Iluminage Touch review; safe for dark skin & effective on fair hair

Illuminage Touch Laura G
Illuminage Touch


--- The Illuminage Touch device is no longer available---It's safe to use the Iluminage Touch on dark and black skin tones and it's the only device proven to work on fair hair too. It's incredibly easy to use with fast treatment times on the lower intensity levels, best for dark skin. It's expensive, but great value replacement cartridges are available. So a fine choice for large areas, or full body and face treatments. Keep reading the Iluminage Touch review to learn if it's the best choice for you.

The Illuminage Touch device is no longer available.

PLEASE NOTE: Iluminage Beauty ceased trading in 2018. You may find final stock available through some retailers. However, before you buy check the retailer now honours the manufacturer warranty to protect your purchase.

Related: Try the Silk’n Infinity as an alternative for all skin tones and fair hair.


Here’s how the overall score breaks down.

Lamp lifetime
300,000 model gives around 5 years of use, but it’s not available everywhere. Learn more in the review.
Ease of use
An effortless Glide design, light-weight wand and simple controls mean it’s very comfortable to use. Proven safe and effective on dark and black skin, and works on fair hair.
Speed of application
It’s faster on the lower intensity levels, where a full leg takes around 10 mins, but slower if used on the higher intensity levels. Better suited to darker skin.
Customer service team is knowledgeable and responsive, the pre-sales information is ok.
Feedback & results
Mixed online feedback that I think is down to poor promotion by Iluminage and QVCUK. Learn more in the review.
Budget range: £££ / $$$
Expensive, unique technology for which you’ll pay a premium. Offers are becoming more common.

What is it?

The Iluminage Touch is manufactured by Iluminage Ltd (formerly Syneron Beauty Ltd), and it’s the rebranded next-generation version of the Me My Elos devices. You can use it on both body and face (below cheekbones). The Touch has CE certification to meet EU safety standards. It also has FDA clearance. You can buy it in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Colour charts showing FitzPatrick tones I to VI (light to black), and all hair colours dark blonde to black, light blonde, red and grey / white. The Iluminage To9uch is clinically proven safe and effective for all.

You can use it on all skin tones from light and 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.


First available in 2016, it works with combined energy of Radio Frequency and Intense Pulsed Light. This gentle energy is branded Elōs energy. It slows and reduces hair regrowth after each session, and eventually stops your hair growing back at all. Periodic use keeps you smooth.

This same technology is 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.

The UK and Europe model comes with  300,000 flashes and 120,000 flashes in the USA.

You’ll need 7 weekly treatments (taking 6 weeks) to see significant hair reduction results. Then top-up treatments as required (starting monthly). You’ll need more treatments on fair hair as it takes longer to see results.

Photo collage of the Iluminage Touch showing the blue and white base unit and applicator sitting in the cradle on the top, the standard flash window, facial adapter, small maneouvrable applicator, epilator attachment and the box contents.

The Iluminage Touch system is specially designed and proven safe for dark and black skin. The Elos energy emits gentle IPL and Radio Frequency so it won’t hurt or burn. The 5 year lamp lifetime, large flash window and facial adaptor make it the best choice for full body and face treatments on dark skin tones.
It also works on fair hair, but you must wax, epilate or pluck the hair immediately before use.The epilator attachment is a bonus. Results take longer to see, but it does work.


The Iluminage Touch is the one to choose for full body and face treatments if you have dark skin because it’s designed especially for you and it’s safe. It’s clinically proven safe and effective, and cleared by the FDA too. The slightly dated design (with a base unit and wand) is still very comfortable to use and it’s fast on the lower intensity levels suitable for the darkest skin.

It’s the only machine clinically proven to work on fair hair (blonde and red) too. But you’ll need more than the advertised 7 weeks to see results. The Iluminage Touch wins my Best Buy award for  full body and face treatments on dark skin and fair hair.

Prices & Buy Now

Or keep reading this Iluminage Touch review to learn more about how it works and what results you can expect on fair hair.

In this Iluminage 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 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

Illustration of the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies used in the Iluminage Touch. This combination means the Iluminage Touch uses 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 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 Touch good value?

The UK and Europe model comes with 300,000 flashes and 120,000 flashes in the USA.

Bar chart showing the Iluminage Touch 300,00 and 120,000 models.

