What is a ‘Photo-facial’?
Written by Angela, 28th February 2022
A photofacial is a skin treatment using different types of light emitting equipment to treat a variety of skin concerns including:
– Fine lines & wrinkles,
– Discolouration such as pigmentation or age spots and
– Red veins
We find that photo facials are particularly popular for those clients showing signs of skin ageing and want to ‘refresh’ the skin, even out skin tone and those searching for a results- driven skin rejuvenation treatment.
Photo facial in Cheshire
The photo facial equipment we use at Sensoria is Intense Pulsed Light, with Award winning equipment from the Lynton laser company.
Lynton is a British company and is based in Cheshire. It develops its equipment, training and techniques in conjunction with Manchester University.
The IPL unit from Lynton is the only IPL equipment in the NHS supply chain, chosen for its safety and efficacy.
Not all IPL equipment is the same!
Our Photo Facial is called ‘Skin Rejuve’ and we have developed it with Angela’s 38 years experience in the beauty industry and combined it with Award winning skin care products from Dermalogica.
It is a unique treatment offering excellent skin rejuvenating results.
How does Photo- rejuvenation work?
IPL photorejuvenation treatment uses high energy light waves to reduce or eliminate many common effects of ageing, including facial wrinkles and skin discolourations.
The light energy stimulates the collagen-producing cells in the skin encouraging the production of collagen – a natural protein that gives skin support.
This increased production of collagen helps to ‘fill in’ lines and wrinkles, making the skin smooth and supple.
Intense pulses of light are used to penetrate deep into the skin, in fact nothing reaches deeper into the skin than light energy, so it has a long lasting effect, carrying on working long after your treatment.
With each treatment, the results of IPL photorejuvenation become more pronounced.
How long do Photofacial results last?
As mentioned above, the effects of IPL carry on working long after treatment has finished.
Generally speaking, the results of a photo facial may last between six to twelve months.
During that period of time it is sensible to avoid things that may damage your skin further such as exposure to UV light, smoking, poor diet and excessive alcohol.
As with all skin rejuvenating treatments, you need to give yourself and your skin the best chance at producing collagen to get the maximum results from your investment.
How many photo facials will I need to see results?
Depending on the area being treated and the severity of the problem, multiple treatment sessions may be recommended.
In most instances, we recommend between three and six treatments for the best skin rejuvenating results.
Red veins and pigmentation usually reduce very quickly, often within one or two sessions, but collagen production can take longer.
Treatment for red veins and pigmentation
During treatment two hand pieces are used.
The 650 hand piece is for skin rejuvenation, but the first stage of the treatment is with a 585 hand piece which targets individual red veins and pigmentation such as age spots.
Occasionally, red veins and pigmentation can look a little worse immediately after treatment.
Red veins can look a slightly inflamed and pigmentation marks will get darker before they fade.
Areas of pigmentation can appear as if ‘coffee grains’ have come to the surface of the skin.
These need to be left alone to flake off and it is important that you do not pick at these.
The removal of red veins and the reduction of pigmentation gives a more even tone to the skin making it look much more youthful.
Photofacial vs. Laser Skin resurfacing
An IPL Photofacial is an effective way to minimise the aesthetic impact of enlarged pores, moderate sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles.
As it is non-invasive, it allows us to make quick cosmetic improvements conveniently and with very little risk or discomfort.
As IPL is ‘non ablative’ , which means that no skin is removed during treatment, there is minimum ‘downtime’ allowing you to go about your normal daily activities very quickly.
Laser skin resurfacing, is used to deal with more serious skin problems, such as deep wrinkles, serious sun damage, and severe acne scarring.
Because laser skin resurfacing is more invasive, with fine layers of skin being removed, there is greater risk of complications and it involves a longer recovery period than an IPL photofacial.
If you are not sure whether a photofacial or laser skin resurfacing would be more appropriate for you, please get in touch.
What happens in a photo facial?
Before a photo facial can take place a patch test and consultation needs to be carried out.
The patch test usually takes place one week before your first treatment and allows us to assess your suitability for treatment and monitor how your skin will react.
The patch test allows you to sample the sensation of the treatment.
At your first photo facial appointment your skin will be double cleansed to remove any surface dirt or debris.
This is followed by an exfoliation stage to ensure that all old, dead skin cells are removed allowing the light energy to penetrate more effectively into your skin.
A cool gel is applied to the treatment area, both to allow smooth passage of the hand pieces across your skin and to help cool the epidermis during the treatment.
You will be given protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the bright flashes of light.
Your skin care specialist will apply brief pulses of bright light to the skin through the hand pieces.
