My advice: Start with a professional that you TRUST, not where you get the best deal. Start with a facial if you go to an esthetician and ask if they have done IPL on themselves or had treatments on their own face. Ask about the different levels of IPL on your face. CONSULT FIRST AND ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT POST OP!!! I went to a Doctors office where they do medical grade facials and have highly trained esthiticians. She primed my face 10 days earlier with a microderm facial at no cost as I bought a package of 3 IPL/3 pixel treatments for $2100, typically $375 for each one. My face was deeply clogged and there was no way to start the process with my skin in bad shape.
Day One of IPL/Pixel - Pain was about a 4, and definitely tolerable. I am 48 years old, have a moderate case of rosacea, fine lines, dark spots, freckling and broken capillaries and overal rough, uneven skin tone. I have had years of difficult skin, difficulty finding skin care and the right makeup. I was ready for this. We discussed all post-op care and I already took the week off to take care of whatever shape my face would be in, just in case - this IS NOT a lunchtime prodedure, do not be fooled. Ladies, if you are in so much pain they have to hold you down - they are doing something wrong, and have it turned up way too much. You should feel this, but not a 10. And I have a low tolerance for pain. And that smell during the pixel is nothing more than the fine hairs on your face, and they should TELL you that dbefore they start! It should not be your skin burning OMG!!! How scary is that! I was sunburned - had the look, but only required a clariton (provided) moisturizer, (provided) sugar scrub (provided, to help remove the pixel on day 2) and I did buy their retin-A to use day 3 if no redness. I was instructed not to use the scrub and retin A together in the evening. It really is all very simple when done correctly.
Day 2 - all red gone - no peeling, but you can definitely see pixel marks and peeling/flakes are beginning and I begin to use scrub am/pm along with the cleanser they provided. I am also taking pictures each day to chart progress. Yes, you can use a scrub if they provide it to you and if you are ipl'd/pixeled correctly. It aids in the exfoliating process and de-flaking process.
Day 3 - Today - New skin emerges!! Skin is still rough to the touch, but the glow is starting, and the flaking is still in progress. Tonight I will use Retin-A to help the process along. Stll only have one nasty pixel mark under left eye where my spots where really bad and some on forehead. From far away, I look pretty good, LOL!! But cannot wear makeup, as the roughness and sandpaper like texture to my skin will not allow it. Looking forward to Day 4....
My treatments include a "clean-up" at the end of the week Scheduled for Day 6, another facial to remove all the dead skin from my face. I have to say, at this rate, I feel pretty good. She is giving me a fourth treatment, as we went a little lower with the treatment due to not knowing how my face would react and process, so I still some some areas that need to be hit, but overall, success. Unfortunelty, I think most people do not do their homework, and the practitioners go fullforce on peoples faces and that is where most burns occur. This is a treatment where in a lot of cases less is more. You can always go back for another treatment, it is not always best to GO FOR IT in one treatment. That is where I hear horror stories. Know your doctor or esthitician, make sure they do this day in and day out. Ask questions, and interview several offices and spas. I was familiar with this office, and even so, I interviewed 5 offices before doing this procedure. This is your face. Be careful who you trust it to.
I will post pictures after my clean up facial for all 7 days.