Tried & tested | IPL & Laser Reviews

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL review

A quick summary…

by | March 28, 2023

The Braun Pro 5 IPL is one of the fastest and most straightforward high-power home IPLs I've tested. It's safe for light to dark skin, auto adjusting every flash to your tone. Mains-power, excellent quality, compact, light-weight & quick for face, small & large areas. A whole-body is done in just under 28 minutes. Highly recommended.

4.7 / 5

Face, small bits, legs & large areas


Safe Fitzpatrick skin tones:

Hair colours it works on:

Braun Pro 5 home IPL review | Pros, Cons & Results in 5 mins by
Tried & tested Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL review by

What is it?

The Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 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.

First impressions

The packaging is professional, informative, attractive, compact and neat. It’s sturdy and economical too. I like that there’s very little plastic because the storage pouch keeps everything covered, clean and together.

Photo of the box front of the Braun Silk expert Pro 5 IPL. It notes it's for "Safe, Fast & Effective permanent visible hair removal".
The Braun Pro 5 IPL is “Safe, Fast & Effective permanent visible hair removal” with a SensoAdapt skin tone sensor for Smart IPL.
Photo of the back of the box describing the features and benefits of the Braun Pro 5 IPL. It's recommended by the Skin Alliance Foundation, has an advanced skin tone sensor, 10 intensity levels, it's fast, comes with a precision attachment and men can use it too!
The back of the box explains the key features of the Braun Pro 5 IPL including accredited Skin Health Alliance logo.
The gold and white wave-patterned storage pouch with the Braun Pro 5 IPL kit inside. It's secure insode the black robust cardboard box.
Remove the tamper seals to open and pull out the black cardboard box. Inside is the storage pouch.
A closer look in the zip around storage case shows the white and gold Braun Pro 5 IPL device and cable, and other contents nestled in two snug compartments.
Everything is stored secure and neat in the storage pouch, with the user manual underneath the pouch. Unzip the pouch to see what’s inside.
The contents of the Braun Pro 5 IPL kit laid out next to the white and gold wave-patterned storage case.
The contents of the box unpacked from the the storage pouch.

What’s in the box?

  • Braun silk-expert Pro 5 IPL with body attachment
  • Fixed power cord and base station pack
  • Power lead and plugs (UK & Australia)
  • Precision attachment (some models)
  • Wide attachment (some models)
  • Venus razor and blade (differs per model)
  • User guide

The white and gold IPL device is sophisticated and refined. I like the clean lines, subtle curves and gold accents. It’s compact and lightweight, but feels solid, quality – exactly what you expect from Braun.

Angled side photo of the white and gold Braun Pro 5 IPL showing the subtle curves and clean design lines.
The compact Braun IPL is lightweight and very pleasing to hold.

Before you start

Before you start zapping away, first read the user manual and do a skin sensitivity test.

The user manual is a quick and easy read. It’s well organised and spaced-out, with helpful diagrams. 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.

Photo of the Braun Pro 5 IPl device above the user guide booklet open at the skin tone and hair colour chart page
The user guide booklet has 13 pages of easy to read information in English.

Spend time checking the important safety information, warnings and reasons you should not use the Braun Silk-expert Pro 5. These include being pregnant, having epilepsy, taking photosensitising medications, skin conditions, on tattoos or after skin peels. Learn more about IPL contraindications here to ensure it’s safe for you.

You must follow the guidelines on tanning and sun exposure too, to keep your skin safe and avoid 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 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

close up photo of the Venus Swirl razor with my Braun Pro 5 IPL
You get a Venus razor with the Braun Pro 5 IPL for a smooth shave before your treatments
A dermaplaning tool called Hollywood Browser. These tools are excellent for cutting facial hair and removing peach fuzz.
Dermaplaning: better than shaving your face!

You can learn more detail about how to prepare for your sessions here. Shave your hairs for best results, although Braun 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.

Here’s a quick summary on how to use the Braun Pro 5, 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. The 3 small intensity mode buttons shine white and you’ll hear the fan start up inside
  3. Select your intensity mode by pressing the feather button. 3 lights mean high, 2 gentle, and 1 extra-gentle.
  4. Position flat on your skin at a 90-degree angle and press the flash button.
  5. 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 5 IPL on my full legs, extended bikini line, underarms and face. And boy is it simple, straightforward and ultrafast. It’s the fastest, safest, high-power home IPL you can buy. Here’s my feedback.

Quality & design

The Braun silk expert is a compact and elegant shape. And despite being lightweight at 285g, it feels solid and well-balanced with no creaks or cracks.

