Iluminage Touch Permanent hair removal review

Iluminage Touch

around $500
Iluminage Touch



    Ease of Use





        • Only solution currently available for blonds & red heads
        • Large cartridge head makes it fast & easy to use
        • Saves lots of money in the long run
        • Sturdy and pretty design
        • FDA approved


        • Results not as quick as professional hair removal lasers
        • Blondes need to wax or epilate before treatment, resulting in short-term ingrown hairs for some

        I’ve always had a lot of hair on my legs and arms, but unfortunately, my hair is fine and blonde, making my “problem” less visible. Unfortunately I say? Yes, unfortunately, since this means that the heaps of money I threw at my dermatologist to get it permanently removed with his professional IPL machine has never borne me any fruit (only darker hair tends to be permanently removable). Ok, I must admit it did have effect on my bikini line, because the hair down there was a bit darker, but other than that nothing budged. Knowing that this professional machine cost my dermatologist as much as a Ferrari, I never expected my crappy Philips Lumea to do any better, but I did hope it would do something. It didn’t. At all.


        Or what about the Iluminage Touch: “the only FDA cleared technology for permanent results on all skin tones… clinically proven to be effective on the widest range of hair colors, even on blond, dark blond and red hair.”


        But ok, after having tested and approved other products from Eva Wisse’s online beauty shop and after having developed trust in her know-how and integrity, I decided to test out the Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Removal System. She made a compelling case explaining how it really worked on lighter hair too, and yet again, she told no lies. Excited about the machine’s slick and sturdy appearance, and especially happy about its ease of use, I enthusiastically started testing it out all over.


        In comparison to the Philips Lumea, it works much, much faster, covers larger areas and will last you many extra years, thanks to the replaceable cartridges with 300 000 flashes (more than you’re supposed to need). Devices without replaceable cartridges simply self destruct after a number of uses, rendering them much more expensive in the long run. I also love that it’s not cordless, since these machines need a lot of energy, and it can be very annoying having to wait and recharge after treating 1 leg.

        Now what makes this puppy really special, is that it’s the first and only device that combines IPL (intense pulse light) with radio frequency (RF) energy, tackling both dark and light hair.

        The Iluminage’s Elōs technology is from the scientists at Syneron and Candela, the inventors of IPL. This company also manifactures professional laser and hair removal devices intended for Dermatologists and salons. “Syneron Medical Ltd. is a leading global aesthetic device company with a comprehensive product portfolio and a global distribution footprint.”

        To me, this fact increases the Iluminage’s credibility tremendously, since they’re surely more likely to be able to more efficiently integrate the professional devices’ technology into devices intended for home use.


        How to use:

        • To get rid of dark hairs, follow the usual IPL protocol, by shaving prior to treatment so that all the light is drawn into the hair root, instead of just burning the hair above the skin. For this same light absorbing reason, be careful with moles, birthmarks or tattoos, as these can absorb an excess amount of light, increasing the risk of burns.
        • For lighter hair, wax or epilate immediately before treatment. The Radio Frequency energy needs to penetrate deep into the hair follicle, and can’t do this properly if there’s still hair in the way.
        • It doesn’t hurt, even on the highest setting, so I see no use in using the lower ones.

        The precision adaptor accessory helps deliver targeted pulses of elōs energy in smaller areas or hard to treat areas. It covers part of the glass, reducing the glass surface area to half its size. This smaller window makes it easier to treat areas such as the face, or around tattoos or moles. It should logically also mean that the light and energy coming out of this smaller window will be stronger and more concentrated, since I’d like to think the remaining light is focussed and bundled together instead of merely shielded off. Update: After contacting the company with this assumption of mine, I must admit I was wrong about this theory. Here’s their reply: “Hi Eva, no it does not, it just hides half of the window and changes from glide mode to trigger mode“.

        precision adaptor accessory Iluminage touch

        Precision adaptor accessory


        Clinical, scientific studies on this Elōs technology can be found here, here, here and here. According to the Chan & Dover study, legs and arms respond especially well, whilst armpits, bikini area, and facial hair can be more stubborn and require more sessions. According to my own results, this holds to be true, since my arms and legs have had better results than my axillae (doesn’t ‘axilla‘ sound so much lovelier than ‘armpit‘?).


        braun silk epil 7 prior to using Iluminage Touch

        Braun Silk épil 7


        Downside? The need to epilate prior to treating lighter hair leaves my legs covered with ingrown hairs. I bought the Silk Epil by Braun especially before starting my Iluminage endeavour, but I hate the bloody thing. My skin actually got caught in this torture device from Hell right after I purchased it, leaving me with a scar for weeks. Braun’s reaction when I called ‘em? That they’d never heard of this problem before… strange, since the internet is full of Braun’s Silk Epil induced injuries, and since a week later a friend of mine told me exactly the same had happened to her. Braun’s solution? They offered to replace the head for free, whoopty-friggin-doo.

        Results: I haven’t even reached my 7 sessions yet (now at 4 or 5), but I can already see a drastic difference on my arms and legs. I’m confident that further use will result in near perfection.

        Where to buy the Iluminage Touch? Here for Europeans, and here for Americans.

        Update October 23rd 2016: Use discound code beautytesttube for a 15% discount (valid on the entire website) on (in Europe) and (in the USA)

        71hkQnZmj9L._SL1500_   And what about the non-blondes?

        For people with dark hair, the Tria Laser is probably a better option,

        since its IPL power is stronger.

        The Tria hair removal Laser is available on Amazon for Americans

        and here for Europeans.


        Review Date
        Reviewed Item
        Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Removal Elos Technology
        Author Rating


        1. I received this device as a gift from my mom. Just used it for the first time and it was super easy and painless! I did one session of professional laser hair removal at a salon last year and it was bloody painful! Like a thousand burning rubber bands snapping at my bikini line! Anyway, my question is this: after treatment with the iluminage, is the hair supposed to start falling out? That’s what happened after the professional lasering, and the instructions for this device don’t state what to expect after treatment. Just curious! Thanks for any feedback you might have :)

          • Hi Lauren, it doesn’t fall out, unfortunately. Even though it’s one of the best DIY laser removal devices out there (especially for lighter hair types), you can’t expect the same strength or results as those you get at a salon, especially when you keep in mind that salon machines cost at least tens of thousands of dollars. My dermatologist (and friend) told me that their laser removal device cost as much as a new Ferrari (ok, it was also used for other conditions, but still).
            Major plus is you can use the Iluminage as often as you like, from the comfort of your own home, and costs way less, which eventually often gives similar results to professional machines.

        2. Hi!

          I know this article is pretty old now but was wondering what you found or what was recommended when it came to sun exposure?

          I’ll be going on holiday in about a month and don’t want to be doing myself harm by wearing a bikini on the beach!



          • This laser won’t make you too sensitive to sun exposure. After electrolysis you have to avoid the sun since it can cause scarring, but IPL and lasers in general are much safer than electrolysis in this regard. After a professional IPL treatment they do say to be more careful when exposed to sunlight, but this is of course not as strong. If you wear a high SPF (which you should always wear if you want to avoid wrinkles, acne or skin cancer) you should be fine either way.

        3. Have you used the other products like the Elos and Me touch advance. I had a friend who did it at a location tell me not to buy one because of IPL burns. I have done this at a salon before but hair is coming back and would much rather do this at home. I do have dark hair.

          • I’ve had burns after treatment at the dermatologist, but not from home devices. I’ve switched to the Smoothskin IPL device and I’ve been seeing good results so far (never anything magical, but results that have been worth it though). Especially if you have darker hair, definitely go for the Smoothskin!

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