In this Smoothskin Pure review:
What is it?
The Smoothskin Pure uses intense pulsed light energy (IPL) to damage and disable your hair follicles, slowing and then stopping hair regrowth. Periodic top-up treatments keep your skin smooth. Learn more about how home IPL works here.
I love this small and neat, understated, classy black and gold box. Keep the sturdy cardboard box because it’s perfect to store and protect the Pure. It fits in a standard-size draw or looks good on a shelf.
The packaging is majority recyclable cardboard ♻ with just a few small protective plastic bags.
What’s in the box?
- Pure device
- Precision window (Pure Fit only)
- Power cable
- Quick start guide
Before you start
Before you start, read the user manual and do a skin sensitivity test.
The Pure comes with a concise 9-step quick start guide with just the basics. So, you must download the full Pure user manual here. It’s a comprehensive but easy read with helpful diagrams. It explains how the Pure works and what to expect, potential side effects, details of the clinical study, how to use it, skin sensitivity test, features and modes, maintenance, troubleshooting and technical specs.
Please pay close attention to the contraindications and other safety warnings because there are several reasons you could be unsuitable to use home IPL. These include being pregnant, having epilepsy, taking photosensitising medications, having skin conditions, over tattoos or after skin peels. Learn more about home IPL contraindications here and read the manual too!
Take care with sun exposure too. It increases your skin’s sensitivity. To avoid sunburn after your treatments and reduce the risk of burns, blisters and discolouring during your treatments, Smoothskin advise:
✔️ Wait 7 days after sunbathing before treatments, or wait for your tan to fade
✔️ After your treatments, avoid the sun for 7 days
✔️ Cover up and use a sunscreen of SPF 15+ after your treatments to avoid unprotected sun exposure
❌ Don’t use the Pure on recently tanned or sunburned skin, including artificial tans
Therefore, during your start-up treatments, it’s best to avoid tanning altogether. Both by sunlight and artificially with light or creams. There’s more on tanning and sun exposure here.
To check your skin sensitivity, test each area you intend to treat with a few test zaps! Wait 24 hours and if your skin is normal, crack on with your first session (but avoid the test patch until your next weekly session).
Learn more about how to prepare for your sessions. And if you’ll be zapping facial or neck hairs I recommend dermaplaning as an alternative to shaving. Learn more about dermaplaning here and you’ll find deal links for dermaplaning tools at the end of this review.
Here’s a quick summary of how to use the Pure, and there are loads more details in the following sections.
Just follow these steps:
- Shave before every treatment (unless there’s no hair left!)
- Plug in, the sensor shines blue and you’ll hear the fan start up inside
- Select your mode; power, gentle or speed
- Position flat on your skin so the power bars light up and press the flash button
- Slide to the next spot and repeat. Cover your skin in adjoining flashes avoiding overlap.
When you’re done, unplug from the mains and the Pure powers down. The Pure goes into standby mode after 10 minutes if you don’t press any buttons. Just press the power mode button to bring it back to life!
I tested the Pure on my full legs, extended bikini line, underarms and face. Here’s my feedback.
Quality & design
I love the stand-out glossy-black design with classy gold trim. The simple controls and power bars blend in seamlessly with the clean, sleek and sexy look.
The Pure is lightweight at 270g but feels sturdy and solid with no creaks or cracks. The IPL bulb gives unlimited flashes too. So, no need to worry about ever running out. The power cable is fixed into the handle for extra durability too. It’s a quality device, built to last and will keep going for decades of smooth skin. You get a 2-year warranty and Smoothskin says it’ll run for a minimum of 10 years when used as directed.
There’s even a strong black elastic band looped through the power cable so you can’t lose it. Simply wind up the cable and slip the band around it to keep everything neat and tidy. I love this simple attention to detail.
Compact & comfortable
The Pure measures 18cm long, 7cm wide and 4cm deep. The precise curves and compact dimensions fit comfortably in hand in a few different grips. And the angled handle keeps the power cord out of the way too.
In the Smoothskin videos and photos you’ll see the lovely model holding the Pure like this:
I find this hold tires my wrist because you must bend it downwards to position the flash window flat on your skin. It’s especially uncomfortable zapping legs. Instead, I prefer to grip the device from the side with either my thumb or fingers on the flash button. There’s much less strain on your wrist and arm.
However, with these grips, it’s easy to obscure the side power bars with your hand. So sometimes you can’t tell if the red lights are on. It takes just a bit of practice to master and you soon find the most comfortable way.
Multi-purpose flash window
The business end tapers gently to the flash window, so it’s precise to position and easy to see where you’re flashing. With the Pure model, there’s one fixed multi-purpose flash window. It’s a very versatile shape, good for most body areas. But some areas are trickier. Try holding the Pure side wards or diagonally to flash knees, bony ankles and shins.
