Having done IPL before (bikini line), I had a sense of what to expect with the Philips Lumea Precision Plus system (RRP $1,299.95). I assumed it’d be a gentler process purely because the people using it don’t need a course and a qualification to use it.
The set consists of the handset, two interchangeable heads of differing sizes, a charger and a bag. The head is much heavier than the handle and some care needs to be taken since your hand is sitting very close to the power button. Because I was always using the Lumea after a shower, I’d be lightly steaming, which didn’t help. I ended up wiping off the handset after every second pass or so to make sure I didn’t slip around and accidently switch it off.
The light is a very bright red, as opposed to the white light of the salon IPL systems. While the flash is bright, it also doesn’t “imprint” on your field of vision. My cat scuttled out of the room two flashes in.
While the interchangeable nozzles attach to the handset securely, you’re also required to press it firmly into the skin to attain the “airlock” that allows you to pull the trigger safely, and if you’re careless and inadvertently drag it along the skin at that kind of pressure you’ll probably knock the nozzle off. This will result in hot glass-skin contact which is unadvisable.
After the first application, the most noticeable difference was a longer growback period, and many of the hairs when they came through came through a bit stunted – either doubled over, or oddly curled. I have strong, straight leg hair, so this was very noticeable on me.
The regrowth slowdown and cessation seems to happen on an individual hair by hair basis – some follicles immediately shut down, some grow oddly, some are determinedly still growing as they always have. I have big channels on my legs where hair has completely disappeared next to unconcerned normal growth. But as each application comes around, the normal hairs are shriveling up and eventually give up and don’t grow at all. There’s a perverse kind of enjoyment in this.
Meanwhile on my belly it only took two zaps for this finer hair to disappear, and in my underarms there seems to be the same amount of hair, but the hairs are thinner and finer. But even if I’m still shaving, shaving is a good deal easier and I do not need to do it as often. I’m confident that with repeated applications this lot will slow down and cease as well.
I’ve used this machine six times and the results have varied depending on where I’m applying. Stomach has been perfect, underarms have been encouraging and a lot more manageable, my legs have been patchy but steadily progressing. I should stress again that my leg hair is monstrous and will almost certainly put up more of a fight than yours.
I’ve done full, 12-session courses of salon IPL, which cost me far more than I’m willing to think about.
The Lumea system is admittedly expensive, but less so than doing it through a salon and it gives you the option of topping up your applications on a whim. All up, you will likely need to use the Lumea more often to get the results of the salon IPL, but salon IPL is also something of a trauma for your skin – it’s a good deal more powerful and the tradeoff is tender, red skin for a while afterwards. The Lumea did not irritate me at all. There wasn’t even any pinkness. I could slather on moisturizer directly afterwards and nothing bad happened. I’m really impressed by this system – would recommend it for those considering IPL through the more traditional means.
Find out more about it on the Philips website!
Product supplied for consideration.
Have you tried IPL in salon or at home before? Leave a comment below with your experiences!
Review by Suzanne, who also blogs over at Don’t They Know Who I Am?