Frequently Asked Questions
Please take a look at these frequently asked questions to learn more about Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) treatments and what it can do for you.
What services does About Face and Skin offer?
I specialize in skin rejuvenation and hair removal using an Energist UltraPlus VPL system. Please visit my Services page to see a partial menu of my services.
VPL, IPL or Laser? What's the difference?
Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) are often used interchangeably. You will sometimes hear these methods also referred to as a laser treatment.
IPL is the more common and well-known term. "Variable" intense pulsed light simply means treatment settings can be adjusted for each individual client’s specific skin care needs.
I also do hair removal using the Energist UltraPlus VPL system. The difference between this and laser hair removal is that IPL is the whole spectrum of light that is filtered down to the color needed for a specific treatment while the laser is a specific, narrow beam of light. Both systems have been used safely and successfully for hair removal for many years.
To keep things simple, for the rest of this page, I will refer to all treatments as IPL.
What exactly is Intense Purified Light (IPL)? Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, also known as photofacials or skin rejuvenation, is a treatment for blemished skin, or skin that has started showing early signs of aging. It’s especially beneficial for clients who can’t afford the long recovery time of other more invasive procedures.
High-intensity pulses of light are delivered via a computer assisted system into the skin — in my practice, the Energist UltraPlus VPL — which enhances the results of skin rejuvenation.
IPL Pre-treament Do's and Dont's
DON'T come to your treatment with a tan. Treating tanned skin will produce a striping effect which can take months to fade or can burn your skin.
DO stop using Retin-A, Glycolic acid products and toners at least 3 days before your treatment. The vitamin A in Osmosis is an exception and can be used up to the time and the day following your treatment.
DON'T plan any major events for several days after your first IPL treatment. Although there is no recovery time after a treatment, I want to make sure your skin has no negative reactions.
DO avoid hot water on any treated areas. Gently cleanse with tepid or cool water.
DO stay out of the sun, if possible. Minimize treatment area exposure with a hat and clothing and of course always apply sunscreen first thing in the morning and reapply every 3 hours if you are outside. There is SPF clothing available at many sport's stores.
DON'Tuse harsh skin care products such as exfoliants or scrubs, or anything with alpha hydroxy acid.
DON'Texpose treated areas to excessive heat from saunas, hot showers or baths, and avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours.
DO keep clothing from irritating treated areas.
DO expect your skin to be more sensitive for several days after a treatment.
DO expect some redness, and possibly some flaking or crusting of the skin, depending on your skin’s sensitivity and the difficulty of the problem being treated.
DO apply cool compresses to skin that is hot or itchy. Tylenol is ok for any discomfort.
DO notify me if you experience any unusual side effects.