how long should you wait between ipl treatments

How Long Should You Wait Between IPL Photofacials?

The power of light is amazing, and when we harness that power through IPL photorejuvenation, we can reverse the damage that UV rays and aging take on our skin. At Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN, we can use this powerful treatment to improve skin texture and much more. In fact, the benefits are so great it’s quite natural to ask how long should you wait between IPL treatments!

How Long Should You Wait Between IPL Treatments?

A photofacial works by resurfacing–that is, by getting rid of the skin cells that contain the damage you want to erase. This damage could be sun spots, hyperpigmentation, or simply skin with a different tone from the rest. IPL heats up the skin until these superficial cells die. They then flake off, making room for fresh, flawless skin beneath.

This whole process of cellular turnover takes about four weeks, and that’s how long you should wait between photofacial sessions. Your individual case may vary depending on your rate of cellular turnover, but typically you can expect to need between three and five weeks to get your final results from any one treatment. At that point, you’re ready for another one, if you need it!

A Personalized Schedule

At Gold Skin Care, our goal is to help you meet yours. We know each person is unique, so when you come in for your initial consultation, we’ll chat with you about what to expect and help you design a treatment plan that will give you the best possible results.

The Photofacial in Detail

IPL is just light, pure and simple. It’s capable of activating the natural healing properties your skin already possesses. Once these rejuvenating processes go to work, your body produces new, healthy skin.

How It Works

Throughout our lives, our skin is exposed to radiation from the sun. In response to that radiation, our skin produces darker cells. Sometimes we do this on purpose and call it “tanning,” but it’s happening any time we’re exposed to the sun’s light–even from a window–and whether we intend for it to happen or not. You might be surprised to learn that even your clothing doesn’t completely protect you from these UV rays.

When someone’s skin is naturally dark, this is normal and perfectly healthy. But the temporary darkening that happens in response to the sun is not healthy at all. The process we call tanning is actually the skin getting damaged and desperately trying to protect itself. Over time, deliberate tanning and inadvertent sun exposure cause us to develop spots, wrinkles, and other signs of skin damage.

The light from the IPL device goes past the outermost layer of skin to reach the dermis, and there it targets those darker skin cells that have developed in response to the sun. The cells are heated up and destroyed, prompting your body to make new, healthy cells instead. This process evens out your skin tone, gets rid of dark spots, and can even work on scars and acne marks in a similar way!

What to Expect

Once we have decided together that IPL photorejuvenation is right for you, here’s what you can expect:


This treatment involves no incisions, injections, or bandages. We’ll apply a cooling gel to the area so you don’t feel any discomfort. Then we’ll simply run the handheld device over the treatment area. As we do, the device will flash a bit like a camera. Your eyes will be protected at all times, just in case.


Some cosmetic treatments come with a long list of things you have to do to prepare. That’s not the case with this treatment, and just about the only thing you need to do before your treatment is to stay out of the sun and avoid using any retinol skin products for a few days.

Once the treatment is over, you can go back to your normal life and schedule, though, again, you should stay out of the direct sun and wear sunscreen when you go out.


You’ll see improvements to your skin as the days go by. Your skin tone will naturally become more even. Breakouts will clear up. The dark spots you don’t like will start to fade away, and you’ll be anxious to know when you can have your next treatment!

For most people, two to six treatments will be enough to accomplish their goals. It all depends on your unique situation. Once you have the final results you’re looking for, you just need an occasional maintenance treatment to maintain them.

Nine Benefits of IPL Photorejuvenation

1. Speed and Ease

If you’re looking for a facial treatment that goes quickly, you should consider an IPL photofacial. It only takes between 15 and 30 minutes and is easy to fit into your day.

2. Small Blood Vessel Repair

Another sign of aging many of us deal with is visible small blood vessels in our faces. An IPL treatment can clear these up.

3. Acne Control

Acne can often plague adults well into their 20s, and adult acne can show up at any time. An IPL photofacial can shrink your pores and reduce the frequency and severity of breakouts. This means you don’t need to use those drying topical products as often, which is good for your overall skin health!

