Hello Smoothskin Muse. This handsome device is the first high-power IPL device giving unlimited flashes. It's safe for light to dark skin and works on dark hair (but may work on blonde hair too). It's one of the fastest, safest and most simple to use thanks to the clever skin tone sensor. Highly recommended.
Sexy, powerful & lasts forever
The Smoothskin Muse is now discontinued. You may find final stock available from some retailers. Try the new Smoothskin Pure model instead (it’s cheaper & even better!)
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. Learn more about how home IPL works here.
Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Hands-down winner!
Fast, sleek, sophisticated plug-and-zap simplicity. Adjusts each flash to your skin tone for non-stop no-faff sessions.
Hello smooth with powerful IPL. 12 weekly sessions for long-lasting hair-free results, then top-ups every few months to keep it so.
- Striking good looks
- Plug-and-zap simplicity, super for first timers
- Powerful IPL auro-adjusts to your skin tone
- 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
- Expensive at full RRP
👍 Try the latest model Smoothskin Pure – it’s cheaper & even better!
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?
- What to expect? During treatments | After treatments | How quick are results? | How much effort 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 Muse 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.
First-time users comment in the reviews their surprise at how easy it is to get going.
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. It takes just a little practise to get comfortable with the different grips.
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. Several reviewers love you don’t need to faff about charging it. 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. As feedback in the reviews suggests, 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.
Pssssst: 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.
You’ll get unlimited full body treatments and / or small area treatments. The flashes keep coming as long as the device doesn’t break. So, you never need worry you’ll run out.
Several reviewers appreciate these infinite flashes so they never need to think about repurchasing.
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 perfect for you if you’ve varied tones across your body. You just press the button and keep going until you’re done.
Online reviewers appreciate the technology because it minimises irritation from too high an intensity level. And it’s better than fiddling around with a manual intensity guage and potentially using an incorrect strength.
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.
- Lowest intensity flashes every 0.9 seconds – that’s 66 flashes per minute to cover 198cm2
- Highest intensity flashes every 1.9 seconds – that’s 31 flashes per minute to cover 93cm2
Smoothskin say you can cover a full leg in around 8:30 mins. For me it took around 12 minutes, however I’m meticulous. I zapped my full body (full legs, extended bikini line, underarms and face) in just under 50 minutes.
Some reviewers share it takes longer than 20 minutes for a full body because you must make sure you don’t miss any bits. And others, comparing it to other slower home IPL devices they’ve used in the past, say it’s fast.
It’s one of the fastest and best for treating large areas or your full body in one manageable session done in under 1 hour.
— What to expect? —
The Muse is incredibly simple to use. Simply shave, plug it in and off you go. So, it’s a super choice for first time users. But here’s a bit more information about what it feels like.
What to expect during treatments?
When you power it on you hear the quiet whirring of the cooling fan. Each flash makes a gentle pop sound.
Most users say the flashes don’t hurt. They simply feel warm against their skin. However, certain body areas can smart!
Reviewers say it doesn’t hurt as much as waxing or epilating, but on these sensitive areas it’s like a hot sensation for just a few milliseconds. For some it stings on the denser, thicker hair on the bikini line or underarms. I feel it most on my bony ankles and at the tops of my legs. So, sensitive areas differ by person.
A few online reviewers share the Muse gets hotter as you use it too. Therefore, they start with their most sensitive areas before it heats up too much. And those who find it stings too much simply press the “feather” button to lower the intensity in gentle mode so it’s more comfortable.
TIP: Make sure you get a close, smooth shave because otherwise, if there’s hair above the skin surface, it stings!
The flashes are bright white, but harmless to your eyes when against your skin. However, some find them annoyingly bright. To remedy this use the Muse in a well-lit room (so they don’t appear so intense). The user manual tells you to look away for each flash. But this makes it awkward to get precise coverage. Instead, try looking slightly to the side of the Muse (not directly at the flash window). Or you can wear regular sunglasses which eases the glare.
It takes concentration to remember where you’ve zapped. But after a couple of sessions, you’ll find your rhythm and routine. And it’s fast too, so you’ll be done before you get tired or bored.
What to expect after your treatments?
