What is IPL, and how does it differ from laser treatment?

What is IPL, and how does it differ from laser treatment?

While shaving, plucking and waxing are popular DIY hair removal methods, we typically turn to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or laser hair removal treatments when seeking long-term solutions to get rid of unwanted hair. They’re excellent no-mess approaches. Not only can IPL and laser treatment help remove hair, but they also provide skin-enhancing capabilities! Now that’s the dream.

How IPL and laser treatment work

Let’s jump right in! IPL and laser might be easily mistaken for one another, but they don’t exactly share the same technology. Both IPL and laser are forms of light treatment that target pigment on the skin or at the hair roots. To remove hair, they target the melanin pigment in the hairs; to treat broken capillaries, they target the haemoglobin in the blood.

Where they differ: IPL is a broadband pulsed light source, which emits light at multiple wavelengths that spread within the skin, whereas laser is a monochromatic coherent light source, which emits a singular wavelength. In both instances, when light is emitted from the device, it is absorbed by dark pigments in the hair and within the skin. Then the light turns into heat, which destroys hair follicles. Yup, even the most stubborn and random ones!

At Japan IPL Express, we provide IPL treatment but not laser treatment. The latter is more aggressive, and it must be administered by doctors here in Singapore.

The perks of IPL treatment

IPL treatment is gentle and mild. Non-invasive, it targets the underlying layers of skin without harming the top layers. You might feel a slight warm sensation on sensitive areas, but in such instances, we have cooling gel on hand to minimise discomfort — yay! So don’t sweat it. A hot tip: to prevent skin from feeling irritated, you could also cultivate a good habit of moisturising regularly after treatment.

Post-treatment, it’s unlikely that you’ll face any side effects and the recovery period is brief. At most, we would advise that for the next 24 hours, you avoid heavy exercise, excessive sweating, perfume and cologne; for the next 3 days, it’s best to avoid direct sun exposure, saunas and steam rooms. Don’t scratch, exfoliate, scrub or use chemical peels on the treated area. In between IPL sessions, shaving is alright but we wouldn’t recommend waxing, plucking or using an epilator — these methods might disrupt the hair growth cycle and prevent you from achieving the best results. Like you, we know what it’s like to want quick results!

Beyond hair removal, IPL treatment provides a wide range of benefits thanks to its broad scope of light. IPL is the go-to for many to achieve a healthy glow, and it can be used to specifically treat skin conditions! Think: reducing the appearance of dark spots, soothing acne blemishes, treating vascular lesions, and brightening the overall skin tone. It’s effective in treating skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, acne, sun damage, wrinkles and thread veins. At the same time, it stimulates collagen growth to give your skin texture a boost. Thereby bringing you steps closer to smooth and supple skin.

How IPL treatment stacks up against laser treatment

Busy schedule? Urgh, we feel you. But you’re in luck: IPL treatment at Japan IPL Express is ideal for anyone looking to tackle hair removal or skincare needs in the middle of a hectic day. IPL sessions are short and speedy! We define a “shot™” as a single blast of light from our IPL machine. Each blast can cover a larger area around the hair and skin, because the light emitted from IPL is more diffused in comparison to that from a laser device. They’re much quicker than laser treatment sessions, which take more time due to the way they target smaller sections at a go.

Laser treatment is commonly perceived as safer and more suitable for darker-skinned individuals because there is a lower risk of skin discolouration or burning. But our IPL machines are fit for individuals with darker skin too. To better assess suitability, walk into any one of our outlets for personalised advice. New customers will also receive 20 free IPL Shots™ upon walking in — talk about icing on the cake.

Both IPL and laser treatments enable you to target a wide variety of areas such as the legs, underarms, arms, neck and facial areas.

Overall, IPL services are more affordable than laser treatment (yaaas!). At Japan IPL Express in particular, we don’t require customers to subscribe to packages. What this means for you is only having to pay for services that you use. Just walk right in! Be as spontaneous as you’d like — we won’t hold it against you.

The bottom line

While IPL treatment is effective in reducing hair growth in the long run, like any other treatment, it’s not a quick fix. After beginning treatment, you might see some stray hands persist. Patience is key. For optimum results, we would recommend consistent treatment every four weeks to catch hair at its living stage — when impact is most effective. Keep up with treatment as advised and you can bid unwanted hair (argh), time-consuming hair removal efforts and itchy red bumps (thanks but no thanks) goodbye in due time.

For hair removal, signs of progress include hair becoming finer and growing slower over time; for skin whitening treatments, you’ll notice a more even complexion, reduced redness, and your skin bouncing back to its youthful texture and tightness. You’re welcome!

Look radiant and feel refreshed, while leaving it to our expert therapists to do the heavy-lifting! If you drop by Japan IPL Express, our therapists will be able to examine your skin condition and hair type to tailor treatment according to your needs. As previously mentioned, new customers will also receive 20 IPL Shots™ for free! We want you to be well-informed before pursuing anything. Don’t be shy about asking our therapists the burning questions that you may have. Let it be known if you have any uncertainties or health and skin conditions such as inflammatory acne or eczema.

Otherwise, for more details on IPL treatment, please visit our explanation of  IPL Hair Removal  and IPL Skin Solution — two services available at Japan IPL Express.

Posted on 18 April, 2021

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