Tried & tested | IPL & Laser Reviews

Silk’n Flash&Go Compact review

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

A quick summary…

by | May 18, 2016

The Silk'n Flash&Go Compact (US & Canada) is a neat, handheld, mains-powered home IPL device. It's an older model, since replaced by the Silk'n Flash&Go Express and the Silk'n Infinity. If you can find it, it's a decent model with plenty of flashes, simple operation and is safe for light to medium skin tones. The most recent models from Silk'n give faster sessions, so it's worth choosing them if the price is the same.

3.5 / 5

Face & small bits

💰💰💰

Safe Fitzpatrick skin tones:

Hair colours it works on:

treatment window view and back view with power button / intensity select button of the Silkn Glide 150,000 device

The Silk’n Flash & Go compact is no longer available.
Try the Silk’n Infinity and Smoothskin Pure instead, or check out my best IPL hair removal guide.

The Silk’n Glide / Flash&Go Compact is an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device that’s safe for home-use. After each treatment fewer hairs grow back and they grow back much more slowly. Eventually hair regrowth will stop. Periodic top-up treatments will keep you continuously hair free.

In the USA and Canada, it’s called the Silk’n Flash&Go Compact and it has FDA clearance. In the UK and Europe, it’s called the Silk’n Glide 150,000 and it conforms to EU safety standards with CE certification. The models are identical. They’re both manufactured by Silk’n HomeSkinovations Ltd.

If your skin tone is darker than Fitzpatrick type IV, or you want fast sessions, try the Silk’n Infinity instead.

In this full Silk’n Glide review:

Quality & design

The packaging is magenta and white, professional and sturdy, with a different design and information by country.

The silk'n Flash&Go Compact and Silk'n Glide 150,000 boxes side by side
The UK and Europe box (right)and the USA and Canada box (left)

What’s in the box?

  • Silk’n Glide hair removal device
  • Adaptor
  • User manual
  • Storage case
  • Silk’n warranty card

The Compact is a small, mains-powered IPL device with a long and good quality power cord that fits snug in the base of the device. You may find an extension cable comes in hand for your sessions. The white and magenta styling is cute, and the materials and build quality good.

It’s lightweight but doesn’t feel flimsy. The curves fit comfy in hand and the shape tapers to the flash window. The flash window is 0.9 cm high by 3 cm long, with a smaller opening above it. That’s the skin tone sensor window. It checks your skin at the start and periodically throughout your session. It stops flashes if it detects your skin tone is too dark for safe use.

To protect your eyes, your skin must cover all the sensors around the flash window too. It’ll only flash when they’re all covered. This means you can’t accidentally flash into open air and damage your eyes.

Silk’n Glide 150,000 and the Silk’n Flash&Go Compact side by side showing the different logos
The only difference between the Silk’n Glide 150,000 and the Silk’n Flash&Go Compact model is the logos shown on the devices.

You get 150,000 flashes from the IPL bulb which means it’ll last for 5+ years of monthly whole-body sessions (but it’s a bit too slow to treat large areas). Still, that’s way more flashes than you’ll need to get and maintain your smooth. The kit comes in a small sturdy fabric-covered zip-around storage case. It’s perfect to store everything in and for travel especially. You also get a 2-year warranty too.

The controls are simple and clear, on the end of the device so you can’t accidentally alter them. Press the power button to turn it on and again to cycle up through the 5 IPL intensity levels, and back to 1 again. There’s a large flash button on the side of the device you can press as you hold the device in a natural grip.

A small safety sensor window next to the flash window checks your skin tone at the start and periodically throughout your session. It’ll only flash if your skin is in the suitable range. This protects you so you can’t harm your skin if it’s too dark for safe treatment.

Close up of the power button / intensity selection button and intensity indicator lights on the Silk'n Glide 150,000 / flash&Go compact.
The IPL energy level selector and indicator lights on the Silk’n Compact.

Before you start

Before you start, read the user manual and do a skin sensitivity test. Read the important warnings and reasons the Express may not be safe or suitable for you. Such contraindications include being pregnant, having epilepsy, taking photosensitising medications, skin conditions, on tattoos or after skin peels plus more. Learn more about general contraindications for home IPL

IMPORTANT: With all IPL devices you must shave immediately before the treatment. But, in the UK user manual it says “Best results will be reached when you shave 3 days prior to the treatment or when the hair is 1-2 mm”.

extract from the UK user manual showing the incorrect advice "“Best results will be reached when you shave 3 days prior to the treatment or when the hair is 1-2 mm”. you must shave immediately before treatment.
This guidance in the UK user manual is incorrect. You must shave immediately before your treatment for best and fastest results.

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.

For your skin sensitivioty test, shave first, then 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.

skin tone and hair colour chart from Silk'n USA and UK websites.
This is Silk’n’s skin tone guide chart. Check your tone against this chart and don’t use an IPL level that’s too high for your skin tone!

