Tested Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 IPL review

Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 IPL: which is best?

A side from the striking different looks, the spec of these devices sounds almost the same. So, if you’re confused and trying to decide between these two-top-notch home IPLS, thank goodness you found this comparison review. I’ve tried and tested both and can share what’s similar, different and better between the two.

So, hold onto your socks. This review compares the design, features, performance, sensation, effort and results to help you choose the right one. Here’s a quick summary of the results:

Smoothskin Pure home IPL

Smoothskin Pure Best ultrafast & value premium IPL

👍 Face, small & large areas
Price: 💰💰💰
✔ Worldwide 90-day money back guarantee
✔ Clinically proven
✔ FDA-cleared
✔ CE certified

I think the Smoothskin Pure is the best value premium home IPL you can buy. It’s safe for light to dark skin and works best on dark hair, but you can try it on light blonde hair. It’s the fastest, safest and easiest high-power home IPL I’ve tested. And it’s very handsome too.

Braun Pro 5 IPL

Braun silk Expert Pro 5 best fast & no-faff home IPL

👍 Face, small & large areas
Price: 💰💰💰💰
✔ UK & Australia money back guarantee
✔ Clinically proven
✔ FDA-cleared
✔ CE certified

This is the top of the range home IPL from Braun safe for light to dark skin tones and works on dark hair. It scores very highly in all my tests and there’s not much between the two devices. It’s a top choice for powerful, fast, safe and straightforward sessions, but the Pure just beats it.

Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 summary & deals

Keep reading for photos and an in-depth comparison of safe skin tones and hair colours, quality, design, operation and features, speed, safety, power, effort and of course results. Or skip to the summary at the end.

Safe skin tones & hair colours

Both devices have the same safe skin tone range for light to dark skin tones, but not the darkest. So, if you’re in the safe skin tone range you can choose from both. And both work best on dark hair.

Fitzpatrick skin tone chart showing it's safe for tones I to V, but not VI (the darkest).
Safe to use on light to medium dark skin tones (Fitzpatrick skin types I to V). Not safe for the darkest skin (type VI) or on dark freckles and moles.
Works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. May work on light blonde hair
Both works on black, dark brown, mid-brown and dark blonde body hair colours. The Pure may also work on light blonde hair. They won’t work on red, white or grey body hair.

However, Smoothskin suggest with the Pure you may get results on light blonde hair too (if it’s not white blonde). Braun don’t say this. There’s more on blonde hair in the results section.

Related: best IPL devices for dark skin & best IPL devices for fair hair

Quality & long lasting

Both are top quality home devices.

Smoothskin Pure and Braun Pro 5 IPL small neat boxes
Professional, neat & attractive small packages with little plastic waste ♻

The Braun Pro 5 IPL uses little plastic and secures the device and bits in an attractive storage pouch inside the outer cardboard packaging. However, Smoothskin’s cardboard box does a slightly better job than the pouch. Reuse it and protective inners to safely store the Pure. Both fit easily in a draw but the Pure box gives sturdier protection.

Inside the Pure's box and the Braun Pro 5's storage pouch
Smoothskin Pure packaging doubles as storage box vs storage pouch extra with the Pro 5
Contents of the Smmoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL boxes
Pure vs Pro 5 box contents
Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5next to their user manuals
Braun’s comprehensive user manual, and a quick start guide with the Pure – download the full user manual!

The build quality is excellent with both, and amongst the best of the home IPLs. The materials are different with each, but equally strong and robust with no creaks or cracks. You get a 2-year warranty with each.

Robust power cordsfixed into the handle of the Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL
Quality, strong & robust build with fixed power cables for extra durability

And both give plenty of IPL flashes so there’s no need to worry about running out.

The Braun Pro 5 gives a whopping 400,000 flashes which can cover around 1,200,000 cm2 of your body. Based on our standardised calculations this equates to 200+ whole-body sessions (face, underarms bikini line, full legs) or 15+ years of monthly sessions. It’s one of the best.

But the Pure has no limit on the number of IPL flashes you get. It’s the only high-power home IPL to give unlimited flashes from the bulb, so it’s easy to see it’s super value. However, both devices score top marks because they each give many more flashes than you’ll ever need to get and stay smooth. They’re superb value.

So, there’s very little difference between quality and lamp life time with the Pure and Pro 5. Both score top marks.

