What to Expect After IPL (Photofacial)


Looking for a safe treatment for reducing various unwanted skin conditions? IPL photofacials 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 15 and 30 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 photofacials and different ways to care for your skin.

Ready to book your first photofacial appointment? Contact REVIVE360 Medical Spa today! 


Side Effects of IPL

After your IPL session, you will notice changes to 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. You can use Aloe Vera gel and Arnica Montana tablets to promote healing and lessen bruising.

The Healing 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 us at info@revive360medspa.com.


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 skincare 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 dont’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 skincare 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.

  • ALERT: Tanning distracts the IPL light, and will cause more heat to be absorbed into the area, risking a burn. Sunburned skin has the same issue, in addition to adding irritation and inflammation to an area that is already damaged. Using a laser on heat-sensitive and tanned skin can cause hyperpigmentation, burns, and even scarring. Wait a month after getting a tan or sunburn before IPL for the best results.


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 treatment 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 hyaluronic serum to your skin regimen to increase collagen repair and give your skin a hydrated and healthy appearance.