Unwanted body hair has plagued thousands of people over the years that many high-tech devices have been developed for faster and easier hair removal. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) technology systems have dominated the market for at-home hair removal with two top-selling products: the Braun Silk-Expert and the Philips Lumea.
So which IPL device is better: Braun or Philips? The answer depends on the user’s preference. The Philips Lumea is highly recommended for patients who want a long-lasting, cordless device to address smaller areas of the body. On the other hand, the Braun Silk-Expert is fantastic for patients who want to have fast but safe full-body IPL sessions.
How IPL Removal Works
IPL hair removal systems like Braun Silk-Expert and Philips Lumea work by placing a device on target areas around the body: hair on the face, neck, chest, back, legs, underarms, or bikini line. Once you press the button, the device will release pulses of light targeting the hair follicles in that area.
These hair follicles contain melanin or pigment cells, which absorb light energy. This light is converted to heat, destroying the hair follicle to disrupt the growth cycle and prevent hair from growing again.
IPL hair removal techniques do not grant immediate results. Unlike waxing and threading, you won’t complete a session with hair-free skin on the first try. You have to wait for the hairs to drop out and die over the course of the next few weeks. For significant hair reduction, the process needs to be repeated regularly over a period of time to achieve the desired results.
You’ll notice that your hairs after IPL treatment will grow slower than before. They will also become less obvious as they grow back thinner, paler, and less coarse. Other benefits of using an IPL solution include:
- Many IPL devices are FDA-approved: A large number of IPL hair removal kits are cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for at-home use. These portable, handheld products share the same technology with dermatology clinics but are specially designed so that untrained people can achieve the same results safely.
- IPL is relatively risk-free: You can expect a few, minor side effects from IPL such as redness, irritation, swelling, or itchiness on the skin. However, these side effects normally don’t last for more than a day and can be treated like a sunburn.
- High-tech IPL devices can adapt to your skin tone: Unlike with other laser treatments, some IPL systems can automatically adapt to your skin tone to provide you with the correct light pulse intensity. However, you would have to check to see if the device is compatible with your skin and hair tone first.
Braun vs Philips: Reviewing The Top IPL Products
Philips and Braun are the leading brands for IPL hair removal at home. The Philips Lumea line became wildly popular as more and more people searched for a more affordable alternative to salon visits. Gillette subsidiary Braun emerged after the brand released one of the best epilators available on the market, then moved on to introduce the Silk-Expert IPL line.
Both product lines offer a helpful app that allows you to schedule sessions and view other helpful information. Reviews from users of these handheld products also note that both yield satisfying results. Hair growth slows down while the hairs grow back finer and lighter. As long as you keep up with maintenance sessions, you can keep your skin silky smooth for a long time. However, each device has its own features that let it stand out from the rest.
- Includes five skin tone settings: Both IPLs can be used on a range of skin tones and offer the ability to adjust the settings as needed. For the Philips Lumea, you can adjust using five light-energy settings.
- Comes with two treatment modes: The Philips Lumea comes with a Step and Flash Mode for more precise treatment of smaller areas like the upper lip. A Slide and Flash Mode is also available for quicker treatment of larger areas.
- Boasts a longer lifetime: Each Philips Lumea device has a lifetime of 250,000 flashes, compared to the Braun Silk-Expert with a lifetime of 120,000 flashes.
- Can go cordless: The Philips Lumea is flexible to use as it is cordless, so you don’t need to stay next to a plug socket during a session. It would need to be charged before you undergo your treatment.
- Utilizes SensoAdapt technology: This is a built-in skin tone sensor that reads your skin tone 80 times per second and automatically adjusts the intensity of the light for maximum effectiveness and safety.
- Features a Glide Mode: With the Glide Mode, the Braun Silk Expert can treat larger areas smoothly. You can also press and release the button for more targeted flashes on smaller areas.
- Has a “Gentle” function: The Braun Silk-Expert can be set in “Gentle” mode, which is perfect for first-timers. The gentle setting is also great to use for sensitive areas.
- Claims a faster treatment time: Braun claims that their Silk-Expert technology is twice as fast as their competitors at 0.9 to 1.9 seconds between flashes, compared to the 3.5 seconds offered by Philips Lumea. To put this into perspective, the Braun Silk-Expert may take only 8 minutes to treat a leg while the Philips Lumea may take up to 15 minutes on the same area.
Which IPL Hair Removal Tool Is Worth Its Price?
The average cost of the Philips Lumea is around $350 - $500, while the Braun costs around $250 - $400. With their price tags, it’s only natural that your decision on which IPL hair removal solution to buy is affected by your budget. Both products are great for their prices but for different reasons:
- Philips Lumea: Top of the line Lumea systems are a little more expensive but they can last you for years. The cordless gun-shaped design is lightweight and ideal for targeting smaller areas, such as the underarms, tummy, and bikini line.
- Braun Silk-Expert: The Braun Silk-Expert claims to be the fastest IPL system available. It’s one of the strongest models out there so it’s a solid choice for full-body hair removal. Although its design is not as intuitive as the Lumea, each hair removal session with the Braun Silk-Expert isn’t tiring on the hands because of how quickly it works.
If you’re not concerned about the price, the Philips Lumea is a good investment to make because it’s easy to use and will last you a long time. On the other hand, if you want something that will get the hair removal done quickly, go fo the Braun Silk-Expert.
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