Don’t let the no-frills design and affordable price tag fool you. This plug-and-zap, unltra-fast, low intensity home IPL is safe for light to dark skin, and dark hair. The low intensity particularly suits darker skin, but means you'll need more frequent top-ups on light skin. Hailed as a game-changing home IPL. Spot on.
Best value for dark skin
👍 Recommended for face, small & large areas, for light to dark skin tones (but especially dark)
👉 AND for busy lifestyles, the lazy or committment-shy
Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Superb value.
No-frills but exeptionally comfortable, handy, uncomplicated & ultra-fast, thanks to one low intensity level. Won’t flash if skin’s too dark.
Use it weekly until smooth, then as needed to maintain results e.g every 2 to 3 weeks. More regular sessions but super-quick!
- Affordable quality that’s light-weight & ultra-fast
- Dark to medium skin: Low intensity is a perfect for your skin tones
- Plug-and-zap, one-button simplicity
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Light skin: Low intensity means more regular top-ups
- It’s too cute 😍
Price from £150 to £190
The Smoothskin Bare home-use IPL hair removal device uses Intense Pulsed Light to slow hair regrowth on your body and face, and with continued use keeps your skin silky-smooth.
First available in late 2016, the Bare is the smaller and less expensive cousin of the Smoothskin Gold. There’s a choice of colours; white and black, all-black and a summer collection in nude, pink and blue. You can buy it in the UK, Europe (it adheres to EU CE regulations), Australia and the USA (it has FDA clearance too).
Use the Bare weekly and after about 4 treatments most see some hair reduction. Keep going until you’re fuzz-free. Then do top-ups as you need them to stay smooth. Smoothskin suggest every 2 or 3 weeks.
The Bare is unique. It emits IPL at just one low intensity of 3 J/cm2. This has 3 stand-out benefits.
#1 Firstly, if you have a darker skin tone (types IV or V) you can use only lower, safe intensity levels. Therefore, the Bare is perfectly suited to you.
#2 Secondly, it’s simply foolproof to use because it needs just one button to operate it.
#3 And finally, the low energy recharges in just 0.6 seconds between flashes. That’s incredibly fast. You can zap a full leg in around 4 minutes.
So, if you thought IPL was too boring and tedious, think again. The Smoothskin Bare makes it easier to commit to regular, fast treatments that keeps your stubble away.
But does the low intensity compromise results? Find out in the full review and decide if it’s a game-changing choice for you.
In this tried-&-tested Smoothskin Bare review:
- What’s it like? First impressions | Before you start | Easy to use? | Lamp lifetime | Is it safe? | How fast is it?
- What to expect? How quick are results?
- Online ratings & reviews Reviews overview
- Bare vs Muse: A comparison
- In summary: Should I buy it? | Pros & Cons | Where to buy it
— What’s it like? —
The Bare comes in a teeny box that’s 18 cm long, 12.5 cm wide and 16 cm high. The black box is top-quality, robust, and with a bright blue and black sleeve. You’ll find all the important information about the SS Bare on it.
The black and blue info sleeve concisely describes the key benefits of the SS Bare; it’s ultrafast, has a skin tone sensor, has unlimited flashes and gets results. It explains how IPL works, what to expect and who it’s suitable for.
Even the underside of the sleeve has more information. It claims your legs, underarms and bikini line ‘are done and dusted’ in under 10 mins. There’s also a brief overview of ‘Your first treatment’ and ‘Staying smooth’ with regular use.
The packaging promises ‘long-lasting silky smooth skin’. There’s not a single mention of attention-grabbing ‘permanent’. It also puts emphasis on sticking with the treatment regimen to maintain your results. I think it’s honest and clear, and although you need to read the user manual to fully understand everything, it doesn’t set misleading expectations. Thank you SmoothSkin!
The thought and effort SmoothSkin have put in has definitely paid off. I’m impressed right from the outset. I can’t wait to see what’s inside!
What’s in the box?
