* Prices may differ from that shown
The buying decision.
I was skeptical to say the least as to whether a machine of this nature works. I had heard the expression electrolysis, and knew that beauty parlours practice successfully the art of hair removal by this process. However, if machines were made that were effective, how come so many were on sale at such low prices (less than a tenner) on Ebay ? This raised questions in my mind, although I decided that the problem that I have was important enough to risk the small amount involved. There were several makes available. I didn't like the look of the One Touch make, because quite frankly it looked flimsy and unprofessional. The Beautiko product was well packaged, looked professional, seemed to have the best set of instructions, and I liked the portability of the machine, packed in a neat zipped wash bag, giving a choice of tips (explained later), and providing Gel and Conditioner which were easily available at a later date from online beauty stores at 10.00 GBP a tube.
When the package arrived, I was quite excited at the prospect of not having to pluck hair from facial areas any more. Nothing works instantly or permanently, and having been accustomed to either plucking or waxing, I wanted to find a method that prevented the growth in the first place. In my particular case, the pen was for use on the face and not on areas of the body like legs, bikini line or armpits. The reason for this is that wax works in those areas very well, although as explained later, I have changed my thinking since using the pen.
With the kit, you get a tube of Conductive Gel and a tube of Skin Conditioner (75ml of each). This doesn't sound generous but believe me, when you begin to use the pen on a regular basis you realise that it is actually a decent amount of the product. You also get two heads for the pen which resemble tiny mirrors (one larger than the other) which fix easily to the pen. 4 AA batteries are required. The pen itself has little rubber grips and there is a very good reason for the design and shape of it. It is simple to hold in the hand and not tiring in the slightest or tedious.
The instructions given with the product are first rate, explain the use of the pen, how electrolysis works and gives all the contra indications which are pretty common sense, the only ones worthy of a mention being that if you are diabetic, epileptic, suffer from phlebitis or have a heart condition, then speaking to your doctor before using a treatment of this nature would be a wise precaution.
Learning how to effectively use the pen.
The brochure explains how the process works. What is interesting here is that it describes the treatment and answers simple questions in order to advance your understanding of it. How often you use the pen for example makes a difference, and I have found that four treatments a week work well for me. They state that using it twice within a 24 hour period is not recommended, and will not make hair go away. The trick is patience and understanding the periods of hair growth that affect the efficiency of the treatment. Recently plucked areas are good and susceptible because the follicle is open and receptive, and what I learned was that plucking and then treating was a good idea. Also new hair growth under the skin can be treated very well as a means of prevention, and that although you may not have hair showing in the areas you are treating, your own experience of where hairs will normally grow, or areas that you pluck regularly will guide you, and prevent hair from returning.
There are two settings on the pen, 1 for all treatments which emits half a milliamp, and the second for stronger hair like bikini lines which emits 1 milliamp. Taking note of the cycles of hair growth is important if you are serious about the treatment. The most successful stage for treatment is known as Anagen when the hair is growing and the largest amount of salt and water is available for the current to chemically change the process and destroy the follicle. The most difficult stage is when the hair has finished growing and is at its' shedding stage. At this stage the follicle forms a hard bulb and cannot be removed.
Here I will explain my experience. I found that having a damp flannel with me was useful, since the hands must be kept damp during the treatment for the current to flow correctly. Chose an area for the treatment, and apply a small blob of the gel, after having cleansed the area with a non alcohol facial cleanser. I found this difficult at first because the gel comes out quite fast from the tube, but practice made it easier. Never think that applying a larger amount than stated works better or covers a larger area, because what you are doing is diluting the current and working less effectively. The blob needs to be about the size of a 5p piece for the smaller head and a ten pence piece for the larger head. I use the larger head most and it works well. Having applied the gel, here comes the fun bit of holding the tip of the pen against the gel whilst a little yellow light tells you it is working, and only moving it when the alarm sounds and tells you the treatment is finished.
I treat a whole area at a time, trying not to overlap as this serves little purpose. It's an easy procedure though monotonous and it really depends upon your level of dedication to the problem whether it works or not. Hairs that have finished growing (or appear to have), I remove with tweezers, then treat. The whole treatment of my chin area (where the menopause dictates a few hairs !), takes me around 25 minutes. Having removed the gel after each treatment, I wash my face, and apply the conditioner, and it's a lovely feel, odour free, but very fresh. In fact the gel itself is almost odour free as well, having a very slight vanilla tinge to it.
The lasting value of the products.
The tube of gel so far has lasted me five weeks, and still looks full, so I guess that I will have about six months' use out of a tube, which at 10.00 GBP is extremely good value. You don't use a lot, and using excess doesn't help the process work, so would be pointless waste. I think the conditioner will run out quicker than that, and I would probably revert to using my own brand.
My conclusion on the treatment.
I have to admit, I had no idea what to expect. I thought the whole thing a gimmick. Little by little, I have noticed less hair growth, and what pleases me is that the treatment itself being so quick and certainly less painful than traditional waxing, although an ongoing treatment is well worth the patience required. The treatment works. I have hardly any new growth at all now, although it took the first two weeks before I noticed a real difference. Now, treated regularly, it is more prevention than after treatment and works very very well. I was so convinced of its ability to tackle facial hair that I decided to try other areas as well, although legs would be rather tedious, and underarms are simple to treat with cream. In the bikini area, the effects were amazing, although here I used the higher setting, and made sure that I had bathed before treatment, so that the hairs were soft at the time. Since I had regularly waxed in that area, the growth was at its optimal state and I have not had to use any other hair removal means since using the pen. Battery life is showing no signs of excess, and my initial batteries are still going strong.
It's a process that requires dedication, though something relatively important to a woman, and I feel well worth the money, in that it works. One thing that was a little off-putting at first was the slight redness around the area treated, although this settles in minutes, and the funny metallic taste at the end of each application, although this is minimal.
Would I recommend it ?
Yes I would, for ladies that are self conscious about facial hair, and that constantly need the treatment of bikini lines. My hair is auburn and darker hair shows more than blonde hair, and after my use of the pen I would recommend it thoroughly.
For stockists, contact Beautiko.co.za or alternatively look on Ebay. Since this is a non invasive treatment, and the heads are easy to sterilise, second hand machines would seem as good an option as new, although mine of course has no guarantee, whilst new ones have a guarantee of 12 months.
Try it, it will change your confidence.