin and won’t flash if it’s too dark, shown by the red lights

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.

Light whites 1 to 10 to show the intensity selected. If it smarts too much press the feather button to reduce the intensity.

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.

Small, tapered, white precision attachment and large gold body attachment

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 do vary by individual.

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. However, CurrentBody.com still offer a 100-day guarantee so you can buy it with confidence from them.

The beautiful packaging and quality storage pouch are the finishing touches on an almost perfect device.

An alternative choice at around the same price and built for speed and precision is the Philips Lumea Prestige. But both are pricey, so if they’re out of your price range, try the excellent value Silk’n Infinity. It also gives fast sessions so is perfect for whole-body sessions.

Related: Lumea Prestige vs Braun Pro 5 IPL

See also: Our Braun Pro 5 in-depth review with summary video

View Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL deals

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

International shipping from Amazon and CurrentBody.com

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

Braun Pro 5 IPL PL5124, PL5117 & PL5137
with precision head, razor & premium pouch
🇬🇧 Amazon UK, CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop, CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 CurrentBody US, Amazon PL5124, Amazon PL5137
🇨🇦 Amazon.ca, CurrentBody CA

Braun Pro 5 IPL PL5014
with razor & pouch (no precision head)
🇬🇧 Amazon UK, CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 CurrentBody US & CA

3. Tria 4X hair removal laser

Most powerful home hair removal laser

View deals £200 to £375:
🇬🇧 Tria Beauty UK £30 off with code GET30
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK (low price)
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Amazon.com
🇨🇦 Amazon CA

3 photos of the Tria 4X laser showing the device in the attractive sturdy box, with the charger and close up of the device.
Most powerful home-use device, for face & small areas (too time-consuming for legs!)
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to IV, but not V and VI (the darkest tones).
Safe for skin tones I to IV, light to medium skin
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

Laser lifetime
Charge the battery every month to extend the life. You’ll get several years of zaps.

Ease of use
Intuitive, easy to use, but takes extra time, concentration and precision. Limited to 30 mins of use per battery charge.

Effort & Results
It works! 8 treatments every 2 weeks for smooth results, then top-ups to stay that way. High effort & concentration required.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Hurts for some!
  • Takes ages with several charges to zap large areas like legs
  • Demands commitment
  • 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. 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.

Photos of the Tria 4X laser showing the distinct shape with a long, tapered handle and tear-drop shaped head with the small laser aperture on the tip of the nose. A round LED screen and single small pink button on top control the device. The LED screen shows the selected 1 to 5 power level, lock / unlock status, battery status and pulse counter.
The Tria 4X hold is balanced and secure, with a clear and simple LED control screen on top.

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 red skin tone sensor light is found on the base of the handle. Press the pink button on the top to cycle through the power levels.
The red skin tone sensor on the base unlocks the Tria. Then select one of the 5 intensities safe for skin types I to IV.

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. User feedback and our trial results support this, but note results do vary by individual.

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.

photo of the small Tria 4X laser aperture next t the large IPL flash window of the Lumea Prestige. Underneath, a close up photo of the user manual showing the overlapping pattern needed.
Top: the Tria’s 5mm laser aperture compared to a large IPL flash window, and bottom: the small overlapping pattern to get complete laser coverage.

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 than the Tria for legs, larger areas or whole-body sessions. Try the Prestige, Braun Pro 5 or Muse, and the Infinity for dark and black skin tones.

Related: the Tria 4X comparison with home IPL

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.

See also: Our Tria 4X home laser review

View Tria 4x laser deals

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

Tria 4X hair removal laser review

View deals £200 to £375:
🇬🇧 Tria Beauty UK £30 off with code GET30, 60-day money back guarantee
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK low price & 90-day money back guarantee
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Amazon.com
🇨🇦 Amazon CA
N.B. Amazon: Check guarantee is valid before purchasing!

Tria precision laser deals (for face & top-ups)
🇬🇧 Tria Beauty UK £30 off with code GET30, 60-day money back guarantee

4. Smoothskin Muse & Gold home IPL

Sexy & powerful

View Muse deals:
👉 Use code MUSESMOOTH
🇬🇧 £299 £275 CurrentBody UK
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 $401 $343 CurrentBody US & CA

View Gold deals:
🇦🇺 $699 $399 Shavershop

Ideal for small & large areas, especially varied skin tones across your body
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe for skin tones I to V, light to dark skin
Works on black to dark blonde, may work on light blonde hair

Lamp lifetime
Gold gives 10+ years of use and the Muse gives unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out.

