First Session Today - Washington, DC

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(That's $450 per session, I will probably need...

(That's $450 per session, I will probably need 3.)

I had one session of Fraxel: restore at $2750 (at my derm), had a very bad reaction to it and saw no results, decided to try IPL for hyper-pigmentation and rosacea-induced redness. I am 36, very pale (red hair, blue eyes), have always had freckles but have started to get larger blotchy brown spots and redness/broken capillaries on my cheeks, and the freckles have worsened (i.e., they no longer look cute and youthul, they look like sun damage). Tried fraxel initially for those, but not pleased with the results, expense, and down time.

First, I knew from research (and the technician confirmed) that I was the ideal candidate. It apparently can burn you if you have olive or dark skin, or even if you are a light or medium-skinned person with a tan.

I had my first session today at a medi-spa. I am reluctant to do such things anywhere other than my derm, but since it's not a laser I figured I'd be ok. For me, it hurt. While I wouldn't call it painful, exactly, I wouldn't call it merely uncomfortable, either. It's somewhere in between. Like a hot rubber band snapping on your skin. It hurts like hell in the moment, but the good news is it's over quickly. Next time I think I may put on a numbing cream before I go.

I had my first session today. I am now 5 hours post. I am not red or swollen at all. (I was nervous about the "no down time" claim, as that had not at all proved correct for Fraxel: Restore, which claimed the same.) My freckles and age spots are DARK brown. I am told this is normal and good, and I should expect them to come off over the next week. I experimented with my mineral makeup concealer, it dulls the spots enough that I'd be perfectly comfortable going out tonight (though maybe not on a first date :-)

Will wait to see how it goes over the next week before I decide whether or not to have more. Right now, don't see any difference for redness or pores (or that glow one is allegedly supposed to get after IPL), but the freckles and age spots are definitely dark brown, so that seems to have worked (and I know from research it usually takes at least two sessions before you see real results).

I don't really understand why IPL has a 50%...

I don't really understand why IPL has a 50% satisfaction rating and photofacial has an 80% satisfaction rating, since I though they were the same thing. Anyway ...

Day 3 (it's Monday, I had it done Saturday morning). The spots that had turned dark now appear to be breaking up. Peope compare it to coffee grounds and that is a pretty accurate description of what it loks like. This is apparently normal and good, should exfoliate off within a week. Anyway, just used a little concealer, am totally comfortable at work. I had no side effects at any point, no redness, swelling, etc. I would say don't do it less than a week before an important event (wedding, reunion) because your freckles/brown spots turn almost black and it is noticeable. But I think it's accurate to say there's no down time for work and normal social situations.

I can see why they say it takes several sessions. Definitely notice an improvement, but it's not an aggressive treatment and I can tell already I'll need more. I'm definitely going back for a second and third session.

I am now about 2.5 weeks post. The coffee grounds...

I am now about 2.5 weeks post. The coffee grounds did indeed exfoliate away and I have to say I am thrilled with the results. I will definitely need more sessions (probably only 3, not 5). One session got rid of the really bad freckling along my cheekbones, but some of the lighter (and larger) brown spots (particularly along my jawline) weren't impacted at all. I am hoping sessions 2 and 3 help those. I scheduled my second session for 3 weeks after my first, which means I go again this Saturday. And I am actually really excited about it, even though I am dreading the pain (I need to buy a stress ball to squeeze!)

I also notice that "glow" I heard so much about. My parents arrived for a visit this past weekend. I haven't seen them in almost a year and one of the first things my mom (who didn't know I'd had it done - she wouldn't approve!) said to me was, "Your skin looks great." Yay!

I got my second session four weeks after my first...

I got my second session four weeks after my first session. Wow, what a disappointment! It made absolutely no difference, even though I had quite a lot of light freckles and sun spots left after my first session and had been hoping the second session would get rid of the last of them.

I will keep my "worth it" rating simply because I was so pleased with the first session that I would have paid what I paid for two sessions ($900 total) just for the results I got from one session. Still, for $450 (for the second session), I was expecting SOMETHING.

For me, it was successful in getting rid of my dark freckles, but did nothing for my light freckles or my light-colored sun spots (even though I have extremely pale skin).
Hela Spa

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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