Gorgeous summer skin starts in the winter. Many of our “outdoor-loving” patients are surprised to learn that winter is actually the best time for them to have IPL. If you’ve been eager to fade spots, even out skin tone, and rejuvenate—don’t wait. Winter will be over in just a couple of months.

What Is IPL?

IPL—also known as a FotoFacial—is a non-surgical solution for skin discoloration. It is an excellent treatment for brown spots, sun damage, redness from rosacea, broken capillaries, and spider veins. IPL can even out skin color, leaving you with a more consistent tone and a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance.

IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light and it uses controlled, intense pulses of light to treat skin discoloration. Much like a laser treatment, the light is intense but, unlike a laser, it uses multiple wavelengths of light. IPL is gentle and non-ablative, so it doesn’t damage the skin. Most patients need somewhere between 3-5 treatments to achieve optimal results (depending on the severity of the skin condition).

Is IPL Painful?

We apply a numbing cream and a cooling gel prior to the IPL treatment. Then a specialized handpiece is used to administer the light. The treatment is typically very well tolerated and has minimal, if any, discomfort.

After treatment you can go home immediately.  There is no swelling and no required downtime. You may have some temporary mild redness, but this often fades within the first few hours.

Why Is IPL Better in the Winter?

Patients who love the outdoors typically have a tan during the summer months.  The tan makes it more difficult to have an IPL treatment.  During the winter months, this is much less of an issue.

Although your skin will quickly return to its regular level of sun sensitivity, it is important to practice good sun habits after IPL and into the future. Many of the discolorations and spots on your skin are caused by sun exposure. Wearing sunscreen can reduce the recurrence of pigmentation problems after you’ve completed your IPL treatments. Use the winter to practice good sun protection habits, and you’ll be ready to protect your skin come summer.

Wintertime is IPL-time. Come into the Santa Monica Laser and Skin Care Center this winter to fade unsightly brown spots.