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Styling & design

The classic white and gold styling of the Pro 5 is distinctly Braun. It’s attractive, but I prefer the sleek, glossy black Pure. I love how the controls blend into the design so it’s unfussy, with just a touch of bling from the thin gold trim. It really stands out compared to the Pro 5 and other rivals.

Braun Pro 5 IPL & Smoothkin Pure side by side
Classic white & gold vs sleek glossy-black & gold
Pure held next to the Pro 5
The Pure’s controls blend into the sleek design
The underside of the Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL with cooling air vents
The underside of each device with cooling air vents

During use, the Pure’s air vents block easily when placed on a soft surface. To stop this and the Pure heating up, place it on its side or top instead. The Braun’s vents don’t have this problem.

The Pure & Braun Pro 5 have the sae size flash window
Both have a medium-size 1 by 3 cm flash window
Close up of the power bar lights on the Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL
10 power bars on the sides light up to show the IPL intensity level
Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL showing the long and bendy power cords
Thick, no-tangle cords with ample 2 metres of slack
Smoothskin Pure spoons the Braun Pro 5 IPL!
The Braun Pro 5 handle is more angled

And both devices have a similar weight and feel balanced. The Pro 5 weighs 285g and the Pure just a little lighter at 270g. The shapes look almost identical too. They’re the same length and width, however the Pure’s shape is a gentler angle. This, and the fact the flash button is a bit lower too, means slightly different grips for each.

Head to head Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL
Similar shapes & weights, but they feel different in use
photos of the Pure & Braun Pro 5 in 2 different side grips
Both have comfortable side grips & the handle keeps the cord out of your way

However, the angle of the Braun handle gives it a comfortable third grip as shown below. This doesn’t work with the Pure because it creates an awkward and uncomfortable wrist angle. In use, this means the Pure is simpler, quicker and easier to get to grips with (literally) whilst working around your body.

You can also hold the Braun Pro 5 along the handle
Comfy grip for the Pro 5, not so much for the Pure.
Handy & intuitive Soothskin Pure home IPL
The Pure is slightly more intuitive and comfortable to use than the Braun Pro 5

Whilst your styling preference is a personal choice, the shape and design of the Pure is slightly more intuitive and comfortable than the Pro 5. So, the Pure comes out top here.

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Flashing your upper lip & other tricky bits

You can get good coverage and easy flashes on your upper lip with both devices.

It’s tricky to flash this area with the medium size attachment on the Braun Pro 5. It’s just a bit too big. So, most models also come with a small precision attachment to make it easier. It’s good for fingers, toes and jawline too.

top down shot of the ediu and small flash windows with the Braun Pro 5 IPL
The Pro 5’s smaller 1.1cm by 1.5cm flash window for upper lip

The Pure has just the one medium-size flash window. And it’s easy to flash your upper lip with it, so you don’t even need a smaller window. It works because of the curved-out shape and the position of the small skin sensor window. It fits perfectly for easy, first-time flashes. And it’s just as easy on other awkward areas too.

Soothskin Pure does not need a smaller flash window!
The shape fits perfectly on the upper lip for easy flashes

Therefore, both devices work well here, but the Pure is simpler and a little less faff.

Safety & clever skin tone sensors

Both models are clinically proven safe and effective for home use. And both have FDA-clearance too. They also have similar safety features.

The skin sensors keep your eyes safe. Unless covered by skin they won’t flash, so stopping accidental flashes into open space potentially into your eyes. And they protect your skin with a built-in UV filter too.

Blue skin tone sensor lights
The Braun has two blue skin tone sensors and the Pure just one

And both devices have the same clever skin tone sensor technology developed by British company Cyden Ltd. They scan your skin and won’t flash if your tone is too dark. But they’re even more helpful than that. For safe skin tones, they auto-adjust the IPL intensity to your best match. They do this before every flash. So, you needn’t stop and faff to guess which level to use.

red light says your skin is too dark
The power bars show red if your skin is too dark
White lights say yup, your skin is within the safe tone range
The power bars light up white showing which intensity level the clever sensor matches to your tone

They’re both simple, super-safe and straightforward to use.

Powerful IPL with a gentle mode

They also share the same IPL intensity range too, of 3 to 6 J/cm2. They’re amongst the strongest home IPL devices. And this is good news if you have fair skin and can safely use the highest intensities. That’s because these give you your fastest and longest lasting results. This means going longer in between top-ups.

