Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 60 February 2015 Contents SKIN BODY
What's the difference?
DO YOU CHOOSE a laser, IPL or LED device? Again, the best
guide to your choice will be a reputable supplier with a wide range
of dev ices on offer.
Laser dev ices generate a single, ver y concentrated wavelength
(colour) of light to target melanin. Lasers have a spectrum of light -
violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Ultraviolet has a shorter
wavelength than the v isible violet light. Infrared has a longer
wavelength than visible red light. White light is a mixture of the
colors of the v isible spectrum.
The wavelength (in some cases, two are combined) used
depends on the condition being treated.
IPL produces a broad spectrum (band) of wavelengths as
opposed to a single one.
In saying that, the effectiveness of laser over IPL only really
applies to those who have both ver y dark skin and dark hair
follicles. If a client has olive or lighter- coloured skin, both dev ices
can provide the same results. But this also depends on the power
of the individual device and the knowledge, skill and experience of
The difference between IPL and LED machines is the power
deliver y and actual power.
IPL, as the name suggests, uses intense broad band light that is
pulsed, thus the power outputs of IPL are much higher, delivered
over a ver y short time, measured in hundredths of a second.
LED on the other hand is more “background” broadband light
measured over minutes.
It does not deliver high-heat energ y to injure, destroy or burn
specific skin tissues or chromophores to achieve results.
Rather, the skin cells are stimulated by absorbing specific
wavelength energies to begin the rejuvenation process.
IPL is great for pigmentation, while LEDs can help with acne
and help with gradual collagen stimulation and healing times after
more aggressive treatments such as IPL and laser.
LEDs such as Omnilux and Healite II are renowned for giving
clients a radiant glow after treatment and, over weeks and months, help
soften lines and wrinkles and firm the skin for a more youthful look.
They can be had as often as once a week and operators say their
clients become “addicted ” to the results, making for a good ROI.
Consultation is key
THE MOST IMPORTANT part of any skin therapy
treatment is the initial consultation, says dermividuals*
corneotherapist Robyn McAlpine. She explains :
When a client visits my clinic with concerns of acne
or pigmented lesions, the first thing is to begin to
understand the journey they have been on – their skin
story started long before what I see.
My consultation begins with a discussion to determine
the length of time they have been suffering from their
skin condition, how it has evolved and presented over
time and how it has made them feel.
Hav ing a clearer idea about a client’s diet, health
and lifestyle history – also what treatments they have
tried or what skin care regime they have maintained
- gives leading clues as to the underlying cause or
It also allows me to determine the level of cellular
damage and the correct course of treatment – or if
indeed their skin will respond at all to my customised
There are many causes of acne and hyperpigmentation. Some we
can improve, others we cannot.
An incorrect treatment choice can make a client's conditiom
worse - sometimes in the case of pigmentation this can be
An intimate knowledge of cell structure and function is
extremely important as a skin treatment therapist, more so than
any other skill.
Many therapists graduate with the hands-on “how” to perform a
treatment using particular modalities, but they fail to understand
what this technology is doing on a cellular level.
How does that modality affect the keratinocyte and the wound-
Before embarking on any corrective skin treatment, a therapist should get a thorough
understanding of a client's medical, health and lifestyle history and also conduct skin
analysis to ensure the correct treatment protocol is followed. This not only achieves a
better outcome but reduces the risk of making a client's skin worse,
healing cascade? Is there collateral damage that is going to have
a detrimental effect on the function of your client’s skin and leave
long term cellular damage?
Without a solid base understanding of anatomy and physiology,
a skin consultation can become like a sales pitch for the modality
in which a therapist is most confident performing, not a bespoke
* dermaviduals creates customised skin solutions with products free of
emulsifiers to ensure penetration of active ing redients. Therapists trained in
dermaviduals protocols create bespoke treatment for clients’ individual needs
and prescribe home care maintenance that is adapted as their skin improves
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