Ease of use
Fast, sleek, sophisticated plug-and-zap simplicity. Adjusts each flash to your skin tone for non-stop no-faff sessions.

Effort & Results
Up to 12 weekly sessions for long-lasting hair-free results, then top-ups keep it so. A low effort device.

Pros

  • End of line bargain prices
  • 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

Cons

  • Quite big & a little awkward for petite hands
  • Tricky to flash on your upperlip

Aside from the eye-catching gold speckle, both the Muse and the older Gold model are almost identical home IPL devices. The key difference is the Muse comes with unlimited flashes. Both are excellent value and now reduced to end of line bargain low prices.

Striking & long-lasting

I love the stand-out glossy-black design with gold trim, elegant curves, and minimal controls. You can tell them apart because the Muse has an eye-catching gold speckled star-dust swoosh across the top.

Same ergonomic shape, weight & controls. Muse has more bling.

Although quite large, the design is balanced in hand and with a few different grips depending on which body areas you’re zapping. The silicone side strips provide a secure and tactile grip. They’re both comfortable to hold and precise to manoeuvre with a clear view of the flash window.

Comfortable & precise grips, with the cord well out the way.

Both work on mains-power and have identical, long, 2 metre durable cables which won’t tangle. The long handle keeps the power cord out of your way too. The build quality is solid and durable and both come with a 2-year warranty.

The key difference is the Muse comes with unlimited IPL flashes from the bulb, so you’ll never run out. The Gold gives 200,000 flashes which is enough for around 10 years of monthly whole-body sessions. That’s still excellent value and likely many more flashes than you’ll ever need to get and stay smooth.

Powerful, fool proof & fast

The Muse and Gold are identical inside and some of the most powerful home IPL devices available. They combine this power with clever sensor technology to keep your skin safe. It works like this.

They won’t flash if your skin is too dark. But on safe tones they auto-adjust the strongest and safest intensity level for your skin. They do this before EVERY flash so you don’t have to stop and faff. So, it’s much easier if you’ve varied skin tones on different body areas because they’re fool proof.

The IPL intensity ranges from 3 to 6 J/cm² in small increments. The higher intensities are safe for fair skin, and the medium and lower intensities for darker tones. And with 10 intensity levels (double most other rival IPL devices) each IPL flash more precisely matches to your skin tone. 

Close up photo of the intensity indicators lit up white to level 5, and the gentle mode 'feather' button on top of the Muse.
10 intensity levels auto-adjust to your your skin tone. Press the feather button for less intensity in gentle mode.

And if the flashes smart a bit on delicate areas like your underarms and bikini line, you can reduce the intensity with gentle mode.

TIP: If your skin is fair and you use high intensities, you’ll get longer lasting results than with a less powerful IPL alternative.

The Muse and Gold are also two of the fastest to cover your skin in flashes. From our tests it takes on average 12 minutes to meticulously flash a full leg. A whole-body session (full legs, underarms, bikini line and face) took under 50 minutes. That’s quick, so they’re both super choices for quick full body treatments done in one session.

Super-smooth results & guaranteed

Smoothskin guidelines say do weekly treatments 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.

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 both the Muse and Gold come with a 90-day money back guarantee. Try one and return it if you don’t love it. I love this extra reassurance that only a few brands offer.

Muse & Gold; fast, top performing home IPLs for face, small and large body areas

Any negatives with the Muse & Gold?

Just some minor criticism. Here goes.

By no means are the Muse and Gold flimsy, but they’re not quite as solid as the Prestige or the Braun Pro 5. And the different grips you need take a little practise to remember and master. It’s trickier if you have petite hands.

Medium-size flash window is tricky to flash on upperlip & jawline

Both also have one multi-purpose flash window. It’s 1 cm by 3 cm and 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. You get that and slightly faster sessions with the Braun Pro 5 IPL.

The Muse and Gold are discontinued models soon to be replaced by the Smoothskin Pure. But they’re still very handsome, powerful and fast. And now you can snap up these top performing devices at a bargain, stock-clearing price. So, go on, you deserve smooth skin. Treat yourself.

