What is a PhotoFacial
IPL photofacials, also known as Pulsed Light Therapy, involve a handheld device that emits pulses of broad spectrum light through direct contact with the skin. It acts on the deeper layers of skin, making it ideal for treating broken capillaries, sun damage, and other impurities.
How do photofacials work?
IPL photofacial light is soaked up by the hemoglobin (red blood cells) and melanin (pigmentation) in the skin, intentionally damaging these areas. The damaged melanin breaks up and is absorbed by the skin, decreasing its appearance on the skin’s surface. The damaged hemoglobin stimulates blood flow, causing the melanin to be absorbed more efficiently.
What are photofacials used for?
Generally speaking, photofacials are used to treat skin blemishes and pigmentation issues. However, there are several specific conditions that fall under these categories. Both IPL and certain LED photofacial treatments can be used to treat the following:
IPL photofacials are typically more effective at treating the above conditions, while LED photofacials are more effective for acne
. According to recent studies, IPL treatments can also effectively treat port wine stains
, vascular lesions, and even remove unwanted hair.
What is getting a photofacial like?
IPL laser photofacials, on the other hand, are slightly more complex. First, the Aesthetician will apply a cool gel to your face and supply you with dark glasses to protect your eyes from the light.
Once you’ve been prepped, the Aesthetician administering your treatment will take a handpiece with a cold smooth surface and run it along your skin as it pulses light. Afterward, your Aesthetician will apply post care products including sunscreen.
How long do photofacials take?
IPL photofacials are performed in a series, with each treatment lasting from approximately 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of skin being treated. Typically, patients receive between three and six treatments spaced roughly one month apart.
How do I prepare for a treatment?
For starters, with IPL photofacials you need to be tan-free. Tans can prevent the machine from accurately detecting the specific blemishes that you want addressed, and put you at greater risk of being burned. You also need to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, anticoagulants, alcohol, and anything else that thins the blood. Additionally, be sure to notify your technician if you’re taking antibiotics or any supplements.
What parts of my body can I have treated?
Most people get photofacials to treat their face, neck, shoulders, back, and hands. Essentially areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. However, photofacial treatments can be performed on any part of the body except the eyelids and the area just above them.
How will my skin look after a treatment?
After a single treatment, your skin may feel smoother and appear to have a more evenly distributed tone. However, results only appear gradually and multiple treatments will be required for them to become truly dramatic.
How long does it take to recover from a photofacial?
With IPL photofacials, there may be some mild side effects immediately after the procedure that can take up to a week to diminish. Nevertheless, expect to resume normal activities immediately after treatment, including applying your usual facial creams and makeup.
What are the potential side effects?
IPL photofacials generally do come with some mild ones. Most show up immediately after the procedure and will persist anywhere from a few hours to one week.
- Mild swelling – You’ll be given a cold or ice pack to prevent this, but it may develop regardless.
- Redness – This is fairly common. It’s a sign of irritation and generally goes away after a few hours.
- Brown spots – If you underwent the procedure to treat dark spots and are suddenly faced with darker ones, don’t fret. This is normal. The dark spots may last for up to a week but will then fade.
- Crusting – Some of the dark spots you’ve treated will grow hard and begin to
- flake This is normal and temporary.
- Bruising – This side effect is fairly uncommon and mild when it does occur.
- Tiny blisters – Reminiscent of sun blisters, they too fade with time.
Remember that it will take several weeks (and several treatments) before you start seeing truly significant results.
How long do the results last?
This is a tricky question. With so many factors acting on the skin, like sun exposure, age, and genetics, it’s difficult to guarantee any specific amount of time.
Typically, however, the results of an IPL photofacial will be apparent for six months to a year. Dermatologists recommend maintenance treatments every six to 12 months to help prolong results. According to a 2013 study
on the anti-aging effects of IPL photofacials, two to three treatments a year are enough to develop and maintain younger looking skin with renewed collagen growth.
Photo Facials are perfect for skin conditions like uneven pigmentation due to sun damage and age spots, rosacea , uneven skin texture, large pore size, facial vessels, and problems with skin tone and laxity. Benefits of an IPL Photofacial include:
- Firmer, tighter skin
- Brighter, more even tone (brown spots/sun damage)
- Reduced redness
- Improved texture
- Reduced pore size