The Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL by Braun, tried & tested by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com

Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL review; fast & perfect for mid to dark skin

Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL Laura G
Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL

4.5

We’re impressed with the Braun Pro 3 IPL because it’s an affordable, fast, simple device. It’s safe for light to dark skin tones (but best suits medium to dark skin tones) and it works on dark hair. The low to medium IPL auto-adjusts to your skin tone so it’s super-safe.

Fast, affordable choice for medium to dark skin

The Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 uses intense pulsed light energy (IPL) to damage and disable your hair follicle, slowing and preventing hair regrowth. Periodic top-up treatments keep your skin smooth. Learn more about how home IPL works here.

Lamp lifetime
One of the best with IPL flashes to last 15+ years of monthly use. More than you’ll ever need to stay smooth.

Ease of use
Fast, simple, easy-to-handle mains-power home IPL. Super-safe, it adjusts to your skin tone before every flash. Small window for face and tricky areas.

Effort & results
Use it weekly until smooth (up to 12 sessions) then switch to top-ups as you need them. Dark skin may require more frequent top-ups.

Pros

  • The lower intensities perfect for medium to dark skin tones
  • Straightforward, fast, plug-&-go operation
  • No-faff safety sensor adjusts to your skin tone
  • Compact, lightweight, robust & long-lasting flashes
  • Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
  • UK 100-day money back guarantee from Braun

Cons

  • Expensive at full RRP
  • Light skin tones may benefit from a higher power 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

Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL deals from £180 to £300:
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In this Braun Pro 3 IPL review:

First impressions

The packaging is professional, attractive, neat and sturdy. You may want to keep the box to store the device in.  

Front of the neat and attractive Braun Pro 3 home IPL hair removal ox
Braun Pro 3 IPL is safe & effective (we find it fast too, thankyouverymuch).
Back of the neat and attractive Braun Pro 3 home IPL hair removal box
All the key features of the Braun Pro 3 IPL explained plus the reassuring Skin Health Alliance logo.
Lift the lid and the Braun Pro 3 IPL sits secure in a moulded plastic bed
Shame about the moulded plastic protective bed. Less plastic please!
The contents of the Braun Pro 3 IPL box
The contents of the Braun Pro 3 IPL box

What’s in the box?

  • Braun silk-expert Pro 3 IPL with body attachment
  • Fixed power cord and base station pack
  • Power lead and plugs
  • Precision attachment
  • Venus Divine Sensitive razor and blade
  • Storage bag
  • User guide

Despite the slightly girly white and lilac styling, the Braun Pro 3 looks a serious bit of kit. I like the subtle curves and simple controls. It’s compact and lightweight, but with that robust quality you expect from Braun.

The white and lilac Braun Pro 3 IPL
The compact, light-weight Braun Pro 3 feels good to hold – and fit for a princess.

Before you start

First, read the user manual and then do a skin sensitivity test.

The user manual is quick and easy to read. It’s ordered logically and with helpful diagrams too. You’ll find the safe skin tone and hair colour chart, a diagram of the IPL device, a brief explanation of how IPL works, contraindications and warnings, how to use it, about your skin patch test, the treatment plan, cleaning and storage, possible side effects and a troubleshooting guide.

Read the easy to digest Braun Pro 3 IPL user guide before you start zapping!
Easy and quick to read – check the warning & contraindications!

Pay attention to the important safety information, warnings and reasons you should not use the Braun Silk-expert Pro 3. These include being pregnant, epilepsy, taking photosensitising medications, certain skin conditions, on tattoos or after skin peels. Learn more about IPL contraindications here to stay safe.

You must follow the guidelines on tanning and sun exposure too. Not doing so increases the risk of side effects. Braun advise:

Do

  • Wait 7 days after sunbathing before treatments, or wait for your tan to fade
  • After your treatments, avoid the sun for 7 days
  • Cover up and use a sunscreen of SPF 15+ after your treatments to avoid unprotected sun exposure

Don’t

  • Don’t use the Braun IPL on recently tanned or sunburned skin, including artificial tans.
  • Don’t use tanning booths or solariums during your treatments

In short, during your start-up treatments it’s best to avoid tanning altogether. Both by sunlight and artificially with light or creams. There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here.

