When it comes to rejuvenating the skin, nothing really compares to medical grade treatments. A facial at a spa leaves you relaxed and glowing for a week, but if you want to see real and lasting changes, you have to go a little deeper than that. And when it comes to fixing brown or red discoloration on the face – IPL is our go-to. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) lasers are used to remove discoloration—think freckles, sun damage and brown spots—as well as rosacea, acne, and broken capillaries. Today, we’re going to focus on the brown spot side of things.
What are brown spots?
So let’s talk brown! Specifically – brown spots and sun damage. We hate that, don’t we ladies? Generally speaking, whether your browns are sunspots or melasma (large patches of brown pigment, usually related to hormones) they will get worse over time, especially in response to sunlight. This is because the melanocytes (the cells in the skin that make the brown pigments) are activated by exposure to ultraviolet light and estrogens – both of which are cumulative over time. A proper care plan to treat your brown spots should include one or two IPLs per year after your initial treatment – it’s way easier (and more affordable) to maintain and preserve your skin than to have to constantly repair it.
IPL is the weapon of choice when dealing with pigmentation issues because of how versatile it can be. The laser can be ‘tuned’ to different wavelengths, allowing it to target different shades of pigment. Specifically, it can target a saturation of melanin (brown spots) or hemoglobin (reds).
All it takes is three to five treatments to remove years of damage, and one or two follow-ups a year to maintain your skin. With just a few treatments, dark spots and broken capillaries will improve dramatically with little downtime.
IPL offers plenty of benefits – did I mention it also stimulates collagen production? – including the ability to rejuvenate skin from a textural standpoint. IPL patients’ skin looks younger and tauter after each treatment.
Is everyone eligible for IPL?
Unfortunately not. It’s not as effective on melasma as it is on sun damage. Additionally, it cannot be used on darker skin tones, as there is a risk of creating burns.
How does it work?
Each session feels like a hot bright light on the surface of the skin, similar to a flash being fired. Some people compare the sensation to a rubber band being ‘snapped’ on the skin.
A few days post-treatment, the treated areas become darker (like coffee grounds). They’ll eventually flake off within 7-14 days, leaving you with smooth, even, and glowing skin.
What should I do after the treatment?
After an IPL you will want to think about home care. Good quality medical grade products will augment and preserve your IPL results. There are only a few ingredients which will actually suppress the melanocytes – basically putting them to sleep so that they don’t respond to stimulation. The most effective ingredients are retinols, Vitamin C, and Arbutase. If you are not already using products with these vital pigment-fighting ingredients, then your IPL is only working half as hard for you as it could!
We understand the importance of incorporating these ingredients in your daily skincare regime. That’s why our Restor Renewal Cream has all of these ingredients in clinically relevant amounts. Using a product like the Renewal Cream regularly will reduce the appearance of sunspots and melasma. Daily use of retinols and Vitamin C helps make regular IPL treatments more effective, and extend how long they last.
Ready to rejuvenate your skin and banish those brown spots? Visit us at Restor to find out if IPL is the right treatment for you.
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See Before and After Pictures of IPL Laser Treatments
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