IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is used to visibly improve many common skin concerns resulting from aging and other lifestyle factors. IPL therapy, sometimes also referred to as IPL Photofacial, uses light energy in different wavelengths to target specific skin irregularities that show up as sunspots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and redness. The handpiece features a filtered piece of glass that causes the light from the IPL device to be absorbed by the irregularities in the skin (such as sunspots and rosacea). After the treatment, the body will naturally absorb the targeted cells, and you'll notice a difference in 5-7 days. A series of three initial treatments are recommended, and we also recommend annual maintenance treatments. Results can also be prolonged by avoiding the sun and taking care to protect your skin from further damage.
Patients who want to improve a "blotchy" or uneven complexion will appreciate this treatment's results.
IPL can be used to treat the face, neck, chest, arms, and hands and small irregularities on the rest of the body such as freckles, moles, or birthmarks. IPL can also be used to get rid of unwanted hair in patients with lighter skin types.
At Esthetics Center, we are proud to offer IPL treatments with the Nordlys by Candela, one of the industry's premier makers of esthetic laser devices. The Nordlys is the industry's gold standard for IPL treatment, as it can treat the skin using a narrower wavelength of light while generating less heat. For the patient, this translates to a more effective and more comfortable experience that takes less time. The Nordlys also includes a Frax device that can for skin resurfacing, a complementary treatment.
Following IPL treatment, your skin may be mildly red or swollen or perhaps feels sensitive, but you should be able to resume your normal daily activities with no issues. Most patients say it feels like a mild sunburn. You can ease any discomfort you might feel with a cool washcloth, aloe, or a cooled facial roller. Because there is no damage to the surface of your skin, you can also use makeup, moisturizer, and other topical products. You should also wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and always protect your skin from further sun damage -- not only during your treatments!
IPL treatment is suitable for most skin types, but unfortunately, it is not ideal for darker skin tones because it does target areas of pigmentation. We have other options for these patients. IPL is excellent for patients with lighter-toned skin with areas of sun damage such as pigmentation, diffuse redness, or flushing from rosacea, and those with broken blood vessels. We ask that you avoid tanning (even self-tanning lotion) for a minimum of two weeks before your treatment so that your skin is closest to its baseline tone as possible. We also ask that you avoid retinol and other acid products such as glycolic for a week before treatment. As a general practice, we do not perform medical esthetic treatments on pregnant women due to inflammatory concerns, but this treatment can be done soon after childbirth.
We generally recommend all patients start with a series of three IPL treatments spaced approximately four weeks apart. You will begin to see results after the first treatment -- however, this procedure gets better and better as you go. As areas are addressed and resolved in the beginning, we can continue to treat the harder, more stubborn issues. IPL treatments are some of the most highly rated on RealSelf.com, and we can see why. Our patients’ Before and After results speak for themselves. Please contact us to schedule a consultation and discuss whether IPL can help you feel and live more confidently.
IPL results are permanent in as much as you can prevent and mitigate further damage to your skin from sun exposure and other diet and lifestyle triggers. IPL cannot stop aging or the normal hormonal process, but in conjunction with proper skincare and a healthy lifestyle, it will most certainly help. We recommend yearly maintenance treatments and a consultation with one of our estheticians for suggestions on personalized skincare.
One would choose IPL treatments over lasers because there is no downtime, it is cost-effective and requires no aftercare. Laser treatments can be used to target a more specific concern, but can also be ablative, which will require some measure of wound care and/or downtime. Lasers are more aggressive but also incredibly effective. Whether we would choose one approach over the other depends on several factors that can be discussed at a consultation with one of our skilled nurses.