Smoothskin Gold super value affordable, end-of-line low price

View Smoothskin Muse & Gold deals

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Smoothskin Muse deals:
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🇬🇧 £299 £275 CurrentBody UK
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Smoothskin Gold deals:
🇦🇺 $699 $399 Shavershop

5. Silkn Infinity

Safe for ALL skin tones, dark & black skin too

View deals £180 to £315:
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK, Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Silkn.com
🇨🇦 Silkn.ca

Affordable galvanic energy + IPL so it’s fast and safe for dark & black skin too.
Fitzpatrick colour scale I to VI showing it's safe for I to VI or all skin tones
UK & European models are safe for ALL skin tones.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. May work on light blonde, red, white or grey body hair colours, but it's not clinically proven.
Works on black to dark blonde, Silk’n say it works on fair hair too but offer no clinical proof or explanation.

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.

Lamp lifetime
It’s superb value with flashes to last 15+ years of use. One of the best.

Ease of use
No-frills, compact, light-weight design. Clever skin tone sensor detects darker tones and activates only the lower, safe intensities.

Effort & Results
Get smooth with 4 treatments every 2 weeks, then switch to monthly to stay smooth. But it takes longer on dark skin / lower intensties.

Pros

  • 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)

Cons

  • 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

The Silk’n Infinity is the only home IPL device that’s safe on ALL skin tones. So, it’s perfect if you have dark or black skin. But it’s also a smart choice for medium and light skin tones too because it’s so affordable and fast. Let’s learn more about it.

Long-lasting with minimalist design

The Infinity models boast 15+ years of monthly whole-body sessions from the IPL bulb. That’s more than you’ll ever need. And Silk’n encourage you to share it too. One model even comes with a hygienic cleansing stand so it’s safe to share with friends and family.

The lightweight (228g) simple, mains-powered Infinity.

The build and materials are decent too, with a 180cm power cable that fits snug in the device. The design is simple and curvy, like a large pebble. It’s comfortable to grip as you press the large flash button. And lightweight too, so it’s easy enough to manoeuvre around your body. The controls are simple and intuitive, tucked away on the bottom of the device.

The design is minimalist 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.

Safe for dark & black skin

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

The Galvanic plate and contact electrode create a circuit as you position, hold & flash the device

The Galvanic current is painless and flows through your skin opening your pores. Therefore, your hair is more exposed and so absorbs increased IPL energy for super-efficient follicle zapping power. This means it can use much gentler (but still effective) IPL, that reduces the risk of stinging and side effects, and is safe for dark and black skin too. Learn more here including the Infinity clinical test data and important differences in the US.

The Silk’n Infinity skin tone sensor activates only the safe intensities for your skin tone.

The Infinity has 5 intensity levels. Levels 3 to 5 are more intense (up to 4 J/cm2) and safe for light/medium skin. And levels 1 & 2 are gentle IPL (3 J/cm2) safe for dark and black skin. And to make sure you choose the right intensity the clever skin tone sensor checks your tone and activates only the safe intensity levels.

Fast sessions

I can finish a full leg on intensity 5 in around 12 minutes (it’s slightly faster on the lower intensities 1 and 2). The glide rate is steady, and sessions are quick. Therefore, it’s super for both small areas and full-body treatments or large areas done in one session.

Lovely smooth results

For lighter skin tones using the higher intensities (4 and 5) do four sessions, one every 2 weeks (6 weeks total). You should then be smooth so switch to monthly sessions and keep going until you can reduce the frequency even more. Most online feedback supports this as did our trial, but results do vary by individual.

In our test (on light skin), leg hair grew slower after the second session. After three, there was less hair. And it felt softer, finer and lighter. Large bald spots appeared 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 x5 monthly top-up sessions. They share “An occasional soft hair appears until zapped, then disappears. So, my legs are 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”.

For dark and black skin tones using lower intensities (1 to 3) a Silk’n study shows you’ll need many more sessions. Silk’n recommend up to 12 sessions at 2-week intervals to get smooth (22 weeks/5 months). Then, switch to top-ups as you need them. So, on the lower intensity levels it’s important you have realistic expectations about the effort, patience and commitment needed to get results.

Negatives

First, the business-end of the Infinity is a bit bulky compared to the size of the flash window.

Awkward on the upper lip and jawline.

This means it’s not as precise as say the Lumea Prestige or Braun Pro 5. Therefore, it’s a bit awkward on the upper lip and around the jaw line. It takes a bit of practise to get a flash but you get the hang of it soon enough.

