Would Not Recommend

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I wanted to wait a year before writing my review...

I wanted to wait a year before writing my review of my IPL experience. I'm two weeks out to that date. There are many negative reviews on this site that will scare you into not getting this procedure. I can honestly say that I would not recommend it myself. My experience was similar to some of the horror stories on here, although thankfully my skin is healing and isn't as traumatic as some others who have experienced issues past the year mark. This was my one and only IPL, I had some very minor swelling and lots of reddening the day of. I took an Advil right away and put ice packs on for about an hour after. The next day some minor reddening but no blistering. Only the typical flaking off of the freckles shortly after. My entire face was done. I was given a cooling mechanism directly after the procedure. I used numbing cream an hour prior but was still able to feel some of the light beams and they hurt, like a snapping rubber band.

The first 2 weeks after the freckles peeled my skin looked great. There was a steady decline in appearance after that. I don't know if I can attribute it to the IPL or if I attribute it to stress. I made the mistake of coming on here after getting the prosecute, read all the horror stories and completely lost my mind. I became obsessed with my face, I would check it all day long for any signs of fat loss or indentations or any of the other terrible side effects I read about. I tried every product under the sun to try and stop those things from happening, spent hundreds of dollars trying to "fix" my skin. At the first sign of dryness I freaked. I did have what many describe, the shiny large pore orange peel texture look. It came gradually. It was there for sure. But now after a year I'm not sure whether the IPL did it or my stress and product obsession ruined my skin's barrier. There's no question my skin was dehydrated. I screwed it up bad. But I was also overly obsessed with my skin, more than I'd ever been. Trying new products every week, wearing sunscreen when I never did before, slathering it on every two hours. Obsessing and obsessing and obsessing.

I got the IPL for freckles btw.

There's no question that a number of women on here have suffered severe burns. I feel for them. IPL misuse is a real thing. I went to a dermatologist with decades of experience with these machines. However there's no question that a number of women have come on here and completely lost their mind, like I did, and became obsessed with IPL, its potential side effects and any treatments aimed at correcting them, when it wasn't that bad to begin with. One thing I learned was that sometimes people may not realize what they had before the IPL. I was checking my face daily and noticed that my left side appeared bigger. I immediately freaked and thought, omg, the IPL melted more fat on the right side of my face. Turns out the left side of my face has always been bigger and I just never noticed. My husband confirmed this and I found a great picture which also confirmed it. So keep that in mind. I know I never examined my face as closely as I did after the procedure and I may have noticed things that were always there but wanted to attribute them to the IPL.

Here's what I found made my skin ultimately look and feel better. I stopped worrying about it. Easier said than done, believe me, I know. One day after 6 long months of stressing (I lost lots of weight, had anxiety, became a recluse, etc) I realized that if this was going to be my face, so be it. I stopped wearing the sunscreen, I stopped trying all the new stuff and I went back to my old cleanser, lotion and serum. Cerave hydrating cleanser, 10% niacinamide booster and Clinique dramatically different hydrating gel. And guess what, my face got better. I let the sun shine on it, I didn't hide like a vampire anymore, and it got better. I can't tell you the same will happen for you, but I can tell you it is a long process. Mentally and physically. Did my stress keep it from healing faster? I'd bet so. Does it naturally just take time for a damaged barrier to heal? I'd bet so. It's a patience waiting game for sure. I'm starting to believe that maybe avoiding the sun was part of the problem. I have a girlfriend who is obsessed with anti aging products, wears sunscreen religiously and has worse aged looking skin than her older sisters who never used anything or never wear sunscreen. If you find yourself in a position where you believe your skin is damaged due to IPL, the best thing you can do is leave it alone. Absolutely NO peels, NO retin A, no aha's or bha's or any exfoliating treatments whatsoever! A simple gentle swipe of a towel will do more than enough. Chances are the problem is your barrier is wrecked and you need to give it time to recoup. And stressing about it won't help. A lot of reviewers on here continue to put these chemicals on their faces and wonder why they aren't healing. The skin needs time to heal, and each time you put a peel on it, it just re-injures the barrier. Even if it looks good temporarily. Gentle cleansers and simple steps. Cleanse and moisture, that's it! If you feel you need sunscreen so be it. But truth be told I'd only say it's necessary directly after the procedure. In my opinion the whole "wear sunscreen every day" thing is a scam. I know too many older people with great skin who never wore sunscreen. Maybe it's genetics or maybe you just don't need it everyday. Maybe you need some vitamin D on your face. Sure, if you're going to fire Island and will be outside all day, slather some on. But 30 degrees in the dead of winter in between going to work and going home at night? Don't think so. The less you put on your poor dehydrated skin the better. I scoured the internet and found so many other women with the same skin issues. I've had a hard time deciding whether it was the IPL in my case, or simply a wrecked barrier from stress and over usage of products. Women who have done peels and retin a and harsh exfoliating have all gotten the same side effects as people describe here. A dehydrated barrier gives you the large pores, the lines, the orange peel. And the longer you use too many products on your face, the worse it will get. Your face doesn't need all that crap on it. Leave it alone, for a long time, and it will come back to you. But it is a long process so be patient. My skin still isn't 100% but it's a hell of a lot better than it was 6 months ago. Who knows, maybe time is just the answer.
Laura

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