Remington iLIGHT Ultra Face and Body Hair Removal System Review
The iLIGHT Ultra from Remington is designed in Boston MA and manufactured in China, using intense pulse light (IPL) technology which is explained more fully further on.
It is safe for use on the female face (not eyebrows) using the special 2 sq cm cap attachment provided.
The larger, 3 sq cm cap is for use on the body, to cover larger areas more quickly and efficiently.
The handset is designed for corded use and is set onto a base unit which is plugged directly into the mains power socket.
There is an inbuilt skin tone sensor, for use prior to each session, to ensure that the skin tone of the area is suitable and safe for treatment.
The device has 5 energy levels, so that you can select the one best suited to you, which may vary depending on the area being treated.
The quartz bulb delivers 65,000 flashes (whatever the energy level) and there is a cartridge status indicator on the control panel to show when the bulb is nearing the end of its life.
However, with average usage 65,000 flashes should be sufficient to last for a very long time; to give you an idea, 30,000 flashes will deliver approximately 50 treatments of underarms, lower legs and bikini-line.
Contents of the Box
The contents of the box include:
- iLIGHT Ultra Face & Body Device
- Light Cartridge (pre-installed) with 65,000 flashes
- Body Cap (pre-installed)
- Facial Cap
- Cleaning Cloth (lint free)
- Instruction Guide
A Close Look at the Product
The Remington iLIGHT Ultra has FDA clearance for sale to the public for use at home.
The FDA (US Federation for Drug Administration) is responsible for the protection of public health.
Therefore, if a device is FDA approved for general sale you can be sure that it has been rigorously tested and should be safe, provided it is used following the manufacturer's instructions precisely.
Skin Contact Sensor
Ensures that you have the device placed in full contact with the skin before it will allow the light to flash.
This is important, not only for the efficacy of the treatment, but also to protect the eyes from accidental exposure to the light.
Skin Tone Sensor
To test the skin prior to every use, to determine whether your skin tone is suitable for IPL treatments.
When the device is switched on, the skin tone sensor will flash yellow, together with audible beeps every 5 seconds as a reminder to take the test.
The device will not work if the skin sensor detects that your skin tone is too dark, minimising the risk of burns or irritation.
It is important to carry out this test on each body part to be treated, as the tone may vary.
Powered by mains electricity for corded use, so there is no downtime for recharging or running out of power due to battery running low.
The 65,000 flash quartz bulb cartridge will be likely to last for at least a couple of years (depending on usage and number of users, of course).
Currently replacement bulbs (part no. SP6800SB) are available by sending a cheque for $149.99 to Spectrum Brands, Remington Consumer Service, PO Box 620992, Middleton, WI 53462.
5 Power Levels
There are 5 energy level settings displayed by 5 lights on the base unit, which defaults to the lowest level whenever it is first turned on.
To change this you need to press the energy level selection button - once for level two, twice for level three etc. up to five after which it toggles back to level one again.
The number of lights illuminated indicates the energy level, and the the higher the level the more effective the treatment will be.
It is advised that you start at level one when you first use the device to test for comfort and side effects, prior to increasing the levels.
Body and Facial Caps
There are two treatment caps, one for the body, which is pre-assembled when you first open the box, and a separate one for treating female facial hair.
The body cap has a 3 sq cm window and flashes every 3 seconds for treating larger areas quickly, whilst the facial cap window is 2 sq cm and flashes are every 4 seconds.
It is particularly important that you use the specially developed facial cap when using the device to treat the face.
The device is used by pressing the flash button, once it is in position on the skin, and then moving it to the next patch of skin and pressing the button again.
However, for faster treatment you may leave the button depressed and glide the device to the next patch of skin in a grid-like format (never treat the same area more than once in any treatment session).
The body cap then delivers flashes at 3 second intervals and the facial cap at 4 second intervals.
How the Technology Works
In a nutshell, IPL works by using light pulses to penetrate the dark pigment found in hair and in high quantity at the base of the hair follicle.
This heats the hair follicle and damages the cells that cause the hair to grow, leading to the hair falling out after 1 - 2 weeks and inhibiting the ability of the hair to re-grow.
There are 3 stages of hair growth; actively growing (anagen phase), end of growth (catagen phase) and resting (telogen phase), with hairs being at varying stages at any one time.
IPL is only effective on hair that is in the actively growing, anagen phase, and therefore regular use of the device over a lengthy period of time will be necessary to achieve permanent hair reduction.
Definition of permanent hair reduction
"The long term stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing when measured at 6, 9 and 12 months after the completion of a treatment regimen."
For more in-depth information see our article The Life Cycle of a Hair and Electrolysis/Laser Hair Removal.
Who can Use the Product?
The Remington iLIGHT Ultra can be used by females and males with skin tones I - IV on the Fitzpatrick scale:
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
IPL works best on those with light skin tones and dark hair.
The device is less effective on lighter hair colours and is not suitable and will not work for those with white or grey hair.
