Types of Photofacials: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) & LED Light Therapy

Aesthetics Daily – Skin problems can affect anyone, especially if someone doesn’t take good care of their skin. To deal with various annoying skin problems, a photofacial treatment can be the right choice. It is a popular skin treatment that consists of several types including intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy and light-emitting diode (LED) light therapy.

Photofacial treatments help reduce common skin problems such as sun damage, acne and uneven skin tone. Various other skin conditions that can be treated with photofacials include spider veins, brown spots, acne scars, hyperpigmentation and broken capillaries. Apart from treating skin problems, photofocial is also a favorite treatment for some patients to rejuvenate the skin.

What is a Photofacial?

Basically, photofacial is a type of skin treatment that uses various types of light-based technologies. Photofacial which is also called photorejuvenation can also reduce signs of premature aging such as wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy which is widely used in the field of dermatology is also known as flash therapy. IPL involves the controlled use of a broad spectrum of light to treat various skin problems. These are often intended to remove unwanted hair, reduce stretch marks, rejuvenate the skin, and treat acne.

IPL is often confused with laser treatment whereas the two are actually different. This is because both of them use light which is converted into heat energy for treatment. The type of light they emit is the main difference between the two.

IPL provides a wide spectrum (polychromatic) light that produces different wavelengths and covers a larger area. Meanwhile, on the other hand, laser therapy provides a single band of bright color (monochromatic) to target certain areas.

IPL is a non-ablative and non-invasive cosmetic procedure. This means, IPL treatment does not require anesthesia or even sedation. The broad spectrum of light is able to penetrate the deeper layers of skin without damaging the overlying skin layers or epidermis.

LED Light Therapy

Light-emitting diode (LED) light therapy, which uses different wavelengths of light, is used to treat a variety of skin problems. There are several different types of wavelengths that provide varying effects.

This non-invasive treatment can increase the production of collagen in the skin which can reduce the signs of aging. What’s more, LED light therapy is also useful for treating sun damage, scarring, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis.

photofacial intense pulsed light led therapy what is benefits advantages pros cons
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The red and blue wavelengths are the most commonly used frequencies in LED light therapy. Those that are easily absorbed by the skin do not contain harmful ultraviolet rays. Red light is used to treat epidermis or the outermost layer of skin.

Meanwhile, blue light targets the oil glands in the deeper layers of skin. This can lead to drier skin resulting in fewer acne by reducing the number of oil glands.

How Do Photofacials Work?

Photofacials work by emitting a beam of light that is focused on the skin surface. The light targets the pigments present in red spots and brown spots. The production of new collagen is increased by heating the lower layers of skin or epidermis. The skin will become smoother thanks to the contracted collagen and blood vessels.

Acne which is the most common skin problem can be treated with a photofacial. During the treatment, specific light blasts target and eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

Often after acne is treated it leaves pink or brown marks. They can be treated with photofacial treatments which are widely offered in aesthetic clinics.

The Benefits of a Photofacial

Photofacial treatments take around 30 minutes per session. You will be lying directly under a light source or a device such as a wand or mask that can target a more specific area.

Basically, LED light therapy can be used for any part of the body. However, usually it is often used to treat facial areas. LED light therapy with no downtime can be used for all skin types.

There is no pain during treatment because this type of light therapy is non-invasive. Even so, LED light therapy is not recommended for treating areas of the body where there is an active rash.

There may be noticeable results after the first treatment. However, for maximum results, you may need a series of follow-up or maintenance treatments.


Compared to laser skin treatments and most aesthetic procedures, photofacials are more economical and affordable. However, photofacials are slightly more expensive than chemical peels or microdermabrasion.

There are several factors that affect the price of photofacial treatments. Some of these include the amount of treatment needed, the severity, the area of skin being treated, professional experience, and the clinic’s medical facilities.

If you want to get a photofacial treatment either IPL or LED therapy, you need to learn more about their advantages and disadvantages. You also need to consult with your doctor to determine the most appropriate type of photofacial.

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