Laboratory test
The lab measures out the position of the six treatment areas on each leg. Photo: Tobias Meyer

Facts – how the test was conducted

Go back to 'Light pulses make hairs drop out'

Testfakta Research was commissioned by Procter & Gamble to perform a test of intense pulsed light (IPL) devices in the premium segment. The purpose was to compare the quality of the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 with comparable IPL products from other leading manufacturers.

The test involved a total of six devices that are available on the Nordic market:
1.     Braun Silk Expert Pro 5
2.     Philips Lumea Prestige BRI953
3.     Silk’n H3220
4.     BaByliss G960E
5.     Beurer IPL 10000+
6.     Remington iLight IPL6750

The test was conducted by a panel comprising 21 ordinary women and 10 professional experts.

 

Test method

The test was carried out in two parts. In one part, the 21 test subjects underwent five treatments over seven weeks using the various devices. The test subjects assessed comfort and feel during and immediately after each treatment. One week after the treatment, the laboratory’s experts measured and assessed the effects of hair regrowth.
In the second part of the test, the experts assessed the treatment experience, the design and what the products were like to use. The product name was masked on all the devices tested.

Hair reduction
The reduction in hair growth was measured each week and after a total of five treatments. The test was performed on the test subjects’ legs, with each leg divided into three areas. One area was left untreated for the purposes of comparison. The hair growth was assessed by the laboratory’s experts, both visually and using high-resolution images of the different test areas. When assessing the hair reduction effects, the greatest weight was placed on the results after five treatments.

User experience
All 21 of the panel members were asked to rate the six products after each treatment and state how their skin felt, how pleasant the treatment was, how easy it was to perform and what they thought about the product design.

Specialist assessment
The separate expert panel, comprising 10 people with professional experience in the use of IPL devices, tested each product under the supervision of personnel in the laboratory. This stage involved assessing design, usability and how the skin felt both during and after the treatment. The test was performed on the inside and outside of the calves, and on the forearms and armpits.

 

Selection criteria for panel members
· Healthy women aged between 18 and 65.
· No known allergies or hypersensitivity.
· Light brown to black hair colour and a skin tone of II–IV on the Fitzpatrick scale.

Exclusion criteria
· Very blonde hair growth.
· White, grey or red hair.
· Dark or suntanned skin.
· Pregnancy.

 

Test results

Hair reduction
The results ranged between 38 and 50 percent. The BaByliss product was the most effective, and the worst were the Silk’n and the Beurer. The Braun, Remington and Philips were closely matched at 45–50 percent.

The views of the panels
· Effects on the skin: All the products were considered satisfactory and more or less equal, except for the Remington, which was painful to use.
· Intensity and light pulse controls were considered very good, except on the Remington, where adjusting the light pulses was felt to be difficult.
· The Braun and the Philips ranked highest for their usability, while the BaByliss and the Remington ranked lowest.
· The Braun received the best rating for design and what it felt like to use. Factors taken into account included weight, noise and cord length. The Beurer was given the lowest rating for being large and noisy.

The Philips was the only product that allowed cordless use, which also made it a touch heavier than the others. Not having a cord was, however, seen as a plus.

Grading

The results from the test have been assessed and graded in consultation with the laboratory. The grading has been done on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is very good. The grades from the different elements of the test have been combined to give an overall grade, using the following weighting:

· Hair reduction: 40 percent

· Comfort and feel: 30 percent

· Treatment: 20 percent

· Ease of handling: 10 percent

Grading

The results from the test have been assessed and graded in consultation with the laboratory. The grading has been done on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is very poor and 10 is very good. The grades from the different elements of the test have been combined to give an overall grade, using the following weighting:

· Hair reduction: 40 percent

· Comfort and feel: 30 percent

· Treatment: 20 percent

· Ease of handling: 10 percent