This is a review of the Mē Plus by HoMedics, a home permanent hair removal system using a combination of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and RF (Radio Frequency) technologies.
I bought this in Costco for £179.98, which included Costco’s current special offer of £18 (£15+VAT) off the usual price of £197.99. I bought it because, although I have had quite a lot of professional Laser Hair Removal (as regular readers of this blog will know), I do have problem areas of regrowth including my face, and I thought that for less than the cost of one session of laser, this item might save me some money.
I confess that this was a bit of an impulse (no pun intended) purchase and I did not do any research on it or read any reviews beforehand.
Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review, nor received any remuneration, discounts, or reward for writing it. I have no connection whatsoever with the manufacturer. I bought the product myself with my own money, and as such this is an honest and independent review. All opinions are my own.
I’m not going to go into great detail about what this product does and how it works, because that information is freely available all over the internet. Suffice to say that this product uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) in conjunction with Radio Frequency (RF) to zap your hairs, giving semi-permanent hair removal (no hair removal treatment is truly permanent). Although very similar to Laser Hair Removal, IPL does not use a laser but uses something analogous to a high intensity camera flash gun. The effects are much the same though.
Unlike all-in-one rechargeable products like the Philips Lumea range, the Mē Plus is corded; it consists of a base station that is plugged into the wall, and then a corded flasher unit that is permanently attached to the base station.
The instructions say that it is not suitable for use on the male face since it may cause “patchy beard growth”. I have chosen to ignore this as I want to totally eliminate my facial hair and have had many sessions of professional Laser Hair Removal on my face already and am no longer able to grow a beard. So I figure the warning doesn’t really apply to me. 🙂
It’s worth noting that although the lamp is good for around 150,000 pulses, it is expensive to replace when it does go. A replacement “Quartz” lamp costs around £100-£150 depending on seller.
The lamp for the non-Plus models are much cheaper but also are rated for far, far fewer pulses making them actually poorer value for money.
There are various accessories available at additional cost – a shaver, an epilator, and a facial adaptor. The latter allows for more focussed single zaps to the face, although the manual points out that you can zap the face without it though. Some research online suggests that the shaver and epilator are readily available, but the facial adaptor is harder to find, and appears to merely blank off half of the flash window and reprogram the on/off button to be one flash per press.
The Mē comes in a square box.
Slipping the sleeve off it reveals a shrink-wrapped plain white cardboard box with everything neatly packed inside.
Inside is a thick instruction manual, the unit itself, some sunbed goggles, a cleaning brush, a power cord and two blanking guards – one for the accessory slot and the other for the flash unit. Presumably the latter allows you to use the shaver or epilator accessory without the flash unit, if you so wish. The accessory slot guard is pre-fitted to the head, whilst the flash unit guard is supplied loose.
Looking through the instruction manual reveals that only a very small proportion of it is actually in English and hence relevant. The picture shows the relative proportions – the English is the thin collection of pages on the left (obviously).
The ‘sunbed goggles’ are two heavily tinted lenses threaded onto a length of elastic. The elastic was secured with a tight knot of itself, rather than a cable tie, and I found it extremely fiddly to unpick this knot.
Upon switching the power on, a fan in the base station immediately comes on and this appears to stay on permanently.
When the power button on the head is pressed, it too starts a fairly noisy cooling fan. It will not start flashing until the flash window is pressed against the skin, at which point it will start regularly flashing with a visual intensity similar to a camera flash gun. I’d suggest that at the minimum, you would want to wear sunglasses to protect against this.
I started out on the lowest of the 3 intensity settings, and felt none of the ‘being flicked with an elastic band’ feeling that I am used to from Laser. Moving up from Low to Medium to High, I still felt nothing other than a feeling of physical heat from the flash unit. I did notice that on the highest setting it flashed less frequently than on the lowest setting.
Initially I tried it on my tummy, since I have hairs there that I want to zap. Usually this is a moderately painful area when I have laser, but I felt no pain whatsoever. Next up was my bikini line, which is usually even more painful since some of the hairs are quite coarse and deep there. But, again, it was completely painless and the only sensation was of the skin getting slightly warm. There was the faintest smell of singed hair, so it must have done something but I did not hear or feel the familiar ‘snap, crackle & pop’ that you get with Laser. Finally, I put the sunbed goggles on and did my facial hair. With the Laser this is excruciatingly painful and I can only cope with one flash at a time, but with the Mē I didn’t feel a thing.
If pain is anything to go by, then I don’t know how successful this product is going to be. Obviously it is far too early to tell how effective it actually will turn out be though. And, equally obviously, it is going to be a number of weeks before I see the results from using it.
Just like with Laser, it is very hard to know where you have done and where you have not. When I have Laser, the Therapist draws a grid on me with white eyeliner pencil so that she knows where she has been. I will be doing the same for myself. I didn’t in this instance as this was just a test run.
I will post an update in a few weeks when I have something more to report.
Where to buy
All prices correct at time of writing.
Note that there is a cheaper version available (which looks the same) that does not include the word “Plus”. Be sure to compare like-with-like when making price comparisons!
|CostCo:||£179.98||Special offer – usually £197.99|
|Boots:||n/a||Not available. The more expensive Pro Ultra is £349|
Note: Costco price is the in-store price. You need to be a Costco member, or the guest of a member, to buy.