Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

As you grow older, you may find yourself struggling to keep your skin looking its best, even with a consistent and high-quality skincare routine. The natural aging process and years of accumulated damage from sun exposure and free radicals begin to show on your skin as discoloration, redness, dullness and loss of elasticity.

But there are ways to reverse this damage and bring back a smoother, clearer and more even complexion. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is a noninvasive and gentle treatment for a variety of common skin issues.

At Lucienne Salon & Medical Spa, we often recommend IPL therapy to patients seeking help with multiple skin concerns and those who are just beginning to show the first signs of aging. IPL is also one of our most common complementary therapies, as it can help enhance the results of more invasive treatments.

What Is IPL Therapy?

Also known as a photofacial, IPL is a form of light therapy used to treat a wide range of fairly common skin concerns. The treatment is used for photoaged skin, vascular lesions, inflammatory skin conditions, unwanted hair and more!

IPL therapy uses a flash lamp and filters to emit light of different wavelengths. The filters block UV rays and filter out the desired wavelengths of light to help target specific skin issues. Using different filters, your provider can address multiple skin issues within a single treatment session.

Due to the gentler nature of IPL light compared to laser treatments, IPL may be suitable for a wider range of skin types and tends to require less recovery. However, multiple sessions may be needed to achieve the same effect of laser therapy.

How IPL Therapy Works

IPL therapy works much like other light-based treatments. The light emitted by an IPL device is absorbed by pigments (melanin) in skin cells, which causes their cell membranes to heat up and break down. This is a controlled and safe way to injure the skin in order to trigger its natural healing response. Healthy, even skin replaces the damaged skin over time.

In addition to its use in photorejuvenation, IPL therapy is also used to remove damaged blood vessels, treat inflammatory skin conditions and remove unwanted hair. The treatment is easy to use anywhere on the body.

What IPL Therapy Can Target

IPL mainly targets melanin and hemoglobin in the skin, making it quite effective in treating pigmentation and vascular skin concerns. The FDA has approved this treatment for the following:

  • Photorejuvenation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Freckles and liver spots
  • Spider veins
  • Leg veins
  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Port-wine stains
  • Unwanted hair

IPL Therapy Costs

The cost of IPL therapy depends on the size of the treatment area, the type and severity of the concern being targeted, and the number of sessions needed.

Before scheduling your treatment, our team will carefully explain what you can expect from your treatment, including the costs involved. On average, a typical IPL treatment in our salon costs $300 per session.

Ideal Candidates for IPL Therapy

While nearly anyone can undergo IPL therapy thanks to its safety and versatility, the clients who gain the most from this treatment are typically those with:

  • Fair to light brown skin
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Vascular skin lesions
  • Rosacea
  • Early signs of aging

IPL Therapy: What to Expect

IPL therapy is a noninvasive procedure that we perform in the office. Here’s what you can expect if you decide to undergo IPL therapy at the Lucienne Salon.

Before Treatment

After your initial consultation, where our providers discuss your skin goals, assess your skin concerns and review your medical history, we will schedule your appointment. Our team will give you a list of pre-treatment instructions to prep your skin, which may include:

  • Limit direct sun exposure and wear sunscreen
  • Avoid tanning beds, chemical peels, exfoliating, retinol, tretinoin and waxing
  • Avoid medications and supplements that thin the blood (e.g., NSAIDs, aspirin, vitamin E)
  • Discontinue Accutane for at least six months if considering treatment
  • Take antiviral therapy as prescribed for cold sores (not always necessary)
  • Arrange for time away from work/social activities if you are concerned about potential redness and swelling
  • Come to your appointment with a clean face, and don’t wear any creams, lotions or perfume

During Treatment

Once you are ready for your IPL treatment, your provider will start by cleansing your skin. They may also apply a clear gel that allows easy contact between the IPL applicator and your skin and also cools your skin during treatment. You will be given goggles or glasses to wear to protect your eyes during treatment.

Your provider will then glide the IPL device across the treatment area. While usually not painful, it’s normal to feel slight stinging or pinching as the light energy hits your skin. Many patients say that it feels like a rubber band snapping against their skin. We may apply a topical anesthetic to keep you comfortable during treatment.

IPL Recovery & Results

Your skin will feel and look like it is mildly sunburned immediately after your IPL treatment. This should resolve on its own within 24 hours after treatment. Some patients experience extended redness and bruising for up to three days post-treatment. This is a normal reaction and a sign that the treatment is working.

To ensure a smooth recovery and to get the best results, you will want to take good care of your skin as it heals. Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser, wear sun protection and use a daily moisturizer.

Because IPL is gentler than laser and other light therapies, some patients need to undergo multiple rounds of treatment to achieve the maximum effect. IPL treatments are usually spaced two weeks apart.

It can take a couple of weeks before you notice any improvement, which may include clearer, more even and smoother skin. For those getting IPL for hair removal, IPL treatments can reduce hair growth by almost 80% after a month of treatment.

Intense Pulsed Light Frequently Asked Questions

Is IPL therapy painful?

IPL therapy can be slightly uncomfortable both during and after treatment. A slight stinging or burning sensation is common during treatment. After treatment, your skin will feel tender for two to three days, similar to how a mild sunburn feels.

Are there any side effects or risks with IPL therapy?

Side effects from IPL therapy are mild and tend to resolve on their own within a few days. The most common side effects are minor pain and redness. Complications are rare but can include swelling, bruising, blistering, crusting, discoloration, scars and infections. When performed by a trained and experienced provider, there is a significantly lower risk of side effects.

How long does a typical IPL treatment take?

A typical IPL treatment takes 20 to 30 minutes. Treatment of large areas may take up to an hour. The treatment may need to be repeated every two to three weeks for several sessions to reach the maximum degree of improvement.

How soon will I see the results after IPL therapy?

Patients with mild skin concerns may notice results two to three days after their first treatment. Most patients need to undergo two to three treatment sessions spaced at least two weeks apart to notice significant improvement. This means that it can take a month or more for you to reap the full benefits of your IPL treatment.

How long do IPL therapy results last?

The results from IPL therapy last up to a year with a good skincare routine. Daily cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection and healthy habits can make a difference in your results. To maintain your results for even longer, you can request maintenance treatments once or twice a year.

Who should not get IPL therapy?

While IPL is safe for most people, those with dark skin tones may develop skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation) following IPL treatment. Darker skin absorbs more energy from IPL, increasing the risk of skin damage. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and people on blood-thinning medication should also not undergo IPL therapy. Taking acne medication and having any active skin disease are other contraindications.

Is IPL hair removal permanent?

IPL offers semi-permanent hair removal. The treatment works by damaging hair follicles so that they stop producing hair or produce fewer, fine hairs. Results vary greatly from one patient to the next, and many require repeat treatments to maintain their results.

Schedule Your IPL Consultation

At the Lucienne Salon, Spa & Boutique, we want our patients to get the best treatments available, which is why we offer IPL therapy to our South Jordan clients. IPL therapy is one of the safest and best ways to treat some of the most prevalent skin issues, from early signs of skin aging to vascular lesions and even unwanted hair. If you are looking for a treatment that can do it all with little to no downtime, choose IPL therapy at our salon.

To schedule your appointment in South Jordan and learn whether IPL therapy is the right treatment for you, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 801-280-9990 today!