Treatment of the week: IPL for Sun damage

Our senior dermal therapist Yvonne is obsessed with helping her clients achieve their glowing skin goals.

She believes it is a serious commitment and one that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Just like getting healthy or loosing weight, skincare is about consistency.

It’s important you view skincare as part of your essential daily routine. Skincare is 70% your at home routine and 30% your in clinic treatments. Consider Face Plus your personal trainer.

You might only see your PT once a week, however, it’s expected you maintain your fitness between session…. especially if you hope to see results.

Yvonne is serious about the longevity of skincare mostly because she understands the process by which issues on the skin form. The skin is a living organ therefore when a problem such as acne, or a sun spot occurs it most likely hasn’t happened overnight. It has occurred over a period of time from a series of factors such as negligence, hormonal imbalance and environmental factors.

I asked Yvonne what’s a treatment she is most excited about at the moment. While, this varies based on the seasons, Yvonne is personally excited about IPL. As summer time is over and the warmer weather is finally drawing to a close, now is the perfect time to invest in treating sun damaged skin.  

IPL or Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is a broad spectrum white light that shatters the pigment attracted to the melanin and the blood. While many people associate IPL with laser hair removal, this kind of IPL helps treat the appearance of sun damage, sun spots and pigmentation caused by solar exposure.

In the long term IPL works to improve your skin tone and surface imperfections associated with ageing and sun exposure. The wave length of the IPL is short on the epidermis, so it doesn’t penetrate deep into the dermal layer of the skin. This means IPL isn’t a suitable treatment for melasma. It is suitable for clients that suffer any of the following on their face, neck and décolletage:

  • Skin redness
  • Tiny veins
  • Brown spots
  • Light (low contrast) brown spots

Why does your skin form these spots?
Sun damage. Yvonne is from Ireland so can attest to just how strong and brutal the Australia rays are. Every Australian has some form of sun damage. These marks are an inflammatory response to overexposure of UVA/UVB rays. The signs of sun damage generally start to manifest when women are in their late 20’s to early thirties, so this is the perfect age to begin IPL treatment.

How does IPL work?
Using an IPL hand piece areas of the skin are briefly heated causing the pigmented brown or red cells to have a therapeutic effect. When the pulse of light is delivered it feels like the skin is being flicked with a hot rubber band. A cool gel is applied to the skin before the treatment and aloe vera and ice are used post treatment to help soothe the skin. While there is a bit of pain, the laser therapists move quickly, so the pain is never concentrated.

Treatment time depends upon the area being treated, however most treatments take less than one hour and results are achieved within one to three treatments. Additional treatments may be required for especially damaged skin.

What happens post treatment?
The light triggers the spots to darken and to draw up to the top layer of the skin. Instantly after your treatment your complexion looks quite blotchy / dirty and the spots will continue to darken over the next 72 hours.

Over the course of 5-10 days they will form a scab like wound and dust / flake off on their own. The treatment does require quite a bit of downtime so it is important to factor that in if you have any social events / meetings in your calendar.

What are the do’s and don’ts post treatment?
After IPL you need to observe some strict skincare advice. Your skin may feel sunburnt/windburned so you want to nurture it

  • Do not exercise for 48 hours
  • No heat treatments like sauna’s, steam rooms, hot showers, avoid cooking over steam or hot ovens
  • Do not go in the sun
  • Do not apply any active creams or exfoliators
  • Do not apply heavy makeup. Opt for light mineral makeup and loose powders, as your skin will already feel dry
  • If you have had IPL on your neck/ décolletage, avoid scratchy fabrics like wool. let your skin breathe

Your skin will feel quite dry so it’s important to keep it hydrated. Make sure to drink lots of water and apply 30SPF. Wear a hat and sunnies.

To read more about how IPL can help resolve your pigmentation issues read our other blog post here
And… Lift Off!: Lift and Remove Pigmentation
IPL & Pigmentation Treatment

Book in to see Yvonne at our Bondi Junction Clinic or meet some of our other highly trained dermal and laser therapists at our Bondi Beach and Bankstown Boutique.

You will need to book in for a thorough skin consultation & patch test before undergoing IPL treatment. 
Call: 02 8897 0000
Email: [email protected]


Interview with Jackie from Face Plus Bankstown: her go to treatment to address Pigmentation

I spent a day out at our Bankstown Clinic getting to know our newest member of Face Plus, Jackie.

Jackie started in January and joined our incredible team of dermal therapists. I interviewed Jackie about her training, passion for skincare and focus areas for her clients.

Jackie, how long have you been working in the beauty industry?
A: I have been a dermal therapist for 6 years. Before that I was a beauty therapist. I did a beauty diploma at the Australasian college in Broadway. It was a 2.5 year degree, studying full time and I just absolutely loved immersing myself in the wonderful world of beauty and skincare.

