Best Buy, Face & small areas, IPL Reviews

Iluminage Precise Touch review; for dark skin & fair hair

Iluminage Precise Touch Laura G
Iluminage Precise Touch

4.0

The Iluminage Precise Touch is the little sister of the Iluminage Touch, and it's designed for treating small areas like your underarms, bikini line, forearms, chin, upper lip and sideburns. It's safe for ALL skin tones and clinically proven to work on fair hair too. It's uses extra-caring and safe technology and it's effortless to use. Learn more in the full Iluminage Precise Touch review.

Best Buy for dark and black skin on face and small areas.

Who should buy it: Buy this if you have darker or black skin tones and you want to be hair free on your face and small areas like bikini line, tummy, underarms, forearms and face.

Here’s how the overall score breaks down.

Lamp lifetime
Great for treating your face and smaller areas like bikini line, tummy, underarms, forearms, upper lip, chin and side burns.
Ease of use
Light-weight and simple controls with good visibilty. The RF bars ensure utmost safety and comfortable manoeuvrability and operation. More about this in the review.
Speed of application
It’s faster on the lower intensity levels than the higher, but you won’t notice it because it’s quick to treat small areas.
Support
Customer service team is knowledgeable and responsive, but they’re let down by the pre-sales information available.
Feedback & results
Strong feedback and great results reported from the online reviews.
Budget range: ££ / $$
Good value device you can find for around £200 / $200 USD.

What is it?

The Iluminage Precise Touch from Iluminage Beauty Ltd is the rebranded next-generation version of the Me My Elos device (Me chic). You can use it on both body and face (below cheekbones). It’s designed specifically for using on small areas such as bikini line, underarms, forearms and face.

It works with combined energy of Radio Frequency and Intense Pulsed Light called elōs energy. Professional clinics also use this technology. It slows and reduces hair regrowth after each session, and eventually stops your hair growing back at all. Periodic use keeps you smooth.

This combined energy is much gentler than regular IPL so you can use it on the darkest skin tones. It’s also proven to work on fair hair. You can learn more in the full review.

You can use it on all skin tones from light to mid to dark brown, brownish black and darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to VI).
You can use it on black, dark brown, brown, dark blonde, light blonde and red hair. You’ll need more treatments to see results on blonde and red hair.
Although no white or grey hair was tested in the clinical trials, Iluminage say it should work.
You can use it on freckled skin too, but you can’t use it on very large freckles, birthmarks and moles or over tattoos and varicose veins.

 

The Precise Touch has CE certification to meet EU safety standards and FDA clearance in the USA. You can buy it in the UK, Europe and the USA. First available in 2015 it’s manufactured by Iluminage Ltd (formerly Syneron Beauty Ltd).

The Precise Touch looks like a basic no-frills device. It’s small and neat, mains-powered and has a single small treatment window designed for treating smaller body areas and the face. But don’t be fooled by the unassuming design.

It’s special because you can use it if you have dark or black skin, or if you have light blonde or red hair. No other devices have the extra gentle and safe energy to do this. It’s easy and quick to use and online feedback loves it.

The Iluminage Precise Touch wins my Best Buy for dark and black skin to treat your face and smaller areas. Learn more in the full review.

In this full Iluminage Precise Touch review:

How does it work on darker skin and what is Elōs energy?

IPL targets the concentrated dark pigment (melanin) in the hair follicle. Melanin is also present in the skin and there’s more of it in darker skin tones. This makes IPL unsafe to use on darker skin.

To solve this problem the Iluminage Precise Touch uses a combination of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies (named Elōs energy).

Illustration of the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies used in the Iluminage Touch and Iluminage Precise Touch

Illustration of the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies used in the Iluminage Touch and Precise Touch. This combination means they use a gentler, lower energy Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) that’s safe and effective for ALL skin tones.

