Tried & tested | IPL & Laser Reviews

Iluminage Touch & Me Sleek review

Silk'n Infinity best home IPl safe for dark & black skin

A quick summary…

by | July 14, 2020

This clever machine uses Radio Frequency waves to make gentle IPL flashes even more effective. This means it’s safe for ALL skin tones, including the very darkest black. And, when combined with epilating, it’s the only home device clinically proven to work on fair hair too! But it takes more time and effort to work. Learn more about using this device and the results in the full review below.

4.1 / 5

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

💰💰💰

Safe Fitzpatrick skin tones:

Hair colours it works on:

Iluminage Touch IPL & RF hair removal device reviewed by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com

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NOTE: The Iluminage Touch and Me Sleek are both mains-power devices which use Elōs technology. Both are safe for ALL skin tones and work on fair hair as well as dark. Their branding and looks are slightly different, but they work in exactly the same way.

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TIP: For this review I tested the Iluminage Touch device by Iluminage Beauty. The Me Sleek device is an alternative brand choice from the same manufacturer, with identical technology, indications and ease of use. 

Iluminage Touch & Me Sleek IPL + RF hair removal device
Different brands and look, but by the same manufacturer with patented Elōs technology.

The Iluminage Touch is safe for ALL skin tones because it uses much gentler IPL than other devices, and combines it with Radio Frequency current. The Radio Frequency travels through your skin down to the hair root creating gentle resistance and so heat. This gives the IPL flashes easier passage through our skin by following the path of the RF. Therefore, it can use much gentler (but still effective) IPL, that’s safe for dark and black skin too. The combined IPL and RF energy is called Elōs. Learn more about this FDA-cleared technology here.

Your hair growth slows after each session until it’s greatly reduced. Eventually it stops growing altogether and periodic use keeps your skin silky smooth. Learn more about how home IPL works here.

In this Iluminage Touch review:

Safe for ALL skin tones

The devices from Iluminage and Me are safe for dark and black skin, as well as light and medium. They’re safe because they use IPL combined with Radio Frequency. The two energies work together creating more heat around your hair follicles, right where it’s needed, to cause damage which stunts your hair growth.

So, this means the Touch and Me Sleek use much gentler IPL that usually wouldn’t work, and that’s safe for dark skin tones. Both the devices are clinically proven and FDA-cleared safe and effective on all skin tones. The technology is called Elōs (electro-optical synergy) and you can learn more about how Elōs works here.

Quality & lamp lifetime

There are two Touch models; one with 120,000 and the other with 300,000 flashes. The first lasts around 2 years of monthly whole-body sessions and so is probably best for just face and small areas. The latter lasts for around 5 years of monthly whole-body sessions. It’s enough to get you smooth and keep you that way for many years. But, depending on how frequently you need top-up sessions, you may eventually run out of flashes.

These models aren’t as good value as the Silk’n Infinity (also safe for all skin tones), but it’s decent enough. Replacement flash cartridges are available (but quite expensive).

The Me Sleek model gives unlimited flashes!

2 photos of the white and pastel blue Iluminage Touch. It's a compact base unit with hand held applicator attached on a flexible cord. The applicator sits in a cradle ontop of the base unit when not in use.
Attractive & quality, but a bit dated.

The mains-powered base unit and corded applicator is now a slightly out-dated design. But despite that, the materials feel quality, the build is sturdy and the applicator cord is flexible and robust. It feels durable and long-lasting. You get a good 1 or 2-year warranty depending on where you buy it. Unfortunately, there’s no money back guarantee.

Design & speed

The small and lightweight flash applicator fits comfortably in hand and is easy to position. Press the elos button on the back to commence flashings!
Handy applicator – no flash button required!

The device is easy to operate with simple controls and three intensity levels. The advantage of the applicator is it’s small, lightweight, and familiar, just like an electric shaver. Therefore, it’s very comfortable to hold and intuitive to position around your body.

Close up shot of the two silver RF electrode bars, runnning the length, top and bottom, of the Iluminage touch flash window.
Silver RF contact electrodes complete a circuit when agianst your skin

And it’s even easier than other rivals because there’s no flash button to press. It flashes automatically when the two RF contact bars are against your skin. So, you’ll feel no strain as you zap away! It also means you can’t accidentally flash anywhere near your eyes. Simply stamp the applicator against your skin for single, precise flashes.

Press the Elos button to cycle up through the 3 Elos intensity levels, and back down to 1 again. The scale of 3 stars,  (small, medium and big) shows illuminate to show which level you're on.
Low, medium & high ELos intensity levels

There’s no faff with skin tone sensors either because it’s safe for all skin tones. But, be sure to start on LOW and work up the levels only if it’s comfortable.

Clip over the white attachment onto the Iluminage touch applicator to create a smaller flash window so you can better flash your upper lip
The small precision cap sits over the flash window to easier flash your upper lip and jawline.

The Touch flashes every 0.9 to 1.9 seconds. It’s fastest on LOW level. You must cover your skin in flashes 2 or 3 times. Iluminage suggest it takes around 10 minutes per full leg. We find it closer to 15 minutes on the lowest level. It therefore takes even longer on the higher intensity levels.

For dark & fair hair

close up of the Hollywood Browzer sharp blade behind safety bars for no nicks or cuts

For fastest, longest lasting results on dark hair you must shave before your sessions.

And if you’ll be zapping fatcial or neck hairs I recommend dermaplaning as an alternative to shaving. There are dermaplane tool deals at the end of this review.

However, the Precise Touch is also clinically proven effective on fair hair (blonde and red) if you pluck, wax or epilate immediately before your sessions too.

