Tried & tested | IPL & Laser Reviews

Smoothskin Bare Plus home IPL review

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

A quick summary…

by | April 6, 2020

The Bare+ is a cute, fast, medium-power home IPL that's super-simple to use. Just position and zap. It's safe for light to medium skin and it works on dark hair. Compact, light-weight and nimble, this beaut flashes your whole-body in around 30 minutes. And all for under £200 and with a Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee too. I have big love for this little guy.

4.4 / 5

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

💰💰

Safe Fitzpatrick skin tones:

Hair colours it works on:

Tried & tested Smoothskin Bare+ review by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com It's our best fast, affordable home IPL for light to medium skin tones

Buy Smoothskin Bare+ and Bare+ Fit

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NOTE: The Smoothskin Bare+ Fit comes with an smaller, additional flash window attachment for more precise flashes. You clip it over the larger window to create a smaller opening. The Smoothskin Bare+ has only the standard flash window.

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The Smoothskin Bare Plus (known as the Bare+) uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) that’s safe for use on the body and face. It slows and reduces hair regrowth after each treatment. Eventually hair stops growing and periodic use will keep you fuzz and stubble free. Learn more about how home IPL works here.

In this Smoothskin Bare Plus review (Bare+):

First impressions

I love the Smoothskin Bare+ packaging. It really stands out. It’s a neat, sturdy black box with a cute, fun and friendly pink and black slide-off sleeve. Everything is secure and tidy inside the box and made mostly from recyclable cardboard too. The attention to detail is beautiful so it’s like unwrapping a thoughtful and expensive gift.

The cute and friendly Smoothskin Bare+ box
Compact, cute and friendly packaging
the back of the info sleeve on the Smoothskin Bare+ box
Basic multi-lingual info and skin tone chart on the info sleeve.
p

Hmmm: The safe skin tone diagram below implies the Bare+ is safe for all but the darkest skin tones. However, the medium power IPL means it could smart a lot on darker tones. So, I double checked the guidance and confirm it’s best suited to light to medium tones (which shouldn’t need the option of a gentle mode either).

The skin tone chart on the Bare+ box is not very clear and a bit misleading. The Bare+ is NOT safe for dark skin tones. Only for light to medium tones.
Although the chart shows safe light to dark skin tones, it’s really best suited to light to medium skin tones.
Inside the smoothskin bare+ box
The Smoothskin Bare+ device nestled on a carboard moulded bed
Smoothskin Bare+ packaging is made of recyclable cardboard
Simple, classy styling and proud to be British.
The Bare+ and the long cable and power pcak secured in slide off black cardboard with "British Beauty Tech" embossed on the top. Lovely detailing and hardly any plastic!
Tidy cardboard wrapper for the power cables and small user guide booklet
The contents of the cute Bare+ packaning presented in front of the box.
The contents inside the attractive packaging

What’s in the box?

  • Smoothskin Bare+ device
  • Precision widow (Bare+ Fit only)
  • Fixed power cable and power pack
  • UK plug adaptor
  • Quick start user guide

The Bare+ device is light-weight but feels solid and well-made. It’s the smallest device I’ve tested and the shape fits perfectly in my palm. It feels very good to hold.

Before you start

First, you must read the user guide, full manual and do a skin sensitivity test.

The Bare+ home IPL device next to the short and sweet user guide.
The simplified 9 step user guide

The printed user guide you get with the Bare+ is a very quick and simple read. It outlines very simple steps to use the Bare+ over just 9 pages explaining to shave, plugin, press on your skin, press the flash button, glide & stamp mode, unplug, and the treatment schedule.

close up of the Bare+ user guide noting you must check the online guide for a full list of reasons not to use the Bare+ device.
Check all the contraindications in the full guide online

On the final page the user guide notes a few key reasons you are not suitable to use the Bare+ home IPL such as varicose veins, pregnancy, over freckles and medications. There are more medical and skin conditions which apply too, listed in the online user guide. You can learn more about home IPL contraindications here, and see the full Smoothskin Bare+ user guide here.

Smoothskin give guidance on tanning and sun exposure too, to keep your skin safe and avoid side effects. On the website, Smoothskin advise:

DO

✔️ Avoid tanning for 48 hours before using the Bare+

✔️ Avoid tanning for 24 hours after using the Bare+, and cover up or use a sunblock (SPF50) in the sun for 48 hours after a treatment

There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here

DON’T

❌ Don’t use the Bare+ on skin that’s fake-tanned

❌ Don’t use the Bare+ on sunburned skin

You’ll also find instruction in the full user guide to do a skin sensitivity test in each treatment area. If, after 24 hours, your skin is normal, crack on with your first session (but avoid the test patch until your next weekly session).

