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Ultimate Guide: Laser Facials and IPL Laser Treatments for Clear Skin in Pittsburgh, PA

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

At Avere Beauty, we offer a wide variety of services and treatments that are aimed to help better skin health. There is the myth that Botox will fix everything, and as much as we want to believe that, it’s just simply not true. Botox will target muscle and will prevent it from contracting.

Now Botox IS beneficial, as it can help to prevent further lines from forming however, it will not get rid of those static lines already formed or those stubborn dark spots or texture irregularities.

This is an important concept that we educate each client about. The most important thing we could be doing to help prevent such a thing is skin care!

It sounds silly, but it is the truth. Along with seeing our esthetician, our nurses may direct you in the direction of a laser service, such as an IPL treatment or a laser facial.

“Laser what, lPL who?”, you might ask.

IPL stands for intense pulsed light, known to some as a “photo facial”. This is a treatment we would direct you in if you’re looking to even out your skin tone, lighten up those sunspots, unwanted freckles, rosacea, and even mild acne scarring.

The way the treatment works is that the machine will use a light beam to target melanin on the skin. Melanin is what gives our skin pigmentation.

The light is set to a specific frequency that ultimately is absorbed by the melanin once it hits the skin surface.

However, this is why it is important to consult with one of our providers prior to a treatment.

Each client falls into a different “skin type” – varying from Type 1-6. This is called the Fitzpatrick scale.

The fairer the skin, the lower the level of skin type, the darker the skin, the higher the level. This is crucial because any type of laser or light therapy has specific settings depending on the client’s skin tone.

IPL is only recommended for skin types 1-3 as there is a smaller amount of melanin on the skin, making this safe.

For skin types 4-6, this treatment could be dangerous because as discussed early, IPL is used to target melanin. If used on darker skin tones, it could cause more harm and damage than any benefit and could potentially cause post-inflammatory pigmentation.

Once your provider decides that IPL will be a suitable treatment depending on your concerns, ensure that you are discontinuing any use of retinols or retinoids and avoiding sun exposure, including tanning beds for at least a week prior to your appointment and arrive with a clean face, no makeup or moisturizers.

A gel will be smoothed across the treatment area to create a barrier between the skin and the light. You will be provided with a pair of goggles to wear in order to protect your eyes from any bright light.

Your provider will then find a good spot, typically inferior to your ear or a nonvisual area of the body, to do a “test spot” of the machine to ensure that the settings are right for your skin. What your provider is looking for upon testing the wand is a darkening of any hyperpigmented areas of the skin.

This is what we call the “end-point” or our goal in using IPL. After the test spot is okayed, your provider will then move the IPL wand across the treatment area, zapping each area. This sensation is compared to a small snap of a hair tie or rubber band on the wrist.

Once finished, the gel will be removed from the part of the body treated with a gentle wipe. You will notice your skin being a little pink, as if having a mild sunburn. This is normal! It is important to wear SPF sunscreen always, but especially for the following weeks after an IPL as your skin will be more sensitive to the sun.

Over the next 7-10 days you will notice your dark spots starting to “pepper” or fall off and any redness or broken capillaries will shrink over time. By week 4, you will be all healed and ready for your next session!

As incredible as our IPL sessions are, sometimes it is not safe for a client depending on history or skin type so typically we would then recommend a laser facial. The awesome part about this service is that it is safe for all skin types!

The laser facial uses the 1064 YAG laser which has less melanin absorption, thus being safer for darker skin types.

The main uses of the laser facial are to

  • help reduce pore sizes

  • soften lines and wrinkles

  • improve the appearance of mild acne scarring,

  • lighten liver or sun spots, and

  • overall even out the skin tone and texture.

It is recommended to avoid any retinoids or retinol related products a few days before and after as they may be irritating.

The process for this laser service is easy.

Just like with the IPL treatment, you need a clean surface. We ask you come with no makeup or moisturizers on as they will only need to be removed. Once the treatment area is cleaned, you will be provided with eye protection to wear.

The treatment itself is nearly painless. You will only feel a quick heat sensation across your skin. Your provider will then use the laser 1064 laser to move across your skin in a basket-weaving motion until the whole area has been treated.

Diana, our laser tech, giving a laser facial in Export!

Once finished, your skin may feel a little warm for a few minutes, but will fade soon after. After that, you are all ready to roll! That’s how easy it is.

Aftercare will be provided to you with the main instruction to wear your SPF, same as with IPL. You will feel refreshed when leaving and will start noticing small changes in a few days.

Hopefully this post will be able to guide you which way you should be leaning depending on what your concerns are.

However, we are always available to answer any questions or concerns and consults are free so take advantage of coming to see us so we can help you!

Visit to learn more and book now!

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