What is IPL?
Intense pulsed light, commonly abbreviated as IPL, is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic uses including:
IPL when done properly, almost always consists of a series of 3-5 treatments, usually one every three to six weeks. The benefits of IPL treatments are achieved with little discomfort and minimal risk.
IPL for Hair Removal
IPL can successfully remove unwanted hair from almost any part of the body, in both women and men. The most popular zones for ladies include underarms, bikini (including full Brazilian), legs, arms and face (chin, lip, cheeks, eyebrows) as well as ‘the garden path’,the areola and the area between the breasts. For men the most popular zones include beard, back, shoulders, chest, neck, ears and arms followed by cheeks, buttocks, tummy and legs.
How does the IPL hair removal work?
The idea behind permanent hair removal using IPL is to destroy the individual hair follicles. Controlled pulses of light are absorbed by the pigment in the hair, and the heat is then transferred to the hair follicle, which is destroyed. Because the treatment is only effective in specific stages of the hair growth process, you’ll need a series of visits at set intervals to ensure you get the maximum result.
How does the laser treatment improve the appearance of blood vessels, rosacea, and age spots/freckles?
The laser/IPL device emits a range of lightwaves that are then tuned and targeted at hemoglobin (the red blood cells in the blood vessels) or melanin (the brown pigment in freckles and age spots). The light beam passes through the skin and is absorbed by either hemoglobin or melanin resulting in damage to the vessel wall or fragmenting of melanin pigment. These tiny vessels and the melanin pigment are then absorbed by the body, rendering them less visible.
How does an IPL treatment increase collagen?
The light bypasses the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and gently heats the cells in the deeper layer of skin (dermis). These cells, called fibroblasts, start to produce more collagen, which improves texture and fine wrinkles.
What can I expect of a hair removal treatment?
The actively growing hairs that were treated will slowly begin to fall out, between 1 to 3 weeks after each session (shedding) and you will have a hair free period. Any dormant hairs in the treatment area, will start to grow, but at a slower rate and the hairs will be much finer and easy to remove at subsequent sessions. As your treatment course progresses your hair free period will get longer and longer, until all or most of the follicles in the area are destroyed and you’re left with only hair free skin.
Who should not get these treatments?
Avoid laser treatments in pregnancy
Anyone taking medication with photo sensitivity as a side effect
Anyone undergoing Chemo Therapy
Are there any side effects?
The main side effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, an accentuation of the brown spots, crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister).
Cheryl is the owner and one of three therapists at Sublime Skin & Body. She has many years of experience in the industry and is an accredited Beauty Therapy trainer and Environ Skin Product trainer.