Southern California residents enjoy leading active lifestyles that include spending plenty of time outdoors. Our enviable weather often means extensive sun exposure, which can lead to skin discoloration and photodamage. Intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacial treatments at our aesthetic practice serving Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, and surrounding areas can reverse the sun’s damaging effects, in addition to treating melasma and reducing the redness associated with rosacea.
What is a photofacial?
Even though intense pulsed light (IPL) is often associated with laser skin treatments, an IPL photofacial uses broad-spectrum light energy rather than targeted laser beams to treat sun damage and other age-related skin conditions. Cutera’s Limelight device utilizes advanced IPL technology that is extremely versatile, safe, and effective and provides a gentler alternative to CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
Limelight IPL treatments are non-ablative—meaning the skin’s surface remains intact as the light energy penetrates to the deeper layer called the dermis. The light energy heats damaged capillaries, obliterates excess pigment, and stimulates collagen production to produce smoother, firmer skin.
Is a photofacial right for me?
IPL is an excellent option for women and men with specific concerns about their complexions, including:
Vascular and pigmented lesions
Patients who want an effective treatment without the downtime resulting from more aggressive laser skin resurfacing procedures are ideal candidates for IPL photofacials. The treatment can also shrink enlarged pores and minimize acne breakouts. Even though the procedure is often used on the face, it’s also effective for treating the chest and hands. Patients with light to medium skin tones will see the most benefit from IPL photofacial treatments.
What happens during an IPL photofacial treatment?
We perform IPL photofacials in our office. Before the treatment begins, one of our providers applies a topical anesthetic to numb the treatment area and minimize discomfort. An IPL procedure involves delivering pulses of photo-thermal energy to the desired area, which causes a sensation that most patients compare to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Treatment times depend on the size of the targeted area and the skin’s condition.
Even though no downtime is necessary, your skin may appear sunburned for a few hours after the procedure. You’ll also notice that pigmented skin will become dark and flake off in 7 to 10 days. We recommend scheduling a series of 4 to 6 treatments 4 to 6 weeks apart to get the optimal results.
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Your lifestyle and daily skincare regimen are the primary factors in determining how long the results of an IPL treatment will last. Limiting sun exposure and applying a daily sunscreen with at least SPF 30 can help extend the results of your treatment. It’s also important to use premium skincare products to keep your skin looking refreshed and healthy.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Stoker and his experienced team specialize in nonsurgical and surgical skin rejuvenation and can answer your questions about IPL photofacials and other treatment options. Request a consultation using our online form or call us at
(310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.