IPL, or intense pulsed light, is a versatile treatment that can improve a range of issues on the face, hands, neck, and chest, including brown spots, broken capillaries, and rosacea. The energy stimulates collagen and elastin production, which may help improve reduce fine lines and shrink enlarged pores. The size of the head of the IPL device is usually larger than most laser spot sizes, which allows for the rapid treatment of large areas.
IPL technology is approved by Health Canada. It works by delivering an arc of light that allows it to penetrate all levels of the skin, without harming the surface—so there’s little to no downtime. Several treatments (often called photo facials or foto facials, when used to rejuvenate sun-damaged skin) are usually necessary for best results. They’re typically performed three to four weeks apart.
The Ellipse IPL is no exception. Ellipse is a very successful and long-established manufacturer of multi-purpose IPL laser systems used for many beauty and skincare treatments including the treatment of leg veins, lesions, birthmarks, hair removal and help with skin rejuvenation, anti-ageing and wrinkle reduction.
The idea behind the Ellipse is its unique patented ‘dual-mode filter’. This means the light which is carefully converted into heat energy has a 100% absorption only into pigment in the hair follicle.
● IPL is best used to attack brown pigment in the skin, helping to reduce sunspots and melasma,
● It’s also effective at reducing redness caused by broken capillaries, rosacea, and general facial flushing—something only a few other light-based modalities can do.
● It’s often less expensive than other light-based devices and lasers that treat the same conditions. However, multiple sessions are usually required for the best results.
● Recovery time is minimal, and you usually can return to your routine immediately after your treatment.
● The risks of IPL are lower than those of some other light-based procedures.
● It works best on light skin. The melanin (pigment) in the skin absorbs light energy, so olive or brown skin is more likely to burn and, potentially, scar. IPL for African American skin can be challenging.
● The treatment can be painful, with a sharp prickling or stinging sensation. An anaesthetic cream applied beforehand can numb the skin.
● It’s generally considered less effective at hair removal than lasers.
Your skin may be red and swollen for a few hours or the rest of the day, but you should be able to go back to your regular activities or work, using ice packs or a cool washcloth, if you need to ease the discomfort. You’ll be able to apply moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup immediately after the treatment.
One to seven days post-treatment, pigmented spots will appear to rise to the surface of your skin—the brown, freckled areas can look like coffee grounds—before fading a few days to a week later.
Your skin may feel sunburned and hypersensitive for a couple of days following, so treat it gently until you’re completely healed. Avoid sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater on the treatment area at all times.
The treatment plan for IPL is typically slow and steady, with multiple treatments to achieve full results. Patients often see some improvement in redness within two weeks of their first session, but significant results may not be visible for at least five treatments, particularly for more severe dark spots.