Clear Skin FAQs:

July 20, 2016

Here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions, on one of the most popular skin care services!


What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light and is a technology similar to laser. Instead of using one wavelength, like a laser, it uses another light in front to filter out most wavelengths, but leaving wavelengths meant to target pigment such as brown spots and redness/vascular lesions.

I hear about BBL all of the time, is it different from IPL?

IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and BBL (Broad Band Light) are essentially the same thing, but called different things depending on which laser “brand” you are using. In most cases, the term IPL is used.

How many treatments will I need?

Most patients will need approximately 2-4 treatments when targeting brown spots and vascular lesions. Your individual plan will be discussed at your skin consultation.

Is IPL for everyone?

IPL is not recommended for patients who are pregnant, sun tanned/sun burned, or patients with darker skin types 5 and 6 (Fitzpatrick Scale). An ideal candidate who would like to diminish brown spots and redness will have a lighter skin tone so the IPL can distinguish the difference between the brown spots and the actual skin tone. The bigger the contrast, the better!

What will my down time be?

Down time will usually consist of 3-7 days in which the spots can appear darker, or have a pepper or coffee grounds appearance. In this time, the spots will gradually fade or flake.

What should my expected results be? Is there maintenance?

Because the environment, hormones and sun exposure can always play a factor, and we are always aging, maintenance is recommended about once or twice a year. Treatment products such as retinoids and skin lighteners will help prolong the benefits of IPL, and sun protection is always recommended to help protect against future damage.

Can I pair the IPL with other skin treatments?

It’s not usually recommended to pair treatments in the same day as an IPL treatment, but hydrating and calming facials are a great way to keep skin rejuvenated in between treatments and will aid in future healing.

What products should I use while having my treatments, and what should I steer clear of?

Gentle cleansers, mild moisturizers and an SPF with sufficient UVA/UVB protection is always recommended during and after an IPL treatment. It is not recommended to use retinols, exfoliants, or active products for 3-5 days before an IPL treatment, and for at least 5-7 days after. Around 7-10 days post-treatment, you can begin to incorporate stronger treatment products back into your routine.

Now that I have my IPL treatment plan, how far should I space my treatments out?

Treatments should be spaced about 3-4 weeks apart in a series of 2-4 treatments.

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