These energies work together to heat the hair shaft and follicle, damaging it and reducing hair growth. This combination means the Iluminage Precise Touch uses a gentler, lower energy intense pulsed light (IPL) that’s safe and effective for all skin tones. Elōs energy reduces to possibility of skin sensitivity and reactions on all skin tones too.

You can also treat lighter hair colours (blonde and red) if you epilate or wax immediately before use. The Elōs energy focuses on the small amount of blood left in the follicle after it’s pulled out, this heats up which then damages the follicle to disable it.

The lower IPL energy also means the bulb flash repetition is fast, and instead of one flash per area of skin you’ll need 2 or 3.

Is the Iluminage Precise Touch good value?

Yes, but only for treating your face and smaller body areas like bikini line, tummy, underarms and forearms.

There’s just one model that comes with 150,000 flashes. And just like the Iluminage Touch you must flash each area of skin at least 2 or 3 times. This is because of the gentler, reduced intensity IPL energy. Let’s assume we’ll flash our skin twice over.

So, with the 2  cm² treatment you’ll be able to treat a total body area of 120,000  cm². That’s enough for around 80 complete small area treatments (underarms, bikini line, tummy, forearms and face). 80 treatments complete the start-up phase and up to 5 years of monthly top-up treatments.

Bar chart showing how much body area Iluminage Precise touch covers in comparison to the Iluminage Touch and other unnamed devices.

The Iluminage Precise Touch provides good value for money for face and small area treatments. 150,000 flashes combined with the 2 cm2 treatment window means you can treat a total body area of 120,000 cm2, or 180 complete small area applications (bikini line, underarms, tummy, forearms and face) for 5 years of use. The big sister machine the Iluminage Touch, is designed for face and full body treatments so try this instead if you want to be fuzz free all over.

I don’t recommend this device for treating large areas like your legs or for your full body. You’ll use the flashes very quickly and will need to buy a new machine to maintain your results. It’ll last less than 1 year of full body treatments. Check out its big sister, the Iluminage Touch instead. It’s designed for treating large areas and is suitable for dark and black skin tones too.

N.B. 5 years of use is based on the bulb life only and doesn’t take into consideration general usage, wear and tear that effect how long the machine keeps working.

Where to buy it

What’s the Iluminage Precise Touch like to use?

The Iluminage Precise Touch arrives in a small, attractive, understated white and pale blue box. Inside is the small, mains-powered hand-held applicator.

Iluminage-precise-touch-review-device-stand

The Iluminage Precise Touch has elegant lines and a clean white finish. It sits in a pale-blue stand and then doesn’t look much like a home IPL device.

 

What’s in the box?

  • Iluminage Precise Touch device
  • Stand for the device
  • Power supply
  • User manual
  • Some devices also come with goggles, depending on country

The device is small and light to hold. It has clean, simple lines and looks quite elegant when sat in the pale-blue stand. The colour is clean-white and there are depressions in the sides forming a natural grip point.

The controls and power-cord are at one end, safely positioned so you don’t accidentally alter them in use. The treatment window is on the other, and this end is tapered to allow good visibility of where it’s placed.

It’s easy to position and comfortable to grip. The power-cord is long enough and fits snuggly in the Precise Touch. It’s a good piece of kit.

First read the user manual

Iluminage-precise-touch-size-illustration

It’s the right size to fit in your hand, hold comfortably and have visibility of the treatment end. You’ll feel no stress or strain because you don’t need to keep pressing a flash button either.

The user manual is very clear and easy to follow. It has helpful diagrams and outlines your skin sensitivity test, how to use it, indicative treatment times, the treatment regimen, cleaning, and storage, replacing the flash cartridge, troubleshooting common problems, warranty and specifications.

Always read the warnings section to check for any reason you shouldn’t use the device such as pregnancy, implants and medicines related to photosensitivity.

There’s no skin tone chart with suggested energy intensity levels. You work out which intensity level to use during your skin test.

Tanning guidelines

As with all home laser and IPL devices it’s important to follow the guidelines on tanning and sun exposure. Unfortunately, the guidelines from Iluminage are very vague. The manual simply says you shouldn’t tan immediately before or after use.

