IPL at Home Reviews for Mens
I'm lying in a dimly lit room while a woman wearing a white coat puts her goggles on. She is ready to come at me with a little flash lamp, which will release pulsed light into my face, via a small hand-piece, that is placed against my skin. I'm not sure quite what to expect, although it's not exactly painful, I'm told – a bit like an elastic band lightly snapping on your cheek.
I'd heard about Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photo facial treatments from friends in Los Angeles who swear by them for a permanently fresh and youthful complexion – as do models and A-listers. If you've ever wondered why celebrity women of a certain age have such uncannily baby-smooth skin, wonder no more. Along with the other latest treatments such as Fraxel laser, this is a fast and effective way of removing the visible ravages of time without surgery.
Apparently, it will relieve my skin of sun damage, rejuvenate my skin by boosting collagen production, reverse the signs of ageing and give me a youthful glow, as well as removing fine lines.
I was amazed when I saw the change in one friend who'd had a course of IPL. Years had been knocked off her face. Without hesitation, I booked my first IPL treatment at a top London spa.
At the age of 37, my skin had become grey and dull and lacked that youthful glow that I had always taken for granted. I used sun beds a lot in my teens and continued to sunbathe at any opportunity. As a result, I had slight patches of brown pigmentation on my forehead, where I had forgotten to cover my face evenly with sun cream and my skin now looked tired and lifeless. I dreaded the day I'd wake up with leathery crocodile skin and wished I'd taken sun protection more seriously.
As I lay there, I felt as if I was in safe hands because the spa was at the top end of the market. I asked the therapist to treat my neck, chest and hands, as well as my face, as these areas are often exposed to the sun the most. After cooling gel was applied, I felt the first zap of the IPL on my face.
What exactly is IPL and how does it work? IPL is an intense, pulsed low-fluence (or density) light used in a non-abrasive way to rejuvenate the skin. During treatment that takes about 30 minutes, light pulses are directed evenly over the skin. The light passes through the epidermis and penetrates deeper into the dermis where the pulsed light energy stimulates cells called fibroblasts to produce fresh collagen. Over several treatments, this new collagen smooths and softens the appearance of wrinkles, pores and textural irregularities. It also treats sun-damaged skin with pigmentation abnormalities, spider veins and rosacea, which absorb the light and are damaged until they fade from view.
The technician told me she would use a strong setting to get better results. As she passed the handpiece across my face the feeling grew hotter and hotter. By the time the device reached my neck, I could barely imagine continuing with the burning sensation. When she started on my chest the pain was intolerable and I had to ask her to stop repeatedly before continuing with what felt like torture. I'd thought of "no pain, no gain" and I soldiered on.
I got dressed, with a burning hot chest and a face that looked as if I'd been pulled out of a forest fire.
I was scheduled to return in two weeks for the next IPL treatment, in a course of six that costs £1, 200. I went to a make-up shop and was dusted with a mineral powder, suggested by the spa, to camouflage the redness of my face.