IPL Laser Treatment Review with Before and After Picture

October 13, 2014

I’ve been flat out with moving into my parent’s place for the next couple of months, so blogging can be a little challenging as I only brought the bare minimum things for myself and 5 car loads for my baby lol (as a typical mommy would do…) Anyhow today’s post is about my recent experience of IPL treatments. I have been asked by my readers about how I look after my skin so I thought I’d share my first laser treatment experience with you all which has done wonders to my skin.

To begin with, I’d like to set the record straight that this review is solely for sharing my experience with this popular laser treatment but it’s really not for encouragement. I have had freckles since I was a teen – partly genetics, partly due the harsh sun in Australia. I went through a long phase of  “I wanted to be tanned so I wouldn’t look like a typical fair Asian girl‘ and I had spent most of my weekends on the beach sun tanning or at a solarium during my teenage years. It was one crazy phase that I really regretted as I suffered from really bad sun burns and ended up with pigmentation problems.  The freckles never really bothered me (as I thought they looked quite cute) till I got pregnant and they became extremely dark, prominent and just looked terrible. Looking back some of the pictures that were taken during pregnancy, I was shocked and decided that I needed some proper treatments to get rid of these.

After a consultation with a dermatologist, I was recommended with 2-3 sessions of IPL treatments. The laser treatment itself was not as painful as I anticipated. It goes for about 15 minutes for the whole face and most of the time it felt like a rubber band snapping your face. There were some very uncomfortable moments, but they were very short lived and by the time you realized the pain it was already gone. After each treatment the face would appear quite red (like as if you had a sun burn) for hours, and it goes away by next day. It is absolutely normal to have the pigmentation appear even darker (like dark brown spots) during the first week of the treatment, and they will slowly fade away.

Results after each treatment

1st treatment: The outcome was amazing after the first treatment – it had removed about 60% of the pigmentation on my face, with the rest of the pigmentation looking more faded. After about a week, my face just looked much more clear and clean. I couldn’t be happier with the result. The downside was my skin felt extremely dry than usual during the first few weeks, and I was recommended to use biocellulose masks daily that are designed for hydrating and repairing post procedure skin. My recommendations are this one by Sarah Chapman, or this more affordable one by DHC.

2nd treatment: I went for the 2nd treatment after 8 weeks after the first one. It had removed another 20% of the pigmentation. The result wasn’t as impressive and noticeable as the first one, but it was expected as most clients benefit the most from the first treatment, and any subsequent treatments were more for maintenance purposes.

3rd treatment: Unfortunately there was no change after this compared to the 2nd one, so the money was wasted this time around… I was advised that this is the best result I would get from the IPL treatments, and I should stop from here. Some clients would still get some improvement from the laser depending on the skin condition, as for me I am still left with some pigmentation that was caused genetically so there is nothing the IPL can do.

Overall I am very pleased with the total outcome as it has cleared about 70% of the pigmentation, with the rest looking faded. Though my face is still not flawless as I would hope for, but the removal has made such a huge difference in how clear my complexion looks. I am happy with this drastic improvement with as little as 3 sessions (2 would do actually). In my opinion they are totally worth the money, time and effort spent. Here is a comparison picture of my FOTDs – one was taken during pregnancy, one was taken recently. Note that I wore the same coverage of foundation in both pictures.



More facts

– I did not see any changes in pore sizes, fine lines/creases, skin firmness.

– The result of the treatment doesn’t last a lifetime. The removed pigmentation will eventually come back over the next 1 to 2 years, but they will still look better than how they originally were, provided if you take very good care with sun protection. To maintain the optimum result, I was also advised to come back for at least one treatment a year.

– I was also advised to always include a brightening skincare products in my skincare regime going forward. I should look for product that contains Hydroquinone 2% such as this one or this one, or the equivalent but more gentle such as this one by Clarins, and continuous use should further improve the appearance of the pigmentation.

– Each treatment costs about $310 in Sydney. This is quite a premium price for what I paid, and I believe you can find cheaper deals if you shop around.

Have you had any type of laser done? I would love to hear your experience!


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Panglu October 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I have always adored your freckles and wished I had some!

