5 Tips You Need To Know About The IPL Photo Facial With Dr. Shah


Facials are a non-invasive routine cosmetic treatment in which patients can typically see results immediately. The IPL Photo Facial is an innovative facial which targets discoloration and encourages healthier skin. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Avnee Shah sat down with Haute Beauty to describe the treatment and it's many benefits.

What is IPL Photo facial?

An IPL photo facial uses an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device to penetrate the skin with multiple wavelengths of light for the purpose of overall photo rejuvenation. It has the ability to treat the top layer of skin (the epidermis) where we may have issues with color and texture as well as the ability to treat the second layer of skin (the dermis) to encourage collagen stimulation.
Though it is commonly nicknamed the “photo facial” this treatment can be done off the face as well. Other common treatment areas are the neck, chest and arms.

Describe the process?

As we prepare you for your photo facial, the protective eyewear will be given to you to protect from the IPL light. The treatment area will be cleansed and then coated with a thin layer of gel to allow for epidermal protection. This will also allow the device hand piece to glide over the area during the treatment. Then the device will be set with specific parameters depending on the goal of treatment and pulses of light will be delivered to the skin. Expect to feel warmth from the hand piece and almost a quick rubber band snap sensation during the pulses. Topical numbing medication is often applied before the treatment to increase comfort. Once the treatment is over, you are often given ice packs and a post treatment protocol that will advise minimal sun exposure, especially for the few weeks following treatment. The treated area typically appears red for a few hours; downtime from his procedure is minimal.

Which patients qualify for this treatment?

Patients with fair skin types who have “red spots” and “brown spots” due to sun damage that they would like to decrease or remove are ideal candidates. Patients with rosacea and those looking for overall photo aging improvements are good candidates as well. Darker skin types or those with very tanned skin are not candidates for this treatment and treating such patients can result in complications. It is also not advised of those currently on accurate acne treatment or those that are pregnant.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of an IPL photo facial are multifold. This treatment not only helps with surface skin issues such as red and brown spot correction, but also encourages neocollagenesis deeper in the skin, allowing for a thorough treatment of photo damage.

Are there any follow up treatments needed?

Multiple treatment sessions are typically needed for best results. The number of sessions will also depend on the outcome desired. For best long term results, sun protection is a must.