Philips Lumea Comfort IPL 1981 Review

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Today I am going to talk about hair removal. I have very sensitive skin and I’m in a constant search for a good way to remove my body hair without getting red dots and ingrown hairs. I’ve come across the Philips Lumea IPL 1981. I thought I should try something like this, instead of shaving every day, because of my very pale skin and dark hair. The thing is that I am that type of girl that if she shaves in the morning, in the evening you will start seeing that the hair is starting to grow again. Let’s take a look at this product.



When it comes to the design, I really like the fact that it’s small, it’s compact and you can use it when you travel. It reminds me of the epilators when it comes to the shape and weight. It has 4,9x 1,8x 3,1 inches and weighs only 1 lbs. The Philips Lumea Comfort 1981 is the smallest and lightest in the Lumea range.

When you use it, first prepare the adapter. Pull down the open switch and hold it, then attach the plug in the correct direction and release the open switch. Lastly, plug the AC cord into the device socket of the device and plug the adapter into an electrical outlet. So it’s not cordless.


It doesn’t need any replacement of the lamps and the company provides a two year warranty.

How does it work?

Philips developed the IPL Technology. This technology is similar to the one being used in the salons, where professional laser treatments are being done. So, the IPL Technology means that there are pulses of light that are applied at the roots of the hair, heating up the pigment and the roots and this way, the regrowth is prevented, by making the hair go into its resting phase. You must be aware of the fact that salon treatments don’t work 100% and it takes a lot of treatments in order to see a difference. The same thing applies here. It will take some time to see a difference in the hair growth. Also, if you have thick hair it will take some time to see the full results.


It has 5 light intensities, which you can adjust depending on your skin tone, by pressing the ON button as many times you need the adjustment. You will see the green light corresponding to each intensity.  This device can detect your skin tone and if it’s suitable for you. The READY light will appear indicating the correct skin contact for application.

On the bottom part, it has the skin color sensor and the UV filter, which protects your skin and will stop creating pulses of light if the skin tone is too dark.

Is Philips Lumea IPL suitable for you?

The developers of this device recommend using it on a lighter skin type. This means that people with dark brown skin can’t use it. Also, if you have grey, red or light blonde hair, Philips Lumea IPL won’t work for you. The explanation is that this device goes for the melanin in the hair (the substance that gives the hair/skin color; the more melanin you have in your hair/skin, the darker it is).


Keep in mind that you can have blonde hair on your head and darker hair on your body; always check the color of the hair on the surface you want the hair-removal.

  • You should not use it if your skin is naturally darker (dark brown or darker). They warn not to use it on this type of skin because of the way this device works. Basically, Philips Lumea IPL targets the melanin in the hair (or the hair pigment) and melanin is also in the skin. That’s why, if you use it on the darker skin, you can get burns, blisters and hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. So, the skin color will get altered. This device has a sensor that measures the skin color and will make sure that the flash will be emitted only on a suitable skin color.
  • You should not use this if you just had a tan. The explanation above is suitable for this also, because when you get exposed to the sun for a longer period and getting a tan, you have a higher concentration of melanin and the same effects can occur: blisters, burns, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.
  • You shouldn’t use it around your eyes, this version of the product is not suitable for your face, you should only use it from the neck
  • If you are pregnant, don’t use this device on you.
  • You shouldn’t share the device because it can affect its lifespan (and because of hygiene concerns).
  • If you have a tattoo or a rash, irritation, you should use it in that area. If you get it near the tattoo you will instantly feel a burn and this can affect your skin and the tattoo.

There is a chart you can check to see if Philips Lumea IPL is suitable for you.


As you can see, if you have the third type of skin tone and the last hair color, this device is not suitable for you, it won’t work.

If you have a mole, you must avoid the direct exposure to the laser. If you must go near it with the device, there is a trick. You can use white eyeliner and draw over the mole, so it won’t attract the light. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use any other types of colors, because they won’t have the same effect.

After you check out all this information about if this is for your skin tone and hair color, you can start using it. You must start at the lowest intensity to see how your skin reacts. If everything goes well, you can increase gradually the intensity, depending on what you fell. You shouldn’t feel any burning sensation. If you feel that it’s a higher intensity and you don’t tolerate it, just decrease it and adjust it to your needs. Also, keep in mind to adapt the intensity depending on the area you apply it. For example, on your legs, you can use a higher intensity, but maybe you won’t tolerate as well the same intensity in your bikini area.


So, first shave the area you want to apply the device. Make sure it’s not oily and sweaty and it’s clean and dry. Also, do not apply any kind of substance that contains alcohol on that area previous to using it. You turn on the device (you will hear a fan noise) and about a second later, the READY button will appear, you select the intensity (if you just press once the ON button, it’s at level 1) and place the skin contact surface on the skin.

After that, make sure that the yellow READY light starts blinking slowly. After this, you can press the flash button which is on the side. The device makes a red light when it clicks and a pop sound and that’s all you need to do on that area. You shouldn’t use it multiple times on the same area in one use, mostly because the skin can get irritated and won’t enhance the effect. The device promises that the hair will grow finer and finer until it won’t grow anymore. First, you will see that it will become softer, like baby hair.


If you use it on different areas, you will need different techniques.

The Slide & Flash is for the larger areas, like legs. So basically, you don’t need to lift the device between flashes. You can just slide it over the skin while you hold the flash button pressed, so it will flash as you go on the surface on the skin.

The other one, the Step & Flash is used for smaller or bony areas. This is the process already explained, you place it on your skin, press the flash button, it will release the flash, lift it and move it to the next area you want.A good tip to remember where you applied the Philips Lumea IPL is to get a white eyeliner and draw a guideline on the legs (because of the wider area).


You will feel a moderate pressure of the treatment area and also a warm and tingling sensation, definitely it will not hurt. After the use, especially on a sensitive area, you will see that your skin will get pink or mild red. It’s normal to see these effects. If you see blisters or burns, you must stop using this right away.

After the use

As you can predict, after you use it, you must avoid the sun. During the next 2 weeks after you used this device, you must use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

It’s recommended that you use it every two weeks in order to get the best results and after this, to maintain them, use it every 4-8 weeks, you can adjust this (4-8 weeks) depending on your hair and skin.


You should use it in a well lit room, because this way the light is less glaring to the eyes (no, you don’t need protection glasses when you use it).

As a conclusion, I can say that it works, you just have to give it time (it can take up to 4-5 months to see the maximum effect). After a few uses, you can see that the hair is getting finer. It’s better that other hair-removals, because it’s pain-free and the results last for a longer time. You must use it constantly in order to maintain the results and keep in mind, that every person is different, it can work differently for each person.

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