A common skin reaction to IPL hair removal is skin redness. Skin can also feel hot, tingly and a bit itchy too. This is normal, and disappears within 24 hours. You can cool your skin with an ice pack, water spray, soothing Aloe Vera gel or an unscented moisturiser if you like.
If there’s no reaction you can apply your usual toiletries, deodorants and moisturisers. Wash them off if you later feel irritation.
Avoid anything that irritates your skin for a day or 2 after your sessions. Things such as exfoliating, using bleaching creams, enjoying saunas and hot tubs or wearing tight clothing.
And if you go out in the sun, cover up and / or wear a high SPF 15+. This helps protect your skin from sunburn and reduces the risk of developing any of the rare side effects.
Rare side effects?
The Smoothskin Muse treatments are super-safe because of the clever skin tone sensor. It means you can’t flash too intense IPL for your skin tone. So, you’ve virtually no risk of blisters and burns or scarring.
The rare IPL side effects are below. Most won’t experience them but if you do and they don’t go away in the times shown, go see your doctor:
- Skin redness which doesn’t go away after 24 to 48 hours
- Swelling and redness around the hair follicle which doesn’t go away within 2 to 3 days
- Temporary lightening or darkening in skin colour
What results can I expect?
You need 12 weekly sessions taking 11 weeks to complete the start-up phase. Then less frequent top-ups to stay soft and smooth.
So, what happens during the 12 weeks?
You’ll still see hair growing in the first few weeks. These are hairs not yet treated in their active / Anagen growth stage.
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 there’s soft and less hair.
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 any hair not yet in the Anagen 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 weeks. Top-ups are very important because hair will eventually grow back without them. You should stay continuously smooth with these regular sessions. Reduce the frequency to 8 weeks or more once you’re comfortable your hair growth has stopped.
At this stage, with quick top-ups every 1 or 2 months, it’s easy to see why several reviewers dubbed it a time-saving hair removal device.
How much effort is it?
The online reviewers share it’s quick to set up a routine with the Muse because each session is not too much effort. But how much effort is it overall?
Based on our standardised tests, for full body smoothness you’ll spend between 5 to 10 hours zapping yourself over a start-up phase of either 5 to 11 weeks. This is how I worked this out:
- A full body session takes around 50 minutes
- You need between 6 to 12 weekly treatments over 5 to 11 weeks
- 6 sessions x 50 mins = 5 hours
- 12 sessions x 50 mins = 10 hours
- So, that’s 5 hours over 5 weeks, or 10 hours over 11 weeks
So, if you follow the 12-weekly sessions recommendation, the Muse asks for more up-front effort compared to other devices. It’s almost double the starting effort of other leading devices.
But don’t let this put you off. It’s not that the Muse is weaker than other devices or gives poorer results. The concerted effort of the start-up phase is to give you longer-lasting smooth results from the start. But how?
The extra up-front Muse treatments compound your hair follicle damage. This keeps your hairs in the resting phase. That’s compared to other brands where you do regular start-up sessions until smooth (e.g. after 5 or so) and then must do several top-up sessions to achieve long-term results.
With the Muse you do more of this effort upfront during the start-up regimen. In fact, as our tester found, you may find you can go longer in between the subsequent top ups, perhaps every 2+ months or so.
Personally, I want long lasting results from the start so I’m prepared for an extra few hours of effort. However, if you’re not, simply do weekly sessions until you’re smooth. It usually takes around 5 or 6. Then switch to monthly top-ups for several months. Keep going so the hair doesn’t reappear. Everyone is different, but you may eventually be able to space them as much as a few months apart.
— 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. If you have light skin tones you can take advantage of the high IPL power for fast and long-lasting results. And for medium and varied skin tones it’s super-safe because of the effortless, advanced skin tone sensor. It does all the hard work for you.
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.
Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of the Muse:
- Lasts forever with unlimited flashes
- Sleek & sophisticated unisex design
- Auto-selects the best intensity level for your skin before EVERY flash
- Gentle mode for sesntive areas
- Fast, straightforward plug-&-zap simplicity
- May work on light blonde hair
- Clinically proven, CE certified & FDA-cleared
- 90-day money back guarantee
- It’s expensive (but handsome)
- Not available in all countries
- Quite big so a little awkward for petite hands
- Tricky to flash on your upperlip
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👍 Try the latest model Smoothskin Pure – it’s cheaper & even better!