Girl during IPL photofacial
Tips & Articles for Your Skin

IPL Photofacial: All You Need to Know About IPL

Are you looking for a way to improve the texture and color of your skin without having to undergo surgery? Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is your solution. It can eliminate some of your skin's damage caused by sun exposure, giving you youthful and glowing skin. 

An IPL Photofacial utilizes light energy to specifically target color in your skin. Your body will then get rid of the unwanted skin cells while treating a variety of skin conditions. 

An IPL Photofacial is a non-invasive procedure with minimal downtime. You can typically receive treatment at a medspa or dermatologist's office. This guide will go over everything you need to know about the procedure. 

What Is IPL Photofacial?

An IPL Photofacial utilizes laser lights to target pigment issues on your face. As the light goes through your face's dermis layer, it draws out the pigment-producing skin cells and disperses all the uneven pigment. 

As the pigmented spots are pulled to the surface, they'll eventually transform into a texture like coffee grounds. They'll flake off to reveal radiant, beautiful skin. 

Unlike other laser skin care treatments, the device used for IPL sends out multiple wavelengths of pulsating light. This enables it to treat various skin conditions at once. 

During a Photofacial, the IPL device is passed over the surface of your skin, delivering scattered light wavelengths into your skin's deep layers. A Photofacial is a great solution for targeting very specific problem areas on your skin. 

Young woman getting IPL photofacial treatment

An IPL Photofacial is also very safe. The technology was developed by laser medical experts and is FDA-approved. It's a gentle and effective method for treating a variety of skin types, colors, and problems. 

What Areas Can I Treat With IPL Photofacial?

An IPL Photofacial is a wonderful treatment method for addressing a variety of skin conditions. Some of the problems an IPL Photofacial treats include:

  • Freckles
  • Brown and red spots
  • Melasma
  • Spider veins
  • Sun damage
  • Pigment imperfections
  • Redness
  • Rosacea 
  • Unwanted hair
  • Scares
  • Stretchmarks
  • Birthmarks

Unfortunately, an IPL Photofacial isn't for everyone. If you're tan, have melasma, are pregnant, or have a higher Fitzpatrick score, then you wouldn't be a good candidate. The light rays used are attracted to dark pigments, so a darker skin tone can become discolored. 

Photofacials are typically performed on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. However, they can be done on any part of your body except for your eyelids and the area that's right above it. 

Why Shouldn't I Get an IPL Photofacial?

There are some other reasons why getting an IPL Photofacial may not be a good idea. They include:

  • Light sensitivity 
  • You may have skin cancer
  • You utilize a retinoid cream 
  • You have severe scarring
  • You have a skin resurfacing disorder
  • You have keloid scar tissue

If you're concerned about any of the above issues, be sure to speak to your medical professional or physician beforehand. 

Areas Easily Treated With IPL Photofacial

There are multiple areas that are easily treated with an IPL Photofacial:

  • Face: It's mostly used on the face area due to sun exposure and many people are concerned with their skin's appearance on their face
  • Neck: The neck is another big concern area for men and women, which is why many invest a lot of time in taking care of it 
  • Chest: Men frequently treat their chest with an IPL Photofacial and women do as well for their cleavage area
  • Hands: Hands are areas that are common to see signs of aging, in addition to the face and neck
  • ShouldersThis area is majorly exposed to the sun and tends to get worse since people don't take care of it
  • Legs: An IPL Photofacial works wonders to tighten the skin due to lack of exercise or variations in weight
  • Arms: An IPL Photofacial will help improve the texture of your arm's skin

As you can see, an IPL Photofacial is a versatile treatment that can be used in a variety of areas. 

IPL device in doctor hand during the laser treatment

What to Expect During IPL Photofacial Treatment

Before you receive in IPL Photofacial, you shouldn't tan in a tanning bed, the sun, or with tanning creams/lotions. You shouldn't do this for at least four weeks before your treatment. You also shouldn't wax or get a chemical peel for at least two weeks before. 

On the day of your appointment, don't wear makeup, deodorant, or perfume. You also shouldn't take aspirin or another type of medication that could result in you bleeding more. 

When you arrive for your treatment, your dermatologist or technician will clean your skin and rub a gel on it. You'll be given dark glasses to wear that'll protect your eyes. 

The handheld IPL Photofacial device will be applied directly to your body. They'll move the laser across your skin in a pattern shaped like a grid with certain areas being gone over multiple times. The light will be flashed at every centimeter. 

You can expect one session to last 20 to 30 minutes. However, if you're having a larger area treated, that could take more than an hour. 

Most people don't find the light pulses uncomfortable, but they may sting a little bit. It feels like having a rubber band snapped on your skin. If you're concerned about that, your technician can apply numbing cream before your IPL Photofacial. 

How Soon Will I See Results?

Woman checking time on her watch

The best results you'll see from your Photofacial will happen around three months after your last treatment. The results will improve over time with skincare and sun protection maintenance aiding their longevity. Overexposure to the sun and sunburns will bring back freckles and old spots. 

For the best results, we recommend getting three to five treatments, spaced about one month apart. To maintain your results, we recommend getting a new series of treatments each year. 

