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What Does Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy Do For Your Face?

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Dark patches, brown spots, and freckles are just a few of the issues that men and women experience due to sun exposure. As our skin ages, it begins to show signs of sun damage. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy can improve lackluster skin for individuals of various ages and skin types. With today’s variety of noninvasive skin rejuvenation options, IPL photofacial therapy is at the top of the list for giving patients fantastic results.

How does an IPL photofacial work?

If you have spent a significant amount of time in the Pittsburgh sun without sunscreen, you might be seeing the unfortunate signs of sun damage. After years of exposure, there may be freckled patches and dark spots on your face, neck, shoulder, and even hands. IPL treatment uses intense wavelengths of light to heat the surface enough to stimulate the skin to naturally regenerate while boosting collagen production. Over time, patients are left with a smoother skin tone, healthier complexion, and less visible sun damage.

What does IPL do for your skin?

An IPL treatment uses the power of broadband light to minimize the appearance of age spots, sun spots, acne scars, rosacea, and more. IPL treatments generally take about 20 – 30 minutes. A handheld device will be passed over the target area, delivering pulses of intense light to penetrate the layers of the skin. Most patients describe experiencing a fast, pinching sensation during treatment, with minimal discomfort.

What can I expect after a photofacial?

Immediately after your IPL treatment, the treated areas will be slightly pink or red and swollen. These effects will begin to dissipate after 24 hours. You may notice discoloration and sun spots turning somewhat darker or more noticeable, and other blemishes may begin to surface. This is a good sign that the treatment is working. These spots will eventually flake off as the skin begins to heal from the inside out.

Other tips for after your IPL treatment:

  • Wear sunscreen daily with at least 30 SPF

  • Keep your skin moisturized at all times

  • Use a gentle cleanser with warm water at least twice a day

  • Do not pick or scratch at the skin — blemishes that surface will naturally flake away

  • Don't wear makeup for at least 12 – 24 hours after treatment

  • No strenuous exercise for 48 hours, as overheating the skin can affect the results

  • No hot baths, hot showers, or hot tubs for 48 hours — warm showers are fine

A facial with microdermabrasion is recommended 2 – 3 weeks after the final IPL treatment to remove any dead skin cells and reveal your new, healthier skin.

How long do IPL results last?

After your IPL treatment, sun damage and other skin irregularities will come to the surface as your skin begins to heal. Most patients see visible results after their first session, but the experts at Spa 361 generally recommend 3 – 6 IPL treatments scheduled about four weeks apart to get maximum results. IPL results can typically be enjoyed for years if patients take good care of their skin and keep it protected from the sun. An IPL treatment every 6 – 12 months as part of your skin care regimen can also boost collagen production, which is another anti-aging agent for both men and women. Intense pulsed light therapy is a simple treatment that gives patients dramatic results.

As we age, sun spots and other irregularities begin to appear. IPL treatments can give your skin a fresh, new start. Even younger adults can get a jump-start on taking care of their skin with IPL therapy. At Spa 361, this innovative technology is available to both men and women who want to revitalize their appearance and enjoy healthier-looking skin. If you are ready to hit the reset button on your face, shoulders, neck, and hands, IPL therapy may be the right solution for you.

If you are interested in IPL treatments, we invite you to schedule a consultation today with

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