- Smoothskin Bare IPL device
- Country-specific mains plug
- User manual booklet
- Support programme invitation card
TIP: Keep the compact small black box to protect and store it.
The Bare is no-frills, but the design, build, and quality of materials is great. There’s superb attention to detail from the black silicone grip to the neat, tapered treatment window. It’s light-weight but not flimsy. It feels superb in my hand.
And there are no controls or dials. So, with just the flash activation button in the centre, it’s inviting and familiar.
Before you start
First, get aquainted with the user manual. You must check it for any reasons you shouldn’t use the Bare. And guidelines around when and how to use it. It explains how to do a skin patch test first too.
You’ll also need to get yourself set up. Learn more in the next sections.
Start with the user manual
I like this user manual. It’s like a very small book. And it doesn’t feel like your reading a user manual. It’s easy to read, concise and conversational. It sounds like a flesh-and-blood human is talking you through it all. It’s honest and straight-forward.
Carefully read the warnings, precautions, contraindications and eye safety guidelines to check there’s nothing preventing you from using the Bare.
TIP: Check the user manual on the Smoothskin website before you buy it.
Then, get acquainted with the design and learn how it works.
Smoothskin have done a super job with this, as they do with the Muse too. The guide is well laid-out, logical and beautifully designed with clear headings and diagrams. But most of all the tone of voice is friendly and conversational. It’s clear, concise and easy to absorb. Top job.
Important: Tanning guidelines
Please pay attention to the tanning guidelines in the user manual.
Your skin is extra sensitive after tanning, which increases the risk of IPL side effects 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. There’s more here.
- After your treatments, you should cover up and use a sunscreen of SPF 15+ to avoid unprotected sun exposure
- Avoid the sun for at least 7 days before and after your treatments
- DON’T use the Bare on recently tanned skin, including artificial tans.
Do a skin test
The user manual tells you to do a skin sensitivity test on each body area you’ll treat.
Do two side-by-side flashes (3 cm x 2 cm) on freshly shaven and clean skin. If after 24 hours you experience no reactions, you can continue with your full treatment.
Shave your treatment areas immediately before your treatment.
They must be totally smooth with no hair above your skin. If there is, it can sting when zapped by the IPL!
Also, you want your hair follicle (the bit below your skin) to absorb all the IPL energy. It’s where IPL works to give you hair reduction.
Once shaven, dry your skin. No moisturisers or deodorant please!
- Use a good, sharp razor
- Use shaving cream for a close shave. Try using hair conditioner – it does the job (but can leave the tub a bit slippery!)
- Take your time to get a close shave without any nicks!
- If you don’t want to shave your face, try this instead
TIP: Smoothskin say don’t wax or epilate because you need hair in the follicle for IPL to be most effective.
Choose a comfy place
Next, choose a comfortable and private spot to do your treatment.
Some people set up in the living room and watch TV. Others choose a private bathroom or their bedroom. Whilst it depends on which body areas you’re treating, there are a few tips to help you get started.
- In front of a mirror: I like to have a full length mirror. This is very helpful for a thorough bikini line, underarms and backs of legs
- A mains extension cable: the Bare has a 2m long power cord, but an extension cable from the mains gives you more flexibility on where you situate yourself. If you’re treating large areas you’ll want to use it corded because it’s faster.
- Find privacy: back to the bikini line again! It’s far from elegant and not something you’ll want to share with housemates, kids, window cleaner etc.
- Choose the right time: you don’t want to be rushed or interrupted, so choose a time when kids are tucked up in bed.
Sorted? Ready, steady, go!
Is it easy to use?
It couldn’t be any easier.
Simplicity itself – steps
- Shave before every treatment (unless you’re smooooth).
- Plug it in. The fan starts and the skin tone sensor illuminates blue.
- Press it 90 degrees firmly against your skin. Lights around the flash button show white to tell you your skin tone is safe.
- Press and hold the flash button.
- Smoothly slide over your skin as it flashes. Cover your skin in flashes avoiding overlap.
