IPL Photofacial Face Treatment Explained

What are the benefits of an IPL Photofacial for skin rejuvenation?

Thanks to overexposure to the sun, genetic conditions, such as rosacea, and various aging factors, having a perfect complexion may seem impossible. However, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are an easy and convenient option to fight hyperpigmentation and treat sun damage, sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and other skin conditions.

What is an IPL photofacial?

When somebody mentions intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacial treatments, most tend to think of hair removal; however, Intense Pulsed Light therapy has many benefits to the skin. IPL photofacials are non-invasive facial treatments that improve skin’s texture and tone. Typically, they last around 30-45 minutes, depending on your goals and skin condition. While the name suggests that IPL photofacials are typically a facial treatment, you can get one in your hands, shoulders, chest, and back if needed.

What is an IPL photofacial treatment good for?

As we age, our skin starts to thin out, and the production of collagen reduces so we need cosmetic treatments that go beyond the superficial layers of the skin to have real results. Thanks to the photorejuvenation technology that IPL skin treatments offer for damaged and aging skin, you can expect tighter pores and skin, a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, skin redness, and acne, and the reversal of sun damage.

How do IPL treatments work?

Dr. Castaneda show us how the last generation IPL machine works for Rosace and skin rejuvenation.

The technology behind IPL treatments is called Intense Pulsed Light therapy. Like the name suggests, a dermatologist will use a handheld device that emits intense light to penetrate into the deeper skin layers. As the light energy penetrates skin cells, it creates a controlled “injury” in the dermis, a lower skin layer. This injury is at a microscopic level, only injuring old cells. Since there is “damage,” our body naturally heals itself after laser skin resurfacing, creating new cells and boosting the production of collagen. Intense Pulsed Light therapy is also useful for acne control, the light used in the procedure kills the bacteria from the sebaceous glands and constricts the blood vessels to reduce the appearance of scarring.

What is the difference between an IPL treatment and a Laser facial?

While both types of skin treatments have multiple benefits to the skin, they differ in the technology and the way they are administered. Laser treatments use a single type of light to change your skin, this means that lasers have a more specific target when operating. In contrast, Intense Pulsed Light therapy uses a beam of broad-spectrum light, so the IPL treatment targets several problems at the same time. Since IPL treatments are less specific in their wavelengths, they are safer on sensitive skin and gentler than many laser alternatives. However, you may need to make more visits to the medi-spa for an IPL treatment to achieve your desired results.

Who is an ideal candidate for an IPL face treatment?

IPL photofacials are perfect for people who want to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and light wrinkles, and moderate sun damage and/or acne scar. Since IPL face treatments are non-invasive, they are great for people who want a gentle and fast cosmetic treatment. However, if you have severe acne scarring you would benefit more from a or if you are looking for a dramatic makeover for your fine lines, a brow lift could be more suitable for your goals. You should get a one-to-one consultation with a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist to discuss your doubts and goals and see if you are the ideal candidate for an IPL treatment procedure.

What can I expect during my IPL photofacial treatments?

You don’t need to prepare before your IPL photofacial; a great benefit of choosing an IPL face treatment is that, since is a non-ablative treatment, there are no open wounds in your skin. This results in little to no discomfort during and after the procedure. Many patients say that IPL feels like a rubber band being snapped lightly onto your skin, uncomfortable but not unbearable. To make the best of your facial, wear plenty of sunscreen the following seven days and, if possible, avoid direct sunlight two days after the procedure.

What are the results of intense pulsed light therapy?

Immediately after your facial, your skin will appear red and slightly swollen. This reaction is totally normal in IPL treatments and will disappear after a few hours. The experience varies according to the results you are looking for. If you want a collagen boost, you will see a smoother and firmer skin a few days after the procedure. In contrast, if you are treating acne, your skin will take longer to react, but in general, the sebaceous activity will decrease after a few weeks. Remember, to achieve optimal results you will need to have several sessions of an IPL photofacial. As you can see in the photos below, IPL photofacial treatments on a patient of Dr. De la Fuente have improved skin tone, her acne and scars have been greatly reduced, and no side effects occurred.


Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.