During the procedure you will feel a warm sensation and we ask you to gauge the feeling of the sensation from ‘one to ten’.
‘One’ reflecting no sensation at all and ‘ten’ extremely painful.
We are looking for a sensation between ‘four and six’ and the intensity will be adjusted as necessary for your comfort and to achieve and effective outcome.
Most clients liken the sensation to the light and brief ‘snap’ of a rubber band and causes very little pain.
Although it is not painful, it is not a relaxing facial as it is a results-driven skin treatment with some discomfort associated with it.
However, results far outweigh the sensation. This part of the procedure if fairly fast.
The first application is with the 585 handpiece to treat any individual red veins or pigmentation patches.
The second application is with the 650 hand piece to simulate collagen production.
The treatment is finished with a cooling masque, followed by serums and moisturisers.
If the procedure is carried out during daylight hours, a sun protection cream is applied at the end.
The whole process takes around forty five minutes to an hour.
Will a photo facial be right for me?
An ideal candidate for a photo facial is someone with pale, untanned skin that is still somewhat elastic.
It is also important to have a realistic understanding about what the procedure can do.
When performed on the right person, it effectively improves skin texture, eliminating discolourations, reduces pore size, and minimises wrinkles and fine lines.
If you have rosacea, a condition that causes blotchy redness in the face, you may also benefit from an IPL Photofacial as it reduces redness.
Photofacials are very good for younger clients too, who are looking for a preventive approach to skin ageing and are perhaps seeing the first signs of discolouration, red veins or fine lines and wrinkles.
For more serious issues – heavy facial lines, for example – you may wish to consider more aggressive treatment, such as a face lift or a brow lift.
People with naturally dark skin (Fitzpatrick skin type IV and above) are often not suitable for treatment as they could experience changes in skin pigmentation after IPL photo facial.
Clients with tanned skin are also not suitable unless they are prepared to leave their skin untanned for a month prior to treatment.
A good check to see if your skin is pale enough for safe and effective treatment is to hold the palm of your hand against the side of your face.
The closer the colour of your facial skin is to the colour of the skin on the palm of your hand, the more suitable you are for an IPL photofacial.
If you are taking the medication Roaccutane you should also not have an IPL photo facial until at least six months after you stop using the drug.
Pregnant women should also postpone treatment until after they give birth.
Preparing your skin for a photo facial
Very little preparation is required by you before you first photo facial at Sensoria.
The two most important things are: -
– Keep your skin protected from sunlight for 4 weeks before treatment, and
- Have a patch test.
Photo facial aftercare
The recovery time from an IPL photo facial skin procedure is often very short, as there is very little damage done to the skin during treatment.
Depending on your skin challenges to remedy and your skin type, the redness that is present following the procedure may persist for a longer or shorter period of time.
The after effects of an IPL photo facial treatment usually dissipates within a few hours for many patients.
For some people, however, the redness or dark spots may take a week to fade.
The most important things to remember following IPL photofacial treatment are to avoid the sun for several days and to wear plenty of sunblock for at least two weeks.
Intense pulsed light therapy can give you excellent results for a year or more, but you must take care to ensure your skin is protected for the first few weeks after treatment.
Most reported side effects of IPL photorejuvenation are mild and resolve themselves within a few hours or days of treatment.
The most common side effect is facial redness or flushing.
Small capillaries may appear larger immediately following treatment as well – but don’t worry; this is common and will fade quickly.
In rarer instances, mild bruising and swelling may occur, but this too will go away within a day or so.
Permanent side effects from photorejuvenation are extremely rare.
How much does a Photo facial cost?
An IPL photo facial is more costly than procedures like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, however it is less expensive than most cosmetic surgery and laser skin treatment.
The price of single Skin Rejuve session for either the face, neck or upper chest is £120 with face and neck £190 and face, neck and chest £220.
A reduction of 10% can be enjoyed when booking a course of 3 treatments.
Our other skin rejuvenating treatments
At Sensoria, we offer a full suite of skin rejuvenating treatments to suit you and skin goals.
These include skin peels, skin needling, wrinkle relaxing facials and vitamin-rich facials.
Quite often we blend a variety of disciplines to give you the best results.
A Programme of skin treatments can be discussed to find the right course of treatment to discover the best possible version of your skin.
With thousands of satisfied clients we look forward to looking after you!
Health, beauty & wellbeing in Cheshire
At Sensoria we like to help make things as easy as possible for you, so if you need any further help with choosing which is the right skin treatment for you, just get in touch today.
Originally published February 28, 2022