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Blog Post:

Undo What the Sun Has Done with IPL

July 27, 2020


What is the #1 visible sign of aging? Your knee jerk response may be wrinkles, but new studies point to a less recognized age advancer - an uneven skin tone.

Whether your skin is mottled with dark spots and freckles from years of sun damage or riddled with redness and broken blood vessels, there's no escaping the fact that a dull, muddy, and discolored complexion can accelerate the aging process of our skin. Thankfully, The Refinery Skin Clinic's new Lumenis M22™ Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment can treat both culprits and restore a more youthful, even skin tone. 

How does Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Work?

Lasers used for aesthetic purposes often rely on one wavelength of light transmitted as a single beam that is attracted to a particular target like the melanin in your hair follicle (hair removal). As a result, that target absorbs the energy of the laser light and it becomes damaged or destroyed. IPL differs in that it emits several wavelengths of light at once into the skin to address multiple targets and concerns in a single treatment. This quality makes IPL very versatile in treating hyperpigmentation, rosacea, individual brown spots, broken vessels, and even hair removal and acne! Your provider can customize your treatment with a series of filters to target sun damage, facial redness, individual vessels, and brown spots.

What makes the Lumenis M22™ Universal IPL unique?

The Refinery Skin Clinic's new Lumenis M22™ Universal IPL with Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT™) is unparalleled in its versatility to treat multiple skin concerns in a single treatment with its 9 ExpertFilters™. It is the ideal laser treatment for clients desiring a more even, clear skin tone and reduced facial redness. M22™ IPL's computer-enabled filter recognition and three SapphireCool™ light guides make it one of the safest, most customizable, and comfortable IPL devices available today!

What happens during an IPL treatment?

A thorough consultation is needed before all Intense Pulsed Light treatments to ensure that you are an appropriate candidate for laser. The use of certain medications, topical skincare, and having an active tan may temporarily contraindicate you for treatment. Many clients choose to have IPL treatments performed in the fall and winter months to avoid complications with the sun.

During an IPL treatment, your Advanced Practice Esthetician (who has also received specialized training in laser) will cleanse your skin and then cover your eyes with protective eyewear. She will then move the cool laser handpiece over your skin in a series of passes accompanied by a flash of light with each pulse of the laser, and a mild snapping sensation. Bothersome brown spots and blood vessels near your skin's surface will absorb the light energy and become damaged.

What results can I expect after an IPL treatment?

Immediately after your IPL, your skin may feel as though you have a mild sunburn. This response is temporary and will resolve within 24 hours. You may notice that your dark spots are darker and have multiplied in number. This result is GOOD! It means that the IPL has not only treated pigment on your skin's surface but has also pulled up deeper damage that was not visible yet. As the days pass, these dark spots will become dry and flakey until they naturally slough off and reveal clear skin beneath. It is crucial not to pick at these areas and damage the new, healthy emerging tissue.

If your IPL treatment focused on vessels and facial redness, you might notice that treated vessels have turned grey or completely disappeared. Generally, vessels and facial redness need multiple treatments to achieve full clearance. 

It is mandatory to wear an SPF 30 or higher after your treatment to protect your skin and prevent future damage. Although dramatic improvements can be experienced with one treatment, a series of IPL is recommended for the best results. Sun damage runs into the deeper layers of your skin, so several treatments may be required to pull that damage to the skin's surface to be corrected.

IPL can be performed almost anywhere on the body, including face, chest, hands, shoulders, and legs. Because of tanning restrictions, many clients choose to begin their treatment package in the Fall and Winter and then schedule a yearly IPL to maintain and enhance their results.

If you are bothered by brown spots, fed up with hiding facial vessels with makeup, or ready to reduce the redness and flushing that comes with your rosacea, it's time to schedule a consultation to discuss M22™ Intense Pulsed Light!