Adventures in Beautyland: My IPL Experience, Part Two

About three weeks ago, I went in for a second round of IPL at La Papillon Spa. This time we used a different laser, this one was called a Lumenis M-22. According to my dermatologist, Dr. Noelle Sherber, I could expect a different experience with my second round of IPL. The first notable difference I should expect is that it wouldn't be as uncomfortable as it was the first time. This is because the skin experiences the IPL differently and because the laser itself is different and delivers a more comfortable "zap" (my word, not hers). The skin also reacts differently to the second treatment. I won't expect to see as much "peppering" on my face and I shouldn't expect much swelling, either. This doesn't mean that the treatment isn't working, it's just how it usually goes during the second round. 



Above is what my skin looked like before my first round of IPL. And after undergoing my second round of IPL, I can attest to the fact that Dr. Sherber was totally correct. First of all, the second treatment was about 75% less uncomfortable than the first treatment. Each "zap" of the laser was barely noticeable, which was lovely. Not that the first time was awful, but as I mentioned before, I wouldn't do it for fun. The second round, discomfort-wise, was a piece of cake.

I also got almost no peppering and no swelling, which made me think the laser didn't do anything for about a week. Of course, I was totally wrong (see above), but I like my results visible and photograph-able. It makes this whole reporting back to you thing easier.

Finally, three weeks later, I started wondering why my skin looked so amazingly fantastic. I stared at my current skin care regime and wondered if I had added anything recently that had given me such a dramatic difference. I couldn't think of anything. I wondered if my makeup itself had some kind of skin-tastic wunder ingredient. It didn't. Then it dawned on me. I was finally healed and this is what my skin now looked like, post-second laser treatment.

While I don't have perfect skin, the freckling and melasma is now 85% gone (my mathematical guess, not based on any actual scientific number). My skin looks pretty incredible. I don't think I need a third treatment and could not be happier with my results.

Check out my pyramid of results. The top level is me, before any treatment. The second level is me after the first treatment.

The bottom level is me after the final treatment. Click on the photos to make them larger. The difference is amazing. I'm not wearing makeup in any of the photos. Below is a photo of me about a week after the bottom tier photos were taken. I have on no makeup.

Compared to the before photos above, I'd say it's a success!

Interested in IPL? Make sure you go to a reputable doctor or medically-supervised spa for treatment. Not all lasers are the same and places that insist you buy a package of six treatments up front are not where you want to be. The person doing your treatment should customize a plan for you, listen to you and answer any and all questions thoroughly and intelligently. If you are in the Baltimore area, I would highly suggest making an appointment with La Papillon or Dr. Sherber to discuss what treatment may work best for you.

Treatments provided for review.

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  1. I'm really impressed with your results from this treatment. Though i think your freckles were pretty! I'm definitely going to have to do something about my uneven skin tone and sun blotches some time. You've convinced me that this treatment is the way to go. Loving your blog:-)

  2. Thank you, Annette! I don't mind the freckles, I minded the blotches brown patches that seemed to make up my skintone.I'm much happier now!

  3. Seriously -- those are AMAZING results! So how much does something like this cost for the average Joe? I know it's going to be different for everyone, but a range would be cool. Is there risk that the spots will return the moment you step out in the sun? Just wondering because my Melasma is getting much worse, even though I put on SPF religiously now.

  4. Kelly, your skin looks amazing! Just the fact that you are not wearing any foundation in the last pic impresses the heck out of me. I have considered IPL and wondered how many tx's I might need. I have red capillaries, but not much in the way of brown spots. That makes it sound MUCH more affordable! Thanks!!

  5. I'm not wearing makeup in any of those pictures. Some lasers can address red and brown, which is what the ones I used did. It's definitely worth speaking to a qualified derm about!! I'm really pleased with my results.

  6. Wow, you look great! Okay, I want to do it now!

  7. @Anne - the price range varies per market, laser and Dr. The price range of the treatments I had were $300 per session. Keep in mind that places like nail salons may not have the same grade of laser that I used and may charge less. I'm sure it's more expensive in NY/LA than it is Wichita. Make sure a professional does your treatment or that a doctor supervises your actual treatment.

  8. Oh no! Have you visited your dermatologist since getting it done? I'm curious to know what they say caused the issue. Did you have it done at a Dr's office and not by someone who was licensed to do it, but was a board certified dermatologist?

  9. I had the IPL done about a year skin texture has been ruined. It has lost tightness, tons of little fine lines, feel like the elasticity has changed. I am not happy with my results. i encourage people to read other reviews. I regret doing it.

  10. Hi KB!
    La Papillon has a laser special coming up on 5/23. It's a new laser (for them) and delivers amazing results. I'm hoping to check it out, as well! If you decide to make the jump and go for it, please tell them Gouldylox says hi!

  11. Thank you for sharing! Your results look beautiful. I clicked on your recommendation links out of curiosity...and to my surprise the spa and derm office are located in MD! Found your site while searching for ipl before/afters. I feel so lucky that such a great recommendation is close by!!!

  12. You look great! i was only wondering how the eye-area was improved since the lasers are sometimes too big to be able to catch the area to close to the eyes

  13. They did not treat my eye area.


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