Signs of aging are a fact of life — but they don’t need to be billboards! Intense pulsed light (IPL) facials gently address signs of aging on the skin of the face, neck and chest. This “photofacial” treatment can lighten brown spots, correct uneven pigment, and fight rosacea.
IPL facials are a noninvasive way to improve skin texture and complexion while giving skin a radiant, luminous appearance. Intense pulsed light treatments also fight sun damage that causes blotchy pigmentation, known as solar lentigo or melasma. Along with age spots, sun spots, and uneven pigmentation, redness caused by broken capillaries is another common concern of aging skin.
Because IPL facials require no downtime, they are ideal for busy moms and those with active lifestyles! Your intense pulsed light treatment can even take place during your lunch break — but be warned that coworkers may ask about your glow.
What is the CHRONOS IPL Photofacial?
CHRONOS MedSpa offers the latest advance in intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy: Alma Lasers’ Harmony XL AFT (advanced fluorescent pulsed light) phototherapy treatment.
Advanced fluorescent pulsed light effectively treats skin concerns ranging from skin redness, flushing, and rosacea to irregular skin pigmentation, sun damage, and acne and age spots. It also helps to shrink the appearance of large pores, and plumps up fine lines by stimulating collagen production.
How is an AFT photofacial better than a traditional IPL treatment?
Traditional intense pulsed light facials use high-wattage bulbs to deliver pulses of light to the skin. While it can be effective, this delivery method can result in uneven application of the photofacial treatment.
By contrast, advanced fluorescent pulsed light delivers a uniform energy density across the treatment area. This “equally distributed energy fluence” means that not only is AFT safer than traditional IPL, its results can be repeated with remarkable accuracy.
In addition, AFT is more comfortable than traditional IPL. The light passes easily through the skin to be absorbed by spots, lesions, and broken capillaries — where it destroys abnormal cells and leaves behind healthy, stimulated tissue.
What should I do before my photofacial?
Because Vitamin A makes the skin much more sensitive to light and sun damage, you should discontinue use of products containing Vitamin A, glycolic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid three to five days before your AFT photofacial. Some examples of popular products containing Vitamin A are Retin-A, Differin, and Tazorac.
Patients taking Accutane should discontinue taking this medication for at least six months prior to receiving a photorejuvenation treatment. Please note that if you are taking aspirin, antibiotics, or other blood thinners, your tolerance for phototherapy may be lower.
For three weeks prior to your treatment, avoid sun and sunless tanning.
Finally, please note that you cannot receive intense pulsed light phototherapy while you have infections or sores in the area being treated.
What are the steps of a photofacial?
First, your CHRONOS MedSpa medical aesthetician cleanses your skin. Then, we apply a light gel in preparation for treating skin with the AFT light.
At times, the photofacial light may feel as if a rubber band is snapping against your skin; if this sensation is a problem, simply request an application of numbing cream before your session to ensure comfort.
As the AFT light contacts your skin, it moves through the upper layers. When the light reaches pigmented areas, it damages the melanin that gives the skin its uneven tone. When the light reaches vascular lesions, it enters the lesion and targets the broken blood vessels that give the skin a red appearance, helping reduce redness and rosacea.
Over the course of a few hours or days, your body then naturally removes the damaged tissue from within, leaving behind smoother, more even skin.
Following your phototherapy facial treatment, your aesthetician will cleanse your skin and apply sunscreen, along with a cold compress if needed.
How many photofacial treatments before I see results?
Everyone’s skin is different, so the number of photofacials that your CHRONOS MedSpa aesthetician recommends for you will be customized to your skin and your goals.
Generally, we recommend a series of three to five pulsed light treatments, with each treatment taking place at a four-week interval.
A pulsed light facial treatment takes between 20 to 30 minutes, so it’s easy to visit CHRONOS MedSpa on your lunch break. Throw on a little foundation to conceal any residual pinkness after your photofacial, and you’re good to go back to work!
With any photorejuvenation facial or series, it’s crucial to maintain good sun protection between your treatments. Continue to maintain good skin hygiene with an at-home skincare routine containing high-quality ingredients.
Just don’t forget to stay away from the Retin-A, alpha hydroxy acid, and glycolic acid for three to five days before your next IPL facial!
What are the side effects of photofacials?
For a few hours following your treatment, you may look sunburned, slightly red, or shiny. Your skin may feel slightly tight. Targeted spots may appear darker; these will flake off within a week.
Hair growth within the treatment site is often affected by IPL. The good news is that if your facial hair growth is affected, it will slow for a short period of time!
Rare side effects include swelling, blistering, infection, scarring, and unwanted pigmentation changes. Existing viral infections, like herpes and shingles, can be activated by intense pulsed light treatment.
Those with darker skin tones may require more treatments to achieve desired results. Call (504) 267-4549 to speak with a CHRONOS MedSpa aesthetician who can advise you.
What should I expect after my photorejuvenation treatment?
Always protect your skin after treatment with sunscreen of at least SPF 30, and moisturize to assist new cell growth after your phototherapy facial. Depending on your skin’s reaction, you may be able to apply cold compresses and steroid creams.
You’ll need to avoid being in the sun for a prolonged length of time for the entire span of your photorejuvenation treatment series — and that includes using sunless tanner.
Common side effects of IPL treatment are mild redness, and a tingling sensation similar to the feeling of a sunburn. Apply cool compresses or cool air to relieve any discomfort, and as always, consult your CHRONOS MedSpa aestheticians with any questions!
How long do photofacial results last?
With good skincare, you can maintain the effects of your AFT photofacial for an incredibly long time! Most clients return for another round of phototherapy treatment after 1-2 years to maintain their results.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
What are pigmented lesions?
Almost everyone has at least one pigmented lesion, or a spot on the skin with more melanin (pigment) than the surrounding skin. These marks, which can be flat or raised, can be caused by sun exposure or aging; some of us are also born with them.
How do phototherapy facials work?
When highly concentrated melanin pigment in the skin is exposed to quick pulses of visible light, the pigment’s temperature increases. Ultimately, the cells containing the melanin are destroyed, releasing the pigment to be disposed of by the body. Then, the skin replaces the destroyed cells with new cells.
Why should I choose CHRONOS MedSpa for my photofacial?
CHRONOS MedSpa’s licensed, experienced medical aestheticians each have more than a decade of experience using the latest medical and cosmetic technologies to safely enhance our clients’ beauty.
The benefits of regular photofacials include glowing, fresh skin; reductions in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; and improvements in skin tone and texture.
Because the skin continues to improve for weeks following the initial pulsed light facial treatment, photofacials can generate incredible changes in the skin.