Review | Philips Lumea Precision IPL Hair Removal System

August 8, 2014

philips-lumea-SC2002-01-pouch

*Update: This post was originally published back in 2013. I’ve been using the Lumea a lot longer now, and new models have been released so I thought it was time to update.*

I’ve tried every form of hair removal out there: shaving, waxing, epilating, depilatory creams, you name it, but they’re either too painful or the results too short term or both. I’ve thought about in-salon laser/IPL hair removal, but the price has always put me off. This fact, coupled with my love for all things DIY (see my at-home juice cleanse for another example!), led me explore at-home IPL hair removal systems. After reading tons of reviews on the Philips Lumea range, I decided to bite the bullet and buy myself one. It’s been about two years now, and it’s still one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

How does it work?
The Philips Lumea uses a version of the IPL technology used in professional beauty salons for permanent hair reduction, adapted for safe use at home. The device applies gentle pulses of light, which travel down the hair shaft to the root and stimulate it into a resting phase. The hair then sheds naturally and regrowth is inhibited.

philips-lumea-SC2002-01-all

Using the Lumea Precision
When I first got the Lumea, I used it on my underarms, bikini line, legs and upper lip once every two week. The area has to be shaved first (except upper lip!! See below) and then it’s ready to be treated. It’s really easy to use – the hardest bit is getting the device to make full contact with the skin. If it’s not properly positioned nothing will happen, but it’s very light and it’s cordless, so very easy to manipulate.

Battery life: Since I treat quite a few areas, the battery doesn’t last if I try to do them all at once (the legs require quite a lot of “flashes”), so I normally do my armpits and bikini one week and then my legs the next week, with each area being treated every other week (Sunday is my IPL day). Treatment is really quick – I’d say it takes less than a minute for me to do each underarm, a couple of mins for my bikini and maybe 10 minutes to do each legs.

Pain factor: It does hurt. That’s probably partly because I have darker skin, and the darker your skin the more light it absorbs. I have quite a high pain threshold too (I used to epilate my armpits and bikini line, which is incredibly painful), but every flash makes me jump.  My solution to this is to ice the area before treating it to numb it, and then I don’t feel a thing. So there’s some advice if you find that it does hurt too much. There are five settings of increasing light intensity, which, in theory, allows you to treat more sensitive areas. Lowering the intensity of light does make it much less painful, but I personally find that if I use it below level 4 it doesn’t “kill off” the hairs at all.

Using the Lumea on the upper lip: You’re supposed to shave the area you want to treat before using the Lumea Precision. You can’t wax or pluck prior to IPL because the light needs to travel down the hair shaft in order to stunt the growth and you’re not supposed to use depilatory creams either. This is fine in general but I don’t really fancy shaving my upper lip. This could be a HUGE disaster if the Lumea didn’t work. So when I treat my upper lip, I don’t do anything to the hairs first. Apparently if you leave the hair there it can damage the lens, but it’s so short and fine I can’t see it being much of a problem. Plus the alternative seems much worse! And actually after the first go there was practically no hair left. So far so good!

philips-lumea-SC2002-01

The results
You need to be consistent and patient – the hairs don’t fall out immediately and they don’t all stop growing back at once. Having said that, it wasn’t long at all before I saw results. After one session, my bikini line and underarms were noticeably very patchy (I’d say maybe 40% loss), and after two sessions the treated areas had almost no hair.  I’ve had the machine for almost two years now, it’s still going strong, but I don’t use it religiously anymore. I still use it on my underarms and upper lip every now and then for maintenance, and even the more stubborn hairs have almost completely disappeared.

I don’t really use the Lumea on my legs – it just takes so long. When I first got it, I used it 2 or 3 times, and they did get quite patchy, but I’m bad to shaving now. Maybe I’ll go back to them eventually, but I’ve noticed that the machine works better on coarser hair, because it is able to absorb more of the light.

It’s worth pointing out that the hairs don’t fall out immediately after treatment. After session one, the hair started to grow back, and it was only when I was ready for my next session, two weeks later, that started seeing significant shedding.

At least four to five sessions are recommended before you will be hair free, this has been my experience too At any one time, if hair is at a different stage of it’s growth cycle, and for the hair to be treated it needs to be in the “active” stage.  When inactive hair follicles become active, they will be treated. Philips recommends using the Lumea every two weeks on armpits and bikini area and every four weeks on legs will keep your skin smooth and hair free. But once you reach your desired level of “smoothness” you only need to complete maintenance treatments every 6 to 8 weeks.

Update! Maintenance
I will say, even when you are happy with results, you will need to go back to an area every now and again for maintenance. I went through a period of not using the Lumea at all – 5 or 6 months – and I started seeing hairs sprouting again in the underarm region. Even with salon laser and IPL treatments recommend maintenance sessions. I thought this was just a money spinner, but having experienced it first hand, I’d say you do want to give the area a quick flash (lol!) at least once every two months, although this will vary from person to person, and hair growth cycle to hair growth cycle. Also don’t worry, all the hairs won’t grow back at once, but they may start creeping back.

Is it right for me?
According to the Philips website, the Lumea works effectively on (naturally) dark blonde, brown and black hairs. It is not effective on red, light-blonde or white/grey hair and is not suitable for very dark skin. The chart below shows what skin tones and hair colours work with the Lumea. I’m mixed race with medium to dark brown skin and dark hair. I probably have the darkest skin you can use with the Lumea. Even with my less than optimal skin tone/hair combination (IPL machines work best with dark hair and light skin), the results have been amazing. However, the maximum light intensity I can safely use is level 4.

philips-lumea-suitability

What is the difference between Philips Lumea Models? Updated!
I have the Philips Lumea Precision SC2002/01. It’s a dark purple 2013 model (since I got it waaaaaay back when). Looking at the Boots website, not a huge amount seems to have changed since then. As usual, there are three models available, the Precision Plus SC2003 (silver), which was available when I was buying mine, the new Philips Lumea for Body SC2004 (light pink), and a newer Precision Plus SC2006-11 (also silver). They all vary in price. When I was buying mine, I spoke to a Philips sales rep in Boots, who explained the differences between models. As far as I understand, there are a couple of differences…

The first is the number of flashes the lamp has before it will run out. Each Philips Lumea has a finite number of flashes before it runs out, and once its run out, that’s it, the machine is useless and you have to buy a new one. So the price varies by the number of flashes. Apparently Philips has upped the ante a little bit, because both the Philips Lumea Body and the Pricision Plus have 100,000 flashes (mine ONLY had 80,000), and the “new” Precision Plus SC2006 has 140,000 flashes. To put that into context, my underarms need a maximum of 10 flashes each. So if I only used the machine on my underarms, 80,000 flashes would give me 4000 sessions for the pair. Woah. I don’t only use the machine on my armpits, but you get the picture – it will take a while to run out… Philips suggests around five years. Some IPL machines have a much smaller number of flashes but they give you the option to buy replacement lamps. It’s just preference whether you’d rather pay for the machine upfront or buy replacement bulbs regularly. Personally, I think it’s a false economy to buy a cheaper machine.

The second difference between models is in the attachments. Both Precision models come with two attachments – the standard one for the body and a second “precision” attachment, which has an integrated UV filter that makes it safe to use on the face. The original pink Philips Lumea doesn’t have this attachment, so can only be used on the body. There is no difference in the intensity of flashes between the models.

So when choosing which model to buy, consider whether you will be using the machine on your face – if not, you might not need to buy the precision model (although the precision attachment is useful for getting full contact on smaller areas, like fingers and toes, and the build-in filter makes the flashes significantly less painful). Next, it’s just a question of deciding if you want to pay a little more for 40,000 extra flashes. When I purchased I compromised and got the precision model with less flashes, and saved myself £50. The equivalent now would be the Precision Plus SC2003, which has gone down in price as new models have been introduced. At the time I didn’t want to invest in the extra flashes before I knew whether it would work. As a first timer that’s what I would recommend. When I eventually have to repurchase, I’ll probably decide on a cost-per-flash basis.

Update! New Feature: Slide & Flash
Reading over the Boots website I noticed that the new models have a Slide & Flash mode, which allows you to glide the device over flat areas (like legs), as opposed to lifting it and moving it incrementally with the traditional Step & Flash mode. Obviously, I can’t comment on the effectiveness of this new addition, but I wonder whether it would make doing legs easier and quicker… If you have got the new model with this feature, please let me know what you think!

 

My verdict
I think this is a great product and I recommend it to anyone who wants a permanent solution to unwanted hair. It’s really easy to use and the results are excellent. For me, the results have been comparable to what I’d expect from a salon, minus the embarrassment and inconvenience associated. Although it’s not cheap, it’s MUCH less costly than having the same kind of thing done by a professional. Probably my favourite beauty product that I own and still my best buy of the last two years.

