IPL photo facial in Korea. How much does IPL cost in Korea?  Lets explore some of that!  Keep in mind I am not an expert, I am just a gal who has had her face zapped and wants nice skin after years of abusing it!!

 First off, Laser treatments + SPF + whitening = Beautiful skin here.

WTF is IPLl? IPL is a laser skin treatment for pigmentation issues and stands for Intense Pulsed Light and can be called IPL, Photo Facial, photo rejuvenation, among others~ its all the same thing.  You can get this done at a dermatologist, doctors office, or cosmetic clinic by a Nurse or the Doctor himself.  You can get burned or develop dark brown patches if you have the wrong skin tone for this or its done incorrectly, so  make sure you are going to someone who knows what they are doing. This treatment claims to work on Skin rejuvenation , Pigmentation treatment , Vascular treatment, among other things~ I’m my exp it has only helped with pigmentation issues from freckles plus reduced a bit of the redness around the side of my nose. I don’t have amazing skin texture like a baby after this, just reduced freckles which is what I want and what it is for.  Read more about what it is HERE if you are curious

IPL lasers look generally like this. Got your machine next to the bed with the zappy zapper guns~ Not that scary looking, huh?  I have had this done 4 times, two at two different places in California back in 2009, and twice so far here in Korea during Jan 2012.  How many treatments you need depends on your skin and also how intense they are zapping you… some places do it so weak that almost nothing “comes up”.  My 2nd treatment got so much removed that It was enough to hold me over for over a year till I moved here and wanted to remove more + zap new freckles… freckle maintenance lol.


In the USA I have paid $500 and $150 per treatment... the cheaper one was actually the better treatment, so you never know and the prices can vary a LOT depending on the office.  The same is true in Korea, I have shopped around several places and it can cost around $200, $300, to $500 per treatment (200,000-500,000 won) the cheapest I have ever read about IPL costing in Korea was about XXXXXX per treatment.  SO many places do laser skin treatments here,Seoul has become a cosmetic beauty hub for Asia and every street seems to have several clinics advertising IPL (among other treatments )so you can shop around for the best place.   Honestly, considering how many clinics are here I am shocked they are not cheaper overall (I thought maybe I could score them for under $100 a visit) but they seem to have the same general middle to lower price range as the USA.

so here is my scary face before I had any treatments!!  I grew up in Florida on the school swim team for years plus was SUPER tan, so needless to say my skin got its fair share of abuse by the time I was 18. I never sunburn, but I get lots of freckles~ so when I started wearing SPF daily 10 years ago my TAN TAN skin lightened and made the spots really apparent to the point they would peek through makeup.  It had been almost 2 years since my last treatment when we moved to Korea  so I was WAY past due for a maintenance zap~ Lucky me,  one of Nara’s Uncle’s actually has a hospital outside Seoul that provides this service and was zapping the whole family pretty, so when I was offered free treatments I jumped on it! YES!

Nothing like a nice layer of freezing cold goop for the laser.


Two passes on my whole face took about meh, 15 min maybe! very fast! Pain is just a snap sensation that ends as soon as you feel it, the flash the machine makes actually makes you jump vs the sensation.

So here I am maybe 5-10 minute AFTER the treatment. They gave me some tinted BB cream with SPF to cover my face up and instructed me to avoid the sunlight and keep my face dunked in SPF for the next week or two since it will be sensitive.  No redness after and just a slight sunburn feeling on some areas like my cheeks.  Right after you MAY see some dark spots right away, but this visit I did not.  Usually they can take about a week to come to the surface.

and here is the result about 5 days later! Darker areas of pigment under my skin have risen to the surface and it looks like I got flicked with dirt or something~ Super cute! hur hur.  At this point its just a matter of waiting till they easily flake away in the next few days like a scab or dead skin.

The 5 days leading up to this my skin felt and looked dry + my freckles overall looked way darker~ you don’t look awful or anything, but you dont look your best lol.

After it came to the surface and had a few days to finish rising I took a nice long visit to the 찜질방 (Jjimjilbang) Korean bathouse/sauna where I soaked, steamed, and then gave my face a proper scrubbing with Clinique Men’s facial scrub… seriously its the best face scrub EVER!! The soaking and sauna really helped remove all that dead funk.  I finished off my visit with a final session in the sauna + face pack + dunk in the cold pool to close up my pores~ when I left my face was glowing and SO clear! I didn’t need ANY makeup!

Sorry its a bit fuzzy, but here are the results after two treatments (3 weeks apart!) no makeup.

Lighter and slightly reduced PLUS the very dark ones before the treatment are gone! MUCH better and very easy to cover with makeup! I’m really glad I got IPL here in Korea.  Apparently I need a few more visits to get rid of the rest, dont let the photos fool you too much~ I still have lots of spots left, but whats left has been greatly reduced and/or lightened. I may just go one more time… its improved so much already, I dont need to be 100% spot-free, the reduction the 2 visits so far this year have already helped a lot.