Both the Pure & Pro 5 in standard or power mode
Pure’s Power mode and Braun’s standard mode range from 4 to 6 J/cm2 in 10 small increments

However, you can’t safely use these higher intensities on darker skin tones. That’s because you have more dark melanin pigment in your skin which gets too hot under strong IPL. It can cause pain and even burns and scarring. Instead, the skin tone sensor only flashes the safe to use lower and gentler IPL levels for dark skin.

Pure & Pro 5 with gentle ode selected
Feather = gentle mode for softer IPL flashes down to 3 J/cm2

And there’s also a gentle mode with both devices too, for extra control where you need it. This lowers the intensity a few notches and lessens the sting on sensitive areas like bikini line. The controls on the Pure are slightly easier to use and understand than on the Braun Pro 5, but both do exactly the same thing.

The Braun Pro 5 has another gentle mode, rather imaginatively called extra gentle mode. This lowers the intensity right down so every flash is 3 J/cm2. This is good if the flashes sting even in gentle mode. A further advantage (but not a promoted feature) is the flashes are fast at around one every 0.6 seconds. So, you can use this mode if you’re inpatient or short on time too.

Now, the Pure also has this lowest intensity mode but it’s slightly improved, and they call it speed mode. Learn more about this in the next section.

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Fast sessions

face to face Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5
Pure flashes every 0.45 to 1 second (up to 130 per min) vs Pro 5 at 0.6 to 1.2 seconds (up to 125 per min)

The Pure and Pro 5 give the quickest home IPL sessions. They’re fastest on the lower IPL intensities. Keep the flash button pressed and you can glide quickly over your legs. But the Pure is just that little bit faster and easier with more consistent flashes. And that’s because of speed mode.

Speed mode on the Smoothskin Pure shows a stopwatch icon and selects the lowest IPL level
Pure’s speed mode gives fast, consistent flashes at 4 J/cm2

On speed mode, it lowers the IPL intensity so each flash is 4J/cm2. That’s a decent amount of hair zapping power for good results, with ultrafast flashes so you don’t spend ages doing it. The flashes start every half second, then after a minute they slow just a bit to a very fast and steady pace. In our tests, a full leg takes an average of 7 minutes. It’s fast!

Extra gentle ode (1 light) selected on the Braun Pro 5 IPL
Pro 5 fastest on extra gentle mode with 3 J/cm2 flashes

The Braun doesn’t have speed mode. Extra gentle mode is closest and, in our tests, averaged 6.5 minutes per full leg. But it has less hair zapping power at 3 J/cm2. So, the disadvantage is you’ll need slightly more frequent top-ups to maintain your smooth than with the Pure.

Our tests show with both devices, if you use the highest IPL intensities, a full leg takes around 9 minutes and a whole-body just under 30 minutes. But use the Pure with speed mode on legs and power mode on bikini line, underarms and face, and it takes just 19 minutes.

So, both devices are fast, but the Pure wins again. Speed mode compromises a little on IPL power but it still works well, with fastest sessions that are easier to fit in and stick with.

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.

Flashes feel hot with both the Pure and Pro 5 when used on the highest intensities. They can sting on more sensitive areas like the bikini line but generally are very bearable. If it’s too uncomfortable just use gentle or speed mode instead.

Blue skin tone sensor lights
The Pure’s single skin sensor means consistent speed flashes

Sessions are quick and easy with both so you’ll finish before you get bored or tired. However, the Braun requires just a little more concentration than the Pure. That’s because the speed of the flashes varies, so it’s a little harder to get accurate coverage. It happens because the proximity of the two skin sensors either side of the flash alters the intensity. So, if both aren’t flush against your skin it flashes faster and at a lower intensity. Therefore, it’s trickier to glide the right amount between flashes.

The Pure is easier because it has a single sensor window above the large flash window. This must be flush against your skin to scan it, so the flash intensity is consistent.

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Effort vs results

Both the Pure and Braun Pro 5 need up to 12 weekly sessions during start-up. You’ll typically see significant results after 6+ sessions.

close up of the Pro 5 & Smoothskin Pure flash windows
Up to 12 weekly sessions with both for smooth skin

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. Braun suggest you switch to top-ups once your skin is smooth. Both brands recommend top-ups at every 1 to months.

The table below compares the overall start-up effort for whole body hair removal with both models:

Device# of start-up sessionsWhole-body sessionStart-up effort
Smoothskin Pure1219 mins3 hours 48 mins
Braun Pro 56 to 1228 mins2 hours 48 mins To 5 hours 36 mins

The Pure comes out on top if you complete all 12 sessions. But there’s not much in it and these two are amongst the fastest and lowest effort high-power home IPLs you can choose.