The Iluminage Touch 300,000 provides good value for money with plenty treatments. 300,000 flashes combined with the 3 cm2 body treatment window means you can treat a total body area of 396,000 cm2, or 100 full body applications for 5 years of use.
The 120,000 model is more readily available in the USA. It offers 154,400 cm2 and 2 years of use. You can buy replacement bulbs to extend the lamp lifetime with another 120,000 flashes at around $150.


Let’s start with the UK and Europe version first.

With the Iluminage Touch you must flash each area of skin 2 to 3 times, vs once with other IPL machines. This is because of the gentler, reduced intensity IPL energy. Let’s assume we’ll flash our skin twice over.

You get a minimum of 300,000 flashes and the treatment window is 3.3 cm². So, with this model you can cover a total body area of 396,000 cm². That’s the same as about 100 full body treatments (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face). It’s enough for the start-up phase and monthly top-up treatments lasting just over 5 years. That’s great value.

Onto the 120,000 model available in the USA.

It has the same treatment window size at 3 cm². And with the 120,000 flashes you can cover a total body area of 158,400 cm². That’s 40 full body treatments to last up to 2 years of treatments. That’s lower than other premium machines and less than I’d recommend. The value isn’t as good as the UK version here. I hope Iluminage will soon make the 300,000 model available in the USA. But if not soon, I guess it’s not the end of the world.

You can pick up a great value replacement cartridge. In the US they come with 120,000 flashes and cost about $150. So, you can continue treatments without needing to buy an entirely new machine (costing $445).

Prices & Buy Now

Read onto learn how the Iluminage Touch impresses me.

What’s it like to use the Iluminage Touch?

The Iluminage Touch arrives in a small, attractive, understated white and pale blue box.

Photo showing 2 sides of the pale blue and white Iluminage Touch box sleeve over the white box, The sleeve shows the device on the white side and the messaging "Permanent, safe, fast" on the blue side.

The packaging is small and neat, the colours cool and understated. What stands out is the key messaging “Permanent, Safe, Fast”. Keep reading the full review for important information on permanency of hair reduction results.


Photo of the back of the box sleeve showing safe skin tones and suitable hair colours, describing Elos ebergy and which body areas you can use it on.

The box sleeve concisely describes the Touch uses Elos energy and so it’s the only home use IPL safe for all skins tones. The box also explains it’s effective on the ‘widest range of hair colours’ but it doesn’t explain you must epilate / wax or that results will take longer to see. Small photos show the body areas you can use it on and how long each area should take.


Below the sleeve is a clean simple box embossed with an Iluminage logo. Lift the lid to see the compact mains-powered base-unit with a corded hand-held applicator.

Front and side view photos of the open, white Iluminage box. The Iluminage Touch device is raised on a white plastic bed.

The lid lifts open and back to reveal the compact Iluminage Touch device. The packaging is well designed so everything fits in layers in the box and is easily accessible.


A photo of the open lidded box and device inside, the next with the device removed and the white plastci bed, and finally with the plastic bed removed and the contents below it (instruction booklet, power cable, facial adaptor, epilator attachment and goggles.

Below the white plastic bed is another tray with neat compartments for the power cable, facial attachment, epilator adaptor, instruction boklet and goggles. It’s well designed and a pleasure to open.


Photo of the box contents

The contents of the box: Touch device, small instruction booklet, goggles, facial adaptor, epilator attachment, mains plug.


What’s in the box?

  • Illuminage Touch system
  • Precision attachment (for face and trickier body areas)
  • Epilator head
  • Goggles
  • Power cord
  • Instruction booklet


The machine is styled in clean crisp white and is professional looking. A pastel, pale blue, mirror-like surface on the base unit and matching applicator badge, adds a touch of class. The controls on top of the base unit are simple and clearly laid out next to applicator cradled in the centre.

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.

The Iluminage Touch is a compact, understated, professional looking machine. Clean lines, simple controls and a cool pale blue surface make it both tactile and sophisticated.


Close up photo of the Iluminage touch logo and applicator sitting in the cradle on the top of the pastel blue base unit

The small applicator sits securely in the cradle with the cord wrapped neatly around the base unit. It’s compact – smaller than I expected. Although a slightly dated design of base unti and applicator, it looks and feels good.


A thick flexible cord that doesn’t tangle attaches the white applicator to the base unit. The applicator is about the size of an electric epilator. It’s light weight and extremely comfortable to hold.

3 close up photos of the Touch's handheld applicator; the fixed cord in the baese, the large flash window and RF sensors and pale-blue round Iliminage Touch badge on the front.