Colour wheel showing the hair colours grey, red, light blonde, dark blonde, brown and black.
Clinically proven on black, brown, blonde & red hair too

This helps the IPL work on hair colours without the melanin pigment found in dark hair. Instead, the IPL energy targets the small blood droplets left behind in the follicle after it’s pulled out.  

Although the Iluminage clinical tests don’t include grey/white hair, it should be effective in precisely the same way as blonde and red hair.

The Iluminage Touch also comes with an epilator attachment, to speed up sessions for fair hair users. The attachment sits in front of the flash window so you can pluch and zap together. Your hair thickness and density determines if this is a sensible approach for you. If not, you can wax or epilate first, then zap with the Touch.

(Note: the Me Sleek does not have an epilator attachment.)

Clip the epilator attacchment to the applicator under the flash window. You can then rip the hairs out of your legs as you zap them! someone, somewhere thought this was a good idea. Probably a bloke.
Yikes! A built-in epilator – OUCH!
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TIP: You should shave dark hair before using the Touch for faster and longer lasting results.

You can also wax or epilate if you have dark hair. Or pluck darker facial hairs if you suffer with fast, daily growth and don’t want to shave. But, for both fair and dark hair that you pluck, you’ll need more than 7 weekly sessions to see results. More on this next.

Results

Treat weekly for seven sessions to get smooth. You may use the device more frequently on facial hair if needed – up to 2 to 3 times per week. Then switch to monthly top-ups.

Iluminage Precise Touch start-up schedule daigram showing 1 weekly treatments taking 6 weeks to complete
The Iluminage Touch & Me Sleek start-up schedule

Seven weekly sessions is usually enough to get smooth. But on darker skin using the low intensity level you may need a few more sessions. And some people may need slightly more frequent top-up sessions to maintain smooth, fuzz-free skin. Learn more about home IPL results here.

And for fair hair, be prepared you may need over double the recommended sessions. So, around 14+ weekly sessions. That’s because, to be effective, the IPL relies on just a micro dot of blood in the follicle. Therefore, hairs may need to be waxed/epilated and zapped several times to be effective. Also, your reduction in growth rate and hair thickness is not as obvious as it is on shaved hairs. Therefore, it may seem like it’s not working. Be prepared for the extra commitment!

Iluminage Precise Touch start-up schedule diagram for fair hair when plucking, showing 14 weekly treatments taking 13 weeks to complete
Iluminage Precise Touch start-up schedule on fair/plucked hairs

Negatives

There are rather a few negatives to consider with the Iluminage Touch. Here goes…

The Iluminage Touch applicator is light and handy and easy to move around your body, but you must flash each bit of skin a total of 3 times - so it's a bit time consuming!
Flash each area once, then repeat another 1 or 2 times. Time consuming zappage!

First, unlike other IPL devices you must cover your skin with multiple flashes. And passing over each area 2 or 3 times is more time consuming. You won’t notice it so much on small areas like face, bikini line and underarms, but you’ll really feel it on legs. Especially on the high intensity levels. Therefore, the Touch is a lot of time and effort for whole body or legs sessions. Try the Silk’n Infinity for much faster sessions. It’s safe for dark and black skin too.

Second, on fair hair you’ll need several more sessions than advertised. So, be prepared for significant weekly commitment and effort. Unfortunately, there are no clinically proven alternatives to try for fair hair.

And finally, there’s no money back guarantee and the Touch is pricey. It’s expensive because it’s a premium device that’s FDA-cleared for both dark skin and fair hair. But if the price tag still makes your nose bleed, try the Silk’n Infinity instead. It’s a cheaper alternative for darker skin and gives faster zapping sessions too.

Iluminage touch montage of 8 images!
Clinically proven for dark/black skin & fair hair. Yay!

Iluminage Touch & Me Sleek Review Summary

The Iluminage Touch (and Me Sleek) are easy to use and quality devices. But they really stand out because the clever combined IPL & RF mean it’s gentle and safe for all skin tones, including the very darkest. And it works on fair and grey hairs if you pluck before hand. They’re the only devices clinically proven to do so.

The Iluminage Touch (and Me Sleek) are easy to use and quality devices safe for aLL skin tones and work on ALL hair colours

Here’s a summary of my test scores, and pros and cons for the Iluminage Touch to help you decide:

Lamp lifetime

⚡⚡⚡⚡

The Touch’s flashes last around 5 years of monthly whole-body sessions. That’s long enough to get you smooth and stay so for many years. Very good value. Or choose the Me Sleek with unlimited flashes!

Ease of use

👍👍👍👍

Simple to use with a lightweight corded applicator. Flashes with skin contact, no button to press. Very comfortable to use, average speed sessions and gentle on the skin. Wax or use with the epilator for fair hair removal.

Effort & Results

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Medium & gentle power IPL. Seven weekly sessions for smooth skin, then top-ups every month or so to stay that way. But it takes twice as long on fair hair!

Pros

  • Nimble applicator, robust & easy to use
  • Flashes on skin contact, no button to press!
  • Use low intensity for dark skin, gives fastest sessions
  • Me Sleek gives unlimited flashes
  • Clinically proven on ALL skin tones including the darkest black
  • Clinically proven to work on fair hair (blonde & red)
  • FDA-cleared & CE certification

Cons

  • It’s expensive at full RRP
  • No money back guarantee
  • Slow & time consuming sessions vs rivals
  • Longer than advertised results for fair hair users
  • Some models give fewer flashes (but you can buy replacement cartridges) 

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Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 8 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site Wearebodybeautiful.com. I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

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