I love a good skin treatment, so I recently got an IPL skin treatment. IPL stands for "Intense Pulsed Light", and is sometimes referred to as a photofacial. It is a nonsurgical cosmetic skin procedure commonly used to correct skin irregularities and reverse the signs of aging. What was I looking to improve? I had a lot of redness in my skin and the beginning signs of sun damage. I wanted to reduce the redness due to broken capillaries as well as form pimple scarring. A lot of the redness is just due to me being so fair-skinned so I knew going into it that all redness would not be reduced.
A little secret I don’t share with many – I used to go tanning. I know, I’m just as mad at myself as you are. And to twist the knife a little more, there was a time when I would go to two different salons to be able to tan twice in one day – tragic. I would never wear sunscreen outside and bake in the sun for hours, I even applied oil – my skin’s crying right now. I suspected that I would have a lot of sun damage to try and reconcile.
IPL treatments offer a gentle, long-lasting solution for visible signs of skin damage. This can include, removing age spots, alleviating rosacea, eliminating birthmarks, fade freckles and erase broken capillaries. Sun damaged areas darken temporarily after treatment, almost looking like coffee grounds, then slough off in a matter of days. By delivering broadband light in highly focused pulses, IPL provides pinpoint accuracy to capillary removal that won’t disturb healthy tissue or other blood vessels in the area. It combines dramatic improvement with virtually no down time – I had a little bit of down time though, I will explain more later. In a nutshell, this is the procedure:
I got my IPL treatment at the Dermatique Med Spa in Geneva, IL. The treatment was $350 for the entire face. I believe they have a spot treatment option for $175, for if you were maybe only getting a birthmark removed on one area of your body. I have to say, I loved this place. The staff was VERY nice, and that’s saying a lot about a full staff of women in the beauty industry. You know what I’m talking about. I mentioned to them that I have my esthetics license as well and they seemed genuinely interested, so I appreciated that. They followed up after my appointment to see how I was doing and if I was experiencing any issues. The price was a little high, but you get what you pay for and I truly trusted the doctor that administered my treatment.
Did it hurt? Like hell. As I’ve said before, I’m kind of a wimp but I thought this was pretty painful when getting over the entire face. The doctor tested the laser on me with a few blasts to start out and I remember thinking “oh wow, this will be a breeze!” but by the time she had finished half of my face I was full on sweating. When she was ¾ of the way done I was happy for all the Botox in my forehead and the fact that I was wearing goggles, so she couldn’t see the expression on my face – I thought I was going to melt onto the floor I was so uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is the best way to describe it. Very uncomfortable. The pain is bearable, but it is not a breeze. Treatment on a smaller area of the body would be significantly more bearable but the entire face was a little brutal, in my opinion.
Was it worth it? Yes and no. The treatment definitely worked. I noticed a reduction in my broken capillaries and some redness. The part I am on the fence about was actually not a problem with the treatment, but I thought that I would actually have more sun damage to fix. Apparently, my skin was resilient against my best efforts to look like a leather handbag in my teens – I only noticed a small amount of “coffee grounds” on my face after a few days which to me meant that I didn’t have a lot of hyperpigmentation to get rid of. So, although the treatment worked great, I don’t think the results were worth $350, FOR ME. This is not to say if you have a more severe issue that this wouldn’t be worth it, I 100% think it would. This is something I would definitely consider doing again later on in life when those pesky age spots start to appear or if my skin drastically takes a turn for the worst, but it is not something I would do again soon based on the changes I saw with the skin I have at this point.
So, I had mentioned I had a little downtime, it was not much, and I was still able to go about my life as normal, but I just started to look like Jocelyn Wildenstein for a day or two there. The area under my eyes swelled to the point where I was a little scared they might swell shut. It was the worst 3 days after the treatment but on the fourth day I woke up with no signs of swelling. It was weird. Other than the swelling, there were not really any visible signs that I had anything done. The spots of sun damage that darkened just looked like freckles until the spots fell off within the week.
Since the treatment, my skin has been acting a fool, (I do not believe this is due to the IPL but instead to my sugar addiction) so I have not really had a day where it has been completely clear of pimples or redness. This is a little annoying because I want to see the full results of the treatment but from what I can see, this treatment works. I would highly recommend to anyone with skin issues they are looking to help reduce or if you have nice skin but $350 to blow! Dermatique was a great place to get this treatment for the first time, the staff was great and made me feel comfortable. I will list there website below if you would like to check out their other services!
Below are photos of the progress starting from day one after treatment, through the third day after treatment that I had mentioned I was super swollen, and the final picture is 2 weeks post treatment: