There are many ways to stimulate rejuvenation in your skin. One of the most popular techniques is by performing a chemical peel – such as TCA, or glycolic.
Another option is by using very short needles and rolling them over your skin. There is also light therapy, microdermabrasion, lasers … and what I am going to demonstrate today --- IPL.
Now, I am quite familiar with IPL treatments –otherwise known as Intense Pulsed Light – because Platinum Skin Care ran a full-service medical spa for about 7 years and we had a wonderful machine in our facility that we used for FotoFacials and hair removal.
The majority of people that wanted to get our IPL treatments were those that wanted to treat aging skin, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and of course those wanting hair removal.
Generally about 4-6 treatments were required to get a good end result. And, despite the high cost, it was a very popular procedure due to how well it worked.
You may be wondering how much an IPL treatment costs? Well, I double checked with our program and a single FotoFacial ran about $250 --- and that was almost 8 years ago! I am sure it is much more now – and depending on your location across the country it could be even higher. … Why so much? … Well, that machine was over $65,000 and we had to have a doctor in our facility to use it along with a highly trained technician to do the actual procedure.
Why I’m talking about this today is because I am about to show you a product that is an IPL you can use in your own home. And as for the price?.... Let’s say that if you went to get 2 IPL facials right here at Platinum - you will have just about paid for your unit! … and you will get well over 100 uses MINIMUM from a single cartridge.
So really quick I want to explain the difference between IPL and Lasers.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a treatment where a broad spectrum of light is applied to the skin while lasers only emit a single wavelength.
Having multiple wavelengths can be very beneficial because that gives us more uses from a single unit. All we need to do is filter the light into the spectrum that we need to accomplish our goal. This is done by using separate cartridges. We have one for Rejuvenation, one for Acne and one for Hair Removal.
Let’s talk about the pluses
- IPL can be used on almost all skin coloring – except the very blackest skin which is a Fitzpatrick 6. So, if you fall into this group the IPL is not going to be a viable treatment option for you.
- You don’t really need to prep your skin in any way to use an IPL – so this is easy. You DO want to avoid sun exposure for at least 48 hours prior to use – and 24 hours after use though.
**I want to stress here that hopefully you aren’t tanning anyways!!! The #1 cause of wrinkles and spotting is UV rays. So, use your SPF every day to protect your skin.
Let’s talk about possible side effects.
- It is possible that you may get a sunburn reaction on the treated area. This should go away within 3 days.
- Dry or itching skin is possible. Just moisturize to get past this.
- Very rarely a skin discoloration could occur. This would be the direct result of using a light intensity that was too high for your skin’s color. There is a chart to follow.
- Pain or irritation during or after treatment. This too would be caused by a too high intensity, so always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Now here are the main difference between the two machines.
With a price difference you are going to get lower strength. Our in-house IPL could output 50 joules (that is the energy that is touching your skin) and this at-home unit will only do 25 joules. *So right off the bat you know that you will need to do more treatments – and that’s OK, because your unit will be available any day that you need it.
Now let me do a quick demonstration of the unit we have here. I am going to use the Skin Rejuvenation cartridge. Its main focuses are:
- Sun damage
- Enlarged pores
- Fine lines and mild acne.
If you were to choose the Acne cartridge. Its main focuses are:
- Destroying acne bacteria in the pores of the skin, and reducing the blood supply to the sebaceous gland, which aids in reducing sebum production.
- If you were to choose the Hair Removal cartridge. Its main focus is: the destruction of the hair follicle to prevent the hair from growing again.
Step 1. READ the manual in its entirety. Yes it is simple to use, but you need to be aware of all Treatment Schedules and contraindications.
On page 10 you will find one regarding the use of hydroxy acids. Since we manufacture all types of chemical peels, acid serums, toners and cleansers…. I wanted to mention this. Acids will thin the outermost layers of your skin and make you more sensitive to other treatments.
If you find that your skin is extremely sensitive from your peels or daily acids, please discontinue them for about a week and allow your skin to thicken a bit prior to using this treatment. Personally I didn’t have any issues at all and proceeded as normal.
Step 2. Find your recommended Light Intensity. This is on page 14/15 of my manual. Match up your skin color and your “natural” hair color to find the strength that will be best for you.
I highly recommend that you follow this carefully. You will find that the lighter skin types of Fitzpatrick 1 and 2 can use the stronger strengths of 6-7-8 and as your skin gets darker you will move down in strength. Fitzpatrick 3 is in the 4-5-6 levels, Fitzpatrick 4 is in the 3-4-5 levels and Fitzpatrick 5 is in the 1-2-3 levels.
You will also note that it shows that those with those with hair colors of light blonde, red and white or grey should not use the unit. This is ONLY in regards to hair removal – as IPL is attracted to only dark hair, it will not work on the lighter types. You can still use this for acne and rejuvenation treatments no matter what your hair coloring.
Step 3. Wash your face and do NOT apply any products.
Step 4. Insert your cartridge. You will see it can only go in one way
Step 5. Plug in your power cord and turn your main power on. This is on the back. You will have another power button on the front as well. This is where you will choose your Intensity setting.
Step 6. You will want to put on your Goggles at this point. An alternative is to close your eyes at each flash – but we feel that complete protection is best. The ones that are provided are VERY large. This is predominantly for body use.
I have found that if you want to get closer to the eye area, you will need a smaller pair. I have confirmed with the manufacturer that a pair of UV tanning bed goggles will be acceptable for use. You can’t see well through them – but enough to get an idea of where you are in the mirror.
No matter which pair that you choose to use – I always recommend closing your eyes when you press the Flash button for extra safety.
Step 7. LIFT the Handpiece and then turn ON the Front power button. Use the + and – buttons to set your intensity. Now you are ready to get busy.
You will hear a beep and see a green light on the handpiece. It is ready to go.
Find a good place to start on your skin and press the button.
I want to mention that there is a little sensor right here. This MUST be on your skin or the unit will not fire. So on rounded areas of your face – such as your forehead or nose, make sure that the side is touching.
Now lift the hand piece so that it cools properly and in about 3 seconds you can do your next area. Try to overlap a little bit so that you don’t miss any spots.
I will do a few passes so that you get the idea….
Go ahead and do your entire area – be it your face, neck, chest… arms and hands… Wherever you want to stimulate tissue regeneration. You can do this IPL treatment 2x per week.
When you are done. Turn the power off. Remove and wipe off the cartridge and store everything back in its original box for safety. **Use CARE to make sure you don’t wrap your cord too tight. Let it be loose in the box. This unit will last you years if cared for properly.
Now your face is probably feeling really dry. Rinse it off, pat it gently and follow with your favorite regenerative products. I recommend our Regenerate EGF Serum or any of the Dr. Platinum Potions. Another great option would be one of the copper serums and then end with your Retinol Molecular serum.
Can I do a chemical peel immediately prior or after this treatment?
No. We recommend that you do NOT do any peels or needling during the same week than you are doing your IPL. Instead try alternating weeks to get a well rounded treatment regimen for your skin.
Can I do this more times per week?
No. According to the manufacturer this will not increase efficacy and could possibly lead to skin irritation.
I know that you are probably very excited to get started, and I can’t blame you. It is pretty amazing that you can have this professional treatment to use right in your own home.
If you still have questions after watching this video and reading our entire page – just reach out to us. We are here to help.