The Silk’n Glide Xpress / Flash&Go Express is a compact, no-frills mains-powered device. It’s fast to apply taking around 8 mins per leg. And it’ll last around 15 years of use. It’s competitively priced too, so the speedy application and long lamp lifetime means it’s a smart investment for full body treatments. It’s one of the best no-frills choices out there with good online feedback. And, for extra security and peace of mind, Silkn.com offer a 2-year warranty and 60-day money back guarantee (USA and Canada only). Keep reading this full Silk’n Glide Xpress review and Flash&Go Express review to see if it’s the right one for you.
A no-frills but fast device on sale at £199 /$299, with periodic offers. Read the full review to see how it compares to the alternatives at a similar price.
What is it?
The Silk’n Glide Xpress / Flash&Go Express is an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device that’s safe for home-use. The IPL disables your hair follicles so after each treatment your hair grows slower and fewer hairs grow back. Eventually hair regrowth will stop and periodic top-up treatments will keep you continuously hair free.
Use it on your body and face (below the cheekbones).
In the USA and Canada, it’s called the Silk’n Flash&Go Express and it has FDA clearance. In the UK and Europe, it’s called the Silk’n Glide Xpress and it conforms to EU safety standards with CE certification. The models are identical. They’re both manufactured by Silk’n HomeSkinovations Ltd.
The websites, user manuals and marketing approach are different across countries. The USA and Canada provides a much better experience than in UK. Learn more in the review.
You start with 4 treatments at 2-week intervals (taking 6 weeks), then continue until you get your desired results. Stay hair-free with monthly top-up treatments. You may need them less frequently over time.
The Silk’n Glide Xpress / Flash&Go Express comes with 300,000 flashes so it’ll last around 15 years of use, plenty for your full body. It’s twice as fast to apply as the other Silk’n Glide / Compact model too. This means it’s much better suited to treating your full body. Learn more in the full review.
In this full Flash&Go Express review:
- Is it good value for money?
- What’s it like to use?
- Are the treatment times quick?
- What’s the feedback from the online Silk’n Flash&Go Express reviews?
- What’s the customer support like from Silk’n?
- The Silk’n Glide Xpress vs the Flash&Go Express – are they different?
- What alternatives should I consider?
- Pros and cons of the Silk’n Glide Xpress
- Should I buy it?
- Where to buy it
Is the Silk’n Glide Xpress / Flash&Go Express good value?
Yes. With the 2.7 cm² treatment window and 300,000 flashes you can cover a maximum treatment area of 810,000 cm². That’s enough for about 200 full body treatments (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face). After the start-up phase this will last about 15 years of monthly top-up treatments!
That’s plenty of treatments, more than you’ll ever need. You can often find it on offer too.
N.B. I’ve used only the bulb life to calculate the years of use. General usage and wear and tear can also affect how long the machine keeps working.
What’s it like to use the Silk’n Glide Xpress / Flash&Go Express?
First impressions are good. The compact rich-blue box has a white slide-off sleeve showing all the key information including the suitable skin tones chart and suggested intensity levels. You’ll need to reference this later.
What’s in the box?
- Express Hair Removal Device
- Deluxe Carrying Case
- Cleaning cloth
- Power Cord
- European, Asian, North American plug adaptors
- User Manual
The Express device and the white power pack lie in the neat, protective grey zip-up storage case. It’s tidy, compact and portable.
The hand-held device is compact with a simple design and shape. It’s white with a bold blue block of colour. It’s no-frills, so don’t expect a fancy ergonomic grip, metallic trim and other refinements. Whilst compact in size, it’s still robust and comfortable to hold. The power cord looks long enough and it fits securely in the base of the device.
“It’s lightweight but doesn’t feel cheap and is fairly easy to work with and was very quick and easy to use as well.” – Influenster reviewer
Let’s start with the user manual.
Read the user manual
There’s a different user manual for the USA and Canada. I find it better laid out, more logical and easier to absorb than the UK version.
However, both plainly set out the risks and possible side effects. Please read them to check it’s safe for you. The manuals do a good job of explaining how to use the device, and what sounds and sensations to expect during use.
The UK user manual is the same as for the other Silk’n Glide models and as such it contains a fundamental error noted below.