After checking with Iluminage Beauty they advise to stay out of the sun for 2 weeks before a treatment, and to avoid the sun and tanning for 2 weeks after your treatment. There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here.

Prepping your skin

On dark hair, shave before your treatments. You’ll need to shave less and less as you progress through your treatments. But always complete the full treatment regimen.

On fair hair (light blonde-haired person, red and grey), wax or epilate before your treatments. Waxing and epilating leaves a small bit of blood in the hair follicle. The Elōs energy targets this blood during the first treatment and subsequent treatments. Epilate or wax away any new hair that grows before each treatment.

Please note: You’ll need more than the advertised 7 weekly treatments to see results on fair hair. Keep reading for more information.

Try the intensity levels during your skin sensitivity test

After prepping your skin, select a small area of skin for each body part you will treat. Start at LOW and flash your skin. If that’s comfortable, move to another spot and flash it at MEDIUM.  And if that’s ok, repeat on a new spot at HIGH. Wait 30 minutes and check for any reaction. If your skin is clear, use the highest level that is comfortable and do your full treatment.

End of the Predcise touch device with the power button, Elos intensity level select button, 3 intensity level indicator star-shaped lights, and the power cable slot.

The controls are tucked out of the way so you can’t accidentally alter them. Just press the Elos button to scroll up the intensity levels. Start low and work up to the highest level that’s comfortable.

Getting started

It’s really simple to get started.

  1. Shave if you have darker hair, or wax / epiliate for lighter hair. You can shave, wax or epilate when treating the face. Make sure your skin is clean and dry.
  2. Set yourself up. You’ll need to be near a power socket. Try using an extension cable so you can choose the most comfortable area, like your bed or close by to a mirror. Make sure you are in a well-lit room and the flashes won’t seem too bright.
  3. Set up the system and turn it on. The energy level indicators will each blink a blue light. Press the Elōs button to move up through the intensity levels, starting at Low. Once you’ve chosen, the cooling fan will start inside the device.
  4. Place on your skin so the silver RF contact bars have full contact and bright light pulses will flash.
  5. Slowly glide it over your skin until you have covered the area, it will continue to flash with complete skin contact (no need to keep the button pressed).
  6. For your face, lift and re-position the window after each flash until you have covered the area.
  7. Then start again on the same area. Repeat this 2 to 3 times in total.

The flashes are bright but harmless to the eyes. Make sure you’re in a well-lit room (so they won’t seem so intense) and don’t look directly at the flashes. Sometimes goggles are provided, but they provide poor visibility which makes treatments difficult. Try wearing sunglasses if you find the flashes too much.

No skin tone sensor required

There’s no skin tone sensor because the device is safe for all skin tones. Start with the LOW intensity level and only move up if it’s comfortable. This way there’s very little risk of feeling any pain during your treatment.

Wheel of skin tone colour swatches for Fitzpatrick types I to VI

The Elos energy (combined IPL and RF energies) makes the Iluminage Precise Touch safe and effective for all Fitzpatrick skin types I to VI.

 

Safe and effortless

The Iluminage Precise Touch has a safety system to prevent accidental flashes.

Two silver RF bars at the top and bottom of the treatment window must be in full contact with your skin before it will flash. And they control the continuity of flashes too.

Unlike all other devices, you don’t press any button during the treatment. There’s one mode that reacts based on how you position the device.

The RF bars sense your skin and keep the flashes coming. You can glide it for continuous flashes over your skin. Or lift it off in a stamping action so it flashes each time it touches your skin. This makes the Iluminage Touch the simplest device to operate.

Close up of the 2 RF bars at the top and bottom of the flash window on the Precise Touch

Two silver RF bars at the top and bottom of the treatment window must be in full contact with your skin before it will flash. Once you press the flash button the RF bars sense your skin and keep the flashes coming. You can glide it for continuous flashes over your skin. Or use a stamping action so it flashes each time it touches your skin.
This operation is unique to Iluminage and it’s very intuitive and comfortable.

