An Honest Review of SmoothSkin’s At-Home Laser Hair Removal Kit

“Home Girl” photographed by Alexia Silvagni and styled by Patrick Mackie for W magazine October 2005...
“Home Girl” photographed by Alexia Silvagni; styled by Patrick Mackie; W magazine October 2005.

Hair removal of any kind can be painful, expensive, and time-consuming. What if you could use a hair removal device in the privacy of your own home that doesn’t cause pain and doesn’t require multiple rounds of charges in the thousands of dollars? It seems almost too good to be true. So when we heard about SmoothSkin’s Pure Fit IPL Hair Removal System, a laser hair removal kit you can use on your own time at home, we knew we had to give it a try. Four W editors tested out the product, and logged their honest opinions.

Tori López, Lead Fashion Assistant

What was your first experience with hair removal?

My first experience with hair removal was at a ripe old age of 13, when I noticed how much hair I had on my arms. To my mother’s dismay (and against her advice), I started shaving my arms and then, a couple years later, my legs and armpits. When I turned 16, one of my darling brothers decided to comment on the hair above my lip by saying, “Oh wow, I didn’t know you had a mustache, too!” He spoke out of pure innocence, of course, but alas—I was introduced to waxing and added this, along with plucking my eyebrows, to my beauty routine.

What is your body hair type?

As you can probably tell, I’ve had loads of hair all over my body my entire life: my arm and lip hair are quite thin, while my armpit and bikini area are coarser, and my leg hair is somewhere in between. I don’t really love hair on my body—minus my head, eyebrows, and eyelashes, of course. It’s been a longtime dream of mine to have smooth skin everywhere and I’ve been waiting for the day when I could add laser hair removal to my repertoire.

Have you done laser hair removal before?

I’ve never done laser hair removal before, but it’s been on my list to try for years! The plan has been to get treatment when I have more discretionary income as going to a good salon can be quite expensive. I’ve recently been on a new threading wave for my face, and then waxing everywhere else.

Describe your experience using the SmoothSkin At-Home Laser Kit.

I have to admit, although I was excited, I was also a tad nervous to start using the SmoothSkin At-Home Laser Kit; I thought it might be painful, so it took a few weeks to build up some courage. At the beginning, I experienced what almost felt like a slight prick. But after a few weeks, it wasn’t as noticeable and I got used to the pain.

What’s wonderful about this device is that you can adjust the intensity as you see fit. On my bikini area, I used the “gentle” mode because that’s where I was the most sensitive and on my armpits I used the “power” mode because I could tolerate a more potent laser. Over the six-week period, to my surprise, I found the device to be highly effective in stopping hair growth. I first noticed it at the three week mark, when I put deodorant on and realized I barely had any hair. In addition to my bikini area and armpits, I also used it on my legs and arms, which are now beautifully smooth. I still can’t believe it…

Would you use this product again?

Absolutely! I’ve been wanting to get laser hair removal ever since I was a teen, but could never afford it. This device is genius because it allows people to experience laser hair removal at a much more accessible price point—and all in the comfort of your own home, too, might I add. Overall, this device was extremely user-friendly and has me excited for the long summer beach days ahead.

Maryam Lieberman, Contributing Beauty Editor

What is your personal history with hair removal?

I’m not overly hairy, but I’ve never liked body hair to begin with. In my teens, I would wax regularly. It was painful, expensive, time-consuming, and also really intrusive. (Who wants to be sprawled out in front of stranger, forced to make small talk while they inflict pain upon you?) That said, there were few alternatives. At that time, shaving had a bad rap, but in my opinion, shaving is better than waxing when it comes to long-term effects: waxing causes ingrown hairs, bumps, cysts and, I find, makes the hair more coarse over time.

What is your preferred method of hair removal?

