Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered when that new wrinkle or age spot showed up? Or are you tired of shaving and wish you could permanently get rid of areas of unwanted hair? Thanks to groundbreaking technology, there is now a simple, non-invasive treatment — Intense Pulsed Light Therapy — for addressing these skin concerns.
In this article, you will learn all about IPL Therapy and the five main benefits of this treatment to help you decide if this would be an ideal treatment for your skin concerns and goals.
What Is IPL Treatment?
Intense Pulsed Light therapy, often referred to as IPL, is a type of light therapy that has a variety of applications, including anti-aging, dark spot treatment, stimulation of collagen production, and removal of unwanted hair.
Using various wavelengths of light scattered over specific areas of the skin, it can be used to improve the texture and colour of the skin without surgery or harsh treatments.
It is especially beneficial for improving sun damage, also known as photoaging, that is commonly seen on the face, hands, neck, and chest.
IPL therapy can also be used to address:
- Varicose veins
- Facial hair, neck or chest hair, leg hair, underarm hair, back hair, or bikini line hair
- Broken facial blood vessels
Is There A Difference Between Intense Pulsed Light Treatment and Laser Treatment?
Intense pulsed light treatment is often lumped in with laser treatments. While intense pulsed light treatment and laser treatment are similar, they do have some key differences. Whereas a laser focuses just one wavelength of light on the skin, intense pulsed light treatment flashes many different wavelengths of light at the skin. IPL is also less focused and more scattered than a laser and does not harm the top layer of the skin, resulting in less damage.
How Does Intense Pulsed Light Therapy Work?
Intense pulsed light therapy scatters different wavelengths of light on specific areas of the skin. The skin’s pigment cells absorb the light and convert it into heat.
The heat destroys unwanted pigment, helping to clear up age spots, brown spots, and freckles. The heat also destroys the hair follicle to get rid of unwanted hair.
5 Benefits of IPL Laser Treatment
1. IPL Can Be Done Anywhere on the Body
While many individuals think of the face as the main area of treatment for IPL photo rejuvenation, almost any area of the body can be treated. This makes it a versatile anti-aging tool for addressing a wide range of skincare concerns.
Whether you have unwanted hair on your chin, legs, underarms, bikini line, or elsewhere, IPL can be used to successfully treat it.
IPL is also excellent for treating age spots and photo-aging on the backs of the hands, shoulders, chest, and neck. These areas are commonly exposed to sunlight without the protection and attention the facial area receives. Individuals often forget to apply sunscreen and anti-aging treatments from the face down to the neck, chest, and back of the hands.
2. IPL Therapy Can Be Performed In Conjunction With Other Treatments
Since IPL therapy targets the deeper layers of the skin without harming the epidermis, it can safely be used along with other complementary skin care procedures. When used in conjunction with treatments that target the skin’s outermost layer, individuals can enjoy even more noticeable skin improvements.
A few examples of skin procedures that can safely be used in conjunction with IPL therapy include:
- Chemical peels
3. IPL Treatment Is Quick and Relatively Painless
Intense Pulsed Light therapy is quick, easy, and almost completely painless. Most individuals compare Intense Pulsed Light photo facials to the feeling of a rubber band being snapped against their skin. A topical anesthetic can be applied if you would like the IPL procedure to be completely painless.
IPL treatments are typically completed in 30 minutes or less and can easily fit into even the busiest lifestyles. Additionally, treatment with Intense Pulsed Light does not require downtime, so you can get right back to your daily activities after the procedure. It is crucial to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen after treatment to protect the newly rejuvenated skin.
4. IPL Promotes a More Youthful Appearance
By treating the skin’s deeper layers, Intense Pulsed Light therapy stimulates the growth of collagen, a structural protein that helps keep skin elastic and firm. Intense pulsed light therapy also helps improve the skin’s texture, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fades dark spots, and promotes a more radiant complexion.
IPL sessions are also an excellent way to treat skin redness resulting from rosacea or other skin conditions. After several IPL photo facials, individuals often report a more even, radiant, healthy-looking, youthful complexion.
5. Recovery After IPL Is Fast and Features Fewer Side Effects Than Other Treatments
Because IPL therapy does not damage the top layers of the skin, recovery is generally fast and requires next to zero downtime. Some individuals will experience a bit of mild swelling or redness after the procedure, but it typically fades within a day or two.
Individuals often report their skin appears a bit red and feels a little sensitive as if they got a mild sunburn. The redness usually disappears after several hours and any sensitivity disappears within a few days. During healing, avoid using hot water, harsh products, always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and follow the recommended healing routine for your skin.
Are IPL Results Permanent?
Many factors affect how long IPL results will last, including genetics, sun exposure, skin type, and age. While it is difficult to predict exactly how long the IPL result will last, the benefits of Intense Pulsed Light therapy typically last for six months to a year.
To prolong Intense Pulsed Light therapy results, it is recommended to:
- Limit your time in the sun
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, even when it is rainy or cloudy (don’t forget to apply sunscreen to commonly forgotten areas such as the backs of the hands, neck, chest, and shoulders)
- Use a high-quality facial moisturizer
- Always remove your makeup before bed
- Get a maintenance IPL treatment every six months to a year
Does IPL Therapy Work on All Skin Types?
Intense pulsed light therapy can be used anywhere on the body, but it does not work as well on uneven areas. It is not recommended for individuals with darker skin tones or who tend to form raised, thick keloid scars. It is more effective at removing darker hair than lighter coloured hair.
How Long Does Intense Pulsed Light Treatment Take?
Depending on the size of the area being treated and which part of the body is getting treated, treatment can take around 20 to 30 minutes. Desired results will likely take between three and six treatments total.
Each treatment should be spaced at least one month apart to allow the skin enough time to heal between treatments. Hair removal usually requires at least 6 to 12 treatments to achieve full results.
Want To Learn More About Achieving Healthy, Youthful Skin?
Are you interested in treating your dark spots, fine lines, or unwanted hair with Intense Pulsed light therapy? Please feel free to reach out to our team of skincare specialists to schedule a consultation or find out more about this innovative treatment.
Along with Intense Pulsed Light therapy, our clinic offers a comprehensive range of cosmetic and anti-aging treatments, including custom facials, microdermabrasion, DMK skin treatments, skin needling, and more. Our team of skincare experts is dedicated to helping you achieve your healthiest, most radiant, youthful-looking skin.