2021 Trends in IPL photorejuvenation


Covid-19 has put practicality at the forefront the past year, but beauty and wellness is a resilient industry, with the potential to thrive once again in a post-pandemic world. During the 2008 financial crisis, for example, the annual growth rate of the global cosmetics market plunged to 1%.1 But a year later, it bounced back with a 4.2% growth rate.

The new normal brought about by the pandemic has also created more skincare woes among citizens. The phenomenon of mask acne or “maskne”2 brought about by chemically processed medical masks, is one of them. There has also been a rise in awareness about holistic wellbeing, and consumers in India are spending more on beauty and wellness3 products.

As we look forward to 2021, here are some trends in IPL photorejuvenation to take note of.

IPL photorejuvenation trends in numbers

The market for IPL photorejuvenation devices is growing steadily, with the global market size predicted to exceed US$2.5 billion by 2025.4 Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for photorejuvenation and is expected to register a CAGR of 6.5%5 from 2020 to 2025.

This is driven mostly by the demand for non-invasive procedures due to the rising number of skin problems. According to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, skin diseases contributed to 4.86 billion incident cases6 around the world in 2019.

Age is a factor in the prevalence of skin disorders.7 As one gets older, so does the risk of acquiring a skin disorder, due to the changes in connective tissue, reduction in the skin’s strength and elasticity, as well as the reduction in secretions from sebaceous glands. Asia-Pacific’s elderly population is projected to reach 923 million by 20508, according to a report by the Asia Development Bank.

Meanwhile, more consumers are turning to medical professionals for non-invasive beauty treatments to address cosmetic concerns, such as acne or aging. According to the 2018 Beauty Survey9 by Euromonitor, acne and anti-aging treatments, laser hair removal, and pigmentation correction were among the top non-invasive treatments chosen by consumers.

Source image on Non-Invasive Treatments Euromonitor International

This presents a golden opportunity for IPL treatments. IPL photorejuvenation devices can be used for a variety of treatments, so aside from capturing the photorejuvenation market, doctors can also access other, adjacent markets. For example, the market for hair removal in Asia-Pacific alone stood at US$209.7 million in 201910.

While COVID-19 has dampened the demand for laser hair removal services among end-users, it has increased the demand for home-based laser services. This is a good indication of the market’s appetite for IPL photorejuvenation devices and technology. Asia-Pacific’s market size for laser hair removal is expected to grow steadily until 2027.

IPL photorejuvenation technology

IPL is an acronym for Intense Pulsed Light11, which describes the utilization of a flash lamp to deliver light to a targeted area. It uses a broad spectrum light to deliver energy—and the technology is capable of treating more than one condition at a time. Clients that suffer from hyperpigmentation and vascularity, for example, can treat both conditions in just one IPL photorejuvenation session. This is both more precise and more efficient.

It’s easy to confuse IPL with laser technology—they’re both light-based technologies. But where IPL uses broad-spectrum light to treat more than one target. Laser technologies12 use a single wavelength to deliver energy and target specific, small, and controlled areas of skin. Still, both can be used to treat skin disorders and remove hair.

There are new technologies in the market that enable narrowband or selective waveband IPL. This is a more precise technology that eliminated the need for skin coolants during treatments by blocking potentially harmful “heating” wavelengths from contacting the skin. An example of this would be Candela’s patented SWT Dual-Filter Technology13, which is used in its Nordlys platform14. A few SWT applicators also offer sub-millisecond pulses, further enhancing the precision with which doctors can target vascular lesions.

There’s a rising application15 of photorejuvenation devices within the beauty medical industry, precisely because of the versatility and non-invasive nature of IPL technology. While it was initially used in the healthcare industry to treat skin disorders, it’s since gained popularity in the medical beauty industry for its minimally-invasive cosmetic purposes.

Why IPL photorejuvenation works

IPL photorejuvenation is a relatively affordable, long-lasting treatment that can significantly improve a client’s quality of life.

It’s effective in treating some of the most common skin problems16, including brown spots, broken capillaries, varicose veins, and sun damage, through a quick and non-invasive procedure. IPL photorejuvenation devices can also greatly improve skin texture, and results can be seen within just a few treatments.

This makes it an attractive option for clients, especially when compared to more traditional treatments like invasive surgery or “miracle creams.” The efficacy of products like miracle creams is questionable at best17, especially since it takes so much time for any results to show. It also doesn’t work for everyone, since clients vary in skin type, allergies, and more.

Dermatologists and aestheticians would greatly benefit from including IPL rejuvenation devices in their arsenal. They’re incredibly versatile, providing cosmetic, aesthetic, and medical use in a single convenient machine. And their results stand the test of time.

To capture the right clientele, clinics need to communicate these benefits to clients. Clients may not know how significant the results of IPL photorejuvenation devices are compared to other treatments; it’s up to clinics to take on an educational role and inform potential customers about how their life can be improved.

Many clients from the middle- to upper-class segments are driven by the desire to improve their self-esteem and self-confidence, so highlighting the efficacy of IPL technology over alternative methods would be effective at persuading them.

Trust and customer experience are the biggest brand differentiators18, even above product quality and price. Establish yourself as a trusted partner in your clients’ search for a better life and deliver a positive experience from start (inquiry and registration) to finish (post-treatment follow-ups).

The beauty medical industry in 2021 and beyond

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that digitalization and innovation are critical in enforcing resilience and business success. It’s time to make permanent changes to business operations to fit into the New Normal and separate your establishment from the rest.