Next, the guidance on safe skin tones differs in the US which is a bit confusing. That’s because it’s FDA cleared for skin tones up to type V, but not VI. Learn more about the Infinity and FDA clearance here.

Silk’n Europe also say it’s works on fair hair colours including blonde, red and grey (if the skin/hair colour contrast is big enough). However, they don’t explain how it works. I assume it’s something to do with the IPL/Galvanic combination but as they’ve ignored my many requests for an explanation, I guess I’ll never know. Silk’n US say it may work on fair hair, if there’s enough dark pigment. So, it’s as clear as mud to me.

However, if you live in the US or Canada, you can try it for 60 days with their money back guarantee. Yay. I love this extra reassurance. But if you live in the UK or Europe, no such luck because they don’t offer a money back guarantee. Boo.

Everything fits safe and snug in the protective storage case. A nice touch.

If you demand the best and have a bit more to spend, check out the Lumea Prestige and Braun Pro 5 IPL. These devices are top quality with premium features, safe for skin tones I to V. But if they’re out of your budget don’t worry. The Infinity is a super-value choice from a trusted brand, with regular offers around £145.

Read our detailed Silk’n Infinity review here

View Silk’n Infinity deals

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🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK & Special Editions
🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇺🇸 Silkn.com
🇨🇦 Silkn.ca

6. Smoothskin Bare+

Best fast, affordable device for light to medium skin

View deals £179 to £199:
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop
🇩🇪 CurrentBody DE
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA

Compact and attractive Smoothsin Bare+ home IPL device
Fast, simple & affordable for light skin tones, small & large areas.
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to IV, but not V and VI (the darkest tones).
Safe for skin tones I to IV, light to medium skin. Not safe on freckles or moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair

Lamp lifetime
Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Superb value.

Ease of use
No-frills compact, light-weight yet robust. Very comfortable & handy, fast, plugin-&-zap simplicity. Won’t flash if skin’s too dark.

Effort & results
Medium power IPL for smooth results over the course of 12 sessions. Then switch to top-ups every 2 to 4 weeks.

Pros

  • Affordable quality, light-weight & fast
  • Unlimited IPL flashes for decades of use
  • No faffing with intensity selection – one medium IPL level
  • Plugin-&-zap, one-button simplicity
  • Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
  • 90-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Cord sometimes gets in the way
  • Tricky to flash on shins, ankles & upper lip
  • Confusing which skin tones it’s safe for
  • Not yet available in the US & Canada

Simplicity, safety & speed

Don’t let the affordable, simple and compact Smoothskin Bare+ fool you. It’s got a lot going for it, and we think it rivals even the premium alternatives.

Shots of the compact, black and rose-gold Bare+ from Smoothskin. We think it's the best budget device for light to medium skin
Beautifully presented, quality bit of kit. This little badger rivals even premium choices.

First, it gives unlimited IPL flashes. Therefore, no worries about running out or buying expensive refills. It’ll give decades of silky-smooth skin and is exceptional value.

Most compact, handy home IPL we’ve tested

Second, it’s a handy little thing. The cute, curvy shape is light (197g) and fits perfectly in your hand. It’s the most compact device we’ve tested. Yet it also feels quality and robust, like its more expensive rivals. The 2-metre power cord is thick, bendy and gives plenty of slack.

Next, there are no dials, no charts, it’s so simple to use. It has one medium power intensity level (4 J/cm2) for long-lasting smooth skin. And there’s just a single, large flash button. So, it’s incredibly straight-forward. Simply plugin, position and zap! It’s safe for light to medium skin tones, with a skin tone sensor that won’t flash if skin’s too dark.

Super-simple & safe Smoothskin Bare+ home IPL with just one large button to operate it.
Flash ready lights. Red – woah! White – Go!

You may need slightly more frequent top-ups to start than with more powerful rivals. But that’ll hardly matter because the sessions are so darn fast! In our tests, a full leg takes about 11 minutes and a whole-body just under 30 minutes. It’s one of the fastest home devices, so easier to squeeze in your busy schedule.

Quick smooth results

Treat weekly for noticeable results after 4 weeks. Keep going and complete 12 weekly sessions. Then switch to top-ups every 2 to 4 weeks. With the best possible results, you’ll need them even less frequently over time. You may match this guide or need more sessions because results vary by individual.

Negatives of the Bare+

There are just a few small negatives with the Bare+.

First, out tester found it tricky to flash on shins, ankles and upper-lip. Other devices share this problem too, and take just a bit of practise to work out the best way.

