Don’t be fooled by the no-frills design and affordable price tag. This device, new in 2016, changes everything. First, it comes with unlimited flashes so you’ll never run out. Second, it’s fast. A full leg takes just 4 minutes! That’s possible because the one low intensity level takes only 0.6 seconds to recharge between flashes. And the low intensity level is gentle too, so it’s safe for darker skin tones. 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!
Ultrafast, budget buy - it's a game-changer!
Who should buy it: if you have a medium-dark skin tone (to match the low intensity), if you’re on a tight budget, are a busy (or a self-confessed lazy type) who needs ultrafast applications.
Here’s how it shines in the scoring criteria.
It’s one of the most affordable available so should fit all budgets and it’s great value to keep you fuzz-free for many years.
What is it?
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 will keep your skin silky-smooth.
First available in late 2016, it’s 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 you will start to see hair reduction. Keep going until you’re fuzz-free. Smoothskin leave it up to you to decide how frequently you need to keep using it to stay smooth.
The Bare is unique. It emits IPL at just one low intensity of 3 J/cm2. This has 2 stand-out benefits. Firstly, it’s simply foolproof to use because it needs just one button to operate it. Secondly, the low energy recharges in just 0.6 seconds between flashes. That’s incredibly fast. A full leg takes just 4 mins.
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 in-depth Smoothskin Bare review:
- Is it good value for money?
- What’s it like to use?
- Are the treatment times quick?
- Why just one intensity level?
- What’s the feedback from the online Smoothskin Bare reviews?
- Smoothskin Bare vs the Smoothskin Gold
- What alternatives should I consider?
- The pros and cons of the Smoothskin Bare
- Should I buy it?
- Where to buy
Is Smooth skin Bare good value?
Yes. It’s unique because it comes with unlimited flashes.
This is different to other devices. Other devices will stop working once you’ve flashed it a set number of times. Even if the rest of the device is working perfectly, the flashes will run out.
The Bare will keep flashing for as long as the whole unit works. The manufacturer guarantees this for 2 years, and in reality, it should last you several years more. So it’s just as good value as those machines with hundreds of thousands of flashes. It gets top marks for lifetime value.
N.B. As with all other machines, it’s guaranteed to work for at least as long as the manufacturer’s warranty. No devices will last forever but you should get several years of use from it.
“When I think about how much I spend on waxing, this is a great alternative and much easier to use at home than trekking to the salon. Super impressed.”
Smoothskin Bare review from Boots.com
What’s it like to use?
It comes in a teeny box that’s 18 cm long, 12.5 cm wide and 16 cm high. The black box is top-quality and robust, with a bright blue and black sleeve. You’ll find all the important information about the SS Bare on it.
Opening the box
The sleeve 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. On the bottom it tells you it’s made in the UK, where to go for help and advice and there’s a 2-year warranty. It’s concise, clear and very well laid out. It also has a refreshingly friendly tone of voice.
Even the underside of the sleeve has more information, designed in the same clean and down-to-earth way. It says 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 the 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 evidently put in has 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.
First impressions of the Bare IPL
The Bare IPL is comfortable in your hand and the shape resembles a slightly plump and curvier electric shaver. It’s compact and the curves fit neatly into the palm of your hand. The bottom half has a matte- black silicone-type grip and the top comes in a choice of glossy black or glossy white and gold. I chose glossy white and gold.
There are no controls or dials. With just the flash activation button in the centre, it looks simple and familiar. It’s comfortable enough to hold and grip whilst keeping the flash button pressed. The tapered end is easy to see from most angles.
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 yet conversational. It sounds like a flesh and blood human is talking you through it all. It’s honest and straight-forward.
The order of things is logical too, and the layout is well spaced out and clean. Some of the copy is quite small though. Start with the important safety information, warnings and precautions – they’re all in large print. Then, get acquainted with the design and learn how it works.
The manual covers what to expect from your treatments in a refreshingly honest way. Next, learn how to use it and about your skin sensitivity test.