Design & comfort
It’s no-frills, so don’t expect a fancy ergonomic shape or extra treatment attachments. Nonetheless, the basic curvy shape is comfortable to hold. It’s light (just 185g) and intuitive, just like an electric shaver or epilator.
The tapered end makes it easier to position than other compact models. The 3cm² flash window gives good coverage on large flat-ish areas like legs. It takes a bit more manoeuvring on trickier areas like your small upper lip and bones on your ankles.
There are no controls other than the flash activation button on the side. So it’s incredibly simple.
There’s one low intensity level that’s safe for all skin tones of Fitzpatrick types I to V.
Long power cord
The cord attached to the Bare is super quality. It’s thick and supple so it can’t get twisted or tied up in knots. A small thing which makes a big difference.
The cord is 2 metres long from the bottom of the device to the power pack. The mains plug adaptor is around 50 cm long. This means the power pack sits on the floor just next to the socket. So you get the length of the cord itself because it’s not weighed down by the power pack. That’s super attention to detail to give you excellent freedom of movement.
JUST ONE INTENSITY LEVEL
The Bare is different to all others because it has just one low energy intensity level of 3 J/cm². This means application is fast because it takes less time to recharge between flashes.
No dials or extra buttons. It’s safe for light to dark skin (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Just plug-it-in and happy zapping.
The low intensity level means it’s a super choice for darker skin tones i.e. type IV or V. That’s because you can safely use only lower intensities on your skin anyway. Therefore the Bare is a good match. No need to shell-out for a more expensive device with a range of intensities. Because you can’t use them anyway!
How long will it last?
The Bare is unbeaten value, matched only by the Smoothskin Muse. They both come with unlimited flashes.
This is different to other devices. Other devices stop working once the flashes ‘run out’ (however, the most recent devices last for 15+ years of monthly full body sessions. That’s way more than you’ll ever need).
But with the Bare, you get unlimited full body treatments or small area treatments. The flashes keep coming as long as the device doesn’t break. So, you don’t need to worry about running out.
N.B. As with all other machines, it’s guaranteed to work for at least as long as the manufacturer’s warranty (2 years). No devices will last forever but you should get decades of use from it.
N.B. General usage and wear and tear can also affect how long the machine keeps working.
Is the Smoothskin Bare safe?
Yes. The Bare is clinically tested and proven safe and effective for home use. It adheres to the relevant European and International electronic and manufacturing standards too. It has CE conformity and has extra reassurance of FDA-clearance.
The Bare has in-built UV filters in the flash window to protect your skin. It has other features to keep you safe too.
The Bare only flashes when your skin fully covers the skin tone sensors. This protects your eyes by preventing accidental flashes directed into the open air near your eyes.
the light you see from each flash is bright, but harmless when covered by your skin. you don’t need spacial glasses, but can wear sunglasses if it’s uncomfortable.
Safe & simple skin tone sensor
There’s a small skin tone sensor just next to the flash window. It glows blue and checks for a valid skin tone before each flash. If your skin is too dark, it protects you against harm by preventing any flashes.
Stamp & ultra-fast glide!
You get the standard treatment modes of continuous glide and a single stamping action.
For Stamp, press and release the flash button, then re-position and repeat. This is best for small and uneven areas like your face and bikini line.
For Glide, keep the button pressed and slide it over your skin at a consistent speed to cover each position in time with the flashes.
Most devices have a ‘slide-and-pause’ motion, because the flashes aren’t fast enough to make it fluid. But with the Bare, the flashes come every 0.6 seconds. Therefore it really is a smooth continuous motion over large areas like legs and torso. It’s easy and very quick.
So, how fast is it to cover your skin?
How quick are the treatments?
It’s fast. Really fast. Ultra-fast.
- Flashes every 0.6 seconds – that’s 100 flashes per minute to cover 300 cm2 of hairy areas
That’s the fastest out there.
Smoothskin say you can treat a whole body (full legs, bikini line and underarms) in less than 10 minutes. Reviewers report it takes from 10 to 20 minutes. That’s because you slow down to zap uneven or awkward surfaces.
