IPL Reviews

Iluminage Precise Touch review; for dark skin & fair hair

Iluminage Precise Touch Laura G
Iluminage Precise Touch

3.9

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.

Safe and effective on ALL skin tones and most hair colours

  • Use on body & face
  • Mains-powered
  • Manufactured by Iluminage Ltd (formerly Syneron Beauty Ltd)
  • User score 4.2 stars 
  • Iluminage Precise Touch price: ££ / $$

 

  • Best suited for face and small areas:
  • Treat a total body area of 120,000 cm²
  • That’s about 80 treatments of small areas to last up to 5 years of use (or just 30 full body treatments lasting up to 2 years)
  • Underarms take 2:15 mins to 4:45 mins

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 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 support 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

Suitable skin tones and hair colours

skin-tone-chart-i-to-vi-and-all-hair-coloursYou 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 freckled skin too, but you can’t use it on very large freckles, birthmarks and moles or over tattoos and varicose veins.

You can use it on black, dark brown, brown, dark blonde, light blonde and red hair. Although no white or grey hair was tested in the clinical trials, Iluminage advise the Touch will have the same affect on hair this colour. However, you’ll need more than the advertised 7 weekly treatments to see results on fair hair. Keep reading for more information.

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.

Where to buy the Iluminage Precise Touch

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.

view of the small treatment window on the tapered end of the Iluminage Precise Touch device. Iluminage Precise Touch, for body and face,
Suitable for ALL skin tones and almost all hair colours


Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee & 20% off with code CB20. Search "Iluminage Precise Touch".

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders

Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page

In this full Iluminage Precise Touch review:

How does it work on darker skin and what is 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 Iluminage Precise Touch

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 Touch uses a combination of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies (named Elōs energy). These energies work together to heat the hair shaft and follicle, damaging it and reducing hair growth. This combination means the Iluminage 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?

Small 2cm2 flash treatment window framed top and bottom by the 2 silver RF skin contact bars.

The 2cm2 treatment window is the perfect size for your upper lip. Combined with the 150,000 flashes you can treat 120,000cm2 of body area. That’s good for small areas like underarms, bikini line, forearms and the face.

The Iluminage Precise Touch is different to other devices because you flash each area 2 or 3 times instead of just once. So you’ll use up the flashes faster.

The Iluminage Precise Touch gives 150,000 flashes. Combined with the 2 cm2 treatment window and assuming you’ll flash each body are 2.5 times, you can treat a total body area of 120,000 cm2.

120,000 cm2 is enough for around 80 complete small area treatments (underarms, bikini line, forearms and face). 80 treatments covers the initial treatment regimen and up to 5 years of monthly top up treatments.

The Iluminage Precise Touch costs between £200 and £240. So each complete small body area treatment over 5 years costs from £2.35 to £2.82.

The Iluminage Precise Touch is good value if you want it to treat your face, underarms, bikini line and forearms. But beware if you use it on larger areas like legs. You’ll use the flashes very quickly and will likely need to buy a new machine to maintain your results. Its big sister, the Iluminage Touch, is 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.

What’s the Iluminage Precise Touch like to use?

Iluminage-precise-touch-review-device-stand

The Iluminage Precise Touch has elegant lines and a clean white finish. It may be mistaken for an art sculpture sitting in its pale-blue stand.

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

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.

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.

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. 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.

    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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Where to buy the Iluminage Precise Touch

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.

view of the small treatment window on the tapered end of the Iluminage Precise Touch device. Iluminage Precise Touch, for body and face,
Suitable for ALL skin tones and almost all hair colours


Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee & 20% off with code CB20. 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 our other recommended Best Buy home laser and IPL hair removal machines here

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