is IPL as good as laser?

IPL Facial Treatment

Hyperpigmentation? Acne scars?

Remove years of sun spots and skin damage with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) facial treatments in Nashville.

In this article:

What is an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment?

An IPL laser treatment is a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that uses broad-spectrum light to target skin color and texture concerns. Also known as a photofacial, it uses an “intense pulsed light” handheld device to treat skin damaged from sun exposure, signs of aging, acne, and more.

How It Works

During the treatment, a handheld device emits pulses of light that penetrate the second layer of skin (dermis) and target pigmentation irregularities, sun damage, age spots, vascular lesions, and fine lines.

The light energy is similar to a photo flash and can treat a larger area in one flash than laser therapy. Once the targeted areas of skin absorb the light, collagen production increases and skin tone becomes more even. IPL facial treatments are typically performed in sessions and can help rejuvenate the skin, resulting in a smoother, more youthful complexion.

IPL devices offer different light frequency levels depending on the targeted area’s concerns and severity. For instance, one area with sunspots will use a different intensity level than an area being treated for acne scars. Also, if your hyperpigmentation has more redness, we will use one level of light. On the other hand, if you have more age spots with brown discolorations, we will use a different light frequency.

What’s the best type of IPL therapy?

Our Lumecca by InMode IPL device is one of the most advanced options available. It can safely treat deep layers of skin with fewer sessions and more desirable results.

Several key factors set Lumecca apart and make it highly effective for addressing various skin concerns. Here are some reasons why Lumecca IPL is a popular choice for facial treatments:

  • Versatility: Lumecca IPL is a versatile treatment that can target a wide range of skin concerns, including sun damage, pigmentation irregularities, age spots, freckles, vascular lesions, rosacea, and facial redness. This versatility makes it an excellent option for individuals with multiple skin issues.
  • Intense Pulsed Light Technology: Lumecca utilizes state-of-the-art IPL technology, which delivers high-intensity pulses of light to the targeted areas. The intense light energy is absorbed by the melanin or hemoglobin in the skin, breaking down pigmented cells or blood vessels while stimulating collagen production.
  • Non-Invasive: Lumecca IPL is a non-invasive procedure that does not require incisions or injections. Patients can undergo treatment without the need for anesthesia or significant downtime.
  • Quick and Convenient: Lumecca IPL treatments are relatively quick, often taking around 20 to 30 minutes per session, making it a convenient option for individuals with busy schedules.
  • Minimal Downtime: Lumecca IPL typically involves minimal downtime, unlike more aggressive laser treatments. Some patients may experience mild redness or swelling immediately after the procedure, but this usually subsides within a few hours to a day.
  • Long-Lasting Results: Lumecca IPL can provide long-lasting results, especially when combined with proper skincare maintenance and sun protection. It can improve the overall texture and tone of the skin, leading to a more youthful and radiant appearance.
  • Customizable Treatment: Lumecca IPL can be customized to target specific skin concerns and areas of the face, allowing for personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.
  • Safe and Effective: Lumecca IPL is considered safe when performed by a qualified and experienced skincare professional. It has been clinically proven to be effective in treating various skin conditions.
  • Comfortable Procedure: Lumecca IPL treatments are generally well-tolerated by patients. The procedure involves minimal discomfort, and some providers may use cooling techniques to enhance comfort during the session.
  • Visible Results: Many patients notice visible skin improvements after just one or a few Lumecca IPL sessions. Depending on the severity of the skin concerns, a series of treatments may be recommended for optimal results.

Before considering any facial treatment, it’s essential to consult with a qualified skincare professional to determine if Lumecca IPL is the right option for your specific skin needs and concerns. They can assess your skin, discuss your goals, and create a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve the best possible results.

IPL laser nashville

Is IPL as good as laser?

Both IPL therapy and laser treatments target a range of skin concerns. However, IPL therapy is gentler on sensitive skin and sends multiple pulsating light wavelengths, whereas traditional lasers send only one. Depending on the skin issue you want to treat, IPL may be a better option than a laser treatment. Consult with a skilled aesthetician to see what will work best for you.

Is an IPL facial the same as a laser treatment?

IPL differs from lasers in how the way the light penetrates the skin. Laser treatments use a single concentrated beam of light to penetrate the skin.

On the other hand, IPL facial treatments use a broad base light spectrum that diffuses into the skin to break up skin irregularities like age spots.
Cosmetic laser treatments are best when precision is necessary, like with laser hair removal. In contrast, IPL is best for discolored skin and other more widespread problems.

What does an IPL laser do?

Keep in mind that an IPL is not the same as a laser. An IPL is like a photo flash in a studio setting, whereas a laser is like a flashlight.
IPLs use various wavelengths of light to clear up your skin and treat a large area; a laser pinpoints specific areas for more dramatic results. Most patients seek IPL photofacials to clear up sun damage, age spots, rosacea, and facial spider veins.

How does IPL therapy work?

During the procedure, light targets cells that produce excessive melanin, a chemical that regulates skin color. The light passes through the skin to reach these cells. The light pulses turn to heat, which then destroys the melanin-producing cells.