Why did you choose beauty therapy?
I personally love being pampered. So, it definitely stems from my personal preference. In turn I love seeing my clients happy and calm after their treatments. I definitely try and make all my services as enjoyable and relaxing as possible while still yielding results.
I’ve also always been interested in skin health. In high school I loved biology and learning how things work. For me, skincare is very science focused.

What are your own skin care concerns?
I’ve suffered Pigmentation issues my whole adult life. Pigmentation is a very tricky condition to fix. It is a long-term treatment plan with no overnight wins. Luckily though, there have been a lot of technological advances in the dermal therapy world and this has resulted in some breakthrough treatments to address Pigmentation.

What kind of treatments do we offer that helps with Pigmentation?
Dermapen with Omnilux is a pigmentation sufferer’s dream treatment combination. The Dermapen helps to lift out the pigmentation. Dermapen, otherwise known as microneedling, can go deeper into skin, to the dermis layer. Pigmentation hides below the surface so was previously hard to reach.

I always recommend 20 minutes of Omnilux ( LED Light Therapy) after a dermapen treatment as it is a fast-acting way to heal the skin. It speeds up the healing process. The red light is the healing light and helps with collagen formation and is anti-aging.

How many treatments of Dermapen and Omnilux would someone with mild to medium pigmentation need before they start seeing results?
At least two treatments, 6 weeks apart. It’s very important you have this time between appointments to let the skin heal.

Why is Pigmentation an issue that effects a lot of Australians?
It’s the Australian sun. It’s very harsh. We’re quite an outdoorsy culture, so we’re more exposed and vulnerable to the UV rays. I’ve also noticed that a lot of clients that come in with pigmentation as a primary issue are in their 40’s – 50’s. This generation in particular were not educated to use sunscreen. They didn’t have sun safety campaigns like we do now.

If you could tell your clients to never forget one product, what would it be?
BB Cream. It’s a foundation, moisturiser and sunscreen all in one. The lazy girls secret weapon.
Just make sure that your BB Cream has at least 30 SPF in it.

Can you suffer sun damage when it’s overcast?
Absolutely. The UV rays are still there, sun or no sun.
If you’re considering Dermapen to fix your pigmentation issues, you will need to be very careful to avoid sun altogether. Your skin will be extra sensitive so if you do expose yourself, you’re running the risk of causing more pigmentation damage. Always wear a hat and prior to treatments use a 50 SPF at all times (even when you’re inside the office). Remember UV rays can reflect glass, so you’re at risk even if you’re sitting at your desk.

Do you need to be careful post dermapen about using other topical products?
Yes, we recommend you use as little makeup as possible. You need to let your skin breathe. If you feel the need to cover up, opt for a nourishing BB Cream or some light mineral makeup. Dermapen opens your pores up, which means they are susceptible to toxins and bacteria. The last thing we want to do is clog the pores up with artificial makeup and ruin all the progress we’ve made.

What other treatments do you love at Face Plus?
I love our herbal peels. Like the hydra and the phyto peel.
In my last job, we performed acid peels. I found these to be far too invasive. It makes your skin very dry. While they might work well in the short term, acid peels don’t yield great results years later. You need to nurture your skin. It’s such a vital organ so by treating it with natural, herbal ingredients rather than manmade chemicals (synthetic acids), you’re working with the skins process at a much more holistic level.

For a cosmetic consultation:
Call: 02 8897 0000
Email: [email protected]


The importance of Vitamin D VS. the risks of sun damage

How important is Vitamin D to our health?

In short, it’s very important. Vitamin D spurs bone growth. It is also a vital component to the wellness of your immune system. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces Vitamin D.

There is a common perception that in order for your skin to produce vitamin D it needs to be directly exposed to sunlight ie. if you use sunblock, your body won’t reap the benefits.

By contrast, we are also made to believe that ANY exposure (particularly to the harsh Australian sun) will lead to damage of the skins cellular DNA. So is it possible to have a balance of both?

Your body only needs 10-15 minutes on unexposed sun, 3 times a week to produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D.

However, the same 10-15 minutes are also all it takes for your skin cells to produce sunburn and genetic mutations that may lead to skin cancer.

If you wear sunscreen will you body absorb vitamin D?
An SPF 15 blocks out 93% of the UVB rays
an SPF 30 blocks out 97% of the UVB rays
an SPF 50 blocks out 98% of the UVB rays
this leaves anywhere from 2-7% of solar UVB reaching your skin.

Are there other ways to enjoy the benefits of Vitamin D?
Yes, in your diet. Fatty Fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are incredible sources of Vitamin D.

Daily, you should try and achieve 600 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D a day.
A supplement such as a tablespoon of cod liver is great way to get your boost.

While there are a handful of tablet supplements on the market, it’s important to try and achieve it through your diet and lifestyle first.

If you do love the sun and depend on that method to achieve your vitamin D then make sure you stay out of the sun during the harshest times of the day, between 11am-3pm.

An early morning walk wearing sunscreen and a hat will definitely be beneficial for your health, happiness and Vitamin D levels.

To book a cosmetic consultation: 
Call: 02 8897 0000
Email: [email protected]