The power of light

Hair removal can be a hairy issue. If you’re unfortunate enough to have a large gorilla growing on your limbs then I’m sure you spend many hours perusing the shelves of chemists trying to find something to help. Shaving may not be enough, epilating may be too painful and waxing may be too messy… what other options are there?! Well Boots have launched the Smooth Skin Plus system, an intense light therapy which can offer permanent hair reduction and removal. This kind of therapy has traditionally only been available in salons or spas, so bringing it home for you to do yourself is something of a revolution.

Image courtesy of Beauty Scribbler

The system works by directing an extremely short, intense pulse of filtered light into the skin. The light is absorbed by the coloured pigments in and surrounding the hair and disables the hair follicle, which prevents hair re-growth. It claims to reduce or remove hair in 6-12 weeks, using the system weekly for maximum impact. You start by using the skin tone checker to check which setting you’re best to use – I’ve got pretty pale skin so I’m best suited to the palest setting – and then adjust the handheld device accordingly. You have to shave the area you want to treat first so that the light is absorbed into the hair follicle directly and not the actual hair. (Also, don’t epilate like I did the first time as there’s no hair there at all! D’oh.)

The system comes with a tube of Activator Gel which you spread sparingly across your skin to act as a barrier and guide for the light. It’s a bit like applying hair removal cream as it’s a bit messy and feels a bit stupid, but the gel itself is practically odour free and not at all greasy. You do have to do a pretty good job of cleaning up after though! All you do is place the light panel against the area of skin you want to treat and press the button, emitting a very quick flash of light into the hair follicle. It’s not completely pain free – it feels like a slight electric shock – but it’s not what I’d call painful. It is quite hard to get the light in the right area or to have the patience to do a large area of skin, so I gave up on my legs and concentrated on smaller areas like armpits! If you’ve got a big issue with hairy pins and you have the patience to use this on that area, then good on you… but for me it’s a bit tiresome and difficult to keep track of where I’ve already blasted.

It’s easy to use as the handheld device is light and easy to hold, plus the pain is minimal. It seems like a great idea to bring a more intense and long-term solution to hair removal out of the salon and into the home. At £399 it’s by no means a cheap product to buy on a whim, but if you have issues that you’re desperate to address (or have won the lottery) then this may be what you’re after. It comes packaged in a lovely vanity case that could be used for something else too, plus all your accessories and instructions that you need to get out of it. I’m going to be using this over the next few months to see if it actually gets rid of unsightly hair and is worth the pretty huge investment. I just hope it doesn’t slip and I end up with half an eyebrow or something.

Available from Boots for £399 (although frequently on offer with £50/£100 off) For more information, full description, info booklet and more visit the Boots website.

NB – This isn’t suitable for very dark skintones. Check your skin against the guide on the box to check if it’s suitable for you to use.



  1. Claire The Beauty Scoop
    June 20, 2011 / 5:14 pm

    I didn't think they could be used on eyebrows? x

  2. Beauty Scribbler
    June 21, 2011 / 3:15 am

    Hey girly – that's my photo of my iPulse machine 😉 I gotta stop taking photos that look like stock photos – people don't realise they're not the PR images!

  3. Discovering Beauty
    June 21, 2011 / 6:14 am

    I never thought about that issue before of remembering where you had already treated. I have already had my underarms professionally done and would love to do more but it is pricy. I like that this is weekly, but I think still might wait for a good groupon deal and save myself some effort! great post

  4. Pandora
    June 21, 2011 / 8:13 am

    They've brought out a new one already??? I bought the original Smooth Skin machine at Christmas for my mum. Do you know how this differ's from the original?x

  5. London Beauty Queen
    June 21, 2011 / 9:02 am

    Clare – I was joking about eyebrows, I wouldn't recommend it!Beauty Scribbler – so sorry lovely, I thought it was a stock image… you're obviously very talented at taking photos! Do you mind if I use still? Have credited you…Discovering Beauty – yep, my major issue with my legs was that it's not very accurate as you can't see where you've been. I fully expected patchy bits of baldness!Pandora – I understand this one can be used on darker skin tones and there are a few extra gadgets to make sure you're using the right setting. Other than that it's probably just a re-launch.

  6. Saif Imtiaz
    June 21, 2011 / 9:55 pm

    it hair dryer is very useful for dry hair.Nice photo added.Just coolAnimal Planet

  7. Claire
    June 21, 2011 / 10:10 pm

    Doh… sorry, I've got gastroenteritis and things like this are obviously going over my head whilst my brain is preoccupied with being ill lol. xx

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