IPL Reviews

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 review and SC1997

Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 Laura G
Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999

4.2

The Philips Lumea Advanced is the plug and play, less costly cousin of the very desirable Lumea Prestige models. It has a similar design, a very low cost per use and an almost identical spec with all the expected safety features, modes and extra attachments. User reviews love it and several choose it precisely because it's mains-powered so there's no battery to take care of. It's a great choice for full body & face, or large area treatments. .

  • Use on body & face
  • Mains-powered
  • Manufactured by Philips
  • User score 4.5 stars 
  • Lumea Advanced SC1997 price: ££
  • Lumea Advanced SC1999 price: ££££

 

  • Suited to all types of treatment:
  • Treat a total body area of 1,000,000 cm2
  • 200+ full body treatments lasting 15+ years
  • Underarms take up to 1:45 minutes
  • A full leg takes 14 mins

Lumea SC1999 or the Lumea SC1997?
Keep reading to see which we recommend!

Pros

  • Great premium and durable build quality
  • More than enough treatments for many years of use
  • Attractive retro gun-shaped design
  • All the safety and treatment features you’d expect
  • Integrated skin tone sensor
  • Integrated UV filter
  • CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
  • Precision attachment makes it easy to treat the face and areas like knees and ankles
  • Specialist bikini attachment to stop stinging treatments (Lumea SC1999)
  • Very easy to operate and comfortable to use
  • It’s mains-powered with a long cord, so simply plug in and go
  • Online reviewers love it
  • Excellent reputation and customer service from Philips

Cons

  • They’re expensive, but the value for money is excellent
  • Power cord can get in the way
  • Skin tone sensor doesn’t select your intensity level
  • Not suitable for as broad a skin tone range as the cordless Lumea Prestige models

Suitable skin tones and hair colours

skin-tone-chart-i-to-ivYou can use it on black, dark brown, brown, dark blonde hair and light to mid brown skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV).

You can’t use it on light blonde, red, grey or white hair and dark brown, brownish black and darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin type V and VI), or on freckles and moles.

Read more on IPL and suitable skin types and hair colours >>

Tanning guidelines

As with all home laser and IPL devices it’s important to follow the guidelines on tanning and sun exposure. Philips advise you to stay out of the sun for 2 weeks before a treatment, and to avoid the sun and tanning for 48 hours after your treatment. You must cover up or use a sun screen SPF 30+ on your treated skin for 2 weeks after your treatments. These guidelines mean you should avoid tanning altogether during your initial treatment regimen. There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here.

Where to buy the Philips Lumea Advanced

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.

The Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 review Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999, for face, body and bikini

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Philips Lumea Advanced Sc1997 gunshaped device and precision attachment by its side Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997, for face and body

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders with 90 day money back guarantee

In this full Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 and SC1997 review:

Is the Philips Lumea Advanced good value?

Yes. The latest Lumea Advanced models SC1997 and SC1999 are some of the best out there.

Bar chart showing the Lumea Advanced model tops the chart for usage value.

The Lumea Advanced provides exceptional value for money and more treatments than you’ll likely need. 250,000 flashes combined with the 4 cm2 body treatment window means you can treat a total body area of 1,000,000 cm2, or 200+ full body treatments for 15+ years of use.

They both provide a minimum of 250,000 flashes. Combined with the 4 cm2 body treatment window that means you can treat a massive 1,000,000 cm2 total body area. This makes them a great choice for full body or large areas like back, torso or legs. You’ll get loads of treatments and be able to maintain your results for years to come.

1,000,000 cm provides over 200 full body treatments (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face). That’s enough for your initial treatment regimen and then 15 years of monthly top-up treatments so it’s a great investment.

The Lumea SC1999 and the SC1997 both offer excellent value for money and beat most other devices out there too. Just like their cordless cousins the Lumea Prestige, you could share it and still get several years of regular use.

N.B. 15 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.

Is the Philips Lumea Advanced easy to use?

The Philips Lumea Advanced wouldn’t look out of place in Captain Kirk’s hand on the set of Star Trek. It’s gun-shaped and about the size of a small hair dryer, with a playful, retro feel about it.

The handle and underside are white with a dusky rose-gold top and matching glossy trim. It looks feminine and sophisticated, neat and classy. And I like how the air vents on the top make a pretty flower pattern too.

