I tried the GHI’s best IPL device and here’s what I thought (2024)

With beauty salons set to remain closed for a little while longer, it looks like we’re still on our own when it comes to hair removal for now (I’m sorry, eyebrows). We can’t even hide fuzzy legs in our trusty jeans, as the warm weather has us all reaching for sundresses instead. So if you’re missing your wax appointments — and dread picking up a razor — you might want to consider at-home IPL instead. I tried the GHI’s top-performing model, the Philips Lumea Prestige, to see if it’s up to the job.

What is IPL hair removal?

IPL, which stands for ‘intense pulsed light’, aims to banish unwanted hair by stunting the growth cycle. The machine directs light at the melanin (the pigment that gives skin and hair its colour) in the follicle, damaging the root and breaking the regrowth cycle for up-to six months. This makes for a longer-lasting removal method than waxing or shaving and it shouldn’t irritate your skin.

A few pointers: don’t expect immediate results as not all your hair will be at the same point in its growth cycle at the same time, so you’ll have to space out treatments every 14 days for six weeks to ensure all the hair is targeted. You’ll also have to defuzz with your regular method before beginning, so the machine can zap the follicle properly (or deal with the smell of burning hair). Those with darker skin tones shouldn’t use IPL, as it could cause hyper-pigmentation of the skin.

Philips Lumea Prestige

The machine is lightweight and feels high quality, as you would expect from a product that costs £400. In the box you get the device itself, a charger and three different heads for targeting different areas — one for the face, one for legs and one for your underarms and bikini line. It looks sleek and nonclinical and there’s a little bag to keep all the bits together neatly in your drawer.

There are five light intensities; the best for you is dependent on your hair colour and skin tone. Generally, the lighter your skin and the darker your hair, the higher the setting. I’ve very dark brown locks and a pale complexion, so I was recommended the strongest mode.

During treatment, you can use a one-off flash or a gliding motion. The stamp is best for the upper lip and underarms, while the other helps you run down your legs quickly and easily.

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Device

I tried the GHI’s best IPL device and here’s what I thought (1)

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Device

Before you begin, download the Lumea app to your smartphone. It walks you through how to use the machine, reminds you when your next treatment is due and recommends the best light setting. Then you’re ready to go.

Using the Philips Lumea Prestige

I was worried the process would hurt, but actually it was completely painless on my legs and any slight discomfort on my underarms — a quick, hot, flicking sensation, like a very minor electric shock — was very manageable and dissipated almost instantly. The shape makes it easy to position correctly against your skin and it’s not uncomfortable to hold, even towards the end of a session. I finished my legs, underarms and upper lip in around 20 minutes, which wasn’t too bad, although I had spent time shaving beforehand to prep.

I have been really enjoying just getting up and throwing on a dress without worrying about whether my legs were stubbly — and I’ve been able to spend less time in the shower faffing with my razor, too.

All things considered, if you commit to the process, you’ll be rewarded with silky smooth limbs free from stubble, razor nicks or ingrown hairs for three months at a time. So, I think the Philips Lumea Prestige is well worth the money. You can pick one up from Amazon (on sale, currently!) here.

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I tried the GHI’s best IPL device and here’s what I thought (6)

Charley Ward

Homes Ecommerce Editor

Charley is former Homes Ecommerce Editor. During her time at Hearst UK, Charley wrote over 300 buying guides and reviews, getting her hands on as many new launches as possible to help you find the best products for your home.

I tried the GHI’s best IPL device and here’s what I thought (2024)


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