IPL: How it Works




See also: IPL Treatments | IPL FAQ
IPL, which stands for “Intense Pulsed Light”, works like a photographic flash gun to zap either hair follicles, unsightly veins, pigment or acne.

Each flash treats about 5-10 square centimetre of skin, so a treatment may require 5-100 individual flashes. Some people feel a warming sensation, others describe it as being flicked with a small elastic band.

Each treatment is effective on a proportion of the target condition, so several treatment are required, typically 3-8 sessions depending on what is being treated.

One of the beneficial side-effects of IPL, is its rejuvenation properties: it stimulates the production of collagen and improves blood flow, resulting in plumper more toned skin. A rejuvenation treatment is also available (see menu to the side).

What is IPL?

IPL (intense pulsed light) is an intense form of light that is delivered in pulses by a handpiece that is similar to a flash-gun on a camera, but controlled by a dedicated computer to deliver a precise amount of heat energy to the treatment area.

The frequency (colour) and duration of the light is configured to specific targets in the skin, such as the hair follicles, or pigments in skin blemishes or tiny veins.The target absorbs sufficient heat to make them break down, after which the by-products are absorbed by the body.

We use a SkinFirst IPL machine which is supplemented with RF technology that makes the IPL even gentler, and allows us to treat a wider range of darker skin types.

What is RF?

RF stands for “Radio Frequency”, a form of radio waves delivered at a frequency that causes gentle heating in the skin, a bit like a microwave though only to a micro depth, but gentler and safer. It both supplements the energy supplied by the IPL, and helps stimulate the skin promoting rejuvenation.

How is IPL used?

After calibrating the machine, the therapist will apply conducting gel to the skin and place the handpiece against the target area, and trigger the flash-gun to deliver a precise amount of light energy into the treatment area. The handpiece is moved, and the process repeated until the entire treatment area has been covered.


While we have heard of some people offering IPL treatments with no training or insurance, please be assured and feel free to double check that we have:

§ Certificate available for inspection