The Benefits of an IPL Photofacial 

There are a variety of reasons and benefits as to why you should get an IPL Photofacial. Did you know that it's used as a way to reduce hair on your body? Let's talk about some of the other great things about an IPL Photofacial. 

It Can Be Done Anywhere on Your Body

Once you see the amazing results of an IPL Photofacial on your face, you'll want to do it on multiple areas of your body. That's what's great about this type of treatment. It's so versatile and can be done in a variety of areas where you have skin problems. 

Helps Manage Acne Breakouts

If you have severe acne, redness, and inflammation, an IPL Photofacial can help with that. The treatment works to eliminate larger pores on your face, reducing the appearance of acne. You won't have to continually use topical products that dry out your skin. 

Minimizes the Signs of Aging

An IPL Photofacial isn't typically used as an anti-aging solution, but it does provide you with those benefits. It reduces sunspots, wrinkles, fine lines, and other symptoms of the skin's aging. 

IPL Photofacials stimulate collagen growth in your skin. This works to improve your skin's texture and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. 

Affordable Treatments 

Compared to other skin treatments, an IPL Photofacial is an affordable option. Unlike a traditional facial, you're able to achieve long-term results. 

You can also do this treatment in conjunction with other types of procedures. Pair it with a microdermabrasion procedure to help target your skin's outermost layer. 

Simple and Easy

A lot of facial treatments have downtime afterward and take a lot of time to perform. With an IPL Photofacial, it can take as little as 20 minutes. You can easily fit it into your lunch break or on your way home from work. 

Since you can resume your normal activities immediately afterward, it won't disrupt your everyday life. While there are certain things you should avoid after an IPL Photofacial, you don't have to worry about taking time off work or needing to rest after. 

Additionally, only a small percentage of individuals experience a minimal sensation during the treatment. Everyone else doesn't encounter any pain or discomfort. Like we mentioned before, applying a topical numbing cream can help reduce the likelihood of discomfort during the treatment. 

Woman applying cream on her legs

What Not to Do After an IPL Photofacial?

While an IPL Photofacial is a safe treatment, there are certain things and activities you should avoid to maximize your results. Like we mentioned earlier, you should avoid any direct exposure to the sun. Wear a daily sunscreen of SPF 30

Any areas that were treated by an IPL Photofacial will be extremely sensitive, which could cause a very painful sunburn. Cover yourself up and wear a wide-brimmed hat for at least seven days after each treatment. 

You should also ensure you stay moisturized at all times. This is because as your skin heals, it will start to peel and dry out. Use a thick cream in the morning and evening. 

During the healing process, use a gentle cleanser to clean your skin at least two times a day. Avoid skin care products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Retin-A
  • Retinol
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Glycolic acids

Additionally, you shouldn't pick at or scratch blemishes that appear on the surface of your skin. Allow them to naturally flake off as they heal. 

You also should avoid intense exercise, showers, hot tubs, and hot tubs for around 48 hours after each session. If you overheat the skin in the first two days after your session, it could alter your results. 

What Can I Expect After an IPL Photofacial?

There are some side effects that are normal after an IPL Photofacial. You can expect to see some redness around the areas that were treated for two or five days. Some minor bruising may occur, but that should last less than two weeks. 

Your age spots and freckles may darken a bit for up to a week after the treatment. After that, they'll start to fade. Skin crusting and flaking will occur for up to 10 days after your session. 

You may also experience a sunburn sensation for the first five hours after your treatment. Most patients will experience some of the above side effects. Discomfort is typically minor with a Photofacial. 

Young woman feeling discomfort

IPL Photofacial Risks and Side Effects

As with any type of treatment, there are some associated risks and side effects. An IPL Photofacial is a safe treatment when it's administered by a trained technician. 

Some side effects that could occur on your skin in areas that aren't prepared for it include:

  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Color changes
  • Blisters
  • Crusting

If you experience any of these symptoms after your IPL Photofacial or they worsen, speak to your dermatologist. 

Can I Do IPL Photofacial Treatment at Home?

Yes, you can do an IPL Photofacial treatment at home. Lumenessa has a variety of options for performing a Photofacial on yourself from the privacy and comfort of your own home. 

One benefit of doing it at home as opposed to in your dermatologist's office is the cost. Lumenessa has a variety of affordable options, making it an accessible option for all. 

The devices used for at-home treatments are very gentle, causing the individual very little discomfort. You'll feel a warming sensation as you apply the device to your skin. 

What's great about using an at-home device for a Photofacial is you don't have to make multiple appointments throughout the year. When you know it's time to refresh your skin, you can easily do it in a matter of minutes. You won't have to wait for an extended length of time at a medspa or dermatologist office any longer. 

Home IPL device on a bath towel

Explore the Benefits of Lumenessa 

No matter what your skin concerns are, Lumenssa is here to provide you with a quality at-home IPL Photofacial device. Regenerate your skin cells and improve your collagen growth as you give your skin the attention it deserves.  

Incorporate an at-home IPL Photofacial product into your long-term treatment plan. Work with your dermatologist or medspa technician to establish a plan to rejuvenate your skin. 

Contact us for more information about our IPL Photofacial products. Explore our blog to read about the benefits of IPL.