I went in for IPL today and it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was a 45 min treatment for the face and neck. She put a cooling gel on my face and split it into 3 sections. Right, Left, Forehead. It is more painful on the face than the neck, like a rubber band snapping over and over. I used a small ice pack while she worked on another part of my face. My face felt warm, like a sunburn, and when I was finished my freckles just looked darker and it was slightly red. It didn't look as bad as I thought it was going to afterwards. I would feel comfortable going out in public after the treatment. Where there is thicker skin on the face, it is less painful, like forehead and the top of the nose. When she did it around the mouth, it hurt more. I flinched when she used the laser. The whole thing stings, but it's not so bad that you need to stop. I've had laser hair removal before and that was more painful.
Overall, I would recommend it for evening out skin tone, getting rid of freckles and red spots. I extremely fair with freckles and I am excited about smoothing the coloring out.
I'll write an update when I do my second treatment.