Beauty Diaries: I used the viral ULike Sapphire Air-3 and I can never go back (literally)

Smooth operator


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Beauty Diaries: I used the viral ULike Sapphire Air-3 and I can never go back (literally)

Beauty Editor Red takes one viral hair removal device for a spin—here’s her experience after a month of treatment.

In this month’s instalment of BURO Beauty Diaries, I’m finally ticking off a big want on my beauty bucket list—an at-home IPL device. I was recently sent the Ulike Sapphire Air-3 to try, and after about two months, I’m ready to share my results. Find the full breakdown ahead:


What is the Ulike Sapphire Air-3 and how does it work?

Ulike’s Sapphire Air-3 device has gone viral time and time again, and for good reason. It’s a permanent hair removal device that works by using patented Sapphire Ice-cooling Technology+ Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to target the hair at the root and put the follicle in a dormant state—essentially, what this means is that after a few treatments, your hair grows back thinner and slower and eventually stops regrowing altogether.

Not only is it extremely effective, but it’s built for maximum comfort. The Sapphire Ice-cooling system is the first of its kind in the industry. It has been designed to improve the comfort of the user but also works to increase the treatment’s efficacy and reduce any side effects. Plus, the device comes with three Light Intensity settings: Soft Mode, Body Mode and Powerful Mode so you can further adjust the treatment to your comfort.

Something to note: The device works best on people with light skin and dark hair. This is because IPL works by targeting the melanin in your follicles—if your skin is darker or your hair is lighter, the Sapphire Air-3 may not be able to pick up on the difference between your hair and skin and thus may not work as effectively (or at all!).


How to use it

The device comes with everything you need, including a nifty little razor and a fabulous pair of foldable sunglasses. Here’s how to use it.


The prep

You have to shave down your hair to make sure that the treatment works effectively—as such, I prefer to do all my lasering fresh out of the shower. Not only is it easier to do a full-body shave in the shower, but it’s also better to work the device on a clean base.


The process

Once I’m clean, dry, and shaved, I then put on the sunglasses. Eye protection is key with this treatment—the flashes from the Sapphire Air-3 are super bright and can do some serious damage to your peepers. Remember, the sunnies are included in the box for a reason! When you’re all protected, you can then set up the device.

For delicate areas like the face, I like to keep the device on Soft Mode—AKA the lowest one. For bigger areas like the legs, I generally go for the body mode or powerful mode. Honestly, though, even the highest setting was still really comfortable for me. But, if you’re new to laser, I’d recommend starting at a lower intensity and building your way up as your tolerance improves. Once you’ve worked out the right intensity for you, all you have to do is simply give any target areas a few passes with the device.


How often to use it

The brand recommends this program: For weeks one to three, treat three times a week; then for weeks four to six, treat twice a week; finally, for weeks seven through 10, treat once a week every month for maintenance.


The experience

Overall, I’m a big fan of the Ulike Sapphire Air-3. For starters, I received a unit in the Star Pink colourway—it’s so cute, which has nothing to do with the device’s performance but does bring me a lot of joy. What can I say—I’m a sucker for pretty packaging!

Secondly, I love the convenience of it—while I’ve had laser hair removal done professionally before, I never liked having to go to a salon to get it done. It’s all-around a weird, overly intimate process that I’ve never particularly enjoyed. With the device, though, I don’t have to endure someone else shaving my nethers, nor do I have to make awkward conversation. Better yet, there’s also no rush-hour traffic in my bathroom, so I can’t talk myself out of attending my appointments!

READ: I got laser hair removal done so you don’t have to—is it really worth it?

That said, while it is convenient, I have to admit that I have still not been consistent with my treatment. Rather than a three-times weekly routine, my IPL routine has looked more… improvisational. It’s not a fault of the product, it’s my own: I just hate having to shave my body.

Even with my erratic treatment plan, however, I’ve managed to see some fantastic results—and all under a month, too. Now, I’ve used the device all over my body, and the experience varies between areas. So, here’s here’s a play-by-play:


On the face

This was one area I was really hesitant to try laser on, purely because my skin is extremely sensitive. Nevertheless, my hairy upper lip situation could not continue to thrive. It’s actually so easy to treat the upper lip because it’s such a small patch of skin. I usually use the device on the lowest intensity and have felt absolutely zero pain or discomfort. Better yet, the cooling system on the device is a nice little treat for my skin with or without the laser function!


On the armpits

Personally, I found that the armpits were the easiest part of the body to tackle. As such, it’s the only part of my body which is pretty much totally hair-free now. I go full-intensity for this area just because it’s not particularly sensitive for me and I’ve again felt very little discomfort and absolutely no pain.


On the legs

For me, the only discomfort I feel comes from hunching over as I try to laser my calves and shin. That said, the Sapphire Air-3 is faster than some other IPL devices I’ve tried, and while it does still take a good half an hour to cover the full leg, the automatic glide function on the device makes the process much easier.


On the intimates

This is the only area of my body that I have felt any real discomfort on, and even then, it’s always just a sharp but small pain here and there when I catch a particularly stubborn follicle. From my experience, if you’re planning on just using it for your bikini area and not a full Brazilian, you probably won’t feel any discomfort at all.


Overall, it’s a really easy device to get the hang of, and once you’re done lasering, the cooling system can also be used as a compress to calm the skin and reduce irritation. Onto the results…


The results

The overall treatment plan takes 10 weeks, but I was able to see results within the first month (and I was using the device really inconsistently). On the parts I have been consistent with, my body hair is pretty much completely gone. For the parts I haven’t been consistent with, even though there is still growth, it’s very slow and has given me a bigger window between shaves.

I will say, though, that there is one thing I did not expect to happen when I started my at-home IPL journey. While I have never really struggled with stinky pits before, I’ve noticed that my body odour has gotten significantly worse since I started my treatment. It does make sense—all that intense light will definitely throw off your skin’s microbiome. Fortunately, it’s nothing that a probiotic-fortified, skin-caring deodorant couldn’t fix (shoutout to Salt and Stone’s Santal Vetiver Deodorant for getting me through the trenches).


The takeaway

Other than the unexpected stink, I really have no complaints. The device is well-designed, extremely effective and completely painless to use. Now that I’ve got such a convenient solution at my fingertips, I’ll never go back to the salon (nor will I need to)!


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