Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 IPL

What's the difference between the Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 IPL? I've tested them both so come learn all in this comparison review...
Tested Smoothskin Pure vs Braun Pro 5 IPL review

by | September 6, 2020

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?

Aside from the striking different looks, the spec of the Smoothskin Pure and Braun Pro 5 IPL is 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. This review compares the design, features, performance, sensation, effort and results to help you choose the right one. Read on to learn all...

The devices...

Here's a very quick comparison of the key info about the Smoothskin Pure and the Braun Pro 5 IPL at home IPL devices. 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."
Pro 5 IPL
"Fast & no-faff premium at-home IPL hair removal device for light to dark skin tones."

4.8 / 5

💰💰💰

✔️ Face
✔️ Small bits
✔️ Legs
✔️ Large areas

Worldwide
90-day
money back guarantee

4.7 / 5

💰💰💰💰
✔️ Face
✔️ Small bits
✔️ Legs
✔️ Large areas
UK
100-day
money back guarantee

What’s the same?

  • 2-year warranty
  • Super-simple to use
  • Quality materials & build
  • Strong & long power cords
  • Same low to high IPL power range
  • Many more IPL flashes than you’ll ever need
  • Same skin tone & hair colour ranges
  • They match the intensity level to your skin tone
  • They won’t flash if your skin is too dark
  • Both have a gentle mode
  • They give long-lasting results after your start-up sessions
  • Clinically proven, CE certified & FDA-cleared
  • Manufactured in Wales, UK by Cyden Ltd

What’s different?

  • Styling & shape
  • Pro 5 IPL has a storage bag
  • Pro 5 IPL has more flash windows for different body areas
  • Pure’s packaging is more eco-friendly
  • Pure has a worldwide money back guarantee whereas Pro 5 is UK only
  • Pure has speed mode vs extra gentle mode with the Pro 5 IPL

The Smoothskin Pure and Braun Pro 5 IPL 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 Pure vs Pro 5 IPL comparison review:

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.

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.

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 & power

Both models are clinically proven safe and effective for home use. And both have FDA-clearance too. They also have similar safety features. Here’s a quick overview comparison and there’s more detail below:

Power & Safety comparison

Pure

Pro 5 IPL

3 to 6 J/cm2

3 to 6 J/cm2

10 energy increments

10 energy increments

Skin tone sensor

Skin tone sensor

Won’t flash if your skin’s too dark

Checks & matches intensity to your skin tone before every flash

Won’t flash if your skin’s too dark

Checks & matches intensity to your skin tone before every flash

Use Gentle mode if it stings

Use Gentle or Extra Gentle mode if it stings

Skin contact sensor 
(prevents accidental flashes)

Skin contact sensor 
(prevents accidental flashes)

UV filter

UV filter

Clinically proven

CE certified

FDA-cleared

Clinically proven

CE certified

FDA-cleared

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.

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.

Fast sessions

The Pure and Pro 5 give the quickest home IPL sessions. They’re fastest on the lower IPL intensities. Here’s a quick comparison overview of the two:

Speed of sessions comparison

Pure

Pro 5 IPL

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

Face, small bits, legs & large areas

Speed mode (4 Jcm2)

Extra gentle mode (3 Jcm2)

Flashes slow gradually at first

Then flash rate is consistent

Flashes slow gradually at first

Then flash rate varies depending on skin contact

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

19 to 25 mins for full body

9 mins per full leg (standard)
6.5 mins per full leg (extra gentle)

19 to 28 mins for full body

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)

Keep the flash button pressed and you can glide quickly over your legs. Both devices start super fast, but the flashes slow gradually to a manageable speed over the first minute. I find 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 my 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 my 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.

Also, as mentioned earlier, the skin tone sensor on the Braun is also a little different to the Pure. On the Braun there are two blue sensors on either end of the flash window. On the Pure, there’s one, centred and above the flash window. This affects the flash rate with both. With the Pure it’s steady and consistent because the window must have close contact with your skin. But with the Pro 5, if one or both sensors lose contact slightly, the flashes speed-up. So, it can take a little getting used to.

My tests show that with both devices when using the highest IPL intensity, 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, and you’ll be happy with either. Personally, I prefer the Pure because of the option of Speed mode, and the consistent flash speed.

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.

Treatment schedule 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 2 months.

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 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 my 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:

Everything comparison

Smoothskin

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.

Braun

Pro 5 IPL

The Braun Pro 5 is a popular choice because it’s quality, straightforward, fast and very easy to flash.

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

UK
100-day
money back guarantee

Mains-power

Mains-power

Optional precision
flash window with Pure Fit model

Additional precision & wide flash windows with latest models

270g

285g

Unlimited flashes!

You’ll never run out

400,000 flashes

15+ years of monthly use

3 to 6 J/cm2

10 energy increments

3 to 6 J/cm2

10 energy increments

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

Matches every flash to your skin tone

g

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

g

3x Modes: Standard, Gentle & Extra gentle

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

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

9 mins per full leg (power)

7 mins per full leg (speed)

19 to 25 mins for full body

9 mins per full leg (standard)

6.5 mins per full leg (extra gentle)

19 to 28 mins for full body

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

Do all 12 sessions for your longest lasting results and less frequent top-ups.

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

Do all 12 sessions for your longest lasting results and less frequent top-ups.

Excellent quality
Simple
Fast
Easy
Very comfy (slightly moreso than the Pro 5)

Excellent quality
Simple
Fast
Easy
Comfy

Takes practise on shins & ankles

Easy to accidentally cover the air vents

Shows grubby finger prints!

Latest models are more expensive than the Pure

Extra flash windows don’t warrant a higher price

Flash speed varies when gliding on legs

No Worldwide money back guarantee

View Smoothskin Pure & Braun Pro 5 IPL deals

As an Amazon Associate and affiliate with CurrentBody, Shavershop etc, I earn from qualifying purchases. This supports my future reviews and content. Thank you 🙏!

Smoothskin Pure deals

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Braun Pro 5 IPL deals

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CurrentBody voucher code

4x heads: 
Standard, 2x precision & wide

3x heads: 
Standard, precision & wide

2x heads:
Standard & precision

1x head:
Standard head only

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.

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