What is it?

A photo-facial is a light treatment that helps to lighten freckles and sunspots, leaving the skin more even-toned in colour.  Short burst of intensed pulsed light are directed at the skin.  This light energy is absorbed by melanin (dark pigment), causing dark spots to scab and then fall off.   We use an Ellipse I2PL machine, a second-generation IPL which is much safer than previous versions.

What conditions is it used for?

A photo-facial treats superficial dark spots and can help with superficial skin rejuvenation.  It is an ideal treatment for lightening freckles and sun spots on the face, neck, décolletage, arms, hands, legs, and backs.  Younger skins do particularly well with this type of treatment.  Older skins with more severe photo-aging and requiring more intense collagen stimulation, would benefit more from a Fraxel laser treatment.

A photo-facial is not suitable for darker skin types.

What does a treatment entail?

The treatment area will be cleansed, examined, documented, and photographed.  You will be asked to put on a pair of protective goggles.  A thin layer of gel is applied to the treatment area and the Ellipse handpiece is used to treat blocks of skin in a sysytematic fashion.  This entails short bursts of a bright light with a handpiece that is pressed lightly onto the skin.  Afterwards, a soothing lotion and sunblock will be applied.

Is there pain and downtime?

Each burst of light causes a mild stinging sensation.   Afterwards, your skin will feel warm and will be slightly red.  Minimal swelling may occur that can last up to two days, but this is unlikely to be noticeable to others. Tinted sunblock may be applied immediately, and make-up from the next day.

When can I expect to see results?

Your sunspots or freckles will gradually darken and scab, and then come off.  This process may take up to two weeks.

How many treatments do I need and how often?

Number of treatments varies from person to person and is dependent on the number and depth of dark spots.  We recommend three treatments at monthly intervals for best results, but some people only require one treatment, and others require more than three.  Longevity of results can vary greatly and is dependent on your individual lifestyle and sun and heat exposure.

Many patients need to have a photo-facial after a summer holiday, as sun exposure often causes freckles and superficial sun spots to darken or recur.  Others will schedule a photo-facial every two months to keep their skins looking clear and even-toned.

Contra-indications to treatment: 

You must not have had any sun-exposure of the treatment area for at least two weeks before a treatment, and must protect that area with protective clothing and a factor 50+ sunblock for a month afterwards to prevent side-effects. Other contra-indications include certain skin disorders and the use of certain medications.  These will be discussed prior to treatment.

Your treating practitioner is able to advise on optimal skin care whilst having this treatment.

Your treating practitioner is able to advise on optimal skin care.

Lightens sun spots

Lightens freckles

Creates a more even-tone

Refreshes appearance of skin

Improves sun spots on decolletage

Improves sunspots on arms

Improves sun spots on legs

Improves sun spots on hands

Improves sun spots on backs

Rejuvenates skin


3a 5th Road,

Hyde Park

Tel:  011 788 7910