Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal Handheld Device Review

The Silk’n SensEpil All-Over Hair Removal Handheld Device is a home hair removal product produced by the Home Skinovations company.  It is designed to provide the user with the same permanent hair removal that they would be able to receive from a professional hair removal clinic.  It allows users to enjoy the same excellent hair removal from the privacy of their own home.

This article is intended to provide consumers with an unbiased product review of the Silk’n SensEpil hair removal system from the Home Skinovations company.

SensEpil DeviceSensEpil Treatment Wand

top of pageSilkn SensEpil Product Overview


The Silk’n SensEpil (pronounced “Silk n Sense Appeal”) hair removal system is designed to provide users with permanent hair removal results that rival the results achieved in professional hair removal salons or spas. This device uses FDA-cleared, clinically tested technology that has been used by dermatologists in clinics all over the world for the last two decades. Using light-based hair removal treatments, thousands of people worldwide have been able to permanently remove their unwanted or unsightly body hair. The Silk’n SensEpil All Over Hair Removal System was the winner of the About.com 2011 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Laser or IPL Home Device.

The Silk’n SensEpil hair removal system is designed to be safe for both women and men, and on many different skin and hair colors. However, because of the technology utilized in the SensEpil, it may not be suitable for all users. More information about this later. The large treatment zone on the device is one of the largest on the market of just about any home hair removal product. This makes the device excellent for treating larger areas, such as the chest, back, arms, and legs. In fact, an entire leg can be treated in just about ten minutes. The device is also safe to use on other smaller, more sensitive parts of the body.

top of pageHow the Silk’n SensEpil is Used


The Silk’n SensEpil is plugged into a wall socket, so it does not need to be recharged prior to its use. This allows for a greater level of convenience compared to some other home permanent hair removal systems.

Prior to using the SensEpil, users should thoroughly save, wash, and dry the area intended to be treated. The area should be free of lotions, creams, and any other skin product.

Plug one end of the power cord into the Silkn SensEpil device, and the other end of the power cord into a wall socket. Turn the device on and wait for the Ready Indicator light to turn green. Ensure that the Energy Level is on the lowest power setting. (This can be found on the device’s Control Panel, and should automatically be set to the lowest power level). During the user’s first hair removal treatment, the device automatically provides the user with a prescribed number of pulses on the lowest power setting to ensure the safety of the user. For future uses, the energy level can be adjusted by pressing the + or – on the SensEpil’s control panel. Note: Higher energy levels provide the most effective hair removal results, but they may result in more discomfort to the user. Users should gradually increase the power level the use with the device to ensure that their skin tolerates the treatment.

Apply the treatment wand to the desired treatment area, and press the button to deliver a pulse of light. Make sure all edges of the treatment window are in contact with the skin prior to pressing the treatment button. As a safety feature, the Silk’n SensEpil will not deliver a pulse of light unless all edges of the treatment window are in contact with the skin. If the SensEpil is not delivering pulses of light, ensure that the device is being used properly. Users should expect to feel very slight discomfort, but this will only last for the duration of the flash. The device will need to charge to prepare for the next pulse of light, which normally takes about 3.5 seconds.

Move the wand to a slightly different part of the skin, and once again press the treatment button the device’s wand. Note: The most effective hair removal treatment can be performed when treatment is delivered in successive rows on the skin. Therefore, users should move from one end of the treatment zone to another, from top to bottom, or left to right. Users should attempt to avoid overlapping treatment areas, as this can result in skin irritation.

After a treatment is complete, press the Power button on the SensEpil’s control panel, unplug its power cord, and store it in its original box. Users should make sure to avoid sun exposure for four weeks before and two weeks after a treatment. This can be accomplished with protective clothing, or sunscreen.

A complete instructional video has been provided below for consumers who are interested in the SensEpil.

 

top of pageDuration of Treatment


Results can be achieved with the Silk’n SensEpil after the first use. However, because of the way the device works, full results can take an extended period of time. Most users will begin to notice significant results after about three uses.