Wait 48 hours after your skin sensitivity test. If your skin is normal, crack on with your first session (but avoid the test patch until your next weekly session).

Getting started

The bonus Venus razor with the Braun Pro 3 IPL
Have a smooth, shave with the free Venus razor!

You can learn how to prepare for your sessions including shaving vs waxing, alternatives to shaving your face and how to get a comfortable set up. The simple steps to operate are below and there’s loads more detail in the following sections.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Shave before every treatment (unless there’s no hair left!)
  2. Plug in and press the flash or feather button. You’ll hear the fan start up inside
  3. Select gentle intensity mode by pressing the feather button so the indicator light illuminates
  4. Press the button again to use full power and the light goes out
  5. Position flat on your skin at a 90-degree angle and press the flash button
  6. Slide to the next spot and repeat. Cover your skin in adjoining flashes avoiding overlap.

When you’re done, unplug from the mains and the Braun IPL powers down.

For this review I tested the Braun Pro 3 IPL on my full legs, extended bikini line, underarms and face. Here’s my feedback.

Shape & design

The Braun Pro 3 IPL is compact and light-weight at 260g. It feels well-balanced and robust, without creaks or cracks.

Compact & lightweight Braun Pro 3 IPL.
Pretty little Braun Pro 3 fits nicely in my lady hands.
Various angles of the curvy, ergonomic Braun silk Expert Pro 3 IPL
Attractive and functional wand shape with simple controls on top.

The 2-metre-long power cord is durable and quality. It’s thick and supple with a power pack at the end. A smaller 90cm cable then plugs into the mains. The fixed cord won’t accidentally fall out. There’s a lot of cable to manoeuvre with, but use an extension cable for even more flexibility.

Close up of the thick, durable fixed power cord in the Braun Pro 3 IPL device
Fixed power cord won’t pull out as you work!
Close-up of the quality power cord in the Braun Pro 3 IPL
The handle keeps the 2 metre long, thick and bendy power cord out of the way.
Top down view of the Braun Pro 3 IPL device with the long power cord. power pack and mains cable
2 metre long power cord, base and mains plug.

The device is comfortable to hold, the handle fits perfectly in your palm. The flash button is large and easy to press in a few different grips.

How to hold the Braun Pro 3 IPL for face & underarms
Point-&-flash grip for underarms & face when looking in a mirror, and bits of the bikini line.
How to hold the Braun Pro 3 IPL for legs
Downwards grip with thumb or fingers on the flash button for legs, bits of bikini line and forearms.

IPL lamp lifetime

Using our standardised formula, we’ve calculated the lamp lifetime of flashes for all the devices we test. And the Braun Pro 3 IPL is awesome value, and one of the best.

The lamp gives 300,000 flashes. So, with the 3 cm2 flash window you can treat a total 900,000 cm2 body area. That’s enough for over 200 full-body treatments of full legs, bikini line, underarms and face. We estimate that’s 15 years’ worth of monthly whole-body sessions. Braun say the flashes should last for around 16 years. It’s super value, you’ll never run out of flashes.

N.B. I’ve used only the bulb life to calculate the years of use. General usage and wear and tear can also affect how long the machine keeps working.

Body & face flash windows

With all models, you get the standard larger body attachment. The window measures 1cm by 3cm, so that’s a total flash area of 3 cm2. It’s an excellent multi-purpose window for legs, body, underarms and bikini line. But somewhat awkward to get a flash on your tache and jawline.

top down view of the two white flash window attachments with the Braun Pro 3 home IPL
Small precision attachment (left) and larger body attachment (right)

But fear not. You also get a precision attachment. The flash window is 1.1cm wide by 1.5cm long with a total flash area of 1.65 cm2. It’s a particularly good fit on the upper lip and around the jawline. And works well on fingers and toes too.

side view of the flash window attachments with the Braun Pro 3 home IPL
The precision attachment (right) tapers to the small flash window so it’s precise to position.