What’s in the box?

  • Lumea Advanced gun-shaped device
  • 4 cm2 body attachment
  • 2 cm2 precision / facial attachment.
  • 2 cmbikini area attachment (SC1999 only)
  • Multi-voltage power adaptor and plug, approx 2 metres long
  • Storage pouch and cleaning cloth
  • User manual
Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 packaging and boxshot

The Philips Lumea Advanced comes in a small, neat box with suitable skin and hair colours noted on the outside. Other medical conditions, diseases and photo-sensitivity causing medications are listed in the user manual – check before using!

To get fully acquainted with it read through the user manual.

Read the user manual

The user manual is clear and easy to follow. It runs through how IPL works, suitable skin tones and hair colours, the various bits of the device and attachments, care and cleaning, important guidelines about tanning, using the Lumea Advanced and troubleshooting problems.

Be sure to double check the list of contraindications for important reasons you should not use it (such as certain medical conditions, diseases and medications you are taking, tattoos,  varicose veins and skin conditions).

Choose your intensity level and do a skin test first!

philips-lumea-advanced-sc1999-review-power-levels

Simply press the power button to move up the intensity levels. The manual makes it easy to choose the right level for you based on your skin type. Your skin type is based on the Fitzpatrick scale of skin tones and complexion and how your skin reacts to sunlight.

The Lumea SC1999 / SC1997 have 5 energy intensity levels and you need to choose one based on your skin type.

There’s a table in the manual to help you check your skin type based on your skin tone and how it reacts in the sun. For each skin type the manual recommends the maximum intensity levels you can safely use. It’s pretty simple to see which levels you can use.

Next do a skin patch test at each of your suitable intensity levels, and on each body part you’re treating.  If after 24 hours your skin is all good, you can use the highest level that was comfortable for your full treatment. Follow the instructions in the user manual.

There’s also the extra safety benefits of the integrated skin tone sensor. If the sensor detects a skin tone that is too dark it won’t flash. This is added reassurance for some, especially if you have different tones on different body parts or tan throughout the year. However, if this is a big concern, you’ll find other great devices are better suited to darker skin tones.  There’s more on the skin tone sensor later.

Read more about devices for darker skin tones >>

Getting started

It’s very simple to get started with the Lumea Advanced.

  1. Shave before your treatment and make sure you have clean and dry skin.
    Shaving first is recommended but you can epilate or wax if you prefer, but wait for 24 hours after. This gives your skin enough time to rest and for the hair follicle to grow a bit so the IPL has something to target.
  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. Plug it in and simply press the power button to cycle up through the intensity levels.
  4. Gently press the window to your skin and check your skin tone. Hold the device at a right angle so the flash window is completely against your skin.
  5. When the ‘ready’ light shows white on the back of the gun you can press the flash button.
  6. When finished, press and hold the power button for 2 seconds to switch it off.

I tested the Lumea Advanced on my legs, bikini line and face and this is how it went.

Great gun-shape design

The Lumea Advanced feels good to hold, not too heavy but not delicate or flimsy at all. The tapered handle provides a natural grip and my index finger rests easily on the trigger button. The power cord fits snug and secure in the bottom of the handle and is very long at around 192 cm.

The ergonomic gun-shape design is comfortable to holdSkin tone sensor and safety system

The small skin tone sensor is situated on all attachments just below the flash exit window

The skin tone sensor, just below the larger flash window, checks for a valid skin tone before the first flash and regularly throughout your treatments. It won’t flash if your skin is too dark.

You get a skin tone sensor with both the Lumea SC1999 and Lumea SC1997. The sensor won’t tell you which intensity level to use, you still need to choose that yourself. It checks your skin tone at the start and regularly throughout your treatment and stops flashing if your skin is too dark. It’s a reassuring safety feature to have, especially if your skin is darker in places or you tan throughout the year. However, if you suspect your skin type is unsuitable you should try an alternative device.

Around the treatment window are contact sensors to prevent accidental flashes. If you don’t have full contact with your skin it won’t flash. This means holding the gun at a 90-degree angle to your skin to cover the contacts.  I found it comfortable and easy to hold with just the right pressure against my skin.

Close ups of the bikini attachment with a purple window and bikini icon, and the facial attachment with a red window and facial icon.

