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IPL Photofacial: The Basics

Photo Facial

You may be wondering what Intense Pulsed Light (or IPL) can do for your skin, and we’re about to give you a crash course! IPL can be used to treat multiple issues including, but not limited to: facial lines and wrinkles, vascular lesions, brown spots, acne, and even unwanted dark hair. 

How does it work? 

Heat destroys unwanted pigments, and IPL is a delivery vessel for that heat. In other words, the light energy from IPL is absorbed by the skin and converted into heat. The wide range of wavelengths addresses a number of complexion concerns across various skin types and tones. 

Benefits of IPL

  • Diminished appearance of dark spots
  • Reduced appearance of rosacea (a common skin condition that causes blushing or flushing and visible blood vessels in your face)
  • Blurs the appearance of broken capillaries
  • Removes dark hair
  • Evens skin tone

How to prepare for IPL Photofacial: 

Since heat and light are involved, it is strongly recommended that you do not tan or apply a self-tanner prior to treatment. It’s also a wise move to avoid moisturizers or facial oils on the day of treatment, as they may irritate your skin. In regard to pain tolerance, IPL is considered by many to have a slight sensation (like rubbing sunburn or having a rubber band snapped on your skin). If you have very low pain tolerance or sensitive skin, talk to your specialist about having a numbing cream applied. 

Aftercare instructions: 

  • Avoid acquiring a tan for the entire duration of the treatments.
    • This includes spray tanning, bed tanning, or sun tanning.
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure for 14 days
    • Wear SPF 30+ daily. 
  • If you experience any discomfort or swelling, ice the area for 15 minutes.
  • Avoid excessive heat such as hot tubs/water, saunas, etc. for 48 hours.
  • Consult with your provider to determine when you should continue your regular skincare regimen.
    • Everybody’s skin is unique, so what may be a two-week timeline for somebody, may take 3 weeks. Factors such as weather, skin sensitivity, and reaction to treatment should all be considered and discussed. 

Pick a time that works for you! 

For many, winter time is a perfect time to do an IPL photofacial treatment. It can often take more than one treatment, six weeks apart to achieve desired results. In fact, IPL treatments often require at least half a dozen appointments spaced out over a six to eight month period. Aftercare during winter months is easier to maintain than in scorching weather, but you still need to exercise caution. 

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9350 University Ave #132, West Des Moines, IA 50266