LumaRx IPL Hair Removal Device, Mini – Review
Product Contents List
- Handheld Device with Facial Cap
- Charging Cord
- User Guide
The LumaRx Mini is a rechargeable, handheld IPL device with a smaller head size than its "big brother" the LumaRx IPL Full Body version, making it ideal for smaller areas such as female face, underarms and bikini line.
It may be used for other areas of the body, but with the flash treatment area of only 1.4 cm squared, it would be time consuming for large areas in comparison to the 3 cm squared head of the full body version.
Although, for safety reasons, home devices are not as effective as those extra powerful ones used by professionals, it is possible to achieve pretty good results at a fraction of the cost, given time and perseverance.
When you add this to the fact that you can use them in the comfort of your own home, at a time of your choosing, the reason for home IPL/laser devices becoming more and more popular becomes apparent.
The LumaRx Mini currently retails at $379.99, which is around $70 less than its full body counterpart.
Rechargeable - Cordless Operation
The device is fully rechargeable for convenient, cordless use. There is a battery life status on the digital display to let you know when the battery needs recharging.
Be aware that this device is absolutely not suitable for use in the bath or shower, or anywhere where it could become damp.
Skin Tone Sensor
The device comes with a built in skin tone sensor to check that it is safe to use and that your skin is not too dark.
You need to test each time you use it, and for each area you treat, as some areas may have a darker skin tone than others.
There is an indicator light which will become orange and buzz if your skin is not suitable, the device will stay locked and will not operate.
If your skin tone is fine, then the light will go green and there will be an audible beep, the device will be enabled and you can proceed as per instructions.
1.4 cm sq Flash Window
The small flash window makes it suitable for areas such as female upper lip, chin, cheeks, underarms and bikini - anywhere that precision is required.
The device flashes every 5 seconds, and to treat an area approximately 2" x 1" would take 10 flashes.
You can see, therefore, that it would be a time-consuming task to treat larger areas such as male chest or back.
Replaceable Flash Cartridge
The replaceable cartridge has 6,000 flashes, which should last a pretty long time, given that you are likely to only be treating small areas.
After all, each area of skin is only flashed once each time you treat it and treatments can only be carried out at 2 week intervals.
There is a light to show bulb life on the display, which will let you know when the cartridge is at 95%.
3 Power Levels
There are 3 power levels, so that you can choose the best one for you and for the sensitivity of each area you treat.
In a nutshell, the higher the level the more effective it will be, but also the more painful.
Therefore it is advised that you use the highest level with which you are comfortable - the machine defaults at level 1.
How Does it Work?
IPL (intense pulsed light) uses light rays of varying lengths to target melanin (the dark pigment found in skin and hair) to produce heat energy.
This heat damages the hair follicle sufficiently to cause the hair to drop out, usually about 2 weeks following the treatment.
It is for this reason that IPL is not suitable for those with light hair as the pigment is not dark enough to attract the light rays.
Who Will it Work For?
Due to the nature of how IPL technology works, the ideal candidate for hair removal with this product is one with pale skin and very dark hair.
Suitable Skin Tone?
There is a table, known as the Fitzpatrick Scale, which categorizes individuals into skin types based on their skin and hair colour, eye colour and tendency to burn in the sun:
Hair Color (darkest)
White or very pale
Blue, grey, green
Always burns, never tans
Pale white with beige tint
Chestnut or dark blond
Always burns, sometimes tans
Beige to light brown (olive)
Sometimes burns, always tans
Light to moderate brown
Rarely Burns, always tans
Medium to Dark Brown
Rarely burns, tans more than average
Dark brown to black
The LumaRx Mini can be used by anyone falling in the 1 - 4 range on the Fitzpatrick scale in terms of skin tone.
The chart of skin tones below can also be used as a guide to determine whether your skin tone is suitable for IPL hair removal.
The LumaRx Mini is suitable for use on those with dark blonde, brown and black hair, but unfortunately is not effective for removal of light blonde, grey, red or white hair.
This is because the coloured pigment in such hair is not sufficiently dark, or contrasting with skin tone for the light rays to target.
For any individuals for whom this treatment is not suitable, we have published several articles suggesting alternative hair removal methods:
Although this device can be used by both males and females, the small head size for precision use does lend itself well to the female face, bikini line and underarms.
Male hair tends to be in larger areas, for which we would recommend the LumaRx IPL Full Body hair removal system.
How Long Does it Take?
To fully understand why results of IPL treatment are not immediate, you need to understand the lifecycle of the hair.
Put simply, all of the hair on your body grows in a continuous cycle of several stages, so that individual hairs are not at the same stage simultaneously.
IPL only works on hair that is in the actively growing stage, so when you treat an area it will only be effective for a certain percentage of the hairs within that area.
For this reason, it is recommended that you carry out three sessions on the same area over the first month (with a minimum of 2 weeks between each session) and thereafter administer top-ups as required.
It is likely to take at least 2 weeks to notice a slight difference, but after 6 weeks there should be a noticeable reduction in the number of hairs.
How Painful is the LumaRx Mini?
Pain is a very subjective thing; each individual has a different pain threshold and for this reason opinion is divided.
However, what most find is that they experience slight warmth and a tingling feeling, often described as the flicking of an elastic band against the skin.
The device defaults at level 1, which is the lowest setting. My advice would be to start with that and see. It is always advisable to test a small area first, in any case, to check for adverse reactions.
