Happy Monday! While I’m sad to have left Florida and my family who live there, it is nice to be home (and out of the crazy Florida heat!). I plan to have my travel guide/recap up on the blog next Monday, so keep an eye out for it then! This is one of the rare weeks where I’d already planned my M/W/F blog posts. Usually I avoid planning ahead too much for my blog, which is honestly not the norm in the blogging world. Did you know there are brands of planners/agendas specifically dedicated for blogger’s schedules?! Yes, really! So of course leave it to me to be “different” in the sense that I prefer for my blog posts to be inspired by my every day life rather than a list I brainstormed several weeks earlier. But hey, that’s just me! I’m not saying what I’m doing is the “right” way, it’s just what I do. Okay, anyway! Today I’m SUPER thrilled to be sharing with you how I’ve started overcoming acne scarring by dishing everything about my first IPL treatment!
Alright, yes, I realize some explanation is necessary…for those who don’t know- IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and the full name of this treatment is IPL Photo Rejuvenation. Fun fact! To break it down even further though, it’s a laser treatment that you can get at a dermatologist’s office or at a plastic surgeon’s office. Make sure you do your research and go somewhere trustworthy! I had my IPL Treatment done at the Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center in Sarasota, FL (while I was on vacation!). Ha, yes, getting rid of my acne scarring with the IPL Treatment is my definition of having fun!
But in all seriousness though, here’s some things to know about IPL, whether it’s the right thing for you, and why I’m so glad I finally took the first steps to get rid of my acne scarring!
We’re all aware here that I’m not a doctor…my understanding of IPL is that the treatment uses a laser to rid your skin of discoloration/darker pigmentation. So you can use it for sun spots, freckles, and in my case, acne scarring. Kimberly, the laser tech at the Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center is amazing! I couldn’t recommend her more, she definitely knows what she is doing, she’s so friendly, and clearly passionate about her work! Anyway, Kimberly was gushing over how my skin was ideal for IPL since it’s so fair and so young. Ha, my skin has never been described by ideal by anyone, but hey, if that’s the case, great! I think IPL can also help with fighting existing acne/preventing future acne…I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts with that!
It’s a non invasive procedure that takes around 20 minutes, and you’ll need to go back a few times before really seeing any noticeable differences, but a short answer is yes, it works! Pricing for one treatment can be as little as $100 but can go over $800 depending on what region of the country you live in. So yes, it can be expensive depending on where you have it done, but if REALLY want results, then yeah I think it is definitely worth it (especially if you have fair skin). If you’re reading this (hi!) and you live near Sarasota, then definitely go to the Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center! But if you’re local to CT/NY then shop around because I’m guessing some places charge more than others and maybe you’ll be able to negotiate a lower rate if you commit to a certain number of treatments. They recommend between 3-5 treatments to really see results.
Oh and another reason why IPL is worth it is because the “down time” after the procedure is super minimal! My face was only red for a few hours after the treatment…but let me talk about this more below in the “post IPL section.”
Great question! Alright, online a lot of websites/reviews that I’ve come across say that the pain is minimal. Ummm….wrong! I guess they just say this to not dissuade you from doing it, but gosh does it hurt! And that’s saying something because I have a really high pain tolerance, especially when it comes to my face (acne facials might be the most painful things ever and living with cystic acne is like being in constant pain, well, depending where the cystic acne is located, but anyway!) YES it hurts, but I still think it’s worth it. There’s a reason they say “no pain, no gain” and that’s because it’s true! So here’s my advice: just suck it up, it’s only a twenty-minute treatment, and the pros definitely outweigh the painful con.
A lot of resources describe the pain as a rubber band snapped against your skin and I think that’s kind of a fair description, honestly, I can’t think of a better one myself, but I’m not going to lie to you guys, it hurts! Kimberly gave me a stress ball and that helped a lot. I just kind of tried to think of other things while during the treatment to distract myself from the pain. And look, I’m still alive and well, so it’s not thatttt bad I guess!
This is going to be different for everyone. I was lucky to have minimal redness, no swelling or bruising, and only felt a slight burning sensation for the first two hours after my IPL treatment. Yippie! Honestly, it wasn’t bad for me at all. I even ended up going out to dinner that same night (without makeup) after my 2:30pm IPL appointment because the redness had completely gone away!
This is what Kimberly advised me: treat your skin like you would a sunburn, don’t apply anything to it for the first 24 hours and after that use a gentle cleanser, nothing abrasive. I’m still staying away from exfoliating cleansers and it’s been a few days now since my treatment. However, you apparently are okay to wear makeup after the first 24 hours, which is cool! Although I’ve been giving my skin a break. The only thing I’ve been doing is applying a lot of sunscreen! Now that I’ve invested in my first IPL treatment I’m finally motivated to care about protecting my skin from the sun…that’s because sun exposure will bring back the pigmentation in my acne scars. Worst nightmare ever! So yeah, from here on out it’s sunscreen ’round the clock and floppy hats for days! Ugh…oh well, it’s worth it!
I’d love to hear from you guys, have you done any treatment similar to IPL/have you tried IPL? Are you hesitant to try it or on the fence? Comment below or DM me on Instagram! I love any sort of feedback and think this could be a great conversation for us to have! Let’s support each other in our steps to getting rid of our acne scars!