IPL Photofacial

What is IPL Photofacial and how does it work?

IPL uses light in wavelengths in this non-invasive medical treatment to address a variety of common skin issues.

Targeting pigmented lesions, vascular lesions, acne, or wrinkles; a handpiece emits a strong pulse of light into the skin (photorejuvenation).

The light transforms into heat as it interacts with the chromophores in the skin, eliminating any undesirable lesions while leaving the skin smooth.

This light-based treatment reduces visible signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, brown spots, visible veins, and discoloration.

Young Woman Receiving Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

What does IPL Photofacial treat?

  • Reduction of sun-induced skin damage
  • Reduction of premature aging
  • Superficial pigmentation (brown spot)
  • Superficial blood vessels
  • Wrinkles (Photorejuvenation)
  • Improves overall skin tone, texture, and appearance

Face, neck, decollete, and hands can be treated.

Please note: for pigmentation treatment it is common for the skin to darken at first, following treatment, and then lighten over time.

Am I a Candidate for IPL Photofacial?

Deciding if IPL Photofacial is appropriate for you is based on your skin type. Your skin will be assessed prior to treatment, to assess whether this treatment is the correct one for your skin type.

The Fitzpatrick skin type classification system is commonly used in dermatology and cosmetic procedures to assess how different skin types respond to various treatments, including IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) photofacial treatments.

IPL photofacial treatments are generally suitable for individuals with Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV. Here’s a brief overview of which skin types are suitable for IPL photofacial treatment:

Fitzpatrick Skin Type I: Extremely fair skin, often with light eyes and red or blonde hair. Always burns, never tans. IPL photofacial is generally suitable for individuals with Fitzpatrick Skin Type I, but caution must be exercised to avoid excessive energy levels.

Fitzpatrick Skin Type II: Fair skin with blue or green eyes, often with blonde or light brown hair. Burns easily, rarely tans well. IPL photofacial is typically suitable for individuals with Fitzpatrick Skin Type II. However, it’s important to tailor the treatment to the patient’s specific skin characteristics and concerns.

Fitzpatrick Skin Type III: Light to moderately tan skin, often with brown eyes and brown hair. Sometimes burns, gradually tans. IPL photofacial is generally suitable for individuals with Fitzpatrick Skin Type III, but the treatment settings may need to be adjusted to account for the increased melanin content in the skin.

Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV: Olive or light brown skin, often with dark brown eyes and dark hair. Rarely burns, tans easily. IPL photofacial is typically suitable for individuals with Fitzpatrick Skin Type IV. This skin type responds well to IPL treatments for issues like sun damage, pigmentation irregularities, and redness.

It’s important to note that individuals with Fitzpatrick Skin Types V and VI, which include darker skin tones, are generally not suitable candidates for IPL photofacial treatments.

This is because darker skin contains more melanin, and the risk of post-treatment complications such as hyperpigmentation and burns is higher in these individuals.

For individuals with darker skin types seeking similar benefits, alternative treatments may be more appropriate, but consultation with a qualified practitioner is crucial to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Regardless of skin type, it’s essential to have a thorough consultation with a trained medical professional before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, including IPL photofacial treatments, to determine the most suitable approach based on individual skin characteristics and concerns.

Our experts here at BlossomMD will guide you on what is most appropriate for you.

Benefits of IPL Photofacial

  • Return to normal activity immediately after the procedure
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Reduces aged and sun-damaged skin
  • Reduces brown age and liver spots, discoloration, and freckles
  • Reduces the redness of rosacea
  • Reduces acne scars
  • Tightens skin and stimulates new collagen growth to improve skin tone
  • Removes broken capillaries and redness of the face, neck, and chest
  • Reduction of unwanted hair

What is treatment like?

We’ll begin with cleaning the area to be treated. Then, we’ll apply light pulses from the IPL device to your skin. During your treatment, you’ll wear dark glasses to protect your eyes.

Some clients report feeling a slight sting to their skin, similar to the feeling of being snapped with a rubber band.

Immediately after treatment, mild redness and slight swelling of the skin may be present. This is common, and will typically disappear over the next hour or so.

Treatments of the same area are typically done every 4 weeks. And in general, a minimum of 6-9 treatments are required for optimum results.


  • It is imperative that you avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for at least 4 weeks prior to your treatment. This is a must and no exceptions will be made.
  • Avoid applying self-tanner for 2 weeks prior to treatment.
  • Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for one week prior to your treatment. Inform your provider if you are taking blood thinners or regularly taking aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Avoid alcohol for 2 days prior to treatment.
  • Inform your provider if you have taken Accutane (oral acne medication) in the past year.
  • Inform your provider if you have taken medications that increase photosensitivity or sun sensitivity such as Antibiotics.
  • Store ice packs in your freezer for use after your procedure.


  • It is important to use only mild cleansers and moisturizers.
  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, alcohol, heavy exertion, and activities which may cause flushing for 2 days after treatment.
  • Avoid harsh topical products such as retinol and glycolic acid products for at least one week after, because it’s important to wait until your skin is healed.
  • Avoid direct sunlight on the treated area and use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater for 4 – 6 weeks after your treatment.
  • Anticipate some social downtime following your treatment.

Are IPL Treatment Results Permanent?

Although this long-lasting treatment can make the skin look better, it cannot stop future aging.

Avoiding sun exposure and protecting one’s skin with the daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater is therefore important and will help prevent future sun damage.

Depending on the severity of the issue being treated, 6 to 9 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart will typically be necessary to achieve the best results.

Patients often see some improvement within 2 weeks, but full results might not be visible for at least 6 treatments; especially for more severe dark spots.

How Much Does IPL Photofacial Treatment Cost?

There are many factors that will contribute to the cost of IPL Photofacial treatment. Contact us today and we’ll discuss what’s best for you and how much it will cost.

Schedule a Consultation

Please contact us today if you have any questions about IPL Photofacial treatment in the East Bay Area or if you would like to schedule a consultation at BlossomMD. We will build your personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your ultimate skin goals.


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