Does IPL at home work? Philips Lumea Review

Does the Philips Lumea work? I googled this extensively before I bought my IPL machine and, I couldn’t really get a straight answer. So I decided to go ahead, buy one and write a Philips Lumea review myself. 

It’s taken me over a year to write this. Not because I’m lazy…or because I’ve been sat at home marvelling my silky soft legs. It’s because my review is mixed and I’ve wanted to give the Philips Lumea a good run for its money before coming to a conclusion. 

Philips Lumea Review – the short answer

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 8
The whole kit. The zapper, battery and four heads for different body parts.

If you’re impatient and want the nutshell version of whether the Philips Lumea IPL works, my best ‘sum up’ answer is: yes, but not as well as you probably hope or expect. 

I know, that’s not the most helpful reply but you’ll understand why when you read the detailed review below. 

For me (and a lot of other people leaving reviews for Philips’ IPL at home device), it’s one of those products that has a list of pros and cons and whether it’s worth buying and trying comes down to your specific needs and, let’s face it, body hair. 

Should you buy it? I’d lean towards yes because it has significantly reduced my body hair and over the course of a year, it’s paid for itself versus waxing. There are a bunch of other benefits too.

But will it leave you hair free? The answer is no. However, no at home hair removal machine will do that. And any advertising material that tells you otherwise is telling big, fat hairy lies. 

Now I’m going to jump into the full review. I won’t bother going into what is IPL hair removal or the fact that it can only be used by people with certain skin tones and hair colour. I presume you already know that. Otherwise click on those links above if you don’t.

You can check prices for the Philips Lumea here for Amazon UK or here for Amazon USA.

Philips Lumea Review in detail

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 5
On the top, the laser intensity. It seems to suggest a 4-5 for my dark brown hair.

A word on sponsorship: I paid for my Philips Lumea with my very own money. I’ve not been paid or sponsored by Philips to write this. If you do buy the Philips Lumea through a link on this page, I will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you). But that hasn’t swayed my Philips Lumea review in the slightest. If it did, you’d be about to read a glowing ‘go buy it’ review together with photoshopped pictures of sleek and smooth legs instead of the patchy fuzz on my dry, vein riddled lallies. 

Warning: I get personal. I’ve used my Philips Lumea machine on my legs, underarms and bikini area. In reference to the latter, and removing hair from that area, I’m going to give you some straight up details that might make any more conservative readers feel a bit uncomfortable. I apologise and hope you can skim reads the bits that make you squirm. You will, however, be pleased to know there are no pictures of any intimate areas – this is not * that * kind of blog. 

What I do include below is some pictures of my underarms and legs a few weeks after doing IPL (after doing a few courses of it). I haven’t edited the photos and they’re not pretty – pale legs that are in desperate need of some sun and am I the first person to take a series of underarm selfies? Not easy to do, I can tell you.

Why I wanted to try IPL at home

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 1

I’m pretty damn hairy. There, I said it.

Sure, I’m British but I have dark hair and it gets darker the further south you go, if you know what I mean.

I also travel. A lot. Sometimes for months at a time. And usually to places that are hot, hot, hot. So, I don’t tend to want to carry a lady rug around in my underwear or nestled in the pit of my arm. Not in 30-40 degree heat. No, siree.

Add the fact that I often go to developing countries. or countries where I don’t speak the language and you can start to see why getting a regular wax is a challenge.

Not convinced? Here’s some of my worst waxing and hair removal experiences overseas:

  • watching the waxing lady put the used hot wax back into the pot after she pulled it off my legs in Bolivia. I had open wounds in the form of mosquito bites at the time. Cue: years of worrying I had a communicable disease every time I had any form of cold or flu symptom.
  • being waxed with strips of denim in India. That would have been cool if it wasn’t used/worn denim and didn’t hurt like hell.
  • having an old-school veet strip applied to my bikini area which removed not one bit of hair it was so old and dried. The beautician persisted like this for half an hour before turning to the tweezers (Peru).
  • laughing as a friend (in the same room because, ‘no space’) had wax pulled from her butt cheeks with sheets of A4 paper. She only wanted her legs doing. Paper cuts at stake (Cambodia).
  • agreeing to a wax then finding out it was actually a threading (Vietnam).
  • giving myself bruised welts because I thought I could use the microwave wax like all the other ladies did in Spain.
  • burning myself in a place I can’t even talk about trying epilation cream ‘down there’ when I’d become too jaded by my waxing experiences overseas but wanted to hit the beach (Mexico).

