Philips Lumea review – after 1 year of use

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For Christmas 2022 I received a Philips Lumea 9000 series (BRI955/01) at home IPL hair removal device. I wanted to review it for you but I really wanted to test it thoroughly first. I’ve now used it for over a year so I feel I can give you a super honest review of it. Here’s my Philips Lumea review…

Why I chose to use Philips Lumea at home IPL

Before you read on, I just want to say that body hair on women is natural, normal and beautiful – no one should feel pressure to remove their body hair. Body hair on women is no different than body hair on men and to shame us into its removal it’s a patriarchal construct.

That said, I know for many women who have grown up in a culture where having body or facial hair as a woman has been shamed and ridiculed in society, it can be hard to feel confident or beautiful with your natural hair – no matter how hard you try to de-programme yourself.

Whilst I wish society accepted and celebrated women’s natural body/facial hair and know that it won’t change until we take a stand sadly I have succumbed to the pressure of removing my body hair at this point for a few reasons:

We had an extended family holiday in Orlando Florida last summer and I knew I’d be in swim wear at water parks etc a lot and would feel self concious if I went ‘au naturel’. Even a wax wouldn’t have lasted for the length of the trip and I didn’t want to be wasting time on a once in a lifetime holiday shaving or dealing with itchy re-growth.

In addition, I have PCOS and as I’ve approached 40 my facial hair was increasing drastically and I felt self concious of it and kept tweezing hairs and leaving marks on my face. It felt like trying to stay on top of it was becoming a full time job.

So suffice to say I thought I would give the Philips Lumea 9000 BRI955 (affiliate link) a try, which I’ve now used for a year with some great results.

Philips Lumea review

My Philips Lumea 9000 series BR955 after a year of use.

What is the Lumea IPL 9000 series

The Philips Lumea (affiliate link) is an at home IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) device. The IPL technology works by heating a pigment (melanin) in the hair and hair root underneath the skin. This stimulates the hair follicle to go into a resting phase. This causes hair to shed naturally and inhibits further hair growth. In short, its a long term hair removal device.

Philips Lumea different models – 9000 series

There are three different models of the (latest) 9000 series of the Philips Lumea – BRI957, BRI958, and BRI955.

Philips Lumea BRI957 and BRI958 are the first two versions of the Lumea 9000 series. BRI957 is pink and BRI958 is gold. Both of the devices are the latest and fastest models providing up to 92% of hair reduction within 8 weeks. These gun-shaped devices come with 4 attachments for the face, body, bikini, and underarms.

BRI955 is the third model of the Philips Lumea 9000 series (affiliate link). It has the same efficiency, speed, and life as the other two models. However, it has 3 attachment heads for face, body, and precision. Basically instead of getting a seperate attachment for underarms and bikini, the BRI55 has one attachment for both underarms and bikini.

I have the Philips Lumea 9000 series model BRI955 (affiliate link). This comes with 3 attachments (face, underarm/bikini and legs). You can use the Philips Lumea BRI955 plugged in or cordless.

Given that I’ve used the BRI955 to good effect I can’t imagine that the separate attachment for underarms and bikini is a game changer for the BRI957 and BRI958.

How to use the Philips Lumea IPL 9000 series

For the Philips Lumea 9000 BRI955 (affiliate link) you remove your body hair first and then treat (aka zap) once every two weeks for the first 6 weeks, then monthly to maintain the results until you reach a set amount of treatments (for me it was about 12 months) and then the app tells you that you don’t need to treat the area anymore.

When treating you have to hold the device to your skin and press the button down and it will flash with a bright light. You have to get every piece of skin with hair that you want to remove and not leave any gaps – if you miss any hairs then those hair follicles won’t be treated.

To know before you buy the Philips Lumea BRI955

There are some things I learned from reading my Philips Lumea manual that you should know before you buy:

  • You have to remove body hair (by traditional means like shaving or waxing) before you treat with the Philips Lumea. This can be quite tedious and time consuming.
  • You have to do it every 2 weeks for 6 weeks and then every month for the first year.
  • You can’t use it on skin that has freckles, cuts, eczema or tattoos
  • You can’t use the Philips Lumea on skins that has used AHAs, BHAs in the last week pr Accutane or Roaccutane in the last 6 months
  • You can’t use the Philips Lumea on lips, nipples, areaolas, labia minora, vagina, anus or inside your nostrils or ears
  • The Philips Lumea can cause increased hair growth in some people!
  • If you have tanned you should wait 2 weeks before using the Philips Lumea and after using you should use SPF50 for 2 daus and SPF30 for 2 weeks after.
  • Its only as effective as you are – if you miss any patches then hair will grow there. As you have to remove the hair first, it can be quite tricky to keep track of where you have zapped and its easy to miss patches. You need to be really thorough and this can be time consuming.
  • It doesn’t work on blonde, ginger or white/grey hair
  • You can use it on dark skin tones

You can download the manuals on the Philips website and I’d recommend having a read through prior to investing in one.

