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Beauty Buzz: What is IPL?

by Dr. Sera Balderston, AP, DOM

IPL is the abbreviation for Intense Pulsed Light, and is often used interchangeably with the terms “photofacial” or “photorejuvenation.” More precisely, IPL refers to the technology, which can also be used for hair removal, but since IPL is most widely known for its role in photofacials, the terms have become synonymous. So that is how we’ll use the term: IPL = photofacial.

For the laser hair removal and photo-rejuvenation services, at Point Lumineux we have chosen a highly effective Pulsed Light. The versatility of the Pulsed Light allows us to offer several treatments with ease, utilizing different hand pieces that emit light in the optimal bands of the spectrum to target specific chromophores (e.g. oxyhemoglobin of vascular lesions, and melanin in hair shafts and sun or age spots). Our machine, the Alma Harmony Lite is equipped with the following elements: 

  • Smooth Pulse Technology, meaning each pulse delivered is smooth and gentle to ensure a consistent epidermal temperature. 
  • A contact cooling system, so the treatments are more comfortable and safer than many others. The cooling helps the skin rest between pulses which is important in reducing the potential for skin damage.
  • Gone are the days of stamping only—this IPL works in motion to make it more comfortable for our clients.
  • Photon-recycling which recaptures scattered energy and sends it back to the target to maximize treatment effectiveness. 


Why have we chosen to integrate laser and IPL treatments into our menu?

In short, this is because our approach to skincare is holistic which means more than just using natural products. We aim to treat all conditions as gently, but effectively, as possible, and we view IPL as being one of the most innovative and safe procedures available. We believe that combining technology with premium products and other techniques, such as massage, is the most comprehensive and effective approach to skincare.

Results can be immediate, and they are long-lasting. We believe that natural products have a staying power which impacts the “life” of treatment results that far exceed cosmeceuticals. Truly clean, herbal products are able to capture nature’s wisdom in a way that just cannot be replicated in a lab—and in that wisdom lies the healing, health-promoting properties necessary for achieving a true level of radiance.    

The technology uses a high-powered, broad-spectrum pulse of light. The resulting light has a spectral range that targets specific structures and chromophores (e.g. melanin in hair or oxyhemoglobin in blood vessels) which are heated to destruction and reabsorbed by the body. In addition, IPL shares some similarities with laser treatments since they both use light to heat and destroy their targets.

But unlike lasers that use a single wavelength (color) of light, which typically matches just one chromophore and only treats one condition, IPL is used for a broad range of treatments. When used with interchangeable filters, this also enables it to be used against several conditions. This can be achieved when the IPL technician selects the appropriate filter that matches a specific chromophore.

To summarize, our IPL machine is used for permanent hair removal, hyperpigmentation from sun damage, melasma, brown spots, hemangiomas (red spots) and broken capillaries.

For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call 941-217-6828. Mention this column to receive 25% off your package series.


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