♥ ♥ ♥

As for comparing the two places (Getting IPL in Korea VS USA) I would have to say its generally the same.. no secret magic here.  I found the treatment here to be a lot more cautious due the the high risk of spotting Asian skin apparently has though.  My skin does not do that, so I think I could have been zapped a lot stronger honestly… back home my treatment was a lot more painful and as a result a lot more spots lifted off.  Here the intensity has been very gradually increased each treatment so pain was REALLY minimal, but the lifting of spots has been a lot more gradual as a result.  In the end I am getting this treatment for free though, so I don’t mind it being a slower process~  but for people paying out of pocket or with limited free time it can get tedious and pricy.  I would recommend doing IPL in Korea if you find a GREAT deal and/or a Doc you know will be able to efficiently handle your skin!

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9 Responses to “IPL photofacial”

  • Hello the treatment is really amazing ! But do this surgery is the same thing as the laser skin treatment ? Also I would like to know in which clinic u went ! xo Misslanouch

    • Elle:

      I think you misread this post, it is about IPL photofacial laser treatment, not surgery. The clinic was very small and rural, but I will be reviewing clinics in Seoul soon

  • Custom avatar 종보연:

    This is really informative. My BF wanted to drag me back to visit his hometown in Korea and ask me to consider laser treatment for my skin while in Korea. He was telling me that it’s super cheap and it’s really good in Korea. (Still planning the trip though, but hope to go soon.)

    I don’t really have “spots” but I used to have bad acne during high school (and I still do when Aunt Flow visits, allergies w/ extremely sensetive skin) so I end up having small “craters” on my cheeks, not just 1 but A LOT. Do you know if IPL would help get rid of that? Does it require continuous treatments afterwards?

    • Elle:

      So glad! This is such an old post so I really need to update it bad *_* glad you still found it handy! IPL will not do anything for your craters on the cheeks at all, in fact it does nothing for texture period. The only thing it helps with is spots of discoloration like freckles, so if you have freckles it will lift them up and they will pick off (sometimes even ones you did not know you had because they are light or below the skin I think) so it makes your tone look more even overall with those removed. I believe it also can help with some forms of redness, but I do not suffer from that so I can not say 100%~ a few forms of discoloration like Melasma (I have a bit of that I learned finally) can not really be removed with this, you need a totally different kind of laser since your issue is not pigment related at all.

      For pitting you are going to need something that will resurface your skin….basically zap you in a way that makes the skin regrow and heal making the dents smaller and smaller each time. Depending on how deep the pits are you may need several treatments~ Nara actually has acne scar pits on his temple a bit so we are looking into some places for that maybe! Skin treatment is really affordable here and worthwhile if you find a good place~ some zap you so light that you have to come back like 10 times…ugh. If you are coming for a short visit and want something dramatic, consider getting an intense treatment at the end of your stay~ they cost a little more and make your face red for a few days, but it may give you better results if you can only go once! When you get here you should find a place and go in for a free consultation and allow them to look at your skin, see what treatment they suggest for the best result quickly vs gradual, and google a bit online before you commit!

      They have sooooo many skin treatments here to zap all sorts of issues, so when you come here stop by a few clinics and see 😀

  • Custom avatar l:

    Can you recommend any clinics in Seoul? I want to talk to a few for consultation but I was wondering if you knew a place that does a strong zap. I actually have many spots on my body, not my face. And I’m leaving soon and also can’t afford many expensive treatments. Btw your skin looks great. Thanks so much for sharing this^^

  • Custom avatar Lindsey:

    Hi! Great post! I also live in Korea and just had my firs IPL treatment TODAY! I’m a skin “junkie” and LOVE that so many treatments are relatively affordable (well, I guess I should say less expensive) here than in the U.S. Frankly, I didn’t notice a difference after the treatment even though the doctor said it would be faded immediately. I’m hoping the freckles come to the surface eventually like yours did. I was actually wondering if the truly did use an IPL machine on me due to her saying the freckles would be faded immediately. I have also tried Fraxel twice but didn’t really notice a difference. Have you tried any other treatments? Would love to hear about your experience!

    Thanks Elle!

    (Seoul, originally Washington, D.C.)

    • Elle:

      Hi Lindsey~ yeah with IPL (which is actually now a bit dated in Korea, they use and call it something else atm although the names they tell me change a lot) the spots get dark and raise almost right away after your treatment. I have had a few other treatments over the years here, and have a clinic to recommend~ so please keep an eye or bookmark this blog because I will be writing about it in the near future! I have the photos, just have to write up the posts 🙂

  • Custom avatar Mary:

    So lovely blog you have congrats would you please tell us more about Korean skin care?how is it that their skin is so flawless?thanks a lot

  • Custom avatar Jessie:

    Hi~ ^^
    I love you explanation on what happened and how it worked for you!! Im so so so excited that i came across your Blog.
    Im wondering if you know anything about anyone (or even your partners family) who removes them from the face on very pale skin and also on the arms, legs (all over the body really) i dont have lots or my chest and legs but its enough to notice if your close to me. im going to come to Korea to teach for a year, but i dont want to hear any unusual comments from my pupils Im 21 but will move there when im 23, I know its a lot of questions im throwing at you its just where i live nobody does it or is willing to even do my face!!!! I feel like my only answers of profession are in Korea.. do you know how much it would be per session at the place you went to in Korea?
    Thank you for giving me hope! <3

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