Where to buy
They’ve stopped selling my model, but the closest, the Philips Lumea SC2007 is currently on the Boots website for £275.00.

Since I purchased my Lumea, Philips has released a bikini attachment to sit alongside the face and body attachments. This model is also available on the Boots website and currently retails for £349.99 (£175 off the RRP).

The Philips Lumea for Body (SC2005/00) is currently £475 on the boots website: here. I wouldn’t recommend this model though, as you might as well get a cheaper model which has more attachments.

The “new” Precision Plus (SC2006/11) can be found here and currently retails at £449.99.

They’re not cheap but considering that in-salon IPL can cost £50+ per area per session, I was happy to pay that amount!

I hope this review was helpful to anyone thinking of buying an IPL device. I know this is an older model, and I assume the new models are similar, if not better. Of course do your due diligence before you buy! I will definitely be repurchasing when mine runs out! But, if you own a newer model, let me know how you got on with it. Did you like it as much as I love mine?

xx

(NB: All prices were correct at the time of publishing)

181 thoughts on “Review | Philips Lumea Precision IPL Hair Removal System

  1. Jeni

    Hi Becca, this is a great review and exactly what I was looking for.
    Just one question though. Did you use the machine on more erm…shall we say, ‘initimate’ areas? ie Do you think it could be used as an alternative to hollywood waxes (which fill me with utter fear!!).

    Thanks, Jeni x

    Reply
    1. J D

      Thanks for your review and your patience! You should get some payment from Phillilps!
      Ive just bought the 2009 model and I used hair removal cream on the face as prep and then read the leaflet that said they advise against this. Just wondering if you know of anybody that has used the creams pre-lumea treatment. I am planning to wait for a few days before doing the treatment so hopefully will be ok.

      Reply
    2. Mike

      Hi, I have been using the lumen for about 18 months on and off. It has only been used on my “intimate” parts, at first with what I thought were disappointing results but now finally I’m down to just one or two stubborn dark hairs. So I’m very very happy. Unfortunately I have a few grey hairs which will not budge with this system but am happy to whip them off with a razor.
      The intimate places I’m referring to are my scrotum, butt and around the shaft of my penis. Yes I did read the instructions, used it on setting 5 and yes it did smart a little at times but hurt less than I expected.

      Reply
  2. Becca Post author

    Hi Jeni, Thank you! I’m glad you found the review useful 🙂 your wording makes me chuckle! I totally get you though – Hollywood waxes fill me with dread and I have vowed NEVER return (too much pain, nowhere near the equivalent gain). I can see why you’re looking for an alternative.

    I’m assuming by Hollywood you’re referring to the full monty of bikini waxes. Honestly, I haven’t ventured that far… My thinking is that you probably could, but there are two main problems I see. Number one is that I’m pretty sure they warn against using it in the “most intimate of places” (not their words) on the box/in the instructions. You get the same warning on Veet creams etc. I’m not sure what harm it would do, so I guess it’s up to you whether you heed that warning. Number two is that it might be difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies. In my experience, when I’ve had a Brazilian/Hollywood, the beautician recruits you as an extra pair of hands. So it might be difficult to do on your own…

    Last thing, I find that area the most sensitive, so if you do try I’d recommend ice! But then everyone’s pain threshold is different and some people find the Lumea painless. Also, you have the option of the sensitive head which is significantly less painful, if you choose that model.

    Anyway, I hope this helps! I’m tempted to try it out myself now! If I do I’ll update you on results.

    xx

    Reply
    1. Jeni

      Hiya,
      Thanks for the uber quick reply!! Yes, I kinda thought there would be some sort of warning about ‘that’ area Lol!! I’ve been thinking about getting one of these little gadgets for blimmin ages but nobody ever asks the question that everyone really wants to ask!!
      I think I’ll just go for it and try it out…watch this space, it could get interesting

      Reply
      1. Becca Post author

        Hehe tell me about it – glad you asked and happy to help 🙂 Good luck! Hope you’re as happy with it as I am. Let me know how you find it! x

        Reply
  3. saba

    Hi Jeni,
    Thanks for a very informative review, it was really a interesting read.
    I had purchased the Lumea sc2003 and like you it is my best beauty buy.
    I am south asian and I have very fair skins and dark hair which are easily noticeable. I have always hated hair and have tried everything that promised me smooth results, but the pesky hairs always grew back darker and faster then it did to get rid off them.
    So buying the lumea was my last option and its such a dream.
    I am not as religious as you in doing my treatments but I have seen a considerable difference. I have even used it on my you know intimate areas but found it really painful so just stuck to the top part and noticed that after 3 or 4 treatments i got patches and hair was finer.
    This gadget is really a life saver for those who like me cant face going to the salon to zapp away my hair and having to pay mountains of gold. Yes the lumea is pricey but the results will pay off that.
    I have recommended it to almost all my friends.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Saba – thanks for your comment. Good to find another fan of the Lumea. I recommend it to everyone too! I actually had IPL at a salon on my underarms and it made almost no difference to hair growth. The Lumea cost the same as that set of treatments, but I get to use it as often as I like and on as many areas. AND it actually works! Honestly one of the best purchases I’ve made… x

      Reply
  4. Mel

    Hi Jeni, thanks for your really helpful review. I’m interested to know if you also looked at any of the other home IPL systems, particularly the “Boots smooth skin” IPL when you were researching your purchase, and how you felt that compared to the Philips Lumea? I’m on the verge of purchasing one of the two as the smooth skin no longer requires the use of a conductor gel on the skin. Am just baffled by the science! Where’s Prof. Brian Cox when you need him eh?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Melissa, not sure if you’re asking Jeni, who’s looking into buying, or me, who went ahead and purchased the Lumea, but for me, when I was buying I was mainly comparing the Tria and the Lumea, and the main reason that I went with the Lumea was that it was safe to use with darker skin tones (I have medium toned skin). I did have a look at all the options on the Boots site, but I think the Lumea had better reviews, which swayed me. Lumea used to do a 60 day money back guarantee – annoyingly they don’t anymore because that would have been ideal! It’s a lot of money to shell out for something if you don’t know how well it will work… Becca x

      Reply
  5. Mandy

    Just to let everyone know, what I was unaware of, if the product no longer works out of the 2 years there is no way of repairing the product, so you just put it in the bin, is the product cost effective for two years?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Mandy, I’m not sure of the warranty period, but I do know that the Lumea does “run out” after a certain number of flashes. Mine is supposed to have around 80,000 flashes in it before it runs out, and then the bulb is finished I guess. Some brands offer machines which allow you to change the bulbs though, but I’ve never tried those. From my experience with the Lumea, the 80,000 flashes is more than enough to reduce hair growth significantly. Mine hasn’t run out and now I just use it to do maintenance every month or so. If it does run out I will prob buy another to continue maintenance every now and again, but I’d expect that to last forever! For me it’s still amazing value – I had IPL on my underarms in a salon. It cost me £300 for seven sessions, and the results were nowhere near as good. Hope this helps! Becca x

      Reply
  6. Vanessa gilpin

    What number setting do you use I have light brown skin and have been using 2 but haven’t seen much results saying that it doesn’t hurt at all when it flashes. So maybe I am using to low??

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      For me anything above 3 hurts, but I don’t see any results below that. Even at 3 the results were too slow for my liking, so I use 4. At my skin tone I’m not supposed to use 5, but depending on the area, I have been known to go that high – I HAVE to ice first. I’d suggest taking it up a notch, at least to 3 and see if you get results, but for best results I think 4. Does it hurt if you use a higher setting? x

      Reply
      1. saba

        Hi Becca and Vanessa
        For me I use the lumea on either 4 or 5. I find it doesnt work too well below that also if you make sure the area is completely hair free it doesnt hurt as bad. When i use it I make sure that I have shaved properly and there is no hair there, I dont feel a lot of pain just the slight heat but I can understand the pain as I zapped a few hairs and it was unbearable but it didnt last long.
        For sensitive areas maybe try using the smaller attachment that is designed for face and other areas.

