After entering my 40s, I began to notice and be concerned about the effects of aging on my face. I felt I was starting to “look my age.” I had blotchiness on my cheeks, redness from rosacea, dull skin, fine wrinkles, and crepey textured hands.
As all of us are bombarded by ads for literally hundreds of products, procedures, and treatments today, I was confused about which one to choose—-so I decided to research on my own to determine the best anti-aging option out there. One that would REALLY work and not be full of hype. It would seem that the latest and greatest treatment would be the best, but from what I discovered, the best anti-aging treatment has been around for about 20 years!
Approximately 20 years ago, a physician by the name of Dr. Patrick Bitters, Jr., developed the IPL™ (“Intense Pulsed Light”) laser procedure, which uses pulsed light to rejuvenate aged skin. IPL is also called Broadband Light or BBL™. This technology almost accidentally fell into the skin rejuvenation category, as it was first developed to treat spider leg veins, which it did not do well. Once the machine was in doctor’s offices, they started trying it for other uses, and the impact on aging skin just happened!
The IPL procedure involves the use of very strong flashes of broad-spectrum light (as opposed to lasers, which use a very specific wavelength) to treat the lower layer of the skin.
The Benefits of IPL Laser Treatment
• IPL laser treatments reduce and delay the visible signs of skin aging when studied by photographic analysis. You really can stop the clock on how your skin will age over the years!
• IPL laser treatments rejuvenate human skin genes, setting them back to the way they behaved when they were younger. Treatments do more than just change skin appearance—the treatment benefits skin health, too.
• IPL light also encourages the production of collagen, a natural protein that fills in wrinkles, making the skin smooth and supple (this is the benefit that excites me!)
A gene study by Stanford University, and published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, called “Rejuvenation of Gene Expression Pattern of Aged Human Skin by Broadband Light Treatment: A Pilot Study” (J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Feb; 133(2): 394–402) found that, after IPL laser treatments, human skin genes act like they did when they were younger. Authors of the study reported, “…BBL treatment can restore gene expression pattern of photo-aged and intrinsically aged human skin to resemble young skin.”
With each treatment, the results of IPL become more pronounced. In order for the BBL treatment to be effective, three to five full-face IPL sessions, spaced three to four weeks apart, are normally required for optimal results. This series “loads” the technology’s impact into your skin. Thereafter, the recommendation is to have 1-2 treatments a year, at either 6 months apart or back to back one month apart.
It is never too late or too early to start these treatments once your skin has reached adulthood. Your skin needs to be as fair as possible when receiving IPL (BBL) treatment, because tan or brown color blocks the rays and can result in “overheating” the skin. The fairer your skin, the better for this technology. Many people choose to have IPL treatments in the fall and winter months when they are out of the sun.
While reading the research from the gene study, as well as other information from the internet, I found my treatment—-IPL—-and was anxious to get started! I was glad to learn that IPLTM involves very little discomfort and no downtime. After selecting The Graivier Center, which has four expert aesthetic practitioners, Katy, Sandy, April, and Spa Manager, Jill, I made an appointment with Katy for treatment. Read about it next time!