R29 Editors Share Their Impressive Results From This (Pain-Free) IPL Hair Removal Device

Photo: Courtesy of Becca Sax.
When it comes to body hair removal, we've done it all. From painful waxing to slightly less painful sugaring of our bikini lines to the constant shaving of our underarms and legs, hair removal is a large part of many people's wellness routines. Not that there's anything wrong with body hair (there's really not! and we've all got it!), but depending on the coarseness, color, or location of said hair, it can be itchy, uncomfortable, or just downright annoying, which is why many of us choose to remove it. Of course, the removal process can be just as uncomfortable (not to mention costly, painful, and irritating to sensitive skin). That's not the case with the RoseSkinCo Lumi — an at-home IPL hair removal device.

For those unfamiliar with IPL, it stands for "intense pulsed light" and works similarly to laser hair removal. The light targets hair at the root to stop it at its source for long-term results without pain or skin irritation. Since the light needs to target the hair, it works best with maximum contrast, which means it can't easily find light hair on light skin, or dark hair on dark skin, so it's best used on light to medium skin tones that have dark hair. The RoseSkinCo Lumi is a small hand-held device, which has six intensity levels of IPL and promises easy, fast, and painless hair removal in just up to three weeks with regular use. Not only that, but it also boasts being gentle enough for sensitive skin and helps eliminate ingrown hairs for one flat price. Though the RoseSkinCo Lumi is just shy of $200, it never needs to be refilled or rebought, which means it'll pay for itself extremely quickly. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, so a few R29 editors tried out the Lumi themselves to see exactly what this device could do. Below, check out our first-hand hair-removal testimonials on four different body parts to see how well the RoseSkinCo Lumi actually works.

Chin IPL Hair Removal

"I'm a long-term sufferer of PCOS and have an extremely dark patch of facial hair beneath my chin that I loathe. Not only do I think of it as unsightly, but it grows so fast that I find myself having to shave it every other day, which irritates my sensitive skin and frequently leaves me with painful ingrown hairs. I have tried some extremely expensive methods of hair removal, including electrolysis and six sessions of laser, so I wasn't super hopeful that the RoseSkinCo Lumi would make much of a difference, but I figured I had nothing to lose, so I put it to the test.

As you can see in my before picture, the hair on my chin is extremely dark and thick, and the skin is red and bumpy — and it's only four days of growth. It's not cute (although is it even possible to look cute at this angle?). I followed Lumi's instructions of shaving the area and cleaning it before plugging it in, and set it to the lowest possible setting of the available six. I turned it on the automatic mode, which flashes against your skin as soon as you press it, which was just as easy as it sounded. Because the chin is such a small area, I was able to move it around and finish in about thirty seconds. Word of advice, though. The flash is BRIGHT. If you have difficulty with flashing lights, this device is not for you. Though it only flashed about five times, I still felt a little blinded, and the next time I used it, I was smarter about looking not directly at it. As recommended, I used the device 72 hours apart, shaving before and moisturizing after each intended use. This after picture is after only three uses, and I can't believe how much slower the hair is growing in. It's not necessarily lighter or thinner yet, but it has definitely slowed the growth down. Compared to the pre-Lumi four-day growth, this after pic (also four days) is remarkably different.

Though it's definitely going to require consistent use and patience, I look forward to seeing how much more I can improve this spot that bothers me so much in the coming weeks."

Charlotte Lewis, Sexual Health & Wellness Writer

Lower-Leg IPL Hair Removal

"I definitely didn’t fully know what Lumi was before testing it (I thought it was a fancy electric razor TBH) but I was super intrigued when I learned it uses light pulses to destroy hair roots after shaving. I also have ‘strawberry skin’ so I was excited to see if this product reduced the look of my very visible pores. I was most interested in testing the product on my legs since I’d love to cut down my ‘everything shower’ time, and have long-lasting smooth legs all summer long. For my trial, I focused on my lower legs (calves and knees).

"After shaving and drying them, I used the Auto setting as recommended for large areas in the instruction manual. This made the lights regularly pulse once a second when in contact with skin, which made it extremely easy for me to use, just gliding the machine slowly up and down my legs like I’d do with a razor. I will admit I was a bit stunned by the light when it flashed, so I threw on my sunglasses like a weirdo to make the brightness less intense. But other than that, this process was extremely quick and easy (maybe a total of 5 minutes to treat both legs).

