Psst – are you considering IPL treatment for acne? Been told IPL for acne works? Before you fork out hundreds, stop and read this.

IPL For Acne: Does it Work?

In Acne by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

“When I started working with you, I was getting IPL for acne. Now my treatments have gone down from once every 2 weeks to once every month, the IPL lady says the changes she’s seeing in my skin since I’m working with you are transformational. She said she can only treat the surface symptoms, she can’t treat underneath. She asked for your contact details so she can recommend you to her other clients”.

This was the best 1-2-1 call with one of my beautiful Acne Clinic clients.

It’s our 3-month check-in as she tells me how her life has changed. How she’s going out makeup free for the first time in years. How she’s feeling like a new person. How she’s finding she’s just not worrying about her skin anymore. How she’s not waking up in the morning and dreading looking in the mirror with the fear of seeing new active breakouts 😍

I’m speechless. I’m always speechless to see the real impact of simple, science-supported changes to skincare, diet and lifestyle factors. Yet how far hidden they are from most women.

Maybe this is what you’re feeling right now? Like your skin’s going to be stuck this way forever. Barely healing one acne breakout before five more appear.

Please, please know your skin can be clear too. I promise you. Your skin has been clear before and it can be clear again.

My wonderful Acne Clinic client inspired today’s new blog. If you’re thinking about getting IPL for acne – here’s what you need to know…

Psst – are you considering IPL treatment for acne? Been told IPL for acne works? Before you fork out hundreds, stop and read this.

IPL For Acne: How Does IPL Help Acne?

Spoiler – yes IPL for acne can work. Yet you must know this. IPL treatments for acne are a temporary ‘cure’. To understand why you need to know exactly how IPL for acne works.

Here’s the deal – IPL (intense pulsed light) is a light treatment. It’s a laser beam. And it can help clear up your acne temporarily because it ‘kills stuff off’.

Psst – take a peek at this science quote – and don’t worry if it sounds gooky, I’m explaining everything down below 🙂

IPL acts by photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) produces the porphyrins… These porphyrins have an absorption spectrum that is in the near ultraviolet (UV) and visible spectrum of light. Phototherapy devices have been developed that utilize either blue light or red light PDT for the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris lesions. The PDT process seen in this reaction involves the photoexcitation of the P. acnes porphyrins after exposure to the appropriate light source. This will then form singlet oxygen within the microorganism itself, resulting in the selective destruction of the bacteria. The reaction occurs rapidly.Indian J Dermatol. 2010;55(4):370-372

I know, I know. It’s so science gooky eh.

Let’s break this down.

This study tells us that IPL delivers a certain kind of light into your skin. This light is selectively absorbed by something acne bacteria make (porphyrins).

And the thing is, this light is too much for acne bacteria to handle. And so these acne bacteria go POOF. They ‘explode’. They die.

And by killing off the acne bacteria living on your skin right now you see a temporary clearing of acne. Wahoo.

Does IPL Work For Cystic Acne?

IPL can work for cystic acne because cystic acne is a sure sign you have an ‘out of control’ bacterial infection inside of the pores these cysts are growing from.

But be warned – acne bacteria in the right population levels are good for your skin. You don’t want to kill off ALL of these bacteria.

This is a key drawback of many traditional anti-acne treatments. Which makes them catch 22, because they can temporarily get you results like these;


This is after 4 sessions of IPL for acne. Sessions were space one week apart.

Here’s a peek at what IPL can do for non-inflammatory acne;


These before and after IPL acne photos show what 3 sessions of IPL can do to help clear your skin.

How Long Does IPL Last For Acne?

This is THE important question.

Because just like my beautiful Acne Clinic client points out – IPL acne treatments are a temporary ‘acne cure’. IPL is only treating the surface symptoms of your acne – because of this fact your acne will come back.

Acne comes back after IPL because most cases of acne are caused by internal factors – hormonal factors – and these are very much under your control.

Psst – if you want to get a head start on these internal factors of your acne today get your free copy of my acne diet cheatsheet here. Some foods cause your body to release hormones which are linked to causing acne. Isn’t this shocking eh. It’s so underknown about.

Click here to get your free acne diet cheatsheet.

Should You Try IPL For Your Acne?

The fact is a series of IPL acne treatments can be an effective temporary cure. Most studies show around a 50-68% reduction in acne over a few months. However, remember – IPL is a temporary treatment for your acne. And it costs around £100/$130 per treatment.

After IPL kills off acne bacteria living on your skin – acne bacteria will regrow and acne will come back.

But imagine something even better. Imagine not having to take weekly IPL treatments to keep control of your acne. Imagine being able to work with your body to identify the triggering causes of your acne. Imagine having lifelong acne control. Imagine being able to go on holiday and not have to worry about not being able to get IPL. To relax knowing your skin’s naturally clear and is staying that way.

This is what can happen when you’re also confronting the internal causes of your acne. Just like my beautiful Acne Clinic client.

Click here to find out more about The Acne Clinic and see some amazing acne transformation photos.

Bottom line: yes studies show IPL for acne can be highly effective – however, be aware – IPL does not fully clear acne for most people and after you stop IPL treatments, acne comes back. This is why it’s so important to be confronting the root causes of your acne. I can’t wait to help you do that.

Question: have you tried IPL for acne?