Close up photo of the quality white matt and glossy surfaces with shiny  gold accent around the perfectly placed large flash button and smaller gentle mode 'feather' button. It fits perfectly in my hand.
This thing looks classy and, at just 18cm long, it fits perfectly in your hand
3 photos of the Braun Pro 5 iPL with gold body attachment showing the curvy shape and smooth lines
The curvy shape and smooth lines of the Braun Pro IPL are attractive and ergonomic. The buttons on top standout against a shiny gold accent.

Even the 2 metre-long power cord feels premium. It’s fixed into the base of the device with the power pack at the other end. So, unlike the earlier models, the weight of the power pack won’t pull the cable out mid-use. There’s also a smaller 90cm cord that connects the power pack to the mains so you get the full 2-metre supple cable to play with. Use an extension cable for more flexibility.

Photo of the fixed, sturdy white power cable in the handle of the Braun IPL device.
Fixed power cable.
2 photos of the braun Pro IPL showing the long fixed-power cable and base power pack, and a close up of the supple cord secured in a Velcro tie.
Flexible, thick & supple. No tangles here.

The IPL lamp gives 400,000 flashes. That’s more than enough for over 200 full-body treatments of full legs, bikini line, underarms and face. So, you’ll get over 15 years’ worth of monthly full body sessions. Braun actually say the flashes should last for around 22 years. It’s superb value, you’ll never run out of flashes. You get a good 2-year manufacturer warranty too.

It’s very easy to handle around all your body, even if you have small hands. The large flash button is easy to press with fingers or thumb. And it works in a few different grips. Here’s the first:

3 photos of the Braun Pro IPL gripped snug in my palm with forefinger on the flash button.
This point-&-flash grip gives good visibility for looking in a mirror for underarms & face
3 photos of the Braun Pro IPL gripped in my fingers and thumb with forefinger on the flash button.
This downwards grip keeps the cord out the way is best for gliding over large areas like legs or forearms, & for tricky bits around the bikini line

Flash windows

With all models, you get the standard matt-gold body flash window attachment. It 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 sometimes awkward to get a flash on your tache and jawline.

Luckily, with all models (excluding the PL5014) you also get a smaller white precision attachment. This 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. Some of the Braun Pro 5 models come with an extra precision attachment so you can use one for your face and the other for areas around your body.

Photos of the 2 flash windows with the Braun silk Expert Pro 5 IPL. the smaller white precision attachment and the larger gold body attachment.
The smaller white precision attachment (left) and the larger gold body attachment (right).

And finally, with the most expensive models, you also get a white wide flash window. This measures around 4 cm2 and covers a bigger surface area with each flash, so it’s faster to zap your torso and upper legs.

Related: Learn how the different Braun Pro 5 IPL models compare

A photo of the Braun IPL with body attachment showing a slight taper down to the larger flash window. A second photo with the precision attachment showing a curvier taper down to the small flash window.
Each attachment is tapered towards the flash window so you can position it accurately and not miss any bits.
Photos showing a hand removing the attachments from the IPL device.
To change attachments, hold on the small lip & firmly pull the attachment away from the handle, then slide on the new attachment.

The flash bulb is part of the device and not the attachments. The attachments click into place over the top. They can feel a bit stubborn to remove at first until you get used to the pressure needed.

close up photo of the back of the body attachment showing the mirrored recessed light exit window and the small plug to fit in the IPL device.
Line-up this sticky-out plug bit with the small hole on the device & push till you feel it click into place.
2 close up photos of the Braun IPL device without attachments in place.
The IPL device without an attachment on. The small hole to slide the attachment into is above the flash window.

Power, eye & skin safety

The Braun Pro 5 IPL has 10 intensity levels and it operates at high IPL intensities, the maximum on level 10 being 6 J/cm2. This is one of the most powerful home-use devices (along with the Smoothskin Pure and the Lumea Prestige). This means, if you have light skin and use the higher levels, you’ll get longer-lasting results than less powerful devices. The lower intensities are for darker skin.

See also: See how the Braun Pro 5 and the Braun Pro 3 compare.

Rest assured, the Braun Pro 5 is clinically tested safe for home-use and it passes the necessary European manufacturing and safety standards for the CE mark. It’s FDA-cleared in the US too.

So, how does it protect your eyes and skin?

The two small blue lights on either side of the Braun Pro 5's long flash window are the skin tone sensors, which continuously check your skin tone as you move the device, and selct the best match IPL intensity before every flash.
Your skin must totally cover the 2 sensor windows at either side of the flash windows. They shine blue when in use.

