Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a non-invasive, non-ablative treatment that uses high intensity pulses of light to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation (sun spots) and red capillaries. It can also be used for hair removal but this is not a treatment we perform at FaceWorks.
How does IPL work? IPL uses the same principles as laser treatments in that light is absorbed by target cells that contain chromophores (colour pigment). The light energy is converted to heat energy which then damages these cells, leading to the desired result. The light energy from IPL differs to lasers because IPL delivers multiple wavelengths with each pulse of light rather than just one. This allows the IPL to penetrate further into the skin without using excessive energy that can damage the surrounding tissue.
Because it is considered to be non-ablative, IPL targets the lower layers of skin (the dermis) rather than the superficial layers (the epidermis). This means there is less downtime with IPL as only the target layer of skin is treated.
What can IPL be used for at FaceWorks? Hyperpigmentation/sun spots- to treat hyperpigmentation, the IPL is targeted at the melanin which gives the lesion it's darker colour. The light pulses destroy the melanin thereby removing the discolouration.
Vascular lesions- such as visible, red capillaries. These are particularly noticeable around the nose and on the cheeks. The light pulses are targeted at the haemoglobin (which gives blood its red colour) which destroys the pigment and the visible capillary.
What does IPL treatment involve? You will first need a consultation with our cosmetics nurse, Stella, who will assess your suitability for this treatment and develop an individualised treatment plan for you.
Charges vary depending on the area you want treated:
Full face: $375
Full face & neck: $475
Backs of hands: $175
Full face package (3x full face treatments): $900
There are a few important things to remember when considering IPL:
You must avoid sun exposure in the weeks before and after treatment, which means we usually only offer this treatment during the winter months
Usually a course of 3-4 treatments is required to achieve the desired result with each treatment spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
After treatment, especially for hyperpigmentation, the treated area can look red and after a few days the pigment itself will slough away. You will need to plan your treatments around social, work events.
IPL is relatively painless compared to other rejuvenation techniques but local anaesthetic can be applied if required.