Intense pulsed light is not a laser and not an LED
IPL treatment diminishes sun damage, fine lines and uneven pigmentation, leaving skin clearer and smoother.
The solution to skin damaged by too much sunlight is often more light. Intense pulsed light, or IPL, is often used in photofacials to counteract brown spots, broken capillaries, and other types of skin discoloration.
Pulses of a specific type of light (mostly infrared) are applied to the skin. This light is then absorbed by the skin creating warmth. Irregularities such as pigment marks, small veins or clusters of veins will naturally absorb more light. The brown and red pigmented cells in the skin then become much warmer than the healthy surrounding skin tissue. This heat process causes these cells to be reabsorbed by the body, in time fading away. The effect of heating the skin and the deeper layers of collagen is that the skin will also be stimulated to function more efficiently, therefore producing a firmer, fresher complexion, reducing pore size and evening out skin texture, tone and color.
Each IPL face treatment usually takes about half an hour, and is performed with a small hand piece that a technician presses against the skin. The sessions can involve some discomfort; many patients describe the feeling as similar to the snap of a rubber band against the skin.
Unlike a cosmetic laser, which uses a single wavelength of light, each IPL treatment emits light at multiple wavelengths in order to simultaneously target a variety of dermatological complaints. IPL is stronger than an LED photofacial, which won’t affect pigmentation and doesn’t involve as much heat.
(Because the system decides what cells to destroy based on color, it may not be a good option for people with darker skin.)