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Summer has offically arrived. But, it is the season of laboriously shaving, plucking and waxing for many of us. If you're a slave to your razor, you might have considered IPL. But, it can be expensive. To save you spending your hard earned cash on a dud, we’ve put the Philips Lumea Prestige through its paces and this is what we found…
What is it?
It looks a bit like a hair dryer with light coming out of the nozzle. The IPL laser (which stands for Intense Pulsed Light) is absorbed by the pigment in hairs, which eventually causes the follicles to go to sleep.
Does it hurt?
Nooooo. The light sensation can be felt in a warm burst on your skin. However, you will need to shave the areas you're treating first. Treating unshaven hair causes the hair to burn, and this hurts – it’s the root you want to get too. You’ll also need to take care not to ‘zap’ on an area you’ve already ‘zapped’ to avoid irritation.
Additionally, the light won’t flash unless the machine is pressed securely against your skin, so there’s no chance of blinding yourself as you laser your ‘tache. You’ll also need to adjust the intensity to suit your hair and skin colour. The higher the contrast of your hair and skin tone, the better this will work for you. So if you have very dark skin or light blonde, auburn or grey hairs, this won’t work for you.
How long does it take to use?
Totally depends. You can do both of your lower legs in under 20 minutes. Underarms take seconds. The Prestige version comes with different filters of varying sizes so you can use a smaller one for your face and the bigger one for your body (which is larger to make treating big areas quicker) and there’s one for your bikini line too.
How long until you see results?
You only have to treat areas once a fortnight and you can start seeing results after about 8 weeks. Hair will start growing back slower and in sparse patches. After that, you'll only have to do 'top up' treatments once a month to stop hair from growing back for good. However, it can be tricky to remember to do it and missing treatments will make the progress a lot slower. Set a reminder in your phone or download their app to remind you each fortnight and log your treatments.
Is it worth it?
With dark hair in abundance, this worked pretty well for me. I tried this on my face, arms, underarms and lower legs and after about 12 weeks of use, I’ve found that while my leg hair hasn’t completely gone, it has been significantly reduced (much less noticeable between shaves) and is growing back a lot slower. It’s miraculously banished my mustache and downy facial hair, but the best results I’ve seen so far are my underarms – it’s even eliminated the dark shadow you get after shaving.
Plus it’s cordless so you can use it on the sofa or just before bed without needing a socket. The only downside to this is the battery life – after treating both my lower legs it needed to be fully charged again.
So is it worth it? Here’s our beauty maths…
Costs: £525 and lasts for 20 years
Average cost of waxes/ razors etc per year: £500
We say that puts us £9,475 in the plus… 2017 is the year of investment!