You must hold the flash window flush against your skin so the two skin sensors are covered. If not it won’t flash. This means you can’t accidentally flash it into open-air anywhere near your eyes.

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL accredited by the skin Health Alliance - the skin alliance logo is printed on the outside of the box.
Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL accredited by the skin Health Alliance

The Pro 5 also has reassuring independent accreditation from Skin Health Alliance because it’s skin-safe.

There’s an inbuilt UV filter. And the advanced skin tone sensor stops IPL flashes hurting your skin too. It’s also the reason why the Braun Pro 5 IPL is so darn simple and straightforward to use. Here’s what it does:

The Braun Pro 5 IPL's advanced blue sensor checks your skin tone before every flash but won't flash and with a red strip light if the tone is too dark.
The blue sensor checks your skin before every flash and won’t flash (shows red strip) if your tone is too dark (FitzPatrick type 6)
Close up photo of the SensoAdapt white intensity level indicators showing the medium intensity level chosen by the skin tone sensor.
If your skin is safe (FitzPatrick types 1 to 5) it automatically chooses the best of the 10 intensity levels for you!

This means it chooses the most powerful intensity that’s still safe for your skin tone. And from 10 increments versus 5 as with other IPL machines. This means a more precise match to your skin tone and the best possible results in the shortest time.

This clever tech takes all the faff and guesswork out of which intensity level to choose. Just plug-it-in and start zapping!

But what if it smarts too much?

Gentle modes for sensitive bits

IPL can smart a bit on more sensitive body areas like your bikini line and underarms. Luckily, Braun IPL has 2 additional comfort modes to adjust the intensity. They’re simple to activate.

3 photos showing a finger pressing the 'feather' mode mode to cycle through extra gentle (1 light), gentle (2 lights) and standard mode (3 lights)
Press the feather button to choose another mode. It defaults to standard (3 lights) when you power it on.

1 light means extra gentle mode. This chooses the lowest IPL intensity level 1.

2 lights mean gentle mode. This reduces the intensity so you’ll see fewer white indicator lights illuminated.

3 lights mean standard mode. The Braun IPL balances maximum power and safety for your skin tone.

Extra gentle mode adds further reassurance if you have darker skin. However, if safety and comfort for darker skin are your concern, you should consider my recommended devices for dark and black skin.


TIP: Braun suggest use the gentle mode for your first few sessions to get used to the treatments, but bear in mind you’ll get faster results in standard mode with the higher energy intensity levels.

It’s fast

The Braun Pro 5 IPL is one of the fastest high-power home IPLs you can buy. The flash rate is very fast at every 0.6 to 1.2 seconds, fastest on the lowest intensities. 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.

Hand holding the Braun Pro 5 IPL with body attachment in a comfortable grip for glide mode
A fast high-power IPL perfect for super-fast gliding flashes on legs with the body attachment.

You’ll appreciate how the compact and lightweight design is easy to handle at speed. It’s not quite a fluid motion – but it’s fast and manageable.

Braun say you can do both lower legs in 5 mins on the lowest intensity level. For me, it selected the higher intensities and one lower leg took just over 3.5 minutes. A meticulous full leg took me around 9 minutes.

I did my full body in just under 28 mins (full legs, extended bikini, underarms and face). That’s one of the fastest high-power IPLs I’ve tested. It’s beaten only by the Smoothskin Pure. So, if you don’t have much time to spare and speed is what you need most, this is a solid choice.

Treatment App

For this updated Pro there’s a newer, rebranded App called ‘Braun Silk-expert Pro’.

It has all the product information and ‘how to’ videos available on the Braun website. And the most helpful bit is where you schedule your sessions and reminders. The App even lets you change the frequency of your sessions to accommodate the switch to your top-up maintenance.

It helps a lot to remember and stick to your treatment plan so you get the best possible results.

Related: Whats the difference between the Braun Pro 5 IPL models?

What does it feel like?

You’ll hear the cooling fan whirring inside the device. And you’ll hear each flash ‘pop’.

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. Sunglasses can help ease any irritation you might feel.

It feels warm and tingly against your skin. Some more sensitive areas, like ankles, thighs, bikini line and underarms can smart a bit. Hair is generally thicker and denser on the bikini line and underarms so these areas can be uncomfortable. Simply select gentle or extra gentle mode if it feels too intense. Sometimes starting with the more sensitive areas is easier.

Press the feature button on the top of the Braun Pro 5 IPl device to select gentle, extra gentle and back to standard power mode.
Select gentle mode if the flashes feel too intense on sensitive areas.