Getting started

close-up photo of a black Hollywood Browzer dermaplaning tool. I recommend this instead of shaving your face before home IPL hair removal!
Dermaplaning is an effective and feminine alternative to shaving your face!

You can learn more detail about how to prepare for your sessions here. And if you’ll be zapping facial or neck hairs I recommend dermaplaning as an alternative to shaving. Learn more about dermaplaning here, and you’ll find buy links for dermaplaning tools at the end of this review.

Here’s a quick summary on how to use the Bare+, and there’s loads more detail in the following sections.

  1. Shave before every treatment (unless there’s no hair left)
  2. Plugin and press against your skin
  3. Press the flash button, then slide to the next spot
  4. Repeat until the treatment area is all zapped

For this review I tested the Bare+ on full legs, extended bikini line, tummy, underarms and face. And it’s one of the simplest, fastest, least faff home IPLs you can choose. Here’s my detailed feedback.

Quality & design

Close-up of the Bare+ home IPL device in my hand.
Classy colours and tactile, quality materials

I love the simple black and rose-gold styling with a glossy back top and grippy bottom where your fingers naturally rest. And whilst it’s light-weight at around 200g, it’s reassuringly robust and solid with no creaks or cracks.

Close-up photo of the cute rose-gold ribbon detailing and 'SS' logo on the Bare+ home IPL device
Cute details and Smoothskin branding
Compact Bare+ fits in your palm and is nimble, not bulky.
13cm long, 7.5cm wide and 4.5cm deep. Curvy little beaut

The compact, curvy shape is simple and ergonomic. And the size is perfect. It’s slightly fatter in the middle so the curves give a secure and natural grip. It’s very handy and I can change grips without help from my other hand.

2 comfortable grips with the Bare+ home IPL, depending on the bosy area.
Left: Grip #1 for legs, tummy & bikini. Right: Grip #2 for face & underarms

The shape tapers neatly to the business end so it’s easy to see where you’re flashing too.

Angles photo of the Bare+ device in my hand showing the tapered end that gives good visibility of the flash window.
A fixed medium-sized multi-purpose flash window (1cm by 3cm)
p

TIP: The latest model – Smoothskin Bare+ Fit – comes with a smaller precision window. It slips over the fixed window, and creates a smaller opening which is easier to position and flash on more awkward areas.

There’s a thick and flexible 2 metre power cord to the power pack which then attaches to a separate 50cm long mains cable. The long cable is fixed in the device, so the weight of the power pack won’t pull it out. It doesn’t tangle and it’s long enough to manoeuvre around your body, but an extension cable is handy to have too. There’s more on this later.

There’s even a small elastic attached to the cable so you can neatly wind and secure it once you’re done. I love this simple attention to detail.

The Bare+ device, 2 metre long, bendy power and mains cable neatly tied
2-metre thick and flexible power cable
The power cord is fixed securely into the base of the Bare+ device
Fixed power cable so it won’t fall out mid-zap!

Straightforward

The simple design is straightforward to use too.

There are no dials or buttons to select an intensity level. That’s because it has just one medium power intensity level of 4 J/cm2. There’s not even a power button. Just plug it in and it powers on. Position it on your skin and press the large flash button with the rose-gold ribbon running through the middle. It’s that simple.

Bare+ home IPL device has just one large button to operate it
One large flash button. That’s it.

To keep your skin safe, there’s also a skin tone sensor. It’s the little blue light above the flash window. It scans your skin and won’t flash if it detects your skin tone is too dark. And to protect your eyes, it also won’t flash unless your skin covers the entire flash window. In both cases it shows a red light around the flash button.

Bright blue skin tone sensor light above the Bare+ flash window.
Small bright blue light of the skin tone sensor
The indicator light shows red and it won't flash f your skin is too dark for safe treatment, or if you don't have full skin contact.
Red light say no!

But if your skin tone is safe and you have good skin contact, you’ll see a white light around the flash window. It’s best to keep the button facing you as you work around your body so you can check these lights.

The indicator light shows white and is ready to flash if your skin tone is safe, and when you have full skin contact
White light say go!