IMPORTANT: With all IPL devices you must shave immediately before the treatment. But, in the UK user manual I spotted “Best results will be reached when you shave 3 days prior to the treatment or when the hair is 1-2 mm”.
I checked this with the Silk’n UK support team and they acknowledge it’s an error. You must shave immediately before your treatment. The IPL will be less effective on longer hair. Not a great first impression from the Silk’n UK user manual.
Choosing your intensity level and skin sensitivity test
The Express has 5 intensity levels, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest.
The USA / Canada user manual for Flash&Go Express says do your first treatment on the lowest intensity setting (1). If it’s comfortable and you have no reactions then move up a level for the next session.
The manual also warns “Do not raise the energy level during a hair removal session even if you experience no discomfort. Discomfort may also appear sometime after the session.”
I have 2 concerns with this approach.
- There’s no direction to perform a skin sensitivity test.
- If you have lighter skin and it’s safe for you, it’ll take you 5 treatments over 6 weeks to reach the highest intensity level. Because the device is most effective on the higher levels this will slow down your results. The advertised and expected results will take longer to see. A few online reviewers also share this feedback.
The solution is a skin sensitivity test, and I recommend you follow the guidelines from the UK Silk’n Glide user manual, as follows:
For your skin test
Shave first, use the skin tone sensor to check your skin. Then simply start at the lowest level (1) and flash your skin. If that’s comfortable, move up a level and repeat on a different spot. Stop if it becomes uncomfortable or painful. Wait for 1 hour and if there’s no reaction continue with your treatment at the highest level that was comfortable. Do this for each separate area you want to treat.
With this guidance the Silk’n UK manual is helping you choose your intensity level and do a skin sensitivity test at the same time. The user manual doesn’t include a skin tone / intensity level guide, but it’s printed on the packaging and on the website. Use it to work out the maximum intensity level to test your skin at. It’s below for your reference.
Following this guidance, you’ll start your first treatment at the highest and safest intensity level for your skin. And because the higher levels are more effective, you’ll get faster, better results.
Note: Silkn.com FAQs supports this approach by stating “Progress quickly to high energy levels – once you have tested all treatment areas on the low energy setting, we recommend you move up to higher levels.” But if you’re unsure what to do, please check with Silk’n customer support.
Please be safe: Before using always read the user manual.
It’s very easy to get started and as most reviewers comment it’s super-simple and fast to use!
- Shave and make sure your skin is clean, dry and free of lotions and deodorant.
- 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.
- Plug it in and simply press the power button to move up the levels and the indicator lights around the button show the selected level.
- A ‘ready’ light will blink when it’s in full contact with your skin.
- Press the flash button and the skin tone sensor checks your skin tone. It’ll flash only if it reads a suitable tone. When it flashes you’ll hear a ‘pop’ sound.
The flashes are bright, so don’t look directly at them. Make sure you use it in a well-lit room, but avoid vanity mirrors that can cast shadows across your skin. Try wearing sunglasses if the flashes are too much.
Skin tone sensor & safety
The device checks your skin tone using the small safety sensor window below the flash window. It checks at the start of your treatment and periodically throughout your session. It won’t flash if your skin tone is out of the safe range. This protects you so you can’t harm your skin if it’s too dark for safe treatment.
To protect your eyes your skin must cover all the sensors around the treatment window. It’ll only flash when they’re all covered. This means you can’t accidentally flash into open air and damage your eyes.
These safety features make it a bit difficult to get good contact on small areas like your upper lip. Silk’n.com provide some good advice in response to user reviews:
“The upper lip can be tricky to treat but it can be done. Try rolling your lips in towards your mouth. This stretches the skin above the lips. It slightly increases the area for you to treat and also makes it a bit of a flatter surface.” from Silk.com support
The Flash&Go Express has 2 standard treatment modes of stamping for a single flash (called Pulse) or continuous flashes (called Gliding).
Use Pulse mode to cover small areas and uneven surfaces. Place the device on your skin, press and release the flash button. Then position on the next spot and repeat.
Gliding makes it more comfortable to hold when treating larger areas like your legs. Position the device on your skin and press and hold the flash button. Then, keeping good contact, slide it over your skin a small space at a time. Try to move it just the height of the flash window (1 cm), to get good coverage in time with the flashes.