The first four treatment sessions should be performed two weeks apart from one another. After these treatments, reviews says that the SensEpil can be used only when hair begins to grow back. Because of the way the device disables hair growth, a full treatment may take as long as 18 to 24 months. However, after several months, treatments are fewer and farther between.

top of pageWho Can Use the Silk’n SensEpil


Although the Silk n SensEpil is designed to be used safely by a wide range of people, it is not intended to be used by everyone. Those with naturally dark skin tones should not use the Silk’n SensEpil. African Americans with naturally dark skin tone may not be able to use the Silk’n SensEpil because of the safety feature on the device that disables pulses from being administered if the device deems the skin to be too dark. Additionally, the SensEpil may not provide effective hair removal for individuals with very light blonde, gray, white, or red hairs. However, women and men with dark blonde, brown, or black hairs and a fair to medium skin complexion can receive safe and effective treatment.

Skin Color Chart

Individuals who have recently been exposed to sunlight, or have a fresh sun tan, should not use the Silk’n SensEpil, and should wait for four weeks before using the device. Otherwise, they may experience negative side effects from treatment.

top of pageWhat Parts of the Body Can be Treated with the Silk’n SensEpil


The Silk’n SensEpil All Over Hair Removal Device is safe to use just about anywhere on the body. Users can get permanent hair removal from the comfort of their home on their arms, legs, back, chest, neck, and underarms. More sensitive areas, including the bikini area and underarms can also be treated with the device. For hair removal on the bikini area, including Brazilian treatments, lower energy levels should be used.

top of pageSafety Features of the SensEpil


The Silk’n SensEpil is equipped with several safety features designed to give its users the safest home hair removal product available. The device has a built-in skin tone sensor that measures the color of the skin before the first pulse is administered in each treatment session. This ensures that the user’s skin is safe for treatment.

A second safety feature of the device is ideal for first-time users of the Silk’n SensEpil. To ensure the safety and comfort of users, the SensEpil locks users into the lower treatment intensity for a certain number of light pulses to ensure that her (or his) skin will tolerate the procedure.

Another safety feature of the SensEpil will keep the device from administering a pulse of light unless the treatment window is firmly pressed against the user’s skin. This helps protect the user’s eyes from the intense light that is emitted from the device.

top of pageSide Effects of the Silk’n SensEpil


Side effects of the Silkn SensEpil are rare, and are typically temporary. The most common side effect of the device is redness of the skin. A less common side effect is a lasting heat sensation on the skin. Blistering may also be an adverse side effect of the Silk’n SensEpil. If any of these side effects occur, users should stop using the SensEpil, and consult their physician or dermatologist.

top of pageReplacement Parts of the Silk’n SensEpil


The Silk’n SensEpil requires very few replacement parts, but the disposable lamp cartridges used to deliver pulses of light need to be replaced periodically. Each SensEpil lamp cartridge is designed to emit about 750 pulses of light. This is typically enough pulses to fully treat two arms, two legs, the bikini area, and the underarms. It is also enough pulses to treat a smaller region several times. To help the user avoid running out of light pulses in the middle of a treatment, the Silkn SensEpil has many indicator lights that inform the user when it is almost time to replace the bulbs.

SensEpil Replament Bulbs

When 90% of the pulses of the disposable lamp cartridges have been used, the Replace Cartridge indicator light on the control panel will blink. When all of the pulses have been used, the light will steadily glow. It is ideal to order new lamp cartridges for the Silk’n SensEpil as soon as one is replaced. This helps ensure that the device is ready to use during the next treatment.

