Philips RéAura skin laser: no pain, no gain

I have been using a laser on my skin as part of my beauty routine for the last few months, a proper, Philips super advanced, Fraxel technology laser, the sort you might find in a really serious dermatologists. I know it’s a serious number not just because the people at Philips said so but because to buy this thing would set you back £799. Yep. Put a price tag like that on something and you know we’ve left the hocus pocus world of beauty advertising and gone seriously scientific.


The Philips RéAura laser is designed to be for anyone who is thinking about cosmetic surgery, but wants to try something less invasive first. It claims to reduce fine lines, improve skin texture and soften the skin. My little trial has proved to me that it does indeed do all of these things. A bit.

It’s pretty easy to use, twice a week you work on your face, hands and neck by running the laser beam over your skin in a cross hatch fashion, it’s simple once you get the hang of it, takes about 20 minutes and you stick to this routine over eight to twelve weeks. After about eight weeks the skin starts to show improvement. I did this and my skin has improved….marginally. My sister, (a voice of reason and clear sense when I go a bit ‘fashion gushy’) thinks my skin looks better and I know it’s got a finer texture and is softer, I am not sure any of the lines have gone, but actually texture is more important to me anyway.

So why am I not whoohooing about this? (we’ll ignore the price tag for a moment) Well, firstly because it HURTS. The laser beam is like a red hot needle being dragged across your face. I accept I might be pathetic about the pain levels, and indeed might overlook the problem IF the results had been super impressive. But they weren’t. Also, the laser makes your skin very red, obviously, so the only practical time to do this is before bed, allowing everything to calm down overnight. My skin -which is not normally sensitive at all, was still red and sensitive the next day, and during the treatment remained dry and flaky. It has gone away now, but I didn’t like the feeling. Middleagedad thought I was mad, ‘your skin is fine, why are you bothering?’ said the man who loves me as I am. You are advised to use high SPF day cream all through the treatment and should not go out in strong sun during the treatment period.

With the RéAura, before you can even buy it you get a set of questions to answer to ensure you are suitable for the treatment (not everyone is) and while you use it Phillips provide an excellent telephone help desk back up service of kind sounding assistants who answer all your questions, I used ths a couple of times and it was like having your own dermatologist at the end of the line, which I loved. My flakey, sensitive skin is not an uncommon reaction apparently and it HAS all gone now, so perhaps people who are used to having this sort of high-level skin treatment expect a bit of suffering for a few months of smooth skin.

My skin is going to look good for about three months, according to Philips, and after that you start again (your skin needs a recovery rest time) topping up with the treatment as you think necessary, ad infinitum . As I peer into the mirror today, I admit that my skin is a very nice texture, better than before I did the treatment. I do notice the difference when I put foundation on too, there’s a smoother look to my face. But it’s pretty subtle. And I can’t say the lines look any different.

Let’s also remember the price, it’s exclusively at SpaceNK for £799 currently. Hmmm, that’s a LOT of money. As you would expect from Philips, it’s a quality machine (apparently the laser will never wear out) and If you have this sort of money to spare and you can cope with a bit of pain, then go for it; don’t expect MAJOR changes, but the differences are visible.

If I had this sort of money to spare, I would be thinking, hmm, four pairs of Grensons shoes or a RéAura…..I know which would put a bigger spring in my step.
Lots more detailed, scientific info on the ReAura here. If you have questions on it please do ask me via the comments and I’ll answer any queries I haven’t covered here. I’ve been using it since September, so have given it a good work out.<


  • Helen says:

    Am assuming that the Philips PR people lent/gave this to you as a comp? If so, thanks for such an honest review! To me, the business of using it sounds pretty off putting – and I could buy a lot of Neal’s Yard Frankincense Moisturiser for £800. I wonder, will you start using it again after the ‘rest period’…? Do let us know – or maybe it will just stay at the back of the bathroom cabinet? Have a good weekend both!!

  • Amanda says:

    Helen, I was lent the laser by Philips, and am now giving it back. If you have the money to spare and your skin is causing you grief, then you’ll notice a difference, for sure. But for me the process is quite an effort for a subtle end result. But maybe I’m just a whimp with a lazy attitude towards beauty. I am sure that some people will find it useful, but as you say, you can buy a lot of skin cream and whatever else makes you smile for £799! A

  • Helen says:

    Thanks!! And for me, your post this morning also related to Jane’s blog on A Feminist Future, in which she touched on the topic of the faulty breast implants – I guess the question is how far any of us will go to enhance/improve/change our appearances? And that’s hard enough to define for oneself… It’s a financial, cultural, social and sometimes sexual issue, isn’t it? Maybe a political one too?

    Meanwhile, I feel I am pretty low-maintenance, but I know that I buy and use a lot more ‘product’ than, say, my mum did at my age (51). And by the way, that now includes Benefit Pore Minimiser and mascara – so thanks for those lovely tips! xx

  • Marv says:

    Oooooooh, you don’t need to zap yourself! I know you don’t, so there! x x

  • Amanda says:

    Agree Helen, its complex, no doubt it. Glad the Benefits tips came in handy! We also learnt recently that the pore minimiser is good for under eye wrinkle disguising! A

  • Rachel says:

    I was going to suggest that maybe having a glass of wine might help dull the pain but obviously – that could also cause problems of a different type since we’re talking about working with a laser. I do have a question though. Is the product supposed to only improve the skin to a point, let the skin rest, and then maintain the skin’s look at that point or does it continue to improve with each session block?

  • Amanda says:

    Hmm, interesting question Rachel, It just keeps it at that first level I think, I don’t think that you get better skin the more you use it, but I will ask Philips on Monday, it’s an interesting point. A

  • Amanda says:

    Rachel, here’s what Philips have just told us!
    “Continuous treatment will not continue to make your skin younger and younger and results will saturate after a while; a kind of steady state will be reached. When this steady state is reached and which results are obtained differs from person to person. In the current manual we therefore state that results can be maintained with continuous treatment. We do not want to overpromise, also because we do not have the clinical data to substantiate.”
    Hope that helps! Ax

  • Tabitha says:

    Oh thanks for this, I’m reviewing it too and just had my first session this morning.
    I started on level three and found it fine, but I just can’t seem to get it to work on my hands, I think they are too bony!
    I think it depends a lot on your starting level, you seem to have good skin as it is, I do too but I’m still hoping to see a change in firmness , we’ll see in 8 weeks.
    I’m putting up my first post about it on Friday.

  • MacElle says:

    Please can I review it too?! Put in a good word for me would you?! :-)

  • Lisa says:

    What effect did the Reaura have on pores? I live in the U.S. And the Reaura is not yet sold her, but when it is, if ever, I’m seriously interested in purchasing it.

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