IPL Photo Facial Review
Photo facials also known as IPLs is a skin treatments I started doing last year. Here’s a breakdown of what it is, what it does and who’s a candidate!
IPL stands for Intense pulsed light; is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes, including hair removal and photo rejuvenation (e.g. the treatment of skin pigmentation, sun damage, and thread veins).
To put it simply a photo facial, or as some spa’s call it a “foto facial,” or IPL is a 25 – 45 minute procedure in which intense pulses of light are used to penetrate deep into the skin. This causes collagen and blood vessels below the epidermis to constrict, reducing redness and age lines. The procedure involves only minimal discomfort, while the redness and swelling that sometimes occur after treatment disappear shortly. Most benefits of a photo facial occur gradually in the weeks following treatment.
Who’s a candidate? People who have blotchy, sun-damaged, or discolored skin, or whose skin is affected by large pores, freckles, or wrinkles, may benefit from a photo facial. The procedure is also quick and involves no downtime, making it a convenient option for people with busy schedules. Those with dark or deeply tanned skin sometimes experience complications following a photo facial treatment. If your considering an IPL you should discuss it with your dermatologist before undergoing treatment. People with white, untanned skin that is still somewhat elastic are the best candidates for a photofacial. It is also important for patients to have a realistic understanding about what the procedure can do. When performed on the right person, it effectively improves skin texture, eliminating discoloration, reducing pore size, and minimizing wrinkles and fine lines. If you have rosacea, a condition that causes blotchy redness in the face, you may also benefit from a photofacial. Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Intense Pulsed Light Treatment? People with tanned or naturally dark skin sometimes experience changes in skin pigmentation after a photofacial treatment. African-Americans and people of Greek and Italian descent, for example, may wish to discuss possible side effects with a dermatologist before opting for this procedure.
Misconceptions… Are fotofacial, photofacial, and photorejuvenation the same thing? Yes. These terms all refer to facial treatment based upon a common principle: heating and stimulating the dermis (the inner layer of the skin) while cooling and protecting the epidermis (the outer layer). There are a wide variety of technologies and procedures available for this type of treatment, however, and each works in a slightly different way.
My Personal Experience. So I began doing photo facials to help fade the appearance of my freckles and skin damage and found it to be extremely effective solution. The first time I got the treatment it was very painful. I know they say, the pain is mild to none but that was not my experience at all. After receiving more treatments from different spa’s I concluded that I personally prefer to use numbing cream prior to the appointment (an over counter topical numbing cream). **Be sure to inform your spa of the cream you used prior to starting your IPL. Ideally bring it with you so they can see what you used. Numbing cream is most effective applied 1 hour prior to your appointment and then in 15 minute interlopes after that. I also concluded that the first spa I visited may have been using too high a heat setting for my skin and although my results were good, I believe it mildly burnt my skin (which may have caused it to be so painful). So, make sure you go to a reputable and experienced person.
Step By Step… Before the procedure begins, you will be given protective eyewear to protect you from the bright flashes of light. A cool gel is often applied to the treatment area, both to lubricate the handpiece and to help cool the epidermis during the treatment. Your skin care specialist will apply brief pulses of bright light to the skin through the handpiece. Depending on the size of the area being treated, the procedure may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour but on average an entire face takes 25-30 minutes.
And lastly cost; a IPL usually ranges from $250 – $600 so it’s a big price range. Photo rejuvenation is generally more costly than procedures like microdermabrasion and chemical peels but it is less expensive than most cosmetic surgery and laser skin treatment. Still, the price for a single photo facial session can be as high as $600. The overall cost will depend on the severity of the aesthetic issues involved as well as the number of treatments needed to resolve them.