IPL Laser: The difference between an IPL Photofacial and Laser Skin Resurfacing
Many people who want to rejuvenate their skin research IPL laser treatments, not knowing they have conflated IPL Photofacials with Laser skin resurfacing, two popular cosmetic procedures. While both procedures are light-based treatments that stimulate similar biological reactions in the skin, they are two different things, and the IPL laser is actually not a laser at all. Learn the difference between an IPL Photofacial and Laser skin resurfacing to discover which treatment is best for you.
IPL Laser and Laser Skin Resurfacing
Light-based treatments are some of the most popular non-invasive alternatives to surgical procedures. IPL Photofacials and Laser Skin Resurfacing being two examples of common skin treatments for diminishing the signs of aging, ridding the complexion of blemishes and improving skin tone and texture. But what is the difference between a photo facial, using an IPL laser and laser skin resurfacing?
The Difference between IPL and Lasers
Most people are not aware that “laser” is actually an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Lasers focus a single wavelength or color of light to create a direct beam of light. This beam allows for the precise targeting of a specific pigment or skin tissue. Photofacials, which many mistakenly refer to as IPL lasers, are not actually lasers. Instead of emitting a beam of light, Photofacials emit a spectrum of colors in pulses, or flashes of high intensity broadband light (BBL.) Because a Photofacial emits a broad spectrum of light and not a single beam of light, it is incorrect to refer to a Photofacial as an IPL laser.
Light-Based Skin Treatments
Both Laser skin resurfacing and Photofacials deploy thermal energy to improve numerous skin conditions in two main ways.
They target the pigment found in melanin or blood vessels to diminish brown spots, hyper pigmentation and vascular lesions and redness. Penetrating the pigment with thermal energy either damages a blood vessel that cause redness or fractures an accumulation of melanin, which causes brown spots. The body can then metabolize the destroyed blood vessel or pulverized melanin, allowing the blemish to fade from view.
IPL and lasers improve the signs of aging and rejuvenate the skin by heating the tissue below the skin’s surface, stimulating the renewal of skin cells and stimulating the production of collagen. However, laser treatments are more effective than IPL Photofacials for creating collagen.
When is an IPL Photofacials best?
Photofacials are less invasive and are better suited for overall skin rejuvenation when the patient wishes to avoid pain or downtime. In addition, IPL treatments are especially well suited for targeting vascular and pigmented lesions. However, because IPL treatments emit a broad spectrum of light that is not focused to a specific wavelength, they may not be suitable for all skin types.
IPL Photofacials are especially good at:
- Targeting brown spots & freckles
- Improving redness, especially in the face
- Diminishing broken capillaries
- Reducing enlarged pores.
- Overall skin rejuvenation
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Because lasers offer more precision, they are better suited for targeting deeper wrinkles and fine lines, scarring, and other conditions that require heating of the deeper layers of the dermis to stimulate collagen production. By penetrating deeper, lasers typically require more downtime than IPL treatments.
Lasers are especially suited for improving
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Laser hair removal
- Laser tattoo removal
- Vascular lesions (broken capillaries & spider veins)
- Melasma and brown spots
- Acne scars and stretch marks
Now that you know that the IPL laser is actually not a laser and the difference between a Photofacial and laser skin resurfacing, the best way to determine which skincare treatment is right for you is to schedule a complimentary consultation with the skincare specialists at Santé Medical Aesthetics. Contact Santé online or call them today at (817) 305-0050.