4. Rosacea Reduction

Rosacea also affects many people, and the redness it brings to the skin can’t be fully covered up even with a very careful skincare and makeup routine. IPL reduces that skin redness and improves your complexion and skin tone without creams, chemicals, or injections.

5. Compatibility

There are plenty of cosmetic treatments that don’t play well with others, but that’s not the case with IPL. You can get an IPL photorejuvenation treatment in combination with your microdermabrasion, a chemical peel, or whatever else we might recommend to help you reach your skincare goals.

6. Age Reversal

IPL isn’t specifically an anti-aging treatment, but it addresses those signs of aging we all hate and allows you to turn back the clock on your skin health. By promoting the growth of fresh new skin tissues and collagen, you’ll see an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles as well as spots, veins, and redness.

7. Comfort

No pain, no gain is often the rule in cosmetic treatments, but an IPL photofacial flies in the face of that rule. This is a painless treatment, and if you have any concerns at all, just let us know so we can take whatever extra steps are necessary to keep you confident in your comfort throughout treatment.

8. Erasing Power

We can’t say it too often: the sun is your skin’s worst enemy. Nearly every skin condition that we generally put down to “aging” is actually the effect of our skin’s constant exposure to the UV radiation coming from the sun. When we are children, most of us have no concept at all of sun protection, meaning we sustain damage before we’re even old enough to be proactive about protection.

The UV radiation the sun emits breaks down the collagen in our skin. We need that collagen to keep our skin firm and strong, and as it breaks down, our skin sags. Combine this with a naturally lowered production of collagen as we age, and you get wrinkles, lines, and folds. Of course there are also those sun spots and age spots that form anywhere the sun regularly hits, but even if you’re not showing specific spots, constant sun exposure can give the skin a kind of leathery texture and make you look older than you are.

How IPL Helps

There are two specific ways that IPL erases this sun damage. First, the IPL light treatment stimulates your body to produce more collagen again. This new collagen makes the skin strong, and it stimulates your body’s natural cellular turnover so that fresh, new skin develops.

IPL can also erase sun damage by getting rid of those cells that have been specifically darkened by the sun. These cells are deep in the dermis, which is why superficial treatments like exfoliation can’t get rid of them. Whether you have excessive freckling or fewer but larger splotches and spots, you can smooth them out with IPL.

9. Aging Prevention

We all age in our own way and at our own rate. Even if you have the same skincare habits as your peers, your personal genetics may cause you to show signs of aging at a different rate. Some of us, unfortunately, simply naturally show aging signs before others. If you’re not sure how you’ll age, your parents’ and grandparents’ pictures can offer you some good clues.

If your family shows signs of aging earlier than others, just two or three IPL photofacials a year can keep the cells in your dermis behaving youthfully, preventing those aging signs from even showing up in the first place.

FAQ About IPL Facials

Am I a Candidate?

Come talk to us at Gold Skin Care Center! We can help you find out for certain if this is the right treatment for you or suggest something else if it’s more likely to help you reach your goals.

That said, most people who have signs of aging and sun damage–or who want to prevent them–are good candidates. There are only a few things that could keep you from treatment. If you’re pregnant or nursing or have recently had a sunburn or an active infection in the area, you’ll just need to wait a bit. If you take medications that make your skin especially sensitive to light, we’ll talk about whether you can pause those for a time to get treatment.

If you take certain diabetes medications, have a history of keloid scarring, or have surgical pins or plates under the treatment area, we can help you find a different treatment to safely reach your aesthetic goals.

Can This Treat Only the Face?

No! You can use IPL to treat signs of aging and hyperpigmentation in many places on the body. Other popular places for this treatment include the chest and neck, but come talk to us about what you’d like to treat.

How Long Will the Results Last?

Your results should last at least a year, and many people see results that last even longer. There are two factors that go into this, and only one is under your control.

First, the way you take care of your skin will affect your results. If you use sunscreen and keep up a good skincare routine, your results will last longer. However, you can’t control your genetics, and these also play a role. As soon as you feel your results are fading, however, just contact us for a maintenance treatment to keep things on track!

Discover the Power of IPL for Yourself

IPL photorejuvenation can address acne, rosacea, the signs of aging, sun damage, and more. Contact us today at Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN to learn more.