Replacing the SensEpil’s disposable is very easy. First, power off the device by pressing the Power button the device’s control panel. Unplug the SensEpil from the wall outlet. Grasp the disposable lamp cartridge on both sides and remove it from the applicator socket. Discard the expired lamp cartridge with normal household trash. Push the new lamp cartridge into place. Plug the device back into the wall, power on the device, and use the device as advised in its Owner’s Manual.

top of pageTechnology of the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal Device


The technology that is utilized in the SensEpil hair removal system is very similar to technology that has been used in professional hair removal clinics for nearly two decades. This technology, called Home Pulsed Light (HPL), has been approved by the FDA, and has been clinically proven to provide users with permanent hair removal results.

Very similar to a technology called Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, HPL technology uses the power of light to permanently disable the growth of hair. When a pulse is emitted from the Silk’n SensEpil treatment wand, it rapidly heats the root of the hair, disabling its growth. This is possible due to the way that the pulses of light target the hair. To understand this fully, a basic understanding of the anatomy of hair is necessary.

Inside the hair is a skin coloring pigment called melanin. Melanin is responsible for the darker coloration of hair or skin that is visible. Similar to how a black sweater draws in heat during a bright sunny day, the melanin attracts the light emitted from the SensEpil device, rapidly heating the hair. This rapid heating of the hair disables its growth. However, there are only certain hairs that this treatment will be effective on.

Before HPL TreatmentDuring HPL TreatmentAfter HPL Treatment
Before, During, and After treatment with the SensEpil HPL hair removal system. Note the hair growth has been disabled after treatment with the SensEpil wand.

There are three phases of hair growth that body hair goes through: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase. The catagen and telogen phases of hair growth result in no lengthening of the hair. The anagen phase of hair growth is the only phase in which hair growth actually occurs. This is the phase of hair growth where the Silk’n SensEpil is effective. Because not all hairs are in the same phase of hair growth at the same time, only some of the hairs on a treatment area may be targeted. This is why treatment sessions are performed repeatedly. Some hairs may remain in the non-growth phases for several weeks, or even several months.


Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen phases of hair growth, respectively. The Anagen is the only phase that results in growth of the hair.

top of pageSilk’n SensEpil Before and After Photos


Since its release, the SensEpil hair removal system has been providing users with remarkable before and after results. After about six to eight weeks, most users notice a significant reduction in the thickness, and quantity of their body hair. Below are just a few photos of some of the results experienced by actual SensEpil users.

Before treatment with the SensEpil.

After 3
After treatment with the SensEpil.Before treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil

After 6
After the fourth treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil.

Before 8
Before treating with the SensEpil.

After 8
After treatment with Sens

After 2
Before treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil.

After 1
After treatment.

Before 5
Before treating a leg with the Silk’n SensEpil

After 5
After treatment.

Before 4
Before treating with the Silk’n SensEpil hair removal system.

After 4
After treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil All-Over Hair Removal system.

The SensEpil Hair Removal system, by the Silk’n company, is a small, at-home laser-like permanent hair removal device designed to provide women, as well as men, with silky smooth, hairless skin wherever they want it.  The device uses skin contact to activate pulses of optical light to target and remove unwanted and unsightly body hair.  These pulses destroy growing hair, providing a permanent hair removal after just a few treatments with the device.

Professional laser-hair removal services in physician offices or beauty salons can cost as much as $2,500 for the treatment of just one body area.  The Silkn SensEpil Hair Removal System delivers professional-quality results, but for just $499.  The Silk’n company also provides payment options, so consumers can own the device for just $199, and pay the rest in easy monthly installments. Occasionally, the Silk’n company will provide its customers with excellent discounts on their innovative hair removal products.

How Does the Silk’n SensEpil Work?

The technology of the SensEpil Hair Removal device is similar to professional treatments.  However, to understand how the SensEpil works, you have to understand how hair grows.  All hair grows in three phases: the Anagen phase, the Catagen phase, and the Telogen phase.  The Catagen phase and the Telogen phase are both resting phases; no hair growth occurs during these phases.  The Anagen phase, on the other hand, is the growth phase.  This light-based hair removal system, using Home Pulsed Light (HPL) technology, is a patented technology that uses optical energy that specifically targets hairs in the Anagen phase to disable hair growth.  It does this by targeting a pigment in the hair shaft called melanin.

