I’ve had a lot of experience with laser hair removal, I’m a very hairy person, and I always have been. So, I’ve tried almost everything to get rid of the hair I don’t want. I’ve done threading and waxing, but I’ve found IPL (aka intense pulsed light) and laser hair removal to be by far the most effective – it’s permanent as well, which is a huge bonus.
I tried the Tria at-home laser hair removal device before, as well as the first Philips IPL machine, but I didn’t find either to be very effective. Naturally, I was skeptical as to whether or not the new Philips Lumea Prestige would work, mainly as the last one was quite slow. But, I have to say, this new version is honestly awesome. In case you’re not entirely familiar with laser hair removal and how it works, here’s everything you need to know, and my full experience with using the Lumea Prestige.
How IPL works: IPL emits a wavelength into the skin, which is absorbed by pigment (aka your hair). This turns into heat, which kills the ‘growing cells’ that make the hair. Effectively, this puts the follicle into a resting phase, which means that hair growth gradually declines.
Note: Any type of laser hair removal is ineffective on very fair hair (blonde, grey, white or red), as there needs to be a high contrast between the pigment in hair color and pigment in the skin tone – otherwise there is nothing for the laser to target. The Lumea prestige works on a variety of skin tones, however, it is not suitable for very dark skin.
What the Philips Lumea does: It is designed to give six months of hair-free smoothness. Philips says that “Objective studies show up to 92% hair reduction in as little as three treatments.”
How often do you need to use it? For successful hair removal, the first four treatments should be done every two weeks; you’ll probably be able to see results almost immediately, with minimal hair regrowth, and general growth at a much slower pace. To maintain your results, you should do touch up sessions every four weeks. After around eight touch up treatments, you should only need to use your device every six months to stay hair-free. In contrast, if you were to do in-office laser hair removal treatments, you would typically need a minimum of eight sessions, spaced between four to six weeks apart. Depending on the clinic and body area being treated, each session may cost anywhere between $50 to $200.
What we liked: I’ve had laser hair removal before, so for areas that I need to touch up, this is ideal as it’s SO much easier than going to a clinic. Typically, laser hair removal is something you need to redo at least once a year, although it may be more or less depending on your hair type. This machine does get quite hot towards the end of your treatment, and it can hurt a bit too, but it’s not too painful – obviously certain areas are more sensitive!
The entire process is really easy and quick, especially as the new Lumea Prestige has a ‘smart skin sensor,’ which means you just turn it on, hold the device to your skin, and press the ‘search’ button. The device then recognizes the most effective treatment intensity for your skin tone and suggests the level of laser that you should use (between one and five, five being the most intense).
What we didn’t like: For large areas, this can take quite a long time (about ten minutes per half leg), and you need to have a lot of patience, but then again, it’s still quicker and easier to do it at home than go to a clinic. On your bikini, arms, or face, it’s so fast; it literally takes less than a minute to do your underarms or face. Another thing that I didn’t realize before is that using it with the cord attached speeds up the process a lot, as the machine can output light pulses at a faster rate. So, if you want to use this for large areas, use it corded to speed up the process (the cable length is long, so it’s not too inconvenient). And despite the slightly slower speed when not corded, the fact that you can use this unplugged is really helpful if you’re traveling.
My tip: Use it corded to speed up the treatment process. There are three variations of the Philips Lumea Prestige on the market, and each has different attachment options. I personally don’t think you need all the different attachments (the benefit is they’re slightly differently sized and curved, to fit different areas of your body), but I’ve forgotten to switch them before, and not had any problems. The options are:
Philips Lumea Prestige with face and body attachment, $448 at LookFantastic.ae
Philips Lumea Prestige with face, body and precision attachment, $375 on Amazon
Philips Lumea Prestige with face, body, bikini and underarms attachment, $650 on Amazon
My verdict: I honestly think this is an amazing and very effective hair removal device. It is a lot of money, but if you’re considering laser hair removal, in the long run, this will cost you a fraction of the price, so it’s a worthwhile investment. I also love that it’s so private, especially if you want to do your bikini area; there’s no one getting all up in your business! I find it quite tedious for legs, as it does take around 20-30 minutes, but you can always Netflix while you do it! Overall, I’d probably say this is one of my fave beauty tools I’ve discovered this year!
If you’re not sure laser hair removal is for you, check out my full experience with every type of hair removal technique here.