        Reply
  7. Rachel

    Fantastic review! I’ve been toying with buying one of these for far too long and your review has helped me feel ready to take the plunge (you should ask Philips for commission!) I’d not be able to find details on the difference of the models so thanks millions for outlining this in super simple terms, I’ll definitely be going for the 2006 model for the extra flashes as take after my dad so I’m a bit of a hairy beast! 🙂 xx

    Reply
  8. Jodie

    Hi Becca,

    I found your review of the lumea really helpful. I’ve finally got myself one!! The upper lip is the area I’m most concerned with. I have been bleaching it for years but this year I’ve noticed the hairs have become more prominent and a bit coarser (saying that, the hair would be classed as fine compared to lower leg hair regrowth! It’s just not as fine as it once was). There are also a number of really dark hairs where the bleach doesn’t last long on, to top it all of the bleaching is actually more noticeable too than ever before, probably because the hair’s become coarser. I have pale skin and medium brown hair. Do you think I should wait until the bleach considerably wears off before I start treating this area? I’m just worried the majority of hairs are too light to be zapped?! I’m praying that this treatment is going to work and I am obviously eager to get started but like you’ve mentioned above, you did not shave that area before zapping. Also I wondered what the overall process was for you with the hairs actually becoming less in that area? I just have concerns about it being noticeable that I will have a mixture of some hairs/depleted hairs for a while… (that’s if it all goes to plan) but I suppose the end result will be worth it.

    Many Thanks,
    Jodie

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Jodie, totally understand the upper lip thing – it’s probably the main reason I got the Lumea actually. I used to thread but the results didn’t last long enough and I wanted a more permanent solution. I was worried the results wouldn’t be good because the hair is so fine, but it has probably actually been the most effective area. If I were you I would just start straight away. I think that it’s the root colour of the hair that matters, so if you’re bleaching, the actual root (/follicle) will still be your medium brown colour, and the Lumea should still pick that up. Be careful not to use too high a setting at first, because you don’t want to burn your face! But work your way up if you’re not seeing results. I didn’t notice shedding like other areas (because the hairs are so tiny I guess) but it didn’t take long for the hair to pretty much completely stop growing. Now I just zap the area every now and again (like every 2 months maybe) if I notice any hair. I hope you see the same results! Becca xx

      Reply
  9. Rea

    Brill review Becca!! Thankyou! I shall be investing in one for sure!! Should you be tempted to try the more ‘intimate’ areas I think we’d all appreciate another honest and informative review 🙂
    I’ll keep you updated on my efforts, Hollywood waxing is becoming unbearable & costly so I’m looking forward to trying this in the comfort of my own home 🙂 & underarms, legs, lip…. wherever us ladies sprout!! haha. Thanks again :))

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      You’re very welcome! That’s a good idea – I will be sure to update my post if I do ever go Hollywood haha! xx

      Reply
  10. Char

    Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for such a thorough review. I am mixed raced too and have been contemplating whether it would work on my due to my skin tone. After reading this review I am definitely going to buy it – I just wanted to ask – I saw earlier that you and Jeni had mentioned about possibly trying it out on the “downstairs” region as apposed to getting a Hollywood wax – I just wanted to ask if you had tried it down there and what the results were?

    Thanks again 🙂

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Glad you found it useful! I’ve used it on my bikini and had great results, but I’ve never ventured into more “intimate” areas… I’m sure it would work, but as I said to Jeni, it would be slightly awkward to reach certain areas 🙂 xx

      Reply
  11. goldie

    Hi, Becca,
    My question is , I have indian brown skin tone but black noticeable body hair, will lumea work for me?
    and main question I am planing to get pregnant , so is it safe to use now? be cease I may discontinue this in my pregnancy and many people say after pregnancy be cease of hormonal changes I may get hair again
    so what do you think should I use this now?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      For your skin tone the Lumea should definitely work, but when it comes to pre/post pregnancy I have no idea I’m afraid 🙁 You do need to do it regularly, and even when you’ve reached the level of hair growth you’re happy with, you need to zap once in a while, because the results are only “semi-permanent”, so if you quit for 9 months you’ll see at least some regrowth. I think it’s best not to use while pregnant/breast feeding to be safe. But It’s up to you if you start before you’re pregnant. You might get some good results quickly and they may last to some extent while you take a break… xx

      Reply
  12. lizzie

    Hi Becca, am in a bit of a dilemma regarding the Lumea, as I`m a 67 yr old I now all of a sudden seem to be growing a beard, as I have no grey hairs in my head, I do seem to have some on my chin but not all, & as it says not to use on grey hair what happens there? does it just eradicate the dark ones & leave the grey ones??????????? help please before I decide to buy or not !!!!!
    Lizzie xxx

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Lizzie, I’m not sure to be honest! As far as I know it’s perfectly safe to use on grey hairs, it just won’t have any effect. But it should work fine on the darker hairs. I’d say try talking to a Philips rep before investing, because it’s a lot of money for something that might not work properly! xx

      Reply
  13. farah

    Hi becca, thanks for the great review 🙂
    Im middle eastern and have light to medium brown skin and black hair.
    Im taking clinic sessions on many parts of my body, such as underarms, legs, bikini and private areas (blushing). It has had a wonderful effect as i have black hair, but as you know after smoothening the skin, taking retainment sessions is necessary. Because of all the cost and time needed for that, i was thinking of getting tria or lumea and using it at home, instead of taking sessions in clinic. I also wanted to use it on other parts of my body, such as back and belly. The hair is hardly noticeable and is smooth in these areas, but its still there and its annoying. I couldnt choose between these two products, and i heard that tria could not be used on private parts, so i couldnt use it for retainment in that part. Do you have any comments on buying which one, could i use lumea for retainment and other parts i just said? Do you see it effective that way?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Thank you for your kind words! I personally chose the Lumea over the Tria, mainly because I read somewhere that the Tria wouldn’t work if your skin was too dark, like it had sensors or something that would prevent it from working (things may have changed now, not sure). But in terms of usability, I can only comment on the Lumea as it’s the only one I’ve used. It works great for me! And I recommend it to everyone! But I know everyone is different and responds to these things differently. I would just read as many reviews as possible to decide between them if I were you. The best thing would be able to try them both! Philips used to do a 60 day money back guarantee, I missed that deal but bit the bullet and bought it anyway. That would have been ideal though!

      And yes I would say you can definitely use a Lumea for retainment and I think that’s actually a really good idea. Hehe the Lumea should be fine in private areas 🙂 as long as you can reach (!!) I should say I am in no way an expert, but anywhere you’ve been treated in the salon should be safe with the Lumea since I would imagine the ipl is weaker. But obv read the precautions on the box and use your judgment! xx

      Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello! It should work… I don’t see why not. As long as you don’t do any hair removal that involves pulling the hair out from the root (waxing epilating etc) in the areas you want to treat. I would suggest maybe don’t shave the area before you treat it with the Lumea, just use a trimmer to get it as short as possible but still above the skin. Then zap them and the hairs that want to fall out, will do. The others that don’t should at least not get ingrown (the way they might have if you’d shaved or waxed). I hope this helps! I should say I’m not an expert though – just my tip! xx

      Reply
    2. carly

      One of the reasons the Lumea has been such a revelation for me was my problem with ingrowing hairs. I actually found that waxing gave me more ingrowing hairs that shaving, even though at salons they will always tell you the opposite. I’ve had the Lumea for about 5 years, and it worked for me from day one. No more ingrowing hairs. I found that my rather thick and profuse black hairs on my legs just got finer and more and more sparse, until I could go weeks without needing to do anything. Bikini line and armpits lessened, but not to the same extent. I never used it on my face, as I didn’t want to shave there, and the hairs aren’t very dark there either. I always shave first, then use the lumea. I also try to only shave if I’m going to follow up with the lumea.

      I’m caucasian with white skin/olive skin tone and brown hair on my head (black hairs on legs, bikini and armpits), so I guess I’m one of the ideal skin types for this product. It hurts only the tiniest bit, and I use it on setting 5.

      My Lumea has recently stopped being very effective – I think the flashes may have run out – not sure, need to figure it out but still recommend the product. Summer is less of a hassle with this appliance!

      Reply
  14. Amelie

    Hi Becca!
    Your review has made it “all the way across the pond”! I’m Dutch and was looking for more info on the Lumea. I totally love your “writing style” (is that good English? 😉 )!
    I have a couple of questions and I hope you can help me out with them:
    1. I use an epilady on my legs.
    a) do I have to shave my legs for this to work? If I let them grow out -it being winter and all- the hairs are still pretty visible and some are even still quite hard.
    b) I get ingrown hairs. This is the basic reason I’m looking for something else. What is your experience on this topic?
    2. On my face I still get pimples (the horror! I’m almost 40!). Especially around the chin where I’m also developing “witch-hairs” (as in: broomstick) Needless to say, my facial skin is quite sensitive. Does it say anything about that?

