A couple of weeks ago I wrote about having my hands treated with IPL for brown spots. I have gotten to the phase where the spots that darkened up have sloughed off, and things are looking good! Upon initial treatment, the skin can be a little pink and a bit tender. The pigmented areas generally darken up pretty quickly after IPL. While this sounds counterintuitive, it is actually a good thing. It means that the IPL energy went into my skin and targeted the brown spots, breaking up the pigment, and starting those spots on a journey to the surface of my skin, where they would slough off approximately 2 weeks later.
These first two pictures are of my left hand the evening of my first IPL treatment.
This was taken a few days ago. Not sensational photography, I know, but you can kind of see that this is the phase where the spots are starting to flake off. When you see this in person, it will look like you have dirt sprinkled on your skin!
Within a few short weeks I have been able to see a great improvement in the hyperpigmentation on my hands. It is a good idea to have a peel or microdermabrasion treatment done in between IPL treatments if you can. The IPL treatment has broken up pigment at the dermal layer, and that pigment is quickly working its way up to the epidermis, where it will eventually flake off. Having a peel or microdermabrasion between IPL appointments will speed up the process. That means faster results!
I love the peels from PCA Skin. Their Smoothing Body Peel rocks for everything from rough elbows, baggy knees, to calloused heels. PCA’s Smoothing Body Peel is my choice for exfoliation on my hands between IPL sessions. I peeled my hands one week after IPL, but about midway is appropriate.
From PCA’s website:
“Smoothing Body Peel Treatments
PCA Skin Smoothing Body Peel Treatment is the future of total skin conditioning.
This researched and tested two-step treatment — Step 1 Pre-Peel Accelerator Mask and Step 2 Smoothing Body Peel — is formulated with potent yet gentle ingredients that will even discoloration while smoothing and brightening the skin.
This treatment duo provides nourishing ingredients that soften and hydrate the skin’s surface, while TCA, lactic and salicylic acids join together to affect dramatic changes in the skin’s appearance and texture.
An excellent choice for treating problem areas on the arms, legs, back, chest, hands and feet.
Step 1 gets the exfoliation process started. This is especially helpful on areas of the body that have thickened or calloused skin. When Step 2 is applied, it is better able to penetrate and do its job because the skin has been pre-softened. The blend of acids and ingredients work on exfoliating the skin and evening out skin tone. This is an excellent treatment to do on its own or in conjunction with IPL. When combining with IPL, pigmentation issues are being treated on multiple levels – breaking up existing pigment and tricking your pigment cells into not overproducing pigment in the first place. So if you have sun spots on your skin like I do, a combo approach will get you better and faster results.
When it comes to seeing improvement in your skin, better and faster results are, well, better!
SPF is a must year round, which I am pretty good about with my face and neck, but now I am making a concerted effort to apply and reapply to my hands. Any time you are receiving exfoliating treatments, like chemical peels and light based treatments, like IPL, your skin especially needs to be protected. I have been starting out with PCA’s Perfecting Protection SPF 30 and then using Jane Iredale’s Powder Me SPF 30 when I need to reapply – I can keep it in the console of my car and it won’t spoil in the heat. I just swipe it on and I’m good to go.
I am pretty excited about my smoother, younger looking hands and motivated to continue treatment and maintain results!