The new and improved SmoothSkin system is a hair removal device which uses intense pulsed light (IPL) technology to permanently reduce hair. The pulse of light is absorbed by the hair which disables the follicles so that the hair doesn't grow back.
Here's some of the features of the new device:
- Can be used on the face (though they don't recommend brows) as well as body hair
- Now suitable for darker skins - not suitable for red, grey or white hair
- Machine now lasts up to 100,000 clicks (i.e. you can use the laser to zap hairs 100,000 times) which is a lifetime of zaps apparently
- Comes with a two year guarantee
In the box you get the device and skin tone sensor, activator gel and comprehensive instructions. You can't see in the picture below but you get two wires as well to plug it into the mains. The unit isn't overly bulky and is only just slightly bigger than a phone (like the kind you have on your desk at work, rather than a cordless or a mobile). It's all a bit futuristic actually!
I made sure that I read the instructions properly before use and from this I found it's not meant to be used on recently tanned skin so I gave it a miss on my legs and face for now but if I have good results I'll do these at a later date. Once you've read everything, you can use the skin sensor to work out your skin type and do a patch test. I'm skin type II which meant the machine was on the second highest setting.
Once you've cleaned the area and shaved any visible hair - it's important to shave rather than pluck or wax as you need the hair follicle remaining for the device to work - you apply a layer of activator gel to the area, then hold the handset over the area until the white light shows, you then press the button - look away and shut your eyes as it's really bright - and the red laser light flashes which means it's working. You then do this for the area right next to where you just did, the machine leaves ridges in the gel so you can see where you've treated. Again though, read the instructions - which are easy to follow and understand - carefully rather than relying on my instructions.
In terms of pain I really didn't find it bad, it kind of feels like a very mild elastic band pinging against your skin and lasts about as long. That and the flash surprised me on the first use but as I said it really isn't painful. I had no side effects or discomfort after the treatment. One thing I would say is that you have to put the time in with this, treatment is once a week and I imagine if you were doing your legs it would be time consuming but I guess for permanent results it's worth putting the time in. You will probably need to buy more activator gel at some point but it only costs about £3 for 200ml.
Apparently you should see reduction in hair after 4 weeks so I'll carry on using it and update then. I'll update again after 12 weeks (the recommended treatment regime) - 90% of users see a significant permanent reduction in hair growth after this period. I like those stats!
PR sample sent for review.