IPL & Photofacials

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Understanding IPL & Photofacials

Wondering how you can improve the condition of your skin without surgery?

An IPL (intense pulse light) photofacial could be the answer to your problems. It’s a versatile treatment used for photorejuvenation and it can do wonders for your skin such as:

  • Decrease brown spots
  • Treat sun damage
  • Reduce active acne and treat redness from acne

IPL photofacials can also stimulate collagen production and help you stay ahead of the effects of aging (like wrinkles and fine lines).

How it Works

An IPL photofacial is a light treatment that uses an IPL device to deliver an arc of light energy that penetrates all levels of the skin. This procedure can be performed on multiple body parts including the face, neck, chest, hands, and legs.

Usually, the head of the IPL device is designed to be larger than most laser spot sizes, allowing for the rapid treatment of large body areas. And the best part? The procedure doesn’t harm the epidermis (surface of the skin). This means that you can expect to be up and running a few days following your treatment. However, to see optimal results, most people need more than one IPL photofacial. Severe cases might need up to six treatments (performed four to six weeks apart). The cost of an IPL photofacial varies depending on the number of treatments and the size of the treatment area.

Benefits of IPL Photofacials

Compared to other light-based and laser procedures, IPL photofacials are less risky, more efficient, and often less expensive. And did we mention the fast recovery time? You usually can return to your routine immediately after your treatment. The only downside is that you might need more than one session to get the best results. But the numerous benefits of IPL treatments are worth the multiple trips to Peach Skin & Laser:

  • IPL photofacials treat uneven or excessive skin pigmentation issues and help to reduce age spots, freckles, and sun spots.
  • The treatment bypasses the epidermis without causing damage, cutting down on recovery time.
  • An IPL photofacial can reduce redness caused by general facial flushing, broken capillaries, and rosacea—something only a few other light-based procedures can do.

How to Prepare for your First IPL Photofacial

For up to two weeks before your first IPL photofacial, avoid exposing your skin to any agents that might cause damage or irritation. This means:

  • No tanning
  • No waxing
  • No chemical peels
  • No topical creams with retinol or glycolic acid
  • No excessive sun exposure

What to Expect During your IPL Treatment

When you first call or visit us to request an IPL photofacial, your provider will check if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. They will then cleanse your skin and apply an ultrasound gel to make the treatment more efficient. This gel serves to:

  • Protect your skin
  • Allow the laser to smoothly glide over the skin
  • Reduce reflection of the IPL waves from the skin

Both you and your provider will wear protective eyewear before you begin the treatment.

During the treatment, the specialist holds the handpiece of the IPL photofacial device and moves it against your skin, emitting light pulses with the trigger of a button.

Some of our patients have compared the sensation to the snapping of rubber bands.

After covering the treatment area, your provider will remove the gel and may apply sunscreen.

You can also apply make-up or moisturizer to the area immediately after treatment.

An IPL photofacial typically lasts between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area.


IPL Photofacial Post Care

There's little to no downtime after an IPL photofacial. However, your skin still needs to heal for about a week. You may notice redness and swelling on the treated area for the first few hours (or the rest of the day) after your treatment. This is completely normal and shouldn’t stop you from going back to your regular activities or work. However, consider skipping exercise for a few days to prevent further swelling (which can slow the healing process). We recommend using ice packs or a cool washcloth to ease any discomfort in the treated area. Here are more post-care tips after an IPL photofacial:

  • You can expect to see pigmented spots rise to the surface of your skin within a week of treatment. The brown, freckled areas can look like little coffee grounds or pepper flakes and will usually fall off a few days to a week after showing up.
  • Your skin will feel sunburned and hypersensitive a few days following the procedure. Treat your skin gently until you’re fully healed. Only use mild skincare products and gentle cleansers; avoid abrasive products like scrubs.
  • Your skin will be more vulnerable to sun damage after an IPL treatment. Avoid sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater on the treatment area at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

It may take three to four treatments to see significant results, especially when treating severe dark spots. However, some of our patients often see some improvement in redness within two weeks of their first session.

To maintain the benefits of your IPL treatment, you’ll likely need follow-up sessions regularly.

While this procedure can make your skin look better, it can’t stop you from aging in the future. This is especially true for candidates with freckles. With that being said, IPL photofacials can still help you achieve significant improvement in the appearance of freckles.

While IPL is extremely safe, some complications are likely to occur such as:

  • Blistering
  • Bruising
  • Changes in skin color
  • Increased melasma
  • Infection

We caution all our patients to stay conservative with treatment parameters to avoid these complications.

Yes. IPL is an effective way to treat a range of skin conditions including skin discoloration, redness, and hyperpigmentation. However, you may need multiple rounds of treatment before you see significant results. If you have more questions about IPL treatments, contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information.

If you have any questions, please contact us.