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I cannot believe this is my third review, in a month, about a hair removal product! Any one going through all my reviews would think I am obsessed with hair removal items, well to be honest who isn't?
I have had some very annoying facial hair since my teens and hate! hate! hate! them. I can never imagine shaving them, so I had to resort to waxing or threading. But that requires letting the hair grow to a suitable length until they can be removed and lets face it who wants to walk around with a lady-beard? Yikes!
I tried epilating them for a while but that left me with a lot of ingrown hair. And more often than not I would end up with spots and marks on the area I had epilated. So I was totally at loss about what to do with my facial hair. It was then I decided to try IPL as everyone around me was talking about it and how it gave permanent hair reduction.
So I visited the Boots store near my home and consulted a staff member for help. She checked my skin tone and showed me different IPL products. I discovered that getting rid of my hair with IPL was not easy as I had thought. I mean I had just imagined myself holding the IPL gadget like a gun and zapping the hair away. The hair sizzling away, as I shout DIE! DIE! DIE! again and again (it's quite obvious that I seriously hate my facial hair isn't it?)
There was a range of different IPL products available in the store, designed for different skin tones and different requirements. I just left it to the consultant and asked her to recommend me the best and most popular product. And she told me that the Gillette Venus Naked skin would be really good for my skin tone and also it can be used on the face. I decided to go with her advice and was now a proud owner of the Gillette Venus Naked skin IPL system and an empty bank account (sigh!)
****PRODUCT DESCRIPTION AND MY INITIAL IMPRESSIONS ABOUT IT****
I loved the look of the product straight away. I had spent a fortune on it, so I was quite glad to see that it looked very premium. The IPL system comes in a fantastic big case with a zipper and a handle on top. On the opening the zip you find the IPL system on one side and its adapter on the other. Also included in the box are 2 tubes of Venus activating gel and the instruction manual, hidden in a cute compartment below the adapter.
The IPL system itself is a white unit with the IPL handset on one side and the skin tone sensor on the other. The skin tone sensor looks like a very small and slim TV remote control. At the back of the sensor there is a small glass window for reading the skin tone. On the front the sensor has the numbers 1 to 4 written on it in. On top of the numbers there is a light that goes green if you are between skin tones 1 to 4,or red if you are higher. Trying it on my skin I find that it reads my hands as skin tone 2 and my face as skin tone 3.
The hand set of the unit it attached to the unit with a cord. It has a big grey button on top of it and a 3 inch treatment window in its front. It's shape kind of reminds me of an ultrasound device.
****ITEMS IN THE BOX****
The Gillette naked skin comes with
* A big case with a zipper for storage
* The IPL unit
* An adapter and cable
* 2X100 ml bottles of the Venus Activating gel
* Instruction manual
****HOW TO USE IT****
STEP 1: SHAVING
Before using the Gillette naked skin you need to shave the hair off. You must not wax, thread, epilate or use any hair removal method that takes hair out of the root. The machine needs tiny bits of hair inside your skin to work properly. So shaving is a must before use.
STEP 2: USING THE SKIN TONE SENSOR
Now you need to use the skin tone sensor. You need to take it out of the IPL device and put it against that part of the body you want to treat. It reads which skin tone you are and automatically sets the IPL intensity according to your skin type. Just hold the device to your skin and press the button on the front. Your skin tone number will glow in white on the sensor. The light on top of the skin tone sensor will glow as green if you can use the device and are skin tones 1to4.A red light will turn on if you cannot use the device and have a skin tone higher than 4.Incase of the first option the machine will now be set and ready to treat you according to your skin tone. You can now place the skin tone sensor back on the IPL unit and start treating the area you tested.
STEP 3: THE ACTIVATING GEL
After shaving the next step is applying a layer of the activator gel. The unit comes with two tubes of this gel. And you need to buy new ones for continuous usage. It is only required to apply a thick layer of the gel on the area before treatment. I only use the IPL device on my face and neck, so I go through the tube fairly slowly. I only need to buy one after at least 10 to 12 sessions. The instruction manual claims that the activator gel is a must for the process. And it makes it easier for the user to know which area they have treated and which to do next as you leave marks or smudges in the gel after treating it.
STEP 4: THE TREATMENT
Now all you need to do is to put the treatment window of the handset on the part of the skin you want to treat. A light will go on at the back of the handset. Look away from the light and press the button on the back of the handset. The light will be just like the flash of a camera. This means that part of the area has been treated and you now need to move to the next part. Just put the device on the next bit of skin and press the button on the handset, when the light goes on again, this is usually with in 4 seconds. If the light does not go on that means you are not placing the device correctly and fully on your skin and some part of the window at the back is not in contact with your skin.
STEP 5: REPEAT SESSIONS
The most crucial part of the IPL usage is to repeat the sessions every two weeks for the about 10 weeks. This time period varies with what part of the body you are treating as some areas may require more treatments. After your first sessions are done you just need to do sessions every other month to make sure the hair doesn't come back.
