An IPL™ photofacial is an extremely useful treatment that can be used to address a wide variety of issues. Discoloration, uneven skin texture and fine lines can be dramatically improved by this full-face treatment. Additionally, photofacials can help tighten skin and improve facial contouring. Photofacials can improve damaged skin and acne scars occurring on the neck, chest, arms or back. For patients looking for skin resurfacing treatments that are effective, yet require extremely minimal downtime, an IPL™ photofacial is a great choice. 

How IPL™ Photofacials Work

IPL™ therapy penetrates the skin with intense pulses of light energy that cause changes in the deeper layers of skin to stimulate new collagen growth and create smoother skin above. The light energy also constricts blood vessels, reducing redness at the skin’s surface. It works to reduce hyperpigmentation by targeting darker skin cells and breaking down melanin, which causes dark spots. These tiny particles of pigment will either flake away over the following week or are swept away naturally by the lymphatic system. IPL™ uses multiple wavelengths to concurrently treat other skin issues in addition to acne scars, including sun damage, enlarged pores, wrinkles, freckles, age spots, broken blood vessels and rosacea.  

What to Expect After IPL™ Photofacials

Now that you understand how IPL™ photofacials work, you are likely interested to know what to expect from an IPL™ photofacial treatment. One session typically takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete and most patients tolerate it well. It is usually described as being mildly uncomfortable with a sensation feeling like a rubber band being snapped against the skin.  

Immediately following your IPL™ photofacial, your skin will appear as though you have had a sunburn. You may also experience some mild swelling, but most patients are able to return to work or resume their normal activities right away. You can even put makeup on right after your treatment. Over the next 24 hours, the redness will usually dissipate and you may notice that sun spots and discolored areas actually appear darker. This is normal and indicates that your treatment is working. 

IPL™ Photofacial Healing Process

While the healing process after an IPL™ photofacial will vary by individual, most patients can expect to experience redness for two to five days after treatment. In more aggressive treatments, bruising may occur and last for up to two weeks. The most surprising side effect for many patients is the darkening of age spots or freckles. Rest assured that this darkening is a sign that your IPL™ photofacial worked properly! These spots may continue to darken for three to seven days until they finally develop a crust and flake away. This crusting effect may last for up to ten days.

Aftercare for IPL™ Photofacials 

At Harmony Healing, we want you to experience the best outcome possible from your IPL™ photofacial, which is why we take great care in making sure you know what to do at home to take care of your skin. By following these do’s and don’ts, you should enjoy a smooth recovery and enjoy seeing your results appear faster.

  • DO keep your skin moisturized. We can help advise which moisturizer is best for your unique skin type.
  • DON’T take hot showers, hot baths or bask in a hot tub for a minimum of 48 hours.
  • DO use calming skin care products that are free of harsh chemicals. You will want to avoid high amounts of ingredients like vitamin A, such as alpha-hydroxy acids, Accutane, Retin-A, glycolic acid and retinoic acid.
  • DON’T exfoliate your skin within the first week after treatment as it may cause irritation.
  • DO resist the urge to pick any crusty or blistered areas of skin to avoid scarring.
  • DON’T expose your skin to the sun without sun protection for at least 30 days.
  • DO enjoy plenty of rest for the first two days after treatment. Avoiding strenuous exercise or physical activity is important in the skin’s healing process.

Schedule your appointment at Harmony Healing to learn more about what to expect from IPL™ Photofacial treatments. At your appointment, we can determine if you are an ideal candidate for this type of treatment or recommend another regimen to help you achieve your skin appearance goals.