Whether it’s done at home or in the salon, removing unwanted hair from the face and body can be a time consuming, expensive, and painful affair. Worse still, traditional methods of hair removal such as shaving, waxing, plucking, and applying hair removal creams can leave your skin feeling sore, irritated, and at risk of chemical burns and ingrown hairs. And after all that effort, your hair can appear to start growing back in hours, let alone days!
Thankfully, there is a solution. And that’s to buy one of the best IPL machines around! While we admit the best IPL devices aren’t cheap, we can attest to the fact that they are a fantastic long-term investment that will help you to significantly reduce your hair growth in the comfort and privacy of your home and save you lots of time, pain, and money in the long run.
If we’ve got you convinced, and you’re in the market for one of the best IPL machines, you’ll definitely want to know about the highly popular Ulike Air+ IPL Cooling Hair Removal Device. You might not have heard of South Korean brand Ulike before, but they’ve sold over 4 million IPL machines worldwide since launching in 2013, and their Air+ IPL Cooling Hair Removal Device is the best-selling hair removal device in China.
In fact, it’s so coveted, the #ulikehairremoval hashtag has received over 243.1 million views to date. But is this social media sensation really all it’s cracked up to be? I decided to put it to the test.
- Buy the Ulike Air+ IPL Cooling Hair Removal Device at Ulike
- Buy the Ulike Air+ IPL Cooling Hair Removal Device at Amazon
ULIKE AIR+ IPL REVIEW: FEATURES & EXTRAS
Going by looks alone, it’s easy to see why the Ulike Air+ IPL device is every TikToker’s dream. The handset looks expensive and classy with its sleek green and gold design, and everything that comes with it – from the power cable to the sturdy faux leather-clad presentation box that keeps everything safely in one place – coordinates accordingly.
In fact, it looks so good you can’t help but get excited when taking this device out of its (also matching) packaging, especially when you discover the cute yet practical extras such as a compact disposable razor in a protective carry case and a pair of surprisingly stylish folding safety glasses to protect your eyes during treatment - again housed in a coordinating box with magnetic clasp.
Of course, looks aren’t everything, but the Ulike Air+ IPL device does have one major thing going for it in the tech stakes, and that’s the promise of completely painless hair removal.
This comes courtesy of the Ulike’s innovative, clinical-grade 4th generation Sapphire Air+, which harnesses Sapphire Freezing (or Sapphire Ice-Cooling) technology to lower the temperature during use from 158°F (70°C) to 50°F (10°C) at the point of contact with your skin.
This in turn helps cool the skin, reduce irritation, protect it from the damage that can be caused by UV light, and make treatment comfortable and pain-free, while still transferring 158F/70C worth of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) through the skin’s surface to destroy hair follicles at the root and permanently reduce hair growth.
Unlike many hair removal devices on the market that have concave light windows to deliberately create a gap between your skin and the light window to avoid burning during use, the Ulike Air+ IPL device is able to have a completely flat sapphire head thanks to the cooling technology.
This, says Ulike, means that gaps in light – which can result in energy loss and ineffective use – are omitted, because you can press the device flat to your skin, resulting in maximum coverage and a 25 per cent increase in effectiveness. In fact, thanks to the combination of the cooling technology and the flat design of the head, Ulike guarantees you will see reduced hair growth results in just four weeks, which is far quicker than the usual eight to 12 weeks suggested by most other brands.
Finally, the FDA-approved Ulike Air+ IPL device provides five intensity levels to treat different areas of your body, and gives you two different treatment modes, one being the Continuous Mode so you can glide the device over your skin to treat larger areas, and one being the Single Mode so you can stamp the device over smaller areas for more targeted treatment.
In terms of longevity, it should last you a lifetime because it delivers a whopping 1 million flashes per handset. By way of comparison, the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 has a bulb life of 400,000 flashes (which Braun says is equivalent to 22 years of treatment), while the Philips Lumea Prestige has 250,000 (15+ years of treatment).
ULIKE AIR+ IPL REVIEW: WHO CAN USE IT, WHERE & HOW?
As with all IPL machines, the Ulike Air+ IPL is most effective for those with darker hair and light to mid skin tones or, more specifically, skin tone types I to V according to the Fitzpatrick skin chart. That’s because the bigger the difference between the colour of the hair and the colour of the skin, the better (read our article, ‘are IPL machines effective?’, to fully understand how and why they work).
In terms of where it can be used on the body, the Ulike Diamond Air+ IPL is designed for use on the legs, arms, shoulders, back, stomach, underarms, and bikini line, and can be used to treat facial hair on the upper lip, cheek, jaw, chin, and neck, but not around the eyes.
