What is IPL Treatment?
A laser skin rejuvenation treatment for skin aging and sun damage.
A few weeks ago, I received my very first IPL Treatment at Lanoi Cosmetic Dermatology in San Diego. Without a doubt, I have sun damage on my face (I used to be terrible at using sunscreen aka baby oil – YIKES), so I was extremely excited to get this laser treatment! With one of three treatments under my belt, I wanted to share my experience and everything you need to know about IPL.
What is an IPL Treatment?
An IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment corrects pigmentation (sun/age spots, freckles, etc.) and vascular imperfections (spider veins, broken capillaries, etc.), while improving your skin’s overall appearance.
My main concern going in was sun/dark spots. After my consultation, I left feeling confident that I was going to see amazing results and couldn’t wait! I knew that I was in good hands.
How does it work?
Light pulses move through the skin, creating heat and targeting skin imperfections in a controlled way. The treated area then flakes off when your body goes through its natural and constant process of exfoliation. At the same time, collagen and elastic fibers are stimulated, which results in a visible improvement of your skin’s tone and overall appearance.
My treatment was extremely easy, quick and painless. The entire process took under 45 minutes, plus the staff was friendly, informative and efficient. With a numbing gel on my face, the only thing I could feel was a little bit of heat from the laser. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how simple and fast it was!
The best part? No downtime!! I got a chemical peel a few years ago, and while the results were great – the downtime was not so great. Basically, your skin peels off so going out in public can get a little dicey! One of the things I loved the most about the IPL treatment was the fact that I could go about my everyday life and not get weird looks from strangers.
When will I see results?
It varies between two and five days, depending on your skin sensitivity and the treatment performed, but you can expect to see a substantial difference in hyper-pigmented lesions, vascular lesions, and your overall skin texture within one week of treatment. For some conditions, it may take a few sessions to see the best results. In general, the heavier your skin blemishes, the more treatments you’ll need.
Honestly, I felt like my skin looked amazing immediately after the treatment – but I saw my results within 3 days. Over those 3 days, the treated areas turned into what looked like tiny coffee grounds and flaked off. You could only see them if you were a centimeter away from my face. I went about wearing my normal, everyday makeup and you couldn’t tell I had anything done. My skin reacted well to the treatment – I’m happy with my results so far! But as per recommendation, I am going to get three total IPL Treatments for optimal results.
How long will the results last?
You can have one session of IPL once a year as maintenance, if you choose to. Your results will last longer if you take good care of your skin by using a good antioxidant and sunscreen, as well as avoiding sun exposure as much as possible. While IPL treats existing skin problems, it doesn’t prevent new ones from developing. You still need to take steps to prevent sun damage in the future.
I plan on being OCD about sunscreen for the rest of my life and taking extra good care of my skin. I’ve seen what not wearing sunscreen in my teens and early 20’s has done – not a fan! Sunscreen, ladies. Shade (and hats) are your friends!
Before treatment begins, a cooling gel is applied to the surface of your face. This is to both protect your healthy skin cells and provide you with total comfort throughout the procedure.
Using a specialized handpiece, the IPL is delivered to the treatment area. The light serves to treat superficial blemishes while also heating the underlying collagen layer, causing it to expand. With each pulse of light, your skin gets a jolt of beautifying energy, helping it to look and feel its best.
How Long Does it Take To Heal After IPL?
It takes about 2 weeks to heal after IPL treatment.