What Is IPL Treatment and Is It Right for You?
Did you know that 91% of Americans felt their skin was healthier after spending time in quarantine?
There are a number of reasons for this, but most notably, people spent more time indoors and away from the sun. Sun exposure is the enemy of healthy skin, and it can cause problems with dark spots and premature aging. Luckily, IPL therapy can help, even if the damage occurred years ago.
Are you curious about how IPL treatments can lessen your stubborn sun spots, dark areas, and acne scars? Wondering if you’re a good candidate for IPL treatment?
Read on to learn how you can enhance your natural beauty with intense pulsed light treatment!
What Is a Photofacial?
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a non-invasive treatment used to improve the cosmetic appearance of skin. IPL, also known as a photofacial or photo rejuvenation, can treat imperfections like sun spots, scars, and unwanted hair almost anywhere on the body. This treatment uses select wavelengths of light to target problem areas of the skin.
IPL is generally more gentle than traditional laser treatments, with a shorter recovery time and fewer side effects. IPL gives patients a more youthful and balanced appearance with minimal downtime and can be used in combination with many other cosmetic treatments.
Benefits of IPL Treatment
The biggest goal of IPL treatment is to improve skin texture and color. IPL treatment most commonly reduces signs of aging, particularly photoaging caused by sun exposure.
Impulsed light therapy can also lessen the appearance of:
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Stretch marks
- Spider veins
- Visible capillaries
- Body and facial hair
IPL treatment improves skin’s appearance in a few key ways. Beyond treating discoloration, intense pulsed light helps the body discard old scar tissue and create new, healthy skin cells. In doing so, IPL can also reduce inflammation and redness by promoting the growth of healthy blood vessels.
How Does IPL Treatment Work?
During IPL treatment, a device projects light energy into the skin, where it absorbs and converts into heat. Depending on the chosen spectrum of light, IPL will target certain cells and pigments in your skin. These pigments are destroyed by the heat, resulting in a more even-toned, healthy, and youthful appearance.
IPL treatment is different from laser therapy, which uses one highly focused wavelength of light to alter your skin. IPL treatment uses a broad spectrum of light, more like a photograph, to treat a wide range of unwanted skin traits.
Traditional laser therapy sheds the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, to encourage fresh skin growth. Unlike laser therapy, IPL penetrates the dermis, the second layer of skin, without damaging the epidermis. This provides for a quicker healing time and more immediate results than laser therapy.
What to Expect During IPL Treatment
For several weeks before your IPL session, it’s important to avoid other intense skin treatments, including tanning beds, waxing, chemical peels and exfoliants, collagen injections, and more. Combining too many treatments can irritate and damage the skin, increasing the risk for side effects like discoloration.
An IPL treatment session usually lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. The exact duration will depend on the size of the treated area. For the best results, IPL treatments usually need to be repeated once every month for a total of three or more sessions.
Before getting started, your technician will ask you to wear protective eye lenses and rub a lubricant gel on your skin. The IPL device is a small handheld instrument that will go directly on your skin. This device emits quick pulses of light into your skin.
It’s normal to feel a slight stinging sensation during IPL treatment, but the pain shouldn’t be unbearable. If you are concerned about pain during treatment, ask your provider about applying numbing cream before the procedure.
After the procedure, your skin may feel tender, like a sunburn. While you heal, it’s important to protect your skin from sun exposure and limit your use of makeup. Skin redness and mild bruising are common for a few days after IPL treatment, and full healing can take about a week.
Is IPL Right for You?
IPL therapy isn’t always effective for everyone, so it’s important to talk to your provider before undergoing any cosmetic treatments. The success of your treatment will vary depending on the problem area and the severity of the damage.
IPL may not be right for you if any one of the following applies:
- You are pregnant
- You could have skin cancer
- You use a retinoid cream
- You use tanning beds, sprays, or creams
- You have severe scarring or keloids
- You have a dark skin tone
IPL is more effective for people with pale or light brown skin tones and is more likely to cause hyperpigmentation and discoloration in people with darker skin. Consult your spa technician to determine if your skin may be too dark to benefit from IPL. Together, you can discuss ideal treatments for dark skin tones, such as microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing.
Discover a Brighter You
Preventative skin care is important for maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance, but it isn’t too late to turn back the clock. With IPL treatment, you can achieve noticeably healthier-looking skin in just a few short sessions.
At the Laser Lounge Spa, we want to help you put your best face forward. Find your nearest location, and look forward to revealing a brighter, fresher you!