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Silk’n Infinity review: Great IPL results with a disappointing app

Our Rating :
£245.00 from
Price when reviewed : 295
inc. VAT

The Silk'n Infinity IPL device provides comfortable long-term hair removal, but it’s flawed in a few key areas

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Compact design
  • Simple controls

Cons

  • Slow flash rate
  • App needs improvement
  • Ineffective Bluetooth feature

The Silk’n Infinity is one of the better-known IPL devices on the market. Its reasonable price, simple controls and dinky design make it an appealing option for most people. In our testing, we were intrigued to see whether the device lived up to the hype and were pleasantly surprised by how quickly the treatment worked.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a method of long-term hair removal that uses high-intensity flashes of light to damage hair follicles at the root. After several treatments and with continued use, this prevents hair from regrowing.

It’s not all smooth skin and roses, though. The Silk’n Infinity has an accompanying app and built-in Bluetooth, both of which were deeply flawed in our tests. As you’ll see, these features don’t impact the quality of the results, but we’d expect them to run smoothly in a device costing almost £300.

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Silk’n Infinity review: What do you get for the money?

The Silk’n Infinity is a compact IPL device that fits neatly in the palm of your hand. It measures 13 x 8 x 5cm and weighs just 228g – that’s 123g lighter than the lightest Philips Lumea IPL device. The controls on the device are pretty simple, too. There’s a small power button on the back, which is used to switch the device on and off, as well as to set the intensity of the flashes. Once the device is in place and ready for treatment, you use the big button on the top of the device to emit a flash.

The Silk’n Infinity uses IPL technology as the main method of hair reduction but, unlike other IPL devices on the market, it also has eHPL technology. This puts a gentle electric current on the skin before treatment, and Silk’n claims that this further opens up the pores for more effective results. However, there’s no easy way to test these claims. Silk’n also claims that the lamp will last for 400,000 flashes, which is the same as the mid-range Philips models. That’s an impressive lifespan for a far more affordable device.

The device comes with a 180cm long cord, and there’s a UK and EU converter included in the box. For cleaning, there’s a soft cleaning cloth and all this can be stored neatly in the carry case. Unlike other IPL devices, which come with soft storage cases, the Silk’n Infinity comes in a lightweight zippable hard shell case, with individual slots for the device and its components. This offers more protection and makes the device far easier to store.

As mentioned, the Silk’n Infinity also claims to come with Bluetooth connectivity, which should allow users to keep track of their treatments, use a flash counter and schedule future treatments with helpful reminders. However, in our testing the Bluetooth wouldn’t work and the app wasn’t as effective as we’d hoped. Thankfully, these elements don’t affect how well the device works at long-term IPL hair removal.

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Silk’n Infinity review: How does it work?

The Silk’n Infinity is an IPL hair removal device, which means it uses flashes of light to damage hairs at the root. Simply position the treatment window so that it’s flush with the skin, press the button on the back of the device and it will emit a high-intensity flash of light.

The light is then absorbed by the hair follicle, which damages it and, with repeated treatments, stops hair from regrowing. As light is better absorbed by darker colours, those who have dark hair and light skin will see the best results from IPL. Blonde people won’t see great results from IPL no matter which machine they use, and those with particularly dark skin can get hyperpigmentation and burning as a result of the higher concentration of melanin in their skin.

If you’re unsure about how effective the treatment will be on your skin tone and hair colour, you can find a handy colour chart on the Silk’n website. Also, the Silk’n Infinity comes with a safety sensor that detects your skin tone and prevents the device from flashing if it’s too dark. Thankfully, the device is covered by a one-year warranty, which means you should be able to return the device if it’s not suitable for you.

Despite being a method of long-term hair removal, users will need to remove hair from the area before treatment. This is to ensure that the light has as direct access to the hair follicle as possible. You can either shave directly before treatment or wait a few days after waxing and epilating to allow the area to recover.

As mentioned, the Silk’n Infinity also uses eHPL technology, which claims to open pores using an electrode located around the treatment window. The effect of this “galvanic energy” is invisible to the naked eye so is impossible to see its effects during testing but, in theory, it gives better access to the hair follicle, leading to more effective treatment.

One important thing to note is that IPL results aren’t immediate. With the Silk’n Infinity, it takes over four treatments, each spaced two weeks apart, to see hair reduction, which is similar to most IPL devices. This is because each hair needs to be treated at the right point during its four-week growth phase. In my testing, the hairs were thinner, lighter and more sparse with every treatment, and also grew back much slower than before. Thicker hairs, such as those in my underarms, took longer to treat in general, whereas my legs had significantly less hair after eight weeks.

