Fotofacial (IPL & BBL)

Fotofacial Treatments

IPL is offered at UFP Layton location
BBL is offered at UFP Draper location

Everyone by now understands the importance of proper skin care. Too much abuse from the sun can cause premature signs of aging, not to mention the skin cancer risks and sunspots. If you are in need of some skin rejuvenation due to an overabundance of pigmentation and age spots in the skin, a Fotofacial may provide just the help you need. Fotofacials can help not only with the signs of aging and sun damage, but also other skin imperfections such as rosacea.

How are the IPL & BBL treatments performed?

IPL(Intense Pulsed Light) and BBL(Broad Band Light) are non-invasive and non-abrasive rejuvenation treatments for your skin. They use the power of pulsed light to target skin conditions associated with sun damage, aging, hyperpigmentation, acne, broken capillaries, rosacea and redness.

The area of treatment, typically the face, decollate, and/or often times the skin on the hands, is numbed prior to treatment but some patients can tolerate it without numbing. Passes are made by our experienced estheticians to treat the discoloration deep in the skin. A cooling tip is applied in between passes to make the procedure more comfortable. Between the numbing cream and cooling process, pain is minimal. The actual procedure takes approximately 20 minutes and results are achieved in anywhere from 2-6 treatments. Individual treatment price is reduced when purchased in a package.

IPL/BBL Recovery

There is no recovery time although the pigment tackled during the treatment will begin to surface over the next week and flake off. At that time, it will either be lighter or gone depending on how far along the patient is in their treatment process. There is no guarantee all pigment will be removed, and sometimes other treatments or home care products may be recommended for continued care and improvement. Products, such as hydroquinone or other long-term pigment correctors, can maximize results and keep pigmentation from coming back. Sunscreen is highly recommended during and following these treatments.

Utah Facial Plastics performs IPL Fotofacials using the Syneron Icon Laser and Sciton’s Forever Young BBL. To learn more about these devices, please visit

ipl 2 treatment
After 2 treatments

If you are someone who has discoloration in the form of brown spots, sun damage, redness or rosacea you may be a candidate for IPL/BBL. Patients who have melasma or are a Fitzpatrick 5 or 6 are not good candidates for this treatment.

Recovery can vary from patient to patient. Redness may last less than an hour while some patients may experience redness up to 48 hours. Pigmentation will surface and become darker, lasting 1-2 weeks before flaking off the skin. Patients can cover with makeup and should use proper post care products to increase healing.

These light treatments will reduce pigmentation and redness in the skin resulting in a more even tone and complexion. They are not used to improve textural issues in the skin. If you would like to improve both tone and texture you will want to consider a combination or standalone laser resurfacing treatment that will target both tone and texture.

One of the reasons our Utah Facial Plastics patients love our Fotofacials is that they are very low-risk treatments. Short-term potential side effects after an IPL or BBL Fotofacial include very minor possible swelling, redness, and increased visibility of small capillaries. These are short-term issues, usually resolving in just a few hours. There is a slight chance of hyperpigmentation, but the expertise of our team ensures that risk is incredibly low.

It helps to remember that these treatments target pigmentation and capillaries in the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer. When the IPL or BBL energy is pulsed down onto the skin, the light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the pigmented area or capillary. The darker cells absorb the IPL energy, and the melanin pigment fragments. The body then absorbs the pigment cells and the spots become less and less visible. With veins, the energy is absorbed by the dark blood, heating the vein. This heating causes the vein wall to collapse and close off the vein. The body then scavenges the vein, and it completely disappears.

No. To be effective, there needs to be good contrast between the patient’s skin tone and the color of the hyperpigmented area. That allows the IPL or BBL energy to be absorbed fully by the pigmented area or capillary and not by the surrounding skin.

At Utah Facial Plastics, our IPL and BBL systems feature cooling in the tip of the handpiece, ensuring the correct temperature of the surface skin. Patients describe the feeling of each IPL/BBL pulse akin to the sensation of a rubber band being snapped against the skin. This can create a mildly stinging sensation, although most patients don’t have trouble tolerating it. If you wish, however, we’re more than happy to apply topical numbing anesthetic prior to your IPL/BBL session.

At Utah Facial Plastics, rejuvenating your skin is our mission, and we love the two ways our IPL and BBL Fotofacials benefit your skin. First, these light treatments target your pigmentation problems such as age spots and wrinkles. The darker cells absorb the IPL/BBL energy and the melanin pigment fragments. The body then absorbs the pigment cells and the spots become less and less visible. With veins, the energy is absorbed by the dark blood, heating the vein and causing it to close off. The body then scavenges the now-unused vein.

Second, the light energy penetrates the epidermis layer of the skin (the outer layer) and gently heats the dermis, the skin’s second layer. When the body senses this heating in the dermis it responds as if it has been wounded by producing new amounts of collagen and sending it to the “wounded” area. Since collagen provides the skin’s underlying support structure, this firms your skin and reduces lines and wrinkles. These are secondary effects with IPL and BBL treatments, however.

How your results endure or evolve depends on you and the sun. Sun exposure has caused most of these issues, and it will again if you don’t protect your skin. If you’re getting a lot of sun exposure and don’t adequately protect yourself with SPF 30+ sunscreen, your sun spots, age spots, and broken capillaries will develop again. But if you take good care of your skin and protect it from the sun, your skin will continue to look good for the long term.

At Utah Facial Plastics, we recommend an initial series of five Fotofacials. From there, patients opt for Fotofacials every 6 or 12 months as maintenance treatments to continue their skin rejuvenation.

There isn’t any downtime or recovery after these treatments, but you do have to be careful with sun exposure. Initially, your skin will be unprotected against sun exposure. You need to avoid sun exposure for several days, and then use plenty of sunscreen for at least two weeks moving forward. Protecting your skin with sunscreen down the road makes good sense anyway, as those pigmentation spots you just had treated didn’t develop on their own: they came from sun damage.

We’ll give you instructions prior to your treatment, but here are the basics. Remember, the goal is for there to be good contrast between your skin tone and the skin problems we’re treating. So, for 2-4 weeks prior to your session, don’t use self-tanners and limit your sun exposure. You want your skin tone to be lighter. You’ll have to discontinue use of Retin-A, doxycycline and other medications, along with aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve one week prior to your treatment. The best time to get an IPL Fotofacial is the fall through winter months, when you’re getting less sun exposure. Of course, if you’re hitting the slopes up at Alta, you’ll really want to make sure your facial skin is covered with a facemask or 30+ SPF sunscreen.

At Utah Facial Plastics, we don’t recommend having a Fotofacial and Botox in the same appointment due to the heat, manipulation of the tissues, and possible slight swelling after the light procedure.

Botox injections take just 10-15 minutes, however, so it’s easy to stop back by our Layton or Draper offices a week or so after your Fotofacial for these neuromodulator injections. That way any residual swelling will have fully resolved.

Contact Us Today!

Interested in getting IPL or BBL Fotofacial treatment in Salt Lake City, Draper, Layton, Utah and the surrounding areas? Contact Utah Facial Plastics for more information or to schedule an appointment call 801.960.3137 or book online.

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