Smoothskin Pure vs Bare+ comparison review

What's the difference between the Smoothskin Pure vs Bare+? I've tested them both so come learn all in this comparison review...
Smoothskin Pure vs Smoothskin Bare+ comparison review by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com

by | February 12, 2021

Hello! I'm Laura and I test at-home beauty devices to bring you fair and honest in-depth reviews at Wearebodybeautiful.com

What’s the difference?

In this comparison review I contrast the latest home IPL devices from Smoothskin; the top of the range premium Pure and the compact, more affordable Bare+. Both are excellent allrounder devices for zapping your face, small and large body areas. They give fast treatments and are super-simple to use, albeit in different ways. Read on to find out how…

The devices...

Here's a very quick comparison of the key info about the Pure and Bare+ from Smoothskin. There's more information on what they're like to use and loads of helpful photos down below too. Skip to the end if you just want a quick comparison of the features and performance data from my tests.
Pure
"The easiest & fastest, best value premium & powerful at-home IPL for light to dark skin tones."
Bare+
"A simple, fast & affordable medium power at-home IPL hair removal device for light to medium skin tones."

4.8 / 5

💰💰💰

✔️ Face
✔️ Small bits
✔️ Legs
✔️ Large areas

Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee

4.4 / 5

💰💰
✔️ Face
✔️ Small bits
✔️ Legs
✔️ Large areas
Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee

What’s the same?

  • 2-year warranty
  • Super-simple to use
  • Quality materials & build
  • Strong & long power cords
  • Unlimited IPL flashes
  • Optional precision window
  • Eco-friendly attractive packaging
  • Same skin tone & hair colour ranges
  • They won’t flash if your skin is too dark
  • Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee
  • Clinically proven, CE certified & FDA-cleared
  • Manufactured in Wales, UK by Cyden Ltd

What’s different?

  • Styling, size & shape
  • Price (Bare+ is cheaper)
  • More advanced tech inside the Pure
  • Pure has 3 modes (standard, speed & gentle) vs standard with the Bare+
  • IPL power ranges (Pure is more powerful)
  • Pure gives longer lasting results after your start-up sessions

The Smoothskin Pure and Bare+ use 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.

In this Smoothskin Pure vs Bare+ review:

Quality

The Smoothskin devices are top quality, long-lasting choices designed with your ease in mind. They’re beautifully presented without being wasteful, and they’re a joy to open too.

The Smoothskin Pure & Smoothskin Bare+ boxes side by side
Classy, compact & simple black boxes with slide-off info sleeves.
Top down shot inside the Smoothskin Pure & Smoothskin Bare+ boxes
I love the compact, eco-friendly packaging with both devices ♻. They fit in a draw so double as protective storage too.
The contents of the Smoothskin Pure & Smoothskin Bare+ boxes side by side
The contents of the Pure & Bare+ boxes
You get a black quick start booklet with the Smoothskin Pure and a pink user guide with the Bare+.
Both devices come with a quick start guide or full manual – download the full user manuals here
Top down view of the Smoothskin sleek Pure next to the curvy Bare+
Excellent materials, robust build quality, with classic, stylish looks.

Both devices give unlimited flashes from the IPL bulb, so there’s no worry about ever running out! They’re excellent value and the only home IPL devices to offer this. They also come with a reassuring 2-year warranty. Oh, and extra peace of mind with a worldwide 90-day money back guarantee. Top job.