After a few days, your skin brings the dead cells to the surface of your skin. During this process, you may notice some texture changes to your skin as the discolored spots begin to flake off. After the spots fall off, your skin will be left with a beautifully even tone.

How long do IPL laser treatments last?

On average, you can expect IPL results to last around 6-12 months. However, with proper maintenance and follow-up sessions, results can last much longer.

How many sessions do you need?

The short answer is that it depends because everyone’s skin is different. For example, people with larger discolorations or wrinkles may require multiple treatments. However, most patients notice significant improvements after just one treatment. Many of our patients also have routine IPL facials for maintenance.
If your skin has multiple types of discoloration, you will need at least two visits. For instance, patients who have both brown liver spots and red marks on their faces would need the first appointment to target one specific coloration, such as the brown spots. On their follow-up appointment, we would then target the red spots.

Even for patients who see immediate results, one treatment will not eliminate all trouble spots. In reality, only time will tell how many treatments your skin will need to reach your goals.

You should work with your aesthetician to create a specific treatment plan for your skin. If done too often, the light from the IPL device can burn your skin, similar to a sunburn. Therefore, you should only see a skilled and experienced aesthetics expert to help you take care of your skin.

What time of year is best for IPL treatment?

Fall through spring months are typically best for IPL facials. Any extended period of time that you know you won’t be exposed to the sun is ideal. However, if you’re willing and able to follow a strict low-to-no exposure to the sun regimen, then you’re one of the lucky ones who can enjoy IPL facials year round.

Is IPL treatment good for your face?

Yes, especially If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun – you may have noticed a few unwanted sunspots on your skin. While catching a few rays can give you a nice tan, your skin may not tan all at once, causing too many freckles to form on the skin – or even worse with sun damage over time. A few freckles can be cute if that’s your goal. However, if you want to beautify your skin from the inside out and have an even skin tone, try IPL treatment for the face.

Not only are IPLs great for aesthetic results, but it can also help kill harmful bacteria. This is especially wanted in cases of inflammation, acne or acne scarring. In fact, the more IPL facials you have the better results you’ll see. It aids in the process of renewing your skin starting with the outer layer and working deeper into the dermis.

IPL treatments remove discolorations and leave your skin with a radiant and youthful glow. Sun spot removal is the main benefit of an IPL photofacial. The treatment is gentle enough to be performed on skin anywhere around your body. Although, the most popular goal for this procedure is removing sun spots on the face.

This includes both red and brown spots on the skin. However, there are even more benefits, which is why this is one of the most performed cosmetic procedures in the United States.

Younger skin can retain even pigmentation and hide signs of damage. However, as your skin begins to age, it loses some of its ability to recover from and hide sun damage. As a result, pigmentation and discoloration appear on the surface of your skin. This damage can happen when you’re exposed to the sun without proper sunscreen protection.

Thankfully, IPL laser makes it so you’re not stuck with these sun spots forever. Additionally, IPL treatments can remove unwanted freckles from your face as well.

What are the benefits of IPL facials?

The reason most patients pursue a photofacial is for skin rejuvenation and skin brightening. In fact, it’s one of our mainstay aesthetic services in Nashville where we practice. Some of the many benefits of IPL include:

  • Giving your skin that natural glow
  • Fast recovery
  • Improve skin tone and skin texture

  • Stimulates collagen growth
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles

Uses for IPL Laser Treatments

  • Skin resurfacing
  • Skin tightening
  • Improve skin tone
  • Reduce redness
  • Improve sun damaged skin

  • Remove liver spots
  • Remove spider veins

  • Remove acne scars and other scars

  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduce stretch marks

  • Lightening up melasma
  • Reduce symptoms of rosacea

Some people have found success in reducing broken blood vessels on the face and legs. Sometimes this might work for patients who have spider veins in these areas. However, due to the nature of IPL treatments, they won’t be as effective as sclerotherapy from a specialized vein doctor.

How to improve to color & texture of your skin with an IPL.

Our IPL Lumecca device by InMode offers a fast, reliable treatment for a more firm texture and even skin tone.

Will IPL Help Me Get Rid of Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles?

While it’s true that these treatments can improve fine lines and wrinkles, the skin around your eyelids is softer and more sensitive to light. As a result, we might be able to reduce some puffiness around your eyes with IPL facial treatments. However, for your comfort, we recommend working with Tracey Robinson to find the best products that will eliminate those dark circles.

What Are the Added Benefits of IPL Laser Treatment Photofacials?

There are several other uses for IPL treatments, making it one of the most versatile aesthetic skin care treatments. Because the skin is the body’s largest organ, it can sustain a lot of small noticeable physical damage over time.

Acne and Scar Treatment

Firstly, if you have any acne troubles, IPL facial treatments can treat active acne by stimulating the skin’s regenerative properties and allowing more oxygen into deeper layers. Second, for patients who have had acne problems in the past, IPL is perfect for treating acne scars. This skin rejuvenation treatment can also lessen the appearance of other forms of scars.