"I’ve only used my Lumi twice so far, 72 hours apart as suggested as the bare minimum, and amped up the intensity one level for my second treatment. I can’t speak on the long-term effects yet but I will say that my sensitive skin didn’t have any adverse reactions. My legs actually felt super soft and my hair didn’t grow back as quickly as usual within the three-day break period. TBD on everything else, but I will definitely be using this product weekly throughout the summer."

Victoria Montalti, Associate Affiliate Writer

Armpit IPL Hair Removal

"To give you a timeline, the first picture (on the left) is from before I started using the Lumi (without shaving for about 3 weeks), and the second picture is after the third week of consistently using the Lumi.

Despite my thin hair, I have tried almost all the hair removal methods, shaving, waxing, threading, tweezing, dilatory creams, and now IPL. I was particularly wary of IPL because the idea of a laser is scary, but I was surprisingly mistaken. The Lumi was perhaps the least painful hair removal method that I have ever tried. I started using the Lumi at the beginning of the month and have used it regularly twice a week (at least 72 hours apart as recommended) for three weeks on levels 1 and 2.

In those three weeks, I am not sure that I can confidently say that the Lumi works to completely remove all hair in the usage area, but I will say that I think that it does thin your hair — which is the desired goal to decrease the time between hair removal. You will need to put the time in, though; it is certainly not a quick fix like waxing. After many years of exclusively waxing, I have recently resorted to shaving (frustrating I know after all the work and money I put into waxing studios). I was excited to try Lumi as a treatment that would bring me back to the days of sparsely-haired armpits that are achieved with regular wax appointments.

The instructions were fairly straightforward and easy to follow — you shave/clean the area, then use the appliance. I consider it a relaxing nighttime ritual for me to do on the days that I use the Lumi. But just a word to the wise do not look into the light of the Lumi — it is very bright! Overall, it was a great experience! I would recommend the Lumi to someone who wants to try hair removal at home, has already been shaving their hair, is sensitive to pain (or pain-avoidant), and has the time and patience to see results.

As you can see, the hair looks thinner in the third week. I was also impressed that after shaving and using the Lumi, there was no redness from irritation or anything. It really doesn’t hurt at all."

Becca Sax, Affiliate Coordinator

Thigh IPL Hair Removal

"While I have big, bald plans for Lumi (face, underarms, my big toe), I started small with a test patch on my thigh, just above my knee. I already wax my upper legs because, well, I did it once and got hooked — the level of smoothness can’t compete with shaving. But such smoothness is, of course, temporary, and you have to let the hair grow in quite a bit before it’s waxable. I hadn’t had a wax in over a month in the before photo, although my hair now grows more sparsely than it used to from years of semi-regular waxing (RIP hair follicles). The instructions say to shave before using Lumi, so I did that first. Then I tried the most simple of its three modes: Stamp. It's essentially point-and-click hair removal. Place the device on the area you want to treat, and click the Pulse button. Although it was flush against my skin, a bright red light leapt out. It was bright. Very bright. Was it so bright I shouldn’t look directly at it? No. I reread the instructions: Short of photosensitive epilepsy or other sensitivity to flashing light lights, it is safe. Still, I kept my glance just askew when I started the Lumi back up. It did not hurt, but when I turned Lumi to Auto mode, which is recommended for larger areas like legs, I felt a rising heat. This is probably because Auto mode plays with intensity levels (there are six), and I had previously kept it at Level 1).

I didn’t love Auto mode — it's activated by holding the Pulse button down until the Intensity Level lights are blinking. The pulses (and accompanying red light) come every second, and it all felt a bit fast and furious. I wouldn’t write Auto mode off, but I would recommend waiting until you’re comfortable with the device to experiment with it. The second time I tried Lumi, I played more with intensity levels, going up to level 4 out of 6. The warm sensation does seem to increase as you go up in levels, which is why I preferred to play with intensity in Stamp mode — I felt 100% in control.

I also tried the Glide mode, which allows you to roll the device over skin without changing intensities, making it faster than Stamp and more controlled than Auto. Both times I used Lumi, I moisturized afterward as the instructions recommend and my stupidly sensitive skin cooperated. I last used it three days ago, and hair is starting to grow back. (It's hard to see, but I can definitely feel it.) I don’t know if it’s actually less than would normally grow, but it's minimal and I lean toward less."

Colleen Barrett, Freelance Affiliate Editor
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