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As we age, genetics and sun exposure play a huge role in our skin’s health, leading to loss of elasticity and sun damage overtime. Some common signs of photoaging include sagging skin, age spots, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. A popular skincare procedure used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to treat these concerns is technology called IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. It has a variety of benefits and not only can be used for hair removal and acne, but also a full face rejuvenation.
How does Intense Pulsed Light work?
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy involves a handheld device that delivers pulses of broad-spectrum light in the skin at a lower intensity to target melanin (pigmentation). This is gentle for the skin while still acting on the deeper layers, which allows it to treat specific problem areas or skin concerns. There is no need for incisions or injections since the skin is only influenced by the wavelengths of light on a molecular level.
What are Photofacials used for?
IPL Photofacials can treat a range of skin conditions at a time and generally speaking, are used to improve the appearance of skin blemishes and pigmentation problems. Several specific conditions fall under these categories including fine lines, freckles, broken capillaries, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea.
How can I prepare for treatment?
To start, patients need to be tax-free, so it’s recommended to avoid sun exposure a month beforehand and during treatment time. Tans can interfere with the melanin reading of the machine, and there’s an increased chance of being burned as melanin is attracted to light. Also, any retinol or retinoid should be discontinued 2-4 weeks ahead of time, and Accutane (or isotretinoin products) should be avoided 6 months prior.
How long do Photofacials take?
IPL treatments are performed in a series and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour-long, depending on the area. Most people get photofacials to treat their face, shoulders, neck, and hands, and typically require 3-5 treatments spaced a month apart. It varies as one treatment alone gives a beautiful, refreshing look, but multiple sessions are required for more prolonged treatment for deep sun damage.
Are there any side effects?
A benefit of IPL treatment is that there’s no downtime, so you can get back to normal activities immediately after treatment, including apply your usual face creams and makeup. The only “side effect” may include redness which is common and goes away within a few hours.
When will I see results?
After one photofacial, you should expect to see and feel skin that is smoother. Brown spots will initially appear darker as they move to the skin’s surface but will fade as part of the skin’s natural exfoliation process. The pores will shrink and the skin will look tighter, while fine lines and wrinkles will decrease over time with more sessions. Results are gradual with improvements to the skin appearing days and weeks following treatment. IPL photo facial is a great choice for your skin’s needs as it is safe, effective, and affordable and should only be performed by a medical professional.