Preparing for IPL this Summer


While clients spend a lot of time researching the process and the post-treatment of IPL, people are not always aware of how to prepare properly before their first appointment. With many people considering IPL for hair removal coming into the warmer months, it’s crucial one understands how to care for and prep the skin.

This week we look at some factors one should be aware of in order to prepare the skin and hair follicle to ensure the best IPL results.

Sun protection

It’s important to avoid excessive sun exposure in the weeks leading up to treatment; sun can increase the skin’s sensitivity. Furthermore, if the skin has suffered from sun burn, treatment should be postponed until the skin has healed entirely.

Avoid tanning

Both natural and fake tan can disrupt the results of IPL as the light works off of the contrast of the darkness of the hair follicle and the surrounding tissue. When the tissue around the hair is darker, it can become the accidental target of the light. This can damage the skin and can result in burns or blisters. It is best to undergo the IPL process with your skin in its most natural state.

Waxing and shaving

IPL works by targeting the follicle within the shaft. If one waxes, it should be done at least three weeks before the treatment. This allows time for the follicle to return so that the IPL has something to target. Shaving can be done the day before as any light absorbed by hair above the skin will be ineffective. Shaving allows the light to be absorbed solely by the roots of the follicle.

Exfoliate and moisturise

Developing a daily routine of exfoliating and moisturising will ensure the skin is healthy before treatment. Dry, dead skin can create a barrier which inhibits the lights from penetrating the skin well. Exfoliation with a scrub, mitt or loofah will ensure better results from IPL treatment. Hydrated skin will improve skin health, meaning that it will be less likely to suffer sensitivity.

Be aware of contraindications

There are a number of things which can influence the effectiveness of IPL treatment. Keep in mind any medications you are taking including aspirin, anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics. Skincare and topical creams such as retinoids can also increase skin sensitivity. Speaking with the IPL technician when they are developing your treatment plan should ensure you are best prepared for your treatment.


Image Source: Core Medical Group Miami

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