“I searched and searched and read upteen reviews on IPL gadgets and settled on this . I m a busy 47 year old mum and dont have much pamper time but it literally takes 10 mintues or less to do ankle to knee , bikini line and underarms not forgetting the upper lip !!!! :)” Amazon.co.uk Smoothskin Bare IPL review
With the stamping mode, it’s ready to flash as soon as positioned properly. And with Glide mode you can cover large areas quickly. There’s no tedious waiting for flashes.
Smoothskin say it’s ultra-fast. I agree.
— What to expect —
How quick are results?
To get speed, the Bare compromises on energy intensity.
It gives low energy intensity flashes of 3J/cm2. This means application is fast because it takes less time to recharge between flashes. The low intensity is also gentle so it’s safe for medium to darker skin tones as well as light. But does this lower intensity affect your hair reduction results?
Let’s consider the guidance given with other IPL devices. Most have 5 intensity levels ranging up to around 6 J/cm2. Using the highest level that’s safe for your skin tone gives the best results.
That’s not to say the lower levels don’t work. They do. But, studies show they can take longer to get to smooth. And then more regular sessions to stay that way versus using a higher, but still safe, intensity level.
It’s not easy to say how much results differ. Smoothskin give the simple advice that you’ll need “Weekly treatments until desired results are seen”, but they don’t put a time limit on it. That’s because everyone experiences a different rate and quantity of hair reduction with IPL.
They also suggest you’ll need maintenance sessions every 2 to 3 weeks to stay smooth.
Is it right for you?
So, how do you decide if the Bare is right for you?
- If it’s in budget and you’re happy to trade higher intensity levels for more but-very-fast treatments, then the speed and simplicity suits you well
- If you have medium to dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick types IV to V) you’ll need a lower intensity level anyway so it’s a superb, more-affordable choice.
Also, check out the Bare vs more powerful Muse section to learn how the Bare compares.
— Online ratings & reviews —
What do the online Smoothskin Bare reviews say?
The Bare now has more than 150 online reviews, and the collated score is an impressive 4.6 stars.
It’s noteworthy that there are several repeat reviews on both Boots.com, Amazon.co.uk and Smoothskin.com. I expect a small amount of repetition as I’ve seen it in other product reviews. But the number of repeated Smooth skin Bare reviews stand out to me. I count over 12 duplicates, that’s around 10% of the total reviews.
When positive duplicate reviews aren’t from verified purchases, or top trusted reviewers, or it’s the only review they’ve ever left, then I feel suspicious. And I’m suspicious here. Are they real or planted attempts to get genuine reviewers buying and sharing? It’s not always easy to tell, so I’ve discounted the duplicate feedback from my review here.
Does it mean all the Smoothskin Bare reviews aren’t genuine and you should discount them?
No. Most of the reviews are straightforward and honest.
Here’s a sum-up of the bad bits and the best bits from the non-duplicate reviews.
The bad bits
There are just a handful of 1 and 2 star ratings. One reviewer had to return it because they previously had a cancer scare and can’t use IPL. Another device was faulty. And a few more reviewers experienced little to no hair reduction results after several uses. The time frames range from 5 weeks up to 3 months.
What’s noteworthy is Smoothskin customer support team respond to the negative feedback. They offer advice and ask the customer to get in touch directly for help. I love this reassurance and proactive support. It gives me confidence and trust in Smoothskin and the Bare IPL.
The rest of the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
The good bits
The Smooth skin Bare is superfast. Almost all the reviews say this. Reports say it takes just 10 to 20 mins for their complete weekly treatments. A huge number of the reviewers are also impressed that it’s painless and easy to use.
Other reviewers praise the professional looking packaging, are impressed with the small and lightweight design, and the clear “well laid out and easy to follow” instructions.
There are a few minor niggles because the flashes are bright and there’s no storage pouch provided. These are throw away comments from reviewers acknowledging how inconsequential they are.
And the reviewers report great results too.
