I’ve been using the Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 for 14 weeks now so I thought it was time to share my review. This is something I’m really excited to share because – wow, what an absolute game-changer!
This is a quick, easy and virtually pain-free way to be hair-free! I seriously wish this had been around while I was backpacking as it would have been amazing for an extended trip where you’re wearing shorts and bikinis every single day.
Let’s start at the very beginning…
What is the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 and what’s an IPL device?
An IPL device is a ‘hair reduction device’. They don’t call it a ‘permanent hair removal device’ because the hair will come back eventually.
The Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 removes the hair for up to 6 months, which basically means you can be hair-free for the summer without even thinking about booking waxing appointments or having to shave.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and it blasts the hair follicles with heat and light to prevent the hair regrowing.
You hold the device against your skin, press the button and it delivers a flash of bright, hot light to the root of the hair. This puts the hair follicle into a ‘resting phase’ so it won’t grow back for up to six months.
Does the Braun Silk Expert IPL hurt?
The main question I’ve been asked!
I barely feel it on my legs or bikini line but I do feel it on my underarms. I wouldn’t say it’s painful, just slightly uncomfortable for a fraction of a second. But if you’re used to waxing, this is nothing!
How do you use it?
The IPL targets the hair follicles so you’ll need to wax or shave before each treatment.
You use it once a week for 12 weeks and then you should be hair-free. After that you may need to occasionally shave and use the device every month or two to keep on top of it.
Add it to your weekly beauty regime and after shaving you slowly run the device across your skin.
You turn it on and press the feather button either once, twice or three times. There are lights to show which setting you are on. One light is the lightest setting and three lights is the strongest setting. I went in at number three and always use that setting but if you have particularly sensitive skin then you may wish to start on a light setting.
There are two ways you can use it:
- Continuously run it across your skin (almost like a razor) while holding down the button so it continuously zaps you
- Press the button each time you want a zap
There are two heads you can use – a large and a small – so it’s just as easy to do small areas as large.
One of the reasons I chose the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 over other competitor models was because it has this continuous function which makes it really quick and easy to use.
If you’re using it in a tricky area (like your knees!) then you’ll want to control when you zap but when you’re doing a large area (like your legs) then continuously holding down the button makes it really easy.
The Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 has a ‘Sensoadapt’ function which means it automatically adjusts how strong the treatment is (between 1-10) depending on your skin type and hair colour. This is all automatic so it’s not something I really think about because you don’t need to do anything but it basically stops you burning your skin by using a setting that’s too high for your skin type.
What areas can you use an IPL device?
You can use the Braun IPL all over – legs, underarms, arms, bikini line and face. Men and women can use it in exactly the same way. You can’t use it close to your eyes so you couldn’t use it near your eyebrows.
Who can use it?
Here’s a biggy – IPL devices aren’t suitable for every skin tone. They work best for people with light skin and dark hair. It’s something to do with the contrast between hair colour and skin colour. If there isn’t much of a contrast then the device won’t be able to pick up the hair follicle. It doesn’t work on black skin tones or if you have white skin and very fair/grey/red hair.
What’s the difference between IPL and laser hair removal?
Simply put – laser hair removal should be permanent but IPL won’t last forever.
Laser hair removal destroys the hair follicle but IPL puts the follicle into a dormant state.
For this reason, laser hair removal is more expensive and needs to be done by a professional.
IPL devices are currently around £300 and can be done at home.
My experience using the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5
Week 1 – My first use with the Braun Silk-expert Pro 5
OK, my first use didn’t go so well. I’d watched a few YouTube videos and read the instructions so I thought I was well prepared but it was different to what I expected! Something I wasn’t expecting was that the device creates a surprisingly bright flash with each zap. I was using it in a dimly lit room so this flash seemed even brighter. Combined with this bright flash there was a slight burning smell so I was worried my device was faulty and I was terrified I was burning my skin!
Because of this I’m not sure I used it properly during my first use and I just quickly whizzed over patches of my skin.
If you’re using it for the first time, the bright flash is normal! I do usually find there is a slight burning smell and the sensation is like being very lightly flicked with an elastic band. It also gets quite hot! That sounds awful and like it might be painful but it doesn’t hurt.
Results – No noticeable results
Week 2 – Getting the hang of the IPL
Right, now I know the bright flash is part of the treatment, I’m much more comfortable using the Braun IPL and I feel like I nailed my second treatment.
I was using it during bright daylight so I didn’t notice the flashes and it didn’t worry me like it did the previous week.
It does start to feel hot so I took a little break after doing my legs.
It doesn’t hurt. I’d read reviews saying it feels like an elastic band pinging against your skin and I’d agree that it’s similar but not as painful as an elastic band.
Results – No noticeable results
Week 3 – Focusing on not missing patches
By my third time using the Braun Silk-expert I felt really comfortable and did my treatment fairly quickly. This time I started to really focus on not missing any patches – something I find a little tricky.
It’s not like when you’re shaving and you can see or feel the areas you’ve removed hair. There is no noticeable difference to your skin after using the IPL device so it isn’t possible to see where you’ve treated. I don’t think there is any harm in going over the same area twice but I’d recommend using it when you don’t have any distractions so you don’t forget where you’ve already done.
Results – No noticeable results
Week 4 – Is growth getting slower?
I’ve never spent so much time analysing the hairs on my legs! Is growth getting slower? I’m not sure. I’m starting to feel a little impatient and have read that you can use it 2-3 times a week so I’m tempted to start using it more than once a week.
Week 5 – Patchy regrowth!
It’s working! It’s definitely working. The area I can see the biggest difference is my bikini line. Hairs are still growing back but they’re very sparse. If things continue like they are then I’m sure there won’t be any hair in another 5 weeks.
Week 6-8 – Losing motivation to do it weekly
I know that to get the best results you need to use the device once a week and I’m surprised at myself for losing motivation but I do keep forgetting and putting it off.
Week 9 – Bikini line is hair-free!
It’s worked! The area I noticed it working first is my bikini line and underarms. It’s obviously most effective with courser, darker hair. My bikini line and underarms are completely hair-free with no regrowth after 2 weeks.
Week 12 – Legs are hair-free!
By week 12 my legs have finally caught up and are hair-free. It’s week 14 now and I haven’t had to shave my legs at all.
I don’t know if it took longer on my legs because I wasn’t as precise during my treatment (I’ll admit, I got bored!) or because it works best on darker hair? Either way, it did work eventually on my legs.
I’ve been using the Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 on my legs, underarms, bikini line and also the peach fuzz on my cheeks.
I can’t really comment if it works on this fine hair yet. The hair here grows slowly so I can’t really tell if it’s working.
Final thoughts on the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5
It works. It 100% works on legs, underarms and bikini line and it’s amazing. I can’t say just yet how long it lasts but I’ll be happy if it lasts 2-3 months.
I think I’ll continue to use it now every 4-6 weeks. And I’m totally happy using it once a month because it’s quick, easy and virtually pain-free.
It’s not like laser hair removal where you can, theoretically, have it done and never think about hair ever again. You do still need to keep on top of it but you won’t need to do it anywhere near as frequently as shaving or waxing.
I’m so pleased I got one and I’d 100% recommend it.
The Braun IPL I have is available on Amazon for £251 (accurate as of 25.05.21). You do need to hunt around on Amazon because the same product comes up with lots of prices! I paid £300 for mine and the prices do go up and down!