Philips Lumea SC1981
Bath & Body Beauty Video

Philips Lumea SC1981 Compact IPL Review

October 16, 2014

After trying out the Philips Wet & Dry Epilator, I was excited to then try out their new compact home IPL hair removal system which promises pain-free hair removal. The Philips Lumea SC1981 is a compact beauty gadget that uses IPL technology in the comfort of your own home. So what is IPL? It stands for intense pulsed light and it is what is normally used in salons when you go for laser hair removal. The light stimulates the hair follicle to go into a resting phase and as a consequence the hair sheds naturally until hair regrowth is prohibited.

Philips Lumea SC1981

Philips previously had the Lumea Precision Plus home IPL which was a bigger gadget and much more expensive at £450, this one however is now priced at £200 to make it slightly more accessible for those of us who want to be able to try it. Comparing it however to the price of waxing in a salon or even adding up the costs of shaving at home, it definitely becomes a cost-effective option for hair removal.

Philips Lumea SC1981 Hair Removal Review

The device itself easily fits in your hand and you have to use it plugged in, which is really easy to do as it has an extra long cord. The Lumea SC1981 has 100,000 flashes which relates to the pulses of light, giving you they say over four years of treatment.

Will it work for you?

So the Lumea is suitable for skin types 1-4, so it will work effectively on naturally dark blonde, brown and black hairs but will not work on red, light-blonde or white/grey hair. The compact comes with a guide to let you know if you are suitable and also what strength to use it on, which are numbered 1-5.

Philips Lumea Sc1981 Review

Philips Lumea SC1918 Guide

How long does it take and where can I use it?

Philips suggest doing up to 6 treatments every two weeks and then maintaining once a month afterwards until as necessary to stop the hair growing back. The process itself doesn’t take long at all. For legs I’d say about 15 mins and underarms about 2 minutes! It works on legs, underarm, bikini and face.

Does it hurt?

Unlike the epilator this doesn’t hurt at all. All it is are light pulses, so you won’t feel a thing. There are different strengths depending on your skin colour so just make sure you choose the correct one to avoid it getting too hot on your skin. For me I started on a 3-4 and then went up to a 5 as that felt fine for me, but it all depends on you. But it is completely pain-free!

Philips Lumea SC1981 IPL Hair Removal

How do you use the Philips Lumea?

Shave the areas you want to work on ready for removal. Place the machine over the part you want to IPL and press the top part down, it will omit a flash and then you can move onto the next. You can also hold that down and glide it along to send pulses out. You can see it in action in the video below.

Does it work?

For me, so far so good. I have been using this for 6 treatments now which has been over a period of 12 weeks, I have seen a big difference in my hair growth. It is less coarse, very soft and hasn’t grown back in as much, so I can definitely see it starting to work. For me I think I will need a few more before it completely goes.

Hear more on my results and see a demo of how to use it in my video. The Philips Lumea SC1981 is priced at £200 and is available from Boots.

Have you tried this type of hair removal before, I’d love to hear your thoughts?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we can receive a commission. 

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  • Reply
    October 16, 2014 at 22:53

    I had laser hair removal done at a salon about 3 years ago and it didn’t work and I am devstated as it was so expensive, definitely still intrigued by this though as I love anything I can do at home xx

    • Reply
      October 16, 2014 at 23:03

      Oh no! I definitely am seeing results so far with this, so if you are thinking of investing I’d say look into it x

  • Reply
    Kim W
    November 26, 2014 at 11:46

    Hi, this sounds great but can you find out if it’s safe to use over moles – i have lots of small ones, but some people have larger ones. Thanks.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2014 at 11:49

      Hi Kim! The booklet suggests not to use directly over moles, I have some myself and I just avoid putting it over them and work around them. Hope that helps x

  • Reply
    December 21, 2014 at 16:56

    Hi Paula,
    I’m from Brazil and this “lumea precision plus” is new here, so no ones know it.
    I’m very afraid to buy and doesn’t work for me. And here is very expensive, almost 2.000 dolares!
    So i was searching and found this model of lumea compact. My question is what the difference betwen this lumea compact and the other one(lumea precision plus).
    And i really want to know if is working for you after those months….

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2014 at 13:57

      Hi Debora! I have never used the Lumea Precision Plus so I wouldn’t be able to compare personally, best thing to do would be to look them up on Amazon or something and and compare the spec details. As far as I know the compact was created to make a slightly more affordable option. For me yes it is definitely working, but again as it is expensive I would check that it will work with your skin type and hair colour before purchasing. x

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 14:28

    I’m really interested for a small amount of upper lip hair (as well as under arms and legs). I assume you don’t shave your lip first? Thanks – feeling nervous entering into the whole facial hair removal!

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 18:51

      Hi Caraline! I haven’t used it on face myself, but I’m assuming that yes you would have to shave it which I know I wouldn’t want to do personally!

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