To use the device, Ulike recommends that you shave your desired area of treatment 12 hours beforehand. Then, once you’ve carried out a skin sensitivity test and waited two hours to check there isn’t a reaction - as well as removed all body care products including lotions and deodorants - you can don your safety glasses and get cracking.
There are five intensity levels for you to choose from. According to the Ulike website, Level 1 is for use on the face, Level 2 is for the bikini line, Level 3 is for the armpits, Level 4 is for the arms, and Level 5 is for the legs. However, in the Quick Start Guide that comes with the device, it says you should start on the lowest level when using it for the first time and then gradually increase the level if you don’t feel any reaction or discomfort. It also adds that the higher the level, the better the hair removal effect will be, so ultimately, I guess a bit of user discretion is advised so long as you feel comfortable.
When using the device in Continuous Mode on Level 1, the light pulses go off every 0.8 seconds to make quick work of treating larger areas like your legs. However, those flashes do start to slow down a little more each time you go up another level, so you’re ultimately choosing efficacy over speed when you’re in Level 5. That said, Ulike claims you can treat your entire body in 10 minutes, which is a big claim when compared to the treatment time of other at-home IPL machines I’ve used.
For the best results, Ulike recommends you use the Air+ IPL device three times a week for four weeks, then twice a week for two months, followed by a top up session every one to three months. They also note that most customers see evident hair reduction after just three to four weeks, which is why they’re confident enough to offer a 90-day money-back guarantee if you don’t see the results you’re after.
ULIKE AIR+ IPL REVIEW: DOES IT WORK?
Yes, it really does, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It scores 10 out of 10 for design, efficacy, and presentation, and I can’t see you being left disappointed if you invest in this IPL machine.
Very quickly, I will say the device scores nil points in one area, and that’s the English-translation instructions, which are very poor and left me feeling utterly bamboozled as to how to use the device. If I’m honest, I didn’t feel confident enough to use the device until I’d spent hours reading other reviews, going through the Ulike website, and watching multiple YouTube and TikTok videos, which is a shame as I think you really need to know what you’re doing when using an IPL machine, especially if you’re a first-time user. I’d suggest you give the instructions a quick glance to check for contraindications and safety measures and then spend more time reading reviews (like this one!) or watching video demonstrations to get going.
All that said, the poorly printed instructions aren’t enough for me to knock a point of the device’s overall score, because it is that good. Compared to other IPL machines I’ve used, it is very lightweight, weighing in at an ultra-light 284 grams, and it is also very compact and comfortable to hold from all angles.
I thought I would hate the corded design after testing the cordless Sensica Sensilight PRO IPL machine a while back, but I was totally wrong. Yes, you must use the Ulike Air+ near a plug socket, but the cord is long enough (just over 2.5 metres) to use the device comfortably, and I liked the fact it didn’t need charging and was always ready to go when I wanted to use it.
That’s important because you can use this device far more frequently than most other IPL devices. For example, with the Sensica Sensilight PRO (which is still a fantastic device, by the way), I had to space my treatments two weeks apart. Not so with the Ulike Air+, which you can use three times a week for the first four weeks.
When I first read about Ulike’s suggested treatment frequency, I initially though it would be a right faff to have to treat areas of my body three times a week for a month. But again, I was wrong. The device works quickly with its fast succession of IPL flashes to make treatment times much shorter and easier to fit in with your life (Ulike aren’t underestimating things when they say you can treat your whole body in 10 minutes).
At this point, I should say I scoured the internet to find out why we can use the Ulike Air+ IPL more frequently than regular IPL machines that usually suggest a one to two week break between IPL treatments, but I could not find the answer. I can only assume that the Sapphire Freezing technology helps to reduce irritation and skin damage, and therefore reduces the length of downtime in between treatments. Either way, using this device three times a week as instructed for the first month meant I started to see amazing hair reduction results in weeks (as promised) rather than months, and the whole process was completely painless, with no skin irritation.
A special mention should also go to the completely flat light window on the head of the device, the surrounding of which gently slopes away to leave just the window standing proud. I personally found this design gave me much more control and awareness of where I was placing the window on my skin, especially on trickier areas such as the upper lip and jaw.
ULIKE AIR+ IPL REVIEW: Verdict
The Ulike Air+ IPL Cooling Hair Removal Device is a fantastic machine for anyone who wants to see excellent hair reduction results in rapid time. Sapphire Freezing technology means you get to enjoy completely painless and almost heatless treatments, and it also helps to reduce skin damage thanks to its ability to block UV light.
The cooling technology also means that downtime between treatments is reduced, so you can use it more frequently than many other IPL machines to get good results in as little as four weeks, compared to the usual eight to 12 weeks of other machines. Highly recommended.