If you would like to experience skin improvement, whether it is skin lightening, tightening or the removal of blemishes, there are several options available to you.
New advances in skin treatment technologies have introduced currents that can stimulate muscles, revive collagen to plump the skin, fade unwanted blemishes and even “push” products deeper into the skin, enhancing their effectiveness and absorption.
Activating the skin in this way can revive it to a younger-looking state and even though sustained results often require a course of treatments, they can provide substantial and noteworthy skin improvement without the ‘down time’ associated with more invasive procedures. Furthermore, results guarantee that you will remain looking like yourself – only younger, or at the very least with a more revived and glowing skin.
There are several such currents that perform different tasks to improve the appearance of the skin and face, but the most popular technology at the moment that seems to be receiving good scientific validation is light-based therapies.
Light therapy or phototherapy consists of exposure to specific wavelengths of light that work deep within the skin to affect change caused by photo-ageing and even chronological ageing. There are several technologies that provide effective phototherapy, but the ones that have received the most media attention are lasers and in particular, intense pulsed light - commonly known as IPL.
This incredible photo-rejuvenation therapy was pioneered by Dr. Patrick Bitter Jr and is based on emitting high intensity pulses of light (not lasers) to penetrate the skin and improve various skin conditions. NB. Not all machines do the same thing. There are different machines for different functions and penetration levels, so check with your skin therapist to make sure the machine they are offering can deliver the results you are looking for.
This technology also offers good results for permanent reduction of unwanted hair so it can offer dual benefits. For skin rejuvenation, excellent results have been reported for pigmentation reduction, facial capillaries, diffused redness, improvement of rosacea, age spots, uneven skin tone and of course, sun damage.
When used correctly, IPL offers safe, visible light therapy treatments to reverse and slow skin ageing. It emits a light into the skin to break up and diffuse brown pigmentation and broken capillaries, achieving an overall improvement in skin texture, colour and firmness.
Often we have small blemishes or discolouration that individually may not appear anything serious, but collectively they can give the skin the appearance of an ageing and dull complexion that needs makeup up to pick it up.
This is where this technology can do wonders. And it can treat other parts of the body other than the face - such as lightening brown spots and tightening skin on the chest, neck and backs of hands. Having personally experienced the treatment, I can attest to an improvement of tone and brightness of my skin that has made me look 10 years younger.
Depending on your skin condition, you may need anything from three to 10 treatments to see results. These results will vary, but most people will see a significant improvement in their skin, especially if they combine the treatment with vitamin serums - particularly Vitamin A and C as well as high-quality anti-oxidant skin products. Treatments usually start at four weeks apart and are gradually increased to every fortnight, so they can be fitted into a busy schedule.
Immediately following treatment, brown spots will start to darken. The skin may feel warm and may appear a little red like a slight sunburn. This typically lasts a few hours and can be covered with make-up if it is a concern. Within one to three weeks, the darkened spots will flake off and fade. Diffuse redness or small veins will decrease and the complexion will be more even, while the skin will appear firmer and tighter.
Bursts of light are transmitted through a glass handpiece, which is gently placed over the skin. This light is very bright and activates the skin at a very deep level. However, you will be given goggles to protect your eyes from the light. When the device is operated it will release very brief bursts of light that will feel like a sting similar to snapping a small rubber on your skin.
During the treatment, the IPL causes the pigment to shatter. In the weeks after the treatment, the initial pigment or freckles that are fragmented are absorbed and disappear. Addressing internal pigmentation, as well as surface discolouration will substantially improve the clarity and tone of the skin to look years younger.
Event though IPL offers highly effective treatments, the issue of safety will hinge on how well trained the practitioner is, so it is well worthwhile investigating this prior to undertaking any treatment. Currently the Australian Government is reviewing regulatory considerations for the practice of IPL.
Until these regulations are released you should be assured that your practitioner has completed full training (usually two days) with the manufacturer or supplier of the device. Additionally, they should also have completed a Government Radiation Safety Course.
You must also carefully read all the documentation and the Client Consent forms prior to signing them. Do not hesitate to request that these documents be fully explained to you in detail by the practitioner, not just handed to you for reading. You can also ask to speak to other clients regarding their treatment results. Once you are satisfied with the information you received you can then proceed to experience the benefits for yourself.
Tina Viney is an industry consultant for the professional beauty industry.