IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and it is a type of light therapy for the skin that’s used to treat imperfections such as wrinkles, spots and unwanted hair. It’s widely regarded as a great way of getting rid of age spots, sun damage, freckles, birthmarks, varicose veins, broken blood vessels on the face and rosacea.
Similar to laser treatment, it focuses lots of different wavelengths of light at your skin, like you’re having your picture taken with repeated flashing. This makes the light more scattered and less focused than a laser, penetrating down into the second layer of your skin without harming the surface. This causes less damage to the outer layer of skin.
Pigment cells in your skin absorb this light energy and convert it into heat. This heat destroys the unwanted pigments or hair follicles causing the blemishes you want removed, making them either minimized or gone.
IPL is a very harsh treatment which often makes your skin dry and peel a little afterwards. You should avoid your skin drying out by applying a thick moisturizer across your face morning and night, keeping your skin comfortable and smooth.
You don’t want to have paid all that money just for your face to look cracked and dry, which is why a good moisturizer is extremely beneficial for after the treatment.
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Why is it our top pick?
IPL treatments are lavish and we’re sure you can’t wait to get that pampered feeling. Make sure you keep that refreshed feeling as long as possible by carrying out proper aftercare, including using a high quality moisturizer to prevent dry and cracking skin.
Our favorite moisturizer for after an IPL treatment is the Luminositie Dragons Blood Serum because:
It can be used well on all types of skin.
All the ingredients are natural and sustainably sourced.
Not only does it repair and replenish the skin, it also protects it from environmental factors.
Best Moisturizer After IPL - Comparison Table
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Best Moisturizer After IPL - Reviews
Luminositie’s anti-aging Dragon’s Blood Serum is perfect for after IPL treatments because this botox alternative will only further the effects. Prolonged use of this serum replicates the benefits of IPL, such as tighter skin, a reduction of the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and a fuller and plumper looking face.
Dragon’s Blood is another name for the blood-like resin taken from the Croton Lechleri tree. It’s widely believed that this tree is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This is a great product to use after IPL thanks to the fact that it’ll reduce inflammation and irritation whilst keeping moisture within the skin.
Not only is this serum highly effective in retaining moisture within the skin, it also boosts collagen production to fight the signs of aging, such as sun spots, lines and wrinkles, and age spots.
Whilst this product is great for anti-aging, it also can be used by people suffering from acne scars and large pores. Dragon’s blood helps to both repair and protect the skin by encouraging the growth of the skin’s fibroblasts - a vital part of your skin’s structure.
Alongside the Dragon’s blood, there are a load of beneficial ingredients packed into this small serum. These include: Vitamin B2, Pomegranate Oil, Vitamin E, Papaya Enzyme, Vitamin B12, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Green Tea. All of these ingredients, especially the last three, will really help nourish and heal your skin after the tough IPL treatment.
This non-greasy, long-lasting moisturizer is easy to spread and quickly absorbed by the skin. It works to restore and maintain the skin’s natural moisture level which is perfect for after IPL treatments when your skin is desperate for some moisture.
Its limited number of ingredients all help to soothe red, irritated, cracking or itchy skin (all of which can be caused by IPL) as it is both gentle and effective on even the most delicate skin.
This formula is free of dyes, fragrances, parabens, lanolin and formaldehyde, as well as being non-comedogenic. Dermatologists have tested it and loved it, and it has even got the seal of approval from the national eczema association.
The easy to use pump makes it perfect for sharing your moisturizer with your friends and family, and it squirts out the perfect amount of cream every time.
Vanicream has created its formula for all skin types but especially sensitive skin, which is exactly what your face will be after you undergo an IPL treatment, making this an excellent option for your moisturizer afterwards.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gels main ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which any skin buff knows is an excellent moisturizer for both dry and oily skin. The problem with IPL is that people with oily skin often have trouble finding a suitable moisturizer that isn’t just going to add loads of additional oil to their face and make them break out.
However, using a hyaluronic acid such as in this product, it eliminates the worry of putting any oils on the face. This gel moisturizer is clear and feels like water, making it extremely absorbent and easy to rub in, so you can use it anywhere without having to worry about white streaks on your face.
This formula is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores, and free of all oils, dyes and fragrances. Neutrogena is a dermatologist-recommended brand so you know you’re putting a trusted product on your face. This intense moisturization you’ll feel after applying this to your face will leave a soothing feeling and help take some of the redness down from the treatment.
TruSkin’s powerful and restorative anti aging formula includes a supercharged blend of 15% Vitamin C and potent antioxidants such as B5, MSM, pure jojoba oil and green tea. This lightweight and effective formula is perfect for all skin types.
Often after your IPL treatment your specialist will use a Vitamin C serum directly after the treatment because there is new evidence showing how preventative and corrective it is. If your specialist is using it on your skin, then it makes sense for you to use a moisturizer mixed with Vitamin C, right?
This antioxidant is widely considered a powerhouse in the skincare world thanks to its brightening effects and that it helps to minimize the look of dark spots, sun spots, age spots and hyperpigmentation.
Along with the powerful antioxidant that is Vitamin C, this moisturizer is highly effective and hydrating. The first and therefore most potent ingredient is organic aloe, a highly moisturizing ingredient known to soothe all skin irritation. This will come in handy after an IPL treatment.
