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IPL Photofacial Treatment, Intense Pulsed Light Facial Skin Care

Updated on July 7, 2013
Alison Graham profile image

Alison is a freelance writer on health, nutrition, skincare, and pets, especially cats and dogs.

Could Photofacial treatments turn back time for you or give you back a blemish-free complexion?
Could Photofacial treatments turn back time for you or give you back a blemish-free complexion? | Source

IPL Photofacial is a treatment that I came across during my research on treatments and products for blackheads and acne - two of the most common skin problems faced by many today. Acne and Acne blackheads can cause both physical discomfort and mental distress since they often affect the most personal and visible part of our body, our face. This can be so distressing especially as the condition often emerges with hormonal changes in our teenage years, the time when we most need a confidence boost and want to look good.

Thankfully however, there are many effective products and treatments for restoring a clear complexion and one which I have been researching is the use of the Intense Pulsed Light photofacial procedure or IPL to help get rid of these problems.

I have discovered that this treatment can not only help in the process of skin rejuvenation for those of us with mature skin but it can also have excellent results in treating acne and blackhead removal. It can also be used as a treatment for vascular lesions such as spider veins and thread veins, for pigmented lesions such as age spots and freckles and for the treatment of unwanted hair (though this procedure is only really effective for darker coloured hair).

This before and after picture from shows the results that can be achieved with photofacial treatment
This before and after picture from shows the results that can be achieved with photofacial treatment | Source

How Does an IPL Photofacial Treatment Work?

Intensed Pulsed Light treatment works in a very similar way to a laser. Light energy is delivered to the skin and it tagets cells with colour in them (these are called chromophores). The difference from laser treatment is that many different wavelengths are delivered in each pulse of light and filters are used to target treatment for specific areas. This enables the treatment to be focused on particular skin problems and areas of the face (or any other part of the body)

Unlike microdermabrasion or skin peels which resurface the skin by removing the upper layers of the epidermis, IPL targets only the lower layers of skin (the dermis). This means that although the results are less dramatic than treatments where both the dermis and the epidermis are targeted in the same treatment, downtime is less - in essence, this is a thirty-minute procedure in which extremely focused pulses of light are used to penetrate past the surface deep into one's skin.

The IPL photofacial works to get rid of acne in two ways. First of all, it destroys acne bacteria which helps to clear existing acne very quickly. Secondly it works on the sebaceous glands responsible for much of the problem with acne and blackheads by going into overdrive and producing too much oil. The treatment causes production of oil to slow down and this helps to stop future acne breakouts.

Is A Photofacial Right For Me?

Before embarking on a course of these photofacial treatments, you should have a consultation with a specialist practitioner to ensure that the treatment is right for you. You should also make certain that the technician carrying out the procedure is correctly trained in using it for the type of skin problems that you have. You should make sure to keep out of the sun before and after your treatment – your practitioner will tell you how long is right for the type of treatment you are having.

Want More Skin Care Information?

For more information on how to get rid of blackheads and products and treatments for acne, please visit my site using the link provided.

Would You Have Photofacial Treatment?

Would you have home or professional photo facial treatments and if so, for what reason?

See results

What Should I Expect During My IPL Treatment?

You will need to wear protective eye wear during your treatment.

The IPL treatment is delivered via a hand held tool with a smooth glass surface that comes into contact with your skin and delivers the pulses of light.

Most devices have a built in cooling system but cold gel is used on the area of your skin that is going to be treated.

This treatment is pretty painless, the worst most patients report is the sensation of a light ‘elastic band snap’ on their skin. However if you are especially sensitive a topical anaesthetic can be applied to the skin area to be treated to avoid discomfort.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Treatment is usually performed in sessions lasting about twenty minutes. A course of treatment may be recommended depending on the skin condition being treated and its severity. Four to six treatments spaced three to six weeks apart may be necessary to achieve the best outcome for your skin problem.

Most patients can go straight back to work after a treatment and the advantages are that there is no medication involved so there are no drug side-effects to worry about – nor do you have to remember to take medication!


Submit a Comment
  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    9 years ago from UK

    Thanks Terry for your comment about IPL photofacial treatment - the before and after pictures are very striking.

  • Terry Bass profile image

    Terry Bass 

    9 years ago from Welling in Kent, London, UK

    Crikey Alison, although I don't personally know of anyone with this skin complaint, I have to give full marks and take my hat off to you, for the shear amount of hard work in research that you have carried out, along with adding a great video as well as the disturbing pictures of that poor person's face, but what a priceless piece of kit the IPL photofacial is.

    Really great content here Alison, well done.



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