The Smoothskin Gold is now discontinued. You may find final stock available from some retailers. Try the new Smoothskin Pure model instead.
The Smoothskin Gold is safe for use at home on the body and face. It uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) which slows and reduces hair regrowth after each treatment. Eventually hair stops growing and periodic sessions keep your skin silky smooth. Learn more about how home IPL works here.
The Gold is the original home IPL with an advanced skin tone sensor that chooses the optimum intensity level for your skin tone.
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In this full Smoothskin Gold review:
The packaging is robust, attractive and professional-looking with the key information printed on the back. The lid secures with a magnetic clasp and the black device sits indise secured on a velvet-effect moulded plastic bed. Hang on to the box to safely store it.
What’s in the box?
- Smooth Skin Gold IPL device
- Black satin storage pouch
- Powerpack and mains cable (190 cm long)
- User manual
- Quick start guide
The Gold looks different to other devices and slightly more masculine, styled in black with gold accents. It’s slightly bigger than I expected but it feels balanced and very good to hold.
Before you start
First read the user manual and do a skin sensitivity test.
The manual introduces you to the device and how IPL works, how to operate it, your patch test, skin tones and the skin tone sensor, caring for the device and troubleshooting any problems. It’s very clear, comprehensive and easy to follow.
Carefully read the warnings, precautions, contraindications and eye safety guidelines to check there’s nothing preventing you from using the Gold. Common reasons NOT to use it are being pregnant, having epilepsy, taking photosensitising medications, skin conditions, on tattoos or after skin peels. Learn more about IPL contraindications here to ensure it’s safe for you.
You must follow the guidelines on tanning and sun exposure too, to keep your skin safe and avoid side effects.
Smoothskin say don’t use the Gold on recently tanned skin, including artificial tans. After your treatments also 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.
It’s best to avoid tanning altogether, both with sunlight and artificially, during your start-up treatments. There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here.
Follow the instructions in the manual for your skin sensitivity test. Test each body area you’ll use it on. If after 24 hours your skin shows no reactions you can continue with your treatment.
Learn more about how to prepare for your sessions including shaving vs waxing, alternatives to shaving your face and how to get a comfortable set up. Here’s a quick summary on how to use the Gold, and there’s loads more detail in the following sections.
Just follow these steps:
- Shave before every treatment (unless you’re smooooth).
- Plug it in and press the power button. The sensor indicators illuminate blue.
- Press the handset at 90 degrees firmly against your skin. Your intensity illuminates white from 1 to 10. Press the flash button.
- Slide to the next spot and repeat. Cover your skin in flashes avoiding overlap.
If not in use for 3 minutes the device will revert back to standby mode and the power button will show blue.
For this review our tester zapped her full legs, extended bikini line, underarms and face. And boy is it simple and straightforward. Here’s our feedback.
Quality & long-lasting
The Gold device is solid and made of good quality materials. It’s balanced and without creaks or cracks. The power cord is bendy and durable. It feels good, not flimsy or cheap and is a quality device which should last years if well-cared for. You get a 2-year warranty from Smoothskin too.
Using a standardised formula, we’ve calculated the lamp lifetime of flashes for all the devices we test. And the Gold is one of the best.
The lamp gives 200,000 flashes. So, coupled with the 3 cm2 flash window you can treat a total 600,000 cm2 body area. That’s enough for around 150 full-body treatments (full legs, bikini line, underarms and face) or around 10 years of monthly treatments. It’s excellent value, with many more flashes than you’ll ever need.
N.B. Bear in mind the estimated years of use above is based on the bulb life only and doesn’t take into consideration general usage, wear and tear that effect how long the machine keeps working.
Shape & design
The mains-powered Gold is an attractive, distinctive, and modern shape. It’s sleek-looking with a glossy black top and silicone-type grips on the sides. There’s one medium-size and multi-purpose flash window measuring 1cm by 3cm.
The power cord is 190 cm long to the small power pack, then a smaller cable plugs into the mains. It gives plenty of slack and doesn’t tangle. But you can use an extension cable for even more flexibility.
In your hand it’s balanced and comfortable with a good visibility of the flash window. The long handle keeps the power cord out of your way and provides various grips to work at different angles. However, it is a little big – especially for petite hands – and it takes a little practise to get used to.
Power, eye & skin safety
The Gold has 10 intensity levels ranging from 3 to 6 J/cm2. This is one of the most powerful home-use devices (just slightly less powerful than the Lumea Prestige). This means, if you have light skin and use the higher levels, you’ll get longer-lasting results than less powerful devices. The lower intensities are safe for darker skin.
Related: our recommended best for dark skin devices
The Gold is clinically tested safe for home-use and it passes the necessary European manufacturing and safety standards for the CE mark. It’s FDA-cleared in the US too.
You must hold the flash window flush against your skin so it covers the two blue skin sensors lights. If not it won’t flash. This means you can’t accidentally flash it into open-air anywhere near your eyes.
There’s an inbuilt UV filter too. And the advanced skin tone sensor stops IPL flashes hurting your skin too. It’s also the reason the Gold is so simple and straightforward to use. Here’s what it does:
This means it chooses the most powerful intensity that’s still safe for your skin tone. And from 10 increments versus 5 as with other IPL machines. It’s perfect for you if you’ve varied tones across your body because there’s no need to stop and check each body area. You just press the button and keep going until you’re done.