As explained previously, the light pulses target dark pigment in skin and hair and so it is easy to see why this is the case.
It is important to carry out skin tone tests on every area to be treated, as the tone may vary, and use on skin that is too dark can cause severe burns and blistering.
There are certain medical or skin conditions where use of IPL is not recommended and you should make sure that you read all the warnings provided carefully before using this product, and seek medical advice if you are unsure.
These include, but are not limited to: damaged, irritated or open skin, cold sores, swollen skin, dark freckles or rashes, if you are or may be pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have acne or light-sensitive skin.
Where Can it be Used?
The device can be used on the male and female body hair; legs, arms, chest, stomach, back, underarms and bikini-line.
Using the facial cap, it is also suitable for female only facial hair; neck, chin, upper lip, cheeks and sideburns (NOT eyebrows, eyelashes or anywhere near the eyes).
It is not suitable for use on male facial hair, head or neck.
It should not be used on tattooed or tanned skin, on moles or on any areas of darker skin e.g. nipples and birthmarks.
There is a complete list of safety instructions and warnings included in the usage manual provided, which should be thoroughly read prior to use.
How to Use the Product
We have given a brief outline of how to use the product below, just to give you an idea of how the process works, but do bear in mind that you should thoroughly read all the instructions and warnings provided before you start.
Always carry out a patch test as per the manufacturers instructions on a small area to test for side effects.
- Preparation - the area to be treated must be cleaned of all cosmetic products, perfumes, deodorants etc., shaved so that no hair is visible above the skin's surface and completely dry.
- Test - connect the device and switch on, at which point the skin tone sensor will prompt you to test the area to be treated. If your skin tone is safe for use a high pitched beep will sound and the light will go green to indicate that it is ready for use. If it is not, then the skin tone sensor turns yellow and buzzes, in which case you MUST NOT proceed.
- Energy Level Selection - select the energy level you require, from 1 - 5, by means of the skin patch test. Although the higher the level, the better the result will be, it will also result in more discomfort. The skin test will enable you to determine the highest level you can use on an area with tolerable discomfort and no side effects.
- Treat - with either the body or facial cap in place as appropriate, apply the cap to the skin, making sure that the contact sensors are in full contact with the skin. Pressing the flash button will deliver a pulse of light onto your skin, after which you lift the handset and move to the next patch of skin, using a grid pattern, ensuring that each patch is flashed just once. After 3 seconds, a beep will tell you that the device is ready to flash again.
- Gliding - to cover the area more quickly, you can hold down the flash button whilst gliding the device into position for the next flash. The flashes will then be delivered approximately every 3 seconds.
Q & A's
How much time should be between treatments?
Initially, it is recommended that you carry out treatments every two weeks. Once you have achieved the results you are looking for, you can carry out touch up treatments as required.
Why is it OK for female facial hair but not mens?
Male facial hair is thicker and denser and harder to treat, so the results could be patchy. Clinical studies have not yet been carried out on male facial hair.
Is there a warning when the bulb needs to be replaced?
Yes, the light changes colour to let you know when the bulb is getting low - full details are included in the instruction leaflet included with the product.
Do you need to wear protective glasses to protect your eyes
No, you do not need eye protection to use the product, there are built in contact sensors so the the device will not flash unless flush with the skin.
Where is the product manufactured?
Can it be used after waxing or epilating?
No - the root of the hair needs to be in place for the treatment to be effective, so only shaving is appropriate.
Are the results permanent?
The device can achieve permanent hair reduction and finer regrowth, over a period of time if used regularly.
All in all, the Remington iLIGHT Ultra does seem to offer good value for money when set against the several thousand dollars required for professional treatments.
As with all home IPL devices, satisfaction levels vary between individuals and it does not work as well for some as for others.
Based on our research, the general level of satisfaction shown in feedback for this product stacks up pretty well against other comparable machines. You do need to bear in mind that it is a lengthy process and you will not see results overnight.
With perseverance, and following the instructions exactly, you should see permanent hair reduction over the course of several months.
If you are considering purchasing a home IPL device for the first time, we would recommend you read our article covering Frequently Asked Questions.
What we Liked
- 5 Energy Levels - for tailoring to suit your personal needs
- Glide Function - to cover large areas more quickly
- Safety Features - FDA cleared, skin tone and skin contact sensors
- Versatility - separate caps for body and female face
- No Visible Hair Required - shaving between treatments recommended, so no unsightly regrowth
- Cost Effective - after initial outlay, 65,000 flashes mean that it will last a very long time before replacement cartridge required
- Permanent Hair Reduction - usually results in less and finer regrowth
What we Didn't Like
- Initial Cost - at around $450, a fairly substantial initial outlay required
- Replacement Parts Cost - relatively expensive at $150
- Restricted Use - not suitable for all (male face, darker skin tones and light, grey or white hair)
- Risk of Side Effects - warnings and usage instructions must be followed carefully to avoid risk of serious burns/blisters