And all of this is without mentioning the dreaded ingrow. I suffer terribly with ingrown hairs in my bikini area. Given I tend to go for a Brazilian wax, I’ve lost count of the number of products (and amount of money I’ve spent) on post wax/shave/epilation gels, creams and balms. Some work better than others but none work completely. Which often leaves me with red lumps, bumps and spots. Painful and, I’m not afraid to be vain, very unattractive. 

What about professional IPL?

I’m probably in the same boat as the rest of you – I’d have zero problem going for professional IPL…if someone else was going to pay for it. 

I researched the price of professional laser hair removal before buying my Philips Lumea and there was a huge cost difference. IPL charges per area and is around £1,000 per zone ($1,500 equivalent). That would be around £3,000 to treat my lower legs, bikini and underarm. I suspect it would be more if I wanted more than just my bikini ‘line’ blasted away. And that’s not taking the upper leg into account. 

It’s worth noting, that the professional IPL price is for a finite number of treatments – 8 – which means that top up treatments at extra cost are likely. And most importantly, it still doesn’t promise to make you hair free. In fact, I can expect up to a maximum of 90% deforestation only. 

Compared to a Philips Lumea at around £300, which also doesn’t promise complete hair removal, but can be used for infinite sessions, it was a no brainer to give the Philips Lumea a go first.

Choosing the best laser hair removal machine

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 3

It’s probably fair to say that the Philips Lumea is the market leading at home hair removal machine. Of course, I did my research and briefly considered buying the cheaper Braun product, as it was another brand I’d heard of. But it was only a tiny bit cheaper and the Philips Lumea reviews did tend to suggest it performed better. 

I’m also a fan of Philips products more generally. I have their Hue lightbulbs in my house (‘Alexa, turn off bedroom light…because I’m too darn idle to get out of bed’) and I use the Philips SAD Lamp in winter and for jet lag because…winter and jet lag and most recently I’ve splurged on the USB charging toothbrush for travel. I’ve always found Philips products deliver better compared to cheaper alternatives I’ve tried. 

What about the much cheaper IPL machines? Though I haven’t tried any of them, I’d seriously save your money. The Philips Lumea didn’t make me as permanently hair free as I’d hoped and they are regularly touted as the best IPL machine for use at home. If Philips can’t make it all go away, I’d bet a machine at half the price won’t do the job any better. Of course, I’m always open to being wrong so let me know if you’ve found the elusive unicorn of a good but cheap IPL machine. 

For the record, I ended up buying the Philips Lumea Prestige. Why this machine? Very simply, it was the one that was on offer on Amazon when I hit buy on Black Friday. IPL machines are the perfect buy on Black Friday or during holiday season sales. I saved well over £100 on my machine which made the decision to try IPL at home that much easier.  

Setting your expectations for IPL at home

What’s the point in throwing down £300-£500/$500-$600 if it’s not going to make you hair free? That was my biggest deliberation when I was trying to decide whether to buy a Philips Lumea or not. But here’s the thing, even that £3,000 professional laser treatment isn’t going to remove your hair permanently or totally. Nothing is. Or at least nothing that you want to try. Skin flaying, anyone?

So, it’s important to set your expectations. Doing IPL isn’t about getting 100% hair free. It’s about reducing your hair thickness and growth to a more maintainable level. I have a good, long list of pros coming up – focus on them. And also compare IPL to your current hair removal system. I can almost guarantee it’s going to be better, simple and cheaper in the long run. 

My Philips Lumea IPL experience

Quality of the Philips Lumea

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 6

Out of the box, the IPL machine has a high quality feel – smooth, ergonomic looking and, best of all, a neat pouch to put everything in and keep the various attachment heads safe. It’s pretty compact though the battery on the plug is huge so often takes up more than one space on my power bank. 

