IPL Skin Tightening
Skin Tightening For Your Face And Body
IPL Skin Tightening is a nonsurgical procedure that utilizes intense pulsed light to tighten and firm sagging skin and counteract the effects of gravity. Over the years, sun exposure, environmental pollution, and aging cause the layers of our skin to weaken and begin to appear thin, wrinkled, rough and lax. Genetics, diet and lifestyle habits can also affect your skin’s condition. In addition to wrinkles, dullness, changes in texture and decreasing firmness, you may start to notice unwelcome spots, blotches and blemishes, This innovative treatment addresses these imperfections in a safe, gentle and cost-effective manner with results that improve over time as the skin recovers a more youthful appearance.
What Is IPL Skin Tightening?
IPL, or intense pulsed light is a light-based technology used to treat damaged areas on the outer surface of the skin, such as sun damage, age spots sagging and discolored areas of the face, neck, chest and other parts of the body
During IPL, you feel a warm sensation with minimal discomfort as broadband light is absorbed by your skin. This stimulates skin cells to generate collagen – a fibrous protein building-block in skin and connective tissue. As new collagen grows, it improves skin’s tone and texture, reduces discoloration and evens out skin color.
Through this procedure, we can improve loose, sagging skin tissue as well as fine lines near areas like the eyes, upper face, cheeks, around the mouth and neck, as well as the decolletage, abdomen and thighs.
What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a type of light treatment that uses strong pulses of light to reduce/remove unwanted hair. While IPL uses pulsed light, it is not a laser however, it can do some similar things. The principle of how these treatments work is similar: both direct light at the pigmentation in the hair, causing a burst of heat that damages or kills the hair follicle thereby preventing future hair growth.
How does IPL hair removal work?
The light emitted by the IPL device is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, causing a buildup of energy which turns to heat (think of a black T-shirt on a sunny day). The heat travels down the hair and disables or destroys the cells that make new ones.
IPL works best on areas that typically have coarse, dark hair, like the legs, underarms, and bikini area, because the device targets the melanin in the hair follicle. In many skin tones, IPL can also help eradicate redness, dark spots, and visible signs of sun damage, as those also tend to involve excess pigment in the skin,
What’s the difference between IPL and laser hair removal?
Both IPL and laser hair removal rely on light to damage hair follicles. Professional-grade laser and IPL devices typically have built-in cooling systems to decrease the risk of burning and to relieve pain. The main difference is that laser treatment uses a specific wavelength of light meant to solely target melanin, whereas IPL is a broadband of light with multiple wavelengths and endpoint targets (the light reaches both melanin and hemoglobin, which is why IPL can also treat some forms of hyperpigmentation like melasma and birthmarks, as well as spider veins. Laser hair removal also tends to be more expensive: about $300 to $400 per in-office session. IPL hair removal may cost between $150 (for a facial hair removal session) and $400-$600 (for body hair removal), but the price depends on the size of the treatment area.
IPL may require more sessions, however—expect to book four to six 20-minute appointments every three to six weeks to complete the IPL treatment cycle. To compare, laser hair removal might only involve two to six sessions every four to six weeks to see results. Neither treatment is permanent permanent, but the results for both IPL and laser hair removal can last for years, and both devices are FDA-approved for reducing the amount of hair regrowth over time.
IPL treatment will save you some discomfort compared to laser. With IPL, your practitioner will typically apply a cold gel to the area before the treatment to offset the heat radiating from the IPL device. With laser hair removal, people who have sensitive skin and are only targeting smaller areas (like the underarms) might receive a numbing gel beforehand, but pain-wise, that might not offset the intensity of the laser. (On that note, for the safest laser treatment, you should always visit a board-certified dermatologist who is experienced in working with these devices, as recommended by the AAD.)
Does IPL hair removal hurt?
You’ve likely heard varying responses to this question, as the answer really depends on your pain threshold. The sensation is generally compared to that of an elastic-band flick – but the best IPL devices out there work so quickly, you’ll barely have time to register the sensation.
How long does IPL hair removal take?
Some may see results in as little as three weeks – but the exact time will differ from person to person, depending on various factors.
Your hair has cycles just like your skin does. Your hair has a growth phase, a rest phase, and a shedding phase. One of the main reasons why you need to do repeat treatments with IPL or even laser, is because your hairs are not all in the same phase of the cycle at the same time. So to catch all of them, and to get rid of them permanently, you have to chase the cycles. This is why IPL treatments are often repeated every four weeks after the initial weekly treatment phase.
Who is suitable for an IPL treatment?
When considering IPL Hair Removal, it’s crucial to first assess your suitability.
Firstly, not every skin tone is suitable for IPL. As the technology works by targeting the pigment in the hair, there needs to be a notable difference between your skin tone and your hair color. Most experts advise against using an IPL machine on dark skin tones, as there is a risk of damage and discoloration, and those with light blonde and red hair should similarly sit this treatment out.
The effectiveness of IPL depends on the contrast between the pigment in the hair and the surrounding skin. The darker the hair and the lighter the skin, the more effective the treatment, The quickest and the best results are likely to be on somebody who has fine, dark hair and relatively light skin. If you’ve got underlying skin or medical issues, such as PCOS or thyroid issues, you may find the treatment takes longer. So there’s a lot of individual factors that one needs to consider.
If you aren’t sure if you’re a candidate for IPL based on your hair color and skin tone, or medical condition, book a consultation with our medical esthetician or a dermatologist before trying any light-based hair removal treatment.
Medical conditions are always discussed during your consultation and therefore any contraindications which may compromise the treatment will be presented. There are certain conditions which prevent clients being treated with light-based technology. Often, they are related to medications that cause light (photo) sensitivity, or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
IPL vs laser hair removal: which is better?
When used as hair-removal methods, both lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) use light to heat hair follicles and prevent regrowth. While similar-sounding, the technology used by each really isn’t, with the key difference being the light source used.
Typically, IPL technology will require more treatments but tend to be safer, less invasive and far more comfortable. New laser technologies do allow these machines to treat a wider range of skin and hair types including darker skin tones.
How to prep for IPL hair removal?
About two weeks before your in-office IPL procedure, be sure not to lay out in the sun or in a tanning bed (which you should avoid anyway, by the way, since both can damage the skin)—UV light exposure can decrease the contrast between your skin and hair and increase skin sensitivity. You shouldn’t use retinoids or exfoliants in the week before the IPL treatment either, since both can cause irritation. Waxing for hair removal, can also irritate your skin and should be avoided prior to your IPL session and instead shaving before your session is recommend to prevent any hair above the skin’s surface from getting burned during the treatment—which could damage the surrounding skin.
While IPL targets the follicles underneath the skin, it is still possible to get ingrown hairs and we recommend using a gentle physical exfoliant after the treatment to remove any dead skin or debris which might lead to ingrowns. Follow that up with a thick-but-gentle moisturizer to hydrate tender skin. If any irritation, swelling or stinging occurs, consider a 1% hydrocortisone cream or a cold cloth.
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