IPL Treatment: what to know

Brooke Morton, FNP-C

IPL is one of the most effective and versatile skin treatment services available today, with the ability to target redness, hyperpigmentation and inflammation. IPL stands for intense pulsed light. It works by targeting different wavelengths on the color spectrum to address various pigments in the skin. In addition to bestowing a glow reminiscent of a real-life Instagram filter, IPL can also be used to target dermatological conditions such as lentigines (brown spots), telangiectasias (broken capillaries), acne, melasma and rosacea.

IPL Before & After

Our client Natalie’s main concerns included melasma, brown spots and generalized dullness of the skin. Due to her history of melasma, we recommended our JECT brightening kit for 8 weeks prior to beginning her IPL series. The ingredients in the pads, including hydroquinone, kojic acid and green tea extracts, act as melanin inhibitors to protect against worsened melasma, as IPL increases photosensitivity.

Upon arrival for treatment, eye protection and a thin layer of ultrasound gel are applied. The treatment begins with an allover photofacial treatment followed by targeted spot treatment to any particular spots of concern. After a comfortable 15 minute session, decreased redness, a clearer complexion and improved skin quality are immediately visible. If a deeper treatment is required, for example to address hyperpigmentation or broken capillaries, darkening of the targeted pigment can be expected. These spot-treated areas will then flake off over the course of one week, revealing fresh, normal skin. 3-6 treatments are recommended for best results, spaced 3-4 weeks apart. IPL is a safe treatment for all but the deepest skin tones.

Some aftercare instructions to keep in mind: Avoid picking at any flaking or crusted skin, which could cause increased damage. Avoid direct sunlight for one week following treatment, making sure to wear SPF and a protective hat whenever outdoors. Avoid exercise or excessive heat for 24 hours following treatment. Keep a simple skincare routine for the week following treatment, using only a gentle cleanser, SPF and soothing moisturizer—put any retinol or chemical/physical exfoliants on hold for the week following treatment.

In the immediate days after treatment, Natalie reported a total absence of redness and some speckling. Within one week, these areas peeled away to reveal smooth, bright skin. In the after photo, we can see decreased evidence of melasma and sun damage, improved skin tone, reduced pore size and an overall rejuvenation of the skin. In other words: the glow is real.