Hi Everyone. I decided to write this review after reading numerous reviews on realself that others have written that have really helped me in my decision- making process and that have also provided me with a lot of useful information! I decided to write my own review to hopefully help others trying to make a decision as well. I am going to try to be as objective as possible in this review. It is still early on (only 2 days since the treatment) so I cannot make a judgement just yet on whether it was worth it, or not.
I am a 24 year old female who just had IPL two days ago to correct some minor sun damage and reddish/ blotchy skin. None of my problems were terrible but I definitely have some improvements to be made (especially since I am young and already have sun damage/ uneven skin!).
Why I did it:
I decided to choose IPL because of the "zero downtime" and because it was recommended to me by someone who had it done on their chest for melasma with good results.
I had the procedure done on a Saturday morning so that I could have a few days in between the IPL and work. The procedure itself was more comfortable than I expected. I was expecting a feeling close to a rubber band snap, which was what I had read mostly about in my research. I can see why people would describe it that way, but for me, it was more like quick a flash of heat (kind of as though something hot would be momentarily touching your skin). For the most part, it was not painful but on some areas that were more sensitive (for example, under my nose) I felt myself flinch a little bit! But it was definitely tolerable!
Immediately following the procedure:
I was not in any pain. If anything, my skin felt a little bit dry and slightly irritated. It was a little bit red when I looked in the mirror. I applied a little bit of powered foundation to cover this up and I felt comfortable enough to go out to lunch. That night, I noticed that my skin was a little bit more oily than normal (but I dont know if it was due to the IPL.)
The following morning:
I woke up with a lot of pimples. There are some that are just raised pink bumps and then some that are the same but with a whitehead. I have not broken out like this once in at least 2 years and not consistently since I was a teenager. I do not know if this is from the IPL or just a coincidence because no one mentioned this during my consultation and I did not read about it in my own research of the procedure. So I am not sure if it is attributable to the IPL or just a coincidence.
I read that some people see "coffee ground" like spots on their face from their brown spots coming to the surface. I only see a LITTLE bit of this. Maybe only about 5-6 SMALL specks, and my other brown freckles so not seem to be any darker. I am wondering if this isn't a good thing (maybe its not working like it should??) But I am going to give it some more time before I make a judgement. My skin is also still slightly pink. However I do not have any swelling, peeling, or pain.
Like I said, I currently cannot make a judgement on this procedure as to whether it was worth it (or not) just yet. I will post updates in the future.
The place I went to did recommend at least 3 IPLs but I did not buy a package in case I did not like the job that they did, or the results. I calculated that with buying a package I would save ~$30 per IPL which wasn't worth the risk of me not being happy with/liking the procedure and being locked into subsequent treatments. However, I do realize that one treatment will not be a cure-all.
As far as this being a "zero downtime" procedure, I would have to both agree and disagree. I think it depends on 1. how aggressive your treatment is and 2. how comfortable you feel going out in front of others with dark brown specks, redness, and any other possible side effects. There is no "recovery" because you can still go about your day to day activities. However, if you do not feel comfortable with any of the possible side effects, (that for me, can mostly be covered up with foundation- except for the acne bumps), than I would plan accordingly if you are scheduling this procedure.
Thanks for reading and I will update as the days go on!