Melanin is a pigment responsible for light absorption.  While the SensEpil delivers pulses of light, the light is absorbed by the hair follicle, generating heat.  This heat is what disables hair growth, and provides permanent hair removal.

What users must remember, though, is that hair can stay in the resting phases for as long as 18 to 24 months (although it may vary from person to person).  This means that the SensEpil does not deliver complete results after just one use.  Most users notice significant results after about 4 uses, and even greater results after 6 uses.  What’s more, is that after users achieve their desired hair removal, all they need to do is occasional maintenance treatments.

Is the SensEpil Safe?

The technology of the Silk’n SensEpil has been proven in clinical use all over the world for the past 15 years.  Millions have used the very same technology in the SensEpil to eliminate their unwanted and unsightly body hair.  However, the SensEpil is not safe for certain skin tones.  The HPL technology that the SensEpil uses targets the melanin in the hair shaft.  Melanin is also present in skin.  This melanin is what gives skin its dark complexion.  Because of this, the SensEpil should not be used by those with a dark complexion.  This includes individuals with tanned skin, or immediately following sun exposure.  Treating with the SensEpil after sun exposure can lead to burns, blisters, and skin color changes. See the chart below to determine which skins tones are safe for Sensepil treatments.

No eye protection is required during a treatment, since the device will only send a pulse of light when the applicator tip is firmly on the treatment area.  When treating the face, users should use additional eye protection.  Additionally, since the skin is darker, users should take special precautions when treating around their lips.  To avoid unwanted side effects while treating around the lips, users should use white surgical tape on their lips for protection.

Treating the Skin with SensEpil Following Sun Exposure

It is noted in the device’s User Manual that users should wait four weeks before treating the skin with the Silk’n SensEpil after unprotected sun exposure.  Additionally, users should use sun protection for the three weeks prior to, and following a SensEpil treatment.

The Silk’n company knows that everybody has naturally occurring variance in skin tone, and on some parts of the body the SensEpil may be safe to use, while on others it may not.  For added safety and comfort, the device features a Skin Sensor that detects safe skin tones, eliminating the need to worry if your skin is too dark.  The device scans for darker skin tones, and it will not activate a pulse on skin that is deemed too dark to be safe.

What Does a Typical Hair Removal Session with the SensEpil Look Like?

For many, the Silk’n SensEpil may be their first experience with light-based hair removal, so they need to know what to expect.

+A flash of light.  This bright light will not harm the eyes during applications on non-facial sites.  However, users should take special precautions, and use eye protection, when treating areas on the face.

+A fan noise.  A cooling fan present in the SensEpil device sounds similar to a hairdryer.

+A pop sound during each pulse.  Simultaneously with a flash of the HPL light, a subtle pop sound may be heard.

+Moderate pressure of the applicator.  This pressure is helpful to enabled adjacent pulses of light.

+Warmth and tingling sensation.  A mild sensation of warmth and tingling from the light energy may be felt during each pulse of light.  For initial treatments, users should use the low energy settings.

Each hair removal session with the Silk’n SensEpil can vary from user to user, and for the part of the body being treated.  For example, two full legs can be treated in 30 minutes or less.

Typical Results of the Silk’n SensEpil

Many factors affect the final result of the SensEpil Device, including hair color (the device works best on darker hair), hair density, and the location of the hair on the body.  After initial treatments, the user’s hair may appear to be growing.  However, this ejection process is completely normal, and after about two weeks, these hairs will grow in thinner, or simply fall out.

It is also possible that after several treatments, some hairs still remain.  This is because the SensEpil device does not affect the hairs in the resting phases, only the hairs in the growth phase.  With follow-up treatments, these hairs should eventually be eliminated.  This is why several treatments are required for the best results.

