Since my first visit to Serenity Skin Therapy at Amcorp Mall, I’d been thinking of their Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Treatment. I didn’t know all that much about IPL other than that it was an anti-aging procedure, a much less invasive option to plastic surgery.
Serenity Skin Therapy invited me back to try the IPL Treatment and I had no hesitations accepting since I am very curious about the procedure. Would one procedure bring about positive results? Would my sagging skin be lifted? Would I flinch at the light administered? Only one way to find out.
Firstly, some well known facts about IPL (also known as photorejuvenation):-
(1) it’s non-ablative meaning that it does not damage the surface of the skin as the intense light is delivered to the deeper parts of the skin (dermis) and leaves the superficial aspect of the skin (epidermis) untouched;
(2) stronger pulses of light can be administered to fairer skins as this type of skin reflects light while lower pulses are administered to those with darker skin tones;
(3) it is not suitable for those who have suntanned recently, people with diabetes or for pregnant women;
(4) each treatment takes between 20-30 minutes and there is virtually no recovery time. you can have the treatment during your lunch hour.
Since I was getting the full facial + IPL for the underarm area, the entire procedure took over 2 hours. The therapist started by removing make-up from my face using eye & lip makeup remover followed by a milk and foaming cleanser. She massaged my face while cleansing which was nice as during other facials, therapists don’t normally massage the face until prior to the mask being applied.
After the cleansing process had been completed, Nicole Lean (Serenity’s Chief Therapist) took over and I was in even better hands (not that I have any complaints about the therapist who got the facial started) as she explained the IPL process. She said that initially, customers might be a little nervous about the bright flashes of light but after talking them through the process, they’d accept it without any fear.
The IPL machine looks like some vacuum cleaner or suction machine. It has wheels so that it can be manouevred about easily, it’s also quite unobtrusive for facial rooms with not much space. The therapist can set it to low, medium or high power and it has a choice of “Skin Rejuvenation” for facials or “Hair Removal” for underarms and other areas (no, they don’t do bikini hair removal here).
A very cold gel which has been placed in a tumbler within an ice box is applied over areas of the face which the IPL will be administered to. It really is icy cold and has to be that way in order to anaesthesise the skin so that you don’t feel any discomfort or sting when the pulses of light are applied. My eyes were protected by cotton pads soaked in water and over that, goggles were placed.
The smooth glass surface of the IPL handpiece was applied ever so gently on my skin and before each shot of light, Nicole would let me know that it was going to be applied. I didn’t feel nervous or fearful at all since there was no pain whatsoever, not even stinging. Bikini waxing is a lot more painful than this.
Nicole informed me that usually for the first IPL treatment, the pulses of light would only be administered on the customer’s face and it was only after results could be seen after a few more sessions, then only would the IPL be applied on the neck area. However, since I was there to review, she’d apply it on my face and neck in order for me to see whether there were any results.
Since I have fair skin, I could have the power on high. Nicole said that 30-40 shots were normally applied per session but since she was also treating my neck, I’d receive a bit more than 40. Actually, it didn’t even feel like I was receiving that many during the 20 minute session as I felt quite relaxed and comfortable chatting to Nicole.
Nicole had shaved the hair above my lips before the start of the IPL treatment. 4-6 sessions of IPL should stop the hair there growing altogether, similar to IPL on the underarms or the bikini area.
After the IPL session was complete, the first therapist came back to cleanse my face of the cold gel residue. Then, she applied a hydrating serum and used a cold machine to massage in the serum. This was followed by 2 types of moisturiser which she used to massage my face with her hands.
Following the massage, she applied a cool hydrating mask for 15 minutes. Next, it was on with an oxygen moisturiser and SPF50 sunscreen. It was then time to move over to the body treatment room for the underarm IPL treatment.
For the underarm treatment, cold gel is also applied on the area where the pulses of light are to be administered. With the underarm area, there is even less sensation when the IPL is administered since the skin is thicker there than on the face.
Repeated sessions of IPL on the underarm (at least 4-6 sessions) will lighten the area as well as permanently disable hair follicles so that there is no hair regrowth. Of course, my underarm hair has started to grow back since I’ve only had one session but there was a noticeable lightening of the underarm area.
Where my face is concerned, there was an immediate firmness and tightening after the IPL session and my skin tone was a lot brighter. I didn’t expect lines around my neck to be reduced in length or depth and they haven’t. One session won’t bring about such results, that would be unrealistically optimistic. However, I was happy to note the improvement in skin firmness after just this one session.
Serenity Skin Therapy is offering discounts on 1st trial facials (also IPL treatments) and they have many packages to suit everyone’s budgets. Each IPL session for the face costs RM600 with underarm IPL treatments costing considerably less.
For more information, please have a look at the Thalgo website (Serenity uses Thalgo skincare products) or call 03-7955 3633. Serenity Skin Therapy is located at Lot 2-68, 2nd Floor, Amcorp Mall, 18 Jalan Persiaran Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. They are open from Mon-Fri (11am-7pm) and on weekends (10am-6pm). They are closed on public holidays.