Hair removal

There’s laser hair removal, and then there’s IPL hair removal. When compared to each other, laser hair removal is generally more effective because the laser specifically targets and destroys hair follicles at their roots. In contrast, IPL scatters light through the skin in a broad spectrum of light. As a result, it is generally weaker than laser hair removal but provides good results so long as the wavelengths are tuned properly.

Facial Spider Vein Removal

With the scattering of light through the skin, IPL can also treat surface-level spider veins. With the proper light frequency, the heat from the light waves can break down the small diseased blood vessels that cause vascular damage to appear around your face.

Everything You Need to Know About AN IPL Facial Treatment

How Does the Intense Pulsed Light Machine Work?

As the light is applied to your face or skin, your doctor will give you a countdown so you can expect each pulse. Most patients experience some discomfort during this procedure, however, it is very tolerable. Usually, patients compare the sensation to a rubber band snapping over the area.

The length of the procedure depends on the size of the treatment area and if you want to treat multiple areas. Usually, a facial treatment can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.

If you’d like to hear more about photo facials from people who’ve received them, check out IPL LASER FOR PIGMENTATION by The Beauty Surfer on YouTube.

How to Prepare for IPL Treatment

Your skin care specialist will look at your skin and condition. Based on their observation, they will let you know what you can expect from the IPL procedure. This is a good time to let them know if you have skin conditions like inflammatory acne, eczema, or anything else that can affect how your skin heals.

The specialist may also give you a list of activities, medications, or skin care products to avoid for two weeks prior to the treatment.

Before the procedure, you will also want to avoid:

  • Tanning beds
  • Tanning lotions
  • Spending time in direct sunlight
  • Waxing treatment area
  • Chemical peels
  • Cosmetic injectables (botox, collagen, dermal filler)
  • Blood thinners like aspirin or anti-coagulants like ibuprofen
  • Topical or oral medicines that increase sun sensitivity, like doxycycline
  • Skin care products that contain retinol, vitamin A and its derivatives, or glycolic acid

What to Expect During the Treatment

When you come in for your treatment one of our Nashville aesthetics experts will cleanse and massage your skin in preparation for the IPL. You’ll be given eye protection to shield your eyes from the light and a cooling conductive gel will be applied to the treatment area.

What Can I Expect After My IPL Treatment?

You can expect your skin to feel a little dry and tight. Therefore you need to make sure you moisturize gently and avoid any irritating products that you would use as part of your regular routine.

You will most likely notice that your brown spots will start to look bigger after the treatment. Don’t worry because it’s a natural part of the process!

The sun-damaged spots from your treatment will begin working themselves to the surface of your skin and slough off naturally.

Does IPL have any side effects?

In terms of side effects and recovery time, there’s no downtime at all for an IPL photofacial. However, your skin will probably feel warm to the touch and be more sensitive to sunlight.

Make sure you have adequate sun protection and apply it for a few days after your treatment. You should also make sure your skin is adequately hydrated. If you need help finding the best Nashville skin care products, talk to our resident skincare specialist Tracey Robinson.

Minor side effects, like temporary skin changes, are normal and go away on their own in a few days. These side effects cause no concern.

Possible side effects include:

  • Infection
  • Blistering
  • Crusting
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Sunspots or sunburn
  • Blemishes

In rare cases, the skin may become darker or lighter. Lighter patches of skin may look like scars, but are usually not permanent.

If you have any concerns about these side effects, feel free to ask our expert Garza Plastic Surgery skincare staff.

Are Photofacials Safe and Effective?

Yes! When performed properly by a professional provider, IPL facial treatments are safe for most types of skin. As we mentioned, this is a highly effective procedure! Although, the results of just one visit will differ between patients. Melanin levels in the skin occur at different levels in everyone, so what one patient sees after one treatment may require two or three treatments for you.

Who Should Not Get an IPL Facial Treatment (Photofacial)?

Generally speaking, if you are pregnant, have a serious skin condition, or have skin cancer, a photofacial might not be right for you. Also, if your skin is highly sensitive to light, then you may not benefit from a photofacial.

However, if you would like to brighten your skin, ask us about Hydrafacial with Perk or the brightening serum, BrightAlive by Z-O. Also, if you use a retinol-based product, then you should wait a few days after your facial before using it again.

IPL Facial Alternatives

If you cannot have an IPL facial, or would prefer a different treatment, you have several options. To treat discoloration, redness, and fine lines, you can opt for microdermabrasion or chemical peels.

Microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to buff the top layer of skin. This treatment removes dead, dull skin to reveal healthy skin beneath. The exfoliation also promotes collagen production to fade fine lines, scars, spots, and uneven texture.

Chemical peels have the same effect as microdermabrasion, but use a chemical solution applied to your face.

See how IPL Photofacials can help you!

Request a FREE consultation for IPL laser treatment in Nashville at Garza Plastic Surgery. We will customize a treatment plan perfect for your aesthetic goals.

IPL photofacial for sun damage
ipl treats sun damage in nashville