What to expect with IPL

Beautiful skin and permanent hair removal with IPL

Whether you are looking for smoother skin, firmer skin, more even tone or even permanent hair removal, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a safe and effective option that can treat a wide range of skin care issues for many skin types.

IPL uses intense light energy to improve and even skin tone, reduce wrinkles, diminish the appearance of scarring and as a method of permanent hair removal. Treatments are fast and effective with little discomfort.

What is IPL?

IPL  is a technology that converts light is into heat energy. It can be used in photofacial rejuvenation to improve the appearance of skin, or as a reliable method of permanent hair removal.

The selected light waves target color pigments, such as melanin in brown spots and freckles or dark hair follicles. The heat then destroys these particles and they are either shed off the top layer of skin or absorbed back into the body. In the case of permanent hair removal, the follicle is deactivated, discouraging hair growth.

IPL vs. laser

While lasers produce light from one specific wavelength, or color, for a specific target, IPL uses a full spectrum of colors and different wavelengths, enabling IPL to treat a wider range of issues during treatment. IPL can also cover a larger treatment area more quickly so fewer sessions may be needed.

Skin Rejuvenation with IPL

IPL can be used effectively to treat skin issues such as:

  • Uneven skin tone
  • Uneven skin texture
  • Brown patches of pigmentation
  • Freckling
  • Sun damage
  • Vascular Lesions
  • Acne & Rosacea
  • Enlarged pores, minor pitting and scarring
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Lax or sagging skin
IPL Consultation and Test Patch:

Your comprehensive consultation will assess your level of photosensitivity. Your provider will give you a patch test on the treatment area to gauge what settings should be used for your treatment. While some conditions only require a few minutes for results, others may require a 48-hour wait for accurate patch test results.

What to expect during IPL skin treatment

The number of sessions required depends on the condition being treated, the client’s skin type, condition and color. Most treatments require two to eight treatments at four- to six-week intervals. Your provider will help you create a personalized treatment plan to achieve your goals. Some conditions may require additional maintenance treatments over time.

Redness, flushing, age spots, brown patches and fine lines will gradually reduce as visible improvements increase with each treatment.

Permanent Hair Reduction: How does it work?

IPL targets the color pigment (melanin) in the hair follicles. People with dark hairs on fair skin usually have the best and quickest results.

Hairs grow in a cycle: active growth, dormancy and finally, they shed and are replaced by new, actively growing hairs. Only hair follicles in the active growth stage are disabled by IPL treatments, which is why several treatments over several weeks are required for optimized results.

An occasional maintenance session may be necessary as hair growth can be stimulated by hormonal imbalance, stress, illness, disease and drugs such as steroids or contraceptive pills.

Treatment areas will need to be shaved before treatment, so the light energy is targeted to the follicle below the skin’s surface. Let hair grow to about 2 mm before treatment and shave rather than pluck between appointments. Waxing or plucking removes the hair roots targeted by IPL.

All Treatments:
During your treatment

The treatment area is cleaned and ultrasound gel is applied. The provider and the client both wear specially designed glasses to protect their eyes. The head of the handpiece is held against the client’s skin and the intense light is pulsed with a trigger with a minimum of two seconds between each flash.

Some people feel little or no sensation, but other may feel heat or a slight sting, like a rubber band snapping against the skin.

After IPL treatment

Most people have no negative reactions from IPL and resume normal activities immediately after treatment. The treated area may appear flushed, but any redness should disappear within 30 minutes. In some cases, the skin may remain red for up to 24 hours.

After hair removal treatment people may see a slight “goose bump” at each hair follicle, which should disappear within a few hours.

For 24 hours after each IPL treatment:

  • No sun exposure or UV exposure of sunbeds
  • Wear sunblock with UVA and UVB protection
  • No AHA, glycolic or salicylic creams
  • Refrain from very hot baths or showers
  • Do not use heat treatments such as a sauna
  • No chlorinated pools or whirlpools
  • Do not wear deodorant if you have treated your underarms
  • No perfumes, scented soaps or lotions

Long-term After Care:

  • Wear a sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection every day
  • Avoid excessive sun or UV exposure
Darker skin tones and IPL

People with darker skin tones or easily tanned skin may not be good candidates for IPL treatments. IPL targets melanin, even normal coloration in the skin, so hyperpigmentation or blanching can occur. Consultation and a test patch can determine whether an individual could benefit from IPL.

Contact the expert team at Navarre Wellness for a consultation and we’ll assess your skincare needs and help you find the best treatment program to help you reach your goals!