Fast

The Bare+ is nippy too! Smoothskin say you get 100 flashes per minute which is a flash every 0.6 seconds. That’s fast, and matched only by the more expensive Braun Pro 5 IPL and the even quicker Smoothskin Pure. In our tests it takes around 11 minutes to flash a full leg and just under 30 minutes for a whole-body (very thorough full legs, bikini, underarms and face).

Related: The fastest home IPLs head-to-head: Braun Pro 5 vs Smoothskin Pure

Flashing my leg with the Bare+ home IPL - it's one of the fastest so good for large areas and whole-body sessions.
One of the fastest – a full leg zappage in around 11 mins.

That’s not as fast as Smoothskin suggest. This is likely because, as our testers found, awkward and bony areas slow you down a bit. Also, the flash rate slowed a bit after a few minutes too. That’s because the Bare+ heats up and needs a little longer to recharge in-between flashes.

Regardless, the Bare+ is one of the fastest home IPLs. Keep the flash button pressed for continuous flashes at a quick, steady pace. This makes for a smooth and controlled glide over your skin. It works for legs and underarms, and a stamp motion gives more precision on bikini line and face.

What does it feel like?

You hear the cooling fan whir and a soft pop with each flash.

A split-second flash of the Bare+ IPL caught on camera!
Quick but bright flashes (caught on camera!)

The flashes are bright, but harmless to your eyes. However, they can get a bit irritating. Try not to look directly at them. To help, use the Bare+ in a well-lit room (this lessens the glare), and wear sunglasses if it’s too much. But don’t worry. You don’t need protective goggles!

Zap my underarm with the Bare+ home IPL
Mostly warm, sometimes hot – but always bearable.

The flashes feel warm, and sometimes a bit hot on sensitive areas like the bikini line and underarms. Weirdly, I also find tops of my thighs feel it more. However, compared to more powerful IPLs I experience zero ‘smarting’ sensation and it’s totally bearable.

p

TIP: Smoothskin suggest you zap more stubborn hair such as bikini and underarms up to 3 times in one session.

The Bare+ is very fast. To start the flashes come fast and you can simply glide the device over your skin. However, after a minute or so as the Bare+ heats up, and so the flashes slow down. It’s still fast and personally I don’t mind that because I find the pace ideal to concentrate and get good, accurate coverage. And you’re done before you can get bored or tired anyway.

Skin redness is a common skin reaction to IPL. Your skin may also feel a bit hot and tingly. It’s normal and should wear off within 24 hours. Cool it with a damp facecloth or ice pack. Cooling water sprays are good too, Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser.

Cover-up and avoid tanning and sun exposure after your session. If you don’t there’s a higher risk you’ll experience the rare home IPL side effects.

Effort & results

Home laser and IPL devices demand effort and commitment. There’s a start-up routine to get you to smooth, and then top-up sessions maintain your results. Your overall effort depends on the number of start-up sessions and how fast each session is. Therefore, I’ve calculated this effort based on my controlled tests, so you can compare and decide if the Bare+ is right for you.

You need 12 weekly sessions with the Bare+. Most see noticeable results within 4 weeks getting even better over the course. A whole-body session takes just under 30 minutes.

No. of sessions (start-up)Time per whole-body sessionTotal effort
4 weeks/5 sessions for noticeable results 30 minutes 2.5 hours
Full start-up: 12 sessions over 11 weeks 30 minutes 6 hours

After the start-up stage, switch to top-up sessions as you need them to stay smooth. Smoothskin suggest every 2 to 4 weeks. The Bare+ sessions are fast, easy to fit in a busy schedule and stick with.

What results can you expect?

Shave before every treatment, and/or between sessions as you need.

You may not see any change after the first few sessions. Then your hair grows slower, softer, finer and lighter too. For most this is noticeable between 4 and 6 weeks.

After this, bald patches eventually appear and gradually get bigger until you’ve large smooth patches of skin. Keep going even if you’re smooth and complete the recommended 12 sessions. This zaps all your hairs whilst they’re actively growing and gives you your longest lasting results from the start.

Some people see hair reduction results quickly and others need a bit longer. Eventually, you may not need to shave in-between sessions. Shaving rash fades and ingrown hairs disappear.

Once smooth, do top-ups as you need them. Smoothskin suggest every 2 to 4 weeks. This is slightly more frequent compared to more powerful rivals (at 4 to 8 weeks). That’s because with the Bare+’s medium IPL power you’ll need slightly more sessions to match the results of the most powerful home IPL machines. There’s more about this in the next section.

p

TIP: Top-up sessions are vital with all home IPL and laser devices. Studies show the more top-ups you do, the longer-lasting your results. So, over time you need top-ups even less frequently. 

