Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.
I’ve written about IPL, aka BBL treatments in previous blog posts, as well as the difference between an IPL and a fotofacial. IPL treatments are traditionally reserved for people with lighter skin tones. This is because unlike a laser, IPL produces all wavelengths of light, and then uses a filter to block out the wavelengths of light we don’t want to use. Filters aren’t perfect, so what results is a narrow range of wavelengths, as compared to a laser which produces only a single wavelength. The end result is that IPL devices have a tendency to heat the skin up more than a laser would. Darker skin tones (which have more melanin), heat up more, which means there is a risk of burning the skin.
Despite this risk, a fotofacial actually can be done on darker skin types. To reduce the risk of burning the skin, I use lower energy settings and different wavelength filters on patients with dark skin. More treatments may be needed to see a result because of this. If you are considering having a fotofacial and you have darker skin, I definitely recommend seeing a physician who has significant experience performing fotofacials on both light and dark skin types.