IPL / PhotoFacial

Not All IPL’s are created equal: Serenity Rejuvenation Center’s is

Serenity Rejuvenation Center’s Palomar ICON is the most powerful IPL device on the market utilizing an unparalleled filtering system resulting in the most efficacious IPL photofacial treatment available.
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What is an IPL?

(IPL): an acronym for “Intense pulsed light” also known as photofacial is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes as outlined below.


The first FDA approval of IPL was for telangiectasias in 1995. Since 1995, multiple modifications and improvements have been made in order to improve the safety and effectiveness of this technology culminating in the truly iconic – Palomar ICON .

How does IPL work?

Some people think ofit as a laser, but it is not a laser. Key differences between a laser and IPL include:

Not All IPL’s are created equal: Serenity Rejuvenation Center’s is

Serenity Rejuvenation Center’s Palomar ICON is the most powerful IPL device on the market utilizing an unparalleled filtering system resulting in the most efficacious IPL photofacial treatment available.

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Properties of Laser:

  • Monochromatic
  • Coherent
  • Collimated

Properties of IPL:

  • Polychromatic
  • Incoherent/Divergent
  • Non-Collimated

As per above, a laser is what we call “monochromatic” or one color. You can think of a laser as being one specific color of the rainbow or one wave-length of light. IPL on the other hand is what we call broadspectrum light or “polychromatic” or many colors. So, IPL treatment is a number of colors mixed together forming a bright light. To summarize, when using lasers, high energy monochromatic (or single color) light is applied to the skin while IPL uses polychromatic (or multiple color) light that is applied to the skin.

An IPL machine is comprised of an electrical energy source that creates light (like a light bulb). This light bulb contains a special gas called xenon that increases the intensity of the light to very bright levels. The device therefore converts electrical energy (power from the wall) to very bright light (or optical energy). When we look at light from a physics point of view, we talk about it in terms of the length of the wave (wavelength). Depending on the wavelength, the light can be either absorbed by the surface or reflected off of any surface it hits. When we look at light- each individual color of the rainbow has a specific wave-length, and is attracted to particular colors.

In our skin we have what are called chromophores. A chromophore is simply anything that absorbs light. The brown pigments in brown lesions are considered a chromophore, as are the red pigments in the hemoglobin in our red blood cells. When IPL shines on your skin, the chromophores or the color absorbs the energy of the light at a specific wavelength and this then causes the chromophores (or pigment) to heat up. By heating them up, they are broken apart and will fade away. In summary, the energy from the light (through filters) is transferred to the target chromophores in the skin which are heated up, broken down and removed without causing harm to the surrounding skin.

What can be treated with IPL?

IPL is employed in the treatment of a range of dermatologic conditions including:

  • Photodamage induced dyspigmentation and vascular changes
  • Poikiloderma of Civatte
  • Rosacea
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Sebaceous gland hyperplasia
  • Broken capillaries/telangiectasias
  • Vascular Lesions (small blood vessels)
  • Pigmented Lesions (freckles, liver spots, birth marks)
  • Melasma


IPL can be used for hair removal/hair reduction, however it is a fairly unanimous opinion these days that IPL is not as efficacious as a true LASER. This is very confusing for many consumers as many practices advertise laser hair removal and actually use an IPL platform. True Lasers include the Alexandrite laser which a 755 nm wavelength – the safest and most effective for light to medium toned skin. The Long pulsed ndyag which is a 1064 nm wavelength is the safest and most effective for darker skin types.

Not all IPL platforms are created equally. Serenity Rejuvenation Center’s Palomar ICON system’s patented innovations include:

  • Skintel Melanin Reader: A revolutionary device that determines the average melanin density of skin prior to treatment which is a great tool both from a safety perspective and in regards to formulating a treatment plan.
  • Advanced Contact Cooling: Cooling maintains temperature at 5° Celsius during treatments for enhanced comfort and skin protection.
  • AccuSpectrum: Dual filters minimize unnecessary epidermal exposure, enhancing client comfort.
  • Photon Recycling: Maximizes treatment results by reducing energy loss.
  • Power: Delivering a maximum effective energy of over 350 joules, Icon is the most powerful IPL platform on the market.


  • Avoid using retinoic acid products within 7 days prior to your treatment
  • Avoid tanning the skin and sun exposure to include spray tanning for approximately 1 month prior to treatment.
  • Avoid antibiotics for 10 days prior to treatment.
  • Pregnancy is currently a contraindication

What To Expect On The Day Of Treatment&After

Firstly, a medical consultation will be performed by Dr. O’Connell and staff to be sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.The number of treatments required will depend on the goals of the patient, and the aggressiveness of the treatment determined at the time of your consultation. Once cleared for the procedure, skin typing and the average melanin density of skin will be measured using the Skintel Melanin Reader, which is a great tool both from a safety perspective and in regards to formulating a treatment plan. A small amount of lotion will be applied to the skin. You will also be provided eye shields to protect yourself from the light during treatment. The treatment will begin with the provider guiding the handpiece over the treatment area. You will feel cooling while the handpiece is gliding over the treatment area to provide a comfortable session. You may also feel a slight rubber-band like snapping when the energy is being delivered into your skin which disappears almost immediately. A warm sensation to the treated skin post treatment is common. Depending on the size of the area, treatments can take just minutes. After the treatment, the lotion will be removed and a sun screen may be applied to your skin.Bandages and ointments are not necessary due to the nature of the treatments being so minimally invasive. For a few days after your treatment, you may feel like you have a mild sunburn but can resume your normal day to day activities immediately following treatment. Over the course of days, hyperpigmented areas (brown spots) will darken then subsequently slough off, as vascular lesions coagulate then reabsorb. Pore size will decrease, leaving the skin with a fresh rejuvenated appearance. Over the course of weeks, the appearance of fine lines will dissipate as collagen stimulation and synthesis occurs.


  • Wear a full spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Avoid activities (post procedure) that will raise your body heat for the remainder of the day of treatment to include heavy exercise, sauna,and hottubbing.
  • Makeup: You can use makeup immediately after.

If you are interested in long-lasting fat reduction, then
contact Dr. Stephen M. O’Connell and Serenity Rejuvenation Center to set up a free consultation.