Photos of the long, non-tangle power cable fixed into the Smoothskin Bare+ device.
Power cable sometimes gets in the way (but doesn’t tangle)

Next, the power cord is thick and supple, and very good quality. However, it can sometimes get in the way, especially when flashing legs. Try to avoid the cord crossing over your body or, simply hold it out the way with your other hand.

And finally, we find the safe skin tone guidance a bit vague on the box. There’s a big leap between the medium safe tone and non-safe dark tone. Check out the charts above to be sure. However, rest assured it won’t flash if your skin’s too dark. Plus, you also get a reassuring 90-day money back guarantee. So, you can return it for a refund if it’s not right for you.

Read our indepth Bare+ review with video

View smoothskin Bare+ deals

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International shipping from CurrentBody.com

smoothskin Bare+ home IPL device

Smoothskin Bare+ deals £199:
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop, CurrentBody AU
🇩🇪 CurrentBody DE
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA

7. Panasonic ES-Wh90 IPL hair removal

Best for facial hair removal

View deals £100 to £150:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK

Ideal design for facial hair removal PLUS it brightens skin
Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe for skin tones I to V, light to dark skin
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

Lamp lifetime
The flashes last 10+ years of monthly use so you’ll enjoy silky smoothness for ages.

Ease of use
Simple to operate, cordless ergonomic shape & quick for small areas & face. No skin tone sensor.

Effort & Results
Smooth skin after a weekly session for 2 months, then top-ups every few weeks. Medium effort device.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quality solid build & cordless operation
  • Shape perfectly suits facial use
  • Clever design facial adaptor is perfect for awkward upper lip
  • Doubles as glow-enhancing facial beauty device
  • Clinically-proven & CE certification

Cons

  • No skin tone sensor
  • Battery & flash rate not suited to legs or whole-body sessions
  • No money-back guarantee
  • Not yet FDA-cleared in US

Team Panasonic didn’t give the Panasonic ES-WH90 a sexy name. But the design is rather good. The cordless, ergonomic shape and flash operation combine for perfect facial use. It’s a solid, quality bit of kit for under £150. And the IPL doubles as a skin brightening tool on safe skin tones too.

Long-lasting, cordless & perfect shape

The ES-WH90 gives plenty of flashes. Panasonic explain you get more using the lower intensities, but even on the highest intensity you’ll get over 10 years of monthly whole-body sessions. And the build quality is excellent too. It’s solid and feels expensive. So, it’s a long-lasting investment.

The design is unique, and during testing we found it’s particularly well suited to facial treatments. Here’s why.

The cordless ES-WH090 is cordless so you can use it in the privacy of the bathroom.

Firstly, it’s cordless, so there’s no tangles and you can use it anywhere. Next, the curvy wand-like shape fits comfortably in your hand with a gentle yet secure grip. And the angled head affords a precise view of the flash-end as you look in the mirror.

Then there’s also a raised lip around the tapered flash windows. You can see exactly where you’re placing it – it’s perfect for your upper lip.

Simple & intuitive

On the handle, just below the natural grip, are 2 simple 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, the low levels for darker skin tones.

The flash trigger is built into the flash windows and activates when depressed against your skin.

There’s no flash button either. Instead, the lip around the flash attachments doubles as a switch mechanism to control the flashes. The lip presses in to flash, then springs back up again. It’s intuitive and very simple. And it reduces the escaping brightness of the IPL flashes when it’s firmly pressed against your skin.

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.

The larger flash window for underarms and bikini line

The large 5.4 cm2 body attachment is best for underarms, tummy and bikini line. The 2.4 cm2 facial attachment for zapping hair on your upper lip, jawline and neck. And for brightening your face too.

TIP: for best results shave your hair before treatments. If you don’t like the sound of shaving your face (I agree), I recommend a dermaplaning tool. Learn more about dermaplaning here!

Facial rejuvenation

With regular use, the facial attachment also works for a full IPL facial rejuvenation treatment. It takes between 5 to 10 mins to cover your face and neck (avoiding your eyes and lips). The IPL reaches into your skin targeting dark spots and pigmentation. This also triggers collagen production. With continued use, it evens out discolouration for a unified glow. Learn more about this in the full review.

Smooth & glowing results

For hair removal, Panasonic say treat your face, underarms and bikini line weekly for 2 months. Then switch to one session every 2 weeks, and eventually to monthly as needed.

