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 13

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


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

IPL and photofacial

you get photofacial through IPL technology. I also really like Icon Palomar machine that delivers great results. IPL can deliver to all body parts when needed we routinely treat neck chest and arms/hands as well. IPL is intense pulsed light that is not a laser but energy based treatment using light. normally it is best for treating sun damage/pigmentation and unwanted vascular lesions. Best Parham Gharagozlou MD FACP

Parham Gharagozlou, MD, FACP
Walnut Creek Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

What is a photofacial?

A photofacial uses IPL.  IPL stands for intense pulsed light.  BBL, or broad band light, is another name for this type of device.  Different filters can be used with the IPL to filter out specific wavelengths of light, allowing a single device to treat many different conditions, including brown spots, redness and fine spider veins, and fine lines.  In our office, a photofacial uses several different filters to address all of these conditions in a single type of treatment.  You may also see it spelled fotofacial, which refers to the Sciton laser brand version of the treatment.  

Jennifer Greer, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 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 E. Skellchock, MD (in memoriam)
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 215 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
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 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, FAACS
Longmont Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 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
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

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.