An IPL photo facial treatment uses brief discharges of a polychromatic, high-intensity light to even skin tone, boost elastin and collagen and remove hair, states Anitra Brown for About.com. The light used during an IPL photo facial treatment punctures just under the skin to affect the melanin and blood vessels.
IPL photo facial treatments are often done in three to six treatments, typically three to six months apart, according to Brown. Laser treatments are more intense than an IPL photo facial treatment, but IPL treatments combine procedures that would require two laser treatments for the same effect. IPL photo facial treatments are also less expensive than laser treatments and can be performed at a day spa.
During an IPL photo facial treatment, a cooling gel is applied to the skin along with cooling devices typically built into the machine, explains Brown. Treatments can range from uncomfortable to painful depending on the operator. Operators must be trained and licensed and be prepared to discuss any concerns regarding the treatment.
An esthetician is a preferred IPL photo facial treatment administrator, and it is wise to receive a facial from the operator first before choosing to receive an IPL, recommends Brown. An IPL works best on light skin with sun damage, lack of firmness and broken capillaries. Darker skin tones require special equipment for best results.