The handheld applicator is about the size of an epilator and a similar shape. The lines and angles fit comfortably in your palm. The flexible cord is fixed securely in the base, the flash window is easy to gauge and the full width of the business end so it’s accurate to position. There’s a small Iluminage Touch badge on the side too.


Prices & Buy Now

Or keep reading to learn just how easy it is to use.

Read the user manual

First read the user manual. Start with the warnings section to check for reason you shouldn’t use the device that apply to you such as pregnancy, pacemakers, sunburn, skin conditions and medicines related to photosensitivity.

The manual introduces you to the device with helpful diagrams, outlines your skin sensitivity test, how to use it, indicative treatment times, the treatment regimen, cleaning, storage, replacing the flash cartridge, troubleshooting common problems, warranty and specifications. It is clear, comprehensive, easy to read and well laid out.

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

For best results on dark hair, shave before your treatments. As you progress through your treatments the need to shave becomes less until you may not need to anymore. Be sure to still complete the full treatment regimen.

For best results on light hair (light blonde, red and grey) wax or epilate before your treatments. Waxing and epilating causes a small bit of blood to form in the hair follicle. The Elōs energy targets this blood during the first treatment and, because the blood stays in the follicle, it can target it again for the subsequent treatments. During the treatment regimen you should epilate or wax away any new hair that grows before each treatment.

Wax or epilate first if you have light hair (light blonde, red or white / grey). An epilator attachment is provided. This attaches next to the treatment window so you can epilate and treat in one (if that’s realistic for you – it’s not for me because it’s slow and torturous!)


Please note: The Iluminage Beauty support team confirmed that on light hair, you will require more than the 7 weekly to see best results. It’s frustrating this isn’t made clear in the user manual or on the website, and Iluminage Beauty could do a much better job at setting expectations here. Please be prepared that perseverance and patience is key to getting good results.

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 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 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. When the orange light turns green select your Elōs intensity level, press the activation button on the back of the applicator so it turns blue and the fan starts. It won’t flash until its on your skin.
  4. Place the applicator with the contact bars squarely on your skin and bright light pulses will flash.
  5. Glide the applicator 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. Then start again and retreat the same area. Repeat this 2 to 3 times in total.

If not in use for 30 seconds the applicator will turn itself off. Press the activation button on the applicator to turn it on again.

If not used for 3 minutes the device will go into standby. Simply press the power button to turn it back on.

All skin tones shown in a wheel of skin tone colour swatches, for Fitzpatrick types I through to VI

No skin tone sensor required

There’s no skin tone sensor because the device is very gentle and 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.

Safety enhances ease of operation

Like the other devices, the Iluminage Touch has a safety system to prevent accidental flashes.

Close up photo of the 2 silver RF bars running the length of the flash window, top and bottom.

The RF sensors protect your eyes by ensuring you can’t accidentally flash into open air. Your skin must be in contact with the full length of both bars.
The RF bars also control the continuiuty of the flashes. As long as they’re in contact with your skin the flashes will keep coming. No need to press a button each time. Simple.


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. But these RF bars have a further clever use. They control the continuity of flashes too.

This makes the Iluminage Touch exceptionally simple to operate.

First, you press the small Elōs activation button on the applicator and then simply position it where you want it on your skin. 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.

  • Unlike all other devices, there’s no flash button to continuously press during the treatment. There’s one mode that reacts based on how you position the device.


This is comfirtable. There’s no stress and strain on your grip from keeping a button pressed in. You can shift it however you like or even swap hands without any break in operation. The applicator stays active for 30 seconds so, if you do briefly break contact with your skin, the flashes will start again once the RF bars are back in contact. And, on the lowest setting, the flashes are fast which makes it even more effortless. It’s very comfortable and easy to manoeuvre. It’s simple and intuitive.

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It’s different when using the precision attachment. More on that below.

Easy to use applicator

The hand-held applicator is light and it’s easy to manoeuvre too because of the long flexible cord. You can roughly gauge where the light exit window is, but getting painstaking and precise coverage isn’t such a big deal as it is with other devices. This is down to the ease of operation described above, and the fact you must cover each area with 2 or 3 non-consecutive flashes. So getting precise overlap of the device is not as important because you pass over the area multiple times.

Photos of the applicator held in various positions

The lightweight applicator fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The long flexible cord doesn’t weigh it down and it’s easy to manoeuvre. Press the small ‘elos’ button on the back to activate the flashes. It glows blue when they’re activated. It’ll only flash when the RF bars are covered by your skin.


