IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light (sometimes referred to as a PhotoFacial) is a visible light based energy rejuvenating treatment that penetrates the skin down to the lower layer, the dermis, without harming the top layer of skin. By varying the wavelength and strength of the light applied, cells with excess pigment and small blood vessels can be selectively targeted and eliminated. The result is a loss of the pigmented spots and disappearance of the unsightly blood vessels.
What Can IPL Treat?
IPL is effective in treating a wide variety of skin issues including:
- Brown Spots
- Red Spots
- Sun Damage
- Fine Capillaries
- Fine Wrinkles
IPL is can be used on all areas on the body most commonly the face, neck, chest and hands. Because IPL targets pigment in order to break it up, it works best on lighter skin tones.
Frequently asked questions
A typical IPL treatment lasts around 30 minutes to an hour depending on areas treated. Our aesthetician will begin by thoroughly cleansing the skin ensuring there is no oil or residual make-up on it. Next, a thin layer of cool gel will be applied to the treatment area to serve as a conductor, as well as provide some extra cooling comfort.
Your eyes will be protected from the bright light with special protective goggles and a device that blows cool air over the treated skin will ensure minimal discomfort. An IPL treatment is very tolerable, often described as the sensation of a rubber band snapping against your skin.
Immediately following treatment, your skin may appear slightly pink and you may feel a warm sensation, similar to mild sunburn. This typically subsides within a few hours. Any pigmented spots treated will immediately turn darker and continue to darken over the next few days until they rise to the surface of the skin, flake off and disappear. There is no downtime with an IPL treatment; you may resume all of your normal activities, as well as wash the treated areas with your usual cleanser and apply makeup as soon as you are finished.
We recommend a series of at least 3 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. This will allow the skin to fully heal from the prior treatment as well as enable the remaining pigment to come to the surface. It is not unusual after your treatment to notice new pigmentation that wasn’t there before; this can sometimes occur as the IPL brings pigment to the top layer of your skin. Subsequent treatments will target any residual pigment and get rid of it as well.
Protecting your skin against sun exposure is crucial to both maintain and prolong the effects of the IPL with sunscreen SPF 30 or greater when going outdoors. We also have a variety of products, cleansers such as Restorcea, creams with Retinol and Hydroquinone that work synergistically with your IPL treatments to ensure the best results. Our aesthetician can discuss what other products will work well with your IPL treatments.
IPL is a wonderful rejuvenating treatment. It is quick, comfortable, has no downtime, inexpensive and yields noticeable results within days. We often combine IPL with other of our minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures such as Vivace radiofrequency microneedling.