To obtain the best results possible, users should start with clean, shaven skin (not waxed).  During treatment, users should progress quickly to higher energy levels.  Finally, their treatments should be scheduled in two week intervals.  Most users will notice results after 3 or 4 sessions.

Side Effects of the Silk’n SensEpil

When used properly, the SensEpil System is very safe, and side effects and other complications are uncommon.  The most common side effect of the device is a slight sensation of heat when the HPL light is pulsed.  In clinical studies, a small percentage of users also noticed redness around the hair shaft, and mild swelling.  However, both side effects usually did not subsist for more than one hour.  Users should be careful to read the instruction manual before they begin their treatment.

Replacement Parts

Outside of occasionally replacing the device’s lamp cartridge, the Silk’n SensEpil should not require any additional costs.  This lamp cartridge is limited to about 750 light pulses, or enough pulses to treat the entire body, or enough pulses for multiple treatments on a single part of the body. Replacement cartridges cost $50 each or less when a multi-pack is purchased.

What is the SensEpil?
The Silk’n SensEpil is a small, portable, at-home laser-like hair removal device that delivers professional-quality permanent hair removal to users from the comfort of their own home.

Can I use it on all parts of my body?
The SensEpil is safe to use on all parts of the body. With protective eyewear, the Silk’n SensEpil is even safe to eliminate unwanted hair below the user’s cheek bone.

How do I use the Silk’n SensEpil?
Using the SensEpil Hair Removal device is simple. With the device’s spring-loaded pressure sensor, users just need to run the treatment area over their unwanted body hair. After going over their unwanted body hair with the hair removal applicator, users should wait about two weeks before they treat the area a second time.

What should I do before I treat with the Silk’n SensEpil?
Those who wish to use the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device should take care to avoid sun exposure in the 3 weeks leading up to a treatment. The areas you plan to treat should also be cleaned with mild soap and water, and it should be freshly shaven (not waxed).

How long does a hair removal treatment take?
The amount of time a hair removal treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil can take will vary for different body areas. For example, an underarm area can take as little as 10 minutes. An entire male chest, or both legs can be treated in about 15 to 20 minutes.

There are still hairs growing in after a treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil. Is this normal?
This is completely normal, since the SenseEpil only affects those hairs that are actively growing. Continued use of the device will eventually disable the growth of these hairs, and they should fall out on their own. They do not need to be pulled out.

Is the Silk’n SensEpil effective on all types of hair?
The Silk’n SensEpil can safely disable the growth of body and facial hair. The device will work best on darker hairs, but it will still work on lighter, blonde hair. Gray hairs tend not to be effected by the SensEpil, and red hair may show a response to the SensEpil device.

How long should I wait between treatments?
Users should wait about two weeks between hair removal treatments for safest use.

How many treatments will I need to notice results?
Most people show results after about four treatments of the Silk’n SensEpil, but this number will vary from person to person. Men tend to require up to 8 to 12 treatments before seeing their desired results, since their hair is often deeper and more dense.

Does a hair removal treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil hurt?
When used properly, the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device is completely painless. During a typical session, users may feel a sensation of warmth and tingling during each pulse of light, but this should not be painful.

What should I expect from a hair removal treatment?
When using the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device, users can expect to experience a flash of light that is safe to the eyes when used on non-facial sites, a fan noise that cools the device, a pop sound simultaneously with each pulse, some pressure from the applicator, and a sensation of warmth or tingling from the application of the light energy.

How does the Silk’n SensEpil work?
The Silk’n SensEpil uses light-based hair removal technology to permanently disable the growth of hair. Each pulse of Home Pulsed Light (HPL) targets melanin in the hair, which absorbs the light, heats the hair, and disables its growth. This technology only targets growing hairs, and not all hairs are always growing, which is why several treatments may be necessary to achieve full results with the SensEpil.