“So quick and easy to use, a few zaps and everything is done! Would defiantly recommend” – review

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

Precision and epilator attachments

The Iluminage Touch comes with 2 accessory attachments; a precision and an epilator attachments.

Photo of the small white epilator attachment and facial adaptor side by side. The facial adaptor has a small logo outline of a head to show it's use.

The epilator attachement and the facial adaptor that come with the Iluminage Touch system.


They’re easy to attach. With the power off, remove the attachment protective cap next to the activation button.

Photo of the back side of the handheld applicator. There's a small logo of 3 hairs on the protective cap.

To use the attachments, look at the back of the handheld applicator for the 3 hairs logo. This is the protective cover. Ease it away from the elos button and it slides off.


Photo of underneath the protective cap. There's a matching logo of 3 hairs so you know where the protective cap is placed.

This is underneath the protective cap. You can see the grooves and slot for the attachments to slide into. You can then replace with the epilator or facial attachment.


Close up of fingers holding the facial attachment with the logo facing us.

The facial attchment has small ridges on the side to give your fingers grip when positioning it. You can see a small chip at the end which slides into the applicator. The attachments slide into place next to the flash cartridge.

The attachments simply slide and click into position next to the treatment window. Note, the flash cartridge stays in place.

The small precision attachment sits over the treatment window and reduces the size of the flash area to 2 cm2. This makes it easier to treat your face. When using this attachment it emits only 1 flash at a time, so you need to reposition the window and press the activation button each time. This is so you always carefully position the window around sensitive areas like the lips.

The small precision attachment slides over the treatment window and reduces the size of the flash area to 2 cm2 providing more accuracy. You need to press the elos flash activation button each time you want a flash.


There’s an epilator attachment too. You must use this if you have fair hair. This sits beside the flash window and allows you to epilate ahead of the flashes. Press the accessory activation button once for low speed, or twice for high speed.

Close up of the epilator attachement next to the flash window, the 2 speed epilator control button on the base unit, and the controls on the base unit illuminated to show the epilator is on high speed and elos is set to high (level 3).

Once the epilator attachment is in place you select the speed with the top button on the base unit. There are 2 speeds. Look for the button with the 3 small hairs on it. Press it once for slow and twice for fast. The epilator starts whirring! Press it again to reset. Then choose your elos level and off you go.


You might like the sound of this if you epilate quickly. Personally, I find epilation is slow going (and torturous), much slower than the speed of the Iluminage Touch treatments. If you prefer you can wax or epilate before using the device. ensure your skin is clean before flashing.

The tricky bits

Reaching some areas is tricky, like the backs of your knees and upper legs, and involves twisting and turning in front of a mirror. The power-cord is long enough and easy to work with once you find the best way to reach all the necessary areas.


  • Use an extension cable in front of a full-length mirror so you can see and manoeuvre around your whole body
  • I prefer holding the applicator sidewards and working in rings around the contour of my legs. That way it’s easier to keep track of where I’ve flashed.


So how quick are the treatments?

How quick are the treatments with the Iluminage Touch?

Let’s compare it to other devices and see how long it takes to treat a pair of underarms.

The Iluminage Touch has a 3.3cm² treatment window and it flashes every 0.9 to 1.9 seconds, depending on the intensity level used. Assuming you flash each area between 2 or 3 times as instructed it’ll take you between 1:20 to 3:00 minutes to cover a pair of underarms (an area roughly 120 cm²).

Photo of a finger pressing the elos intensity button to select level 3, close up of the 3 elos levels with the second level illuminated, and a close up of the flash window.

The flash window is 3.3 cm² and on the lowest intensity the flashes are fast at every 0.9 seconds. You flash each area 2 to 3 times so you can do a full leg from around 10 minutes. Tthe lower intensity levels are designed for darker skin so that’s good speed of application if you’ll use the lower levels on dark skin tones.
If you have fair skin and use level 3, the flashes are every 1.9 seconds. You still flash each area 2 to 3 times so it’ll be slower for you.


Iluminage say it takes 10 minutes per full leg. This is probably true if you use a lower intensity level. User feedback says it takes longer than this on the higher intensity levels. So treatment times are variable.

If you have darker skin and use it on the lower intensity settings it’s good. But if you have paler skin and can use it on the highest setting it’s going to be slower and faster options are available.

Good customer support

You get a standard 2 year manufacturer warranty from Iluminage Beauty and they give good customer support too.

