IPL Photofacial Reviews: Session 2 Update
Photofacial Reviews: The Skinny on IPL Photorejuvenation
After waiting a month, I finally got around to my second IPL photofacial courtesy of Spa Évia, which, for those of you who haven't been following my treatment plan, is considered a softer, zero-downtime alternative to lasers.
IPL, or intense pulsed light, allegedly improves the appearance of red and brown skin discolorations as well as spider veins in addition to stimulating collagen production and refining skin pores and texture. Even though up to six sessions were recommended for my skin conditions, I had already noticed a difference after my first treatment.
A subtle difference, mind you. Here's a review of my first IPL photofacial, which includes a detailed description of the procedure.
To reiterate those condition, my main skin issues revolve around an uncomfortable amount of chicken pox scars combined with years of poorly-treated moderate acne leaving me with uneven, ruddy skin, large pores, a few broken capillaries and... premature lines which began their sprouting via the deep, craterous pits left by the chicken pox. I also have fairly minor fine lines.
Keep in mind that I walked into this treatment plan fully aware that it's going to take more than intense pulsed light to wipe out deep, concave indentations from my forehead, so my expectations vis-à-vis the chicken pox scars need to remain realistic.
During the Procedure
The mild zap I described during my first IPL photofacial? It was even milder the second time around.
Right After the Photofacial
As mentioned before, the beauty of IPL photofacials is how little downtime is involved. In my case, there's none at all. I simply picked up my day where I left it off after the treatment session, although not wearing foundation or powder makeup as a post-care safeguard made me feel a little naked. And the pink tinge on my skin from the first session a month ago? I wasn't even rosy this time, suggesting my skin adapted well to the intense pulsed light, even though this second treatment was set at a higher intensity than the first.
The First 48 Hours
As expected after every treatment to optimize results and reduce any potential side effects, I moisturized heavily and refrained from sun exposure, exercise (perspiration could encourage infection) and bathing for 48 hours. Showering is fine during that period as long as no hot water touches the treatment area.
What differed from the first session? I did not have an acne breakout this time. ON top of that, I've had maybe half as many blemishes as I usually experience since I started the treatment plan a month ago.
After One Week
My skin feels smoother to the touch than it has in years, reminding me of how soft my cheeks were in my early teens. Visually, it looks smoother too. My pores are definitely shrinking. And the broken capillaries around my nose and on my cheeks continue to fade, except for the ones closest to my eyes, which cannot be treated safely according to the esthetician so they're staying put. Also, pigmented acne scars also appear to be fading. And the chicken pox scars? The really deep ones haven't changed in appearance. However, a shallower one closer to my mouth seems to have lost some depth, appearing less noticeable.
With this kind of progress, however gradual, I'm looking forward to seeing how my skin reacts to subsequent IPL photorejuvenation sessions. Note that multiple sessions are recommended to achieve desired results.
Learn More About IPL Photofacials: Intense Pulsed Light FAQs
What is an IPL Photofacial exactly?
Is IPL the same thing as a laser?
What are the risk factors with IPL Photofacials?
Who is authorized to administer IPL Photofacial treatments?
Do IPL photofacials hurt?
How many treatments are required?
How much does it cost?
What do I need to do before undergoing a photofacial treatment?
What do I need to do after undergoing a photofacial treatment?
Is there any downtime after undergoing an IPL treatment?
In line with About.com's and the New York Times Company's full disclosure policy, readers should be aware that Evelyn Reid was provided with complimentary IPL photofacial for review purposes, a common but generally undisclosed procedure in the lifestyle publishing industry. Also note that the latter gratuity has not influenced this review. Also note that staff, for obvious invitational reasons, are aware of Evelyn Reid’s identity, which may or may not have had an impact on the service aspect of the treatment. For more information on full disclosure at About.com, please consult our ethics policy.