    I would be most grateful if you could help me out on this.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello to you in the Netherlands! Glad you liked the review 🙂
      1. a) You’re supposed to shave i.e. Philips instructions are that you shave. From experience, this is because the IPL burns the hair, so if you don’t shave, the hair gets a little frazzled (you’ll smell the burning – it doesn’t bother me, but hey, I’m pretty much immune to these things now) and it can also cause damage to the lens. Depending on the area though, I don’t necessarily shave. Actually, I only shave armpits. Anywhere else, I either do nothing to prep the area or else I just trim with an electric trimmer to get it as short as possible. As I said in the review, I don’t shave my upper lip ever and I don’t shave my legs either because the hairs are pretty fine (personally I prefer not shaving because it’s easier to see which areas I’ve already done!). If you’d prefer not to shave, I’d at least give it a go without. If you feel like it is damaging the lens then maybe shave or at least clip the hair down as short as possible. There are little marks on my lens that I think have come from the hairs being burnt. I haven’t noticed a problem with performance, but the damage is minimal as the hairs are so fine.
      b) I actually just answered a similar question below (or above.. not sure where it’s going to come up), but no I haven’t had any problems with ingrown hair and I think this is because I don’t really shave first. I used to get a lot of ingrown hairs when I waxed/epilated (armpits, bikini) or shaved (legs), whereas with the Lumea I just trim the area before treatment and then the hairs just fall out when they want, so I don’t have the issue of “under-skin” regrowth.
      2. Hmm, for this one I’m not sure. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin so I’m not sure how it would work out. There is a sensitive nozzle you can use (which you’re always meant to use on the face) and you can put the setting low, but then you run the risk of it not being effective. I think my advice would be that, if you do buy it, try it out on different settings in an inconspicuous place e.g. under your chin and make sure you start on low and work your way up. And stop if you start to find it painful. I bear quite a lot of pain for the Lumea, but I’ve never had any issue or sensitivity from it. If you have sensitive skin though, it might be a different story…
      I hope this helps a little (at least part 1!) xx

      Reply
  15. Alex

    Dear Becca,

    Thank you for writing such a detailed and informative review. I think its courageous and finally someone has finally reviewed it in the best way possible.
    Like you I have for years researched very type of hair removal system, and have just been uncertain. After your review I bought the Lumea straight away.
    I have seen results after the first treatment (I feel like my arms are like 70% done which is amazing) and will remain patient.
    My question is: its been a week and although the hairs on my face are ever so slightly shedding off, I was wondering whether I could shave the hairs that are there untill my next treatment which is in a week? Its kinda obvious, and as I’m going to a party on the weekend, I would preferably not like to turn up as a man haha.

    Anyway, any advice from you would be appreciated.
    once again thank you so much for this blog
    Alex
    x

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Omg thank you so much for your comment! Truly appreciated. I’m also so pleased with your results so far (go Lumea club!!)
      Now to the face issue – If you haven’t already, I would go over the hairs on your face again with the Lumea before the weekend. I only really get very fine upper lip hair, so I find that the hairs just get frazzled off immediately. If that happens for you then problem solved.
      But if that doesn’t work… since you’re using the Lumea and getting good results, I reckon shaving is better than waxing or anything like that because at least you’re not pulling the hair from the root, but honestly I’ve never shaved any areas of my face so I have no idea what regrowth would be like. And personally, for that reason, I would avoid it. I would first try going up a setting, and retreating the area, obviously being super careful not to burn my face!! Pre-ice if you’re worried about that.
      Again not shaving is a personal preference, and you gotta do what you gotta do! Shaving the area won’t affect your results with the Lumea though. Have fun at the party 🙂 xx

      Reply
  16. nadia

    Hello, thank you for the wonderful review. I have just started using the lumea and was wondering if it can be used more frequently than the 2 weeks it stipulates. I am using it on my face (chin) and have hair regrowing pretty much like what Alex mentions. It feels really horrible 🙁 and its been a week. Any idea why it can;t be used more frequently? is it to do with safety or because thats how long it takes most hair to grow?
    Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Nadia, I don’t think there is a problem with using it more often (but I’m not an expert!) – when I first got it I used it once a week. I think the reason they say two weeks has to do with the hair growth cycle. In my experience the treated hair falls out two weeks after treatment. I used it weekly just to make sure I was treating the whole area thoroughly and zapping all the hairs. xx

      Reply
  17. Ronnie

    Hey Ladies,

    Brilliant review, I have PCOS and this was my last resort and i must say it is very good HOWEVER I am currently speaking with phillips Due to the fact you must NEVER USE THIS ON TATTOOED SKIN!!

    Yes i have got carried away and have started laser on my arms and have a tattoo on the side of my wrist which when laser instantly blistered and is currently taking a long time to now heal of course i have not used the machine on this area since and i will continue using the machine as it fab but since there are no warnings in the booklet on tattoos think i should make everyone aware. Being a lady who likes to look after herself my eyebrows are tattooed on and although different ink to normal tattoo however if id decided to use machine on my face could be in a sticky situation.

    BUT machine is great so do use it NOT on tattoos.

    Good luck ladies

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Ronnie, thanks so much for the warning – I don’t have any tattoos (yet!), but I will definitely keep that in mind if I do get one. And I cannot believe Philips don’t mention that! Crazy. xx

      Reply
      1. Jasmine

        I have the SC2004 model and my manual clearly says that you cannot use it on tattoed skin (as well as any other dark coloured spots).

        Btw, this is a great review, a lot of specific and helpful information, thank you a lot ! 🙂

        Reply
  18. Marium

    Hi Becca. I bought my Philips lumea a month back, did my 1st treatment and I’m in love with it already <3
    The thing is when i do my bikini area/underarms it hurts like hell. I use it on setting 3. If i ice the area before will it still be effective because icing the area won't make the heat to go in the hair follicle properly (if that makes sense) 😛 I have light brown skin with dark black hair.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Marium, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! On my bikini, even on level 3 it makes me jump every time I press the button. I ice the area and use it on 4 and it’s still effective for me. I couldn’t do it without ice – and in my experience it hasn’t interfered. My sister has just introduced me to elma cream, which numbs the area so I’m interested to try that as an alternative to ice, because it can sometimes get a bit fiddly. xx

      Reply
  19. Stef

    Hi becca, great review. Can u buy the facial attachment seperatly as my lumea didn’t come with the smaller one for facial hair. Also, I’ve noticed black marks on the lens have appeared after the 3rd time using the machine- have u come across this? If so, is this something i should be worried about?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Stef, thank you! I have the little black marks on my machine too, as far as I know they haven’t affected performance. I put their appearance down to not shaving the area first – when the hair burns it sometimes leaves a mark on the lens. Could that be what’s causing it for you too? Apologies, I have no idea whether you can buy the facial attachment separately! xx

      Reply
  20. Lena

    Hi Becca,

    Great review. I’ve had IPL in salons a few times but it costs too much to be consistent. I have mid brown – Dark Brown skin according to the chart you provided. Do you think it would be safe and do you know anyone of darker tones that has tried it and have shared results with you?

    Thanks Lenax

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Thank you! I would say I probably have a similar skin tone to what you describe, closer to dark brown than mid and it’s safe for me to use (however, my mum, for example, is black and it wouldn’t be safe or effective for her). I find it does hurt though! I was lucky and I happened to go into Boots when there was a Philips rep there, so I could ask her lots of questions before I bought mine. I don’t know how often they are in store, but that’s probably the best thing to do if you’re unsure. It’s hard for me to say without seeing your skin, and I wouldn’t want to give you bad advice, but if you’ve had IPL at salons I’d guess it is fine for you. Hope this helps a little! xx

      Reply
  21. Lena

    Thanks Lena, you saved me investing in my salons 50% offer on laser which still works out a lot more! Gonna buy it nowx

    Reply
  22. sarah

    Hey Becca, I just got my philips lumea precision plus 2006 and im worried about using it on my face! Do you not shave any part of your face (like sideburns, chins)when you use it? And how do you clean it after if the hairs burn?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, I don’t shave my face at all when I use the Lumea, but I only use it on my upper lip area. The hairs are so fine and small that I don’t find that they leave marks on the lens. When other hairs have left the odd mark I just leave them and so far that hasn’t affected the performance of the Lumea. I think in general for body hair, it is best to shave the area to avoid marking the lens though. xx

      Reply
  23. Anna

    Hi, I’ve had massive issues with hair removal. I can accommodate for shaving my legs and bikini line but they take so long and it lasts for a day so I’m quite lazy with it but doing my underarms just seems routine now. I’ve epilated and I suffer from broken hairs and very easily get irritation and trapped hair folicles which is a constant on my abdomen. Do you think I would be suitable to use such a product? Given that my hairs tend to break when they’ve been epilated or waxed (never when shaving or using creams) as Im concerned about how they would come out through the skin after treatment! Thankyou so so much for this post!! I really hope this works for me!!

