This review has been a year and a half in the making! In October 2014 I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Philips Lumea Precision Plus SC2003/11.
Having tried epilating years before, which lead directly to my being diagnosed with folliculitis and then spending 2 years trying to remove ingrown hairs and scarring, I knew I needed to try something else. Even after I managed to stop the ingrown hair and scarring from recurring, I experienced crazy itching on my legs after shaving. It was so bad I had to keep my nails short at all times because I scratched in my sleep. The only thing that lessened it was using the Gillette wet razors that have shaving gels in the actual blades, followed by immediate application of a thick non scented intense moisturiser all over my legs. Razor blades are so expensive and having to use a new one each time was breaking the bank. So buying the Lumea was an investment!!
At the time of purchase this was a fairly new model, and I’m aware there are lots of these now but it’s taken until now to get a real use of it. This is a long-term commitment, ladies!
So this particular model comes with a leg attachment, and also an attachment for face and bikini. Now, this product isn’t suitable for all skin types. You must must must read up on these if you want to buy one, as it’s not returnable if you break the seal and find out it won’t work on your skin.
What I liked about this model was you never had to replace the lamp. What I didn’t realise was that this isn’t made for permanent hair removal. This laser will slow the growth of the hair, right from the follicle and discourage hair growth by killing the folicle essentially.
You start off by making sure it’s fully charged. This takes a good few hours. In this time you have the chance to shave the area you want to laser – you have to shave (rather than epilating, waxing or using a cream) because the laser only works if it can attack what’s left of your hair under the skin. I don’t have an issue with dark hair on my face, and I’m happy to use a spring stick or tweezers to tackle anything there when I need to. So I haven’t felt the need to use this on my face – but if you did want to, you have to be prepared for the idea of shaving your face where it’s needed. This is a pretty daunting idea to me.
When you’re ready to laser, you remove the handset from the mains (you can’t laser whilst it’s plugged in) and select the correct intensity setting after referring to the manual. If you go too high, it can feel like you’re being bitten, so best to start low and work up.
You apply the end to the skin, making sure the attachment is touching skin all around, and hit the trigger. The light on the back will go green when it’s ready and then the laser will flash. What’s great about this from a safety perspective is that the laser won’t flash unless the attachement is making total contact with your skin. This means you can’t flash it in your eyes by mistake, or anyone else’s for that matter!
For me, one charge will allow me to laser my underarms, bikini and 1 lower leg. This is kind of annoying. I know I have long legs, but it takes so long to charge it can get frustrating to wait. So I’m now in a routine where I’ll do underarms and bikini after a full charge, and then pop it back on charge, get on with something else and then do my legs.
This product needs charging fully once every few months, or the battery will die. But I can’t see that being a problem. You use this once every two weeks (and it’s worth noting you have to wait a few days after tanning or once you’ve lasered wait another few days if you’re planning on tanning).
I must admit I used it on my underarms and bikini once a week and legs once a fortnight, for a while because they’re different types of hair. I found very quickly that my legs were no longer itchy. It took about a year to get to where I am now. I only have to shave my armpits once a week, and the hair grows sporadically and softer, but still dark hence the shaving. When my leg hair grows its soft tiny little blonde hairs that you don’t notice. I go about a month and then it’s just my personal preference to start a fresh and shave then laser. I probably don’t need to do this, but it’s just what I do!
I’m so pleased I took the plunge and bought the Philips Lumea. I’m able to go on holiday and not think about shaving at all, I’ve had no adverse reactions and the skin on my legs no longer itches. I have no ingrown hairs and I don’t have to slather my legs with thick body cream anymore!
If you’re looking for permanent hair removal this isn’t for you. I didn’t want to fork out for laser treatments at the salon and saw this as a cheaper alternative. Granted it wasn’t a cheap option, but it’s been worth every penny. If you’ve been thinking about buying one of these contraptions, I can only recommend it. Obviously do your research, find out which model is for you and toss up the pros and cons, but this has totally changed my quality of life. I can wear skirts and shorts in the summer again – and grow my nails!