How quick are the treatments?
So you can compare it, let’s see how long it takes to treat a pair of underarms.
The Flash&Go Express has a 2.7 cm² treatment window and it flashes once every 1 or 2 seconds dependent on the intensity level used. So, to treat a pair of underarms (an area roughly 120 cm²) it’ll take from around 44 seconds up to 1:29 minutes. It’s quick!
Silk’n.com say the Flash&Go Express “reduces treatment times by up to 50%” vs the Flash&Go Compact model. That model takes around 16 mins per leg, so you’re looking at from 8 mins per leg here. That’s good and makes the Flash&Go a good choice for full body treatments and large areas treated in one session.
Silk’n say it takes 20 mins to complete a full body treatment. But a few reviewers comment it takes slightly longer than that. They’re done in under 30 minutes which is fast work. So, I recommend the Express for full body treatments and large areas treated in one session.
Tricky bits and helpful tips
The online reviews report a few tricky bits when using the Silk’n Glide Xpress. I’ve listed them here for ease of reference.
- There’s no smaller treatment window for small and uneven areas. It takes a bit of practise to activate a flash on areas like shins, knees and ankles.
- It’s awkward to position on the small upper lip area. Try blowing out your cheeks or sucking in your lips to make it easier.
- Some found it difficult to position to get good coverage because it’s hard to work out where the flash window is. That’s because the business-end of the device is quite large and the flash window sits in the middle of it. Try sliding it 1 cm at a time. This is the height of the flash window and means you’ll get no gaps or overlap in the flashes.
- A few reviewers have trouble where the Flash&Go Express won’t flash and it takes some time and effort to get it right. Silk’n advise make sure there aren’t any shadows cast on your skin which cause the sensor to disable the flashes. Avoid using it with a bright vanity mirror. Ensure you’re covering the skin tone sensor and skin contact sensors properly.
What do online reviews say?
From the collated online Flash&Go Express and Silk’n Glide Xpress reviews, it scores a very good 4.0 stars.
Most of the reviews shown on Kohls.com note they are taken from Silkn.com for the Express model. To avoid duplicates I’ve excluded the Silk’n reviews from the user rating score. In addition, the score on Silkn.com is an average score for all their current and previous HPL models including the Express. It’s hard to distinguish the actual feedback for the Express model here, so referring to the feedback on Kohl’s is more reliable.
Let’s start with the lower-rated reviews – what do they say?
The bad bits
Around 13% of the online reviews leave low ratings. What do they report?
Faults and problems
A handful of these report faults where the device stopped flashing altogether and they were well within the 300,000 flashes. This is a bit worrying, but the Silk’n warranty covers you for this. In the UK and Europe the warranty is within 2 years of purchase, and 1 year in the USA and Canada (but if you buy from Silkn.com this is doubled). Be sure to retain your receipt for proof of purchase.
Another handful are frustrated and having trouble getting the Express to flash. Some are specific and state it’s hard to get good contact on areas like the upper lip, toes, ankles and knees. A few are unable to get it to flash in these areas at all. Others say it works sometimes. One user describes it as ‘very finicky’ when it will ‘stop working for no reason’.
A notable number give low ratings because they haven’t got the results they expect. Around half of these reviewers said they saw no results but didn’t how many treatments they’d tried. Or they’d completed just a few treatments and really need to try for longer. But the rest had, leaving reviews at various time frames.
Some said they saw no difference after 3 or 4 months of use. Another tried for 7 months and another for nearly a year. Other reviewers expected more from their results. They report their hair grows back finer or patchy. After a few months of use one lady noted she could now shave her underarms every 2 days instead of every 1, but it falls short of their expectations for the time and effort they put in.
Neutral 3 star reviews
Around 12% of the ratings come from neutral 3-star reviews.
Most of these say it works, but you need patience because results are slow to appear. A few suggest this is probably due to starting their first treatments on the lowest intensity settings which, as one reviewer puts it “seriously sets back the advertised result timeline.” To get your best results follow the directions for a skin sensitivity test above.
For others it slows their hair growth after prolonged use, and the regrowth is much finer. But they haven’t reached a continuous hair-free state. And a handful more neutral reviews are down to mixed experiences with much better results on some body areas versus others.
