IPL Vs. Photo Facial: What's the Difference?

I think IPL and photo facial is the same thing. please correct me if wrong

Doctor Answers (11)

IPL same as Photofacial?


IPL is a light based device - Intense Pulsed Light, whereas "photofacial" is a treatment. Normally photofacials are performed with IPL devices which is why the confusion over the terms.

It is significant to note that the term "photofacial" is very generic because it can refer to treating facial redness, sun damage or wrinkles.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

IPL and photofacial are the same thing

The IPL is another term for a photofacial. IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. The photofacial is a generic term for treating sundamage and redness. 

Laura Skellchock, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

IPL and photofacial decribe the samew procedure


IPL or Intense Pulsed Light it is also considered a photo facial. The broad spectrum light does not only target pigment, such as sun damage or rosacea but also helps to rejuvenate the skin. Most patients, after multiple IPL treatments see an improvement in their overall complexion and skin tone. Not all IPL machines are created equal , however. Currently Icon by Palomar seems to be the best  option

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

You might also like...

IPL vs. Photofacial


Yes, IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and photofacial (or fotofacial) are all the same treatment.  The same technology is used for both.  "Photofacial" is just a marketing term for IPL.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

IPL vs. Photo Facial

You are correct, these are the same. IPL treatments are non-invasive light based therapies that combine Intensed Pulsed Optical and Radiofrequency energy treatments. An IPL treatment can be in the form of a Photo Facial or Prolite. 

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

You're right on. IPL and photofacials are the same.


Thanks for your question. Yes, IPL, which stands for "Intense Pulsed Light," and Photofacials (or Fotofacials and other spelling variants) are all the same treatment. Different companies like to use catchy names for the treatments, but it is the same technology.

Peter Schmid, DO
Longmont Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

IPL is one form of "photofacial"


The term "photofacial" is a marketing term used to describe the use of any light source (laser or IPL/BBL) to improve facial color, tone, or texture. If you are looking for results from a specific type of device (laser vs. IPL, brown spots vs. redness vs. pore shrinkage) it is important to inquire further with the dermatologist or plastic surgeon offering this service, to find out what devices they use and what the specific benefits are.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

IPL and Photofacial are the same thing


"Photofacial" is a marketing term for use of Intense Pulse Light (IPL) on the face. However, it is important to understand that skin tightening and wrinkle reduction with IPL are very, very subtle. IPL is best at removal of brown spots and broken blood vessels; it does so with minimal if any downtime. Mild skin tightening occurs after repetitive treatment dueto collagen remodelling, but not enough to get your hopes up.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

IPL vs. Photo Facial


IPL (Intense Photo Light) therapy is the same as BBL (Broad Band Light) therapy. These encompass a group of potential treatments which preferentially use different colored lights for different applications (from clearing acne, to getting rid discolorations and sun spots, getting rid of small vessels and spots of redness to getting rid of hair).

Photofacial or photorejuvenation refers to a SUBSET of IPL / BBL treatments which aim to correct sun related damage - sun spots / freckles and capillaries / redness.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Photofacial refers to many different practices


This term means nothing really except it is easy to say and most people recognize it to be related to an IPL or light based treatment. "Photo" meaning "light" and facial pertaining to the face. So many practices can use this term interchangeably with different lasers etc.

Just ask your doctor what are they using on your skin a laser or a light based treatment and this will help clarify what you are getting. The IPL or light based photofacials are great at treatment redness and brown sun spots when used correctly and should have minimal downtime and risks in the right hands

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.