****HOW DOES IT WORK?****
IPL stands for intense pulse light. When you shave an area you leave tiny bits of hair inside the skin. When you treat that area with an IPL device, it uses intense pulses of light to treat the skin. These flashes of intense light react with the dark bits of hair left in your follicles and put the hair to sleep. Repeated sessions result in less and less hair after each use.
****WHAT IT FEELS LIKE?****
The IPL session does not hurt at all. You might feel a very brief moment of a sensation similar to a ting of a rubber band hitting your skin after being stretched. During longer sessions, after the bulb has been used for more than 10 flashes the procedure does become a bit more uncomfortable, and the flashes start to give you a slight burning sensation. The best thing to do then is to just take a break for about 5 minutes so that the bulb cools down a bit and then it works just fine.
****WHO CAN US IT?****
The Gillette naked skin works on skin type 1 to 4.Any one darker than that can actually burn their skin if they use the device. But the skin tone sensor prevents any one darker than skin tone 4 to use the device.
Men can also use this product on their body, but not on their faces.
****WHERE TO USE IT?****
The Naked Skin IPL system is suitable for use on:
* Face (excluding scalp, eyebrows and eye area)
WHERE AND WHEN NOT TO USE IT?
1. You should not use the device if you are expecting or breast feeding.
2. You should not use the device if you suffer from diabetes or have epilepsy
3. You should not use the device if you have white, red, grey or very blonde hair
4. You should not use the device on areas where you have moles or freckles. You can cover the moles with a white card.
5. You should not use the device if your skin is tanned.
6. While doing a treatment you should not treat the same area twice.
7. Men should not use the device on their face.
Please note that these are just the basic dos and don'ts, that I know of and you must read the manual fully and do your own research, if you have any confusions about the usage of the product.
****FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRODUCT****
Main Operated and Corded
Flash repetition rate: Manually pulsed after 4 to 6 seconds on average
Power input: 100V-240V, 1.3-0.55 A
Operating temperature: between 15 degree C to 30 degree C
Treatment Area: 3cm square
Please note that the bulb inside the device has a limited number of flashes. The manufacturer's promise a bulb life of 5 years if one person uses it on arms, legs and face. After the flashes run out you will need to have the whole unit refurbished and have a new bulb put in it, which I found out , costs almost half the original price of the IPL system. My bulb would probably last longer as I am just using it only on my face(fingers and toes crossed)
****MY FIRST SESSION****
When /I first started using the device I had mixed feelings about it. I really wanted to find a solution to my facial hair problem but was quite worried /intimidated by the IPL system and using it at home. One of things that bothered me the most was having to shave my face area. YIKES! I was scared that shaving will result it more or thicker hair on my face. I was also worried about how IPL would feel and how much it will hurt. But as they say, no pain no gain. I mustered up all of courage and did my first IPL treatment. The treatment felt very easy. I used the skin tone sensor on my hands firsts and then my face. My hands showed skin tone 2 and face skin tone 3.I did my chin and neck area. After that I did my under arms as well which were skin tone 2.I felt absolutely no pain or discomfort while using it and did my chin and neck in 10 minutes. My under arms area just required five minutes sessions for each side.
After doing my face and going through half of my under arms, I felt the flashes start to go a bit hotter .So I took a break and did the rest of the treatment after a 5 minutes break and did not feel any discomfort.
Now came the wait and see part. I was to repeat similar treatments every two weeks, for about 10 weeks or until my hair were totally gone. For the first three sessions I was vey worried about the results. As I was shaving and the device had only just stared working, my hair started coming back really thick and really fast. Thankfully the instructions did allow one to shave in between sessions as well. So I found myself shaving the areas after every 3 days or so. But right after my 4th session I started seeing the results of the treatment. The hair started to come back really thin and I could see patches of missing hair as well. Treatments became really tricky at this stage, as I just wanted to treat the hairy areas and skip the patches. One of my friends advised me to use a white eye pencil to mark areas that require treatment. This idea worked brilliantly. After doing the sessions every fortnight for 10 weeks most of my chin hair was gone. There were some bits and bobs left but they were very thin as compared to my original hair. My underarms were totally hairless except for 3 or 4 (very annoying) hair left.
****I DEMAND A REFUND! ****
I had imagined his device to give me the miracle of hair free skin that would last forever. Since it was so pricey I had thought that its usage will get rid of my hair permanently and I would never have to remove any hair again. So I was quite disappointed by the results of my first session. After 5 to 6 months the hair started to come back as well. But that was kind of my fault, since I became lazy and started to skip the top up sessions. Eight months of having the product I started to think it was not working for me and I should return it and get a refund. I then read more detailed information about the product online and went in to boots again and had a talk with their electrical consultant. She explained to me that these IPL devices promise hair REDUCTION not REMIOVAL.A machine cannot control our hormones and our bodies tendency to grow hair. The hair is always going to try to come back and I need to keep on treating it. I was also told that there are always some hair dormant and sleeping in our skin and when we treat the other hair around them ,sometimes these hair get activated as well, resulting in new hair growth on a an area being treated.