What’s it like to use?

First shave your hairs and make sure your skin is dry and free of lotions and potions. Get set up with an extension cable if you need extra slack. Power on the device, choose your best intensity level, and place the flash window flush against your skin. A ‘ready’ light blinks when it has good contact. then, press the flash button. The sensor checks your skin tone and flashes if it’s safe.

Then, slide the device over your skin about 1 cm (the height of the flash window) and repeat. Continue until you’ve covered all your hairy areas! You can keep the flash button pressed for continuous flashes in ‘glide’ mode.

Lady treating her underarm with the Silk'n Glide 150,000
The Silk’n Compact is slow to zap large areas like legs (16 to 20 mins) so it’s best for treating smaller body areas like the bikini line, underarms and forearms.

It’s fairly slow to cover your skin in flashes, and it takes between 16 to 20 minutes to flash one full leg. So, it’s close to one hour to flash your full body. that’s slow, tiring and tedious. Choose a faster rival device such as the Smoothskin Pure or Silk’n Infinity for fast whole body sessions.

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.

Tricky bits & helpful tips

Close up of the Silk'n Flash&Go Compact treatment window showing the smaller skin tone sensor window below the larger flash window in the centre of the end of the device.
The business end is a tad bulky and awkward to flash on the upper lip, shins and ankles

The online reviews report a few tricky bits when using the Silk’n Compact. 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.
  • The business-end of the device is quite bulky and the flash window sits in the middle of it. So, it’s sometimes difficult to work out where the flash opening is on your skin. To get even coverage, 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 Compact 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.
Smug lady making it look very easy to position on your upper lip (which is not so much the case).
Smug tache flashing!

And here are a few helpful tips:

  • Find a helpful assistant! This means you don’t have to bend and contort to reach all areas so it’s much more comfortable for you.
  • If you must go it alone on large areas try splitting your treatments into 2 sessions lasting around 30 mins each. For the first session treat your lower legs, underarms and face. And in the second finish with your upper legs, bikini line and tummy! This way you can concentrate on getting the best coverage possible, and not on how long it is taking.
  • Use the Silk’n App to plan and track your sessions so you don’t lose track of where and when you’ve treated.
  • Use an extension cable in front of a full-length mirror so you can use all the power-cord to manoeuvre around your body.

Effort and 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. Hair regrowth becomes slower, softer, finer and lighter than before. Eventually bald patches appear and you won’t need to shave so frequently. However, as with all at-home IPL devices results vary by individual. so, you may need more treatments or more regular top-up sessions.

The Silk’n Glide models

3 Silk'n Glide devices side by side in purple (150000), green (50000) and blue (30000)
The Silk’n Glide 150,000 is magenta, the Silk’n Glide 50,000 is green and the Silk’n Glide 30,000 is blue.

You may find three Silk’n Glide models still available in the UK and Europe. The only differences are the colours and the number of flashes each gives.

  • Silk’n Glide 150,000 / Compact is white and magenta and the flashes lasts around 5+ years of monthly full body sessions. It also comes with a handy storage case.
  • Silk’n Glide 50,000 is white and green ans the flashes last up to 2 years of monthly full body sessions.
  • Silk’n Glide 30,000 is blue and white and the flashes last around 1 year of monthly full body sessions.

Silk’n Flash & Go Compact Review Summary

This is a simple, no frills at-home IPL device from Silk’n that’s safe for fair to medium skin tones. It gives plenty flashes but slow sessions, so it’s best for treating smaller body areas only. Try the newer Silk’n Flash & Go Express for faster sessions, and the Silk’n Infinity for faster sessions and dark skin tones.

The Silk'n Flash&Go Compact device and power pack / cable fit suggly inside the sturdy pink storage case.
Lamp lifetime

⚡⚡⚡⚡

Plenty of flashes to give 5+ years of monthly use.

Ease of use

👍👍

A light-weight, mains-powered basic choice with built-in safety features for up to medium skin tones. Faster options are available for larger areas, and it’s a bit bulky so it’s hard to flash your upper lip and other uneven surfaces.

Effort & Results

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Do 4 treatments at 2-week intervals (taking 6 weeks), continue if you’re not yet hair-free. Then, do top-ups monthly to stay smooth.

Pros

  • Design is comfortable to hold
  • Simple to operate
  • Love the sturdy storage case
  • Multi-plug adaptors make it a convenient travelling buddy
  • FDA cleared and CE certified

Cons

  • It’s sometimes difficult to flash 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
  • Sessions are slow so use it on smaller body areas only

The Silk’n Flash & Go compact is no longer available.
Try the Silk’n Infinity and Smoothskin Pure instead, or check out my best IPL hair removal guide.

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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