It’s really fast so you won’t get bored. But it still demands concentration because you must remember which areas you’ve flashed. This avoids too much overlap and missed hairy bits.

Skin redness is a common skin reaction to IPL. Your skin may also feel a bit hot and tingly. It’s normal and should wear off within 24 hours. You can cover it with a cool facecloth or ice pack. Cooling water sprays are good too, Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser.

After your treatment, avoid things that could irritate the skin you’ve flashed. For example, using hot tubs and saunas, spanking, wearing tight-fitting clothing, using bleaching creams and perfumed or exfoliation products.

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

Schedule, 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 5 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 but most people see significant results after 6. A whole body sessions takes around 30 mins. Therefore, over the start-up you’ll spend between 3 to 6 hours zapping.

No. of sessions (start-up) Time per session Total effort during start-up
6 sessions over 5 weeks
up to
12 sessions over 11 weeks
30 minutes 3 hours
6 hours

Once you’re there, switch to less frequent top-ups. These could be every 1 or even 2 months. After several top-ups, you’ll likely need them even less frequently. The Braun Pro asks for such a small amount of your time and effort for excellent results. It’s one of the best so easier to fit around your busy life.

What results can you expect?

Shave before every treatment, and /or between sessions as you need.

Our tester’s experience matches the advertised results. They 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.

Once smooth, do top-ups as you need them. Shave if you need to before these. Try spacing some a month apart, and eventually increase the gap to 2 months and even further.

So far our tester says…

“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!”


TIP: Top-up sessions are vital with all home IPL and laser devices. Studies show the more top-ups you do, the longer-lasting your results. So, over time you need top-ups even less frequently.

The negatives

Just a few not-so-big negatives to report.

First, as mentioned earlier, the Braun Pro 5 is fast and magic on large areas like legs. However, sometimes the flash rate is unpredictable so you can glide it too far, or not far enough in between the flashes. I think this is because of how the sensors scan your skin and select the IPL intensity before each flash. Try to keep close contact to your skin to keep it consistent. It takes a little practise to find your technique and rhythm (especially if you’re used to a slower IPL device).

And next, it’s a bit pricey at full RRP. But offers around £300 and even lower are common. Check prices of the different models because they fluctuate. If it’s over £300, check out the Smoothskin Pure as a cheaper but very worthy alternative.

Related: Smoothskin Pure and the Braun Pro 5 IPL comparison

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL Review Summary

The Braun Pro 5 IPL is a super choice for silky-smooth skin on your face and small or large body areas. The clever tech matches the powerful IPL to your skin tone so it’s super simple and safe, with a gentle mode too. It’s top quality, easy, fast and gives excellent results too. You can try it with a UK 100-day money back guarantee. 

The Braun Pro 5 IPL is a super choice for silky-smooth skin on your face and small or large body areas.

Here’s a quick recap of my test results and pros and cons of the Braun Pro 5 IPL:

Lamp lifetime


One of the best with IPL flashes lasting 15+ years of monthly use. More than you’ll ever need.

Ease of use


Mains-powered, fast, light-weight & nimble. Perfectly balanced safety & power in every flash. Easy flashes with small window for face & tricky areas, and wide window for faster coverage on legs.

Effort & Results


Silky skin after 4 to 12 weekly sessions, then top-ups every month or so to stay smooth. One of the lowest effort home IPLs.


  • Foolproof, super-safe plug-and-go operation
  • Compact, lightweight, robust & elegant
  • Fast sessions – one of the best
  • Powerful IPL adjusts to your skin tone before every flash
  • Gentle & extra gentle mode for stingy bits!
  • Very easy to flash all round your body
  • Precision attachment for tricky upper lip
  • Wide attachment for fast coverage on legs
  • Easy flashes on knees, shins & ankles
  • Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
  • UK 100-day money back guarantee


  • Variable speed flashes aren’t always steady
  • Expensive at full RRP, but offers are common

Buy Braun Pro 5 IPL 🏷

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

Choose from various Braun Pro 5 models. Each has a nice storage case, Venus razor, standard and precision flash window (excluding PL5014). Some then have additional flash windows too. See the options below👇.

You can also check out this Braun Pro 5 IPL models comparison review.

4x heads: 
Standard, 2x precision & wide

3x heads: 
Standard, precision & wide

2x heads:
Standard & precision

1x head:
Standard head only


Use this code at CurrentBody for an extra discount!

Dermaplaning tools are an excellent alternative to shaving your face!

Dermaplaning tool deals

Links with 🍃 have a handle made from biodegradable materials.

Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 9 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

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