Philips Lumea BRI955 Amazon

You can get some good prices for the Philips Lumea on Amazon below. They do have some older models on there so make sure you get the most recent releases (9000 series).

Is Philips Lumea permanent?

Philips says ‘100% permanent hair removal is highly unlikely, regardless of whether you use IPL at your home or at a salon. You will always need to do regular maintenance to keep your skin fully hair-free.’

However, after around 8 touch up treatments (plus the 6 weeks of 2 weeks treatments), the app told me I had successfully treated the area and didn’t need to keep treating.

I suspect eventually the hair will grow back at around the 12 month mark and I’ll have to go through the treatment schedule again to be hair free for a period of time again.

The Philips Lumea (affiliate link) is equipped with a high-performance lamp, which does not require replacement. Based on average usage for one user, you can continuously maintain results for years.

Philips Lumea before and after

One of the things I love now about my hair removal is that I’m entirely smooth and shadow free. When I shaved you could always see where the root of the hair was as my hair is so dark and my skin is so pale. Plus about an hour after I removed the hair is began getting stubbly again. It felt like such a fruitless task.

After using the Philips Lumea (affiliate link) there is now nothing there at all and its all just skin. I never have to think about my body hair anymore (as it should be if we didn’t live in a patriarchal society).

You could invite me on a sunny holiday tomorrow and I’d not have to consider hair removal or pack a razor. My kids ask me to take them to the public swimming pool and I don’t have to think ‘oh I need to have a shower to shave but I don’t want to shower to then go swimming’ etc, I just pack a bag and go.

Here’s a photo I took for International Women’s Day several years ago to discuss the ridiculousness of women being shamed for underarm hair. I was talking about how one underarm didn’t make me dirty, smelly or more manly etc. You can see my natural underarm hair here on the left.

Here is a photograph of my underarm today. I haven’t shaved for many months now.

Philips Lumea results pictures

Here are some photos of me showing the Philips Lumea results.

Secret Lagoon, Iceland
On a recent holiday to Iceland, I didn’t even think about hair removal.
My legs were hair free for my two week holiday to Florida last year.
My underarm close up today after not shaving for many months.

Does the Philips Lumea work?

Philips Lumea (affiliate link) has worked for me, mostly. One year in I have the odd hair re-grows here and there but mostly I’m currently mostly hairless where I want to be. I now just pluck and zap if I see a hair grow back through. I’m really happy with the results. I suspect over time they will begin to regrow and I’ll have to re-treat myself with the Lumea again but I’m ok with that.

My hair is dark and my skin is pale so I’m a good candidate for IPL to work. I was reasonably hairy before doing it so I was hesitant that it would be effective but I was pleasantly surprised.

Is Philips Lumea worth it?

Whether the Philips Lumea (affiliate link) is worth it is a subjective question however personally for me I feel like it has been worth it. Its definitely an investment, in terms of both time and money. Given how effective it has been for me though and comparatively to salon prices I feel it has been decent value for money.

Does the Philips Lumea hurt?

Sometimes the Philips Lumea (affiliate link) hurts and sometimes it doesn’t. At its worst it feels like a small twang with an elastic band. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt at all. I’ve found it doesn’t take using it very long for the device to heat up, when it heats up it hurts more. Therefore I found it best to treat one area and then let the device cool back down before treating another.

I used the sensor to figure out which setting to use and mostly it put me on setting 4 or 5. If you are finding it too uncomfortable then you can reduce the setting down and then build it back up. The attachments have different filters for different body parts so I didn’t find any areas more painful than others (sometimes bikini was a bit more sensitive).

Philips IPL 9000 pros and cons

Pros Cons
It works – always ‘bikini ready’ nowSometimes the flashing light would give me a headache
Cheaper than a salon Device gets hot quickly
Have the device if I need to re-treatCan be uncomfortable
Less painful than waxingTakes a long time to treat
Can do at home at your convenienceIs boring to do
Integrated safety system prevents any dangerous flashingAnnoying to have to clean the attachment windows after each use
Skin tone sensor works wellHave to remove any hair first before treating
Can use cordless (though this means you have to wait longer between flashes)Have to avoid the sun after treating
App is really helpful guiding you when and where to treatEasy to miss patches

I hope this helps you if you are trying to decide whether to invest in a Philips Lumea IPL device. Have any questions? Pop them in the comments and i’ll answer the best I can.

You can buy the Philips Lumea here (affiliate link).

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4 thoughts on “Philips Lumea review – after 1 year of use”

  1. This is so helpful. My chin hair is horrendous now, and I try and get it threaded but doesn’t last long before it’s sprouting again, and tweeting in between is a faff. (Sometkmez it’s now fairer though so not sure if this would work) I was debating one of these, would be handy for swimming spontaneously.

    • It hasn’t got rid of my peach fuzz type hair, I think that is too fair but the rest it has worked well on. There is more info on their site about skin types and hair colouring though.


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