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello! Thanks for your comment! I think it should work for you as long as you have the correct skin/hair colour for the Lumea to pick up. I used to epilate, but always got ingrown hairs, which is why I decided to try and find a different solution. Remember, if you’re using the Lumea you can’t wax or epilate the area, you can only shave, because the hair needs to be in the root for the Lumea to zap it. Then, once you’ve Lumea-ed the area, the hairs should just fall out by themselves a couple of weeks after treatment. I hope it works for you too! Let me know if that makes sense xx

      Reply
      1. Anna

        Perfect sense. So so helpful thankyou! Because they are so expensive I am planning on buying one over the next few months and then will “loan” it to brother/mum/friends for a small charge! 😉
        Thankyou so much for a great post and such a quick reply!! :O

        Reply
  24. Cindy

    Hello. This is an excellent review! I am still sitting on the fence as to what to do. I have an issue with hair growth on my upper lip and have to pluck everyday. It is not pleasant to have to do all of the time and has made my (pores?) look more manly. I was wondering how painful it is to use on your upper lip. I know that you stated that the hairs on your upper lip are faiirly fine and light, but mine are darker and not so fine. Maybe some of them have become more course and darker due to all of the plucking I do. I just wanted to get an ideal of how painful it is, any side effects or irritatian that I could expect and how the results of doing an upper lip would be. ALSO, CAN YOU USE THIS ON EYEBROWS (or should I say brow bone just beneath the eyebrow) AND BETWEEN THE BROWS? I have light to medium skin tone with light and some dark hair. I checked the chart and I do fit the criteria for use. Any additional information you could give me on this would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much and keep up the great work. I very much appreciate you and I see others really do too!

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      🙂 thank you! Personally I don’t find it painful at all on the upper lip. I used to get mine threaded (SO PAINFUL and lasted for about 2 days!), so compared to that it is nothing. I do find the coarser hairs (e.g.underarms) more painful, but that doesn’t mean that your upper lip would necessarily be that painful. One thing I just thought of if your really worried about the pain – maybe see if a local salon offers IPL, and have one session on your lip. That should give you an idea, and it shouldn’t be too expensive.

      I would always err on the side of caution when treating your face though. You are supposed to use the facial attachment, and even then always work your way up to higher settings. You don’t want to burn yourself! I don’t get any irritation – maybe a little redness after use, which goes down within a few mins.

      Now, brows… I don’t use the Lumea on my brows and Philips does warns against using the Lumea around the eyes. The light is really bright and I think it could damage your eyes. Also, the lamp is quite large, so it is difficult to treat a small area like that accurately and you might end up zapping too much of your brow! The results are permanent (to an extent) so you might not get them back. Between the brows would be easier to treat accurately, but again it isn’t safe to use that close to the eyes, so I would advise against it.

      Hope this helps! Thanks again for your comment xx

      Reply
      1. Cindy

        Your response is a big help and, there again, keep up the great work! You are doing such a great thing by supplying all of your information and helping us ladies out.

        Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello 🙂 Your comment made me lol – “REALLLLLLLY”. Disclaimer: I don’t use the Lumea much on my legs, for two reasons: 1. it’s a large surface area and I am super lazy (Underarms take me literally 2 minutes, whereas legs is more like 20, and I have to remember to charge the thing. Ok so not that long, but I am SUPER lazy). 2. my legs aren’t too hairy. BUT I would still recommend it (assuming you have dark hair and lightish skin) because 1. where I did have a lot of hair, it worked really well. Actually, my comment about my legs not being that hairy, that’s probably in part due to the few times I have used the Lumea on them. 2. In Salon IPL on legs is ridiculously expensive, so in that sense the Lumea is a no brainer. Just a warning, the Lumea might not get rid of all the hairs, but the difference (for me at least) is dramatic. If you do get it, let me know the results for someone with legs on the hairier side! 🙂 xx

      Reply
  25. sana

    Hi Becca, I loved your page, I purchased the latest Phillips hair removal from boots in Dubai mall and found a significant difference in the prices, shocking seeing as it’s the same store and same product, I haven’t used it yet but I feel confident after reading your views. Thank you.

    Reply
  26. sneha

    Hello Becca,
    I immediately bought Philips Lumea after reading your post. I am indian origin with medium brown to dark brown skin and have very dark and coarse hair.. My question is can I use hair removal cream before using Lumea (eg 1 day before). Im kinda allergic to razor blades and cannot shave, especially on my face and belly.. And I have always been waxing legs, underarms and belly..Shaving has always made the hairs thinker. Thanks in advance for your reply.
    Sneha…

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Sneha, I’m glad you found the review helpful! I’m not sure if you can use hair removal cream. I have a feeling that it’s not recommended Philips, but since you’re not pulling the hair from the root with this method, the Lumea should still be effective. I’d do it a couple of days before so you have a tiny bit of growth when you’re treating with the Lumea, but I’ve never tried this, so it’s just a best guess.. xx

      Reply
  27. Kira

    Very nice review.
    I bought the precision plus and so far have done 4 sessions. however, the hair is not completely gone yet. If it’s not gone after 5 sessions, what should you do?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi, thank you! Keep going with it until you’re happy with the amount of hair reduction. But in my experience you won’t ever get 100% of the hairs. For me it’s almost all gone in the areas I treat regularly, but there are still a few stubborn hairs that seem to resist treatment. Also, you do have to do maintenance treatments every now and then or the hairs will start to come back. Hope this helps xx

      Reply
  28. Lena

    Hi Lena,

    So i have used the Lumea a few times now and have noticed a slight change but not too much difference so I have shave every so often between treatments. I wanted to ask if you have ever noticed smoke when you zap? I may have had longer hairs which is why it may have smoked but I am not so sure. Wanted check if you noticed that? I have no skin reactions and I am using on setting 4. Also I did try going up to 5 but it felt quite hot, and still didnt have any reactions but I was scared it may be too high but I figured if I went higher it would be more effective. What are your thoughts? I am medium – dark brown in skin colour.x

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, yes I have noticed a little smoke before, but like you said, that’s only when there is hair in the treatment area. Sometimes I can smell the burnt hair if I haven’t shaved the area fully. Yes the higher you go the more effective it is, but for our skin tone, 4 should be the max you use. If you try 5 and find it painful/very hot then the setting is probably too high for you. I sometimes use a higher setting and use ice to keep the skin cool and that has helped with hair reduction. I also find that when I was first using it, a lot of hair went in the first 2-3 treatments, like more than 50% and then it slowed down a bit, so I suggest persevering until you reach the desired hair reduction. But bear in mind you probably won’t get rid of 100% of hairs. xx

      Reply
  29. Eszter

    Hi! I’m having same one. I have a 4 months old little girl so I didn’t use it over a year because of pregnancy and breast feeding. I tried tonight I plugged in and nothing happened. Is it possible not works anymore as it was off too long time?
    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Eszter, I’m sorry I have no idea why it’s not working. I think that’s a task for the Philips Warrantee team. It could be because you haven’t used it, but that’s no excuse! You should see what Philips can do for you! xx

      Reply
  30. Tariq

    Dear Becca,

    Thanks for an informative article.

    I wish to know if it is equally suitable for gents.

    I am south asian with coarse beard and brown sensitive skin.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be suitable for guys too. Obviously I can’t talk from first hand experience! But as long as you fall into the right skin/hair colour brackets it should be effective. The only thing I would warn is that the hair does tend to grow back patchy after the first couple of treatments, which could be noticeable if your hair is very coarse. But if you persevere you should get to the desired hair reduction. Hope this helps! x

      Reply
  31. dalia

    I’m having a lot of pimples in my face because of the shaving not the machine so is it ok to apply the laser on that area ? (I have a sensitive skin) and I’m having the same problem in bikini line. Please update me once you post new things via my email

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hmm I’m not sure on that one! Normally manufacturers advise against using these types of things on broken skin. If it’s ingrown hairs from shaving, I would try to combat those first before using the Lumea, but if you have decent amount of hair to treat I’d just be careful, don’t put the setting up too high and stop if you get further irritation. That’s what I would do anyway!

      Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      You are supposed to, but I don’t always – it depends on whether there has been much regrowth. I try keep the hair short possible when I use the Lumea though, no more than a couple of millimetres.

      Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I have no idea – anyone else got experience of this? I find it works better for me on coarser hair, like underarms vs. finer hairs on my legs for e.g. I think the coarser hair absorbs more light. But I’d just persevere…

      Reply
  32. mai

    pleaaaase..do you know battery price of this device ?????
    i had model SC2003 …i didnot opened it for more than year…now my device can”t open
    if you know can i solve my problem tell me quickly please
    thanks..

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      As far as I know you can’t remove the battery? Perhaps contact the manufacturer. I guess it’s out of warranty but they might still be able to help you at a cost. Better than having to repurchase!