How big is the SensEpil?
The portable Silk’n SensEpil has dimensions of 5.5 x 8.8 x 8.8 inches, and it weighs only 4 pounds.

Can I share the Silk’n SensEpil with friends and family?

Yes.  The SensEpil hair removal device can be safely shared with others.

Can I use lotions or other beauty products after a hair removal treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil?
It is safe to use mild lotions and beauty products on your skin after a hair removal treatment.  It is even recommended that users apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 before exposing the skin to sunlight.

Are there any side effects of treatments?
When used according to its directions, the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device has minimal side effects. However, treating dark skin with the SensEpil or other light-based hair removal devices can result some adverse effects, including burns, blisters, and some skin color changes. However, with the Silk’n SensEpil’s built-in Skin Color Sensor, users do not have to worry about this issue. This sensor measures the treated skin complexion at the beginning of each session and periodically throughout it to ensure that light pulses are not emitted on skin that is deemed too dark to be treated safely.

How long does it take to work?
Most users begin to notice results of the Silk’n SensEpil after about four uses.  After six uses, users of the device notice even better results.  Some users, depending on the density and thickness of their hair, may require more uses of the device.

Are the results permanent?
After just a few uses of the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device, users can achieve permanent hair removal. After users reach their desired results, just a few minor (rare)  maintenance treatments will be necessary.

How do the results of the Silk’n SensEpil compare to professional hair removal treatments?
Hair removal with the Silk’n SensEpil is comparable to professional laser hair removal treatments. Additionally, these treatments cost much less than treatments in a physician’s office, and since they can be done in your own home, they are less embarrassing and much more private.

How long does the Silk’n SensEpil last?
The bulb that delivers the flash of optical light that disables hair growth is rated to last about 750 pulses. This is enough to treat all areas of the body one time, or one specific area of the body multiple times. After about 750 light pulses, the bulb will need to be replaced.

How much does the SensEpil cost?
The Silk’n SensEpil is sold for $499. This is just a fraction of the cost of professional laser hair-removal treatments in a physician’s office.

How much are the replacement cartridges for the SensEpil?
The replacement cartridges for the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device are about $45. This occasional cost of replacing the cartridges in the device is still much less than receiving a professional laser hair removal treatment in a physician’s office.

Do I need to use protective eyewear when using the SensEpil?
For most areas of the body, protective eyewear is not a necessity. Since the SensEpil Hair Removal device can be used on areas directly below the chin, users should take special precautions when treating these areas.

Is the Silk’n SensEpil safe to use on my skin?
The Silk’n SensEpil is safe to use on a wide range of skin colors. However, since the device targets melanin in the hair, it is not safe to use on those with darker skin tones. Melanin is the pigment responsible for skin color. Those with more melanin will have a darker complexion.

How do I know if my skin is too dark to use the Silk’n SensEpil?
The Silk’n company provides a chart that designates which skin tones are safe for the SensEpil. As an added safety feature, the SensEpil reads the skin before it sends a pulse of light. If the skin is deemed unsafe, the device will not send a pulse.

How long do I need to wait after sun exposure for a hair removal treatment?
Sun exposure increases the amount of melanin present in the skin. Since the Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device emits pulses of light that target melanin, it is unsafe to use on skin with large amounts of this skin color pigment. The Silk’n company recommends users wait about 3 weeks after unprotected sun exposure before treating their skin with the SensEpil Hair Removal device.

Can I tan after a hair removal treatment with the Silk’n SensEpil?
For ideal results, users should take precautions after hair removal with the Silk’n SensEpil. Users should use covering garments or a sunscreen with an SPF at least 50 for 3 weeks after each hair removal treatment.

Does the Silk’n SensEpil really work?
Yes.  The Silk’n SensEpil Hair Removal device uses technology that has been proven for about 15 years. The device has been cleared by the FDA for the removal of unwanted hair. Additionally, it has proven effective for the permanent removal of hair in clinical trials held by physicians.

 

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