The Lowdown on Photo Facials
Mindy loved sunbathing. Every Saturday the 30-year-old Los Angeles native would put on her favorite pink bikini and bask by the pool for hours. She loved the healthy, honey-brown glow the sun gave her skin. But then she began to notice uneven skin tone on her face and, here and there, unsightly freckles. Mindy was at a loss – she looked old, and she didn’t know what to do about it.
Have you ever noticed uneven skin tone? Has your love of surf and sun caused ugly freckles and age spots? If so, it’s no surprise: Sun exposure can cause an increase in redness, broken capillaries, freckles and age spots, all of which affect your skin’s overall complexion.
Luckily there’s help available. Photo facials, which use light-based technology, improve skin tone on the face, chest and neck area by minimizing redness, veins, acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and other dermatological issues. The best part of photo facials is that they are virtually non-invasive, meaning that they have no effect on the skin itself. The light energy stimulates the production of collagen, giving skin a softer, smoother and clearer appearance. Within four to six treatments, you’ll notice a more even, smoother, and younger-looking complexion.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Mindy eventually regained her youthful looks through photo facials, and you can too. Read on for the lowdown on this innovative beauty treatment.
LED Photo Facials
There are two main types of photo facials: LED (light-emitting diode) and IPL (intense-pulsed light).
LED photo facials are extremely gentle. In fact, they’re painless. They use narrow spectrum visible light to kill acne-causing bacteria and to stimulate collagen production. The effects of light therapy depend on the wavelength being used. For instance, infrared light stimulates fibroblasts, which produce collagen and elastin, resulting in plumper, smoother, and firmer skin. Blue wavelengths kill acne-causing bacteria, and green wavelengths treat skin discoloration.
The best part of LED photo facials is that they are effective on most skin types, and they are especially ideal for individuals with acne or rosacea, mild wrinkles, dull skin, uneven skin tone, and sun damaged skin. Keep in mind, however, that results seen with LED photo facials are at first varied and subtle. While some individuals see results in as little as a few days, others can take a month or two to notice a change. To achieve optimal results, most physicians recommend individuals undergo three to five treatments over the course of several months. Maintenance treatments are also recommended every few months.
Once again, it sounds too good to be true. Indeed, you may be wondering, “Who is not an ideal candidate for LED photo facials?” The only people who shouldn’t undergo LED photo facials are those with severe cases of acne or rosacea or those who have deep wrinkles or scarring.
IPL Photo facials
IPL photo facials work by using a broad-spectrum light source that penetrates multiple layers of skin. IPL photo facials primarily target the lower layers of skin (dermis) while leaving the top layers of skin (epidermis) unaffected. The heat generated from the light promotes healing of the skin within, treating a number of different dermatological issues such as uneven skin pigmentation.
Get ready to be surprised. IPL photo facials produce dramatic results, and they are especially effective in treating large pores, shallow acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven complexions, facial redness, brown spots, broken capillaries and spider veins. Though some people notice significant improvement after just one treatment, the average patient requires five treatment sessions spaced three weeks apart to obtain their desired results. Regardless, skin continues to improve after each successive treatment.
So who is not right for IPL treatments? Unlike LED photo facials, IPL photo facials do have their limitations. IPL photo facials are not ideal for darker skin tones or tanned skin, as they do not respond well to treatment. Individuals with deeper wrinkling and scarring or severe cases of acne and rosacea should also not undergo IPL photo facials because results may not be sufficient.
Now for the Lowdown: Are There Any Disadvantages to Photo Facials?
Not really. Photo facials are generally safe and effective with very little risk of complications or side effects. Because photo facials are non-invasive, patients experience virtually no downtime and can usually resume their normal activities right away.
That being said, there are some things to consider before undergoing a photo facial treatment. Most patients experience mild sunburn-like side effects directly after an IPL treatment. These side effects are only temporary, and usually go away after a few days. Other side effects, albeit rare, can still occur. The most common side effects (especially with IPL photo facials) include temporary bruising, redness, an accentuation of the brown spots, crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister similar to a sunburn blister.
Keep in mind also that results obtained with photo facials may not be immediate or drastic – usually patients require three to five treatments over the course of several months. And results achieved with photo facials are also not permanent. You’ll have to undergo maintenance treatments every few months to keep the desired results.
Photo Facials: Are They Really Worth It?
Yes! Compared to other skin rejuvenation techniques, such as chemical peels, results obtained with photo facials are far superior and the procedures are significantly gentler. Though chemical peels generate mild discomfort (such as stinging and burning) and require moderate recovery time, photo facials are non-invasive and patients can return to work the same or following day. Chemical peels are also not able to address some dermatological issues like broken capillaries and rosacea, whereas photo facials excel at correcting pigmentation issues.
Overall, IPL photo facial treatments are a great way to reduce pigmentation problems, such as age spots, sun damaged skin, spider veins and broken capillaries as well as soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. LED photo facials in particular significantly reduce acne outbreaks by destroying acne-causing bacteria. They are also exceptional at stimulating collagen production, leaving skin smoother, softer and glowing. The best part of photo facials is that they are virtually pain-free, because they rejuvenate skin from the inside out (unlike other skin rejuvenation procedures). There’s really no reason to despair if you have sun damage. Photo facials can help you turn back the clock. What are you waiting for? Let in the light with photo facials.