IPL Photofacial

Aging and sun exposure are not only damaging to your skin, but also to your self-confidence. With age comes a loss of collagen, a naturally occurring protein that improves skin elasticity, and the onset of wrinkles. With years of sun exposure and other environmental stressors come brown spots and broken capillaries. All of these blemishes take a toll on your complexion, but the damage can be reversed with a quick, convenient and noninvasive procedure. An IPL photofacial is a versatile treatment that helps to diminish pigmentation irregularities and reverse signs of aging using the power of light.

If you’re looking to turn back the clock and give your skin a new lease on life, an IPL Photofacial may be the solution. Aesthetic Envy specializes in nonsurgical rejuvenation and offers many treatments at our Sacramento and Elk Grove medical spas. If you’re interested in learning more about photofacials or another treatment that could revitalize your image, please contact us at 916-333-4906 or visit our contact page today!

What Is an IPL Photofacial?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is an FDA-approved treatment that uses light energy to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin without harming the surface. Instead of the highly focused, single wavelength used in laser treatments, IPL emits a broad spectrum of light wavelengths in brief pulses. The light energy achieves several goals when it enters the targeted area.

The primary goal of a photofacial is to treat pigmented or vascular lesions (spider veins). When the pulsed light energy is absorbed by pigment (melanin) in the skin, it shatters the unwanted pigment and eliminates excess melanocytes (melanin-producing cells). The treated lesion first becomes darker, then flakes away to create a more flattering and even skin tone. In vascular lesions, the light energy heats the visible vein and causes it to collapse. This cuts off the blood flow and the vessel eventually fades from view.

To a lesser degree, IPL stimulates collagen and elastin production to improve overall skin tone. Over time, collagen and elastin fibers gradually breakdown, which causes skin to sag and gives rise to wrinkles in a number of areas. IPL treatments strengthen the structural tissue and renew the skin from the inside out.

What Are the Benefits of IPL Photofacials?

IPL differs from many laser procedures because it is nonablative, which means it doesn’t remove any layers of skin. Because of this, an IPL photofacial requires little to no recovery time and is a low-risk treatment. Patients can typically return to their usual activities immediately afterward. The benefits of an IPL photofacial include:

  • Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reversing sun damage
  • Shrinking pores
  • Tightening the skin
  • Reducing the severity of acne
  • Reducing the appearance of or eliminating sun spots and freckles
  • Reducing the appearance of scars (acne, chickenpox, etc.)
  • Lessening hyperpigmentation
  • Treating skin flushing and skin redness (rosacea)
  • Treating vascular lesions (broken capillaries, blood vessels, telangiectasia, rosacea)
  • Improving facial contour
  • Boosting collagen and elastin production

Am I a Good Candidate for IPL?

IPL photofacials are suitable for women and men of all ages seeking to minimize complexion imperfections and enhance their overall skin tone and texture. Candidates with fairer skin tones typically respond best to IPL. Because the treatment targets melanin, complications can arise for patients with darker skin tones, which naturally contain more melanin. Other rejuvenating treatments are available for those with darker skin.

Additional contraindications for a photofacial include active skin infections, recent sunburn or suntan, pregnancy, breastfeeding, sensitivity or allergy to light, use of certain medications, history of keloid scarring and use of Accutane within the last six months.

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What Happens During an IPL Photofacial Treatment?

During an initial IPL photofacial consultation, one of our aesthetic specialists will ensure that you’re an appropriate candidate. You’ll also be advised to avoid certain products and services for up to two weeks before treatment, including waxing, tanning and chemical peels.

On the day of the treatment, your face will be cleansed of any makeup or grime and a cool ultrasound gel will be applied to enhance the effects of the light. Your aesthetic specialist will move the IPL device across your skin’s surface in a grid-like pattern while it emits light pulses. The device may be held in certain areas for an extended time to deliver maximum treatment where it’s needed most. When the procedure is complete, the ultrasound gel will be removed and sunscreen may be applied. Both you and your specialist will wear protective eyewear for safety purposes throughout the procedure.

A photofacial feels like a series of small pricking sensations accompanied by warmth in the targeted area. Most patients do not require a pain reliever during their treatment, but you may request one. Aesthetic Envy patients have the option of using our Cryo machine, which provides a soothing experience and minimizes discomfort, at no additional cost. Depending on how many areas are treated, an IPL photofacial typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

Is There Downtime After an IPL Photofacial Treatment?

Following an IPL photofacial, your skin may be red or swollen. This is a natural reaction and typically goes away after several hours or by the day’s end. These effects should not prevent you from resuming most normal activities. You can apply moisturizers to soothe your skin or makeup to conceal redness as you go about your business. If you experience discomfort, you may use ice packs to calm the redness and swelling.

What Results Can I Expect From an IPL Photofacial?

In approximately one to seven days after treatment, pigmented spots that look like coffee grounds will begin to rise to the surface of your skin. This is the destroyed melanin, and it will gradually flake away from the skin to reveal a smoother and healthier-looking complexion. Some lesions may disappear within 24 hours, while others may take two weeks to fade. In both situations, you can expect to see improvement after one treatment. A series of at least three photofacials is recommended for best results.

Keep in mind that, while IPL is effective for removing pigmented and vascular lesions, it doesn’t prevent new ones from appearing. Think of the treatment as a reset for your skin. It’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean of photodamage and signs of aging, but you must maintain good skincare practices to keep your results. Bad habits can affect your skin’s complexion again.

Choose Aesthetic Envy for Your IPL Photofacial

At Aesthetic Envy, our goal is to offer our patients the highest level of customized care and the finest nonsurgical procedures to help you look your best in every season of life. If you’re tired of putting up with facial redness, unwanted pigmentation, wrinkles, acne scars or a number of other cosmetic blemishes, an IPL Photofacial may be just what you need. To learn more about how this innovative treatment can benefit you, please contact us at 916-333-4906 or visit our contact page to request a consultation.