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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.
In this Braun Pro 3 IPL review:
The packaging is professional, attractive, neat and sturdy. You may want to keep the box to store the device in.
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.
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.
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:
✔️ 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 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).
You can learn more detail about how to prepare for your sessions here. Shave your hairs for best results, although Baun say you can wax or epilate if you prefer. And if you’ll be zapping facial or neck hairs I recommend dermaplaning as an alternative to shaving. Learn more about all of this and about dermaplaning here, and you’ll find buy links for dermaplaning tools at the end of this review.
The simple steps to operate are below and there’s loads more detail in the following sections.
Just follow these steps:
- Shave before every treatment (unless there’s no hair left!)
- Plug in and press the flash or feather button. You’ll hear the fan start up inside
- Select gentle intensity mode by pressing the feather button so the indicator light illuminates
- Press the button again to use full power and the light goes out
- Position flat on your skin at a 90-degree angle and press the flash button
- 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.
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.
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.
IPL lamp lifetime
Using my standardised formula, I’ve calculated the lamp lifetime of flashes for all the devices I 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. I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. My tests results were close go this. 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. I 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, I’ve calculated this effort based on my 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. Overall, the Braun Pro 3 IPL is a low effort home IPL.
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.
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 only 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 around £200.
And remember, the Braun Pro 3 IPL is a perfect match for medium to dark skin tones. So, you needn’t pay more for a more powerful IPL when you can’t use those higher intensities anyway.
Braun Silk Expert Pro 3 IPL Review Summary
I recommend the Braun Pro 3 IPL for any body area, especially if you have a medium to dark skin tones. That’s because the IPL intensity range matches these darker tones perfectly. It’s super quality, fast and comfy, and with the same plug-and-zap simplicity and safety as the more expensive Pro 5. But this is a steal at around £200, with a UK 100-day money back guarantee from Braun too.
Here’s a quick recap of my test results and pros and cons of the Braun Pro 3 IPL:
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
A medium to low power IPL device. 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.
- 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
- Expensive at full RRP, but offers are common
- It’ll work, but light skin tones may benefit from a higher power IPL
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