I was super excited to receive an e-mail from the savvy circle team the other week telling me I had been successful in applying to take part in their project to review and spread the word about the new Braun Silk Expert IPL Hair removal system.
Now in case like me before I applied to take part you have no idea what this is:
The Braun IPL (thats intense pulsed light) removes the need to pay expensive prices at the salon for hair removal treatment - it provides permanent (with maintenance sessions) hair removal! So that's no shaving, no waxing, no using stinky hair removal cream! How could I not apply? think of the savings!
So the technology has been around in salons for years and now they have put it into a product that can safely be used at home.
It works based on skin/hair pigmentation so it's not suitable for everyone but for pasty pale creatures with dark hair like me it's perfect. It basically zap the root of the hair stopping it from working - okay it's a bit more complicated than that but after reading all the material about it thats basically how it works.
It only works on light skin because it works on the pigmentation in the hair follicle - so if you have very dark skin and dark hair it wouldnt be able to differentiate and would zap your skin instead which probably wouldnt be very pleasant. For the same reason it doesnt work on people with grey or very light hair (or red hair for some reason!) as there is little to no pigmentation so nothing for it to zap!
What makes the Braun different to other similar items on the market is the built in SensorAdapt which scans your skin and then tailors the light to match your skin tone - other similar products you have to match skin tone on a colour chart and then set the machine to a specific level - as different parts of your body have different skin tones you then have to change it if your doing your lip, your legs, bikini etc - in fact even on one body part you can have different skin tones for example on my legs my knees are always darker than the rest. The Braun adjusts for this automatically meaning you always get the right level of light for the part of your body your doing! Making it safer and easier to use.
A few days later I received my exciting package in the post
Now, to be honest I dont know much about salons and treatments like this - I dont even pluck my eyebrows! So I am not sure what I was expecting to arrive but if I did have something in mind it was small and delicate like a Lady Shave.
I was a tad alarmed by the giant box and had visions of a crazy ass laser!
However on opening the box it contained 2 smaller boxes one containing the IPL and the other containing a sweet bonus in the form of a sonic body exfoilator (and I have no idea what that is either! - perhaps I should start reading the beauty blogs I follow instead of looking at the pretty pictures!)
So I put aside the exfoilator to look at another day and got out the IPL to examine and see what was what.
In the box was the IPL hand held device, 2 rather large manuals, a cable and 2 x plug attachments one for standard and one for the shaver socket.
Being my usual geeky self I had a good read of the manual...okay I skimmed the first bit and got straight to the how to guide. Where it told me all how to use it which was remarkably simple - hold the device - press to the skin - press the button and zap away (but they took a lot more words to say it).
The device uses an intense light so as a safety feature it only comes on when 2 sensors built into the device are pressed firmly to the skin - if they are not attached to the skin the device will not work. This stops you from accidentally burning out your eyes or those of anyone unfortunate to be nearby - I love a good safety feature like that! It also means if you have kiddywinks or pets they cant accidentally set it off.
Part of the instructions stated that you have to shave (or use whichever form of hair removal you normally use) before using it - I was a bit gutted by that I had been growing a nice pair of furry tights on my legs thinking it would magically remove it all in one swoop.
It also recommends you do a patch test on an incongruous body part before using.
I chose to try it out on my thigh - a body part I rarely display due to it's wobblyness and pastiness and therefore I wouldnt mind if it turned red and blotchy for a few days.
So I hooked up the device to the power source - first impression here was that the cable didnt fit as securely as it could and it popped out once.
The device is slightly bulky to use and didnt fit comfortably in my hand which is a shame as I really want to like this product (I really want to quit shaving!)
I set it up for the patch test. They recommend that you use the single pulse option - so I pressed the device firmly to my skin and .... wussed out!
I went back to the manual and checked on how to turn on the sensitive mode (that is where you can set it to be slightly less intense)
I turned on sensitive mode pressed it against my thigh and pressed the button and ZAAPPPPP!
Apart from a rather blinding light which I could see even thought I looked away and a warm sensation a bit like a camera flash going off next to your skin there was nothing else.
Felling brave I move it down and zapped again - this time no warm sensation ... no sensation at all.
Really completely painless.
I checked my skin - no bright red mark, no oozing blister, no anything - it was fine.
And 24 hours later - there is still nothing - no ill effects, no pain, no reaction.
Tonight I shaved my legs in anticipation of using the IPL properly tomorrow evening on them and I look forward to updating everyone soon with how it works, ease of use and hopefully some pictures of my silky smooth alabaster white legs (if your really lucky)