Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, aka photofacial, is a way to improve the color and texture of your skin without surgery. It can undo some of the visible damage caused by sun exposure -- called photoaging. You may notice it mostly on your face, neck, hands, or chest.
IPL may help if you have red, brown, or splotchy skin because of a health condition.
How IPL Treatment Works
IPL uses light energy to target a certain color in your skin.
When the skin is heated, your body gets rid of the unwanted cells, and that gets rid of the thing you’re being treated for. Unlike lasers, an IPL device sends out more than one wavelength of pulsating light. It can treat a range of skin conditions at the same time.
They can be used to reduce:
● Fine lines
● Brown spots
● Facial spider veins and facial redness
● Sun-damaged skin, photoaging
● Aging skin
● Oily skin
● Enlarged pores
● Acne scars
How Many IPL Photofacial Treatments Do I need?
For best results, 3-5 treatments are typically recommended, about four weeks apart.
Where Treatment Areas Are Best For IPL Photofacial?
Is IPL Photofacial Painful?
Photofacial would not be called painful, but it can be a a little uncomfortable for some people. You may feel like a little rubber band zapping on the skin.
How Long Is The IPL Photofacial Appointment?
The length of treatment is dependent on the number of areas being treated and the number of passes the aesthetician makes on the area. For reference, getting an IPL Photofacial on the face would take about 45 minutes.
How Long Do IPL Photofacial Results Last?
Photofacial results perpetually improve over time, with best results being seen three months after the last treatment. Sun protection and skin care maintenance are essential to the longevity of the results. Sunburns and over exposure will bring back old spots and freckles and dullness will return if proper exfoliation during daily routines are neglected. A new series of treatments are recommended every year for optimal results.
During Your IPL Photofacial Appointment
Your aesthetician will thoroughly cleanse your skin, so you can either come with or without makeup. After the skin is clean, the aesthetician will apply a cool gel to your skin, which enhances the effect of the light waves. The aesthetician moves the laser over the skin in a grid-like pattern, flashing the light about every centimeter. Depending on your need, the aesthetician may go over the area multiple times.
Post IPL Photofacial Treatment
After the treatment, the aesthetician will again clean the skin, removing the gel. You will likely be slightly red and puffy, but there is no significant down time. You are free to reapply make up right away and return to your normal skin care routine. Be sure to stay out of the sun for at least the next week and be consistent in sun screen application.
Contraindications/Risks/ Common Concerns for IPL Photofacial
As with any aesthetic treatment, there are risks, however, this is why you should only trust an experienced and licensed aesthetician. Clients with melasma will experience a darkening in those areas and should not be treated. Those who have been on a strong antibiotic or Accutane should not receive treatment until six months after the last treatment.