The Lumea SC1999 bikini and face/precision attachments filter the IPL to be most effective on the hair and yet gentle on these sensitive areas. Icons help you tell them apart.

Precision and bikini attachments

Both the Lumea SC199979and SC1997 come with a 2 cm2 precision attachment. This has an additional filter so it’s gentle on more sensitive areas like the face. It’s also easier to position on bony and uneven surfaces than the large 4 cm2 body attachment. It is helpful for toes, knees and ankles, but especially so on the upper lip and chin where you need to get even coverage and protect your lips too.

There’s a bikini attachment with the Lumea SC1999 too. Bikini hair is coarser and more stubborn than other body hair and treatments in this area can sting a bit. Using a lower intensity level helps but this then has a lesser effect. Philips therefore designed a specialist bikini attachment. It has a special filter that makes it comfortable to use a higher more effective intensity level when compared to the body attachment.

Treatment modes

Like all modern devices, the Lumea Advanced comes with 2 treatment modes; a stamping mode and a continuous flash mode.

  • For Stamp & Flash you press and release the trigger for one flash, then re-position and repeat. It’s best for bits that need a bit more care.
  • For Slide & Flash you keep the trigger pressed and after each flash slide it across your skin to the next position, and repeat. This is more comfortable for treating larger areas.
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Contrary to the imagery and videos, I prefer holding the device sidewards and working in rings around the contour of my legs. That way it’s easier to keep track of where I’ve flashed.

Both modes are easy to use. Between each flash, you need to move the attachment head with just the right amount of overlap so the flash window lines up with the previous position. It treats only skin directly in front of the flash window so it pays to concentrate and get this right for the best coverage. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

The ‘Slide & Flash’ mode was good for treating my legs. I had to wait a few seconds between flashes, but it’s easy to get into a good rhythm – just wait for the flash, slide along, ‘flash’ then slide, ‘flash’ etc. Without it, treating my entire legs with Stamp & Flash mode would be very tedious!

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 gun-shape helps because it provides great grip and extra reach when I needed it. The power-cord didn’t cause any notable problems either. It’s long enough and easy to work with once you find the best way to reach all the necessary areas.

 

Tips:

  • Use an extension cable in front of a full-length mirror so you can use all the power-cord to manoeuvre around your body
  • I prefer holding the device 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?

Philips-Lumea-Advanced-SC1997-review-underarmsThe Lumea Advanced has a very large 4 cm2 body treatment window and it takes up to 3.5 seconds between flashes. This means it can cover 120 cm2 (a pair of underarms) in about 1:45 mins.

This matches the Philips Prestige models and compared to other devices these times are good.

Philips advise it takes about 14 mins per full leg. That’s about right. It took around 30 mins for 2 full legs on level 4, using the precision attachment on knees, ankles and toes. The flash rate is slowest on the higher intensity levels so, although it is most effective on the higher levels, you can compromise and use a lower level if time is short.

According to the user manual, the total time to treat full legs, bikini line, armpits and face is 36 minutes. Realistically it was over an hour for me. It got uncomfortable and dull towards the end too. Read on for a helpful full body treatment tip.

A tip for full body treatments

The Lumea Advanced models are mains-powered. This means there’s no battery to charge so you can treat as much of your body as you want in one sitting. However, it takes time and it does get tiresome after a while.

Finding a helpful assistant is the ideal scenario here. It’s more efficient and much more comfortable – for you at least! But if you have to go it alone, try splitting your treatments into 2 sessions, lasting around 30 mins each. Full legs in one session and bikini line, armpits, face etc in another. This way you can concentrate on getting the best coverage possible, and not on how long it is taking. It’s all about the smooth skin results after all!

What do the online reviews say?

The overall score is an impressive and reassuring 4.5 stars from the collated online Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 reviews and SC1997 reviews.

User score 4.5 stars

First up, let’s cover off what the reviewers don’t like.

The bad bits

There’s not much to say here. There aren’t any low 1 or 2 star ratings. A few neutral 3 star ratings came from people who were unsuitable to use it and couple more who hadn’t or were just about to start using it.

The bulk of reviewers left 4 or 5 star ratings.

