Product Type: Philips Epilator / Lady Shaver
Newest Review: ... for the window, a user guide, and a how-to DVD (which I haven't watched). Preparing to use it for the first time, it's important to check... more
A new way to remove hair at home
Philips SC 2001 Lumea Hair Reduction System
Member Name: lindinha42
Philips SC 2001 Lumea Hair Reduction System
Advantages: Effective, pain-free, easy to use, don't have to wait for hair to grow
Disadvantages: Not for use by everyone, expensive, battery doesn't last long enough
I hate shaving, can't bear the pain of waxing and epilating, but obviously don't want to be hairy so I have always wished for a solution that would mean I could shave less, and go through less pain. IPL treatment is really expensive at salons and so as soon as I saw this product in a magazine I wanted it desperately.
Although probably worth it over time (multiple salon appointments for this treatment would definitely add up quickly), the original price of about £400 was definitely beyond my reach. I would check from time to time if the price had gone down, and when I saw it on offer for £250, at a time when I had some Amazon vouchers to use, I had to go for it. At the moment, though, it's £350 on Amazon, which is admittedly very expensive.
The Philips Lumea works on the basis of intense pulsed light, which is supposed to make the hairs fall out and eventually grow back in thinner and finer. This means that after some time of using it, shaving should be necessary a lot less often, so I was really excited to try the product. It's a handheld, white machine with a lavender stripe down the front. It has an on button along with an up/ down button to control the strength of the pulses. There is an LED display showing which setting it's on, as well as a green light which flashes while charging, and remains still when charged. This light turns orange during use when the battery starts to run low. The device filters out UV light so this doesn't reach the skin during use. It comes in a box with a very nice little storage pouch, the charger, a cleaning cloth for the window, a user guide, and a how-to DVD (which I haven't watched).
Preparing to use it for the first time, it's important to check the chart with different hair and skin colours. In fact, this should be looked into before purchasing as not everyone can use this--women whose skin is too dark or their hair too light should not use this as it won't work and could actually burn your skin. This apparently has to do with the light being attracted to the pigment in the hair, and if that's not different enough to your skin colour it won't work (it also says that men shouldn't use the product, although I am less clear on why). Luckily I fall in the category that can use this product, but the chart still should be checked as it advises what setting to use it on. The helpful instructions that come with the product advise doing a test with on three different settings, and then checking the area the next day. The highest setting you've used without irritation is the setting you should continue on for that body part.
The product can be used on legs, underarms, bikini line, and apparently there's now an attachment that makes it usable on facial hair. The directions state that for the first two months, it should be used on legs, underarms and bikini line every two weeks. After this period, legs should be done only every four weeks, while continuing with every two weeks for underarms and bikini line. I can get a little forgetful about when I've done it, which is a little annoying but not a huge issue.
Before use, it has to be fully charged, as you should not use it while it's charging. This takes over an hour, and it doesn't really hold the charge if you charge it ahead of time, so using it does require a bit of planning. Then, shave really well, making sure not to miss any hair, because it can be more uncomfortable and can damage the machine to use it if there's any hair remaining.
Using it is fairly easy. Simply press the application window (where the light comes from) against the skin, and once it's pressed all the way down the light will hold steady so it's clear you can press the button for the flash. All the little pressure points around the window have to be depressed at once, which is a safety measure so you can't accidentally flash it in your eyes or anything. Once pressed, there is a bright flash (I tend to look away even though apparently it won't damage your eyes when pressed all the way down), and pretty much no pain. It's a bit like a pinch and a sudden heat, but it's over in an instant and there's no lasting feeling.
It's a bit difficult to know for sure if you're missing a bit, since it's not actually removing any hair as it goes, but I try to overlap each time with the last flash, and go up and down my legs in straight lines to minimise the chance of missing out anything. I do feel a bit like a contortionist some of the time, as getting the device in the right position on the back of my legs can be a little difficult, but overall it is fairly simple to operate.
The frustrating part, though, is that the battery doesn't last very long at all. I can do just over half a leg at a time before recharging, which usually means three goes to get everywhere done. This means I'm using it for about 20 minutes at a time, and then with over an hour of charging time in between, planning to get this done can be a little difficult and it takes me most of the day. Obviously I do other things while it's charging, but I have to remember that I have another session to go. It would be much better to be able to get it all done at once.
The results are good but not necessarily all I was hoping for. I was hoping not to have to shave in between uses, and I do even after 6 months of use. However I think I missed out a week in the initial two months, which may have been a problem, so I would definitely say stick to the advised schedule. I also must say that the hair is much thinner, finer, and is a bit patchy rather than everywhere which is a huge improvement. It makes the times I do shave much more pleasant and I'm not left able to see the hair still in my skin, which I could before. The hair on my legs has always been pretty thick and grew back very quickly, so this is definitely a great result.
I also love that you are supposed to shave before the treatment, as one of the (many) reasons I've never liked to wax or epilate is that you have to let the hair grow to a certain length. The fact that this is pretty much pain-free is also a fantastic bonus.
Obviously it's a shame that this method of hair removal isn't suitable for everyone, but if you do have the right hair colour, it's a very good product which I am pleased I bought. Unlike the dusty epilator I bought and used a couple of times a few years ago, I have actually kept up with using this and see no reason to stop. For a pain-free way to reduce hair regrowth, I think this is a great product.
Summary: Reduce and remove hair with this easy to use device