Hello Smoothskin Muse. This handsome device is the first high-power IPL device giving unlimited flashes. So it lasts forever for smooth results for decades to come. It delivers fool-proof simplicity using advanced technology. And it's one of the safest too. Learn more in this tried-and-tested, in-depth review of the Smoothskin Muse.
Sexy, powerful & lasts forever
👍 Recommended for face, small and large areas, for light to dark skin tones
What is it?
The Smoothskin Muse 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.
Related: how IPL hair removal works in home laser hair removal 101
The Smoothskin Muse is the latest model from Smoothskin packed with some market leading advancements. It’s manufactured in Swansea, UK by Cyden Ltd. Cyden launched the first home-use IPL device in the UK with the Boots Smoothskin IPL system. They mean business.
It’s currently available in Japan and the UK and has CE certification to meet EU manufacturing and safety standards.
You’ll need 12 weekly treatments taking 11 weeks to complete. Then top up treatments spaced between 4 to 8 weeks will keep you continuously hair-free. Users report even less frequent top-ups the longer you’ve used it.
Smoothskin have updated the SS Gold model and the Muse is the result. It does not disappoint.
It has the same great ergonomic design and advanced skin tone sensor that checks your skin and selects the best intensity for you. And it’s just as powerful for fast and long-lasting results. The key difference is the updated technology that now means there’s no limit on the IPL lamp. The flashes will NEVER run out.
This is superb performance and value from Smoothskin and it raises the benchmark.
This is an in-depth review with real-life hints and tips and photos.
In this tried-&-tested Smoothskin Muse review:
- What’s it like? First impressions | Before you start | Is it easy to use? | Lamp lifetime | Is it safe? | How fast is it?
- In summary: Should I buy it? | Pros & Cons | Where to buy it
–What’s it like? —
It arrives in a neat and compact black and orange box. I love the packaging. It’s stylish and colourful without being garish.
The sleeve shows all the important information about the Muse. I love the friendly, down-to-earth tone. It’s unlike any other brand.
Smoothskin also do a fab job of setting realistic expectations. Because no where do they use the word ‘permanent’. I really like their simple explanation of long-lasting stubble-free results:
“As long as you keep up with top-ups, the chore of daily shaving will soon be a thing of the past”.
Overall, it’s friendly, clear and kinda playful. Now I just want to see what’s inside!
I lift it and the first thing I see is the glossy, speckled-gold stardust swirl along the top of the Muse and a small square orange envelope that greets me…
Keep the box. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s perfect to store everything safely and small enough to fit in a draw.
What’s in the box?
- Muse IPL device
- Power pack & cable
- Mains socket plug
- User guide booklet
- Support programme invitation
The Muse device
Firstly, I love the gold dust sprinkled speckle across the glossy back top. The black and gold colourway is unlike all the others. It’s sleek and sophisticated.
It’s smooth and cool to the touch. There are only 3 buttons on the top. It looks simple. But also like it means business.
Along each side is a matt-black silicone grip that your fingers naturally rest on. It’s a bit bigger than I expected but not too heavy. There’s a natural grip and it’s balanced in my hand. It feels quality, well-made.
Before you start
First, get acquainted with the user manual. Read the important information for reasons you may not be suitable to use it (contraindications) and guidelines around tanning.
Do a skin patch test too, shave your hair and get yourself setup to do your treatment. Keep reading to learn more.
Start with the user guide
This one is distinctive because it’s a pleasure to read.
The opening paragraph took me by surprise. There’s none of that serious dull language you get in other guides.
Carefully read the warnings, precautions, contraindications and eye safety guidelines to check there’s nothing preventing you from using the Muse.
Check the user manual on the Smoothskin website before you buy it.
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
After tanning, your skin is extra sensitive with increased risk of IPL side effects such as burns, blisters, discolouration and scarring. It’s more sensitive after treatments too so there’s a higher risk of sunburn if you go out in the sun.
Smoothskin say don’t use the Muse 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. The website FAQs say 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.
Do a skin patch test
The user guide explains how to do a test patch. It’s very simple.
Shave your test area (for each body area you’ll treat), power on the Muse and do two side-by-side test flashes on each treatment area. Wait 24 hours and if your skin has no reactions, you’re good to do the full treatment.
TIP: If you’ve not used the Muse for a while and your skin has darkened (i.e. after Summer) you should do another skin patch test.
Shave your treatment areas immediately before your treatment.