The best bits

Loads of online reviewers love that the treatments are painless, straightforward and easy. Some comment that the treatments are quick, and others that they are time-consuming. This obviously depends on where it’s being used and the reviewers’ expectations.

user-rating-4-5 They love the lightweight and comfortable to hold gun, and only a few reviewers think a cordless design would be better. In fact, many reviewers specifically say they chose the Lumea Advanced because it is corded and not battery-powered. They prefer a mains-powered operation so they don’t need to worry about the battery running out during their treatment.

A few mention it takes time to get the intensity level right on different body areas. They suggest simply starting on a lower level and moving up to a level that is comfortable. They report great results too.

The regimen is a treatment every 2 weeks for the first 4 to 5 treatments, so that’ll take 8 weeks to complete. After treatments 2 and 3 you should start to notice some reduction, and after treatments 4 to 5 the reduction should be significant. Follow this with regular top ups at 4 to 8 weeks, or when you see hairs growing back. This guide is realistic based on online feedback.

For some it took just a few treatments to see softer, slower and patchy hair regrowth. Many needed to shave only just before their next treatment, and then eventually didn’t need to at all. Best results come once the regimen is complete, and periodic top up treatments keep skin hair-free and smooth.

The reassuring online reviews love the Lumea Advanced. But is one model better than the other?

Philips Lumea SC1999 vs the SC1997

Lady treating bikini area with the Philips Lumea Advanced

The bikini attachment is the only difference between the SC1999 and SC1997. It’s designed to be more comfortable and effective than the body attachment. But you can still use the body or precision attachment. Check the difference in cost between both models to see if it’s worth it!

Both models have the same excellent design, features and performance. The only difference is the specialist bikini attachment, and higher price tag, that comes with the Lumea SC1999.

Think of the bikini attachment as an optional extra. It’s designed to be more comfortable and effective than the body attachment. But it’s still safe to use the body attachment or the precision attachment on the bikini area.

So how much extra cash is it worth? Well, the suggested RRP for the SC1999 is £350 and for the SC1997 it’s £300. Anything more than £50 difference is, in my opinion, hard to justify the benefit of the bikini attachment with the SC1999. Only you can decide if you need the extra attachment and what you are willing to pay.

What are the alternatives?

The Lumea Advanced Sc1999 and SC1997 are fine choices for treating your full body & face or large body areas. But there are 2 strong contenders with high scores and alternative features you’ll like.

Philips Lumea Prestige SC2009 gun-shaped device with the bikini and facial attachment by its side.If you like the idea of a cordless option, check out the Philips Lumea Prestige SC2007 and SC2009. They have an almost identical specification except there’s no skin tone sensor because they are suitable for a broader skin tone range. Philips put a lot of love into this flagship model and the slightly higher price reflects this. They’re a top choice and our Best Buy for full body and face treatments too.

 

Smoothskin Gold black ergonomic hand-held device for the 120 and 200 models. The 300 model is silver and black.The Smoothskin Gold is a great alternative too. There isn’t a smaller attachment for the face or specialist attachment for the bikini line.  But it does win our Best Buy award for the fastest no-fuss treatments. You can finish a full leg in under 9 mins vs 14 mins with the Lumea Advanced. The skin tone sensor is better too. It checks your skin tone and selects the optimum, safe light intensity level for you (it’s suitable for a broader range of skin types too). Treatments are foolproof. It’s tough to choose between them.

Should I buy the Philips Lumea Advanced?

Yes. If your skin type is safely within the suitable range and you don’t demand a cordless design, it’s a great choice.

You get more than enough treatments and a very high, premium specification with good treatment times, all the expected safety features, extra attachments and great online feedback. This makes it a great choice for large areas, full body, and full body and face treatments.  And loads of reviewers choose the Lumea Advanced precisely because it’s the no-hassle, mains-powered and less costly cousin of the very desirable Lumea Prestige models. It looks pretty too.

Where to buy the Philips Lumea Advanced

I receive referral commission if you buy through these links.

The Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999 review Philips Lumea Advanced SC1999, for face, body and bikini

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Philips Lumea Advanced Sc1997 gunshaped device and precision attachment by its side Philips Lumea Advanced SC1997, for face and body

Buy from Amazon: UK & International orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders, choose country at top of page
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia orders with 90 day money back guarantee

 

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

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