Sadly, I tend to pack light so it’s overall too big and heavy for me to take on my travels, which means I still need to plan my IPL sessions around being at home, but for most people that won’t be an issue. 

Philips Lumea Instructions

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review app
The app.

The intruction manual is horrific. In fact, I think my car manual is both shorter and more absorbing with fewer safety warnings. 

Thankfully, there is a free app which is much more user-friendly.

The IPL hair zapping phase

Out of the box, it took me under 5 minutes to get set up and ready to zap my hairs. 

The general idea is that you give your hairs one good and consistent zap over the initial phase and then enter into a maintenance program.

The initial phase takes about 4-5 sessions every two weeks. So, about 8-10 weeks assuming you’re diligent, which I was – because I wanted those hairs gone.

The science behind the initial phase is that each follicle has two hairs and they grow at different rates. I knew this from years of waxing. By zapping the blighters over an 8-10 week period, you make sure you get all of them at every stage of growth.

The IPL maintenance phase

You’re then supposed to give yourself a top up blast every 4-8 week to keep the hairs at bay.

Was it easy to use the Philips Lumea?

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 11
For me this is too big to take on my travels but if you pack a large suitcase, you could take it away with you.

The machine itself I’d give a 9/10 on ease of use.

Switch it on and select the right head (each corresponds with a body part with handy images).

Go into ‘inspector’ mode and hold the head of the machine over your body part so it can choose a setting that’s right for your skin and hair colour in that area.

Then zap away. You can do this by pressing the trigger to zap, then repositioning to the next area, and zapping again. In the case of larger areas like legs, you can keep your finger on the trigger and just move the head over your legs.

When you’re done, change the head to the next body part, do the inspection to get the right intensity and off you go again.


  • you do not need a white pencil to mark the areas – it blocks the laser (I mention this because there are lots of articles about it on the inter webs);
  • it’s quicker (you’ll have less recharge time between each zap) if you use the Lumea plugged in –  the zaps will be almost instant. 

Tip needed – I struggle to get the leg head to align with the thinner parts of my leg, mainly around the shin. There just isn’t enough width/flesh of my shin for the machine to make contact. This means I have to point the IPL at odd angles to get it to work. I find this the most frustrating part of using the Philips Lumea so any tips welcome on how to do this better. 

Is IPL painful?

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 2

Answer – yes and no. On my underarms I feel zero pain. On my legs, a couple of zings that people have likened to having an elastic band snapping on you. I didn’t find it that bad…on my legs. But oh Lordy Lord does it hurt down there.

Now, I might be doing this against all sensible advice, but I’m trying to achieve a Brazilian bikini wax effect so I’m zapping everywhere (though absolutely not the inside areas that a waxing lady might get her wax into. But definitely my labia (or lips if we’re being less formal). The pain level around my thighs and the top front of my lady parts isn’t too bad but once I start to track further underneath, the pain intensifies dramatically. Or at least it does for me. I would liken the pain to being snapped by an elastic band, but the kind of band that is as wide as a car and that has been snapped from around a mile away.

The downside is the bravery it requires to point some sort of gun shaped device at your own lady parts and know it’s going to feel like being shot with 1,000 elastic bands. The upside is that it’s quick. Super quick. Far quicker than a Brazilian wax and in fewer than 6 yelps (3 each side), it’s done.

Until next time. 


  • if you’re not doing anything vaguely Brazilian, I’m sure you’ll feel low to no pain.
  • I take the intensity level down as I reach my more sensitive areas. I’ve had to trade less results for less pain because otherwise I just can’t do it to myself. 
  • what about getting the Brazilian shape right? I’ve been wearing a skimpy g-string on backwards. It also makes me feel like I’m protecting the very sensitive inner parts from accidentally getting shot.