Your treatment areas 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.
Comfort & privacy
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 Prestige has a very 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.
So, if you’ve got all that sorted, you’re ready to go.
Is it easy to use?
It’s one of the easiest. That’s because it has some clever tech inside that does all the hard stuff for you. Therefore, it’s as simple as point-and-zap.
Wait 24 hours after your skin test and if there’s no reaction you can start. It’s the most simple to use.
- Shave before every treatment (unless you’re smooooth).
- Plug it in and press the power button. The buttons change from blue to white. and 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 reverts to standby mode with a blue power button.
The flashes are bright, and the user manual tells you to look away for each flash. Make sure you use it in a well-lit room and you can try wearing shades if it’s too much. Your skin must cover both skin tone sensors before it’ll flash, so this avoids any accidental flashes.
The Muse is comfortable to hold and easy to manoeuvre around your body. It weighs just 367g. There are a few different grips you can use thanks to the curved handle. It takes a short experiment to get comfortable with it.
1) The long handle fits snug in the palm of my hand as my index finger naturally rests on the large flash button. It’s in the perfect place. This is the most comfortable grip for covering large areas (like legs) with speed. It gives a bit more reach for backs of legs and knees too. And it felt most natural on the feet, toes, bikini line and underarms.
2) Alternatively, try resting your thumb on the flash button, grip the side of the handle with your fingers wrapped underneath. This works well for the insides of your thighs, bum cheeks, backs / top of legs and tummy.
3) Another grip I find helpful for my face (chin, under chin and upper lip) is resting the underside on my thumb and pressing the flash button with my index and fore finger.
The other buttons are further along the top so they’re safely out of the way. Therefore, with both these grips you can continue without interruption.
It’s easy to get accurate coverage because the angles ensure perfect visibility of the treatment end. Simply slide it along 1 cm at a time.
Long power cable
There’s no waiting about with the Muse because it’s mains-powered. Plug it in and off you go. It’s ready when you are.
The cable is 2 metres long to the power pack. The mains cable plugs into this and is an additional 40 cm long. So, the power pack sits just below the socket and you get the full 2 metres of cable to play with without being weighed down.
It’s flexible and not too thin. It doesn’t wind around itself and end up in knots.
One flash window
The Muse has one single flash window. It’s safe for both body and face. At 1 cm high by 3 cm long it’s the best size and shape for a multi-use flash window.
It’s big enough to cover your skin fast on large areas like legs. And it’s narrow enough to position on small areas like your upper lip. This can take a bit of practise but you soon work out how to do it.
- For your upper lip try blowing out your cheeks or turning your lips in around your teeth. This makes a flatter surface.
- For shins and other bony or uneven areas, you can try turning the device 90 degrees so the length of the flash window runs down the bone.
Would other specialist windows improve it?
I do like the no-faff design off the Muse. And I think additional attachments would detract from the brilliant plug-and-go simplicity. It may take a bit more manoeuvring on some areas but it does the job better then most. They do help but aren’t necessary.
The Braun Pro 5 IPL has a smaller attachment. Check it out if you really want one.
How long will it last?
The Smoothskin Muse gives THE best lamp lifetime.
In recent years Smoothskin, Philips and Silk’n have released models with 100s of thousands of flashes. Because IPL results get better and better over time, that’s likely more than you’ll ever need. But just to be sure, Smoothskin have gone either further.
The Muse is the first (and only) high-power home IPL device to give unlimited flashes from the lamp. It’s the best available.
It’s unbeaten. You’ll get unlimited full body treatments or small area treatments. The flashes will keep coming as long as the device doesn’t break. So, you don’t need to worry about running out.
N.B. General usage and wear and tear can also affect how long the machine keeps working.
So, is this thing safe?
Is it safe?
Yes. The Muse is clinically proven safe for home-use. It’s also FDA-cleared so that gives extra reassurance.
There’s an in-built UV filter in the flash window to protect your skin. And other impressive and high-tech safety features.
Let’s start with eye safety and then look at the clever skin tone sensor.
There are 2 smaller sensor windows at either end of the flash window. Both must have full skin contact before the Muse will flash. This safety feature protects your eyes so you can’t accidentally flash it into open air.
They’re also the skin tone sensors.
Advanced skin tone sensor
Like other skin tone sensors, the Muse keeps you safe by checking for a suitable skin tone (Fitzpatrick tones I to V). If your skin is too dark it won’t flash and the side LED indicators light up red.
