Thursday, 2 March 2017

My Guide to IPL Skin Rejuvenation

I was generously invited to The Clinic for an IPL treatment, and I have been thrilled with the results. The procedure was done just prior to my finding out that I was pregnant with Addison, so I have held off sharing my experience as I was a little nervous that my pigmentation may worsen during the pregnancy, and my results may have been unduly affected. Though the procedure is considered very safe in itself, not a lot of research has been done on IPL treatments during pregnancy, and most practitioners will recommend that you hold off any cosmetics procedures until after your baby is born. Pregnancy can cause changes in the skin due to the effect of hormones, and my five pregnancies have certainly contributed to mine.  Sadly, the rest is due to sun damage. I have quite a few photographs of my skin before and after the procedure, and just a warning, I am completely makeup free and may scare young children. All of the photographs were taken in direct natural light, and because they were taken on different days, there is some subtle, natural variation in the lighting.

The Clinic is located in the suburb of Bondi Junction, Sydney and was founded by Kaye Scott and Lisa Sullivan-Smith in 1999. The non-surgical cosmetic clinic offers treatments such as Fraxel, Thermage, IPL, Pelleve, Chemical Peels and cosmetic injectables, and pride themselves on an experienced and professional nursing and medical team.

All of The Clinic's staff were warm, friendly and welcoming. I hadn't stepped foot into a cosmetic clinic in my life ( country bumpkin ) so it was a very new experience, and I was a little nervous to say the least! I needn't have worried. It was so lovely to meet Kaye and Lisa, both are so very warm and personable, and made me feel comfortable and cared for. 

Image courtesy of The Clinic.

Kaye Scott & Lisa Sullivan-Smith.
Image courtesy of The Clinic.

       Image courtesy of The Clinic.

Image courtesy of The Clinic.

 Image courtesy of The Clinic.

What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, which uses broad spectrum light waves to treat photo aged skin, pigmentation, brown spots, and redness due to broken capillaries. Pulses of light are transmitted into the sub-dermal layers of the skin using a handpiece which is placed against the skin. These pulses of light waves heat the area, breaking down the pigmentation ( melanin ) into small particles. These  particles will rise to the surface of the skin, and slough off naturally over the course of approximately one-two weeks. The heat generated from the light waves can have a positive effect on fine lines and wrinkles as it also stimulates collagen production. It is generally recommended to have a course of treatments, typically four, with each treatment being four weeks apart. I have only had the one treatment, and am currently saving my pennies to be able to complete the full course. There is no "down time" as such with this procedure, as the upper layers of skin are not affected, so have no fear, you will not end up looking like Samantha from Sex and the City after her "peel" !!

Here are my before photos. As mentioned previously, I have pigmentation from both sun damage and the hormonal effects of my pregnancies.

Before my IPL treatment.

Before my IPL treatment.

I was beautifully looked after by Deirdre, who explained the procedure in detail. My face was cleansed, and protective eyewear applied. Deirdre treated my whole face in sections, doing a total of two passes ( one pass over each area, and then repeated ).
No anaesthetic is required for the procedure. I would describe each flash of light as a quick sting, or as many people describe it, like a rubber band snapping against your face, which is pretty spot on. It is more annoying and uncomfortable rather than "painful". There were some areas of my face that were more sensitive than others, and Deirdre kindly warned me about this. Areas such as around the mouth, next to the nose and on the nose, and the temple area made my eyes water a little! Having now birthed five babies, my official benchmark for all things potentially painful, I can tell you it's really not too bad!
Following the procedure, my skin felt a little tender and warm. Some areas of my pigmentation had darkened immediately, which Deirdre explained was a sign that I was going to get a great result! She then applied a soothing balm and SPF to my skin.

Below are photographs of my skin 24 hours post IPL. You will notice the areas of pigmentation that have darkened, and my skin is slightly pink on the outer cheek and temples. I went off to work, after applying SPF and then my makeup as I would normally. The darkened areas were never raised or scabbed at all, each day I would look in the mirror and there would just be less of them!

24 hours post IPL.

24 hours post IPL.

The next two photographs were taken three days after my treatment.
You can see the amount of darkened areas have decreased.
Don't mind that naughty spot on my cheek ( how rude ).

Day 3 post IPL.

Dau 3 post IPL.

In the next two photographs I have placed the previous photographs together so that you can easily see the difference between 24 hours after, and then 3 days after the IPL.

LEFT - 24 hours post IPL  RIGHT - 3 days post IPL.

LEFT - 24 hours post IPL  RIGHT 3 days post IPL.

These four photos below show my before, 24 hours after, 3 days after,
and finally 4 weeks after my IPL.

 TOP LEFT - Before IPL, TOP RIGHT - 24 hours post IPL
BOTTOM LEFT - 3 days post IPL, BOTTOM RIGHT - 4 weeks post IPL.

Hopefully you can see the improvement in my skin! I also had the pleasant side effect of my fine facial hair falling out, though this was only temporary and the little buggers did decide to grow back! During my pregnancy with Addison, I have had some return of pigmentation ( thank you pregnancy hormones! ), though I am diligent in daily application of a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen to protect my skin from any further sun damage.

Based on my positive experience, I have no hesitation in warmly recommending The Clinic if you are considering any non-surgical treatments. Honestly, I would rather spend my hard earned money on further IPL treatments than any notoriously expensive face cream. Surprisingly, some products these days cost as much as an IPL treatment, which is generally around the $400 mark. It's an investment, and certainly not something that is affordable for everybody. If it is within your price range, then I would absolutely recommend it if you are concerned with your pigmentation.

On your first visit to The Clinic your skin is assessed, your needs and wishes discussed, and then a treatment plan will be advised. They carry a variety of cosmeceutical skincare ranges including Cosmedix, Aspect, Skinmedica, and of course The Moisturiser, which was developed by Lisa and Kaye themselves! A beautiful lightweight moisturiser designed for all skin types which feeds your skin everything it needs for both morning and evening application, and is suitable for use during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. Some of the key ingredients include peptides for their anti-ageing effects of firming and assisting in the improvement of skin tone, Sea Buckthorn for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and plant stem cells to aide in strengthening collagen fibres. The Moisturiser retails for $80, and is packaged in an airless pump to maintain the freshness and efficacy of the ingredients. A beautiful moisturiser that sit perfectly on my skin prior to makeup application, and has enough hydration to plump and soothe my skin overnight when used in the evening. Highly recommend!

You can find The Clinic's website here.

I hope you have found some helpful information in this post! Please do leave any questions you may have below and I will do my best to answer them for you!

Have you ever considered non-surgical facial treatments? Do let me know if you have had IPL before and how you found the experience, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo

Disclaimer; As with any procedure, skin treatment, or product, my experience and results may differ from yours. This is a documentation of my own personal experience, and it is recommended to speak to an experienced professional regarding your own needs and desired treatments, and potential side effects. The author is not liable for any decision made on your part.

Images provided by The Clinic for inclusion as requested by author. All other images belong solely to the author.

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