A word on pre-care. You have to remove all the hair from the area you zap before you do it. If you don’t, its not only less effective, you’re going to smell a lot of singed hair. (Do you really want your neighbours to smell something burning and call the firefighters in while your wearing a backwards g-string and pointing a gun-like machine at yourself? Oh? You do…go for it, then.) When I first started out, the advice was to shave, which I hate on my bikini area because it causes horrific ingrown hairs. I’ve just re-read the advice and apparently waxing is also ok, which is good news as I get less angry ingrows. But at the same time becomes a double-whammy of time and cost. So, I do tend to stick to the cheaper shaving option as I assume most people will do.

I use a cheap bikini trimmer before using the Lumea(the Philips one, funnily enough – promise this isn’t sponsored).For my legs and underarms, I use a plain old disposable razor.

Update: I’ve had a lot of comments asking about waxing before IPL and whether you really can do that, since IPL is supposed to focus on killing the hair follicle. I thought the same and I’ve checked the Philips website many times and it says over and again that it’s ok. Here’s the screenshot which says… “If you choose to wax…”

screenshot of philips website

How long does IPL take?

The Philips Lumea was really easy to pick up (as a skill, not just physically) and after a few sessions it would take me:

  • under 5 minutes to do both armpits.
  • under 5 minutes to do my bikini area (longer if you spend time chanting ‘I can’t do it – be brave – I can’t do it’).
  • under 10 minutes for each lower leg. (I’m 5ft tall. You probably need to add an extra minute per leg if you’re 6ft tall.)

So, definitely under 30 minutes to do those areas including set up and put away of the IPL. 

Does the Philips Lumea work?

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review leg
I’m pretty darn pleased with the lack of hair regrowth on my legs. It’s taken some effort but I can now go weeks without thinking about leg hair maintenance.

And we’re full circle back to the summary at the beginning. 

Does the Philips Lumea work?

Answer: yes and no.

If I wrote this review after the initial phase, this would have been filled with ‘don’t bother, waste of time, waste of money’ comments. I was genuinely disappointed. My hair didn’t seem any different. 

Knowing it was too late to send the IPL machine back, I decided to give it another full go. And that’s when I started to see results. I don’t know if I’m harming myself by doing this (hopefully not and nothing has happened to my skin in the year I’ve been doing this) but I think a few ‘initial treatment’ phases are required to really have a noticeable impact on your hair.

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review leg close no hair
There are whole, large areas on my legs that are now completely hair free. Shame it can’t disappear my veins too.

I imagine the results will vary from person to person and body area to body area but after three initial treatments with breaks in between (some caused by lack of motivation, some due to travel), my hair reached a point where it was noticeably patchy. Not ideal for your lady garden if it’s being regularly visited and you need to explain you don’t have downstairs alopecia. Or worse, something communicable (I still worry about that wax in Bolivia). But in terms of taking a lady rug to a hot country, it was noticably cooler (and, sorry to be disgusting, but less sweaty) down there. 

Meanwhile, I’ve buried the lead because my legs and underarms have achieved almost hair free states (having adjusted my expectation and knowing I wasn’t going to achieve hair free). After those initial treatments, my underarm hairs have become wisps that friends genuinely tell me they can’t see, even when I’m paranoid that I looked like a yeti. And when I went to have my legs waxed professionally (as part of a combi-wax for a wedding), the waxing lady joked about my legs: ‘there’s nothing there to wax’.

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review leg hair
There are still some patches (inner calf) where the hairs still grow but it takes a few weeks before they’re noticeable enough for me to do anything with them.

Overall, it was a pretty significant win, with better results possible if I could just persist at shooting elastic bands at my bikini area. 

It’s worth noting where I was hairwise before I started IPL – I’d been waxing for about 10 years (legs and underarms). I rarely look a razor to my legs but would regularly shave my underarms between waxing sessions. I was slower to the waxing table with my bikini area (pain and embarrassment were factors), so there was definitely more work to be done. Coupled with the fact that ‘those’ hairs are more fierce anyway and I wasn’t surprised to have less success downstairs.

What if you don’t do the IPL maintenance?

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review
My underarms are more wispy than hairy. I took this photo today and genuinely can’t remember the last time I shaved. I’d say weeks ago.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all go a million other things to do besides hair removal. Which is one of the reasons we want to do IPL in the first place. But here’s the thing – both with at home IPL and professional IPL, it requires upkeep. And this is where I fell down.

