Had an IPL treatment on my face 5 years ago. Was somewhat painful in certain areas, but tolerable. Didn't realize I would go home (and to work) with 'black' freckles, tho. Wasn't a huge problem, everyone was understanding (even my customers) and we all had a good laugh.
The results are outstanding. I was and am still very happy with the results. I have cared better for my skin these past 5 years - always wear 30 SPF - and still tan. I have natural freckles anyway so the damage that has come back is minimal and not very noticeable. I will have it done again this year - if I don't tan anymore, probably won't ever need it done again, but can't resist the sun :)
I recommend the procedure.