I’m going to start this review with the disclaimer. I received this device complimentary for testing and review purposes from Influenster. As always, my reviews are 100% honest and all opinions are my own.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the review!
The Flash&Go express is an at-home hair removal device that takes 6-8 weeks for a full treatment cycle. All you do is plug the device in, and it powers on. You hear the fan inside going for good measure. It’s not so loud that it’s scary, but it can be a little intimidating the first time. Once the device is ready to deliver the light, the indicator lights stop cycling and you can set the power level.
Here’s a pretty major caveat, though: you can’t use this device if your skin is darker than a certain level. I know, it’s super subjective and hard to define how dark is “too dark.” All I know is that if your skin is deemed too dark by the device, the device won’t deliver the treatment when you press that big button on the front, and instead the indicator lights will start blinking.
The sensor for skin color can be pretty off, though. When I was starting my second treatment, it kept flashing the lights to tell me that my skin was too dark. But obviously, I’d used it before. Plus, I’m super pale! I moved to a room with different lighting and it worked just fine. It did it again halfway through my fourth treatment, and it took quite a few tries to get it to accept my skin again. It’s a mildly frustrating part of this process.
I’ve done 4 out of the 8 treatments over 6-8 weeks, using the timetable that they recommend in the instruction booklet that comes with the device (so how is 6-8 weeks a “full treatment cycle” when I’ve only done half? I have no idea! I swear I’m doing it right). I’m up to power level 2 out of 5 and likely won’t go above 3 ever, which I explain below. I decided to start with smaller areas instead of my legs, so I’ve been using this on my underarms and bikini area. Depending on the results I get there, I’ll use this on my legs as well.
The packaging says that in 4-6 weeks, you’ll start noticing results, and after the last sessions you’ll be completely hair-free. According to those statements, I should be seeing some serious results right now.
I bet the first thing on everyone’s mind, though, is pain–does it hurt? In short, no. In long, there are two methods for using this device, and one of them hurts (a lot, apparently…). You can press the button for one burst, move the device down, and press for another burst, etc. Or, you can hold the button down for continuous bursts and move the device slowly across your skin. I tried both methods on my boyfriend’s shoulder for fun, and he said the continuous bursts hurt his skin, even on the lowest setting. That made me too scared to do it on myself (thanks for being a guinea pig, boyfriend!), so I’ve been doing the single presses and I haven’t had any pain. After a burst, the skin feels very hot, but there isn’t much redness or irritation for me. As long as I don’t accidentally overlap spots, it’s pretty quick and easy. I’ve actually found it to be kind of fun!
And don’t worry, my boyfriend is fine. He just won’t come near the thing anymore!
And now that we’ve talked about pain, the next question is… does it work?
I’m going to give it a hesitant yes.
I think I’ve noticed some reduction in hair growth in the areas I’ve used this on. It’s not super dramatic, despite the grandiose claims on the box, but something is definitely happening.
But! Something strange and unintended is happening as well. On both arms near my underarms, I have these strange patches of freckles that weren’t there before. Here’s a blurry photo (sorry!):
SO WEIRD! I have no other explanation for this other than the device. Of course, freckles are harmless, but once I noticed these patches, I decided to keep the power level at 2 instead of going up any higher for now. I think by the last treatment, I’ll be up to 3, but I don’t want to push it.
So… This review doesn’t quite have a conclusion. I think it kinda works, but it’s also giving me freckles. I’ll be back with my final thoughts once I completely finish the treatments, which will take another few weeks. In the meantime… let’s hope I don’t get skin cancer?