IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a non-invasive and non-ablative treatment that uses high-intensity pulses of light to treat a variety of skin conditions. IPL is often confused with LASER treatments, however, while a laser is a fixed beam of light at a specific wavelength, IPL utilises the whole spectrum of visible light, and different filters are used to tailor the beam towards the skin concern being treated.

Treatments are non-invasive with minimal downtime and are usually performed 4 weeks apart. The number of treatments needed will depend on individual skin concerns and responses.

IPL works best on lighter skin types and is not recommended for darker skin types due to increased risk of hyper or hypo-pigmentation. Please contact the clinic for an assessment as to the suitability of the treatment for your skin.

What does the procedure involve?
The area to be treated will be cleansed, with a clear conducting gel applied. Both the client and clinician will wear eye protection during the procedure.
The hand piece is gently pressed against the skin and the fired. Some discomfort may be felt – similar to the feeling of an elastic band flicking against the skin. The hand piece of our IPL machine is chilled in order to minimise client discomfort and tissue damage.

After the treatment, the area may be red and feel warm (similar to a sunburn) for up to 24 hours. It is recommended that vigorous exercise, spas and saunas and prolonged sun exposure be avoided for 48 hours, and sunblock worn on the treated area. Cold compresses, after sun and aloe gels may be applied to ease any discomfort.

Treatment Results
It is likely that multiple IPL treatments will be required, spaced 4 weeks apart. The total number of treatments will depend on the concern being treated. Treatments can be paired with peels, LED and laser genesis for optimal results.

What can be treated with IPL?


IPL acts by photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of acne vulgaris. The PDT process involves the photoexcitation of the porphyrins produced by P. acnes bacteria, resulting in the selective rapid destruction of the bacteria. Treatments also reduce the inflammation and sebaceous gland size and helps to prevent the formation of new lesions. Studies have shown an improvement in acne by 50-80% after 4-6 treatments.
*Not suitable for those currently taking prescribed oral or topical acne medications such as Accutane, Retinal or Doxycycline. If you are using a prescribed medication, contact the clinic to confirm the suitability of treatment.

Spider veins, broken capillaries & rosacea

IPL treats spider veins (telangiectasias) and broken capillaries by heating the walls of the blood vessel which causes them to collapse and disappear over time. Small veins close to the surface of the skin are most effectively treated.

Whilst the treated veins should not return, new spider veins may develop in the same area if there is an underlying vein problem. These will need further treatment. Studies have shown a significant improvement in telangiectasias in 1-4 treatments in over 80% of patients treated.

IPL has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of telangiectasias and background erythema seen in certain subtypes of rosacea.


IPL treats pigmented skin lesions through the rapid differentiation of pigmented keratinocytes by thermal heating. This process results in the melanosomes and necrotic keratinocytes transferring upwards and forming micro crusts on the skin surface, which then drop off. This process can take a week on average. Darker lesions and those where the pigment is in the deeper layers of the dermis respond more slowly and require more treatments. On average, 3-6 treatments are recommended.

Ageing & Sun Damaged Skin

Fine lines, wrinkles and skin laxity are part of the natural aging process of the skin, which can be increased by photodamage as a result of UV exposure. IPL can treat this process by heating collagen fibres in the skin with high-intensity energy, leading to their contracture and improving skin texture.

The heat also stimulates dermal fibroblasts which have shown to result in increased syntheses of extracellular matrix proteins, improving lost dermal volume. Studies have shown 4-6 subsequent IPL treatments resulting in epidermal thickening, new dermal collagen formation and a decrease in degenerated elastic fibres. Finer, more superficial lines typically respond better than deeper furrows.