Done your research on the best IPL machine and can’t decide between the Philips Lumea Prestige and Smoothskin Muse? Find out through this personal journey why one beats the other, hands down…
A Little Background Info
I often think that if I were given just one wish to improve the quality of my life I would want to be completely hair-free. Except for the hair on my head. Oh and eyebrows…I would definitely want to keep my eyebrows, everything else can do one!
Not sure why I came out a hairy little monster. My parents have both been blessed with hair-free bodies, how’s my luck?
I have battled with my hairy bits for years. From bleaching to electrolysis I have tried everything. I am not the hairiest person I know, but I have always longed to be hair-free. It’s the fussy person inside me striving for that perfect-looking silky smooth skin.
Initial Experiences with Laser Hair Removal
When I first started hearing about laser hair removal (many moons ago) I thought it was too good to be true. I booked 6 sessions with Groupon and off I went dreaming of a new hair-free me.
The sessions worked, after 10 days all the hair fell out and I had an almost ‘perfect fufu!’ After 4 sessions my bikini area, arms, and legs were totally smooth, bar a couple of stragglers here and there. Awesome I thought!
How About IPL For The Face?
The face didn’t work too well for me. I would dread every session as the following days my skin would break out with lots of aggressive white spots. I put this down to a combination of having to shave and the use of laser on these sensitive areas.
I would have to retreat indoors and be miserable in my quest for smooth skin. Not only that, but the hairs would always grow back after a few weeks, rendering the sessions completely pointless and intolerable.
I don’t need to tell you how much this was costing me but you can probably guess it was a small fortune. It’s likely that I’ve spent upwards of $5000 on laser hair removal over the years, and yes, I had even considered purchasing an industrial-scale machine for myself!
So when DIY machines started entering the market I was intrigued but also extremely skeptical. I tried one of the first ‘decent’ ones – Tria. Used it a couple of times before letting it gather dust in my wardrobe, a completely useless piece of kit.
Couldn’t feel the flash and didn’t want to waste any more time using it. I tried several others before returning to the salon for more consistent results.
Years later and Smoothskin arrived. I trawled the net for all the reviews I could find, not wanting to waste another $300 on something useless. I must say, it was the best purchase I ever made.
The flashes felt just like the laser machine I was used to in the salon and left my skin slightly red (which is what I was hoping for). I immediately knew this machine was different and potentially life-changing for me. I used it on my face on the highest setting, cleansed with micellar water, and went to bed.
In the morning nothing happened. No rashes, bumps, or spots. I was incredibly disappointed. “It doesn’t work” I screamed! Another $300 gone to complete waste.
That was an overreaction, to say the least. The device worked a treat. A miracle even! The hairs fell out after 10 days and with the added bonus of no ‘downtime’ for me. I no longer had to book expensive appointments to go to the salon, worry about parking, or get annoyed at the fact that the beautician was not treating every inch of my face or using a higher setting than she could have. I was in love.
Smoothskin Gold became my best buddy. I didn’t need it for most of my body anymore and my hair had completely stopped growing. The only issue was my face. I have put this down to hormonal problems, I will always grow regular hairs on my face and just have to deal with it.
What the Smoothskin Gold did for me was it promised to keep my face smooth if I promised to use it every 4 weeks. An easy compromise. It was not as effective as laser hair removal because it is an IPL machine, but the difference for me was that it was far more accessible and didn’t irritate my skin.
Was this the Best IPL Machine?
Treating my forehead (Kim Kardashian style) was a little tricky. The bony areas meant that unless the whole head of the machine was in contact with skin it wouldn’t flash. I found that squishing my forehead towards the machine worked, but again it was a little hassle.
The ‘feather light’ setting is practically pointless, I couldn’t feel a thing from the flash and knew it would not work.
When I did need to treat my bikini area (and I mean the WHOLE area) I struggled big-time. As I have olive skin the area around those bits was a little too dark and the sensor wasn’t happy to release the flash.
I did find a way around this (not recommended) which was a little more effort and mess than I would have liked but it definitely worked.
Applying powder over the area meant that the flash would detect a lighter surface and was happy to give it the go-ahead. Perfect for me. I only had to do this every 3 months and it left me completely smooth.
The Lights Went Out
Two years later my Smoothskin Gold died and I purchased the new Smoothskin Muse. No real difference in the product, it appeared to be exactly the same machine and I was just as thrilled with it.
One year later that also stopped working (I put this down to the talcum powder getting into the ventilation system) and I decided to have another look at the market for newer products. That is when the mother of all came into my life.
Enter – Philips Lumea Prestige
The Philips Lumea Prestige was on a whopping special offer, 35% off the full price on Amazon, and thought I should give it a go after reading rave reviews all over the web.
Wow, wow, wow.
I no longer had to mess around with talcum powder, this machine did not discriminate on olive skin! I genuinely thought that the Smoothskin was the only IPL Machine worth buying, but the Philips Lumea Prestige was proving to be in a whole other league.
Incredible Results for Bikini Area
My bikini area is quite dark yet I am able to do the whole thing with such ease. The flash is far more powerful with 5 different options for strength settings in comparison to 2 on the Smoothskin Muse.
Now, I am very tolerant when it comes to pain. As far as I’m concerned, if it doesn’t hurt then it doesn’t work. But on some parts of my bikini area, I had to drop the setting down to 3 as 5 was far too strong, something I could only ever dream about with a DIY machine.
Note: The higher settings will slow down the flash – meaning that treating a large area will take a bit longer than usual.
The Best for Darker Skin
IPL machines are best suited for people with fair skin and dark hair because of the clear difference in pigmentation, but the Philips Lumea Prestige is miles ahead for those with darker skin.
It will only work on people with dark hair, but if you have dark hair and ‘darker than fair’ skin then this little beauty will become your godsend.
It is a solid, well-designed, and high-functioning machine. I can think of no reason why you should spend thousands on salon treatments now that you can remove hair effectively from the comfort of your own home.
Smoothskin Pros and Cons:
Philips Lumea Pros and Cons:
Philips Lumea vs Smoothskin
Don’t get me wrong. Both of these machines are superior when it comes to the world of DIY IPL. However, for me, the Philips Lumea Prestige is a cut above the Smoothskin or any other machine for that matter – especially for those with darker skin.
If you are looking for a home solution to being hair-free, then don’t hesitate in spending a few extra bucks on the best IPL machine on the market – the Philips Lumea Prestige. Trust me, you will never look back!
What is your experience with DIY IPL? Let us know in the comments section below!