Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wave a magic wand over your unwanted body hair, and it would be banished, forever? You might not believe in magic, but the me smooth at-home permanent hair removal device is pretty magical.
At a recent event hosted for editors by Syneron Beauty Inc., a subsidiary of Syneron Medical Ltd., the media learned about (and then received a reviewer’s sample) of the exciting mē smooth. Powered by patented elōs technology, which combines Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio Frequency (RF) energies, the mē smooth professional hair removal system selectively targets hair follicles and delivers heat deep into the dermis (FYI: the connective tissue layer of the skin located below the epidermis, containing nerve endings, sweat and sebaceous glands, and blood and lymph vessels) and thereby, inhibits hair growth. Legs can be treated in as little as ten minutes, your bikini zone in two minutes, and your armpits in just 60 seconds!
The treatments are fast and easy, and most importantly, effective and safe on all skin tones from fair to dark. At the editor’s event, a lot of emphasis was put on the fact that people with deep skin tones have had issues with pulsed light in the past, because some devices have caused de-pigmentation of the skin deeper skin. The mē smooth could really be a boon for this particular population, because it is the first at-home device to be FDA cleared as safe and effective to treat all skin tones —and in just 7 weeks! Even if your hair and skin are light, if the person operating the machines at a salon aren’t skilled, anyone can end up with irritation, scarring, burns, infections, or worse. But the Me Smooth is simple to use, easy and safe and works on all types of skin and all types of hair textures, and you can’t mess it up.
All of this information made this device particularly intriguing. How does the device actually work, and what is it like, to use it?
How elōs hair removal works (the quick version): Developed by the scientists that invented IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), this unique combination of IPL and RF (Radio Frequency) addresses the limitations of traditional hair removal technologies. The addition of “color-blind” RF technology allows the use of a lower level of IPL energy while delivering a clinically proven removal of unwanted hair, even on darker skin tones, with no adverse effects. (Hair follicle is heated up with IPL; RF is attracted to heated follicle; Hair shaft and follicle are destroyed to reveal silky, smooth skin fast).
USING THE ME SMOOTH: The unit is a small, desktop-size cradle into which the actual hand-held me smooth, is nestled until you want to use it. The instructions were simply and there is literally no set-up other than to put the unit in it’s cradle and watch it power up. The instruction booklet could have provided a few more details, but you really don’t need much to get started (you can download the “getting started” guide, here).
The actual device is about the size of an old fashioned cell phone or an electric shaver. Choose the intensity you want (low, medium or high) , remove the unit from the holder. Press the elōs activation button on the back of the hand piece to get it to start emitting elōs pulses. Hold the applicator continuously on the area of skin and hair you want to treat, without stopping in one place. You will know that it’s working when you see the flash of the device. Do not return to the same spot for at least 10 seconds.
One thing we were told is that the hair you want to treat should be close to the skin, so the light and radio waves can penetrate to where the hair grows, beneath the skin, without obstacles. At the editor’s event, we were told that there would be a shaving attachment so you could multi-task and do hair removal and treatment in one step. At the time I am writing this report however, the attachment still isn’t available.
Another thing to be aware of is that these pulsed light flashes are very bright. At first, when I was staring at my legs while using the device, I got a headache watching those flashes. You can wear sunglasses if the flashes bother you (so you can still see what you’re doing), or you can simply look away and work your way around by feel (what I did). As the device flashes, you simply move it methodically across the area you want to remove hair from, until you’ve covered the entire area (the experts at Syneron says about a minute an area, but while moving it around after two to three flashes was painless, more time in one sport became too intense). While the device is pretty much painless, if your skin is sensitive or you haven’t used the me smooth before, start on low, and move up. On the high setting depending upon how sensitive you are, you may feel some discomfort, although it is very temporary.
There are just a few more things that are important for consumers to know about this amazing product, so expectations are met or exceeded. If you have body hair that is light, it may take longer to remove it permanently, or you may not totally eliminate it. But this is the case for all hair removal systems, not just the me smooth. In my own case, my light hair is still not completely gone after 7 weeks, but regrowth is more fine and sparse, and I think, with time and patience, I could end up ditching my razor on my under-arms, and using it less, on my legs. The Me smooth is not yet cleared for use on the face.
Also note that the elos head will give you up to 6,000 pulses, which seems like a lot, until you realize how much area you have to cover on body parts like legs, to get results. You get a second head with the QVC package, and I believe replacements are $50.00.
And; that brings me to the price. Depending upon your desire to remove unwanted hair and your disposable income, this could be a total steal, or a splurge. It’s not inexpensive at a suggested retail price of $395.00. On the other hand, in-salon hair removal is a lot more, and you don’t get to do it in the privacy, convenience and comfort of your own home. Also, you can share the unit (just get different elos cartridges) so that brings the cost down. And, of course, you get to keep it.
The bottom line: As with all devices, inexpensive or not, how satisfied you are with the results is not just highly subjective, but based on your expectations. The device did work for me, although I still have to spend time with my more traditional hair removal tools, and I’m still using the Me Smooth. If I had paid for the product, I would still be satisfied with it. But the results you get will vary depending upon the factors I’ve mentioned, and how patient you are with the process.
To learn more about the me™ brand of home-use hair removal systems you should visit (www.mePower.com), mē smooth retails for $395 and is (or soon will be) available at your favorite prestige beauty retailers including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Ulta, Sephora.com and Space NK as well as on QVC and mePower.com. *at QVC the unit is $327.80 plus an additional Shipping & Handling of $11.72