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.
Important: Tanning guidelines
Please pay attention to the tanning guidelines that come with all IPL devices. Your skin is extra sensitive after tanning, which can increase 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.
Smoothskin says don’t use the Bare on recently tanned skin, including artificial tans. After your treatments, you should also cover up and use a sunscreen of SPF 15+ to avoid unprotected sun exposure. The manual doesn’t give any specifics on how long to wait, but the website FAQs are more helpful. They advise you avoid the sun for at least 7 days before and after your treatments.
Just one intensity level
The Bare is different to all others because it has just one low energy intensity level of 3 J/cm². You don’t need to choose a level for your skin tone because it’s safe for Fitzpatrick skin types I to V. There’s more about this further on in this review. Just follow the steps below to operate the device.
- Shave, cleanse and dry your treatment area. Don’t wax or epilate.
- 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. The fan starts and the skin tone sensor illuminates blue.
- On your chosen body area, press the treatment window against your skin. Lights around the flash button show white to tell you your skin tone is safe.
- Press the flash button. It flashes bright and you feel a warm sensation.
- Move the device to the next position and repeat.
Design and 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 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.
“Nice small device, light and easy to hold and super fast for what it is doing. Literally 10mins a leg. Faster than a leg wax too!!” Smoothskin Bare review from Amazon.co.uk
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 when connected, the power pack sits on the floor just next to the socket and the length of the cord itself isn’t weighed down by the power pack. That’s super attention to detail to give you great freedom of movement.
Safe and simple skin tone sensor
There’s a small skin tone sensor just next to the flash window. It checks for a valid skin tone before each flash. If your skin is too dark, it protects you against harm by preventing any flashes.
It will only flash 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.
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. They come every 0.6 seconds so you get a smooth continuous motion over large areas like legs and torso. It’s easy and very quick. But how quick?
How quick are the treatments?
It’s fast. Really fast.
The flashes come every 0.6 seconds and, combined with the 3 cm2 flash window it can cover a pair of underarms (roughly 120 cm2) in just 24 seconds. 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.
“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 ultrafast. I agree.
But to get the speed, a compromise is made with the energy intensity. Learn more in the next section.
Why just one intensity level?
Smoothskin Bare has 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 they can take longer to achieve your optimum hair reduction results versus using a higher, but still safe, intensity level.
A choice of intensity levels allows a personalised and more effective treatment for your skin type. But it’s not easy to say how much quicker or better the results are. 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.
Is it right for you?
So how do you decide if the Bare is right for you?
- If you’re happy to trade higher intensity levels for more but very fast treatments, then the speed and simplicity will suit 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 great choice.
“The best thing about this is how easy and quick it is to use! That statement is coming from a true lazy girl. Takes 10 minutes max once a week and it’s done! Easy enough to keep on top of for me so not committing to too much for potentially amazing results! Worth the investment.” – Smoothskin Bare review from Boots.com
But if you have a light skin tone suitable for higher intensity levels, and you demand the best possible results in the shortest time, try my Overall Best Buy or my Best Buys for fast, safe and simple treatments. They’re premium devices with a higher price tag.
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.
“I don’t often take the time to write reviews but I’ve been really impressed with the results from this product. .. It’s so so easy to use and super quick. No pain either which has often been the downside of other products I’ve used. I’m 3 treatments in and can already see results.” – Amazon.co.uk review
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.
“I must add also that I always used to get ingrown hairs on my legs, armpits and bikini line and this has significantly reduced, barely getting one or two now after using the machine!” – Amazon.co.uk review of the Smoothskin Bare
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.
“No more waxing ever again and no more leaving the hair to grow long enough to get a wax! As someone who spends each summer hiding my pins away I can’t wait for next summer!” – Boots.com review of Smoothskin Bare IPL
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.” – Smooth skin Bare review from Amazon.co.uk
This Bare seems to have hit that sweet spot that asks for minimal time and gives a great 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.