      Reply
  33. Gul

    Hello Becca,
    I am looking into buying one of the precision lumea products from my face, I had some laser treatment done at a clinic last year, however there was some contraindication and I have had a growth in the very area i wanted the hair gone in, the chin and jaw. I think the clinic did not use the right frequency or something.
    As a result I have also developed acne, I wonder if anyone has had any acne problems or had any growth as a result of laser,
    gul

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Gul, I haven’t had any acne or growth as a result of the laser (Lumea or in-salon).. maybe others can weigh in?
      Also, maybe you would have a different reaction to IPL vs. laser or vice versa?

      Reply
  34. Jemma

    Thank you for such a helpful review I am suffering with more and more hair on upper lip and chin and feel I need something to keep it at bay. I just managed to get the precision plus for 270 at Boots. Yet to collect it but I am sure it will help judging by everyone else’s experiences.

    Reply
  35. aneesa

    Hello – if im buy a machine on ebay – is there any way of checking how many flashes have been used so far ?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I don’t think so… they can only tell you how much they’ve used it, but there is not way of knowing how accurate that’ll be. For example, I have no idea how many flashes I’ve used. I personally would recommend buying new. x

      Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi Sally, I’m not 100% sure, that’s definitely something you should check with a Philips rep.
      Generally though, I’d always make sure to do a patch test and stop if there is any reaction.
      Best to check with a professional on that one… There probably is a minimum recommended age. x

      Reply
    2. Luke Peterson

      Hello Sally, i would not recommend any type of these beauty treatments (such as IPL, teeth whitening, sun beds etc) to anyone below 18. Any good salon would refuse to treat someone of your daughters age.

      I would recommend just holding off until she is older.
      Always err on the side of caution.

      If you scroll down to the bottom of this page:
      http://www.hptgroup.eu/intense-pulsed-light-ipl-machine/intelibrite-professional-ipl/professional-ipl-treatments.html
      There is a FAQ about ipl treatments which will cover some of the areas of question you may have

      Reply
  36. Sara. Livesey

    I have been using the Precision model for 5 months and bought it originally to use on my chin and upper lip. I use it weekly as although it seems to work on some areas (to an extent) it has had no impact on my chin. I used to pluck which gave me ingrowns all the time and I spent at least 10-15 mins each staring into a magnifying mirror each night before bed. I now have to shave my chin twice a day like a man because the Lumea just does not seem to be having any impact. I know some of the hairs are white and it won’t work on them but I can clearly see dark hairs every day within 10 hours of shaving. To be fair shaving gives me a much smoother result and less Ingrowns but it’s not great having to do it twice a day. The “stubble” is quite sharp!
    I am very disappointed as I was really excited when I bought it.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. It’s worked really well for me in all the areas I’ve tried – not always 100% of hair but between 70 and 90% consistently, which I’m really happy with. Maybe it’s worth looking into in-salon laser or IPL… Weirdly I’ve had less success with that than the Lumea (had it done on my armpits and it made no difference at all), but maybe you’re the other way round!

      Reply
  37. Rebecca

    Hi Becca 🙂 thanks for your review it was really helpful, I have been thinking about buying this product for a while. I was wondering, what are the rules about going in the sun after? Can you sunbathe or just be outside in the sunshine the day after treatment?
    Also, after using the lumea for a while, are the areas you have treated actually smooth/hair less? Or is there always going to be a slight hair re growth? I have really thick hair so I’m wondering if it will actually work for a long time

    Thanks!
    Rebecca

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I had a look on the Lumea website, and this is what it said about sun exposure:

      Q: Can I use Philips Lumea all year long, for example during the summer months?

      A: Yes. However, if possible start the treatment in autumn, winter or spring and be smooth at the start of summer.
      Using Philips Lumea Essential on skin that has been recently exposed to sunlight can result in adverse effects such as burns, blisters, and skin color changes. Do not use Philips Lumea Essential on tanned skin or after sun exposure. Avoid exposure to the sun for 2 weeks before your treatment with Philips Lumea Essential. Do not expose treated areas to the sun for at least 48 hours after the treatment.
      Occasional and indirect sun exposure does not qualify as sunbathing.

      Hope that answers the first question. In terms of how smooth/hair free the skin is after a course of treatment, I don’t find that it is completely free of hair. Depends on the area – upper lip 100%, underarms 80%, bikini 90%. Those are the areas I’ve treated consistently. I still shave my underarms, but only around once a month, because regrowth is slow and sparse. Also I’ve found that the hair starts to grow back eventually if I don’t top it up (like once every few months) so it’s not completely permanent. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  38. Mimi

    Hello Becca,
    Thankful for this page.
    I want to take your advice please concerning which model to buy, and any idea if for example IPL-2006 would be more effective than IPL-2001 or I will end up with same results?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, the results will be the same with both machines, but from the looks of it, the 2001 model can only be used on the body, whereas the 2006 can be used on face and body because it has a second attachment. The 2006 also has a longer lifespan, but other than that they are the same. Thanks!

      Reply
  39. Georgina

    Hi,
    I was wondering if someone can help me. I purchased the 2003 model on eBay and noticed the body attachment does not have a plastic filter on it like the precision one has. Has it broken or does it come like this? Keen to get started but don’t want to use it if not safe,

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      That’s right the body attachment doesn’t have a plastic filter, the precision one has one so that it’s safe to use on the face.

      Reply
  40. Nicola

    Hi Becca, thank you for your blog, it’s very informative! I have been considering laser hair removal as I have recently had a terrible cold sore on my upper lip after waxing, and have been dubious about it happening again. I was wondering, (I am half Sri Lankan and currently have quite a dark sun tan at the moment) will the IPL cause my skin to go even darker? I really don’t want a shadow on my upper lip! Also I have really stubborn chin hair that looks like black heads, I pluck them presently but could leave it for a few days as I definitely don’t want to shave any facial areas. Will this be sufficient? Thank you for your help. Xx

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Thanks you! I had a look on the lumea website and it says you shouldn’t use the device on tanned skin so I’d firstly wait until it fades before doing any IPL or laser. In my experience it hasn’t caused discolouration on any areas I’ve treated (including upper lip), but I would test it somewhere discreet first to see how your skin reacts if you are concerned – even then, you can’t be sure unless you test in the actual area you plan to use (sorry that’s not very helpful!). Regarding chin hair, I’m pretty sure it won’t work if you pluck in between treatments, i.e. you want to wait until it falls out by itself (which for me takes about 2 weeks to start happening and sometimes needs two treatments), so it’s a question of how long you can bear not to pluck! xx

      Reply
  41. maryam

    Hi becca thanks for your helpful review .. I am trying to buy philips lumea sc2008 .. But the problem is i live in USA. And they do not sell it here even on amazon i can not find it… So is it safe to buy it from ebay ??
    And do you recommend an other cheaper devise ??

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hmm this isn’t something I can really weigh in on… I bought mine from Boots which is a big UK chain store. Others might have experience with buying from eBay… The Lumea is the only device I’ve used, I have an older model, which might be a little cheaper than the newest ones, but I have no experience at all with other brands. Sorry! If anyone else recommends another device, would love to hear about it though.

      Reply
  42. ati

    hi…
    I’ve bout my Philips lumea precision last week I used it today and after 10 shots it didn’t work any more…
    plz if any one knows how can I fix it…. 🙁

    Reply
  43. Asma

    Hi Becca
    Does it work on very thick hair? I have decelopped very thick hair over time in a limted area of my chin and i really are still hesitating to purchaise lumea out of fear that it might not work effectively on thick dark hair.
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi, in my personal experience, it works really well on thicker hair, but I’ve been reading comments below and one user said it doesn’t work on their chin hair. I’m honesty not sure what makes it work on one person and not another… It’s a tough decision because its a big investment, but i think it’s well worth it if you want to use it on multiple areas because it’s bound to work better on some than others.

      Reply
  44. Emily carven

    Hello, most helpful conversations! Does anyone have any advice knowledge for using this product on hairs that are growing out of moles? I saw that it said not for dark spots?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hey, I got this off the Lumea website. Hope it helps!
      Q: Can I use Lumea on moles or freckles?
      A: No, do not use Philips Lumea directly on or close to moles or freckles.
      If there is a mole/freckle in the area you want to treat, flash around the mole/freckle and not over it.

      Reply
  45. Viki

    Hi Becca!!

    Excellent review I purchased the phillips Lumea essential a week ago.