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.

Either complete all 12 sessions or, if you’re smooth before this, switch to top-ups. Do them as soon as you see any regrowth or at least every month if you’re still smooth. The more you do the longer you can eventually go between top-ups.  

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

Smoothskin also say the Pure may work on blonde hair, if it’s not white-blonde. However, you will need more sessions to see results. But you can try it with a 90-day money back guarantee. If you decide it’s not for you return it for a refund.

Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 IPL comparison summary

Very similar in design & perforance but the Pure wins!
We love both, but the Pure wins!

Both the Pure and Braun Pro 5 are superb choices and two of our recommended best buys. There’s not much difference between them, and you’ll be made-up with either. But for me, the Pure wins because it’s slightly faster, more precise and comfortable to use, and a tad more affordable too.

Here’s a quick summary table of the spec, test and performance data above and then a round-up of the pros and cons to help you decide:

Smoothskin Pure Braun Pro 5 IPL
Image
Body areas 👍 Face, small & large areas 👍 Face, small & large areas
Lamp lifetime & warranty Unlimited flashes!
15+ years
2-year warranty
Unlimited flashes!
15+ years
2-year warranty
Weight & operation 270g
🔌 Mains-power
285g
🔌 Mains-power
Power 3 to 6 J/cm2
10 intensity levels
3 to 6 J/cm2
10 intensity levels
Sensor Check & match intensity
Won’t flash if too dark
Check & match intensity
Won’t flash if too dark
Sensation ⚡⚡⚡
Warm to hot
⚡⚡⚡
Warm to hot
Modes Power (default)
Gentle
Speed
Power (default)
Gentle
Extra gentle
Time per leg 9 mins high intensity
7 mins in speed mode
9 mins high intensity
6.5 mins in extra gentle mode
My comfort & ease score 👍👍👍👍 👍👍👍👍
Tests ✔ Clinically proven
✔ CE certified
✔ FDA-cleared
✔ Clinically proven
✔ CE certified
✔ FDA-cleared
Price 💰💰💰 💰💰💰💰
Warranty 2 years 2 years
Money back guarantee? ✔ Worldwide 90-days ✔ UK & Australia

Smoothskin Pure pros & cons

Read the full Pure review

  • Fool proof, super-safe plugin-n-zap simplicity
  • Powerful IPL adjusts to your skin tone
  • Gentle mode for stingy bits
  • Handsome, handy, lightweight & robust – slightly more comfortable than the Pro 5
  • The fastest sessions using speed mode
  • Unlimited IPL flashes for decades of smooth skin
  • Easy flashes without a precision window
  • May work on blonde hair (with more sessions)
  • Clinically-proven, CE certified & FDA cleared
  • Most affordable premium device
  • 90-day money back guarantee
  • Takes practise on shins & ankles (but surprisingly easy on upper lip!)
  • Easy to accidentally cover the air vents
  • Shows grubby finger prints!

Braun Pro 5 IPL pros & cons

Read the full Braun Pro 5 review

  • Fool proof, super-safe plugin-n-zap simplicity
  • Powerful IPL adjusts to your skin tone
  • Gentle & extra gentle mode for stingy bits
  • Elegant, lightweight & robust
  • Fast sessions
  • 15+ years of full-body flashes
  • Precision attachment for tricky upper lip
  • Clinically-proven, CE certified & FDA cleared
  • UK 100-day money back guarantee from CurrentBody.com
  • Very expensive at the full RRP & with offers usually more expensive than the Pure
  • Flash speed varies when gliding on legs
  • No speed mode
  • No international money back guarantee

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Smoothsin Pure Best ultrafast & value premium IPL

Smoothskin Pure deals
Use code BODYBEAUT
All with 90-day money back guarantee
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA
🇩🇪 CurrentBody DE

Braun silk Expert Pro 5 best fast & no-faff home IPL

Braun Pro 5 IPL deals
With guarantees:
🇬🇧 CurrentBody UK
🇬🇧 Amazon UK 5124
🇬🇧 Amazon UK 5137
🇦🇺 Shavershop AU
No guarantees:
🇦🇺 CurrentBody AU
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 CurrentBody US & CA
🇺🇸 Amazon 5137
🇨🇦 Amazon CA
🌍 CurrentBody.com worldwide delivery in checkout

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