This month, we’re chatting with our Laser Technician & Cosmetic Tattoo Artist Christine Palylyk about her favourite treatment – IPL! Read on to get all your questions answered and learn about what this treatment can do for you. To book an appointment with Christine, email us at [email protected].
When did you start at Project Skin MD, and what made you want to join the team?
I started in March of 2015, and I was so impressed by the beauty of the clinic (I’m a bit of a decor nerd), the happiness and warmth of the staff, and the well-rounded machine selections that the Medical Director made. Plus, I had worked with Dr. McGillivray back in 2007/2008 when I was a newbie technician, and I knew he was a nice, mellow guy.
What’s the difference between an IPL and a laser treatment?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. IPL is essentially a xenon flash lamp firing in full-spectrum light, with a filter utilized to isolate the visible light cutoff to a group of therapeutic wavelengths, measured in nanometers. Lasers are produced in one specific therapeutic wavelength and are usually targeted for specific concerns (the specific wavelength and delivery is designed to do one thing especially well, like target hair follicles or vessels, for example). IPL is a bit of a “Jack of All Trades” and is a wonderful introduction into skin maintenance and fighting aging.
What skin conditions is IPL best suited to treat?
I love IPL for superficial sun damage as a first attack. It works wonders on dark freckling and some types of sunspots. It can also help with some redness as well, and is a great collagen booster. It is not typically used for hormonal pigmentation like Melasma, and you cannot have a tan of any level for IPL.
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What does an IPL treatment feel like?
IPL feels like an elastic band being snapped against the skin, accompanied by a very bright flash of light. We apply a cold gel onto the skin in sections, prior to treating, and also provide our clients with a cold-air wand to help give them some control over the sensation. Most of our clients find the treatment quite tolerable, though most people can be a little jumpy around the nose!
What happens to your skin after the treatment?
Post-treatment the skin can feel a little warm or tingly, “spicy” is what I call it, like a minor sunburn. Sometimes this “spiciness” doesn’t show up for 20-30 minutes after treatment and some never experience it at all. Brown spots can temporarily darken and feel a little dry. Those brown flecks (they look like coffee grounds or pepper) will slough off in 5-10 days on the face and can take up to a month to completely exfoliate off from body areas. If someone has a lot of redness, they may have a little puffiness the next day. Some, like myself, who love IPL for maintenance, don’t experience any after-effects at all, but just see an overall improvement to skin radiance, brightness, firmness and clarity that starts about 7-10 days post.
What training did you complete to perform IPL treatments?
I got lucky and was hired in the beginning of my career by a Physician who was keen to train me as a new technician. I have always been into skin, anti-aging and skin care, and completely fell head-first into a career. I got trained by respected doctors and experienced technicians, including our own Janice Coplin! 12 years later, and here I am!
How did you get the moniker ‘the IPL Queen’?
Funny enough, I was actually called the IPL Queen at a previous clinic I worked at as well, and then Dr. McGillivray, unprompted, started calling me that after I had started at Project Skin. I think part of it is being results-oriented and really understanding the technology, delivery, and being able to “read” the skin to provide the most assertive treatment I can to maximize results for the client without doing harm. I also happen to love IPL treatments personally and try to give myself one twice a year to keep my collagen healthy.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Project Skin MD?
Oh, so many things I can say. Aside from my awesome teammates and unwavering support from the management team, I really enjoy cultivating relationships with my clients and building trust. Having happy clients come back to see me over and over, often over the course of years, is really special and I’m grateful that I provide service that keeps them coming back. I have seen so many transformations in clients’ skin (and confidence!) it really makes me feel good about what we do here.