Confessions Of A Cosmetic Junkie: IPL Didn’t Work For Me!

Confessions Of A Cosmetic Junkie: IPL Didn't Work For Me!1
Jo Harvey-Graham

Aug 19, 2016

I am currently two months post my last IPL (intense pulse light) treatment and still break out in a cold sweat at the mere mention of it.

Even compiling this column is giving me the jitters. But in the name of beauty, I shall suffer through it for the good of you, the reader!

Foolishly, I only started using sunscreen on my face in my early twenties; too late to stave off the brown spots that began to surface a few years later.

Confessions Of A Cosmetic Junkie: IPL Didn't Work For Me!2

I was told a series of IPL treatments would help with those and an overall texture of the skin.

The clinic I went to suggested I didn’t have numbing cream as it makes the treatment less effective, although I have since spoken to another clinic who say this is not the case.

I was sweating at the sheer thought of IPL without a pain barrier. I told the practitioner I would no doubt perform like a trained seal if not sedated. The gas promptly appeared (there was a god!).

I won’t lie: the first sting was not pleasant. In fact, I think I jumped off the table.

Even as I sucked on that gas like there was no tomorrow, laughing like a hyena, the pain was unbearable (yes, I am a sook).

The worst part for me was my nose and forehead. Once the nurse completed my whole face, she went over it again, seemingly oblivious to my muffled screams.

Chanting the mantra ‘no pain without pain’ I soldiered on.

This was my last treatment of many over the last year or two. I do think the texture of my skin has improved, but my brown spots have got worse.

I won’t be going back for more. However, to help combat the brown spots I am now going to try a peel.

In conjunction with this, I have been assured good skincare will help. I have just starting using Ultraceuticals and will prime my skin before embarking on peels, as well as going to a good clinic, with a great reputation and getting professional advice.

I’ll keep you updated on the results and the procedure. As long as there’s gas or something stronger – I’ll be fine.

Need to know:

  • The cost of IPL for a full price varies. I paid $250
  • The pain factor for me was high, but I have had many friends say it was relatively painless (I’d rather have needles stuck in my face any day!)
  • My face was a little red afterwards, but you can go straight back to work
  • You can get numbing cream applied before the procedure – and it has no effect on the overall result
  • Not everyone is a candidate for IPL, so please check with your professional and get the correct advice
  • IPL works really well for some, but it did not work on my brown spots; in fact for me they got worse
  • The overall texture of my skin has improved, but I don’t feel it was worth the cost
  • Always protect your skin, use an SPF 50 (or higher), wear a hat and whatever you do after a treatment DO NOT go in the sun or expose your face to direct sunlight

The opinions expressed here by The Carousel columnists are their own, not those of The


By Jo Harvey-Graham

A one-time colleague of The Carousel's publisher Robyn Foyster while they worked together at New Idea, Jo has been in publishing for most of her working life. She ran a successful boutique media publishing house in New Zealand for several years and boasts an impeccable sales, marketing and management background. When she’s not road-testing the latest cosmetic procedures, or investigating the hottest lifestyle, fashion and beauty trends, Jo is invariably sunning herself in tropical climes, back home in NZ catching up with family and friends, or working on her golf swing!



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