The IPL treatment here in the US where I live is around $350 so the prices are indeed high. Just this past summer, I went to my skincare clinic to get some IPL done for my acne scarring and I was impressed for the first time. Like you, the second time didn’t leave me impressed at all and I’m currently using hydroquinine products to lighten my pigmentation.

What’s really helping me right now with my skin is the PMD (personal microderm) that I just bought 2 months ago. It seems to help with skin texture and pore size. Best of luck Rei. I always look forward to your posts and am just extremely grateful that you are still posting and not lagging! Much love!


Reika October 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

Hi dear thanks for your kind comment! Yes, if I ever go back again I think one treatment is enough 🙂 Thanks for letting me know about the PMD! It sounds wonderful as it helps with the pore size which is the hardest thing to fix, and I’m so going to do more research on it 🙂


Vera October 14, 2014 at 5:47 am

Wow! What a useful post! Thank you so much! I was always curious about this treatment.


Reika October 14, 2014 at 9:20 am

You are welcome Vera! Me too, I am always curious about laser treatments as they all look “too good to be true”. I am glad that I have achieved a great result from the IPL as I was a little skeptical at the start 🙂


lisa October 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

I have similar pigmentation as you. I’ve also have had similar treatment done and had also seen results. However, just after one pregnancy, the pigmentation gradually came back and now I mainly rely on whitening skin Care to prevent more freckles coming back since its time consuming going back to salon especially when I have two to look after 🙂

Thanks for sharing.


ifmakeupcouldtalk October 16, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Hello Reika,

First off, you look beautiful in both photos. I was always curious about IPL treatments, and based on your experience, the results look quite promising. I swear by my Dermaroller for improved skin texture and firmness. My resilent Italian skin seems to respond well to the once a week treatment. However, a professional treatment maybe in the works in the near future. This chicky isn’t getting any younger 🙂 Thank you for this wonderful post.


Kentakky October 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Here in Thailand is a lot cheaper for the price tag. If you have a chance to visit here you should try one, the quality is very good.
i love laser because it help my skin tone get a lot better !!


Susanne October 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Hallo Reika,
this is my first comment on your blog, but I am following you for a long time!
I get an IPL in 3 weeks and I am very nervouse about it. Your post took away my fear, I am very sceptical about the downtime because my skin is a bit sensitive.
Greetings from Germany


Reika October 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

Hi Susanne thank you so much for the kind comment 🙂 I wish you best of luck with your upcoming IPL! I was a little nervous about it too and I am so glad I went ahead with it. I have very sensitive skin too…and the downtime was just a few hours for me. Please check with your dermatologist what level of intensity you will be having!


Jasmine November 16, 2014 at 4:30 am

I love the green lenses you have in in your after picture! What are they called?


Cathy November 30, 2014 at 4:53 am

Hi Reika, I’m Asian with freckles living in Sydney too! Your result looks awesome, can you please tell me where did you get your treatment done?


Amanda A July 19, 2015 at 6:53 am

The results look great on you. Did you look alright the next day? I’m concerned if I have to goto work the next day.


Jessica March 6, 2016 at 6:59 pm

hi reika – I recently came across this post and am interested in getting laser for the same issue as yourself. I am in sydney as well so do you mind letting me know where you got this done since I am plan on going for an initial consult to a few places. Thanks so much. This is a very helpful post.

All the Best, keep blogging!



Reika March 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

Hi I had it done at the Bondi face medispa. HIH


Toni June 10, 2016 at 4:39 am

Hi Reika

Love all your posts, I got mine done once a year and that’s all I need for fading my freckles from California sun. I have done all kinds of laser ( I’m a lot older than you) I’m bless with Asian genes but have to keep it up.

Ps may I ask what colors contact lens you used in the photos looks lovely !
Best wishes


Reika June 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Thank you Toni! Do you mind sharing what is your favorite type of laser so far?
I wore the freshlook gray contact lens in the picture.


Kelly October 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Hi! Does your skin become dry after the treatment? I heard that you have to keep using mask to keep it hydrated:(


Reika October 14, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Hi kelly yes the skin becomes very dry for 1-2 weeks post treatment, therefore it is highly recommended to use hydrating masks that are designed for post laser. Afte the 2 weeks, the skin goes back to the normal state.


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