But rather surprisingly, my upper lip is easy to flash too. Not so with some rivals which require funny faces to get a flash. So, what’s different? It’s the shape. The zapping end of the Pure fits perfectly on either side of my top lip under my nose. You can also feel the edge of the flash window on your skin so you know where you’re flashing. And it flashes first time. Woohoo! No faff on my jawline or chin too. Finally! 🥳
Personally, I didn’t feel the need for a smaller flash window because it’s very easy to flash in most areas without it. However, the latest model – Smoothskin Pure Fit – does come with a smaller precision window. This clips over the main window and covers the ends so there’s a smaller opening. Crack on if you fancy paying a bit more for this added window (but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra cash).
Powerful & clever skin tone sensor
The Pure is one of the most powerful home IPLs with IPL energy ranging from 3 to 6 J/cm2. The highest intensities are safe for lighter skin tones and give longer-lasting results than less powerful IPL. The lower intensities still work and are safe for darker tones up to type V.
Rest assured, the Pure is clinically tested safe for home use and it passes the necessary European manufacturing and safety standards. It’s FDA-cleared in the US too. And it has some neat, super-safe sensor tech inside.
The powerful IPL is controlled in ten small intensity increments, which is double that of most rivals. This means you get a more precise match to your individual skin tone. But there’s no guesswork in choosing your best intensity because the clever skin tone sensor does all the hard work for you. It works like this…
The blue sensor light above the flash widow scans your skin and if your skin tone is too dark, it won’t flash.
You’ll also see these red lights if you don’t have good skin contact when you flash. The skin contact sensor runs around the flash window. It won’t flash unless your skin covers it and so prevents accidental flashes into open space anywhere near your peepers!
If you have good skin contact and your skin tone is safe, the power bars light-up white. The lights show the strongest and safest intensity matching your skin tone.
My skin is fair so I get all 10 lights on full power. The sensor does this before every single flash so you don’t need to stop and check. Therefore, it’s the safest and easiest choice if you have varied skin tones across your body parts!
NOTE: Smoothskin says the Pure is the most powerful home IPL with “20 Watts of hair-stopping power”. This is confusing because scientists don’t use Watts to measure the strength of IPL energy flashes. They measure it in joules per centimetre squared (J/cm2). Confusion aside, along with the Lumea Prestige and Braun Pro 5 IPL, the Pure is still the most powerful home IPL you can buy.
Gentle mode too
But with all this power, what if it stings?!?! I hear ya. Fret not.
The Pure has a gentle mode. Just press the small mode button once and the feather icon shows white. This reduces the intensity of the IPL flashes. So, you’ll see fewer white lights on the power bar and feel less owie in sensitive areas like the bikini line and underarms.
But the product designers over at Smoothskin HQ were not yet content with this 🤓📋.
They also gave the Pure speed mode.
Press the mode button again for ultrafast flashes in speed mode. Keep the flash button pressed and glide the Pure along your skin 1cm between flashes. It makes zapping large areas like your legs ultrafast. Smoothskin says you get up to 130 flashes per minute. That’s roughly a flash every 0.45 seconds and is the fastest flash rate of all home IPLs 🥇.
To flash so fast in speed mode, the Pure drops the IPL intensity to the lowest setting. For light skin tones that’s at 4 J/cm2, and for darker tones in increments down to 3 J/cm2. In my tests, the flashes start ultrafast with a smooth, quick glide along your leg. Then, after half a leg they slow just a bit to a very fast and steady pace. A very meticulous full leg takes an average of 7 minutes. That’s the fastest, smoothest and most controlled glide we’ve tested on all home devices. So, if you have more important things to do and speed is what you need most, this is the bestestest choice.
How fast are the sessions?
Smoothskin says you can zap your whole body in 10 minutes. That’s a tad optimistic, even on speed mode. That’s because ankles, shins, knees, backs of legs etc slow you down.
However, my whole-body session – using speed mode on my legs and power mode on my face, bikini line and underarms – took a rather impressive 19 minutes. That knocks the previous champ Braun Pro 5 IPL off its throne and is simply the fastest home IPL you can buy 👑.
Sessions take a little longer on gentle or power mode because the flashes are slower. But even then, it’s still one of the fastest! On gentle mode, the flashes start every 0.5 seconds then, after about 30 seconds, slow to just under a second. On power mode, the flashes start as fast then slow to a flash every second or so. It takes around 9 minutes for a full leg zapping on gentle and power modes.
But because the option is there – and mainly because I’m lazy – I choose to zap my legs on speed mode and save myself a few precious minutes.
What does it feel like?
You hear the cooling fan whir and a soft pop with each flash.
The flashes are bright but harmless. However, they can get a bit irritating. To help, use the Pure in a well-lit room (this lessens the glare), or wear sunglasses if it’s too much 😎. (You don’t need protective goggles!)
The flashes feel warm and tingly against your skin. And on power mode, they get hot and can smart on sensitive areas. This is generally where hair is thicker and denser like your bikini line and underarms. I also find ankles and tops of my thighs sting a bit too. If it’s too much simply use gentle mode to reduce the heat and intensity.
The Pure is fast so you’re done before getting bored or tired. And once the flashes settle to a consistent pace it’s easy to time the gliding for accurate coverage. Bony and uneven areas take a bit more time and precision but are easy enough after a few sessions.