But the skin tone sensors are clever too.
They continuously check your skin and set the best intensity level for your tone. They do this before every flash. Each flash therefore adjusts to the perfect balance of safety and power.
The Muse has 10 intensities – 1 is low and 10 is high. The IPL energy output ranges from 3 J/cm2 to 6 J/cm2. It’s one of the most powerful home IPL hair reduction systems available. You get faster and longer lasting results using the highest intensity that safe for your skin. The 10 LED lights along each side show you which level is set.
Some refer to this as Variable Pulsed Light (VPL).
So, there’s no need to stop and check your skin tone across different body areas. It’s great for you if you have varied tones across your body. You can just keep going until you’re done.
But you do have an option if you find the flashes smart in more sensitive areas. You can activate ‘gentle’ mode.
Some areas are more uncomfortable than others. Such as underarms and bikini line. That’s because hair is thicker and denser there. So, you may want to reduce the intensity a bit, especially for the first few sessions when more hairs are actively growing.
Pressing the ‘feather’ gentle mode button reduces the IPL intensity output of the flashes.
It’s a good option to have. But remember, you get faster and longer lasting results using the highest intensity that’s safe for your skin.
You can also control the speed of flashes using ‘glide’.
For Stamp mode: Press and release flash button for a single flash. Move to the next spot and repeat. This is good for small areas like upper lip or around ankles where you need precise placement.
For Glide mode: Press and hold the flash button for continuous flashes. Flash, glide 1 cm to the next spot, flash and repeat. The flashes come every 1 to 2 seconds so it’s pretty close to a gliding motion. Be sure to only flash each area of skin once.
Glide means there’s no repetitive button pressing (annoying on large areas) and it reduces strain on your grip. It’s also fast to cover your skin.
How fast is it?
It’s one of the fastest.
The big 3 cm² window flashes every 1 to 2 seconds. The flashes are faster on the lower intensities.
Smoothskin say you can cover a full leg in around 8:30 mins. For me it took almost 11 minutes, however I’m meticulous. Undoubtedly, it’s fast, so it’s one of the best for treating large areas or you full body in one manageable session.
— In summary —
Should I buy it?
Yes. It’s one of the best. And boy is it handsome.
It’s a super choice for full body treatments because it’s fast, but just as good for small areas too. Light skin takes advantage of the high IPL power for fast and long-lasting results. And for darker and varied skin tones it’s super-safe because of the effortless, advanced skin tone sensor. It does all the hard work for you.
“Choose this for fast, no-nonsense, high IPL power that’ll never run out of flashes. One of the best for both full body and small areas. It looks sexy too.”
Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of the Muse:
- Lasts forever with unlimited flashes
- Built-to-last with eye and skin safety features
- Foolproof, lightweight, point-and-zap operation
- This thing is handsome
- No-faff advanced skin tone sensor detects & sets best intensity before every flash – perfect for varied tones across your body
- Sessions are fast & powerful, with optional gentle mode
- May work on light blonde hair
- Suitable for a 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
- Smoothskin 90-day money back guarantee
- It’s expensive (but handsome)
- Only available in the UK and Japan for now
- Not safe for the darkest skin tones (dark brown & black) or red and grey/white hair
- Takes a little practise on small uneven areas like your upper lip
This is why it’s a winner.
Superb value, uniquely with unlimited flashes so you’ll never run out, plus high IPL power for fast and long lasting results.
Sleek, sophisticated and simplicity itself. The fool proof tone sensor detects and sets the best intensity for your skin before every flash. Perfectly balanced power & safety that’s almost effortless.
Fast 2-second flashes at the highest intensity so you can cover a full leg from 8:30 minutes. One of the best.
Professional, knowledgeable, dedicated support from Smoothskin with the best web resources and support program available. Love the 90-day money back guarantee.
Relatively few reviews for this new model but initial feedback is positive.
Pay a premium price for a premium model. It’s worth it.
And if you’re still undecided remember Smoothskin give a 90-day money back guarantee period (available through the retailers below). That, and the 2-year warranty, are great peace of mind. It’s my best no-faff home IPL that’s sexy, powerful and lasts forever.
You can check prices or buy the Smoothskin Muse using the links below.
Where to buy the Smoothskin Muse
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Still not sure?
If you still aren’t sure, try my Best IPL and laser hair removal guide. These are the top devices available for home hair removal. All are tried and tested by myself and my small team of testers.