Tips to Prepare for Your IPL Treatment

Intense pulsed laser treatments are one of the most convenient techniques for revitalizing your skin, minimizing sun damage, and turning back the clock on premature aging. What should you expect before and after this rejuvenating procedure?

What Happens During an IPL Session?

During an IPL photofacial, your provider uses pulses of laser energy to deeply penetrate the skin for a therapeutic effect. This rejuvenating skin treatment reduces the appearance of discoloration, wrinkles, and broken capillaries on areas like your face, neck, hands, or chest.

IPL is a non-invasive method for creating smoother and more youthful skin with minimal downtime. If you’re looking for a way to erase years of sun damage and improve color, tone, and texture, IPL treatment may be ideal for you.

An experienced technician begins the IPL therapy process by sending wavelengths of light to gently heat the skin, boosting the natural collagen regeneration process. After your treatment, your complexion should start to look clearer, brighter, and smoother, with a more even skin tone.

How to Maximize Your IPL Treatment

You can take several steps before the day of your first IPL appointment to ensure excellent results.

  • Avoid sun exposure: Don’t tan or expose your skin to direct sunlight at least two weeks before your procedure. UV rays trigger melanin production, which can interfere with IPL’s effectiveness. Be sure to protect your skin with a broad-spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen, even when stepping outside for brief periods.
  • Quit smoking: If you are a smoker, we request that you stop this habit before and after your IPL treatment. Smoking impedes healing by restricting healthy blood circulation, and the toxins in cigarette smoke dramatically accelerate the aging process.
  • Be judicious about the products you use: You should keep your skin well hydrated before and after an IPL photofacial, but some retinol products may cause increased skin sensitivity. Ask your dermatologist for recommendations on which topical moisturizers and serums to use and which to avoid.
  • Determine how many treatments you will need: Some people see best results from scheduling a series of IPL sessions. After evaluating your specific skin concerns, an experienced dermatologist can recommend your ideal treatment plan.

What Should You Expect After Getting IPL?

Following intense pulsed light therapy, most people experience a few days of redness, similar to a mild sunburn. If your skin flakes or peels, it’s essential not to pick at it. Since laser treatments can make you highly photosensitive, stay out of the sun if at all possible to avoid more UV damage. When you must go outside, protect the treated areas with sunscreen, and stay in the shade as much as possible.

After you wake up, and before going to bed, wash your face with a gentle cleanser such as micellar water. Stay hydrated, and apply a rich moisturizer such as ceramides or petroleum jelly several times a day. Avoid alcohol-based toners that can leave your skin overly dry.

One excellent benefit of this minimally invasive laser facial is that there is little or no healing time necessary with IPL. However, we still recommend leaving your social calendar clear for five days to a week after your first appointment to give yourself time to see how your skin reacts to the procedure.

The Best IPL Treatments in San Francisco

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to experience IPL’s many advantages for yourself, contact us at the Dermatology Medical Group of San Francisco today. Our experienced team is here to consult with you and answer any questions you have about non-surgical skin rejuvenation.