Say goodbye to the effects of sun damage, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and more. With the innovative Intense Pulsed Light (IPL™) photofacial procedure, gentle skin rejuvenation is now easier than ever.
A photofacial is a 30-minute procedure in which intense pulses of light are used to penetrate deep into the skin. IPL™ photorejuvenation then causes collagen and blood vessels below the epidermis to constrict, reducing redness and age lines.
Intense-Pulsed-Light (IPL) skin rejuvenation uses high-energy pulses of light to improve the skin’s appearance. Also referred to as IPL photorejuvenation, photofacial therapy and pulsed-light therapy, IPL skin rejuvenation is a nonabrasive and noninvasive treatment option for removing red and brown pigment from the skin. IPL is used to treat age spots, birthmarks, freckles caused by the sun, symptoms of rosacea, spider veins, and scarring from acne; it is also an effective tool for hair removal. IPL penetrates below the surface of the skin, leaving the top layer of skin intact, which means that there is no post-treatment recovery period. The light is absorbed by the pigment in sunspots and the blood in the visible vessels, and converted to heat. The heat dissolves the cells that create the pigment and shrinks the vessels.
The Intense-Pulsed-Light Skin Rejuvenation Procedure
Prior to IPL treatment, a topical anesthetic gel is applied to the skin to reduce discomfort. The IPL machine is placed on the settings that best suit the patient’s skin; among the factors considered are the condition being treated and, because IPL is absorbed differently by different skin colors, the amount of pigment in the skin. Protective coverings are placed over the patient’s eyes, and the IPL handpiece is gently pressed to the skin as pulses of light are emitted. The light is absorbed by the skin’s red or brown pigment and converted to heat, which dissolves the pigmented cells. After treatment, the topical anesthetic is removed with a warm cloth, and a moisturizer with sunscreen is usually applied. If there is any swelling, a cold pack is applied for 5 to 10 minutes.
Three to six treatment sessions are usually required; sessions typically last from 30 to 90 minutes each, and are spaced approximately 3 weeks apart. Gradual improvement may be seen after each treatment, but optimal results appear only after several months.
Recovery From Intense-Pulsed-Light Skin Rejuvenation
There is no recuperation time following IPL treatment. A patient can return to work or resume normal activities on the same day. Although skin may be slightly reddened after the treatment, redness typically disappears within a day or two. As it heals in the days following treatment, skin often begins to flake. Over time, however, a gradual, natural-looking improvement in the skin becomes noticeable. Applying sunscreen regularly and avoiding sun exposure is recommended following IPL treatment.
Risks Of Intense-Pulsed-Light Skin Rejuvenation
One possible contraindication for IPL treatment is taking medication that increases photosensitivity. A patient using a topical or oral medicine that increases sensitivity to light may not be a candidate for IPL treatment. And, although IPL skin rejuvenation is considered safe, there are some risks associated with its use. Although rare, IPL skin rejuvenation can cause skin discoloration, blisters, scars and burns.
“The facility was clean, the staff kind and professional, and my treatment was so simple. I am very pleased and will be returning for all med spa needs.” -Nicole B.
PhotoFacial IPL FAQs
Who is a good candidate for an photofacial IPL?
IPL photofacials are best for addressing pigmentation issues. So, if you have blotchy, sun-damaged skin with lots of freckles, IPL photofacials are great. They also shrink large pores, remove broken capillaries, and lessen fine lines and wrinkles. Rosacea also responds to IPL treatments. IPL photofacials are not effective for darker skin tones or deeply tanned skin, as the IPL wavelengths cannot differentiate between the age spots/pigmentation problems and the rest of the skin.
How long before I will see results from my photofacial?
Results from photofacials at FORM Medical Spa are not immediate. The darker cells from your age spots and sun-damaged skin need to absorb the IPL energy and then begin to slough off. After your treatment, your age spots will first darken, but then they will begin the process of breaking down and peeling off and otherwise being absorbed by the body. This takes a few weeks. Your broken capillaries generally respond immediately, but collagen needs to rebuild to improve large pores and fine lines.
How does a photofacial IPL help my skin?
There are two ways IPL benefits your skin. First, it penetrates the epidermis layer of the skin (the outer layer) and gently heats the dermis, the skin’s second layer. When the body senses this heating in the dermis it responds as if it has been wounded by producing new amounts of collagen and sending it to the “wounded” area. Since collagen provides the skin’s underlying support structure, this firms your skin and reduces lines and wrinkles.
The second IPL benefit addresses your pigmentation problems such as age spots and wrinkles. The darker cells absorb the IPL energy and the melanin pigment fragments. The body then absorbs the pigment cells and the spots become less and less visible. With veins, the energy is absorbed by the dark blood, heating the vein. This heating causes the vein wall to collapse and close off the vein. The body then scavenges the vein and it completely disappears.
What should I do before I get a photofacial?
We’ll give you instructions prior to your treatment, but here’s the gist of them. For 2-4 weeks prior to your session, don’t use self-tanners and limit your sun exposure. Remember, you want your skin tone to be lighter. You’ll have to discontinue use of Retin-A, doxycycline and other medications, along with aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve one week prior to your treatment. The best time to get an IPL photofacial is the fall through winter months, when you’re getting less sun exposure.
Do photofacials IPL work on wrinkles?
IPL photofacials are great for fine lines and wrinkles, as the procedure triggers a wound response and the body begins producing new collagen. This firms up the skin and lessens wrinkles. However, if the wrinkles are deeper, there are other procedures, such as laser resurfacing or dermal fillers that would be better solutions.
Who performs the treatment?
At FORM Medical Spa, our licensed aestheticians have received extensive training in IPL photofacial procedures. They perform these procedures.
How long will my results last?
This depends on you; it’s a matter of sun exposure. If you’re getting a lot of sun exposure and don’t adequately protect yourself with SPF 30 sunscreen, your sun spots, age spots, and broken capillaries will return. But if you take good care of your skin and protect it from the sun, your skin will continue to look good for the long term.
At FORM Medical Spa, we recommend an IPL photofacial every 6-12 months to continue the renewed collagen production.