The quest for facial rejuvenation.
Before we go any further, you should know this about me. I’ll spend an excessive amount of time thinking and contemplating treatments that improve my skin before I take the leap.
Naturally, as a skin therapist, it’s essential to do the research and homework necessary before advising you.
But I’m just like you, with the same fears and worries. What are the safest and most effective options for my skin? And, I want the best, done by the best with excellent results without the hint of a shortcut.
A smart, scientifically studied, and clinically proven at-home device will always pique my curiosity and attention.
Likewise, the myriad of medical-grade professional treatments promising to remove hair, diminish pigment, banish fine lines and wrinkles, and reverse sun damage?
Well? I’m all in.
But here’s where I have an unfair advantage. When you work in the skincare industry, well, let’s say you have a front-row seat to what’s on offer.
The good, the bad and the forget it.
That’s why today, I’d like to give you the best seat in the house as we draw back the curtain and take a look at Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, usually named by its acronym IPL and although it’s not a laser, you’ll often find it is referred to as IPL Laser.
What is IPL – Intense Pulsed Light Treatment?
IPL is a non-invasive light-based technology utilising selective photothermolysis to target and remove unwanted hair, sunspots and lesions, freckles, superficial capillaries, facial redness and the visible signs of ageing like blotchy pigment, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
And, all of this, with micro precision, keeping the surrounding and normal skin is left unaffected and intact.
But wait, let’s stop for a moment and explain a few terms often reeled off by skincare professionals that can make your decision overwhelming and confusing.
So, what do I mean by non-invasive?
Well, there’s no surgery or medical instruments involved, and the skin is not broken. For example, a medical x-ray or ultrasound is non-invasive.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a non-invasive therapy to treat various skin conditions.
And what about selective photothermolysis?
Photo refers to the light delivered to the targeted area and, thermo relates to heat, so we’re adding heat to the light, and lysis refers to destruction.
In other words, light and heat are used to target and eliminate what we don’t want without disrupting the surrounding skin tissue.
Even though IPL machines can treat various skin conditions, I’d like to focus on photo rejuvenation.
What is IPL photorejuvenation?
Photorejuvenation is a term used to describe the rejuvenation of skin that has been exposed to UV sunlight over many years and is showing visible signs of sun damage.
Sun damage can appear as mottled and uneven texture, redness, broken capillaries, blotchy pigmented skin with premature lines and wrinkles.
Even though it can take many years to show up, once it does, it can feel like a sudden onset of skin conditions you’d rather not see in your skin when you look in the mirror.
Intense Pulse Light is often chosen by skincare professionals to effectively treat the visual signs of sun damage and activate new collagen. And who doesn’t want new collagen? I know I do.
So, the next question? Why wouldn’t you want to have a series of IPL laser treatments to rejuvenate the skin?
Three reasons why you might hesitate.
#1 It’s just not on your radar, and you’ve been hanging all your hopes on your skincare.
You won’t get an argument from me. Great skincare is an absolute must-have. But, it can only do so much and depending on the needs of your skin, you may want to explore what you can do for extra support with treatments like Intense Pulsed Light (IPL Laser)
#2 You’ve heard the horror stories, and you’re worried.
That’s a fair point, and there are a few things to look out for.
- Choose a clinic that has solid credentials and a stellar reputation.
- Check the device is medical grade, backed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and widely recognised worldwide. Not sure? Just ask the dermal therapist during your consultation.
- Operated by a fully trained dermal therapist or medical professional.
#3 You’re sceptical. Do these machines work?
The problem in these modern times is the amount of choice and confusing information readily available at the tap of your keyboard.
Follow the advice I’ve shared today in choosing a trusted skincare professional, and you’ll find Intense Pulse Light Therapy is an effective skin restoration treatment with a high satisfaction rate.
There is a lot of clinical data to back up the science behind medical-grade machines.
So what happens during the IPL treatment?
It should ALWAYS start with a thorough consultation by qualified skincare professional to analyse your current skin condition, determine your concerns, and create a tailored treatment plan.
With a treatment plan, you’ll know how many sessions are required to get the desired outcome and the preparation and skincare you’ll need to maximise results.
A fully trained therapist will select the appropriate handpiece for your skin condition to generate an intense pulse of light absorbed by the skin to target the area of treatment.
The light from the handpiece is delivered in short, concise light pulses at high intensity. This rapid discharge of light provides the high energy levels required for each IPL treatment to be effective.
How does it feel?
You will feel a sensation, something like a rubber band being flicked on your skin, and even though you can feel it, most people tolerate the feeling without too much discomfort.
What to expect immediately after your treatment?
You may experience minor redness and a feeling of warmth in the skin for up to 24 hours after your treatment.
If you’re treating pigmentation, you may find it darkens in the first few days after your treatment, and the following week, the pigmented lesion will become darker as the body breaks down melanin and is released.
After about two weeks from your initial treatment, you’ll begin to see the best results.
And while there is no downtime after IPL laser, you should avoid direct sun exposure as well as extremes of heat or cold and follow all the advice provided to you at the time of your treatment.
How many IPL sessions will you need?
It depends on your skincare goals and the initial condition of your skin. Your skin care professional will advise you on how many sessions you may need during your initial consultation.
My final thoughts on Intense Pulse Light?
The adage that you get what you pay for is so very true.
If the price seems too cheap, you should ask yourself, what’s being compromised to offer the treatment at such a low rate?
If a skin patch test is not performed before proceeding, the IPL treatment settings may be generic, and while a single treatment costs less, it may not be as effective, and you’ll end up going back more times than you needed to reach the desired results outcome.
Once you’ve decided and found a trusted professional, you can be assured that selectively targeting skin conditions with a medical-grade IPL machine is incredibly effective.
- Melanin pigment is diffused and dissipated, and IPL laser will clear even the most stubborn sun-induced pigmentation.
- Fibroblast cells are activated to increase collagen production in your skin to support the skin structure and improve visible ageing.
- Overall texture and tone are dramatically improved.
- Fine lines and wrinkles are minimised and softened.
IPL is a natural way to restore and repair the skin and regain a more youthful and vibrant appearance. If photo rejuvenation is something you’ve been considering, IPL should be on your radar.
And now you?
If you’re still wondering if IPL is for you or if you have more questions, you can get in touch with me here.
Or, you can go directly to The Global Beauty Group, where they’ll answer all your questions and direct you to a skin clinic with the credentials and training to allay any fears you may have.
See you next time,