It is most likely that over time, as with waxing and plucking, the skin will build a tolerance to the treatments in any case.
It is recommended that you shave closely prior to treatment as this will reduce the level of pain felt.
Is it Effective?
Generally, consumer feedback about this product is pretty positive, and there is no doubt that for many individuals it reduces hair growth significantly, over a period of time.
It is important, for all the reasons previously outlined, that you persevere with this device and do not expect that it will be a "quick fix", or you will be disappointed.
That said, there are some individuals for whom IPL simply doesn't work, even though they may have the "ideal" light skin and dark hair. The reason for this is not currently known.
There is a 90 day money back guarantee with this product, so you will have time to try it for efficacy before finally committing to purchase.
The LumaRx has been approved for consumer use by the FDA (the US Federation for Drug Administration) the body responsible for the protection of public health.
They have endorsed the claims that the device is effective for permanent hair reduction.
This is not to be confused with permanent hair removal, though, permanent reduction in this case is defined as "the long term stable reduction in the number of hairs re-growing after a treatment regime which may include several sessions.
Permanent hair reduction does not necessarily imply the elimination of all hairs in the treatment area."
LumaRx Mini - Questions and Answers
Can it be used on moles?
No - IPL should not be used on moles because the skin is darker
What about tattoos?
No - do not use on tattooed skin
Can I use other hair removal methods at the same time?
Shaving is fine, and is recommended to reduce the pain felt during treatment, but not waxing, tweezing, epilating or any method which involves removing the hair from the root. The hair is required within the root for IPL to work, so it is recommended that you wait at least 6 weeks following any such treatment prior to using the device.
Does this work on red hair?
No - it is not suitable for red, grey, white, or light blonde hair
Can it be used on male facial hair
No - this device is only suitable for female facial hair
Do you need eye protection?
Eye protection is not required because the device needs the head to be in close contact with the skin in order to work. Any small amount of light that you are able to see at the edges will not cause any damage.
How about dyed hair?
Dyed hair will not make any difference to the level of pigment under the skin, so unless your hair is naturally dark, it will still not be suitable.
How many flashes does this device have?
Each replaceable cartridge has 6,000 flashes
Can I use it on my eyebrows?
No, this device should not be used on eyebrows or anywhere near the eyes for safety reasons, as it could cause severe and permanent damage to the eyes
I have light skin, which is tanned - can I still use LumaRx Mini?
Using the device on tanned skin is not recommended - you should wait until the tan has completely faded prior to use
How does it compare with the LumaRx Full Body device?
The table below lists the main features of each device:
LumaRx Full Body
Male & Female?
Yes - limited male use
Use for Body
Use for Face
Yes - female
Yes - female
Cover Large Areas Quickly
Precise, for small areas
Yes - interchangeable head
Safety - Skin Tone Sensor
No of Flashes in Cartridge
Choice of Power Levels?
Works Efficiently (for most within range)
Current Retail Price
As you can see, there are 4 major differences in what is offered and these are reflected in the cost of each device:
- Size of Treatment Head - the mini has a flash window of 1.4cm squared for precision treatments, whereas the full body has a maximum window of 3cm squared. It also features and interchangeable head specially for facial and small area usage, so it is more versatile than the mini version.
- Cordless vs Corded Operation - the LumaRx Mini is cordless whereas the full body version in corded and operates straight from the mains. There are pros and cons to either of these - if it is cordless, you are not restricted as to where you use the device. Conversely, if it operates from the mains, you do not need to worry about recharging the batteries or them running out.
- Number of Flashes - both have replaceable flash cartridges, but the Mini has 6,000 flashes as opposed to the Full Body's 65,000. On the face of it, the Full Body wins this contest hands down, but bear in mind that if you are using the Mini, you are likely to be treating small areas that require less flashes per treatment.
- Number of Power Levels - the LumaRx has 3 levels against the Full Body's 5 levels. Again, this needs to be viewed in relation to what you have bought the device for. The Mini is more likely to be treating the small, more sensitive areas of your body and so perhaps the choice of 3 levels is sufficient.
We have published a roundup review of home laser hair removal machines in which we feature 6 devices and would recommend you have a read before making your purchase.
In Conclusion ....
I have concluded that this is an effective IPL device for small areas, particularly for female use and ideal if this is all you wish to use the machine for.
Results can never be guaranteed, but for the majority of consumers whose reviews are available, satisfactory results have been achieved.
There is a 90 day money back guarantee for this product, so you have time to test it out and make sure that it works for you before you finally make the choice.
The LumaRx Mini is easy to use and has appropriate safety features built in to protect you from adverse effects, plus the added reassurance of FDA approval.
If, however, you wish to have the versatility to treat large and small areas of the body, I would recommend the Full Body version.
Things we Liked
- Much cheaper than a salon - for less than $400 you can achieve permanent hair reduction, potentially saving you $$$'s
- Convenient - use when you wish, in the comfort of your own home
- Small head size - good for precise treatment areas
- Cordless use - no need to use in a certain place
- Skin sensor - for safety
- 3 strength settings - choose the level to suit you
- Guarantees - 90 day money back guarantee and 2 year warranty
- FDA Approval - for peace of mind
Things we didn't Like
- Slow for large treatment areas - Given the small head size, it can take quite a long time to treat larger treatment areas
- Rechargeable battery - need for constant recharging