Sun exposure begins to gradually damage our skin starting in childhood. While damage can be worse for hardcore or even some reformed sun worshipers, the results of years of cumulative damage can cause wrinkles, uneven texture and age spots.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) photo facials can effectively and often dramatically reverse sun damage and its telltale symptoms including redness, broken capillaries, and facial veins. The results of an IPL photo facial at Naturallyou in Greenwich can include a radiant, more youthful complexion with skin noticeably cleared of damage.
What Are IPL Treatments?
IPL is an acronym for intense pulsed light. We also refer to this treatment as a PhotoFacial. The process involves targeting pigment and sun damage with a precision light generator, causing visible spots and discoloration to fade away. Unlike laser skin resurfacing treatments, IPL therapy is non-ablative and completely non-invasive.
Who Is A Candidate For IPL Treatments?
We often perform IPL treatments on adults who are showing the signs of sun damage. Light-based therapies are usually ideal for lighter skin tones. To be a good candidate for IPL treatment, you must avoid tanning for at least a few weeks before your appointment. Due to the risks associated with light therapies, IPL may not be suitable for you if you're tanned or have naturally dark skin. This is because IPL is designed to alter skin pigment. If you are interested in IPL treatment for acne or acne scarring, inform your provider if you have taken Accutane. It is important to wait at least six months after stopping the use of this drug to undergo light-based treatment.
How Does It Work?
IPL isn’t a laser treatment. Unlike lasers, which deliver a steady beam of heat energy to the skin, IPL gently zaps the skin with pulses of light energy. When treating pigmented lesions, melanin absorbs the light energy, which passes through the skin. The result is a reduction in dark pigmentation and a process that also stimulates new collagen and elastin. The body’s natural processes then remove the injured tissue giving the skin a more even and youthful glow.
The IPL process is similar in principle to laser skin rejuvenation in that the energy of light waves is directed into the skin. The light waves that permeate the epidermis get absorbed into chromophores, the cells that hold pigment, color. The intense beams of light transform into thermal energy, heat, when absorbed into the pigment. This results in the dissolution of clumps of melanin or other pigmented cells. The IPL device may filter the energy output as needed to treat various areas of the face and body without incurring trauma to surrounding tissue. This means that treatment can be customized to the specific types of pigment we need to target, such as sun spots versus broken capillaries.
What Are The Benefits?
Intense pulsed light gently and effectively rejuvenates your skin with little to no downtime. Indeed, many of Terry Conrad’s Naturallyou patients book these treatments for the easy, effective way it can dramatically transform the complexion in less than an hour.
There are several reasons to consider IPL treatment. The effects of intense pulsed light can correct several concerns without significant side effects or downtime. Some of the reasons IPL treatment is so popular include:
- Intense pulsed light is one of the best solutions for sun damage.
- Treatment can address the cause of acne and acne scarring.
- IPL can get rid of visible veins and capillaries.
- Regular treatments can help you get ahead of premature aging.
- Treatment can be performed on the face and various areas of the body.
- IPL treatments can be combined with other non-surgical modalities for even better results.
- Very little downtime is needed. Makeup can be applied soon after treatment.
Terry Conrad performs IPL treatments on the face, hands, décolleté and shoulders to even out skin tone and color and promote smoother, more youthful-looking skin. Vivace™ RF microneedling treatments may complement IPL results with additional collagen stimulation.
What Can I Expect From An IPL Treatment?
An IPL is not painful, but some patients experience slight discomfort and tolerances for the procedure vary. If desired, the Naturallyou team can apply a numbing cream before treatment. The pulses of light energy cause a sensation that most patients compare to a rubber band snapping against the skin. A treatment session lasts about 30 minutes. While one treatment can have a real impact on the complexion, Terry finds her patients see the most impressive results after a series of 3 to 5 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart.
As your skin responds to your IPL treatment, you may experience the following:
- Redness that lasts two to five days
- A sunburned sensation that lasts for a few hours after treatment
- Spots may darken starting about three days after treatment
- The skin may crust and flake for up to 10 days
- Minor bruising may occur, lasting up to two weeks
Your IPL treatment targets pigment in blood vessels and in the skin. As the side effects of treatment resolve, the cosmetic effects of the process start to reveal themselves. This looks like brighter, smoother, more youthful-looking skin.
How to care for your skin after IPL treatments:
- Be sure to protect your skin from the sun and use appropriate skin care products to prolong your results. Terry can suggest some excellent sunscreens to help you maintain your results.
- There’s almost no downtime. Because IPL treatments are relatively gentle, you can go about your day after a session.
- Treat your skin gently. Wash your face with lukewarm water. Hot water can remove natural oils from the skin, drying it out. To keep skin hydrated, use mild cleansers.
Terry’s Tip: It’s common to have swelling and redness, a bit like a mild sunburn, immediately after the treatment. These side effects typically resolve in a matter of hours. You should notice improvements to the skin as soon as a week after treatment.
How Long Do Results Last?
We would love to say that IPL treatments achieve permanent results. They can, but there are conditions to this. The results of IPL treatments are influenced by two primary factors: aging and sun exposure. Despite your best efforts to protect your skin from sun damage, a few days of not wearing sunscreen could eventually result in spots or other signs of damage. Aging, as you know, cannot be avoided, and, with age and collagen depletion, your complexion may change. Fortunately, it isn't difficult to schedule touch-up IPL treatments as needed to foster the concept of aging gracefully.
I recently had Dysport, IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and fillers with Terry Conrad at Naturallyou. The results were better than I imagined. I look like the best version of me; a little younger; a little fresher, but not the least bit overdone. My results are perfectly subtle and completely credible. A friend asked me if I had been away I look so rested. I couldn’t ask for more
- Liz C. F., Fairfield, Ct.
Terry Conrad is known for her skill performing the transformative IPL photo facial treatment and her expertise attracts women and men from Stamford, Greenwich and throughout Connecticut to seek her services at Naturallyou. To book an appointment, use her online form or call our med spa at 203-340-9998 to schedule an appointment.