 

There’s no stress or strain on your grip from keeping a button pressed in. You can move it around to get the best position in small awkward areas.  The applicator stays active for 30 seconds, so you can use a stamp action that flashes each time there’s contact with your skin. This is easier for areas like the upper lip. It’s simple and intuitive.

Iluminage-precise-touch-review-RF-contact-bars

The flash window is positioned on the tapered edge of the Precise Touch. The window is a good fit in the end so it’s easy to get the right amount of overlap between flashes.

 

The position of the treatment window is easy to gauge because it sits on the tapered-end of the device. And because you cover each area 2 or 3 times you don’t need to worry too much about precise positioning from flash to flash.

TIP: For full coverage on difficult to treat areas (e.g. underarms) move the applicator in two directions; left/right and up/down.

How quick are the treatments?

So you can compare it to other devices, let’s see how quick it is to treat a pair of underarms.

The Iluminage Precise Touch has a 2 cm² treatment window. It flashes every 0.9 to 1.9 seconds, depending on the intensity level used. You flash each area 2 or 3 times so it’ll take you between 2:15 to 4:45 minutes to cover a pair of armpits (an area roughly 120 cm²).

This speed is fine for treating small areas like your underarms, bikini line and face. But for treating large areas like your legs, it’s tedious. There are much better choices for this, including the Iluminage Touch, which is also safe to use on dark skin tones and light hair.

Where to buy it

Good customer support

You get good customer support and a 2 year manufacturer warranty from Iluminage Beauty.

You can contact them through an online form (telephone support would be an improvement) and I always experience thorough responses to my questions within 24 hours.

Iluminage Beauty could provide much better pre-sales information, more about Elos energy and set clearer expectations on results for users with fair hair and guidelines around tanning. (I hope I’ve clarified it in this review).

Permanent doesn’t mean forever

There are several uses of the attention-grabbing word ‘permanent’ and ‘permanent hair reduction’ on the Iluminage IPL devices packaging, in the user manual and on the website. I can’t find anywhere this is described clearly. I’d like to make sure you have realistic expectations about what this means.

“the only at-home hair removal device to use patented elōs technology that is clinically proven to be safe and effective for all skin tones for permanent results.
Iluminage Touch user manual

When we see these phrases, we tend to think once we’re finished with the initial treatments we’ll never need it again and we’ll be hair free forever.  It’s misleading because it’s not the full picture. Hormonal changes can activate new hair follicles and dormant follicles can start to grow again. It’s important to keep going with less frequent top-up treatments that maintain continuous hair-free results. You can find out more about the permanency of IPL here.

What do the online reviews say?

The overall score is a high 4.2 stars, collated from all the online Iluminage Precise Touch reviews.

User score 4.2 stars

On to the negative feedback first.

The bad bits

Several reviewers comment on the bright flashes from the Iluminage Precise Touch. You get goggles with some devices, however most say they have such poor visibility you can’t see what you’re doing! You can try wearing sunglasses instead. Also make sure you use it in a brightly lit room to make the flashes less intense.

A few report it’s not quick on large areas and it takes 20 minutes per leg on high intensity! For this reason, it’s most suited to treating small areas and the face.

We found  3 reports of faults. They were resolved under warranty and the returns period.

Most neutral ratings came from Amazon Vine reviewers. They needed more time than the 30-day review period to see results.

user-rating-4-2There are a few low rated reviews because the reviewer didn’t experience the expected results. One completed the full 7 treatments and saw no difference. A couple more saw patchy regrowth after this time and another had slower regrowth. But they all hoped for better results in this time.

The majority of reviews are very positive, and report great results.

The best bits

Loads of reviewers mention how pain-free and very easy to use the Iluminage Precise Touch is. They love that it is small and simple, and light to hold.