There are loads more positive reviews. Here’s what they have to say.
The good bits
A large number of reviewers got the Flash&Go Express free of charge in exchange for their honest review. And these reviews seem genuine and in the main are helpful and informative. Other reviews come from Kohls / Silkn.com and Amazon.
What they like
Loads of reviewers love the simplicity of the Flash&Go Express. It’s easy to hold and use, there’s virtually painless and treatments are quick.
Reviewers also like the compact, portable design and multi-plug adaptors that make it a convenient travelling buddy. The protective zip-up storage case and cleaning cloth are two little touches that make a big difference too.
The helpful Silkn.com customer service team get some love in the reviews too. As does the Silk’s App. It reminds you of your intensity level and when you’re next treatment’s due for each different body area.
Loads of reviews report good results too.
Good hair reduction results
Start with 4 treatments at 2 week intervals (this takes 6 weeks), then as Silkn.com suggest ‘treatments should be done if hairs have re-grown or until you reach the results you desire’. Top-up treatments will maintain your results too, as and when you see regrowth.
Silkn.com says generally most notice hair growth lessening after 4 treatments, and very good results after 6 treatments.
Several positive reviews say it works but don’t say how long it took to see results. Some see results from as early as the first, second and third treatments. Most begin to see results after 4 treatments (6 weeks), and this ranges from a ‘slight’ up to an impressive 80% reduction in hair.
Many encourage you need to stick with the schedule to get good results, and these results increase over time. They report hair regrowth is softer, finer and lighter than before. Hair grows slower and eventually bald patches appear. Shaving is needed less frequently too. Many do it just once a week now verses the tedious daily shaving required before.
“after 3 or 4 treatments I have absolutely noticed that my hair has become finer and has taken longer to grow back, I am thrilled with being able to shave less and not deal with the bumps and cuts that sometimes come with shaving.” – Silkn.com reviewer
“I’ve finished with my 8th treatment session last week and the difference in hair growth is amazing. The hair on my legs has virtually quit growing and what’s left is super fine and very sparse.” – Influenster reviewer
Some reviews report better results on different body parts. But there’s no distinct pattern – it differs by review. One reviewer reports she got no results on her blonde body hair, but is still happy because the Flash&Go Express did work on her hubby’s dark chest hair!
If you’re in the USA and Canada, the pre-sales information and experience on Silkn.com is excellent. It’s flaky in the UK.
USA and Canada have excellent support
The customer support in the USA and Canada is excellent from Silkn.com. The website has FAQs, user manual downloads and comprehensive clear information. You also get an extended 2-year warranty if you buy through Silkn.com.
Their customer service is great too.
To get in touch you can call, use an online form or online chat. The team are prompt and thorough and offer helpful advice. You feel you’re in safe hands if you have any problems or need advice.
UK and Europe average support
In the UK and Europe, the website Silkn.eu/en is ok, but there’s room for improvement.
You can access the Glide user manual but unfortunately you can’t access FAQs because the link doesn’t go anywhere. The feature descriptions are enthusiastic but overemphasised, sometimes contradictory and confusing.
The site attempts to explain what the proprietary Silk’n HPL (Home Pulsed Light) is. But after reading how it’s different to other home IPL devices, I’m left thinking it sounds exactly the same.
You do get a 2-year manufacturer warranty wherever you buy from, but no money back guarantee from Silk’n Europe or other retailers.
You can contact the UK and Europe support team by email or phone. I found the responses a bit slow, taking more than a few days. They were mainly helpful but lacked the detail, care and reassurance that comes from the North American customer support.
So are there any differences between the Silk’n Glide Xpress and Flash&Go Express models?
Silk’n Glide Xpress vs Flash&Go Express
They’re both identical save for the logos and how they’re marketed in Europe vs the USA and Canada. The advertised differences include safe skin tones, suitable hair colours and tanning. I’ll cover these here because it’s important you have the facts before you buy.
SAFE SKIN TONES
On Silkn.com for USA and Canada customers it states the Flash&Go Express is safe for light to medium skin tones and it’s ‘ideal for use with lighter skin tones (I – IV on the Fitzpatrick Skin Tone Classification Scale)’. The user manual also clearly states ‘DO NOT USE Flash&Go™ on naturally dark skin!’. The skin tone and intensity chart found on the website and packaging supports this.
