WHAT IS IPL?
Intense pulsed Light (IPL) uses heat and a broad wavelength of light to improve skin texture, tone and elasticity. IPL is unlikely to cause surface skin damage so there is no downtime, and it has the ability to rejuvenate the skin in a number of different ways.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The light works to target specific skin structures known as ‘chromophores’, including thread veins, dark pigmentation, acne, melasma, rosacea, papules and cysts.
The heat of the device serves to encourage collagen production, cleanse the pores and prevent free radical damage which can lead to aging.
WHY ARE COURSES OF IPL TREATMENT NEEDED?
Most skin issues require 3 to 6 sessions of IPL as each session builds on the results of the previous one, giving longer lasting effects and preventing recurrence of the original issue. The skin takes around 4 weeks to heal between each treatment, as skin cell renewal occurs every 28 days.
HOW WILL I LOOK AFTER MY IPL?
There is no downtime, although you may be a little red and experience slight stinging after your treatment. Many lesions such as veins and dark spots may look deeper in colour after IPL therapy, but this fades after 3-5 days. Some lesions such as melasma or thread veins may crust or peel a few days after a treatment, but this is normal and nothing to worry about.
WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE?
Anti-Aging: One study showed a 24% reduction in wrinkles after 3 sessions of IPL, and 33% reduction after 5 sessions (1), whilst another trial showed skin tightening and visible pores were improved by 25% after 5 sessions. At Emma Coleman Skin clinics, we most commonly use IPL for tightening jawlines, stomachs and the backs of the arms. Combining the IPL with appropriate skincare in between appointments really improves results too.
Pigmentation and Melasma: Although historically tricky to treat, this type of discolouration shows amazing results with IPL. The heat and light of the device are absorbed by the targeted dark areas, destroying them over a period of a few weeks. Trials have shown that clients are likely to see a 25% improvement of their pigmentation after 5 sessions. At Emma Coleman Skin, IPL is often combined with a course of peels and skincare in between sessions to further enhance results.
Thread veins and Rosacea: Thread veins can appear on skin’s surface over the years due to hereditary factors, pressure or skin type. Rosacea occurs when veins become dilated beneath the surface of the skin, giving a characteristic redness or flushing of the skin, usually on the cheeks and nose. Studies have provided evidence that one session of IPL will moderately improve thread veins and skin flushing, whilst a course of 3 to 6 provides optimum long term clearance of the veins.
Acne: This is a common condition here in the UK, ranging from mild to severe and can be very upsetting for those affected. One trial showed a 41% reduction in acne lesions after two IPL treatments whilst another has provided evidence that a course of 5 sessions of IPL reduced inflammation and lesions by 91%.
IPL can be used on any part of the body including the face and neck, arms, back, stomach and thighs, where it can tighten the skin and improve a number of skin conditions.