Eye & skin safety

The Pro 3 is clinically tested showing it’s safe for home-use. It also passes the necessary European manufacturing and safety standards shown by the CE mark. It’s FDA-cleared in the US too.

It protects your peepers by ensuring you can’t accidentally flash into open air near your eyes. You must hold the flash window flush against your skin so it covers the two skin sensors. If not, it won’t flash. Simples.

It also has reassuring independent accreditation from the Skin Health Alliance. There’s a UV light filter to protect your skin. And a clever skin tone sensor that won’t flash if your skin’s too dark. More on that next.

Power & simple sensor

The Braun Pro 3 has 3 intensity levels ranging from low to medium strength IPL. On the lowest level the intensity is 3 J/cm2 and on level three it’s 4 J/cm2. These power intensities are safe for light to dark skin, but especially suit medium-dark and dark skin tones (up to type V). That’s because they are the safest maximums for these tones.

And the advanced skin tone sensor ensures you use the right intensity every time.

The blue lights scan your skin before every flash and won’t flash if your skin is too dark. The red lights also show if skin contact isn’t complete.

The Braun Pro 3 IPL protect skin that's too dark top safely use
Blue lights scan and red lights say ‘no!’ if your skin is too dark.

If it detects a safe tone it selects the maximum safe intensity IPL and then flashes. So, there’s no faff and guesswork of choosing your intensity level. It does it all for you. Just plug-it-in and zap zap zap! There’s also a gentle mode if the flashes smart a bit. Press the feather button and it turns it down a notch.

Close up of the white intensity indicator lights illuminated on the Braun Pro 3 IPL
3 white lights show the highest intensity at 4 J/cm2 is ready to flash
Gentle mode 'feather' button reduces the intensity for areas that can sting!
Press the feather button to lower the intensity for sensitive bits!

It’s fast!

The Braun Pro 3 IPL gives fast sessions. Braun say you get up to 60 flashes a minute, roughly a flash every second. It’s a little faster on the lower intensities.

Braun also say you can treat both lower legs in 9 minutes on the lowest intensity level. Our test results were close. On the highest intensity it took 5 minutes for one lower leg. Flashing a meticulous full leg took just under 11 minutes.

Using the precision attachment on my face and the larger attachment elsewhere, I did my whole-body (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face) in around 30 minutes.

Keep the flash button pressed for continuous flashes in glide mode. After each flash glide the handset 1cm along your skin to the next position. This works well on legs and underarms and some of the bikini line. Press and release the button, lift and reposition for stamp mode. You can also keep the flash button pressed as you use the ‘stamp’ motion if it’s safe and you prefer.

What does it feel like?

The cooling fan whirs throughout the treatment. And there’s a gentle ‘pop’ with each flash.

The flashes are bright, but harmless to your eyes. You don’t need to buy specialist goggles or glasses. Use it in a well-lit room so the flashes don’t seem so intense. Daylight is best but not essential. Sunglasses help ease any irritation you might feel.

The flashes feel warm on your skin, but not hot. Our tester experienced no stinging (unlike with more powerful rivals). However, should it feel uncomfortable on more sensitive areas, simply select gentle mode. Also, sometimes starting with more sensitive areas is better.

The flash rate is steady, so it’s easy to get into a rhythm with precise and accurate flashes. It’s easy enough to change grips as you move around your body and you soon find the most comfortable way. Sessions get faster after a session or two also.

Hot and tingly skin or redness are common skin reactions to IPL. It’s normal and should wear off within 24 hours. Cool it with a cold facecloth or ice pack. Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser help too.

Avoid the sun and tanning and wear an SPF 15 or 30+ if exposed to the sun! If you don’t you risk experiencing some of the rare home IPL side effects.

Effort & results

Home laser and IPL devices demand effort and commitment. There’s a start-up routine to get you to smooth, and then top-up sessions maintain your results. Your overall effort depends on the number of start-up sessions and how fast each session is. Therefore, we’ve calculated this effort based on our controlled tests, so you can compare and decide if the Braun Pro 3 is right for you.

