Laser Skin Rejuvenation vs IPL Skin Treatments

by Trudi Schrieber

laser vs ipl

Both laser skin resurfacing and IPL skin rejuvenation treatments are widely available to individuals who want to reduce the appearance of undesirable skin conditions such as scars, birthmarks, stretch marks, wrinkles. Both of these treatments provide effective results, improving skin tone, smoothness, and firmness. Despite some misconceptions about these treatments, they are not the same.

Laser Skin Resurfacing vs. IPL Skin Rejuvenation: Procedure

Laser skin resurfacing uses laser light to stimulate the growth of healthy cells and collagen. This improves the clarity and texture of skin by making the skin smoother and tighter.

The length of each treatment session varies depending on the patient’s condition—larger treatment areas and more severe problems will require more time. One laser skin resurfacing session generally takes about thirty minutes. Recovery times vary depending on the type of laser used, the size of the area treated, and the severity of the problem, but can take up to two weeks. Laser skin resurfacing is usually not recommended for suntanned, olive, or black skin tones.

Unlike laser skin resurfacing, IPL (intense pulsed light) skin rejuvenation uses a strong light that can be filtered to different wavelength band to work on different problems within the skin. The skin care professional administers the wavelengths with a handheld device, and the light penetrates into lower layers of the skin, triggering the body to eliminate injured and dead skin cells trapped below the skin’s surface.

A treatment usually lasts 15-30 minutes, and individuals will receive a treatment once every three weeks. Most patients require five treatments total. Recovery times for IPL skin rejuvenation are typically much shorter than those of laser skin resurfacing, as the process is not as aggressive. IPL works on the lower skin layers, leaving the surface unscathed. Patients typically can resume normal activities immediately.

Laser Skin Resurfacing vs. IPL Skin Rejuvenation: Benefits

Laser skin resurfacing helps remove wrinkles, acne scars, discoloration, and other skin irregularities. The treatment can also improve the skin’s overall texture which can become rough and coarse as a result of age and accumulated sun damage. Laser skin resurfacing is well-known for its effective removal of mild to moderate facial scarring.

IPL provides long-term hair reduction, and the removal of superficial facial veins, freckles, age spots, hyper pigmentation, rosacea, birthmarks, sun spots, and acnes scars. The intensity of the light on the skin cells helps tighten skin, improve circulation, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles and pores. IPL requires no anesthetic and no downtime, making it a very convenient treatment. IPL can be used to correct skin problems on individuals of almost every skin type. Plus, the results are visible after only the first few sessions, and results will last a long time after the full round of treatment.

Laser Skin Resurfacing vs. IPL Skin Rejuvenation: Side Effects

Swelling and redness are common side effects of laser skin resurfacing. There is also a slight risk of infection or scarring. When selecting a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, you greatly reduce the possibility of encountering infection or scarring.

IPL treatments also have some common side effects. The intense light can cause swelling or redness in the area treated, but this usually subsides after a few hours. Another temporary side effect of IPL skin rejuvenation is hypo-pigmentation, in which individuals, particularly those with darker skin tones, experience lightened skin in treated areas.


IPL Skin Rejuvenation generally costs $400-800 per treatment, and a series of five treatments is typically required for best results.

Laser Skin Resurfacing usually costs from $900 to $1200 per treatment. The overall number of treatments varies greatly from one person to the next, but usually three to six treatments are required.

To learn more about laser skin resurfacing or IPL skin rejuvenation treatments, contact Healthy Skin Portal today. Our representatives will schedule your free consultation with one of our licensed skin care specialists today.

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