If you have been on the fence about at home IPL hair removal then I think this post may finally convince you. I’ve been trying out the SmoothSkin Bare Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal System for about nine weeks and I am a total convert. Have a peek below for all the details…
I have wanted to try out an at-home IPL machine for ages because I am an incredibly lazy person when it comes to my body: my fingernails are always painted, my SPF 50 is a staple, and I’ll never go out without lipstick … but when it comes to taking care of the rest of my body, I’m pretty lax. I have very fair hair so stubbly legs don’t really bother me too much and I tend to just leave them until I really need to shave (and let’s be honest, bare legs weather is pretty rare in the UK!)
It’s not just the faff of shaving – the contorting in the shower to get to all the niggly bits without taking a chunk out of your leg *HORF* – but it’s the expense of replacing blades and actually remembering to buy them. I also have incredibly sensitive skin on my legs and every time I shave I’m guaranteed to get bumps or ingrown hairs regardless of what I use.
So when I was invited to the SmoothSkin Bare* launch I was allllll over it. (The actual event was a bit of a disaster on my part – I walked through the door of The Ivy, 10 minutes late but ready for my delicious breakfast… only for the staff to have no idea what I was talking about. Yep, I went to the wrong Ivy. Cue me running across London for 45 minutes, arriving sweaty and panicked and having completely missed breakfast and the presentations. Don’t let anyone tell you that a blogger’s life is all glamour!)
But enough about my inability to read basic instructions! Let’s chat about the SmoothSkin Bare.
This is the updated, smaller and slinkier version of the original SmoothSkin Gold. The original is larger, more powerful and has a few extra functions (check it out HERE). But for me, the speed and size of the product appealed more – and that’s where SmoothSkin Bare comes in. It’s the size of your hand and is fairly light: I took it away with my to France and it fitted neatly into my suitcase without me having to sacrifice too much space. The most amazing part? The speed of the flashes (0.6 seconds apart) means you can do your whole body (legs, arms, underarms, bikini line) in 10 minutes. TEN. I can vouch for this, even as a complete novice. You don’t need gel, and there’s only one button, making it very easy to use. You can either hold down the button and glide the machine over the skin using the quick flashes to treat a large surface area, or you can ‘stamp’ the machine onto the skin and press the button once to do delicate or hard to reach areas (bikini line, face, ankles, knees etc.) Some IPL machines have a certain number of flashes in them before they conk out and need to be replaced, but the SmoothSkin Bare has unlimited flashes – much more pocket and environment friendly.
So the results! I have been using the machine once a week for about nine weeks and I’ve noticed a huge difference. After about five weeks I noticed that the hair was becoming patchy on my legs and that it was growing a lot more slowly. At the point of me writing this review the patchiness has become more noticeable and the rate of hair growth has slowed right down – I’ve been in France for three weeks and I only needed to shave once while I was there which is crazy! The other upside that I’ve noticed is that the bumps and rashes on my legs are so much better, I think due to the lack of shaving and therefore no blocked pores and irritation. In case it isn’t obvious, I’m totally sold: anything that reduces the amount of body admin I have to do, and actually helps my skin, is alright with me.
Some things to mention:
- Do not use it over tattoos. Without thinking, I ran it over the black tattoo on my arm on my first attempt and it really hurt! Apparently going over tattoos can cause blistering, scarring and fading so it’s recommended you leave an inch between the tattoo and the area you are treating. It’s not a huge issue for me as I only have two that are affected and neither are in particularly hairy areas.
- Pay attention to make sure you’re not doing the same area over and over. It’s quite easy to overlap sections if you don’t keep an eye on what you’re doing. I always start in the same area – for example on my legs, I start at the edge of my shinbone and move out and around my leg, putting a finger in line with where the last section fell.
- The end of the machine gets a little hot. It’s nothing that would cause irritation or pain, but the first time I used it I did my face last and my rosacea had a bit of a grumble about the heat. I do my face first now and have no issues.
All of the above are probably common sense but – as always – I wanted to tell you my trials and errors!
*PR sample. Links may be affiliate. For more information, please see the Disclaimer tab at the top of the page.