Hair removal is never a pleasant affair for anyone. Sure, you could shave but the grow-out period is unsightly, and waxing and epilating both come with their own downsides — the pain, of course, being the biggest.
Which is why millions have turned to IPL instead. Short for Intense Pulse Light, the non-invasive procedure can be had at aesthetic clinics and specialist centres as a painless and semi-permanent solution to hair removal.
We’re all for going au naturel, but for those who still feel more comfortable with removing unwanted hair, there’s good news yet. Turns out you don’t have to tolerate those torture waxing sessions nor spend thousands at IPL clinics to get hairless — simply look to Braun’s latest flagship IPL machine, the Silk Expert Pro 5.
About the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 IPL home device
Designed for use at home, the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 was designed to be effective, speedy, and most importantly, safe. It’s a fool-proof device, to put it simply, because the machine does most of the work for you.
For starters, there are a chockfull of features to help you get started. The built-in SensoAdapt takes the guesswork out of deciding the intensity you need. For the uninitiated, the intensity of the concentrated light energy used depends on your skin tone. SensoAdapt continuously reads your skin shade to determine the best light intensity required for maximum effectiveness and safety. 10 different intensity levels are available here, and an indicator bar on the home machine keeps you updated at all times.
If you’re still new and nervous about doing this yourself at home, opt for the ‘Gentle’ mode, which enables you to reduce the light’s intensity as you go along. This is especially useful for beginners and those taught sensitive areas, such as some parts of the face and bikini line.
Otherwise, just hit the standard mode and get going. You’ll be able to switch between the two different head sizes here depending on the part you’re treating. Use the wider head for larger areas such as your legs, or swap for the narrower one if you’re tackling awkward contours on the body.
Another useful feature is the ability to opt between stamp or glide mode; the latter is perfect if you want to cover larger areas fast — simply slide the device among the skin and it’ll automatically activate this mode. Otherwise, press it firmly on the area you want to treat and release, and the device will auto-switch to stamp mode. With practice, you’ll be able to go through both legs in 10 minutes, and even faster if you’re treating a smaller area.
The Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 has an impressive bulb life at 400,000 flashes, which is the equivalent of 22 years of treatment, according to Braun. If you were still on the fence because of this device’s price tag, this should change your mind.
Who should use this?
As with all IPL treatments, the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 works best for those with light skin and dark hair — basically, the bigger the contrast, the better.
The device is also suitable for darker tones of skin, but you’ll want to lower the concentration of light and adjust the flash’s intensity to prevent too much heat energy from transferring to the skin cells. Because IPL flashes concentrate light and heat into darker pigments in the hair (melanin) to destroy key parts of the follicle and stunt regrowth, using it on melanin-rich, dark skin could cause the heat energy to affect the skin cells, which may cause discolouration, painful burns and blisters. It is, unfortunately, not an option for anyone with type 6 skin tones (dark brown to black).
If you’re a beach bunny who can’t give up the sun for a week before and after, you might want to skip this device too. It’s recommended that you apply SPF or avoid the sun for a week before and after treatments to ensure your skin isn’t tanned (melanin!) or damaged. Another no-go are artificial tans.
The Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 is fast and fuss-free, and takes the guesswork right out of what seemed to be a complicated procedure you could only do in IPL clinics. It’ll take practice to be quick so you’ll have to be patient during your first few treatments and most importantly, stick with it to see the results.
Braun recommends you use the device once a week for the first four to 12 weeks for best results, and has an app that allows you to keep track of your treatments so you don’t forget. You can drop that expensive IPL treatment you’ve signed up for now.