Should I buy the Philips Lumea Essential IPL?

An effective solution to permanent hair removal at home or just another fad?

Philips Lumea Essential IPL
(Image credit: Philips)

There have been a few new models released in the Philips Lumea IPL range since the Essential, now making it the cheapest device in the range. But is it worth the purchase? 

We explore the pros and cons of the Philips Lumea Essential IPL as a permanent home hair removal device to help you decide if its worth the investment.

Who Is The Philips Lumea Essential IPL For?

If it's your first time dabbling in the world of permanent hair removal, then this could be a good device to start with. It’s a seemingly no-frills device that is pretty intuitive to use, mess-free, and best of all, pain-free. So if you refuse to resort to the pain-staking process of waxing for those silky smooth legs, this device could certainly be worth the investment.

Philips Lumea Essential IPL

(Image credit: Philips)

Should You Buy The Philips Lumea Essential IPL: Key Features

The Lumea Essential IPL works using Intense Pulsed Light Technology, which essentially targets the root of the hairs to slow down and eventually stop hair growth altogether. This treatment is used in salons and has been approved by dermatologists as safe for the skin, making it a popular method of hair removal over laser treatment.

In addition, IPL treatment is completely painless, giving it another benefit over other permanent methods of hair removal, and Philips suggests that you can see up to 75% hair reduction in just four treatments. The Lumea Essential IPL has a number of different intensity levels to suit your skin tone, all of which are kind and gentle to the skin, but it's important to refer to the skin chart before use to make sure you’re using the right level of light.

All you have to do is slide the device across the area of skin you wish to de-hair. You only have to do this once, meaning it’s a quick process, and you should start to see your hair naturally shed one to two weeks post-treatment. It features two modes, the first called ‘slide and flash’ which is recommended for fast treatments on larger areas such as the legs, while the ‘step and flash’ mode is designed for more intricate, curved areas such as the bikini line.

The Lumea Essential IPL comes with just one attachment, which makes it fuss-free and easy to use across the whole body. If this is your first time using a device like this, you’ll also get a handy step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of your treatments, simply download the Lumea App to plan and schedule your hair removal.

Philips Lumea Essential IPL

(Image credit: Philips)

Should You Buy The Philips Lumea Essential IPL: The Downsides

In contrast to the Lumea Advanced and the Lumea Prestige, the Essential does seem pretty, well, essential. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it doesn’t come with all the custom accessories to help you better target certain areas of the body, and it doesn’t have as many modes as the Advanced or Prestige, yet the price point is still quite high.

As with all IPL devices, the Lumea Essential doesn’t work with very light hair colours such as grey, light blonde, or red, due to the high contrast in pigment that just isn’t effective with this kind of treatment.

Philips Lumea Essential IPL

(Image credit: Philips)

Should You Buy The Philips Lumea Essential IPL: Verdict

The Philips Lumea Essential IPL seems to offer just as much as the Advanced and the Prestige models in terms of the actual light treatment, but without any added accessories to make your treatments more targeted. In a way this is better for complete beginners, and the device is intuitive to use so you can’t go wrong really. 

Price wise, it is a lot cheaper than other IPL’s on the market, and will certainly cost less in time and money in comparison to going to a salon, so it’s a good first investment for first-time buyers.

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Sarah-Jane Butcher

Sarah-Jane is an experienced writer who has created reviews and buying guides for a number of publications including TechRadar,, Real Homes and TheRadar. She's a pro at finding the best products on the market and presenting them for your viewing pleasure.