To rejuvenate your complexion, use the facial attachment every three days for 2 months to give a glow to your complexion.

The Negatives

There are a few negatives to consider with the ES-WH90.

First, because its battery powered, you’ll need to stop and recharge it after it’s given 600 flashes. This means you can’t complete a whole-body session in one sitting. But it’s fine for your face and a few small areas. Care for the battery by charging it every few months when not in regular use.

In addition, our tester shared the ES-WH90 is a bit boring if treating large areas like your legs. That’s because, although the body flash window is large, the flash rate is seconds slower than other rivals. So, progress seems slower. But again, it’s fine for your face and smaller areas.

No skin tone sensor so some guesswork needed for darker skin tones!

Next, the Panasonic ES-WH90 doesn’t have a skin tone sensor. If you’ve fair skin this may not concern you because you can safely use most of the intensity levels anyway. But if you have medium to dark skin you may be apprehensive. In that case, I recommend the gentle Silk’n Infinity home IPL for around the same price.

And finally, there’s no extra reassurance of a money back guarantee which is a pity. But the ES-WH90 is one of the most affordable home devices, often under £150.

Read our full Panasonic ES-WH90 review here 

View Panasonic ES-WH90 deals

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Buy the Panasonic ES-WH90 - best for facial user

🇬🇧 Amazon UK
🇬🇧 Dermaplaning Hollywood Browzer a welcome alternative to shaving your face!


Home IPL machines you could consider…

Some machines narrowly miss out making it into our best list. But they’re still good choices and work well. And especially attractive if the price is more affordable than the best buys above. So, here are the runners up you could also consider and why.

Braun Silk Expert 5 IPL

Why consider it: A worthy, fast choice for legs & whole-body sessions (if the price is right).

Detailed images from the Gillette Venus Silk expert IPL review
The older model Silk Expert 5 IPL from Braun.

Lamp lifetime
More flashes than you’ll ever need, lasting 15+ years of use. It’s up there with the best.

Ease of use
Fast, plug-and-zap simplicity. Adjusts each flash to your skin tone for non-stop no-faff sessions.

Results & Effort
Fuzz-free skin after 6 to 12 weekly sessions, then top-ups every month or so to stay smooth. A low effort home IPL.

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

This is the older version Braun 5 premium home IPL and although the Pro 5 is better, this still scores highly against our test criteria. See how the older and newer Braun models compare here.

This older Braun 5 model is safe for light to medium-dark skin and has the same ergonomic shape and super-safe, intuitive operation. That’s with the advanced skin tone sensor that detects your skin tone then selects the best of 10 intensities for your skin. It’s different to the newer model because it’s slightly bigger and heavier, has just one multi-use flash window and slightly slower sessions. So, if both are close in price, go for the newer Braun Pro 5. But if it’s considerably cheaper it’s worthy of your consideration for fast, no-faff full-body hair removal sessions..

Pros

  • Fast whole-body sessions
  • Powerful IPL auto-adjusts to your skin tone
  • Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
  • 100-day money back guarantee from CurrentBody.com

Cons

  • No smaller treatment window for the upper lip or other tricky areas
  • No cleaning cloth or protective pouch

View Silk Expert 5 deals £219 to £259:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK, CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU |
🇺🇸 CurrentBody US & CA

Philips Lumea Advanced

Why consider it: A good choice for just small areas like face, underarms & bikini but a bit too slow for flashing full legs and whole body.

Photos of the lightweight but robust, gun-shape Lumea Advanced home IPL. WeAreBodyBeautiful.com says "It's a good choice for small areas like face,underarms and bikini line. But a bit too slow for full leg and whole-body sessions."
The mid-range Philips Lumea Advanced.

Lamp lifetime
The flashes last 15+ years of monthly treatments. It’s one of the best.

Ease of use
Quality, intuitive gun-shape, precise & comfortable, plus specialist flash windows. But slow full leg & whole-body sessions.

Results & Effort
Lovely & smooth after 4 to 5 sessions done every 2 weeks, plus top-ups every month or so. Low effort but only on small body areas.

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) or on dark freckles & moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair

The Advanced is Philips midrange home IPL safe for light to medium skin tones. It’s excellent quality, mains-powered, has 5 intensities and a basic skin tone sensor to stop flashes on too dark skin. The gun-shape is small and lightweight so very comfortable to hold and manoeuvre. All models have two flash windows for face and body, plus precision for bikini and underarms on select models only.