I then decided that I had set my hopes too high and have to be realistic about this machine. I also decided to be more particular and strict about the timings and dates of the sessions.
****MY SECOND SESSION****
I then started the 10 weeks treatment on my face again. The instruction manual actual comes with a little chart or timetable, where you can keep noting down the dates of your sessions. This makes it easier to keep a track of your sessions.
Now I just treat my face once every other month. I have had the device for a year and a half now. Most of my facial hair is gone. I do get some very thin bits and bobs of hair every other month but I zap it away. But I make sure not to skip the sessions. I just use the device on my face as it is the most critical region for me.
1. The first advantage of the product is the ease of use. It is not very complicated and you can treat your hair at your comfort, in your home, instead of going to the salon. The process of the treatment is fairly simple as well.
2. The best feature of the Gillette naked skin is the skin tone sensor. This promises both safety and ease of use. A person new to the device might find it difficult to decide her skin tone and what intensity of IPL to use. They might end up choosing an intensity that is too low to treat their skin or intensity so high that it burns their skin. The skin tone sensor solves that problem. It detects the skin tone and then automatically sets the IPL unit according to that skin tone.
3. The device is mains activated so you don't have to wait for it to be charged. This comes in really handy if some one is treating larger areas like legs, as you don't have to stop and charge the unit.
4. The treatment window of this unit is large and you can do sessions really quickly. It uses a square pulse technology which is strong and gives good results.
5. The shape of the handset is brilliantly designed, making it comfortable to use any where.
6. I love the fantastic storage case as well. As you can just zip it up and store your device neatly away.
1. Firstly you have to be very particular and strict about the sessions. In the beginning I even had to plan my holidays around the dates of the sessions.
2. Secondly the size of the unit is very big, so it is very impractical to carry it around with you if you are going on holidays or travelling.
3. Thirdly the unit is corded so you can use it only around a power socket. This can be a bit annoying (especially for a lazy bone like me)
4. The activating gel is a constant expenditure with this IPL system, as you have to keep on buying it to continue treatments. Also I have a funny feeling about the gel itself, as I feel that it is kind of unnecessary and have been just put in the package to make users spend money every other month. A lot of other IPL devices work perfectly well without any gels or creams
5. You need to shave before using it and I seriously hate shaving my face.
6. The IPL device like many others is too pricey.
****MY TIPS FOR USING THE IPL SYSTEM****
I have used the product for a year and a half now and want to include some tips of my own for its usage.( I wish I knew these things when I first bought the IPL system)
****WHAT YOU MUST DO****
1. The most important thing to do if you want to but the Gillette IPL system is to figure out your skin tone BEFORE buying the product. This device would not work at all if you are more than skin tone 4.Just imagine having to spend a huge amount on this device and then upon opening it and trying the skin tone sensor you find out that it is not working on your skin at all. It is always a good idea to research online and go in stores like to talk to experts before buying an IPL system.
2. When using the product for the first time you must do a patch test. Treat a small area at the back of your arm. See how your skin reacts to it for a day. If all goes well start treating wherever you like.
3. Keep a record of the dates of your sessions. This way you can ensure that you do your sessions on the right time and date.
****WHAT YOU MUST NOT DO****
You must not use the device on dark areas, moles, tanned or dark skin. I found this out the hard way. I wanted to treat a particular area and used a pink lip liner to make a circle around it before treatment. The dark colour of the pencil absorbed too much light and I ended up with a red circular burn mark on my skin which took days to fade away.
****FURTHER HELPFUL IDEAS****
1. Sometimes while treating it becomes difficult to decide which part you have done and which to do next, especially if your doing larger areas like legs or arms. A very handy tip is to use a white eye liner to make lines or grids on your skin and then just follow these lines. Make sure to use a white pencil as it will not absorb any light.
2. Use a white card or paper to cover any moles or dark areas. If for example you are doing your upper lips. Cover you lips with a white card so that you don't burn them.
3. Another very handy tip is to put the put the activating gel in the fridge for a couple of hours before using. This way it will be cold when using for treatments and will make the treatments more comfortable.
I think that, although the Gillette naked skin is not the 'Magic Miraculous Device' that removes all my hair permanently, it is indeed a fantastic IPL system to permanently reduce hair. It is easy to understand and use. And I have ended up with almost no hair. The hair that does com back is very fine and thin. And hopefully it will become lesser and lesser if I keep on using the device regularly.
******MY RATING FOR THIS PRODUCT IS 3.5 OUT OF 5******
*******THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW*******