30 mins - 1 hr
2 - 3 days modified routine
IPL Bellevue & Kirkland
Approximately fourteen million people in the United States live with redness from rosacea. This is notoriously hard to treat and often requires long term—if not lifelong—treatment. Beyond that, unwanted redness and pigmentation due to sun damage, age, and broken capillaries will affect almost everyone. Intense pulsed light therapy, or IPL treatment, is the gold standard for treating rosacea and unwanted pigment. Northwest Face & Body provides the best IPL Bellevue and Kirkland offer.
Understanding Intense Pulsed Light Treatment
Intense pulsed light—sometimes called broadband light—is a light-based treatment that uses all colors and wavelengths of light. Master estheticians place filters in the IPL device to filter out the unneeded colors or wavelengths. However, the treatment still uses a broader spectrum of light energy than a laser which only uses one at a time.
Thus, this makes it ideal for treating pigmentation because it does not only harness one wavelength. This allows IPL to target both redness and brown spots. It also is versatile, treating everything from broken blood vessels to aging.
Due to the nature of this treatment, unfortunately, it poses too much risk to patients with a Fitzpatrick skin tone deeper than a III. Since IPL targets darkened and melanated portions, people with darker skin tones are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation or burns. Luckily, people with darker skin can undergo microneedling and even some forms of laser treatment depending on the desired procedure.
Uses Of IPL
Intense pulsed light treatment–also called a photofacial–is one of the most versatile professional skin procedures available. First FDA approved in 1995 to treat spider veins, IPL has continued to become a favorite among providers and patients for helping to create a more even skin tone. Some of the skin conditions and concerns that IPL can treat include:
- Spider veins
- Brown spots (age spots)
- Sun damaged skin
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Broken capillaries
- Stretch marks
Any unwanted pigmentation can likely be treated with intense pulsed light. In the past, IPL was used for hair removal and tattoo removal. However, newer lasers have become available that are more effective and can safely treat all skin tones. They also tend to be less painful than IPL for these particular treatments. Therefore, we do not offer these services with IPL, but with more advanced lasers.
IPL treatment offers patients many benefits. As one of the few light-based treatments that have been available to the aesthetic market for decades, intense pulsed light is well studied and known to be effective. Some of the advantages and benefits of IPL therapy include:
- Reduce redness from rosacea or other conditions
- Lessen the appearance of spider veins
- Addresses sun damage
- Help treat acne
- Treat fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduce brown spots
- Stimulate collagen production
- Treat broken capillaries
- Provide overall skin rejuvenation
- Quick treatment
- Minimal recovery and aftercare
- Versatile procedure that treats several concerns
- Safe and effective
- Considered the best treatment for redness and pigmentation issues
- Performed by experienced master estheticians
IPL vs. CO2 Laser
IPL treatment and CO2 laser resurfacing can treat many of the same concerns. However, the procedures do have some notable differences that are important to know if considering one or the other. Your master esthetician can also help you determine which treatment is best for you. The table below contrasts the two procedures to give you a starting point to know which may be right for your goals.
- Always non-surgical
- Utilize multiple wavelengths at a time
- Treats top layer of the skin
- Better for rosacea, spider veins, or similar concerns
- Series of treatments a few months apart
- Uses quick pulses of light
- Addresses full targeted area
- Little to no recovery
- Treats skin of all ages
- Surgical or non-surgical
- Use only one wavelength at a time (or many only emit one)
- May be ablative
- Treats skin surface and deeper layers
- Better for aging concerns
- May not need multiple treatments, otherwise they are years apart
- Speed of laser pulses varies
- At least four to five day recovery
- Typically treats more aged skin
Both procedures can address similar concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles as well as sun damage. The right treatment for you will largely depend on the quality of your skin and overall goals. During a consultation appointment, your master esthetician will determine if you are a good candidate for IPL treatment.
Before & After IPL Treatment
Before an intense pulsed light treatment, you will meet with one of our master estheticians. At this consultation, they will discuss your concerns and what you hope to treat. They may also ask about your medical history and expectations for treatment. Along with determining if you are a good candidate for IPL, they may also recommend other procedures such as chemical peels or microneedling.