    I was wondering with the hair growth.. my hair grows quiet fast. So on my first session my hair grew the bext day.. I tried to wait the week but couldnt, so shved and did another session. My question is am I not supposed to shave in between session?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello 🙂 I think it’s fine to shave between sessions – only waxing, plucking or anything that pulls the hair from the root is going to lower effectiveness. The hair doesn’t stop growing immediately after treatment, it takes about 2 weeks for the first hairs to start falling out (in my experience, it makes no difference how many times within two weeks I repeat treatment – two weeks after the first time I treated a new area I’ll notice the first few hairs coming out. Like clockwork). So when you first start you will still have to shave between sessions to remain hair free. x

      Reply
  46. Melissa

    Hi, really good review. Now,let’s talk pain threshold. 🙂 I am wimp, waxing was a screaming event done once only. Epilation was bearable for a very special occasion but for regular use it was too painful to be done every week and I soon switched back to the razor. I know everyone has a different pain threshold but how would you compare it to epilation or waxing. I really can’t afford another hair removal product to gather dust in my bedroom drawer!

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      For me it KILLS. It does depend on the setting, but anything higher than 3 is a no no. One girl commented and said it doesn’t hurt her at all though. My way around that is to ice the area first. I use the ice gel thing that came with my old epilator or just ice cubes in a zip lock bag. I hold that on the area to be treated until it starts to numb and then I feel nothing, completely pain free. Honestly, if you get it and it hurts too much, ice the area first. Just make sure you leave the ice long enough to let it get numb. Also, the lower the setting the less it hurts, so if it effectively removes hair for you at setting 3 or below stick there and it won’t hurt. ALSO, the precision filter is much less painful so you can always use that attachment. But for me it’s all about the ice.

      Reply
  47. Mon

    Hi Becca,

    Thank you so much for a lovely review. It made me to buy this device 🙂 And I want to be happy user but… I’m not sure what to do with the hair growing between the sessions? After my first session I haven’t seen any difference and my hair were growing as normal (next day!!! 🙁 ). Should I shave them in meanwhile? Will that not make them stronger and go back to how they were before? Alternative is that I could leave them grow… But I don’t really want to have a jungle growing on my legs!!! 😉 Please advise what is best to do.

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Thanks! I’m glad you found the review useful 🙂 Yep thats the same experience as me – after the first session, hair continues to grow and doesn’t fall out for around two weeks, right around the time when I’m due to do my second session. They start to come away when I lightly pull them with tweezers. I don’t pluck them, but the hairs that are dead or no longer attached, just come away, and others will stay put. The more sessions you do the more hairs fall away, but yes it is a bit of a slow process to begin with. I don’t think there is any harm shaving in between sessions on your legs, the hairs that are ready to fall out will do (in a couple of weeks) and shaving won’t effect that. You just have to be persistent with your treatments until you are happy with the level of regrowth. Good luck with it 🙂

      Reply
      1. Ana

        Hey! Sorry for *barging in* on your question to the author, but I was wondering if you tried shaving your legs in between the sessions with the Philips device and if it had any negative effect. I want to buy one, read this article which I found very useful and came across your question which was identical with one I had in mind – “what to do in between sessions with the hair that remains”. I have pretty healthy hair with strong roots, to describe it diplomatically, and when I shave…well – poof – in about 3 days it’s so very back and so very visible so in two-weeks …it would be “a jungle out there” so to speak :)) Thank you so much!

        Reply
  48. Amanda.

    Hi Becca, great review. Thank you for putting this up. 🙂 Do you by any chance know what the difference is between all these lumea models?… I want to buy my daughter one for christmas, but don’t want all this bells and whistles crap that cost extra if its going to do same job. Can you reccomend the best model to buy? x

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂 When choosing a model, you first need to decide whether you’re going to be using it on the face or not (if using on the face you need an extra attachment which only comes with some of the models and is slightly more expensive), and then the other difference is the number of flashes the device has in its lifetime. The models that hold fewer flashes tend to be cheaper, and they still last ages. In my opinion, when you’re starting out it’s better to get the cheaper option… Those were the two main differences between models when I was buying. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  49. Lynn

    I’ve just purchased the 2007 model can you tell me do I need to buy IPL laser gel too? It was suggested to buy them together on Amazon

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, I’ve never heard of IPL gel and have never used it with the Lumea! I don’t know if it’s something that was recommended to be used with an older model, but my guess would be you don’t need it…

      Reply
  50. Nata

    Hello Becca, I used my ipl sc 1985/00 model on my leg (was not shaved), first time in my life. After the treatment hairs were still there, as if I didn’t touch them. Are hairs going to fall out right after the first treatemnt or what should I expect? I got the feeling that the device is not working and I should change it. I have light skin and dark hairs, and I used all levels (1-5). Thank you in advance for your reply.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hi, officially you are supposed to shave any area before you treat it with the Lumea, but I personally don’t shave my face. The hair on my face is very fine though, so it depends on how thick/coarse the hair is. You can always test a very small area first if you are unsure.

      Reply
  51. Dee

    Thanks for the really helpful review, Becca. You have the patience of a saint, answering the same questions over and over. Why, oh why won’t some people read the previous posts? Sorry. Rant over.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      You can put it on charge as much as you like! Mine is normally fully charged in a couple of hours I think..

      Reply
  52. eyufygiuh

    I have Lumea Prestige and It doesn’t hurt AT ALL if you adjust it right. If you put it slightly up, it might tingle.

    Reply
  53. jenny

    Can I ask a silly question.. I have just completed my first treatment. Are you not supposed to shave in-between? So wait until your next pre treatment shave in two weeks time?

    Reply
  54. amanda

    Hi. I used it on my upper lip where iv only a few darker hairs n just blonde ones. But after my first and only attempt iv noticed the hairs look darker n more noticeable so I’m worried whether to do it again n if it’s just normal. Iv never shaved this area I Darent. Just thought I’d ask your opinion.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Oooh I’m not sure! I’m surprised it would make the hair darker – I haven’t this experience. But maybe someone else has? x

      Reply
  55. ShaneeQ

    Now, that’s what I call an excellent review. Just what I needed. Been hesitant for over a year now in buying this device being of Coloured skin. Will purchase now (a great offer just dropped into my mailbox) and having no doubt about the results. Thanks much!

    Reply
  56. ShaneeQ

    Oh question. I did my IPL bikini line in a salon. Special Protective glasses were needed against the flashes of the device. Not necessary with this device?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      No I don’t think they’re necessary… I do find it quite bright though to be fair. Hope it’s going well for you. x

      Reply
  57. ShaneeQ

    In the meantime I watched some YouTube clips. The reviewer of the CoolBlue webshop says it’s not for permanent hairremoval. Is that your experience conclusion as well??

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Yes, I’d say semi-permanent, so you need to do it every now and again to top up. And some of the hairs won’t every fully grow back. In general, though in comparison to before using it at all, it’s SUPER low maintenance. x

      Reply
  58. Swaidan

    Hello .. through my reading I saw you used the device on Bikini area without having the bikini attachment . right?
    The 2009 model now has bikini attachment and 250K flash’s , but its 50% more expensive than 2006 model .. So can I save some money and stick to 2006 and use it on bikini area as well ?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Yep you can! I think the only place you can’t use the main attachment is on your face. I didn’t even get a dedicated bikini attachment, only one for face, so you’re fine with that model. x

      Reply
  59. Cian

    Thanks for this advise becca, I don’t have a question because you answered it already that it’s okay to shave between sessions mine would grow back after two days so happy that I can shave between sessions thank you

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, in my experience the hair never completely disappears (there will always be a few stubborn ones), but I’ve reached about 90% reduction. I’d say 4 to 8 sessions depending on the area and then it reaches a plateau where the hair doesn’t reduce anymore. Hope that helps x

      Reply
  60. Mandie

    I’ve had hair laser treatment at my local hospital TWICE.they only do it on facial hair which I seem to have a lot of growing on my chin. This did work for me bit I neglected to go back for a top up treatment so the hair has came back and is just as bad..my fiance has just bought me the 2006 model and I have it on the highest setting and do not find it painful at all.As you’ve said often though “everyone is different. Here is what I was advised by experts in dermatology..
    Do not wax, pluck or any form of hair removal from roots just as Becca has said numerous times..ONLY SHAVING as all you’re doing is removing hair from surface of skin the hair is still there below the surface your only blunting it .
    Do not use fake tan or go out in the sun without a high sun factor on your skin..I personally did have skin discolouration and patchy skin after the first treatment I had gone out in the sun too quickly after having had my last treatment. This is obviously a much higher intensity of treatment that I had done at hospital as ceramic goggles have to be worn and you do actually snell the hair burning and your left with little black dots of hair afterwards.aloe Vera gel is offered after treatment and I found this soothing but sone people are allergic .
    I was told too shave before treatment as they take a photograph at the start of treatment so that they can refer to this for areas to treat .I was also told that it is a myth that your hair grows back stronger after shaving and that it makes no difference to the strength of the hair .I’m still a bit dubious about this tho. If I shave the area it comes through a day later. I’ve just started treatment with the Philips and am applying all the same concepts as I’ve been told at hospital even although I know that it’s not going to be as strong a treatment but I figured that it’s better to do this than not too as I’m wanting the best results as possible. I’m page skinned and dark haired so the perfect candidate for this. I’m hoping this works as the amount of ingrown hair I get from waxing has seriously marked my skin over the years and excess hair is the bane of my life..wish me luck guys I’ve got everything crossed that this will work.
    Oh another thing is no facial creams to be used before treatment so I’m showering and using the luminea after that before putting any body lotions on good luck to everyone who tries this as I’m aware how depressing ecess hair can be xx