Months passed and I basked in the confidence that I’d zapped my hairs but month by month they started to gain strength. I shaved, I waxed but, especially in winter, I couldn’t bring myself to stand in the cold and use my Philips Lumea. And the hairs came back. Not quite as strong as they’d been before but enough that I’ve just decided it’s time to do another initial phase – I’ve let things get way past maintenance. 

I’m frustrated with myself. If I’d got my arse into gear and spent just 30 minutes once a month, I’m sure I could have kept things under control. As it is, I’m not back to square one. I at least have reduced hairs to work on, but I need to do that initial 8-10 weeks again. 

It’s easy to see this as a downside – the regular maintenance – but at the same time, it’s a huge plus having the machine already there and paid for and ready to go. I’d have been much more furious if I’d skipped the maintenance on a £3k treatment and started to see the hairs regrow with force. 

Also on the plus side, my waxing lady thinks I’m not too far off a genuine maintenance routine. She has seen how many of my hairs (even in my bikini area) have weakened significantly. And this had the bonus of making my wax trips that bit less painful. 

Is the Philips Lumea app any good?

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review hair
This is a pretty close closeup and still we’re talking about the kind of straggles you get as a teenager.

Compared to the user manual, the app is slick. It’s also used to remind you of your next IPL session, to keep you on track. The trouble arose when I skipped a session and I couldn’t see how to change the date (and therefore change further dates). After some fiddling around with it so I could write this review, it turns out you just go in and hit ‘start treatment’ and it logs the new date for you.  That simple, huh?

I do find the app a bit frustrating – it’s useful the first time as it tells you what to expect, what to do and gives you some encouraging words for your hair zapping journey. But by the time you’re doing your 3rd ‘initial treatment’ you don’t want to have to tap through 6 screens for each body part just to record it’s been done. If you’re organised enough, just use your calendar after the first few sessions. 

Philips Lumea pros and cons

Does IPL at home work - Philips Lumea Review 2 hair close up
This looks pretty disgusting and hairy this close up. I took it the same day as the other underarm pics above.  I’ve zoomed in on the photo but, to be honest, this picture is so close to my armpit, even Facebook doesn’t invade my privacy that much.

Pros of Philips Lumea

  • it actually thins and even kills lots of hairs, which shaving definitely won’t and waxing takes a long time to achieve
  • I can go weeks, even months without thinking about dealing with my leg hairs
  • if I keep up the IPL, my underarm hairs become wisps of nothing
  • it’s significantly cheaper than professional IPL
  • it’s quicker than going to appointments for waxing or IPL
  • it’s quicker and therefore less painful than waxing
  • there’s no waxing swelling or welts or rash (assuming the shaving doesn’t trigger that for you)
  • it’s less embarrassing than a wax (if that bothers you)
  • you have the machine for life so you can dip back in and out as the mood takes you – you’ll have slower results but less commitment than professional IPL
  • I’ve definitely recovered the cost in one year compared to waxing appointments

Cons of Philips Lumea

  • it’s not pain free
  • it’s not 100% effective
  • it requires persistence – over months and even years
  • you have to remove your hair before using it which is expensive if you opt to wax first
  • it’s less effective on the bikini area compared to the legs or underarms (or at least it was for me)
  • is it really suitable for the more intimate parts of the bikini area?
  • the leg attachment isn’t a good fit for bony shins
  • you’ll never feel as smooth afterwards compared to having a wax
  • it’s boring so your commitment and therefore hairlessness might wane
  • you need to time it right before sunshine exposure (probably also true of waxing?)
  • there are some areas to avoid – scars, moles, varicose veins

So, that’s my Philips Lumea review. If you want to go ahead and buy one, you can find some of the best prices usually on Amazon UK or Amazon USA. Try to buy around a holiday and you’re likely to get a heavy discount.

I hope my review has helped. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve got any questions or if you’ve got your own thoughts on using the Philips Lumea.