You will receive a customized price quote as well as a more detailed explanation of the procedure. Sometimes your first session can commence on the same day unless you require a patch test. Otherwise, you can schedule your first Seattle IPL treatment. Northwest Face & Body does work with outside financing companies such as Care Credit.
The first step your master esthetician will take during an IPL treatment in Bellevue is to thoroughly clean the face of any makeup or environmental debris. Once this is done, they may offer numbing cream, though this will depend on the treatment you undergo. From there, they will provide you with goggles to protect your eyes from the light.
Your master esthetician will then apply ultrasound gel. This helps cool down the treatment, puts a barrier between the light and the skin, and helps the handpiece more fluidly over the skin. Your master esthetician will then begin the treatment. A quick pulse of light will emit from the handpiece before they then move it to the next treatment area. Often, they will perform a test spot to ensure a good response from your skin. The average IPL treatment takes about thirty minutes.
The exact instructions that your master esthetician gives you will vary. However, there are some basic directions to follow after intense pulsed light treatment. These can include:
- Apply SPF and always protect your skin from sun exposure
- Avoid hot, wet environments such as hot showers, hot tubs, and saunas
- Do not pick at the skin of the treated area
- Cleanse and use moisturizer as normal, unless otherwise instructed
- Do not exfoliate until the skin heals
- Avoid strenuous exercise for about forty-eight hours
- Do not use products with retinol, Vitamin A, or glycolic acid
Frequently Asked Questions
Will At-Home IPL Lasers Give Me The Same Results?
When searching for IPL therapy, you may across at-home devices that cost less than or about the same as one IPL session. Do these work? The short answer is no. While they may provide some basic results, they are not as strong as the lasers used in the office. The IPL at Northwest Face & Body is medical-grade and cannot be bought by the average consumer.
Additionally, using these lasers at home increases the risk of injury or complications. While the lasers are not as strong as the ones you will find in a professional setting, they can still cause burns, hyperpigmentation, or other complications when used too much or incorrectly. Therefore, our master estheticians always recommend seeing a qualified provider with a good quality IPL device.
Is Intense Pulsed Light Painful?
Some pain or discomfort is expected with an IPL treatment. However, it usually is not considered overly painful. Our master estheticians do offer the application of numbing cream before the procedure. They may also adjust the settings of the laser if causing too much irritation to the skin.
Many patients have likened the feel of an IPL treatment to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Overall, you can expect some pain, but most find it bearable.
Are There Side Effects?
Intense pulsed light therapy may cause patients to experience mild side effects. For the most part, side effects remain mild and go away within two weeks. Some of the side effects of IPL include:
- Redness (similar to a sunburn)
- General irritation
- Increased sun sensitivity
Not all patients will experience the same side effects or the same severity. Side effects after IPL treatment are normal, but if you notice particularly severe side effects or an unexpected reaction, contact Northwest Face & Body.
Does IPL Tighten Skin?
Intense pulsed light treatment does offer some basic skin tightening and anti-aging benefits. However, other lasers are generally more effective when treating more noticeable signs of aging. Though it is often an unintended, but welcome, side effect of IPL treatment.
How Much Is IPL Treatment?
The cost of IPL treatment in Bellevue depends on your specific needs and treatment. We offer both single treatments and packages. By default, pricing is for the full face with the option to add on other areas. The starting and basic IPL pricing are as follows:
- Single Treatment (Full Face): $399
- Package of 3 (Full Face): $1,050
- Neck or Decollete Add-On: $399 per session
- Arms: $1,000
- Hands (Single Session): $299
- Hands (3 Sessions): $600
The Best Intense Pulsed Light Therapy At Northwest Face & Body
Northwest Face & Body is a premier plastic surgery practice and medical spa located on the shores of Lake Washington. Perfectly located in South Kirkland, minutes from downtown Bellevue, Northwest Face & Body’s convenient location serves patients from all around the Eastside, Pacific Northwest, and beyond. With a thirty-year history of providing only the highest quality aesthetic treatments, Northwest Face & Body offers the best IPL Bellevue and Kirkland provide.