Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Skin Rejuvenation IPL review

Recently I underwent IPL skin rejuvenation at Beauty House and wanted to share my experience. I'm certainly not a skin expert but I did my research before undergoing IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), and I recommend anyone thinking about it to do the same. I decided to undergo IPL to reduce hyperpigmentation (dark spots) on the right side of my face. I love my freckles and my aim was not to get rid of them.
First a little background information... As we know, freckles and dark spots can develop as a result of genetics and sun exposure (UV rays). When skin is exposed to UV rays the outer layer (epidermis) thickens and pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) produce melanin faster. Melanin is the pigment which produces the brown spots. The overproduction of melanin is one factor responsible for hyperpigmentation.

People (like me) who have fair skin, light-coloured eyes and blonde hair are more susceptible to UV exposure, so I wear  Ultraceuticals Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30+ - a broad spectrum, high SPF sun-block everyday.
The IPL treatment I received was called IPL Skin Rejuvenation. Here are the steps I undertook:
Step 1.
The initial session was a consultation and test. I completed an extensive questionnaire, a skin assessment and the procedure was explained in detail. Heather (the IPL technician) recommended I undergo a full face skin rejuvenation, rather than just the hyperpigmentation spots. A spot treatment would follow after analysing the first results, and this would provide a more even result over my whole face.

Next, a test patch was performed on my lower-left jaw. I expected to feel a 'rubber-band flick' and a 'sting', but to be honest I didn't feel much at all.
Step 2.
24-hour hours later and a successful test! No reactions, not even a red mark.

Step 3.
First session: After my make-up was removed I put on the protective glasses and a cooling gel was smoothed onto my skin. The treatment took approx. 20 minutes in total. It did take a few minutes to get used to the 'zap', which is an odd feeling of unexpectedness, even though you know its coming. I found the heat got more intense as the treatment progressed and I was happy when it was over. Whilst it did not hurt it was slightly uncomfortable.

Afterwards my skin felt hot and was slightly red. I purchased ASAP Soothing Gel for post-treatment calming and would definitely recommend this! I applied it every hour for approx. 4-6 hours after the treatment and kept it in the fridge.

After treatment: Skin feels tender, slightly hot, freckles are darker, red & raised

Step 4.
The next day my freckles were noticeably darker and the redness had disappeared. I didn't have any other reactions at all. Over the next week my skin cleared and the dark spots flaked off and faded as I had been told. I used make-up to even out my skin tone during the week, although I don't think it worked very well. I exfoliated lightly after one week and made sure I used a more intensive moisturiser at night time too.

Day 1: Freckles are much darker and slightly raised
Day 2: No significant changes, but tenderness has gone
Day 4: Darkness has faded slightly & my skin feels rough
I was really happy with the initial results - my skin felt fantastic after a week and kept getting better over 3-4 weeks. I'm ready to book my next session now! The next session should follow 6 weeks after the first, but I have waited 8 due to my work travel.
One month following treatment: My skin feels amazing and spots have faded significantly.
I'll post a before and after shot once I've completed my next session.
PS: Having regular facials help significantly, whether professionally or at home. I do a combination of both along with my daily skincare routine!

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