What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light that is used to effectively treat excessive melanin, redness and boost collagen through selective photothermolysis. Selective Photothermolysis uses a light that has a spectral range that targets specific structures and chromophores (e.g. melanin in hair, or oxyhemoglobin in blood vessels) that are heated to destruction and reabsorbed by the body. IPL shares some similarities with laser treatments, in that they both use light to heat and destroy their targets. But unlike lasers that use a single wavelength (colour) of light which typically matches only one chromophore, and hence only one condition, IPL uses a broad spectrum that when used with filters, allows it to be used against several conditions. This can be achieved when the IPL technician selects the appropriate filter that matches a specific chromophore
Contraindications for IPL Photofacial Treatments
- Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Active Skin Diseases or Disorders
- Photosensitive Diseases
- Hormonal Disorders
- Any major uncontrolled health problem
- Use of Accutane, photosensitive medications or herbs
- History of Keloid Scarring
- Use of Peels or Retinoids or skin resurfacing treatments.
- Bleeding Disorders
The skin may have a pink/red appearance post treatment for 24-72 hours. Sun spots or hyper pigmentation may appear darker. This darkness is the hyper pigmentation or sun damage surfacing. It will either fade, darken then fade, or darker and crust off if the pigmentation was very superficial. Overall the skin will look brighter. It is normal for the skin to feel a little warm post treatment.
What Should I Avoid Before and After Treatment?
Sun exposure, tanning beds and self tanners should be avoided 4-6 weeks prior to treatment and post treatment. The use of mechanical exfoliants or harsh products such as Retinol Creams, AHA, Glycolic Acids, exfoliating acids, benzoyl peroxide should be avoided 4-6 weeks prior to treatment and post. Immediately after each treatment, excessive heat such as sauna, steam room, hot tubs, exercises or sweating should be avoided for up to 48 hours. Only skincare that is recommended or approved by the technician should be used prior and post IPL Photofacial Treatments. Any photosensitizing medications need to be avoided a minimum of a month prior and post treatments. Please see contraindications below for more information.
Is Photofacial an option for all skin tones?
No, photorejuvenation is not suitable for darker skin types since one of the primary targets is melanin. Photorejuvenation is recommended for individuals with skin types 1-3 only. Skin type is best determined by complexion and ethnicity. An IPL consultation is necessary to determine your skin type and to see if you are a candidate for IPL Photorejuvenation.
How Many Photofacial Treatments Are Required?
Usually 3-6 sessions are required for best results when we are trying to correct the skin from years of sun damage and wear. Once the skin has improved, many clients like to maintain their clear and vibrant skin with monthly or seasonal photofacials. Usually those prone to pigmentation will always develop sun spots therefore maintenance is required if you want to treat the newly surfaced pigment.