Shape & design

Side profile view of the Pure & Bare+ home IPL devices from smoothskin as reviewed by WeAreBodyBeautiful.com
Sleek & sophisticated Pure (left), curvy cute & fun Bare+ (right)
Pure is styled in sleek glossy black with gold trim, & the Bare+ in sleek black wityh a rose-gold band, and a grippy silicone base.
Distinctive, sleek, glossy-black styling, the Pure with gold trim, and the Bare+ with rose-gold.
The Bare+ measures 13cm long, 7.5cm wide and 4.5 deep.  The Pure measures 18cm long, 7cm wide and 4cm deep.
Ergonomic & compact shapes
The Pure weighs 270g and the Bare+ 200g. They are amongst the lightest home IPL devices
Comfy & lightweight even for small hands
Holding the Pure and Bare+ on their sides in my hands to show the difference in shape
The Pure gently curves into the handle. The rounded Bare+ tapers to the flash window.
Top down shot of the Pure next to the Bare+ showing the handle on the Pure
The handle works to keep the cord out your way as you work
Close up shots of the fixed power cords in the base of the Pure and Bare+
Thick & strong fixed power cables for extra durability
Top down shot of the Pure and Bare+ with their long and strong, thick and supple power cords with power packs and shrter mains cables
Both have 2-metre long thick & supple power cables
Flash buttons labelled on the Pure & Bare+, and the additional mode button on the Pure too below the flash button
Large, easy-press flash buttons. The Bare+ has just one button, & the Pure’s mode button blends seamlessly into the sleek design.
Holding the underside of the Pure and Bare+ close to the camera to show the cooling air vents below the treatment head
The cooling air vents on the underside of each. The Pure’s can get blocked if placed on a soft surface.
Photo of the Pure and Bare+ labelled with the white skin contact sensors around the flash window and the size of the flash window
Both have a multi-purpose medium-size 3cm2 (1 by 3 cm) flash window.

The white rim around the flash windows is the skin contact sensor on each. This is to stop accidental flashes near your eyes. Your skin must be touching all along the sensor or else the device will not flash. There’s more on safety and power next.

Safety & power

Here’s a quick spec and features comparison for safety and power.

Power & Safety comparison

Pure

Bare+

Skin tone sensor

Skin tone sensor

3 to 6 J/cm2

4 J/cm2

10 energy increments

Just 1 energy level

Won’t flash if your skin’s too dark

Matches every flash to your skin tone

Won’t flash if your skin’s too dark

Flashes the same intensity each time

Gentle mode

No gentle mode

Both devices protect skin that’s too dark with a skin tone sensor.

Pure & Bare+ treatment heads labelled wih the illuminated blue skin tone sensors
Blue skin tone sensors continuously scan your skin tone
Close up of the red power bar on the Pure and red light around the flash button on the Bare+ indicatong your skin is too dark for safe use
The skin tone sensors stop flashes if your skin tone is too dark, and show red lights.

The Pure has a low to high IPL intensity range of 3 to 6 J/cm2. Dark skin tones can use the low intensities and fair skin the higher ones. It keeps your skin safe because, before every flash, the sensor auto-adjusts the IPL level to match your skin tone. There are 10 intensity level shown on the power bars.

10 white lights on the Pure power bar show the highest IPL intensity level is matched to your skin tone and is ready to flash
The Pure’s power bar showing the highest IPL intensity safe for fair skin tones

Using the high IPL levels on fair skin gives faster and longer-lasting results. This means with the Pure you can get smooth faster and stay smooth for longer between top-ups than with a lower power device. So, if you have lighter skin, the Pure’s powerful IPL may appeal more than the Bare+.

That’s because, in contrast, the Bare+ has just one medium IPL intensity of 4 J/cm2. It’s safe for light to dark tones. The medium IPL still works on fair skin, but you may need more sessions and more frequent top-ups to stay smooth. If you have a medium skin tone, the Bare+’s medium strength IPL is your perfect match.

However, if your skin is dark type V, the Pure offers more control then the Bare+ for the comfiest sessions. That’s because, if you find the IPL too hot, you have an optional gentle mode to lower the intensity below 4 J/cm2, and down to 3 J/cm2

How to use them

Smoothskin recommend shaving immediately before your sessions. If you don’t want to shave your face, try dermaplaning instead.

Shave before your sessions for best results, but try dermaplaning instead of shaving your face!
Shave for best results, & try dermaplaning for your face

Then, once you’ve found a comfy, well-lit spot you’re good to start a’zappin!

Both devices give you plug-in-&-go simple operation.

Simply plug them into the mains. They start up immediately. Then, place the flash window flush against your skin and press flash. After each flash, move to an adjacent spot and repeat. You can keep the flash button pressed and glide over your skin for continuous flashes. Or press and release for single flashes where you need more precision and control e.g., on the face, bikini line etc.

The Pure shows white lights on the power bar, and the Bare+ illuminates white around the flash button when they're ready to flash
When you have good skin contact and the device is ready to flash, you’ll see white lights.

Remember: If your skin tone is too dark or it’s not flush against your skin, you’ll see red lights.

And that’s it for the Bare+. Fast, no-faff and super-simple!

But you get more control with the Pure.

