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IPL vs. Picosure: Come To The Light

With all the energizing and gorgeous outdoor activities we have on the Central Coast, it’s next to impossible to stay out of the sun. All those bike rides, beach days, and hiking excursions are great for your physical and mental health, but not so much for your skin.

Sun damage appears on the face in numerous ways, from discoloration to scarring. You can minimize more sun damage with protection like shade and sunscreen, but how can you get rid of existing damage?

Scientists have discovered that you can rejuvenate skin by using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser treatments. At The G Spa, we are very impressed with the results from the Picosure laser.

Both IPL and laser treatments are effective in reducing the appearance of skin discoloration, but the finer differences are important to understand when choosing the right treatment for your skin.

How do light treatments work?

Light exists on a wide spectrum of wavelengths, and skin cells only react to certain wavelengths. Light and laser treatments channel those precise types of light specific to skin imperfections.

The pigment in sunspots, the oxyhemoglobin of unsightly veins, and the scar tissue from acne will absorb the light treatment and convert that energy to heat in the cell. The heat damages the cell so that your body can naturally reject the imperfection and generate fresh cells in its place.

But what’s the difference between Picosure and IPL?

Laser vs. Scattered Light

Contrary to popular belief, IPL is not a laser treatment. It projects a broader spectrum of light. Picosure is a laser, which means that it’s more intensely focused on a specific wavelength.

Picosure’s concentrated light will affect cells deeper in the tissue, which makes for long-lasting results when it comes to deeply rooted sunspots or tattoo ink.

IPL focuses more on surface cells, which means the roots of certain blemishes may not be effected, and tattoo removal is not possible.

More Intense Light, More Intense Collagen Growth

In targeting and damaging unwanted cells, both treatments trigger the body’s natural generation of collagen, which gives your skin a youthful, full look. But Picosure, with its more intensive treatment, will lead to increased collagen growth.

Slight Difference In Downtime

Both procedures are non-invasive. The downtime is rarely more than a few minutes for Picosure.

With IPL you’ll experience some sensitivity and general pinkness for 1-2 days. Targeted areas, such as sunspots, might grow darker for several days before your body eliminates the cells.

Milder Light, More Sessions

Both treatments show immediate signs of results. However, to see full results we recommend 2-3 Picosure treatments or 4-6 IPL treatments. And, since IPL focuses more on superficial pigment cells, those dark spots are more likely to return within a year of treatment.

Are you looking for dramatic change to the appearance of spots and scars? Picosure provides that. Are you looking for a lighter effect and temporary fix? IPL might be the best fit.

Whatever your needs, The G Spa staff is here to rejuvenate your skin. Book an appointment with us today!

acne, collagen, IPL, laser, PicoSure, tattoo removal

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Open 9am–5pm, Monday through Friday


33 W Mission St Suite 204, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 682-4772


2900 Nojoqui Ave., Suites G and H , Los Olivos,  93441
(805) 245-9370


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