You can contact them with questions through an online form (telephone support would be an improvement) and in my experience they respond quickly within 24 hours.

Iluminage Beauty could provide much better pre-sales information such as user manual downloads, more about E lōsenergy and set clearer expectations on results for users with light hair (I hope I’ve clarified it in this review).

Prices & Buy Now

A note on permanency of results

There are several uses of the attention-grabbing word ‘permanent’ on the Iluminage Touch packaging, in the user manual and on the website.

For example the user manual claims “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.

The box shows “permanent hair reduction” in 3 places but I can’t find anywhere that it is actually explained. And it’s important to have realistic expectations. When I see this phrase, I think once I’m done with the start up phase I’ll never need it again. I can throw away my razor and I’ll be forever hair free!  But it’s misleading because it’s not the full picture. You’ll still need periodic top-ups to stay smooth.

You can find out more about the permanency of IPL here.

What do the online Iluminage Touch reviews say?

The overall score for the Iluminage Touch is a good 3.8 stars. This is collated from all the online Iluminage Touch reviews.

User score 3.8 stars

It’s reassuring there are zero reports of faulty devices. But there are lots of low ratings from QVCUK users. Iluminage Beauty used QVCUK to promote the device in 2016. I think it backfired a bit.  Read on to learn why.

The bad bits

Some reviewers report it’s very time consuming and it takes much longer than the suggested treatment times on the highest intensity setting. Quite a few explain problems fitting the attachments , finding them “counter intuitive”.  But other reviewers (having read the user manual) explain the attachments work with the flash bulb and not in place of it.

A photo of just the flash window without any attachments, the facial adapter attached which covers part of the window to create a smaller, precise flash area, and a photo of the epilator adapter attached below the flash window.

The attachments are easy to attach once you read the instructions (or check the photos above). The facial adaptor covers part of the flash window to create a smaller flash area for more precise flashes . The epilator atachment sits below the flash window. It passes over your hairs ahead of the flash window so you can epilate and IPL at the same time.


There are many low ratings from QVCUK users saying they haven’t seen results. This is in contrast to reviews for the Iluminage Precise Touch and where only a handful reported it didn’t work for them. Why is this?

I suspect the high number of critical reviews from QVCUK shoppers is in part down to the TV demo. Here they heavily promoted it to use on light hair but didn’t set clear expectations. They didn’t caveat that you’d likely need more than the advertised 7 weekly treatments, because it takes longer to see results on light hair. Iluminage shared this information during my research.

It’s noteworthy the Iluminage Precise Touch doesn’t suffer this negative feedback (it wasn’t featured on QVCUK).

Iluminage Beauty could do a better job at setting expectations here, especially as it is the only device of its kind to work on fair / light hair.

If you have fair hair be aware you’ll need more than the suggested 7 weekly treatments to see results. It could take several weeks longer. In fact, 2 reviewers with blonde hair reported no results after around 3 months of treatments.

Not all QVCUK reviewers note their hair colour, but at least 10 are from users with fair hair (blonde, auburn, red, white and grey) and who epilate first. Most tried for at least the 7 weekly treatments, but it’s unlikely that’s long enough.

The Iluminage Touch scores 3.8 out of 5 from the collated online feedbackThe’re also a few QVCUK reviewers who say it’s hard to tell if and when you have hair reduction after waxing / epilating pre-treatment because you’ve already taken the hair out at the root. This is interesting and shows that results are harder to detect compared to shaving pre-treatment.

Another handful also report no results after a few treatments, saying there’s no difference in their usual post waxing / epilating regrowth. This reinforces that light hair needs longer to see results than the suggested time frame and that results are less obvious than with shaving.

There are just a handful of low ratings from users. The majority of these customers left overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The good bits

Loads love how easy the Iluminage Touch is to use, that it’s painless, compact and easy to store, and that underarms and bikini line take just minutes to do. Some even comment that a full body treatment is ‘fairly quick’ for them.

Some reviewers love their devices but don’t share specific feedback on their experiences or results.  Loads say it works, and their reviews come at varying stages from just a few treatments to a few months of use. Early reviews report promising results with varying degrees of hair reduction, patchy and finer regrowth and slowed growth rates.

Reviews left after more than 6 weeks of treatments tell of the best results. There are a few reviews from users with darker skin tones, and just a couple with lighter hair too.