Braun say you need between 4 to 12 weekly sessions to get to smooth and hairless skin. You may get there before 12 sessions. A whole-body session takes approximately 30 minutes. So, over the start-up phase most will spend up to 6 hours zapping!

No. of sessions (start-up) Time per session Total effort during start-up
12 sessions over 11 weeks 30 minutes 6 hours

Then you can switch to less frequent top-up sessions to maintain your results. Braun suggest every 1 to 2 months, however you may need them slightly more frequently if using the lowest intensity levels. The Braun Pro 3 IPL is a low effort home IPL, especially for medium to dark skin tones.

What results can you expect?

Hair still grows during the first few weeks. Shave before every weekly session, and in between as you need to.

After 4 to 6 weeks most start to see hair reduction results. This means fewer and slower growing hairs. They look finer and lighter, and feel softer too. You can shave less between sessions. And because the hair’s soft it’s quicker and easier too.

Between 6 to 12 sessions your hair reduction should be significant. Bald patches appear and get gradually bigger until you’re smooth! Keep going and finish 12 sessions. This gives you your longest-lasting results from the start. Then switch to less frequent top-ups.

Top-ups are very important because hair eventually grows back without them. It’s up to you decide when they’re due based on any regrowth you see. You may need to shave and top-up after a few weeks, or it may be longer. To start, don’t wait any longer than a month. Then, you may be able to reduce the frequency even further after a few top-ups. Learn about the importance of top-up sessions here.

The Braun Pro 3 IPL negatives

I dislike nothing about the design and operation of this lilac lovely. It’s super.

Lilac wave pattern fabric storage pouch isn't as good as the padded case with the Braun Pro 5 range!
Fabric pouch protects from dust but not from knocks!

A small niggle is that the Braun Pro 3 IPL would benefit from a more substantial storage case. The pouch it comes with is durable fabric and protects the device from dust. However, it’s too flimsy to store the device in alone. If instead it came with a padded zip-case like the Pro 5 range, this is adequate protection in a draw and could also replace the plastic moulded bed in the packaging. I prefer this idea, and it’s a shame Braun reserved it for the premium Pro 5. Boo.

Also, if you have fair skin you may want a higher power IPL device. That’s because with light skin you can safely use a higher power IPL device. Higher IPL power generally means your results are longer-lasting. This means once you’re smooth, you’ll need fewer or less regular top-ups to stay that way than with a lower intensity IPL. But by how many or much it’s not possible to say. You can read this article to understand the compound effect of home IPL sessions.

If the longer-lasting results from a more powerful device are worth a higher price tag to you, check out the Braun Pro 5 IPL. It’s virtually the same design with fast, plug-and-go simplicity. If that’s not in budget, don’t worry. The Braun Pro3 IPL is very effective and superb value usually under £200.

And if you have medium to dark skin, the Braun Pro 3 IPL is a perfect match. You needn’t pay more for a high-power IPL when you can’t use those intensities anyway.

Should I buy the Braun Pro 3 IPL?

Yup. It’s our recommended best buy for medium to dark skin tones.

We love the comfortable, quality design and the plug-and-zap simplicity and safety. The fast sessions suit face, small and large body areas so it’s smashing for whole-body sessions too. A top-choice for under £200 with a UK 100-day money back guarantee from Braun too.

Braun Pro 3 IPL: a super, fast & affordable choice for medium to dark skin
Braun Pro 3 IPL: a super, fast & affordable choice for medium to dark skin

Here’s a quick round-up of the pros & cons to help you decide if the Braun Pro 3 IPL is right for you.

Pros

  • Lower intensity IPL is perfect for medium to dark skin tones
  • Straightforward, fast, plug-&-go operation
  • No-faff safety sensor adjusts to your skin tone
  • Compact, lightweight, robust & long-lasting flashes
  • Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
  • UK 100-day money back guarantee from Braun

Cons

  • Expensive at full RRP (frequent offers below £200)
  • You may prefer a more powerful & expensive IPL if you have fair skin

View Braun Pro 3 IPL deals

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