    Reply
  61. Marissa

    Do you think it will work for dark under arms? i have medium brown skin tone, but my underarm is a bit dark due to shaving and aslo because of my color? Would love to buy the product but thinking if it will work on my dark underarms

    Reply
  62. Marissa

    Hi Becca

    Can you please let me know if this will work with dark underarms? I’m medium brown skin color and my underarms is dark brown to really dark. I’m afraid it will not work after buying this expensive product.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Hello, I can’t guarantee that it will work, but in my experience, I actually found that my underarms lightened when I used the Lumea. I had some pigmentation in my armpits, caused by shaving and deodorant etc, and when I started using the Lumea I needed to shave a lot less often so my underarms gradually became less pigmented. That’s just my experience though, obviously you need to be careful using the Lumea on darker skin, as it might be more painful or cause damage to the skin. If your skin is darker than the recommended tone that Philips recommends, I would always say approach with caution.

      Reply
  63. Diana

    Hey Becca! Thank you for a wonderful review. I have an illness which causes hair to grow where it’s not supposed to (face, arms, chest, you name it). That’s because of the extra testosterone in my blood. I’ve heard that in the case of hormonal hair not everything works, so could you please tell me if this thing would work on me? I’ve tried almost everything and I’m pretty depressed about my hair situation. Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I’m sorry you’re unhappy! I know this isn’t very helpful, but I honestly have no idea whether it would work.. on principle I’d say it should because it should still still kill the follicle. I’m no expert though… you might find it’s not that effective on all the hairs. x

      Reply
  64. Sarah

    Hi, really excited having bought one of these today! I’ve had several years of dreading Summer months due to my ‘horrible legs’ (mainly issues with them feeling rough due to ingrowing hairs following epilation, despite regular exfoliation). Would you suggest I invest some time in shaving/exfoliating to try and get rid of the rough feeling and any bumps before starting treatment, or am I OK go to go straight in?

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I would try exfoliating to help with the ingrown hairs before you start, but you can go straight in. I HATE all other forms of hair removal because of ingrown hairs and this helped me so much. I hope it works for you too!! x

      Reply
  65. rustic

    dear Becca,

    juts read the reviews and i am completely overwhelmed by your responses for every questions that have been asked. i am thinking it to get for my self soon and used it for underarms and bikini area. i hope it works great for bikini area especially the intimate ones

    thanks for the great reveiw

    Reply
  66. Laura

    Sorry this is a bit late after other comments … great post, thank you! Thinking about getting one and I know you said you can shave in between treatments but for upper lip do you just leave it in between treatments, or shave? From what I can tell you can’t wax or thread in between treatments though I’d have thought you could maybe wax it afterwards, but not right before, so there’s still something there for the light to zap? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Nope I don’t do anything to remove upper lip hair between treatments. I’m not sure what would happen if you waxed after treatment – although when I used to go to a beauty salon for laser, she threaded my upper lip afterwards. BUT the salon treatment never worked for me – I had upper lip and underarms done, and even though I only shaved my underarms between treatments, it still did absolutely nothing. You’d have to experiment with that one. My gut feeling would be to leave it, but I know not everyone would be comfortable with doing that. xx

      Reply
  67. Lia

    Dear Becca,

    I actually just wanted to thank you:)

    I bought lumea 2005 (the pink one) a few days ago, encouraged by your reviews and girl’s comments.
    I am fair skinned with dark brown hair (an ideal candidate) and i have had just one session till now and being a pessimist, as nothing has happened yet, i wonder if it works for me:/. I guess that i am just impatient, because i want to get rid of all that fur i have been fighting against for at least 20 years.

    It is very helpful to know that you are here, open for any questions. I will ask you if something goes wrong.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Aww thank you!! Hope it’s working now… It was after the second session that I started seeing a bigger difference, but I definitely had to persevere. x

      Reply
      1. Klaudia

        Dear Becca!
        I just had my first session with Philips Lumea but I dont feel any difference. I really hope this is going to work. I am so inpatient. I used level 3 maybe i should raise the second time?? Do you have any side effects? sometimes I am worried about cancer.
        Thank you
        Klaudia

        Reply
        1. Becca Post author

          I haven’t had any side effects. Definitely not cancer! I use on level 4 or 5. I don’t find it works at the lower levels. Also it takes about 2 weeks for any hair to start falling out. Hope that helps xx

          Reply
  68. fids

    Your review is fantastic for the older devices. Have you considered trying the sc2009? I’m also looking for a good comparison between the Smoothskin gold and the Lumea sc2009. Please let me know if you find any.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      Thank you! I would love to try newer devices, but since mine is still going strong and they are quite an investment 😉 I think I’ll have to wait until mine breaks or runs out before I buy another. Good luck with finding one that works for you!

      Reply
  69. Ati Imtiaz

    Hey becca, i am an asian with medium wheatish skin tone and i wanted to know if this will work on my bikini/intimate areas as they are darker than other body prts. Thats exactly where i have the most thickest black stubborn hair growth tht i want to get rid of.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      As long as the skin tone in your bikini area fits within the safe range outlined by Philips, you should be fine. Every body is different, but I find it works better on coarser hair than finer hair. I hope it works just as well for you! xx

      Reply
  70. Regine

    This is the first review I’ve been able to come across which explains how the Precision Plus interacts with darker skin. Furthermore this is the only product that was created to work for our skin type. I’ve been saving up to purchase one for the longest! And thanks to your review, I think it’ll work smoothly for me as well. I can’t wait to see the results, but of course patience is a virtue. So, a big thank you!

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      You’re welcome! I’m glad the review is helpful 🙂 It’s a big investment, for something that could be hit or miss xx

      Reply
  71. Sue

    Mine died folks, and Philips tell me it’s because >3/4 months. Apparently it’s a ‘thing’ that they didn’t feel n necessary to explain in the manual. They seemed to think a small line instructing regular charging would suffice.

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      This is actually really good to know – I don’t use might nearly as much as I used to (just for maintenance now) so definitely don’t charge it that often. Mine is still going strong btw! Unrelated, but this did happen to my kindle – I didn’t use it for about a year and then it just wouldn’t charge. Maybe it’s something that can happen to electricals in general if they aren’t charged regularly… xx

      Reply
  72. Nana

    Wow

    I have just purchased the Lumea sc2007 ( as I would prefer not to run out of charge) and this is the best review I have ever read and all the continuous comments and replys have also been amazing reading and very useful. You deserve an award for the years you have put into this blog…..Phillips should provide you with all new products for free!

    Thank you and I will let you know how it works for me xxxxxxx

    Reply
  73. ayeza

    Hi, Can I ask you a question as I have bought a Lumea sc2009 . I shaved my forehead and used the Lumea on my forehead but now I am afraid . Is it good for using it on forehead ? Will wait for your reply..

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I think it’s fine to use on your forehead! The inly place you’re not supposed to use it is close to your eyes. I assume this is because the bright light of the laser shouldn’t be that close to your eyes. xx

      Reply
  74. Sarah

    Hi I was wondering If you could help,i have been using the Lumea on my upper lip and have been shaving before hand but I am not happy with the results as I’m left with a dark mark underneath the skin that looks like a mustache due to the shaving I think!so next time I use it I’m not going to shave the area like you said but how do I get rid of the hairs afterwards once I’ve zapped the area with the lumea?if that makes sense. X

    Reply
    1. Becca Post author

      I personally don’t use any form of hair removal on my upper lip, besides the Lumea. Even before it had started to work, I found that just treating the area with the Lumea singed the hairs enough that they weren’t very noticeable. I always found the idea of shaving my face horrifying, and didn’t really have the need, but I recently watched this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCix93Mn6iU&t=343s – she gives a really good tutorial I think – she uses an eyebrow razor and shaves her upper lip once a week. But to answer your question, if you need to shave in the interim before the hair starts falling out on it’s own, I would treat with the Lumea and then wait at least a day before shaving, just so you’re not overworking the area as that might be what’s making the skin darken. Alternatively, shave the day before or a couple of days before you plan to use the Lumea. xx

      Reply
  75. Pingback: Philips Lumea IPL SC2009/00 Păreri. După 2 ani. Nu-i DEFINITIV :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *