Most of the signs of skin damage that we associate with aging are actually the result of injuries from the sun. The sun’s two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays each create their own brand of damage.
UVA light breaks down the proteins in your skin — collagen and elastin — that keep it firm, strong, and flexible. UVA doesn’t just affect the epidermis (i.e., the outer, visible layer of your skin), it reaches down into the dermis too. The rays also damage capillaries, leading to facial spider veins, and altering the DNA in your skin cells.
With even more power than UVA, UVB light damages the DNA in your skin cells. Although the damage of UVB rays is limited to your epidermis, the damage can be severe. Blame UVB for sun spots, the precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses, and skin cancer.
Our team at Daphne Panagotacos, M.D., Skin Care Center in Westlake Village, California, wants your skin to stay healthy, strong, and youthful for life. We recommend an intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacial to undo your sun damage.
Though it may at first seem counterintuitive, the best way to undo the damage wrought by the light from the sun is to treat your skin with another kind of light. Here’s how the light from an IPL photo facial counteracts the damage of sunlight.
What IPL is
Unlike a laser’s focused light beam, an IPL photofacial uses scattered, diffuse light of different wavelengths to address multiple sources of damage at once. We use the state-of-the-art Palomar Icon™ IPL platform by Cynosure®.
Your treatment is fast and comfortable. We cleanse your skin and apply a cooling gel to keep your face numb while the IPL breaks apart clusters of pigment and damaged proteins. You may feel a slight stinging sensation as each pulse of light hits your skin, but you won’t be in pain or feel uncomfortable afterward.
What IPL does
Because IPL draws on numerous wavelengths of light, it improves the look and health of your skin in multiple ways by addressing a variety of issues. IPL has two main functions:
Target excess pigment
Age spots, freckles, and actinic keratoses are all characterized by abnormal clumps of melanin, which gives those spots their dark and distracting appearance. We calibrate the IPL device to target the excess melanin in your skin so that it breaks apart those hyperpigmented lesions, shattering the melanin, while leaving your healthy skin untouched.
Over the next several weeks, as your body begins to get rid of the pigment, you notice that your skin looks clear and more evenly toned. In some instances, you may even see a difference in your lesions within hours or days.
The IPL energy also targets visible, broken facial veins. As with age spots, the energy is targeted toward the excess pigment. In this case, the pigment is from hemoglobin. Because the light evaporates the broken blood vessels, you may notice that your skin looks clearer directly after your session.
Rebuild the skin
The sun, which feels so warm and nourishing, actually destroys the key structures of your skin, including the proteins that give it strength and support, such as collagen and elastin. IPL rebuilds your skin to make it stronger, healthier, and younger.
The longer wavelengths of IPL reach down into your dermis, where they break apart the damaged strands of collagen. This signals your skin to initiate a rebuilding process, called neocollagenesis, in which it boosts its production of collagen to create a stronger matrix.
After an IPL photofacial, your blood rushes to your skin to whisk away debris and old, damaged proteins. You start to build more blood vessels in the area to nourish your skin as it begins to rebuild itself over the next weeks to months. And then you produce the collagen and elastin that creates stronger, firmer, tighter skin.
A whole new (old?) look
In the weeks to months after your IPL photofacial, as your skin clears hyperpigmentation and rebuilds itself from the inside out, you’ll see something you haven’t seen in a while: clear, strong, and firm skin. In fact, your skin will look much the same as it did in the years before you accumulated sun damage. Expect to see:
- Few to no sun spots
- Firmer skin
- Clearer skin
- More radiant skin
- Few to no wrinkles or fine lines
- Diminished creases
- Less sagging
Book your IPL photofacial and undo your sun damage now. Contact our team by calling our office, sending an email, or requesting an appointment online today.