Ever since I was a child, I loved to make people feel and look beautiful.

My Experience with IPL* Photofacial

*IPL = Intense Pulsed Light

I have been looking forward to this day for a while now! As I’ve ‘aged’, I began noticing some things about my skin that weren’t favorable. And it really started right around ages 29 & 30. And anyone more ‘mature’ than me is probably rolling their eyes, LOL I get it… but wanted to mention that for anyone who is younger than mwah or anyone who is around my age going through the same thing.

  • Lines & wrinkles
  • Broken capillaries (near the nose & on the cheeks)
  • Sun damage (as opposed to melasma – two very different things)
  • Melasma
  • Increase in facial hair (especially after discontinuing the use of birth control – gahhh! My hair growth is at an another level & it causes bumps along my chin line)
  • Cystic acne during hormone flare-ups – aunt Flo!

I sound like a real beaut!!!!!!!!!!

While I take really good care of my skin and find that the products & techniques I am using are helping greatly, my skin is definitely in need of a professional procedure that does more than just treat… I need to help reverse a lot of this stuff too. I strongly believe that for beautiful skin, you need a mix of things…. For me, I rely on fillers/Botox, professional treatments and proper day to day skincare use. I have spent most of this year focusing on my melasma, which I’ve got under control. But because my budget went so much towards that, I neglected getting actual professional treatments done. When I got my last filler/Botox fill-up, my doctor at Tucson Cosmetics suggested that I do 3 sessions of IPL (once a month for 3 months) and do it once a year moving forward. Dr. Rubbani is a really amazing doctor who knows her stuff and always knows about my ‘complaints’ before I even point them out – which I personally appreciate.

What I’m finding through this Cheeky journey, is that most women (in particular) don’t know where to start when it comes to a particular issue with their skin. Though a lot of you guys know a TON about skincare (some more than me), I am still seeing that Cheeky’s often don’t know who to trust or what to start with first, so I hope that I’m your go-to gal for it. That’s why I’m writing this specific blog. I know that most of you probably are dealing with at least a couple of my skin concerns above & could greatly benefit from IPL Photofacial.

What is IPL!?

IPL or intense pulsed light therapy was invented by Dr. Patrick Bitters Jr. The IPL photofacial skin procedure involves the use of an intense beam of broad-spectrum light – which are different than lasers that target the dermis, which is the lowest dermal level of the skin. The procedure removes damaged skin while stimulating collagen growth. IPL photorejuvenation therapy is meant to improve a variety of skin conditions, including:

  • Hair growth – I’ve read that IPL actually helps with hair removal
  • Acne, cystic acne
  • Dark spots/melasma
  • Sun damage
  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Large pores
  • Broken capillaries
  • Rosacea
  • Redness
  • Wrinkles
  • Freckles

IPL can be performed on a variety of skin areas – i.e. hands, neck, face, arms, yada yada!

*IPL is not for individuals with dark skin.

How it works!

During IPL treatment, high energy light waves are used to reduce or in fact eliminate (one of my favorite words) many common skin conditions associated with aging, in particular. IPL also encourages the production of collagen, allowing for the skin to look younger and more plump. With each treatment, the results become more pronounced which is why your doc will most likely recommend 3-6 treatments, based on the severity of your ‘issues’, spaced 3-4 weeks apart.

What’s the treatment like!?

Before the procedure begins, you will be given protective eyewear to protect those beautiful eyes of yours from the bright flashes of light. A cooling gel is applied to the treatment area, that helps to lubricate the device and cool the epidermis during the treatment. Your doc or specialist will apply quick pulses of bright light to the skin through the device.  It can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour – depending on the treatment size. Don’t forget, you can also do your neck and décolletage area too!

During the treatment, you will experience a general warmness on the skin and the feel of a light rubber band ‘slapping’ at the skin. After the procedure, you may receive some ice to help calm the skin down, though most folks didn’t report an exuberant amount of pain during the procedure. In fact, I read that a lot of people didn’t even know the procedure was taking place.


So I’ve seen a wide range of costs when it comes to this procedure. You can often save by purchasing a package of treatments at one time. However, for my doc it is $385 per treatment, but she gave me $100 OFF for being a loyal patient (I’m there like every month!!). But I’ve seen it as high as $600. So it really depends on where you live.

After care & healing time

Avoid the sun at allllllll costs! Slather on that sunscreen, wear a hat, stay away from windows, don’t go outside.. yada yada, just stay away from the sun! You will want to treat your skin very carefully. I would recommend just using your lotion and sunscreen and calling it a day. Doing too much too soon may inhibit the results.

Most folks find that after a week, their skin is back to normal. Typical healing consists of darkening of the skin (coffee grounds), redness and dark spots that heal and flake off over time. Each person is different, some may experience more severe darkening than others. I plan to stay off the computer camera at work so no one is scared of my face. You’re welcome co-workers 😉

Update: When I had my IPL treatment, it was with a brand new machine. The doctor said that I would not experience the ‘coffee ground’ effect or any big changes to my skin that would cause me to stay in the house for a week! It would be a gradual improvement of ‘fading’ seen over a couple weeks. 

The absolute MOST important thing is to find a certified and trained professional! This is an absolute must! If you come across a Groupon or fly by night sorta place, run! You can easily get burned and it ain’t a pretty burn… it’s usually a stripe-like burn all over the treated area. And it doesn’t go away!

If you can’t wait for my Afters to post below, check out some of these happy IPL recipients –

Photo provided by Laser Center of Walnut Creek – this is ONE flipping treatment!

Images provided by MAAS Clinic

If you’re considering IPL, hit me up and we can chat about it! I can’t wait for tomorrow!!!!!!! If you have questions, let us know in the comments section below. Had it done before? Tell us your results!

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