Smoothskin Bare vs Smoothskin Gold
So what are the differences between the Smoothskin Bare and the Smoothskin Gold?
The Gold has some unique and premium features that account for the higher price tag. But both are great devices, they focus on fast treatments and simplicity for the user, albeit in different ways.
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Both devices are quick to apply and treat your skin.
|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 Gold 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 devices are safe, no-fuss and simple to use.
|The Smooth skin Bare has just one user control – the flash button. You don’t need additional controls because there’s just one intensity level. The skin tone sensor checks your skin before each flash and only flashes if it’s safe.||The Gold also 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.|
Both devices will last for several years of use.
|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 Smoothskin Gold 200 has enough flashes to treat your full body 150 times. That equates to monthly treatments for 10 years. It’s unlikely you’ll ever get close to using that, because hair reduction results just get better and better over time.|
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 can fit into your life and maintain great results.||In their website FAQs, Smoothskin suggest the Gold suits 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 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 Gold 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.
What are the alternatives?
Nothing matches the Bare for speed, simplicity and price, but there is one no-frills IPL device to consider.
The Silk’n Glide Xpress (or the Flash&Go Express in the USA and Canada) has a similar price and is very easy to use. It doesn’t have unlimited flashes but you’ll get around 200 full body treatments. That equates to 15 years of monthly treatments. It may as well say unlimited because that’s more than you’ll ever need.
It’s not as ultrafast, but it’s still quick. It takes around 8 mins per full leg. It has 5 intensity levels too, ranging from 3 to 5J/cm2 so if you have a light skin tone you can choose a higher level for faster results. The customer support in Europe is a bit flaky, but in the US it’s almost as good as Smoothskin. The online reviews aren’t as positive as the Bare though.
Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of the Smoothskin Bare.
- Great reputation from Smoothskin
- Attractive price below £200 / $399 AUD / $299 USD
- Ultrafast application time – from 4 mins per full leg
- Unlimited flashes so no need to ever worry about running out
- Skin tone sensor checks your skin tone is safe before each flash
- No faffing with intensity levels – there’s just one that safe for skin tones I to V
- No-frills, compact design that’s comfortable and easy to maneouvre
- Mains-powered, just plug in and go!
- All the safety and treatment features you’d expect
- Integrated UV filter
- CE Mark (EU declaration of conformity to meet safety standards)
- FDA cleared
- Simple to operate and comfortable to use
- Customer reviews love it!
- Prompt, knowledgeable and friendly support from Smoothskin
- 2 year manufacturer warranty
- 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
- It’s a no-frills design without an extra smaller facial treatment attachment
- Smoothskin don’t offer a ‘how to’ and treatment calendar App
Should I buy the Smooth skin Bare?
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. You’ll need more treatments than with another more powerful device. But you’ll spend less concentrated time, fuss and faff to get your hair reduction results! And if this sounds good, you should buy it!
It’s an easy choice if your skin tone is medium dark too, because higher intensity levels aren’t any good for you anyway.
And if you have the lightest skin tones and want to initially dedicate a bit more time to get the best possible results, you’ve probably already checked out the Smoothskin Gold.
“I’ve had another IPL device for a few years and I did see good hair reduction when I used it, but I always gave up with it because it just took too long and felt like a chore. I paid around 400 pounds for that device. At that stage, I think home IPL was basically just a nice idea, but only for those who could put in the time, effort and money. This I think is really a game changer.” – Smoothskin Bare review from Amazon.co.uk
You can check prices or buy the Smoothskin Bare using the links below.
Where to buy the Smoothskin BareI receive referral commission if you buy through these links.
Smoothskin Bare, for body & face
Buy from CurrentBody.com: UK & International orders, 90 day money back guarantee. Search "Smoothskin Bare".
Buy from Amazon: UK orders
Buy from Boots.com: UK & International orders
Buy from Shavershop.com.au: Australia Orders, with 90 day money back guarantee.
Still not sure? Check out my recommended Best Buy home laser and IPL hair removal machines here