Photo showing the white feather icon illuminated in gentle mode, and fewer white lights on the power bar
Press mode button once for gentle mode (feather icon) & less intense IPL

First, if you find the flashes sting a bit, press the mode button once. This lowers the IPL intensity a notch or two in gentle mode, so it’s less hot. It’s comfier for darker skin tones and for sensitive areas like bikini line.

Photo showing the white stopwatch icon illuminated in gentle mode, and one white light on the power bar
Press mode button again for speed mode (speedy-stopwatch icon) & medium IPL power

Next, there’s speed mode. Press the mode button again and you see the speedy stopwatch icon. This lowers the IPL intensity to 4 J/cm2. And this is good because the IPL bulb recharges faster in between flashes versus on the higher IPL intensities. So, the flashes are quicker and you can cover your skin much faster. I love this mode for zapping my legs.

Which is easiest & fastest to use?

Both devices are fast, simple, and comfortable to use. But the Pure is more sophisticated, a little easier and faster. Let’s compare them now.

similar grips & feel: Grip with tumb on the flash buttons
Comfy grip with thumb on the flash button, good for legs, tummy & bikini line
Grip with fingers on top of the flash button
Precise, controlled grip with fingers on the flash button, good for face, chest & underarms

The grips are similar and comfy with both devices, and it’s quick to find the easiest way. You hold them directly over the flash button between your fingers and thumb. They fit comfy in your hand without strain, and are intuitive and handy to manoeuvre around your body.

Top down shot flashing my pins with the Pure and Bare+. The handle on the Pure keeps the cord out of my way as I zap
The cord sometimes gets in the way with the Bare+ as it has no handle.

However, the Pure’s shape is slightly easier because the handle keeps the cord out of the way. With the Bare+ you must move the cord frequently, especially along your legs. However, it’s easy after a little practise. Both cords are very long giving plenty of slack if you’re near a mains outlet.

p

TIP: An extension may be helpful if you want to work on your bed or near to a mirror without an outlet close by.

I also find it easier to gauge where the flash window is with the Pure. That’s because the shape of the treatment head moulds around the flash window better. So, it’s easier and more accurate to position. The shape is a perfect fit with easy flashes on my upper lip too.

Side view of the Pure treatment head next to the Bare+ treatment head
Pure’s treatment head is easier to position & flash (perfect fit on upper lip!)
Close up flashing my upperlip with the Bare+ - helps if you puff out your cheeks!
The Bare+ is a little tricky to zap your tache (puffing-out your cheeks helps) and jaw line.
Close up of the treatment heads on the Pure and Bare+ showing the tone sensor, skin contact sensor and shape of the treatment heads.
The spacing, shape and extra sensitive skin sensor make for slightly easier flashes with the Pure

Both devices have the same features on the treatment head. However, the Pure’s blue skin tone sensor is slightly further from the flash window. And the skin sensor (white rim around the flash window) looks slightly wider and is more sensitive on the Pure. Therefore, it’s easier to flash on uneven surfaces.

However, with both devices it’s still a little tricky to flash small or uneven, bony surfaces, such as shins and ankles. It helps to rotate the flash window, angling it along the bone. It’s easy once you know how, but because the Pure is a little easier to flash than the Bare+, its sessions are faster.

Zapping one full leg with the Pure in speed mode takes just 7 mins!
Pure is fastest: 7 mins per full leg vs 11 mins with the Bare+

In my speed tests the Pure comes out on top. It’s not just about the advertised flash rate – the shape, comfort, manoeuvrability, consistency, and ease of flashes all play a vital role. Here’s how the Pure and Bare+ compare in my speed tests. I tested both on myself over several sessions and took the average times.

Speed of sessions comparison

Pure

Bare+

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

Up to 130 flashes per min

Up to 100 flashes per min

The flashes slow as the device heats up and then are steady & consistent.

The flashes slow as the device heats up and then are steady & consistent.

9 mins per full leg (high)
7 mins per full leg (speed)

19 mins for whole body

11 mins per full leg

30 mins for whole body

What do they feel like?

With both models you’ll hear the cooling fan whir and a small pop with each flash. The flashes are bright but harmless to your eyes. You can wear sunglasses to ease any irritation.