This concentrated face moisturizer is surprisingly gentle on skin and free of parabens, corn and soy. It is also cruelty free and the formula is completely vegan.
Everyone stop what you’re doing right now. We’ve found it - a great moisturizer with added SPF 30. I think we can all agree that sunscreen is the worst product on the market for skincare - it’s sticky, smells funny and makes your skin look so greasy! No one wants that, which is why this is such a beneficial product.
Along with the fact that SPF is excellent for preventing premature signs of aging, it’s important that you wear SPF after an IPL treatment as your skin will be hypersensitive to the sun and will need extra protecting. Use this moisturizer in the morning or after your treatment and it will protect and continue to replenish your skin all day.
The unique formula includes three essential ceramides (1, 3 and 6 II) which all help to restore and maintain your skin's natural barrier. What’s more is that this cream utilizes CeraVe’s patented MVE controlled release technology helps the ceramides deliver long lasting moisturization throughout the day.
Developed with the help of dermatologists, this moisturizer is non-comedogenic, free of oils and fragrances, and has five different active ingredients that are all chosen to specifically help restore your natural skin’s moisture.
Best Moisturizer After IPL - Buyers Guide
You’re going to need a moisturizer for after your IPL treatment, but you’ll want to choose one based on your skin type. It’s going to be a disaster if you suffer from oily skin and get a moisturizer full of oils, which will be more likely to break you out and make you more oily. If you don’t know your skin type, read the five types below and choose which most suits you.
Lucky you! You can pretty much use any moisturizer that takes your fancy, as long as you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. Just remember that after an IPL treatment you’ll want a heavy duty formula to really replenish your skin.
Dry skin often feels tight and pulled back, and is prone to flaking, peeling or scaling. This can lead to premature aging or regular irritation to the skin. Moisturizer is extremely important for people with dry skin, especially after IPL treatments. Luckily, dry skin sufferers are sure to have more experience with moisturizer creams than others, so you may not even have to buy a new cream.
Remember that IPL treatments will likely dry out your skin more than ever before, so use your thickest moisturizer with the least irritating ingredients in it such as fragrances, dyes and chemicals.
People with oily skin tend to notice a great deal of shine on their face and have to deal with more blackheads and acne breakouts. Oily skin often makes it difficult to find a good moisturizer as many formulas have oils within them that make an oily T-zone even oiler.
However, even people with oily skin need a moisturizer to use after IPL treatments, which is why hyaluronic acid is a great alternative as it’s completely oil free yet one of the most hydrating ingredients on the market.
However, this may irritate your already raw skin and make it more sensitive to the sun, so make sure you look for a product with hyaluronic acid as well as calming antioxidants such as aloe or green tea. Also make sure to protect yourself from the sun with either a hat or some SPF.
If you thought oily and dry skin was a pain, try both of them at the same time. Combination skin sufferers often have an oily T-zone whilst having dry patches on their cheeks, meaning you really need to use two different moisturizers for the separate parts of your face.
This is not cost effective however, so we’d recommend using hyaluronic acid much like we recommended for the oily skin type above. This will moisturize all areas of your face after the IPL without adding extra oil onto your shiny nose and forehead.
Last but not least, sensitive skin exhibits the characteristics of dry skin and oily skin but also deals with a great amount of redness and irritation. A very select few of products will work on this type without triggering a flare up, so you should be careful and take care whilst reading the ingredient lists of moisturizers to ensure there’s nothing that might cause a reaction.
Better yet, consider using a product with all natural ingredients. There are many products that claim they are for sensitive skin, but make sure you still read the ingredients and reviews to make sure it’s safe for your delicate skin.
After an IPL treatment your skin is going to be even more sensitive, so it is vital that you get a moisturizer that is packed with calming ingredients such as green tea, aloe vera and jojoba oil. As your skin is most likely already more sensitive to the sun as well, make sure you either use a moisturizer with added SPF or cover up with a hat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can IPL damage your skin?
IPL is a relatively new treatment which means there’s not much research on the long term effects, whether they be good or bad. There are quite a few ‘horror stories’ from people who have had IPL and experienced skin tone loss, more aging signs and burns and blisters.
However, it’s not certain whether these people followed the correct procedures to undertake before and after your treatment. It’s important to listen to your specialist and do exactly as they say before and after IPL as this will prevent any skin damage.
Everyone who claims IPL has completely transformed their skin and lives can’t be wrong, so make sure you do everything you’ve been advised to do to get the best results.
What should I put on my face after IPL?
To minimize the risk of experiencing any side effects, you should apply moisturizer and SPF as soon as you leave the center. Avoid the sun as much as possible until the treatment plan is completed and wear SPF religiously. Keep your moisturizer handy and apply vigorously whenever your skin feels a little tight.
You should also avoid overly hot showers and baths for the next two days as well as high intensity exercise. Only wear makeup when absolutely necessary until your skin is returned to normal health.
What reduces swelling after IPL treatment?
Swelling of the face can occur straight after the IPL treatment or within the first 24 hours. Like all swelling, this is only temporary and can be reduced with a cold pack. If you don’t have one of these you can purchase a hydrocortisone cream over the counter to lessen the swelling. You can also take an antihistamine a few days before the treatment as a preventative measure, however ask your doctor beforehand.