What Is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It is a light-based technology used commonly by hair and skin specialists when treating unwanted face and body hair, acne, wrinkles/signs of ageing, pigmentation and vascular lesions such as broken capillaries. It is a popular procedure for people seeking non-invasive and non-ablative solutions to their hair and skin concerns.

How does IPL work?

IPL machines emit high intensity pulses of visible light wavelengths (between a range of 420nm and 1200nm) that are directed at the treatment zone with an IPL handpiece. The targeted area absorbs the light into the skin or hair follicle, where it is converted to heat energy. The heat energy works to selectively damage the targeted chromophores (melanin in pigmentation, for example) resulting in the fragmentation and removal of the unwanted pigmentation through the body’s natural rejuvenation process. In the case of unwanted hair, the targeted hair follicle is thermally damaged to the point of destruction, resulting in permanent removal of the hair or delayed/stunted regrowth. By adjusting the light wavelengths to the specific treatment required, IPL therapy only targets the problem area and does not cause damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

What are the principal IPL treatments?

  • Permanent hair removal: Removes unwanted hair from virtually anywhere on the face or body. Common treatments include legs, underarms, bikini line, chest and back.
  • Photo rejuvenation: Renews and rejuvenates photodamaged and sun damaged skin and works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Acne management: Targets acne-causing bacteria to reduce breakouts, control oil and heal acne lesions.
  • Pigmentation correction: Reduces or removes hyperpigmentation, freckles, sun spots and some other forms of skin discolourations/melasma.
  • Vascular therapy: Reduces or removes vascular lesions such as broken capillaries, thread veins and treats skin redness such as rosacea.



Is there a difference between IPL and laser?

Yes. Laser technologies emit monochromatic light, which means just one light wavelength - while IPL technologies have the ability to emit a broad spectrum of adjustable light wavelengths that can be dispersed over a larger treatment area when compared to laser. 

How many treatments does it take to get results?

While IPL treatment starts taking effect from the first treatment, many patients require a course of treatments to achieve optimum results. This could be as little as three sessions or as many as eight in the case of permanent hair removal. Sessions are spaced at designated intervals in order to allow the body to undertake its natural regenerative process and take full effect before the next treatment is applied. This gradual method of advanced hair and skin treatment is a great way to build customer relationships, increase re-booking rates and keep foot traffic coming through your salon, spa or clinic door.

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