In the UK and Europe, we’re advised the Silk’n glide Xpress is ‘also suitable for darker complexions’ if using it on intensity level 1. However, they promote the same skin tone and intensity level chart. I find this contradictory and confusing, especially as Silk’n Europe don’t refer to the Fitzpatrick scale for clarification.
If you have a darker skin tone, it’s very important you know before you buy that it’s safe for your skin and that it will activate and flash. I contacted Silk’n Europe for clarification but only received the same information available on the website. They wouldn’t advise based on the Fitzpatrick scale.
So, using the supplied chart, I’d suggest the safe skin tone range is indeed light to medium as per the USA website guidance (so up to Fitzpatrick IV).
If you have dark skin try my recommended Best Buy for dark and black skin tone.
SUITABLE HAIR COLOURS
The skin tone and intensity chart also implies you can treat lighter hair (light blonde, red, grey / white). This is different to other IPL devices, so is this correct?
The Flash&Go Express user manual states ‘The Flash&Go™ device may not be as effective on naturally white, grey, blond and red body hair.’ The Silkn.com website is more definite and says ‘Blonde, grey or white hair – Individuals with these colors lack pigment in their hair and are not candidates for treatment.’ So, for those in Canada and USA Silk’n advise the Flash&Go Express is not suitable for lighter hair.
The Silk’n Glide Xpress UK website guidance states “HPL™ may not be effective on naturally blond, red or grey hair, because these hair colours contain fewer pigments. Clinical trials have nevertheless proven that some users with a lighter hair colour are still able to achieve satisfactory results.”
Personally, I’d want a better guarantee than ‘some users’ if I were using it to reduce fair hair. I think the guidance is confusing and misleading, and if you have lighter hair your results may be disappointing at best. Instead, you can try my recommended Best Buy for fair hair.
Stick with my guidance at the start of the review and use it on black, brown and dark blonde hair colours.
TANNING AND IPL WITH THE Express
The USA / Canada guidance with the Flash& Go Express states clearly to avoid sun exposure for 4 weeks before a treatment, and to avoid the sun / tanning for 2 weeks after your treatment. You should also use a sunscreen SPF 30 or higher for 2 weeks after your treatment.
That’s consistent with other home-use IPL devices and it’s made to protect you. Your skin is extra sensitive after tanning, and that increases the risk of side effects from IPL, such as burns, blisters, discolouration and scarring. Your skin is more sensitive after your IPL treatments too so there’s a higher risk of sunburn if you go out in the sun.
All other home IPL devices have similar strict guidance as per the above. But the UK and Europe’s Silk’n Glide Xpress is different and unique.
Here it says you can use the lowest setting (level 1) before and after sunbathing.
Based on this guidance you could use it on level 1 during the summer months for top-ups with just your usual sun skincare routine and no extra precautions.
N.B. This assumes you have already reached your best results using the device at the highest level suitable for your skin and that level 1 intensity level is enough to maintain these results. If you use levels 2 to 5 you must avoid the sun before and after treatments as per the advice above.
WHY these DIFFERENCES?
Silk’n Home Skinovations manufacture both devices with an identical specification, so it seems strange they have different advertised benefits. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a helpful answer from Silk’n on this. But I assume it’s down to the FDA clearance necessary in the US to market a device.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must provide official clearance for all marketed devices. They grant clearance usually on the basis that a new device is “substantially equivalent” to another that’s already cleared. So, a manufacturer sends evidence to show their device closely matches a cleared device.
If that device isn’t cleared for a specific use i.e. after sunbathing or dark skin tones, you can’t market yours as safe for it either. This would explain why in the USA Silk’n does not and cannot market the the Flash&Go Express as safe for darker complexions or tanning on intensity level 1.
Before you decide, let’s see what the alternatives are.
What are the alternatives?
The alternatives to the Flash&Go Express are the Braun Silk Expert 3 and the Smoothskin Bare. They are all in the same price range. In the next sections I explain what’s similar, what’s different and why you should consider them.
Braun Gillette Venus Silk Expert
The Braun Silk Expert 3 is around the same price. It operates at similar low intensities to the Express and is safe for light to medium-dark skin tones (I to V). The design and shape is much fancier though.
The standout feature of the Silk Expert 3 is the advanced skin tone sensor. It checks your skin tone before each and every flash then chooses the best intensity level for you. So it’s safe, straightforward and foolproof. But it’s slower to apply. It takes around 15+ mins for a full leg so it’s not as good if you want to treat your full body in one sitting.
The faster and more powerful version is the Braun Silk Expert 5 IPL. It’s price fluctuates so if it’s close to the Flash&Go Express, I recommend this.
The Smoothskin Bare is another device that operates at similar lower intensities and is safe for light to medium-dark skin tones (I to V). But it’s different in a very good way.
It’s no-frills but feels great, and it’s so simple to use because you just plug it in and go. It’s easier than the Express to manoeuvre and position, even on uneven areas like your upper lip. It gives unlimited flashes so you’ll never run out, and it’s affordable at around £199/ $299 USD / $399 AUD.
But the standout difference is it’s ultrafast. A full leg takes from just 4+mins! You get excellent support from Smoothskin too.
Online reviewers say it’s “a massive game-changer when it comes to hair removal” because it’s so quick. Even those too busy (or lazy) can fit it in – read the full review here.
The following table compares the scores, key features and specification of the recommended alternatives.
|Silk'n Flash& Go Express||Braun Silk Expert 3 IPL||Smoothskin Bare|
|Lamp Lifetime||Lamp Lifetime||Lamp Lifetime
|Customer Support (USA & Canada)||Customer Support||Customer Support
Here’s a quick round-up of the pros and cons before you decide.
- Attractive price at $299
- It’s excellent value for money and for full body treatments will last up to 15 years
- Quick treatments, good for treating your full body in one session
- Compact design is comfortable to hold
- Simple to operate
- The protection of the zip-up case is a great extra – it’s convenient and easy to store
- It’s mains-powered, so simply plug in and go
- All the safety and treatment features you’d expect
- Integrated skin tone sensor
- Integrated UV filter
- FDA cleared and CE mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety requirements)
- Extended 2-year warranty when bought from Silkn.com
- 60-day money back guarantee when bought from Silkn.com
- Quick and helpful responses from Silk’n USA customer support
- It’s sometimes difficult to activate on small, curved and uneven areas like knees and shins
- Takes practise around the upper lip
- Skin tone sensor doesn’t select your intensity level
- The Patented HPL™ Technology is not adequately explained by Silk’n
Should I buy the Flash&Go Express?
Yes. If you want a straightforward, no-frills IPL machine this is an affordable, great-value choice.
The Silk’n Glide Xpress is let down by poor customer support, website and instructional information in the Europe and UK. And there are relatively few UK and European customer reviews to rely on. But the equivalent model in the US and Canada enjoys high praise.
It’s super value when compared to other brands because you get a lot for your money. It’s a smart investment with over 15 years’ worth of full body treatments. That’s probably more than you’ll ever use. And it’s designed to give you fast treatments too, one of the fastest from this type of compact model. It’s one of the best no-frills choices out there and the user reviews give it love too.
Some of the user reviews suggest you may need more treatments than advertised to see good results, so bear this in mind. You should also start at the highest intensity level safe for your skin tone.
Those in the USA and Canada can buy the Flash&Go Express from Silkn.com for a 60-day money back guarantee, money off and extended 2 year warranty. And excellent customer service.
You can check prices or buy the silk’n Glide Xpress / Flash&Go Express using the links below.
Where to buy the Silk'n Flash&Go Express / Silk'n Glide XpressIf you found my review helpful and decide to buy, please support WeAreBodyBeautiful.com by shopping through my links (I earn commission for sales but this doesn't increase your price).
Please also check for any taxes or customs duties applicable for delivery to your home country.
|Silk'n Flash&Go Express, for body & face
Buy from Silkn.com: USA & Canada orders, free shipping, 60 day money back guarantee, 2 year warranty, and offer code available on the site
Buy from Amazon: US & Global orders
Buy from Amazon: UK & Europe orders
|Silk'n Glide Xpress, for body & face
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders.
Buy from Amazon UK & European orders
Still not sure? Check out my recommended Best Buy home laser and IPL hair removal machines here