And because some areas are more sensitive than others and might be a bit uncomfortable on a higher intensity level, there’s a ‘gentle mode’. This lowers the intensity a few notches which is handy for sensitive areas like bikini line.
The Gold is one of the fastest high-power home IPL devices you can buy. Keep the flash button pressed for continuous flashes in glide mode. After each flash glide the handset 1cm along your skin to the next position. It’s an easy slide-pause-flash motion, and it’s quick. This is best for large areas like legs and torso.
It flashes every 1 to 2 seconds, and it’s fastest on the lower intensity levels. Smoothskin say you can flash a full leg in around 8 minutes and a whole-body in around 20 minutes. We found that a tad optimistic because it takes time to re-position yourself and work around knees, shins, ankles and other trickier surfaces. Our tester zapped a full leg in around 12 minutes, and their whole-body (full legs, underarms, bikini line and face) in under 50 minutes.
What does it feel like?
You hear the quiet whirring of the cooling fan. And each flash makes a gentle pop sound.
The flashes are bright white, but harmless to your eyes when against your skin. If you find them too annoying use the Gold in daylight or a well-lit room. You can wear sunglasses to ease the glare too.
The flashes feel warm against your skin. However, certain body areas can smart more! Some find it stings on the denser, thicker hair on the bikini line or underarms. Our tester feels it most around the bony ankles. So, sensitive areas differ by person.
The Gold gets hotter as you use it too. Therefore, start with your most sensitive areas or simply press the “feather” button for a more comfortable intensity. Make sure you get a close, smooth shave because otherwise, if there’s hair above the skin surface, it stings!
It takes concentration to remember where you’ve zapped. But as it’s fast, you’ll be done before you get tired or bored.
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. You can cool it with a facecloth, cooling water sprays, Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser. Also, avoid tanning and wear an SPF 15 or 30+ if exposed to the sun! If you don’t you risk experiencing some of the rare home IPL side effects.
How much effort is it?
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, we’ve calculated this effort based on our controlled tests, so you can compare and decide if the Gold is right for you.
Smoothskin say you need 12 weekly sessions to get long-term smooth and hairless skin. Most people see significant results after 6 session,but keep going to pro-long your results right from the start. A whole body sessions takes around 50 mins. Therefore, over the start-up you’ll spend between 5 to 10 hours zapping.
|No. of sessions (start-up)||Time per session||Total effort during start-up|
| 6 sessions over 5 weeks
12 sessions over 11 weeks
|50 minutes|| 5 hours
Once you’ve finished the 12 sessions, switch to less frequent top-ups. These could be monthly or every few months. Because you’ve done 12 sessions up-front it’s likely you’ll need less regular top-ups than other devices with a shorter start-up phase. Then, after several top-ups, you’ll likely need them even less frequently.
The Smoothskin Gold is a lower effort home IPL that asks for a more intensive start-up phase to prolong your smooth, fuzz free results.
So, what results will you see?
You’ll still see hair growing in the first few weeks. Shave before every weekly session, and in between as you need.
After 4 weeks most see a noticeable hair reduction. This means fewer hairs growing. And those that do grow slower, look finer and lighter, and feel softer. You’ll need to shave less frequently between sessions. And it’s quicker and easier too because it’s so soft.
After 6 sessions your hair reduction should be significant. You may have bald patches or be almost entirely smooth!
Smoothskin recommend to keep going and complete all the 12 weekly sessions, even if you’ve got to smooth already. This catches all hairs in the active growth stage and it compounds your results. You’ll get your highest possible hair reduction with long-lasting results right from the start.
At the end of 12 sessions you should be entirely smooth. Then switch to top-ups every 4 or 8 weeks. Top-ups are very important because hair will eventually grow back without them. You should stay continuously smooth with these regular sessions and you can reduce the frequency even more over time.
Learn more about home IPL results here.
Smoothskin Gold negatives
There are a few negatives with the Gold.
As mentioned earlier, it’s quite bulky. So, if you have petite hands it can cause a little strain and feel awkward. But you get used to the best grips soon enough.
Treating the upper lip is tricky too. That’s because the flash window is a little to long. A smaller precision window would be helpful. You get that with some of the Braun Pro 5 models and the Lumea Prestige. They also give faster sessions, but they’re usually at least £100 more expensive.
Should I buy the Smooth skin Gold?
Yes. It’s a fast, no-fuss, high-power device at an attractive low price.
The advanced skin tone sensor takes all the faff out of your sessions and it’s super-safe too. Sessions are fast and it’s a quality device with a 100-day money back guarantee too. Snap-it-up at this bargain price soon because once it’s gone, it gone for good.
Here’s a quick recap of the test scores and pros and cons of the Smoothskin Gold to help you decide.
Lamp lifetime ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Excellent value with flashes lasting 10+ years of monthly use. That’s much more than you’ll need.
Ease of use 👍👍👍👍
Fast, sleek, sophisticated plug-and-zap simplicity. Adjusts each flash to your skin tone for non-stop no-faff sessions.
Effort & Results ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Up to 12 weekly sessions for long-lasting hair-free results, then top-ups every month or two keep it so. A low effort device.
- Excellent value below £200
- Plug-and-zap simplicity, super for first timers
- Powerful IPL adjusts to your skin tone
- Gentle mode for sesntive areas
- It’s fast so you won’t get bored or tired
- May work on blonde hair (with more sessions)
- Clinically-proven, CE certified & FDA cleared
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Quite big so a little awkward for petite hands
- Tricky to flash on your upperlip
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