“I am starting by just trying it out on my underarms, and it takes just a couple of minutes for each one! As a real wimp, I was also pleased to find out that it is completely and utterly painless, unlike conventional laser treatments. All in all, you will never get it done professionally for a price like this and it can all be done from the privacy of the bedroom. Highly recommend!” review

Iluminage Touch vs the Iluminage Precise Touch

If you like the sound of the Iluminage Touch but want to treat just your face and small areas, the cost of this bad-boy can seem a bit too steep. Fret not.

The Iluminage Precise Touch uses the same technology. It’s safe for dark and black skin tones and works on fair hair. It’s much smaller than the Touch. It’s a hand-held applicator (with no base unit) and has a small 2 cm² flash window. This is designed for use on the face and smaller areas.

If you’re using it on smaller areas like forearms, bikini line, underarms and face I estimate you’ll get around 6 years of monthly maintenance treatments. It’s great value and it costs less then the Touch too.

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What are the alternatives?

For dark and black skin tones

The Touch is the only for you if:

  • Your skin is dark or black, because it’s the only clinically proven safe for you.
  • If you have fair hair it’s the only proven effective home IPL, but it takes a long time to see results.


It’s a fine choice that gives great results.

For light to medium skin tones

If your skin tone is light to medium, you can use higher power home machines becase they’re safe for your skin. They’ll likely give faster results. Check out the recommendations in the best buy roundup.

Overall I recommend the Philips Lumea Prestige for home IPL hair removal packed full of features, and the Tria 4X hair removal laser if you want maximum power.

If you want power but with foolproof plug in-and-go simplicity then check out the Smoothskin Muse. This no-faff device selects the best intensity level for your skin tone before every flash. You can use it on medium dark skin tones too, but it’ll automatically select a lower intensity level.

Medium-dark skin tones

If your skin is dark but not the darkest, you should consider the Smoothskin Bare. It’s safe for darker skin because it operates at just one low intensity (3 J/cm²). This makes the flashes fats at every 0.6 seconds. A full leg’s done from around 4+ minutes! Ultrafast. The lower energy means it takes a bit longer to see results and you’ll need regular top up treatments to stay smooth. But if you have dark skin you’ll need a low intensity setting anyway.

I really like this device for lighter skin tones too, because it’s so very fast and affordable. It’s a fantastic choice for those with a hectic schedule, or if your just a bit lazy and have trouble committing to the regular treatments. You can be done in under 10 minutes. I think it’s game-changer.

Prices & Buy Now

To help you decide here’s a quick summary of the Iluminage Touch pros and cons.


  • 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)
  • Mains-powered so no need to wait for a battery to charge
  • No need for a skin tone sensor
  • Integrated UV filter
  • All the safety and treatment features you expect
  • FDA cleared and CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
  • Fast treatment times on lowest energy levels – from just 10 mins to treat a full leg
  • Incredibly easy and comfortable to operate with a familiar electric shaver / epilator action
  • Get good coverage with less effort – flash each area 2 to 3 times so need to worry about too much overlap
  • Replacement cartridges are great value
  • Smaller precision attachment makes treating the face and uneven areas easier
  • Very good user feedback from users
  • Very good support from Iluminage Beauty


  • It’s expensive at full price
  • Models in the US give you just 120,000 flashes. Check before you buy
  • Takes longer than 10 mins per leg on the higher intensity levels
  • It takes longer to see results when you epilate first, and that’s necessary for light blonde, red, white and grey hair
  • More comprehensive website information and access to the user manual would be an improvement
  • ‘Permanent results’ isn’t explained adequately

Should I buy the Iluminage Touch?

Yes, this is the device for you if you have the darkest skin tones. And it’s the only device proven to work on fair hair too (you’ll need more treatments though). The Elōs technology makes it safe and effective.

It stands out as an intuitive, easy and comfortable device to use. If you have the darkest skin tones you’ll use it on the lowest intensity levels so treatments are quick. And if the price of the machine plus a replacement cartridge is competitive when compared to other devices on your shortlist, then it’s a sound choice.  It’s loads cheaper than professional treatments.

If you have lighter skin tones and can use a higher intensity level then treatments with the Iluminage Touch are slow, so try the alternatives suggested above.

The Illuminage Touch device is no longer available.

PLEASE NOTE: Iluminage Beauty ceased trading in 2018. You may find final stock available through some retailers. However, before you buy check the retailer now honours the manufacturer warranty to protect your purchase.

Related: Try the Silk’n Infinity as an alternative for all skin tones and fair hair.

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