Many lucky celebrities are photoshopped in most of the pictures they take, making their skin appear flawless and perfect. For those of us who are not privy to the star treatment there are photofacial treatments that many are calling photoshop for real life. These photofacial treatments give individuals that flawless, silky smooth appearance that many celebrities don in the magazines. Photofacial treatments are considered non-invasive and have very minor side effects as the skin is not touched during the procedure by anything other than laser light.
What is it?
Photofacial treatments use thermal heat and light to kill harmful bacteria in the skin and remove dead skin cells and unwanted buildups of dirt and trapped blood. Depending upon the extent of skin damage, usually between 2 to 4 treatments are required to fully realize the desired results. The actual procedure itself is virtually painless and at most some patients report feeling a slight stinging sensation, much like the gentle snapping of a rubber band against the skin. This treatment is most appropriate for individuals with lighter colored skin as darkening of the skin may occur in rare cases of photofacial treatments in darker skinned men and women. There are two main types of photofacial treatments, LED treatments and IPL treatments. LED, or light emitting diode photofacials, use a narrow light spectrum and produce a cooling sensation when they are administered. LED photofacials primarily increase the amount of collagen the body produces. IPL photofacial treatments, or Intense Pulsed Light treatments, use high energy concentrated light beams and can produce a slight warming sensation. These treatments are best for reducing brown or dark spots in the skin and evening out skin tone.
How does it work?
During photofacial treatments pulses of light are administered in waves. The light-emitting device is held close to the skin as pulses of light in a specific wave length are released in intervals of approximately 2.5 seconds. During these treatments nothing actually physically touches a patient’s skin, unless they opted to having a cooling gel applied beforehand. The use of a cooling gel is not required but may put extremely sensitive patients at ease throughout the procedure. These small bursts of light cauterize damaged blood vessels and evaporate trapped blood and pigment buildups, removing skin discolorations and preventing future skin damage. The treatment itself can last between 30 to 60 minutes depending upon the size of the area being treated.
Since no harsh chemicals are being used, and no surgery is required, photofacial treatments have no downtime for recovery. A slight swelling and blushing of the skin may appear directly following the treatment but most individuals are able to return to their daily routine right after the procedure is finished.