The Popularity of IPL Laser Treatments
Since then, IPL and Laser technology have progressed since their early beginnings. It seems that the number of new developments and technological advancements within IPL/Lasers are being continually improved to treat the ever-increasing number of people who are interested in improving their appearance.
IPL systems and IPL treatments are growing in business and are increasingly popular within salons, spas, clinics and cosmetic groups. There are many IPL-systems currently on the market from a range of different suppliers such as, Lumenis I, Quantum IPL, EpiLight and Ellipse to choose from. As well as being a multi-purpose built machine that can treat a variety of imperfections, these systems are especially popular due to an attractive financial return.
Knowing your clientele and target market well will help to decipher which IPL machine is best suited to the business. You must research the suppliers and ensure that training is offered by medical professionals and servicing is provided by experienced engineers as well as having a guarantee/warranty before purchasing. As a buyer, you must also consider a machine which will cost less to run i.e. how much does it cost you (as a business) per IPL shot fired?
Although laser and intense pulsed light is seen as a potentially lucrative market within the aesthetic industry, employers are encouraged to ensure that they have the right facilities, equipment, ongoing training and Health & Safety measures in place to provide an excellent service.
IPL V Laser
Intense Pulse Light; is a non-invasive treatment that uses high intensity pulses of light that improves the appearance of sun-damaged skin, pigmentation, acne scarring and vascular conditions (broken capillaries/veins). This versatile piece of equipment also reduces over-productive hair growth as well as stimulates collagen to rejuvenate and restore the skin's youthful appearance.
Laser and IPL are both based on a process called Photothermolysis, which uses light energy combined with thermal heat. IPL technology provides a combined solution to help those looking to achieve flawless skin as well as being free of face and body hair. Treatments offer good results with very little downtime and risk of side effects.
IPL uses a full spectrum of light with different wave lengths. These wavelengths can be adapted to target specific hair, blood vessels and melanin (chromophores) being treated within the skins surface.
Lasers, like IPL, use a direct beam of intense light on a specific wavelength to target a specific condition (i.e. hair only. It ignores the other colours (vascular (red) and/or pigmentation (brown)) within the skin and passes straight through them. The energy is extremely directive and offers more effective results. Laser settings are customised to suit specific skin tones and hair colour as well as target a number of hairs at the same time.
IPL treatments; consist of short, quick, fleeting flash/ blasts/shots from a hand-piece that is held and placed on the area being treated. This intense pulse light is then used to find and locate pigment that is to be treated (whether it is hair or vascular). Once one area has been treated, the hand-piece is then moved to the next area and so on.
The procedure can be uncomfortable for a short time, depending on the treatment, skin type and condition. A cooling gel is applied to the skin, Often these days there is a built-in cooling device within the system, so the flash of heat feels less invasive and it minimises any discomfort felt (an ice-pack can also be used to make the client more comfortable).
It usually takes a series of 3 to 6 treatments (dependant on which machine is used, area treated and advice from the practitioner); treatments are usually 4-6 weeks apart to see the best results.
IPL treatments work in a similar way to lasers, except that they are more adaptable in treating more than one condition. For example, the settings of the machine can be adjusted and modified to removing hair as well as for treating sun damage. Laser hair removal is however, more successful and far more exact and particular, when targeting dark, coarse hairs; leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
Career Pathway for Beauty Therapist’s wanting to become Laser Technicians
Qualifications, skills and experiences are what is required by any employer; when applying for a desirable position with the Beauty industry. You may find that your skills are limited and you may need to develop your knowledge further. Now is the perfect time for Therapists to be thinking about extending their set skills and continue to train in new and exciting developments within IPL/Lasers.
As is often the case within a rapidly growing field, there are a wide range of options for training for Beauty Therapists. With extra training, Therapists can qualify in IPL and Laser treatments in next to no time. It is important to gain a qualification in accordance with a registered, regulated body/association here, in the UK. Choosing to train as a Laser Technician is an exciting prospect and can enhance your career pathway and increase your earning potential.
Beauty Therapists that have already gained their NVQ Level 2 & 3 Beauty Therapy qualification, can enrol on a short course approved by the British Medical Laser Association (BMLA); this usually is a 3 day course or on a VTCT NVQ Level 4 Certificate in Laser hair removal and IPL.
Course Content, usually includes (to name a few):
• Laser Core of Knowledge
• Risk Assessment
• Health & Safety
• Equipment Management
• Relevant Law & Legislation
• Anatomy & Physiology
• Safe Working Practices
• Administration and Practice of Treatment
• The Risks and Benefits
• Pre and Post Care Advice
Once you have obtained the relevant qualification, you will find that you have increased your professional status, placing you at the forefront of employment opportunities within salons, clinics and/or even working for yourself.
N.B. Because IPL/Laser machines are constantly being improved, Laser Technicians are encouraged to keep up to date on latest developments.