Smoothskin advise you’ll need “Weekly treatments until desired results seen”, but they don’t put a time limit on it. You should see a reduction in growth after around 4 treatments.
The user manual has well-crafted guidance notes. It advises that after the 4 weekly treatments you can “define what is the right regime for you”. If you “stick to your treatment regime” this keeps you silky smooth. This is a clever way of saying you’ll need to keep using it to stay smooth, or in other words you’ll still need “top-up” maintenance treatments over time. And, as with other IPL devices, you can expect the results to keep improving the more you use it.
The majority of reviews are left after just a few short weeks. Loads of reviewers report slower and softer regrowth results after just the first treatment. After 3 uses many report a significant reduction in hair and regrowth rate. One reviewer reports a 70% hair reduction after 4 treatments.
Results vary by user
But results do vary. For example, another reviewer shares they have a visible hair reduction of about 60% after 7 weeks. Whereas after 6 weeks, another is almost (90% ) hair free!
Other results reported are slower, softer and finer regrowth, bald patches, only tufts of hair remaining and needing to shave less frequently i.e. weekly vs every other day before treatments.
It’s easy to feel the love in the feedback shared. One reviewer comments after just 3 treatments she no longer has next-day prickly legs, or soreness and irritation from shaving. She’s delighted because “Those days are already gone”!
Bye bye ingrown hairs!
Several other reviewers are happy because they no longer suffer from painful and unsightly ingrown hairs. The Bare IPL seems to reduce or eliminate them too.
But does the Bare live up to the ‘game-changing’ hype?
Is it a game-changer?
The results are significant and even life changing for some. It’s not just their newly smooth skin that they love – it’s that they no longer need to go through the pain and faff of their previous hair removal rituals.
But there’s a distinct difference with the Bare too. The satisfaction voiced, especially by people self-confessed as lazy, is memorable. It stands out because Bare seems to succeed where others fail; the reviewers can commit to it and fit it into their lives because the treatments are frequent but brief.
One Smoothskin Bare review sums it up:
“The lamp flashes pretty much as quickly as you move your hand. I don’t see it getting much faster than that. And it’s more moderately priced than previous IPLs. I think it really could replace shaving, even for lazy people like myself.” – reviewer on Amazon.co.uk
This Bare seems to have hit that sweet spot that asks for minimal time and gives a super return for a fantastic value price. It rivals the simplicity and speed of shaving for many reviewers. I think it’s a game-changer.
“A massive game changer when it comes to hair removal” – Smoothskin Bare IPL review from Amazon.co.uk
I’ll keep my eye on the online feedback as it grows over time and update this review. I’m interested to hear what results manifest with prolonged use, and the time intervals between treatments.
So, what are the differences between the Smoothskin Bare and the Smoothskin Muse?
— Bare vs Muse —
Smoothskin Bare vs Smoothskin Muse
The Smoothskin devices are lovely to look at and feel fantastic to hold. They’re both amongst the fastest home IPL devices available. But they’re very different.
They both focus on fast treatments and simplicity for the user, albeit in different ways. The Muse has some unique and premium features that account for the higher price tag.
N.B. The Smoothskin Gold is the older version of the Smoothskin Muse. It doesn’t come with unlimited flashes or the beautiful gold burst design, but it’s just as powerful and fast.
Both devices are fast
The Bare is fastest with flashes at every 0.6 seconds. It’s fast because it has one, low intensity level at 3J/cm2. It’s safe for all but the darkest skin tones. This means you can’t increase and optimise the level if you have a lighter skin tones.
The Muse has 10 intensity levels ranging from 4 to 6J/cm2. The lower intensity levels are safe for darker skin tones. The highest levels are safe for the lightest skin tones and give the best results. It’s one of the fastest devices around at the higher intensity levels. It flashes every 0.9 to 1.9 seconds; being quickest at the lowest intensity levels.