Iluminage Beauty recommends 7 weekly treatments that take 6 weeks to complete. They then recommend top-up treatments as required, usually monthly. You can treat your face more regularly, 2 or 3 times a week. The regimen is the same for all hair colours but it does take longer to see results on light hair as confirmed to me by the Iluminage Beauty support team.

It’s frustrating this information isn’t clear in the user manual or on the website. Iluminage Beauty could do a much better job at setting expectations here. Please be prepared that perseverance and patience is the key to getting good results.

Several reviewers report it works for them, but they don’t say when their results became obvious or how long they had been using it. Many more left feedback early in their treatment regimen. Some were happy to see results after just 1 or 2 treatments. For others the effects were better and more noticeable after 4 or 5. Some took longer still.

“ive waxed for years and now i no longer need to, after about 6-8 uses i noticed i had less and less hair to remove, after using the product over 10 times im now only using it for touch ups, amazing product and well worth the cost”
Boots.com review

Many noted the speed of results was different by body part. But the reports vary, so there are no hard and fast rules here.

The results include softer, finer regrowth that grows more slowly. Hair gets sparser and thins out, and reports of bald patches are common too. For some the difference is significant and for others it’s more gradual. Reviewers report they don’t need to shave as much as before.

“I have very stubborn hair growth. The kind that is dark and coarse and grows super fast. After not even a full three weeks of consistent use, I’m already seeing smoother skin, slower regrowth, and a finer, softer texture. I use this mainly on my face and the instructions state you can use this 2-3x a week on the facial area. I use it almost every other day and on the highest setting.”
Amazon.com review

Where to buy it

Pros

  • Safe and effective on ALL skin tones
  • Combined IPL and RF energy is ultra-safe so there’s lower risk of pain or adverse reactions
  • Clinically proven to work on fair hair (light blonde and red)
  • Smaller 2 cm² treatment window is great for the upper lip
  • Fast treatment times on lowest energy levels
  • Very easy and comfortable to operate
  • Mains-powered so no need to wait for a battery to charge
  • No need for a skin tone sensor
  • Compact and easy to store
  • All the safety and treatment features you expect
  • Integrated UV filter
  • FDA cleared and CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
  • Very good customer service from Iluminage Beauty

Cons

  • It takes longer to see results when you epilate first, and that’s necessary for light blonde, red, white and grey hair
  • Not recommended for treating large areas like legs. Try the Iluminage Touch instead.
  • More comprehensive website information would be an improvement
  • ‘Permanent results’ isn’t explained adequately and could be misleading. More on this in the full review

Should I buy the Iluminage Precise Touch?

Yes. It’s a great choice if you want to treat small areas like your underarms, bikini line, forearms, chin, upper lip and sideburns. And more so if you have dark or black skin, or fair hair too.

It’s boasts unbeaten simplicity of operation and effortless use. The combined IPL and RF technology makes it a safe choice not only for dark skin tones, but for sensitive skin too. Less intense IPL energy reduces the risk of any irritation or reactions.

If you’re treating larger areas, like your legs, try the Iluminage Touch. It’s designed for larger areas with faster coverage and many more treatments needed for full body and large area treatments. It has a facial attachment too.

You can check prices and buy the Iluminage Precise Touch below.

Where to buy the Iluminage Precise Touch and Iluminage Touch

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.


Buy the Iluminage Touch.
Suitable for ALL skin tones and hair colours. Best for full body and large area treatments

Buy the Iluminage TOUCH here Buy from Sephora.com: Search 'Iluminage', USA orders, Free delivery
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee and other offers. Search "Iluminage Touch".
Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy the Iluminage Precise Touch.
Suitable for ALL skin tones and almost all hair colours. Best for face and small area treatments

Buy the Iluminage Precise Touch here Buy from Sephora.com: Search 'Iluminage', USA orders, Free delivery
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee and other offers. Search "Iluminage Precise Touch".
Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page

Still not sure? Check out my recommended Best Buy home laser and IPL hair removal machines here

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