It’s very easy to use, but sessions are slow. A full leg takes over 15 minutes, so there are much faster choices (listed above) for treating large areas and your whole body. But it’s fast enough for face, underarms and bikini line.

Compare it to those listed above and if the price is right (and you’ll treat just smaller areas), it’s a good choice. Check out the Lumea Advanced vs Prestige comparison review here.

Pros

  • 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 from CurrentBody.com

Cons

  • Slow to cover large areas like legs & torso
  • Power cord sometimes gets in the way
  • You must choose your intensity level
  • Not FDA-cleared in US

View Lumea Advanced deals £200 to £300:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK, CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 Shavershop, CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA

Philips Lumea Essential

Why consider it: Excellent deals around £100 & good for face & small areas like underarms & bikini line.

Philips Lumea Essential device is worthy of consideration fro small body areas if the price is close to £100.

The Essential is Philips’ basic home IPL safe for light to medium skin tones. It’s mains-powered with a long cord, light-weight, and has one multi-use flash window. With 5 intensity levels it keeps too dark skin safe with a standard skin tone sensor. It’s quality and robust, simple and comfortable to use. However, full leg and whole-body sessions are slow and tedious. Therefore, it’s best suited to small areas like face, underarms and bikini line.

Lamp lifetime
Excellent, giving 10 years of monthly whole-body sessions which is many more than you’ll need.

Ease of use
A basic design with excellent build quality, easy enough and comfortable to use, but slow sessions for full legs & large areas.

Results & Effort
Long-lasting smooth after 4 to 5 sessions (1 every 2 weeks), plus top-ups every month or so. High effort on large areas but low for small areas.

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) or on dark freckles & moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair

There are two Essential models; the BRI861 and BRI863. The latter gives just slightly faster sessions. They’re sometimes on offer around £100. And for small body areas that’s a very good deal. So, check the available deals before you decide.

View Lumea Essential deals £100 to £150:
🇬🇧 Amazon UK BRI861, Amazon UK BRI863

Remington iLight Ultra

Why consider it: A decent choice in the US & Canada for face & small areas but the best buys above are often cheaper!

Remington iLight Ultra review

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.

Sessions are slow and rivals give more flashes from their IPL bulb. So, it’s best suited to treating smaller areas such as face, bikini line and underarms because they don’t take so long with fewer flashes.

Lamp lifetime
Decent giving around 3 years of monthly whole-body sessions, and many more years for small body areas.

Ease of use
Easy enough and comfortable to use, but with an outdated skin tone sensor and slow sessions for legs & large areas.

Results & Effort
3 fortnightly sessions followed by 6 to 12 weekly sessions. Then top-ups as you need them. A medium effort device.

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) or on dark freckles & moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. Doesn't work on light blonde, red, white or gray body hair colours.
Works on black to dark blonde hair

View iLight Ultra deals $350 to $469.99:
🇺🇸 Amazon.com
🇨🇦 Amazon.ca


And the Home IPL devices to skip…

There are a few devices I feel obliged to warn you about and add to this ‘skip’ list. That’s because other sites often list them in their top recommendations. And this vexes me because they’re older, poorer value models than the devices above. But they often cost the same or even more.

Remington iLight models: iLight Pro & Pro Plus.

Price range:  $300 to $500 +$$$ on refills

Don’t buy them because: You get very few flashes from the IPL bulb compared to their rivals. They’re very bad value for money.

The iLight Pro & Pro Plus Quartz are outdated and now very bad value for money.

These models are predominantly available in the US & Canada. Just like the Ultra listed above, they all have the same design but come in 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?

Well, just like the Ultra they’re very slow for full leg and whole-body sessions. But in addition, they use out-dated IPL flash bulb refill cartridges. These give very few flashes compared to the Ultra, and even more so to the other best buy devices listed above. They’re rubbish value for money.

Using our standardised formula, we calculate:

  • The iLight Pro gives just 1 whole body session from the 4 refills it comes with
  • The iLight Pro Plus Quartz gives enough for around 15 full body sessions to last almost 1 year of monthly use (after the start-up stage)

You can buy replacement cartridges ($15 for the Pro & $100 for the Pro Plus Quartz). But the cost soon adds up and you’ll end up spending much more than an alternative with an excellent lamp lifetime straight out of the box.

Please don’t buy them.

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