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With our skin being the most visible part of our bodies, it shows it all! From age to environmental effects which affects especially the skin on the face and of course then there’s unwanted hair. Not so great... This is when laser treatments come to play. It is extremely popular because there is a laser treatment for everyone and it works!
Lasers are sources of intense light that focuses on smaller areas with high energy. Let’s see the most popular laser treatments out there and which will suit you best.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) also known as Photorejuvenation treatment is a technology used for irregular pigmentation,rosacea, acne as well as a tool to erase mild sun damage, freckles and light brown spots on the face, neck and chest. This treatment works by stimulating the dermal layer of the skin (mostly made of collagen) to produce fresh collagen which plumps up the skin and also smooths fine lines and wrinkles.
IPL are quick, strong flashes of light that penetrates the skin. The light energy becomes heat energy, which breaks down the pigment into tiny particles, which will rise to the skin's surface as scabs (naturally sheds within a week), or gets taken away by the body's lymphatic system.
Your therapist will start by applying a cool gel on all the problem areas. A hand-held machine delivering intense pulses of light, is gently applied to these areas.
Don’t worry, this is a non-invasive treatment which will not disrupt the surface of your skin.
Generally the skin will look redder for a few days after the treatment. In the case of freckles and sun spots, scabbing or crusting occurs for a few days, but will dissolve after. No need to hide indoors, makeup can be used after but should be applied and removed very gently. Though always take the expert advice from your therapist on how to care for your skin after your treatment.
Everyone is different and has different pain thresholds. The IPL treatment is more a feeling of discomfort than pain. It has been described as a tingly feeling, like a rubber band snapping against your skin. Though the IPL devices have improved greatly and these tingly sensations have greatly decreased. It’s normal to feel a bit worried and very important to voice your worries to your therapist, who will no doubt make you feel at ease and explain the full procedure to you.
It is recommended to do 4-6 sessions of IPL to achieve your desired effect. After 6 months, it will be good to do another treatment to maintain your beautiful new skin. The amount of sessions also greatly depends on how intense or minor your skin condition is. Trust your therapist to tell you exactly how many visits you need.
Ouch Factor: 3/10
Time Taken: depending on the purpose
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is not only used to erase various skin conditions, it is also used for hair removal. Strong flashes of light penetrates the hair follicles, and quickly destroys the root of the hair. The flashes of light specifically targets the melanin pigment in the hair. The light energy becomes heat energy and this heat damages the follicle causing hair growth to slow down considerably.
Your therapist will prepare a cooling gel, which will be smoothed onto the hairy areas. A hand-held machine delivering intense pulses of light, is gently applied to the areas. Bursts of light will hit the skin and move through your skin until it reaches the hair and targets the melanin pigment. The follicle heats up and is destroyed.
Your skin can go a bit red and tender, so a soothing cream will be given to you by your therapist. There is hardly any recovery, so you can go about your business straight away. But remember to always take the expert advice from your therapist on how to care for your skin before and after your treatment. It is very important to stay out of the sun before and after the procedure, so make your appointment way in advance of that summer holiday.
IS IPL HAIR REMOVAL SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE?
IPL hair removal is much more suited to those with paler skin and hair tones. Though there are still IPL devices which are used on darker hair - check with your therapist about their devices. It is recommended to try laser hair removal instead, for people with darker skin and hair tones.
With busy schedules and always being on the move, who has time for shaving every few days?
This makes traditional laser for hair removal extremely popular. Like IPL for hair removal, laser also heats the hair and damages the hair follicle, but laser is more concentrated. The laser also travels down deeper into the pore to completely destroy the hair follicle.
Before you do laser, do not shave or wax or do any other hair removal treatments, it will not work if there is no hair follicle. Do not be sunburned or tanned either, might be best steering clear of long beach days before.
Once you are set, the therapist will start by trimming your hairs and apply a cooling gel to the hairy areas. He/She will adjust the laser machine according to the colour, thickness and area of the hair. The device used is hand held which will send out light which is absorbed by the pigment in the hair.
Normally your skin will be red and tender after the procedure. An ice pack can be placed on the lasered areas after for relief. Do stay out of the sun straight after your treatment and use a sunblock with a high SPF. But remember to always take the expert advice from your therapist on how to care for your skin before and after your treatment.
Laser for hair removal is best suited for people with darker, thick and course hair. Because lighter hair (including blonde and grey hair) doesn’t absorb light very well, you won’t see a huge difference with laser.
See below all different salons in spas in your area where you can have Laser treatments.