What are the Side Effects of an IPL Photofacial?

What are the Side Effects of an IPL Photofacial

What are the Side Effects of an IPL Photofacial?

IPL photofacial is today’s modern approach to skin rejuvenation. Skin concerns like age spots, brown spots, facial redness, or sun damage may be bothersome, but they don’t have to be something we live with. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacial is an effective treatment for diminishing imperfections caused by discoloration.

Today, let us learn more about this skin treatment, its possible side effects, and the proven results you can achieve. Read until the end and discover if IPL photofacials are what you need for your skin concerns.

What is an IPL Photofacial?

 Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, aka IPL photofacial, is a treatment that improves your skin’s color and texture without surgery. It can also undo some unwanted, visible damage caused by sun exposure, often called photoaging. Effects may be primarily noticeable on your face, neck, hands, or chest. IPL photofacials may help if you have red, brown, or splotchy skin because of a health condition.

IPL photofacials are popular and effective light-based treatments for sun damage, brown spots, age spots, and facial redness. Advanced light-based therapies like IPL send short bursts of light at therapeutic wavelengths into the dermis to react with pigment cells. The light converts to heat, which breaks these cells into tiny particles. Your body will filter these cells out naturally, or they’ll flake away from the skin’s surface.

How Does IPL Photofacial Treatment Work?

What is IPL Photofacial Treatment Like?

Here are the standard steps in an IPL photofacial:

  • First, your skin is cleansed, and a cool gel is applied to the treatment area. 
  • The IPL handpiece is moved over your treatment area. Mild discomfort similar to the snap of a rubber band against the skin is joint, and if you desire, a topical anesthetic is available. 
  • Afterward, you’re cleared to resume your normal activities, taking care to protect your skin from sun exposure. 

Experts recommend a series of treatments for patients with rosacea or extensive pigmentation concerns, depending on your skin’s unique condition.

Who are Good Candidates for IPL Photofacials?

So, who should get IPL photofacials? It works best for those with pale or light brown skin. Talk to your dermatologist if you want to lessen or get rid of the following:

If you’re bothered by skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation, or sun damage, IPL may benefit your skin’s tone and texture. For some patients, we may recommend certain pre-treatment creams or a “test spot” to ensure IPL therapy is right for you. We customize your treatment for specific skin types and conditions. IPL photofacial therapy is not recommended for patients with darker skin types or melasma. For these patients, we have many other options available.

  • Acne
  • Birthmarks
  • Broken blood vessels
  • Dark spots from hormonal changes
  • Discolored skin
  • Fine wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Liver or age spots
  • Redness from rosacea
  • Scars
  • Spider veins
  • Stretch marks
  • Unwanted hair

Side Effects of IPL Photofacials

After your IPL photofacial session, noticeable changes will appear on your skin. Don’t fret and be alarmed – these side effects are mild and perfectly normal. These visible changes only indicate that the treatment is working correctly. The most common issues clients experience are the following:

  • Blemishes
  • Blisters
  • Brown spots
  • Bruising
  • Crusting
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Sunspots

These typical symptoms create confusion but no need to be that concerned. Even when procedures are non-invasive, like the IPL photofacial, the healing process takes place along with side effects lasting only a few days. Most clinics and medspas offer gel tablets to promote healing and lessen bruising.

The Healing Process and Recovery

The after-effects of IPL photofacials are temporary. With each reaction different from the others, so does their lifespans. You can expect the following after IPL during the healing process:

  • Redness lasts for 2-5 days
  • Bruising may last up to two (2) weeks
  • Darkened age spots or freckles last for 3-7 days
  • Crusting may last up to ten (10) days
  • Redness and sunburn that persists 2-5 hours after your treatment

Quite uncommonly, individuals do not experience all these side effects at once. However, if there are questions or concerns post-treatment, contact your doctor or healthcare provider.

Is there any downtime? But here’s the catch: IPL photofacial treatments require slight recovery. Your skin may feel tender or have mild swelling for 1-2 days. This incident resolves on its own.

What Results To Expect

Initially, pigmentation may darken. This incident is typical; these spots will fall off in about one week. Then noticeable improvement begins. With a series of 2-4 treatments scheduled 3-4 weeks apart, your results accumulate changes that peak around two (2) weeks after your final session. Your skin’s tone will be even with significantly reduced discoloration. Many patients are delighted with their IPL photofacial outcomes. Fresh, smoothly textured skin with a clear complexion is possible with IPL photofacials.

Aftercare Tips

Providing your skin with proper tender loving care is beneficial after your IPL photofacial session. Since your skin’s surface will become very sensitive, particularly heat exposure, we offer a list of recommended skincare dos and don’ts.

The Don’ts

Take several simple steps to ensure your after-treatment experience becomes as worry-free as possible. When you have proper knowledge of what to expect after IPL photofacial, it can help you remember these aftercare don’ts.


  • Exercise or do any strenuous physical activity. Wait at least two days before doing so.
  • Exfoliate your skin within the next seven days, as it may irritate.
  • Expose your skin to too much sun, unprotected. Wait for a month to do so.
  • Pick any crusting or blisters.
  • Take hot showers, baths, or bask in a hot tub for a minimum of 48 hours.
  • Use skin care products with harsh chemicals or high amounts of vitamin A, like Accutane, Retin-A (tretinoin), alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, and retinoic acid.

The Do’s

Although there are several things to avoid post-IPL, there are also some things highly recommended for you to do. Follow these quick tips so you can give yourself the best results, enhancing your skin’s natural glow:


  • Add stem cell serum to your existing skin regimen to increase collagen repair and give your skin a smooth and healthy appearance.
  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 minimum. This application protects your skin from UVB and UVA rays.
  • Cleanse and wash your skin twice a day using warm water.
  • Keep your skin moist at all times using a gentle moisturizer.
  • Perform a microdermabrasion facial on areas treated with IPL. It protects and hydrates your skin while removing dead skin cells. Perform this skincare routine two or three weeks post-treatment.

Final Thoughts on IPL Photofacials

When it comes to getting significant results with minor downtime, IPL photofacials have a lot in store. This light-based treatment is among the most potent ways to even skin pigmentation and reduces redness, dark spots, and discoloration. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider to know if IPL photofacials are the best for your skin concerns.

Are you ready for your IPL photofacial? Our amazing friends at Soul And Beauty Med X can help you today. Visit them now! 

Recent Post

Call Now Button