Both are safe and ‘plug-in-and-go’ simple
The Muse has just 2 simple controls. Each time you press the flash button, the skin tone sensor checks for a safe skin tone and sets the optimum intensity level for each flash. It chooses the perfect balance of power and safety for your skin tone. The ‘gentle’ button reduces the intensity if the flashes sting on sensitive areas, like the bikini line.
They have unlimited flashes
The Bare has unlimited flashes, so you’ll never run out. It keeps going as long as you do or until it breaks through wear and tear.
The Muse too has unlimited flashes. It’s the only high power home use IPL to give endless flashes. It keeps going as long as you do or until it breaks through wear and tear.
90-day money back guarantee
Both the Bare and the Muse come with a 90-day money back guarantee period. You can buy it, try it and return it for a refund if it’s not for you. But you should see great results before the 90 days is up, so it’s a perfect piece of extra reassurance from Smoothskin.
So, which should you choose?
If you’re busy, bore easily, or think you’ll just give up on it then the Smoothskin Bare is a game-changer. It’s slashes application times so you can finish your full body in less than 15 mins. This makes all the difference. It fits into your life for great results.
In their website FAQs, Smoothskin suggest the Muse and Gold suit a more disciplined approach that demands the best results through a treatment personalised to your skin colour. This means you see the best results possible in the shortest possible time.
“If you want maximum speed and simplicity go for SmoothSkin Bare.” – Smoothskin.com FAQ
“If you want a tailored beauty treatment with the best results SmoothSkin Gold is for you.” – Smoothskin.com FAQ
In the reviews there are a few comparisons to the older Smoothskin Gold too. Although these reviews acknowledge how much they love the “SS Gold” they can’t hide how impressed they are with this small, lightweight, unlimited flashes, superfast Bare.
“Just when I getting bogged down by the time taken to use the SmoothSkin Gold and fiddly indicators, along comes the SmoothSkin Bare!!! It’s so fast at repeating the laser flashes and it really glides over the skin. I can now whizz round more areas in minutes without stopping. Skins is so ultra smooth that I want to keep on using it.” – Smoothskin.com Bare IPL review
However, one Amazon reviewer although very happy with the Bare, shared she may have chosen the Muse had she understood clearly that a higher intensity level was safe and effective for her pale skin.
So spend some time thinking about your choice.
— In summary —
Should I buy the Smooth skin Bare?
Hell yeah. I love the bold and simplistic approach that Smoothskin have taken. I think it’s a game-changer because the ultrafast treatments are easy to fit into your life and to stick with.
“The Smoothskin Bare is perfect for busy lifestyles or the committment-shy. Super-simple, ultra-fast, safe for darker skin and suits most budgets. Ace.”
Buy it because:
- The low intensity suits darker skin tones. Therefore, consider the ultra-fast and affordable Bare before more expensive IPL with higher intensities you can’t even safely use.
- If your skin it too dark in places you can return the Bare within the 90-day money back guarantee and try this one.
- For lighter skin tones, you’ll need more regular maintenance sessions than with a more powerful device. But you’ll spend less concentrated time, fuss and faff to get your hair reduction results! And it’s a fab price too.
To help you decide, here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of the Smoothskin Bare.
- Lasts forever with unlimited flashes
- Compact & no-frills, but exceptionally easy & comfortable
- Low intensity suits darker skin tones
- Plug-and-zap, one-button simplicity
- Affordable option (below £200 / $399 AUD / $299 USD)
- Ultra-fast speed – from 4+ mins per full leg!
- Won’t flash if skin’s too dar
- Safe for dark skin tones too (from Fitzpatrick I to V)
- FDA cleared & CE certified
- Beautifully packaged, a perfect gift
- Superb support from Smoothskin
- Made in the UK
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Not suitable for the darkest skin tones
- One low intensity level gets results, but if you have the lightest skin tone a more personalised level may be more effective
- Smoothskin don’t have a ‘how to’ and treatment calendar App
It’s an easy choice if your skin tone is medium dark too, because higher intensity levels aren’t any good for you anyway.
You can check prices or buy the Smoothskin Bare using the links below.
Where to buy the Smoothskin Bare
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