About 10 years ago I ditched my razor and started using an epilator instead. I loved the fact that the regrowth took longer and the hair came back finer and have carried on using one ever since. Epilating is pretty painful at first but if you can get through the first couple of sessions this soon dulls and before long it’s no less bearable than plucking your eyebrows.
On the downside, epilating requires much more of a time investment than a 2 minute shave in the shower. I spend 20 to 30 minutes once or twice a week to keep my legs and underarms hair free. My legs resemble a plucked chicken directly afterwards too, which doesn’t look great when your legs are on display!
Bearing all this in mind, I was really excited when Philips got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in putting their Philips Lumea IPL System* through it’s paces. It’s a long term hair removal method in which you direct a high-intensity light pulse at the hair follicle which causes it to shed naturally.
Regular use of an IPL prevents hair growth for up to 8 weeks, which sounds like the Holy Grail of at-home hair removal to me!
My Lumea arrived last weekend and I couldn’t contain my excitement. In fact I may have ran to the door to greet the courier and danced my back to the kitchen to rip open the packaging. After explaining to N just what an Intense Pulsed Light System was, he told me to do it in the other room as ‘he didn’t want to go bald’. Rest assured people, it’s perfectly safe and all hair shall remain intact on your head unless you decide to use it directly on your scalp!
Opening the box, I found that the Lumea comes fitted with a standard body attachment and then there are two smaller attachments for the face and bikini area, plus instructions and a charger. Charging takes a couple of hours.
After reading the instruction booklet I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to use it as it cautioned that the product might not be suitable for sensitive skin types (as well as not being suitable for blondes or redheads – sorry guys!). My skin gets irritated easily so I made sure I carried out a patch test on a small area just below each knee. I (im)patiently waited for two days and was relieved to find that I hadn’t had any kind of reaction and could go ahead and use it properly.
Before you begin your first treatment you need to prepare your skin by removing the hair on it via your normal method (epilating/shaving/waxing etc). This actually helps as without hairs in the way the light has no barriers and can reach the follicle more easily. Other than that the only prep needed is to charge the device as it’s wireless.
I was rather nervous to use the device for the first time as I had no idea what to expect. Would it be painful? Would I blind myself from the light? Would my cats go bald if they walked past just as I zapped my legs? (I seriously worried about this!)
There are 5 intensity settings and I used ‘4’ which was recommended for more sensitive skin. I held the device over my skin, waited for the green light to turn on to tell me it was safe to use and pressed the button. I wouldn’t describe it as painful, but it does feel a bit like you’re getting a slight electric shock! There’s a really small burst of heat but it’s over in a split second. The first couple of times I had to grit my teeth as it felt very odd to be doing it to myself, but I got used to the sensation very quickly.
I went on to do both lower legs in the same sitting without issue. I did find that the heat felt more intense on the bonier parts around my knees and ankles, but nothing I couldn’t handle and hey, if I only have to do it every 8 weeks, so be it!
After 7 days the amount of regrowth on my legs seems greatly reduced from what I’d usually see a week after an epilation session. Only a few little patches have appeared which I’m assuming are bits I missed when I used the device. Spurred on by this I decided to do my underarms. This was a really quick process since it’s such a small area to cover.
9 days after my initial treatment my legs are still nice and smooth for the most part! I’ve got a bit more regrowth starting to come through but it’s very patchy. My underarms don’t seem to be faring quite as well. The manual advises that the initial shedding will take place in one to two weeks, so maybe it hasn’t had time to set in yet, but I feel like I need to epilate again tomorrow. Time will tell whether it’s going to be effective on this area or not.
Overall my first impressions of the device are very good and I have high hopes about what I can achieve with long term use. For now though, I need to carry on using it every two weeks. After four or five initial treatments I should be able to put away my epilator and rely on the system fully – fingers crossed!
As this device needs several treatments to take full effect I’ll be reporting back once I’ve finished a few more sessions, when I can give you all the skinny on just how long lasting it is!
For more information on the Philips Lumea Hair Removal range including the IPL system and their epilators, CLICK HERE.
How do you keep smooth for the Summer? Have you/would you try IPL or epilating?
*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, however I have been gifted the Philips Lumea in order to provide my honest, unbiased review. Please see my Disclaimer page if you would like to read more information on this.