The negatives

There are just a couple small negatives with the Bare+.

First, it’s tricky to flash on bony shins, ankles and the awkward upper lip area. Most other home IPL devices share this problem too and take just a bit of practise to work out how to get a flash. However, if you spend a bit extra on the Bare+ Fit, you get an additional smaller window. This clips over the main window and covers the ends so there’s a smaller opening and it’s easier to flash small and uneven surfaces.

On ankles and shins, try pivoting the device 90 degrees and positioning the window vertical or at an angle. This makes it easier to fit over the uneven surface. You can also squish your skin/calf up to the window with your free hand.

Bony ankles prove a little awkward to geta flash. It's easier if you angle the Bare+ head against your skin to work around the bumps.
Left: too bumpy, red light says no! Right: Angled just a bit to cover the window – white light says Go!
Trun the Bare+ 90 degrees so the flash window runs vertaically along your shin for easier flashes.
On shins, position the window at an angle or vertical against the shin bone

If you don’t go for the Bare+ Fit here’s a tip. For the awkward upper lip area, try blowing out your cheeks or curling your upper lip over your teeth better coverage. Here’s a face I pulled earlier.

Blow out your cheeks to create a larger area to flash your upper lip with the Bare+ home iPL device.
Don’t knock it. It works.

Next, the long power cord sometimes gets in the way. This is common to all the compact models because they don’t have a long handle keeping the cord away from the flash window. It helps to use a power extension socket and move this as you work around your body, giving you plenty of slack and keeping the cord to one side.

The power cord can get in the way because there's not a long handle on the Bare+ device.
Keeping the power cord out of the way

Medium vs high-power IPL?

And finally, depending on your priorities, you may want a high-power IPL device. That’s because, if you have light skin, you could safely choose a higher power IPL device. A higher IPL intensity won’t remove more hair, but it does mean your results from the sessions are longer-lasting. So, once you’re smooth, you’ll need fewer or less regular top-ups to stay that way. But by how many or much it’s not possible to say. You can read this article to understand the compound effect of home IPL sessions.

Therefore, consider if the longer-lasting results from a more powerful device are worth a higher price tag to you. If yes, check out the Smoothskin Pure for similar fast, plug’n go simplicity. If not, rest assured the Bare+ is very effective, and one of the fastest home IPLs so very easy to stick with.

Smoothskin Bare+ Review Summary

I love this little beaut for large and small body areas because it’s cute, handy, quality, fast and no-faff. It’s best for light to medium skin tones, but not dark as there’s no gentle mode if it stings. This medium-power, no-nonsense Bare+ IPL is affordable at around £200, with a Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee too.

Super-simple, handy, fast and affordable. The Smoothskin Bare+ is more than just a cute little dude.

Here’s a quick recap of my test results and pros and cons for the Smoothskin Bare+:

Lamp lifetime

⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡

Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Superb value.

Ease of use

👍👍👍👍

No-frills compact, light-weight yet robust. Very comfortable & handy, fast, plugin-&-zap simplicity. Won’t flash if skin’s too dark.

Effort & Results

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Medium power IPL for smooth results over the course of 12 sessions. Then switch to regular top-ups every 2 to 4 weeks. 

Pros

  • Affordable quality, light-weight & fast
  • Unlimited IPL flashes for decades of use
  • No faff – just one medium IPL level
  • Won’t flash if you’re skin’s too dark
  • Plugin-&-zap, one-button simplicity
  • Easy flashes with a precision window for tricky areas (Bare+ Fit)
  • Cute & recyclable packaging
  • Clinically proven, CE certification & FDA-cleared
  • Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Cord sometimes gets in the way
  • Tricky to flash on shins, ankles & upper lip (but now easier with the Bare+Fit precision attachment)
  • No gentle mode for extra control on darker skin tones

Smoothskin Bare+ and Bare+ Fit deals

When you shop via my links I earn a small commission (but your price stays the same). And I really appreciate your support 🙏!

The Smoothskin Bare+ Fit comes with an smaller, additional flash window attachment for more precise flashes. You clip it over the larger window to create a smaller opening. The Smoothskin Bare+ has only the standard flash window.

BODYBEAUT

CurrentBody voucher code for SmoothSkin

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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