What to Expect After IPL (Photofacial)

Updated: March 9, 2023

Looking for a safe treatment for reducing various unwanted skin conditions? IPL photo facials are a non-invasive treatment that uses intense pulses of light (IPL) to treat skin issues such as sun damage, redness, rosacea, and age spots. One session of IPL takes between 30 and 90 minutes. Although this popular procedure is completed in a short amount of time, you can optimize your results when you know what to expect after IPL. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect after IPL photo facials and different ways to care for your skin.

Ready to book your first photofacial appointment? Contact Dr. Vanderloos, today!


Side Effects of IPL

After your IPL session, you will notice changes in your skin. Do not be alarmed as mild side effects are perfectly normal. These changes indicate that the treatment is working properly. The most common issues that clients experience are:

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

These symptoms create no reason for concern. Even when a procedure is non-invasive like the IPL photofacial there is a healing process that takes place, with side effects lasting only a few days. Our office offers the Auriderm gel and Arnica Montana tablets to promote healing and lessen bruising.

The IPL Healing Stages, Process & Recovery

The side effects of an IPL photofacial are temporary. As each reaction differs, so does their lifespan. What to expect after IPL during the healing process:

  • Redness lasts for two to five days
  • Bruising may last up to two weeks
  • Darkened age spots or freckles last for three to seven days
  • Crusting may last up to 10 days
  • Sunburn and redness persist two to five hours after treatment

It is uncommon for an individual to experience all these side effects. However, if you have any questions or concerns post-treatment, contact Dr. Vanderloos.

IPL Aftercare Tips

It is essential to give your skin proper TLC after your IPL session. Being that your skin’s surface will become very sensitive, particularly to heat exposure, we offer a list of recommended skin care do’s and don’t’s.

What Not to Do

There are several simple steps you can take to ensure your post-procedure experience goes as smoothly as possible. Knowing what to expect after IPL will help you remember these aftercare don’t’s.

  • Don’t take hot showers, hot baths, or bask in a hot tub for a minimum of 48 hours.
  • Don’t exfoliate your skin within the first seven days as it may cause irritation.
  • Don’t pick any crusting or blisters.
  • Don’t exercise or participate in any strenuous physical activity. Wait at least two days to do so.
  • Don’t expose your skin to the sun unprotected. Wait at least 30 days to do so.
  • Don’t use skin care products that have harsh chemicals or contain high amounts of vitamin A, such as alpha-hydroxy acids, Accutane, Retin-A (tretinoin), glycolic acid, and retinoic acid.

Aftercare To-Do’s

While there are a few things to avoid post IPL, there are certain things recommended for you to do. Following these quick tips can give you the best results, enhancing your skin’s natural glow:

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

Restore Confidence in Your Skin

If you are dealing with troublesome skin conditions, contact Dr. Catherine Vanderloos to schedule a photofacial appointment. We are here to help you achieve healthy radiant skin, enhancing your inner glow. Do you have additional questions on what to expect after IPL photofacial? Contact us, directly!