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146 thoughts on “Does IPL at home work? Philips Lumea Review”

  1. Thank you for your review! It’s what pushed me over the edge of buying the device. It’s especially nice you wrote it after having used the device for a while and it definitely helped me getting my expectations straight.

    You mention that at some point, that you stopped the upkeep and slowly, the hair grew back. Can I ask you how long time you had been zapping when you stopped and how long time it took before the hair started to come back with force? And were they still finer and less of them than originally, even though they were growing back?

    I started last September and have mostly been zapping once every second week since then (sometimes once a week, sometimes every three, one or two times every month) because when I try to switch to a maintenance routine the hairs start to grow back. I’ve now decided I’ll keep with the every two week until September and then switch to every month and hopefully my hair will cooperate by then.

    I’m also considering starting a new, bigger area. But my goal there is not necessarily to be hair free but really just to have less hair and less dark hair. I’m wondering if, as long as I first keep it up for a while, would be able to stop/have longer pauses (like every 2nd or 3rd month) in between treatments, when the goal is not to seem hair free. Because I definitely don’t have the patience to keep my current biweekly routine up for a year+ on a larger area. So that’s why I asked the questions on top – to get an idea about what I might be able to achieve and what to expect

    • Hi Nohr, I’d done one round of IPL then maybe 3-4 of the top up/maintenance zaps. After that, I gave up for a long time (from winter until the next summer). But, to be fair, even then, the hair was reduced. It probably took a few years of neglect for me before the hair really started returning to what it had been (I travelled a lot during that time and was also very lax at keeping up with the IPL). My tip for the larger area where you want to reduce the hair is to move to the maintenance schedule that suits you and change it/increase it if you seen a noticeable difference in regrowth. Hope that helps?

  2. Thank you for giving a great honest review! I’m considering to buy IPL hair removal product and found some brands but Philips catch my attention the most since like you do, i have much Philips products at home so for me no need to doubt about this brand ? do you wear any glasses when doing the IPL? If yes, is it enough? I just found a review of other brand in Amazon and it said that the product she bought is potentially causing eye damadge and giving the advice to wear glasses+towel, (but i can’t imagine how she place the towel at her eyes while doing IPL though lol)

    • Hi Nurul, I don’t use glasses and definitely not a towel (how would you see, as you mention!). There are no warnings on the Philips machine other than don’t stare at the laser/light when you hit zap. Perhaps some of these other machines on Amazon haven’t passed the necessary safety standards, which the Philips machine has?

  3. Great review, thanks. I bought one on sale this week and have used it once. Mine didn’t come with different attachments (I guess that simplifies usage, huh?) and I haven’t yet worked out how to do the thing to get the machine to choose the right setting. Are you able to explain that please? I just chose level 3 at random! LOL. I found the app useless as it doesn’t allow you to choose facial hair, and I bought mine mostly for facial hair. Hoping it is effective nevertheless.

    • Hi Just a girl, to get it to choose the right setting, turn the machine on. Then, on the top, there should be a button with a little magnifying glass on it. Press the button then hold the machine on the are you want to zap. After a few seconds, the machine will pick the strength for you. Hope that helps. Agreed – the app is useless!

  4. Oh my, this is the best review I could ever have hoped for… also do you want to be friends? You seem to be keen on developing countries and I live in Brazil!

  5. Hi there,
    Loved your review – very honest indeed. I just bought my Philips Lumea 1956 and still gathering courage to give a go. One question though – haven’t you used it in face? If yes results?

    • Hi Rumana, I haven’t but since I’ve been stuck in the UK during lockdown and have lost all tan on my face, those black hairs are looking more visible so I am considering giving it a try. I’ll let you know!

  6. Can I use it every week when i am just starting the treatment?
    Because to be honest I have started the treatment two weeks ago and i have done to session but doesn’t see any literally no results.

    • Hi Maryam, I don’t think you’re supposed to do it every week (once a week is advised) but also you’re not going to see an difference straight away. Laser is a marathon rather than a sprint but stick with it and you’ll see results over time. Good luck.

