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8 IPL treatments over 3 years, an excellent procedure for sun damaged fair skin

Pros: good for clearing sun pigmentation on light...

Pros: good for clearing sun pigmentation on light skin people. Can be performed by well trained non-medical staff (so no extra fees). No down time (skin looks a bit dirty for a week but not really noticeable). Tends to even out skin texture as a side benefit. Safe and relatively painless. Cons: A bit painful around sensitive parts the first session. You need to wear sunscreen every day after or you lose the benefits. Tends to target the pigment a bit unevenly, unlike lasers, so you really need at least 3 treatments. Takes a week (2 weeks on the body) for skin to renew. I got it because I wanted to even out my skin tone with no down time. I'm happy with the results. I will do another session, and then maybe one per year to maintain the results. I'm also undertaking to do chest and arms with good results.

I've now undertaken 5 IPL treatments face,...

I've now undertaken 5 IPL treatments face, neck, upper torse, back and arms. At a cost of around US$5,000 and 1 hour each treatment.

I correct what I said about pain. As my clinician gradually upped the dosage, it got so painful at times I wanted to jump off the table. But I knew it would be worth it.

IPL didn't achieve fully clear skin with me, the final result was subdued, gentle beige freckling which is actually a more pleasant, natural colour for my complexion. I saw some party photos recently and my skin looks healthy and glowing.

I give IPL full thumbs up if you're of Irish complexion, and living in a country where sun damage is really hard to avoid. At the very least I'm now wearing daily SPF 30 sunblock on all exposed skin, and that has to be a plus.

I added another photo 6 months after finishing the...

I added another photo 6 months after finishing the five treatments, as I'd heard the results may not last. I found however that they lasted as long as I was diligent with sunscreen.

There's also been a lot of scare postings on Realself claiming that invisible damage will present itself long after treatment. I find no evidence of this.

Had another maintenance IPL treatment of full face...

Had another maintenance IPL treatment of full face and neck (called photo rejuvenation). Picked up some darker pigments, especially around my lower neck where I sometimes forget to put sunblock and a hat doesn't help.

The proc was $200 though it's a special ongoing rate, so it would normally be $250. I have it pretty much on max setting.

As always I haven't discovered any negative effects of IPL, and my face looks much fresher and clearer.

I mentioned to my clinician about some reports of burning and damage on Realself. She admitted that the problem is the practice is currently unregulated in my country, and there are incompetent practitioners doing it and burning people. She noted that she personally had to train for 3 years to do IPL.

3.5 years later

It's been over 3 years now since I had IPL. They said that if I went out in the sun the pigmentation would come back, but it never did, not in that permanent way it used to hang around. I might freckle a bit when I'm on holidays but it just fades away after a few weeks.

I know some people worry that it ages the skin, but ironically the place my skin aged the most was where I didn't get the IPL, like under my chin and neck. The rest of the skin is in really good shape. I think the IPL actually regenerates the collagen there.
Results Laser

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (19)

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Your results look fantastic, thanks for continuing to post updates. I'm really encouraged that you are still looking so great 3.5 years after. I'm a bit freckly myself and especially now I'm 45, starting to get the same type of age spots on my forehead. Your review has convinced me that IPL is a good long term investment and yeah, big time it's so important to go to a practitioner with the best expertise. thanks.
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Thank you. I think it's important for people to ask the same questions of IPL specialists they would ask a cosmetic surgeon, to establish competency. It seems the quality of the specialists really varies here.
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Being a guy, has it affected facial hair growth at all?
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If you get it done in your beard region there's a high risk the hair will cease to grow there, unless the hair is already white. I'm pretty sure my beard would be greatly thinned out if I tried to grow it. I'm not fussed as I don't want a beard, but still it's something to consider. Sorry for the delay in responding.
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Love your results! You can definately tell a difference. I was planning on having 3-5 IPLs done but all the reviews I read on here talk about getting burnt, pain and skin damage afterwards! I'm still on the fence. Love your results though. I live in America but I have visited Australia. I know the sun is more harsh there. Sunscreen! That's the way to go.
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Hi and thanks. I was really happy with IPL. It took me ages to convince a friend with bad rosacea to also get it done because he was afraid. Now he's thrilled and he looks great. He can drink wine without going red, and he doesn't show up in photos as the resident rhubarb any more. Remember that these sites are overrepresented with negative reviews, because people often post for help when something goes wrong. People who have good results often don't bother posting. I don't think IPL is a problem for the vast majority of people.
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juliabars, sorry for the delay in replying. Yes Australians take a lot of sun damage, and our skin is noticeably worse for it! I'm always shocked when I go to Europe/N America and see people walking around without hats on a sunny day, but then I supposed they don't have a lifetime of exposure like we get here.

In your case, I don't think IPL will help much with loss of elasticity due to sun damage, sorry to say. I really don't think fair skinned Australians have any specific method of fixing that, apart from prevention which is really hard to do given the intensity of the sun and the outdoor lifestyle. We just put up with aging faster I guess.
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Cveroleyva there you go. a 2 year update. The IPL is still going well, my skin is fine, and I'm going to get another treatment shortly for some parts around my temples as I got sunburnt during my vacation.

I didn't give your experience a scathing review. I gave your advice that IPL is dangerous for everyone a scathing one. It's not. IPL is great for some people, maybe even those people you scared away.

I can appreciate that your IPL may have damaged your skin, though I think it's still unknown. To be honest I got burnt by some faulty equipment my first time, as was shown by some whitish lines on my shoulder, but the skin never appeared to take any deep damage, and the pigment difference is gone now.

Good luck with your crusade any way. I still recommend IPL to lots of people.
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Hey Pl3ski,
Sadly you gave my experience a scathing review. But I wanted to know your updates now that you're up at your year and a half review.
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Hi Pl3ski, thanks for your posts on realself. I have a question for you since you come from Oz. I am in my mid-20s and have very fair, sensitive skin. I just returned from a year-long adventure in Australia and have noticed that my skin has significantly lost it's vitality and springiness via sun-damage (especially in comparison to my NW peers). Before my departure, many people thought I was at least 3 years younger than my actual age and upon returning to the States, many people thought I was 5 years older...! Yikes! My question is whether you'd recommend the IPL to sun-damaged fair skin without pigmentation, and if it is common procedure among women in their mid-20s, early-30s in Australia. Do you, as an Aussie, know anything about the aging process in Australia, and what one year will do to the skin? Pretty generic question, but perhaps you have some insight. Thanks and your results look very good, by the way!
- Julia
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Hello, Your results look great! I want to try IPL and was wondering what clinic in sydney did you have your IPL at? Hannah x
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Results Laser in the city.
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It did remove the freckles but I hope you don't mind me saying that I rather liked your freckles.

It appears that your jawline has changed. Is this a trick of the light?
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Thanks for your comments. I like freckles too, but these got to the point of being 'blotches', which I didn't like.

Jawline... it might have changed a bit due to losing weight.
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Wow, nice. Can you take pics on a monthly basis to post for everyone else that is considering too? I think it will help people make better decisions. I got hurt with my ipl, but it's good for everyone to see both sides to everything.
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Great you look so so better.
i guess IPL is good for bright skin not for all people.
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Amazing results.  Congrats and thx for sharing

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