Silk’n Infinity review: What’s it like to use?

App and Bluetooth

Before starting treatment, I downloaded the app to connect my phone to the device using Bluetooth. This feature is supposed to count the number of flashes the device uses, as well as keep a record of how your treatments are going. However, when I tried to connect the Silk’n Infinity to my phone via Bluetooth, it wouldn’t connect.

I tried connecting the device to both my Apple iPhone and an Android device, thinking it might be a problem with the former. Despite following instructions, this was also unsuccessful, and I later had the same problem connecting the Silk’n Infinity Fast. I contacted Silk’n for a comment and technical support with this and was assured that this hadn’t been an issue before.

Unfortunately, lots of other Silk’n users report having problems with the app. There are so many negative reviews on the Google Play Store that it’s only rated 1.3 out of five stars. Many users complained that the app also asked for unnecessary permissions including access to contacts, photos, files and their location.

From this alone, it’s pretty clear that the app needs some serious improvement, but to make things worse, it is far less intuitive to use than the Philips Lumea app. The menus are more difficult to navigate and information isn’t as easy to find. Furthermore, the app is only available to users who register an account on the app – though even when you do create an account, the app won’t talk you through health and safety, preparation for treatment or aftercare. The only real feature worth using could be the diary tab, which can help you keep track of treatments if you’re registered. However, this is fairly easy to recreate in a diary or on a notes feature on your phone.

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Ease of use

When it came to actually treating the hair, the Silk’n Infinity performed pretty well. It was simple to set the intensity that I needed using the power button and its safety sensor ensured that the device was safe to use on my skin tone.

It couldn’t be simpler to start treatment. Just position the treatment window so that it’s flush with the skin and press the enormous flash button on the top side of the device. This worked beautifully on larger areas of the body such as my legs, but the large flat treatment window made it more difficult to treat smaller, bonier areas such as the ankles or the face.

Other IPL devices come with more precise attachments for treating these areas, but the Silk’n Infinity doesn’t. This means you’ll occasionally need to reposition the device to get it to flash. Frustratingly, there’s no indicator light to tell you when the device is ready to flash, so you’ll just need to experiment by repeatedly pressing the flash button while making slight adjustments.

As with most IPL devices, the treatment is time-consuming. It took just over 20 minutes to treat one full leg at full power, flashing once every 2.3 seconds – this isn’t the fastest device we’ve tested, but it is quicker than the similarly priced Philips Lumea Advanced, which took 27 minutes to treat the same area.

Pain levels

If you’re new to IPL, you might be concerned about pain levels. While I wouldn’t describe the sensation of IPL as painful as waxing or epilating, the treatment can feel quite hot at times and feels similar to that of a rubber band snapping against the skin.

Thankfully, the Silk’n Infinity has five intensity settings to choose from, so if you feel any pain or irritation you can reduce the intensity settings. I tested the device using the highest intensity settings and found the treatment as comfortable as other, more expensive IPLs. As expected, the eHPL galvanic energy didn’t create a notably different sensation, so don’t worry about that impacting the pain at all.

Effectiveness

Niggles aside, the Silk’n Infinity provided a very effective treatment once I’d spent the time completing treatments. As expected, with each treatment the hairs grew thinner and lighter and eventually stopped growing after six rounds of treatments on the highest intensity setting.

Bear in mind, however, that my colouring is ideal for IPL treatments because I have pale skin and dark brown hair so I could safely use the highest intensity setting. People who use lower intensities – whether that’s for comfort levels or to keep the treatment safe for use on darker skin tones – will need to perform a few more treatments to get the same results.

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Silk’n Infinity review: Should you buy it?

If you’re not bothered by the unusable app and don’t need to treat smaller areas of the body like the bikini line and face, then the Silk’n Infinity is a reasonably priced option. However, it’s badly let down by its under-performing Bluetooth and app features. I would have preferred it if these features didn’t exist and the device had a slightly lower price to compensate. Unless you’re determined to make the app work, I’d recommend manually keeping track of your treatments using a calendar or diary instead.

Thankfully, the treatment garners excellent results if you’re willing to look past the app’s technical faults. For an entry-level device that’s effective, compact and simple to use on its own, the Silk’n Infinity isn’t a bad choice. However, it faces some stiff competition in terms of comfort and speed. Specifically, it’s not well designed to treat smaller areas of the body; if you’re looking for something to tackle those awkward areas, you should consider the similarly priced Philips Lumea Advanced IPL.

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