  7. Great review, it very much echoes my experience and made me now doubtful whether I should return it. (I have the try&buy option). Like you said the results are so-so and I do think it’s a lot of extra work, but I am quite lazy!

    • Hi Janneke, I’m quite lazy too but the longer I’ve owned it the more I get it out and do some blasting here and there, I think that adds to the overall hair reduction (a method of attack for lazy people!)

  8. Hi there,

    Came across your review purely by accident! However, now that I’ve read it, I’m seriously considering picking one up. Thanks for a truly informative and entertaining read!

  9. Hi, I loved your review. I have been thinking about buying this for years and finally took the plunge. I suffer from ingrown hairs and its only getting worse. I tested this out on my leg late last night before I did my whole body. I didn’t think I was that pale, but the sensor put me at level 5. I was scared to pull that trigger but after epilating my whole body, how bad could it be? I felt a very tiny barely there snap and a little warmth in some spots. Nothing compared to what I have put my skin through in the past! I woke up today and forgot that I did it. I was like “why does my leg feel weird?” I am definitely not in any pain or itchiness or anything like that. No redness or anything but I feel a very slight something in some spots if that makes any sense. Just wanted to know if this was normal! I am very excited to keep going with this but I am a little scared of it with all of those warnings in the book and I don’t know much about IPL and side effects or whatever. Did you feel anything at all the next day/hours later? Even just a little something that reminded you that you used it?

    • Hi Lisa, sorry for the slow reply :/ I don’t remember feeling anything the next day. Is it worth testing on a small patch of your leg (or one leg) for the next few weeks and see if you still have the sensation? Let me know how you get on…

  10. My Lumea is arriving today and I went looking for a ‘how to use’ site. This review Made. My. Day! Brilliantly written, very entertaining (is it totally inappropriate that I belly laughed?? ) and helpful at the same time. I appreciated the honest review and helpful hints. Thanks!

  11. This is just what I have been looking for. I have 3 daughters that are swimmers so have been sitting on the fence but will definitely give it a go now. Thank you for taking the time.

  12. Best review I’ve read! Thank you for not explaining what IPL is (also very clever for providing links for those who wanted to know in case they didn’t get enough of it from the other reviews I found to be less helpful). I loved you tried it all over down there, I recently purchased hoping to help specifically in that area & the pits. Thorough job, well thought out, informative & entertaining all in one!

    • Thanks, Le. I was the same as you – half the articles rambled on about IPL with little on the machine and its effectiveness. Happy to help and provide entertainment along the way. Good look with your hair removal adventure downstairs.

  13. OMG this is the best review I have read!
    I’ve spent hours trying to find the right IPL at home device and the reviews on YouTube are often sponsored therefore I cannot have an honest opinion. Your review is great, it helped me so much, I think I am going to take the plunge for the Philips one! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Laura, I hope it was the armpit selfies that swung it for you ;p Happy to have helped. Good luck with the IPL!

  14. Hi. Thank you for your review. I been epilating for long time and had many ingrown hair. Than I bought phillips laser the one like you are using. I did 5 sesions every two weeks shaving before but still have quite a lot hair. Can I use more sessions every two weeks or need to stick now once a month ? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Agne, I had a similar experience so I continued with doing it every two weeks and it slowly started to reduce the hairs. Hope that helps.

  15. Thanks so much for this detailed review.

    I recently took the plunge and bought one of these. I’ve been scared to even pick it up, let alone tackle my much-neglected bikini line (cheers, covid!) BUT finally plucked up the courage to make a start today thanks to your helpful review. And it was pretty straightforward and relatively painless in the end. Actually the pre-treatment shaving was much trickier for me (I’ve been getting salon waxes for years so not had a razor near… anywhere… for a while now). Anyway, thanks again – really appreciated reading this 🙂

    • Susanne, well done! Yep, covid has left us high and dry. Actually, high and hairy, urgh. I had the same problem with the razor versus the IPL. Glad it worked out for you – don’t forget to keep up the routine (note moreso to self)!

    • Hi Karen, sorry if I confused you. I definitely don’t travel with it – it’s too big. However, I pack light so it would fit in a large suitcase. That said, if you’re only going on a short trip, you should be ok to go without it? It’s a hefty old plug so I’m not sure about fitting it with a transformer. Sorry!