The Bare+ feels mostly gentle and warm on medium and fair skin tones. On darker skin the medium IPL intensity may feel hot, and you can’t lower the intensity any. So, it may not be the best choice for you. However, you can test it and see and return it within 90-days if it’s not for you.

The Pure feels warm to hot depending on your skin tone and sensitivity of your treatment area. If it stings or feels too much, use gentle mode. It’s good to have this extra control for darker skin tones.

Treatment schedules & results

The start-up schedule is the same for both the Pure and Bare+. Treat weekly for 12 weeks. You’ll typically see noticeable to significant results after 6+ weeks.

12 weekly sessions for start-up with the Pure & Bare+

During your start-up phase, you’ll notice hairs grow slower, softer, finer and lighter after a few sessions. Shaving is easier without vicious stubble, rash or ingrown hairs. Eventually bald patches appear and get bigger. You may see these results very quickly, or slower and more gradually over 12 weeks.

Smoothskin recommend you complete all 12 sessions so you catch all hairs during an active growth cycle. It also means you can go longer in between top-up sessions from the start. You’ll typically need top-up sessions every month or two with the Pure, and between 2 to 4 weeks with the Bare+ (because it’s slightly less powerful). However, for most people, once you’ve done several top-ups you can usually wait even longer between them.

Related: learn why top-ups are crucial & more about long term results

Comparison summary: Which should I buy?

Smoothskin Pure vs smoothskin Bare home IPLs
Top choices for face, small & large areas

Both the Pure and Bare+ are excellent choices, and top choices in my best allrounder devices round-up, especially for whole-body sessions. The Pure outperforms the Bare+, so if you’ve got the cash, go for it! But if you need something more affordable for medium to light skin tones, rest assured the Bare+ is a fast, quality choice too.

Here’s a quick summary comparison table of the spec, test and performance data for the Pure and Bare+ to help you decide:

Everything comparison

Pure

The Pure is the best value premium at-home IPL hair removal device beacuse sessions are fast and it’s just so darned easy.

Bare+

If you want something that does the job with minimum fuss (and a lower price tag) Smoothskin Bare+ is super-simple, handy, fast and affordable.

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

💰💰💰

💰💰

Clinically proven
CE certified
FDA-cleared

Clinically proven
CE certified
FDA-cleared

2-year warranty

2-year warranty

Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee

Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee

Mains-power

Mains-power

Optional precision flash window with Pure Fit model

Optional precision flash window with Bare+ Fit model

270g

200g

Unlimited flashes!

Unlimited flashes!

3 to 6 J/cm2
10 energy increments

4 J/cm2
Just 1 energy level

Skin tone sensor

Skin tone sensor

Won’t flash if your skin’s too dark

Matches every flash to your skin tone

Won’t flash if your skin’s too dark

Flashes the same intensity each time

g

3x Modes: Power (default), Gentle, Speed

g

1x standard mode
(❌ gentle mode)

Feels warm to hot.
Use gentle mode if it stings!

Feels warm.
No gentle mode for dark skin tones.

7 mins per full leg

19 mins for full body

11 mins per full leg

30 mins for full body

12 weekly sessions, then top-ups 4 to 8 weeks.

Faster & longer lasting results on the high power levels/light skin tones.

12 weekly sessions, then top-ups 2 to 4 weeks.

More sessions / top-ups needed.

Excellent quality
Simple
Very comfy
Easier
Faster

Excellent quality
Simple
Handy
Fairly easy flashes
Fast

Takes practise on shins & ankles

Easy to accidentally cover the air vents

Shows grubby finger prints!

Cord sometimes gets in the way

Takes practise on shins & ankles

No gentle mode for dark skin tones

Smoothskin Pure & Bare+ deals

When you shop via my links I earn a small commission (but your price stays the same). And I really appreciate your support 🙏!

BODYBEAUT

CurrentBody voucher code for SmoothSkin

Pure deals

Bare+ deals

Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 8 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site Wearebodybeautiful.com. I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

Related posts

Get news & reviews

By subscribing you agree to my Privacy Policy and to receive emails from me. I don't spam. 

Tria 4X laser hair removal review
Tria 4X laser hair removal review

The Tria 4X is the only FDA-approved home laser hair remover. It’s safe for light to medium skin tones, and works on dark hair. It’s best suited to small body areas, and because it’s the most powerful home device it promises your longest lasting results, with a UK 60-day money back guarantee too.