- IPL skin rejuvenation uses powerful light to improve the appearance of the skin.
- It can help to treat blemishes such as wrinkles, age spots, and broken capillaries.
- Treatment costs as little as $300 per session and recovery takes just two days.
IPL skin rejuvenation is a noninvasive cosmetic procedure that uses light to treat a number of unwanted skin conditions. Aside from fighting various blemishes, IPL also improves the health of the skin by stimulating collagen production.
Unlike other types of phototherapy, IPL causes minimal damage to the skin, so recovery takes place much faster.
What Is IPL Skin Rejuvenation?
Intense pulsed light (IPL) skin rejuvenation is a skincare procedure that improves the appearance of veins, wrinkles, spots, and other blemishes by shining a powerful light on the skin.
IPL treatment uses a range of light wavelengths which target only the inner layer of the skin (the dermis). There, the light damages melanocytes (pigment cells), reducing skin discoloration.
IPL also destroys hair follicles, removing unwanted hair.
IPL vs laser treatment
Whereas IPL produces light in a broad range of wavelengths, laser resurfacing uses just one wavelength at a time.
This makes IPL less effective at treating serious skin irregularities such as scars. However, it also means that the recovery time for IPL is significantly shorter than for laser therapy.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation Benefits
Reported benefits of IPL skin rejuvenation include the treatment of:
- unwanted hair
- fine lines and wrinkles
- skin discolorations (e.g. freckles, birthmarks, age spots)
- vascular lesions (e.g. broken capillaries or blood vessels, spider veins)
- skin damage (due to acne, rosacea, sun exposure, etc)
IPL is also said to reduce the size of skin pores and promote the production of collagen.
Does It Work?
Evidence shows that IPL skin rejuvenation is most effective for the treatment of unwanted hairs, vascular lesions, and skin discoloration (such as age spots).
Number of treatments required
Although many patients report visible improvement after just one treatment, clinicians typically recommend two to five IPL sessions (spaced four weeks apart) for general skin rejuvenation.
Depending on the severity of the damage or discoloration, or whether hair is being removed, as many as ten treatments may be needed.
IPL can also be used to treat melasma, a condition where dark patches appear on the face. However, pharmacological treatments are usually more effective.
Before the procedure begins, you’ll be asked to put on a pair of protective glasses. Then, the doctor will thoroughly clean the treatment area and apply a cooling gel.
The procedure itself takes place lying down. It usually lasts for around 30 minutes. During this time, you may feel a stinging sensation on the area being treated.
Recovery and aftercare
Immediately following the procedure, the treatment area will feel hot and sensitive. This usually subsides within a few hours.
Full recovery from an IPL treatment can take up to two days. During this time, you should avoid being exposed to the sun or using hot water.
Common side effects of IPL include redness, swelling, and discomfort — as if you were sunburnt.
Other side effects include blistering, hair loss, and unusually light or dark patches of skin.
Around 10% of patients also experience bruising.
The cost of IPL depends on the size of the area being treated. Treatment for the face usually costs between $300 and $600 per session, depending on the clinic.
Since IPL is considered a cosmetic procedure, it isn’t covered by most health insurance policies.
At Home IPL Skin Rejuvenation Machines
It’s possible to buy your own IPL device for less than the cost of a single IPL treatment. However, commercially-available IPL devices are much less powerful than their clinical counterparts. As a result, they are only effective in removing unwanted hair.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) skin rejuvenation is an effective way to treat skin irregularities like wrinkles, spots, and broken capillaries. In most cases, between two and five treatments are needed, each costing $300 to $600. The procedure itself takes around half an hour and involves some discomfort, but patients make a full recovery within several days.