  16. Thank you so much! I’ve bought it also like a 8 months ago, and i have been trying twice a week in all areas for all those months, and been queries why there isn’t results as been provided in the reviews? I thought i might doing something wrong but it wasn’t. Obviously yes it did helped with less hair grow and no ingrown hairs at all which my happiness,coz i always had them! I had bad skin after shaving every where. Skin irritation was the biggest problem, I couldn’t shave every second day cos of bad skin! Philips Lumia has helped me a lot! It’s just the results isn’t perfect as wanted, but i rather do Lumia theb bloody shaving every second day! So im kind happy with the product of Philips! My hair’s definitely growing less which is a big pleasure for me! So i will keep up with this product! And also i do recommend it coz its cheaper and easier then all other products! Thank you, for your time of spending writing this review here coz it did helped me to understand what’s going on amd I’m i doing right of using the product!

  17. Dishonest! You said, “If Philips can’t make it all go away, I’d bet a machine at half the price won’t do the job any better”. But you really don’t know this for fact. Discouraging readers from buying a more affordable device is just wrong, and bias. This is simply your assumption, and makes this review absolutely bias towards Philips Lumea.
    I can however, appreciate that you’re open about affiliate marketing. Nevertheless, this review is simply a marketing plan for Philips and Im sure they compensate you well.

    • Hi Michelle, I was tempted to delete this comment because you’ve wandered into my ‘house’ and called me dishonest, which isn’t very nice. And also isn’t true. But in case other people have the same concern, here’s my response: within a year of publishing this post, I’ve made about $3.28 from Amazon affiliate marketing. I have no relationship with Philips so they’re not compensating me at all, let alone compensating me well. Yes, it’s my assumption about other, cheaper products that they don’t work so well. My view is based on decades of trying out lots of electrical items and regularly finding that more money means a better product due to investment in components, design, research etc. I’m allowed an opinion. As you are too. If you want to try an alternative, that’s obviously your choice. As with all information on the internet, it’s for the reader to do their research and make a decision based on what is right for them. This review has to be biased towards Philips because that’s the machine I used. I’m unable to give an informed review on other machines because I haven’t used them. I’m sorry my article seems to have angered you so much. I put it online to be helpful, not to earn billions in affiliate sales and buy a 23rd house in the Caiman Islands. I hope you find the hair removal machine that’s right for you. Feel free to come back and let me know how you get on with it.

    • Hi Michelle, I have bought a cheaper (and much more cumbersome) IPL before buying the Philips (on eBay second hand at a fraction of the cost, I might add!). Although I obviously can’t claim having tried all the IPL machines on the market, the Philips is miles above the other one I had bought (and it wasn’t very cheap either, about £150). I have used mine for 2 years now and I am one of those who got really lucky, apart from a few stray hairs on my knees (quick shave on those every 2 weeks is enough) I am hair free on my face, armpits, bikini line and legs with a top up session roughly every 6 weeks.

    • Hi Natalie, I’m afraid I’ve not used it on facial hair so I can’t comment…maybe someone else/another reader can help? Anyone…?

    • Hi Natalie, I have used it on mine, and it works really well. I didn’t feel brave enough to shave the hair before using the lumea (I usually waxed there) so I zapped every 2 weeks for longer than the 8-10 weeks but now I only do that bit roughly every month (when I remember really, as it’s literally a 20 second job as you come out of the shower) and I have nothing on my upper lip, and the few really horrid thick individual hairs I had on my chin have thankfully completely gone too!

  18. I have a question and perhaps you would be abler to answer. What is the difference between IPL for hair removal and IPL for dark spots removal on the face?
    Is it the same machine and can Phillips do both?

    • Oooh, Yuna, that’s not one I know the answer to, I’m afraid. I’d suggest looking on the Philips website for the technical info. I know the IPL I have isn’t promoted as a dark spot removal machine. I wonder if they might have different light levels. I’d really check with Philips before buying the wrong machine. Good luck!


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