IPL is a noninvasive way to improve your skin’s texture and reduce hyperpigmentation (brown spots), tighten pores, and minimize redness, giving you a more vibrant, younger-looking appearance. Dark patches, brown spots, and freckles are just a few of the issues that men and women experience due to sun exposure. As our skin ages, it begins to show signs of sun damage. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy can improve lackluster skin for individuals of various ages and skin types. With today’s variety of noninvasive skin rejuvenation options, IPL photofacial therapy is at the top of the list for giving patients fantastic results.
Even younger adults can get a jump-start on taking care of their skin with IPL therapy. At Highline Aesthetics, this innovative technology is available to both men and women who want to revitalize their appearance and enjoy healthier-looking skin. If you are ready to hit the reset button on your face, shoulders, neck, and hands, IPL therapy may be the right solution for you.
How does an IPL photofacial work?
If you have spent a significant amount of time in the Colorado sun without sunscreen, you might be seeing the unfortunate signs of sun damage. After years of exposure, there may be freckled patches and dark spots on your face, neck, shoulder, and even hands. The good news is the certified experts at Highline Aesthetics can reduce those imperfections with an IPL photofacial. IPL treatment uses intense wavelengths of light to heat the surface enough to stimulate the skin to naturally regenerate while boosting collagen production. Over time, patients are left with a smoother skin tone, healthier complexion, and less visible sun damage.
What does IPL do for your skin?
An IPL treatment uses the power of broadband light to minimize the appearance of age spots, sun spots, acne scars, rosacea, and more. IPL treatments generally take about 20 – 30 minutes. After the patient’s face is cleaned and dried, patients will be given protective eye shields to wear during the procedure. A handheld device will be passed over the target area, delivering pulses of intense light to penetrate the layers of the skin. Highline Aesthetics is one of the few practices in Colorado to offer Alma’s In-Motion technology. Our handheld device will deliver the intense light without the ‘sting’ of competitors' machines. The handpick simply glides over the skin. You will feel a warming sensation but no discomfort. There is no need for injections or incisions, giving patients the bonus of no downtime required. To start your IPL photofacial, we rub gel on your clean skin, and we give you a pair dark glasses to protect your eyes from the light rays. We then place the IPL handpiece on the skin of the treatment area. The handpiece slides across the skin delivering light pulses. This process is repeated until the entire face or other targeted area is completely covered. This typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
What can I expect after a photofacial?
Immediately after your IPL treatment, the treated areas will be slightly pink or red and swollen. These effects will begin to dissipate after 24 hours. You may notice discoloration and sun spots turning somewhat darker or more noticeable, and other blemishes may begin to surface. This is a good sign that the treatment is working. These spots will eventually flake off as the skin begins to heal from the inside out.
Other tips for after your IPL treatment:
Wear sunscreen daily with at least 30 SPF
Keep your skin moisturized at all times
Use a gentle cleanser with warm water at least twice a day
Do not pick or scratch at the skin — blemishes that surface will naturally flake away
Don't wear makeup for at least 12 – 24 hours after treatment
No strenuous exercise for 48 hours, as overheating the skin can affect the results
No hot baths, hot showers, or hot tubs for 48 hours — warm showers are fine
Your skin may be irritated or red and feel as though you have mild sunburn. This is a normal occurrence and you may apply cool, not cold compresses to the treatment site.
Apply cool compresses for no longer than 20-minute intervals.
Avoid the use of alpha or beta hydroxyl products, retinols, or Retin A products for 24 hrs after your treatment as they could create additional irritation.
After 24 hrs you may resume your prescribed skin care regimen.
Flaking and crusting may occur. Do not attempt to exfoliate or remove any crusting. Areas with heavy sun damage and brown spots will darken over the first 24 hrs after treatment. Some of the red areas may intensify as well. Do not pick or abrade the area. This is part of the normal response to treatment and will clear on its own in 3-7 days.
If you experience any open wounds contact our office immediately.
Maintain hydration. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free and sodium-free beverages and keep skin well hydrated as directed.
Cleanse and treat your skin as prescribed.
Follow the directions you are given for your skin condition and goals.
Proper skin care is essential to support the effects of your IPL treatment.
Do not expose your skin to direct sunlight for a minimum of 3 days. Good sun protection is essential following treatment. If you are outdoors apply a minimum SPF 30 and wear sun protective clothing and headwear. Following IPL therapy your skin is highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation of irregular, darkened pigmentation. Therefore, sun protection is required for life to maintain the results you have achieved.
Follow-up as directed.
Your treatment may require several treatments of many weeks to achieve optimal results. Results may not be visible after each treatment but may develop gradually in the weeks that follow. It is essential that your progress is monitored throughout your treatment cycle.
Keep your appointments as directed.
How long do IPL results last?
After your IPL treatment, sun damage and other skin irregularities will come to the surface as your skin begins to heal. Most patients see visible results after their first session, but the experts at Highline Aesthetics generally recommend 3 IPL treatments scheduled about four weeks apart to get maximum results. IPL results can typically be enjoyed for years if patients take good care of their skin and keep it protected from the sun. An IPL treatment every 6 – 12 months as part of your skin care regimen can also boost collagen production, which is another anti-aging agent for both men and women. Intense pulsed light therapy is a simple treatment that gives patients dramatic results.
What are the Benefits of IPL Treatments?
At Highline Aesthetics, all of our non-surgical treatments seek to improve your skin. IPL photofacials benefit your skin in two ways. First, these light treatments target your pigmentation problems such as age spots. The darker cells absorb the IPL energy and the melanin pigment fragments. The body then absorbs the pigment cells and the spots become less and less visible. With facial surface veins, the energy is absorbed by the dark blood, heating the vein. This heating causes the vein wall to collapse and close off the vein. The body then scavenges the vein and it completely disappears. Second, the IPL energy penetrates the epidermis layer of the skin (the outer layer) and gently heats the dermis, the skin’s second layer. When the body senses this heating in the dermis it responds as if it has been wounded by producing new amounts of collagen and sending it to the “wounded” area. Since collagen provides the skin’s underlying support structure, this firms your skin and reduces lines and wrinkles.
Who is a Good Candidate for an IPL Photofacial at Highline?
IPL photofacials are primarily used for addressing pigmentation issues. So, if you have blotchy, sun-damaged skin with lots of freckles, IPL photofacials are an effective treatment. They also shrink large pores, remove broken capillaries, and lessen fine lines and wrinkles. Rosacea responds to IPL treatments. IPL photofacials are not effective for darker skin tones or deeply tanned skin, as the IPL wavelengths cannot differentiate between the age spots/pigmentation problems and the rest of the darkened skin. If you’re using Retin-A, doxycycline, or other medications, they will have to be stopped for one week prior to your photofacial at Highline.
IPL is not recommend for pigmentation caused by melasma.
See our Melasma Protocol Here.
How Much Does an IPL Cost?
See our Laser Menu Here.
How Long Will My Results from IPL Last?
The changes in your pigmentation problems and blood vessels are permanent. After the IPL energy breaks down the melanin in your sun spots and closes off those small surface blood vessels, your body removes them as waste products. Whether you develop more sun spots and broken surface blood vessels is dependent upon your sun exposure moving forward. More sun exposure will create more sun spots and areas of blotchy pigmentation. But if you take good care of your skin and protect it from the sun, your skin will continue to look good for the long term.
Is IPL Safe? Are There Risks or Side Effects?
These are very low-risk procedures, as they are completely non-ablative and non-invasive. Unlike laser resurfacing, the light energy is not removing any skin. It is simply penetrating the outer layer and targeting the darker colors of the sun damaged skin and blood vessels beneath the surface. There isn’t any recovery after our IPL photofacials at Highline Aesthetics. Your skin may be somewhat red after your session, but that passes in a few hours.