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. Cool it with a damp facecloth or ice pack. Cooling water sprays are good too, as is Aloe Vera gel or a non-scented moisturiser.
Cover up and avoid tanning and sun exposure after your session. If you don’t there’s a higher risk you’ll experience the rare home IPL side effects.
Schedule, effort & results
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, I’ve calculated this effort based on our controlled tests, so you can compare it to other devices. The Pure is one of the very best.
You need 12 weekly sessions with the Pure. This catches all hairs actively growing and gives you your longest-lasting results from the start. Most see noticeable results within 4 weeks and significant results after 6 sessions. A whole-body session takes around 20 minutes.
|No. of start-up sessions||Time per session||Total effort during start-up|
|6 sessions over 5 weeks for significant results||20 minutes||2 hours|
|Full start-up: 12 sessions over 11 weeks||20 minutes||4 hours|
Once you’ve finished start-up, switch to less frequent top-ups to maintain your results. Smoothskin suggests every 1 or even 2 months. After several top-ups, you’ll likely need them even less frequently. The Pure is easy to fit in and stick with for excellent smooth results.
What results can you expect with the Pure?
Shave before every treatment, and/or between sessions as you need.
Our user trial reports excellent results. Hair growth slows and softens after around 3 sessions. It gets even softer and lighter over the next few sessions until large bald patches appear. Shaving is much easier and without irritation and after 6 sessions skin is smooth. There are just a few tiny patches to shave before the next sessions. And by session 11 there’s nothing to shave anymore. Smooth and silky, and no ingrown hairs too!
Results are a little slower on legs using speed mode versus power mode on bikini and underarms. That’s because the IPL intensity on speed mode is less. It still works, and I love the option for faster sessions. But you can still use power mode if you prefer.
Once smooth, do top-ups as you need them. Shave if you need to before these. Do a few at one-month intervals then see if you can stretch to two, three and even further.
The Smoothskin Pure Negatives
I found just a few minor negatives with the Pure.
First, as mentioned earlier, it’s a bit faffy to get a flash on knees, ankles, shins and toes. It’s the same with most rival devices too. I find rotating the flash window 90° or 45° helps better line-up along the contours in these areas.
Second, the air vents on the underside sometimes have breathing difficulties. If you rest the Pure on a soft surface like a carpet or bed, it blocks the vents. This causes the fan to work extra hard, the Pure to heat up and the flashes to slow down. It’s simple to avoid this issue though. Just rest the device on its back or side or place it on a hard surface.
And then I get a bit clammy during sessions 😅. This obviously isn’t the Pure’s fault, but his delicious glossy exterior shows every single grubby fingerprint I leave on it. So, remember to rub him down with a cloth when you’re done, so he looks pretty for next time.
You also don’t get a fancy storage pouch or case with the Pure. But who cares because the box it comes in does the same job! It also means there’s less waste. 🌎😇
And finally, the Pure is expensive. But less so than the other premium models Braun Pro 5 and Philips Lumea Prestige. I think it’s well worth it for the fastest and easiest sessions with a quality device. Oh, and there’s a discount code below, just for you.
Here’s a quick summary of the scores and a round-up of the pros & cons to help you decide if the Pure is right for you.
Smoothskin Pure & Pure Fit Review Summary
This handsome and nimble zapper is so sleek and straightforward to use. That’s thanks to the powerful point-and-zap tech, with a gentle mode for extra control. Choose the Pure Fit if you fancy the clip-over precision flash window. In my tests, it’s the quickest to zap a whole-body too. A top choice for any body area, you get a WORLDWIDE 90-day money back guarantee too, so you can try it risk free. It’s ace.
Here’s a quick recap of my test results and pros and cons of the Smoothskin Pure:
Unlimited IPL flashes so you’ll never run out. Superb, and the best of the best for value.
Ease of use
Auto-adjusts the IPL to match your skin tone before every flash. Light-weight & handy, with power, gentle & speed modes for extra control. The Fit has a small precision window for easy flashes everywhere. The fastest and easiest high-power home IPL for no-faff sessions, done in a jiffy.
Effort & Results
Up to 12 weekly sessions for long-lasting hair-free results, then top-ups 4 to 8 weeks keep it so. A low effort device.
- Excellent quality
- Handsome, handy, lightweight & comfy
- Powerful IPL auto-adjusts to your skin tone – fool proof & super-safe
- Gentle mode for stingy bits
- Fastest sessions, with speed mode for legs
- Easy flashes with a precision window for tricky areas (Pure Fit)
- Clinically-proven, CE certified & FDA cleared
- The only Worldwide money back guarantee (90-days)
- Easy to accidentally cover the air vents
- Shows fingerprints & smudges
View SmoothSkin Pure & Pure Fit deals
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The Smoothskin Pure Fit comes with a smaller, additional flash window attachment for more precise flashes. You clip it over the larger window to create a smaller opening. The Smoothskin Pure has only the standard flash window.
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