I don’t even need to think twice when answering this. Laser hair removal is 100 percent my preferred method of hair removal. Twenty years ago, when laser hair removal was just becoming more accessible, I did a treatment with a doctor who went on to become one of the most famous Botox docs in the country. It was very expensive—about $1400 for five sessions—but it was successful. It changed my lifestyle in that I never had to worry about hair removal again. Yes, you have to get touch-up sessions every now and then because of pregnancies, birth control, and hormonal shifts, all of which change your hair growth yield every now and then. But I think laser hair removal is one of the best inventions ever to come out of the beauty industry.

Describe your experience using the SmoothSkin At-Home Laser Kit.

I have no problem being open here and letting the readers know that I used the SmoothSkin device on all the areas needed touch-ups. I got rid of the small landing strip on my bikini line, going completely bare. (Again, I don’t care who reads this—I’m married and have three kids. I have to look good). I used the device every Friday afternoon for five weeks. It took about five minutes max to put on protective eyewear and zap away. After five sessions, the hair was completely gone and I have had no regrowth.

The worthiness of this product is a no-brainer. For those who think like me: spend $379 on this device once and get it done, or spend money regularly on waxing or shaving. It’s one less thing you have to deal with in your life.

Would you use this product again?

Yes, 100 percent—for many reasons, but No. 1 is for privacy. To this day, I’m still embarrassed every time I run into that first laser/Botox doctor who saw more of me than my gyno. Yeah, I really wish for my sake (and theirs) that this device was available back then. It takes very little time, and it is life-changing.

Oona Wally, Senior Visuals Editor

Describe your personal history with hair removal.

My personal history with hair removal has been long-standing and uninformed: from my mistaken experiment in 6th grade dry-shaving my golden leg hair (ahhh!), to getting into Nair for a summer (smelly), to waxing, and laser—and then back to shaving (properly!).

My body hair type, quantity, and shade differs based on its location. It’s strange—arm hair? Blonde and thin. Underarms? Black and coarse. Legs: patchy, patchy, patchy, and growing in all directions.

What is your preferred method of hair removal?

My preferred method has always been laser hair removal, however the price at a salon has limited me to just a few sessions a number of years ago with no touch-ups. (For my first session, I was young and dumb and bought a Groupon for a salon I had never been to. I crossed my fingers and hoped I wouldn’t experience irreparable damage and…luckily I didn’t.) I loved having no underarm hair for about a year, until the results eventually faded for lack of laser maintenance.

What was using the SmoothSkin At-Home Laser Kit like?

I started using this device once every week for four weeks, religiously. After the first month, I saw great results and didn’t experience any discomfort except for the rogue rubber band-like snap on my skin if I missed a hair shaving beforehand. I found after the third week, I could really see my hair growth slowing down in all my target areas. Since the first few weeks of use, I haven’t been as disciplined in regularity of use, but I touch up every time I notice my hair has grown a bit. Overall, growth and thickness has slowed and reduced, but I still have hair growth.

Would you use this product again?

I use this product a ton, and will continue to!! It's such an easy tool to utilize after a shower or on the fly (when I remember). And it only takes me about 10 minutes.

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

When did you first start removing your body hair?

I remember the moment I realized a young woman’s body hair was offensive to some. I was 12 years old at day camp in Oakland, California, when a young boy whose name I forget but whose face I can see clear as day made fun of my armpit hair. I immediately went home and shaved it using my mother’s razor.

Have you done laser hair removal before?

I have, but I didn’t like the salon I went to, and stopped going after my third session. It was definitely my mistake, but my experience was so poor that I never wanted to return again.

Describe your experience using the SmoothSkin At-Home Laser Kit.

I have very thick, coarse, dark body hair all over, so I was initially skeptical toward the efficacy of this device. But after four weeks of use once a week, I was pleasantly surprised. My hair thinned out and basically began to fall out of my follicles as I continued use of the SmoothSkin At-Home Laser Kit. I know some editors experienced momentary “pricks” of pain but I didn’t—it felt like nothing, gliding over my skin smoothly. It’s also really nice to be able to do this treatment myself at home, with a one-time payment of $379 just for purchasing the product.

Would you use this product again?

Absolutely. It’s a total game-changer.