I hope everyone had a great first week of 2012!!!
*** DISCLAIMER ***
*** Before I start this blog entry, I just want to say that I am by no means a professional or even sufficiently knowledgeable on IPL lasers for anyone to rely on what I say, I highly recommend doing ample research on the matter before considering IPL photofacial treatments for your own skin issues. I don’t want anyone to make a decision on whether to get it done or not get it done purely based on what you see here!***
With that out of the way, I wanted to write an entry on IPL (intense pulsed light) photofactial treatments because I just purchased a livingsocial deal for an IPL treatment after doing some of my own research on the procedure. I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to go through with it at this point because I tend to be pretty wary of any kind of treatment that I have to do at a doctor’s office, but I’ll definitely write a review of my experiences with the IPL treatment if I actually go through with it.
I’ve never seriously considered using anything other than OTC skincare methods to treat hyperpigmentation and various other skin issues that I have until a year ago because I thought that it would be enough. That’s not to say that I haven’t seen significant improvement in my skin through using effective serums! I have most definitely seen improvement in my skin after using various spot correcting serums such as Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, and Clarins Vital Light Serum, but I still have visible hyperpigmentation on my face, as well as a few acne scars, redness around my t-zone, along with enlarged pores around my cheeks and dark circles around my eyes. I can conceal all of these problems normally with a good foundation and well applied concealer, but my ultimate goal is to not have to wear so much makeup to achieve even toned skin.
I decided a few months back to do some research on non-invasive methods of improving skin tone just out of curiosity, and found that there are a lot of options out there for the skin issues that I wanted to address. IPL was the most appealing option out of the ones that I researched. The general idea of IPL is that it delivers intense pulses of broadband light to the dermis (deeper layers of the skin), leaving the surface of the skin undamaged (aka non-ablative), and in the process increasing collagen and connective tissue production, and reducing hyperpigmentation. There are different types of IPL options available that target different skin issues such as PhotoDerm PL which is used for hyperpigmentation, pigmented lesions, and age spots. Other types target issues such as spider veins, and unwanted hair.
What it Treats – sun damage, rosacea, large pores, age spots, facial veins, acne, and wrinkles.
The Benefits - The thing that attracted me the most to IPL was the fact that it does not involve any skin surface irritants such as chemicals (I don’t think I’d be able to lie there with chemicals burning my skin for an hour). Furthermore, there’s minimal discomfort during the procedure which usually lasts around 15-30 minutes. The recovery time is also minimal because it’s non-invasive, and it does not affect the surface layer of the skin so you won’t be able to see a drastic difference immediately. Also, the results are long-lasting, so you don’t have to go back every three months to get it done again.
The Risks – I’ve seen some horror stories online at RealSelf about IPL, and how it made peoples skin look like an orange peel, and caused permanent damage. Consequently there is a significant risk involved with the IPL procedure. Generally the side effects of an IPL procedure include temporary redness, discomfort, swelling, blistering, peeling, or bruising of the skin where the laser was applied. More serious risks of IPL include intense blistering, peeling, or scabbing of the skin, and in the most serious cases there may be permanent damage to the dermis. IPL is not recommended for darker skin tones as it may result in more serious side effects. Another detriment to the procedure is that it generally takes 3-5 separate visits performed over 3-6 weeks to see the best results depending on your own particular needs.
The Cost – The cost of one IPL treatment may range from $150 – $500 depending on various factors, and some clinics have package deals of 5 sessions for $1,000 for example. The livingsocial deal that I purchased was $149, 57% off the regular price of an IPL session at Friva (9201 Sunset Boulevard Suite 416 West Hollywood, CA 90069, 800-581-4310 (ext 201)) I decided to go with it after looking up the Friva website and looking at the reviews on Yelp.
Crazy Before and After Pictures!
It’s a pretty good value, and it only lasts for another two days!
I’ll keep you posted regardless of whether or not I go through with it!
~ Deb ~