The Quest for Beautiful Skin: What is a FotoFacial and how does it work?

Do you ever wonder how some of Hollywood’s stars look so radiant? Well, the secret is out! Read more on how this top, non-invasive treatment can transform your skin.

It was Hollywood’s best-kept secret, and now women everywhere are learning that they can turn back the clock and rejuvenate their skin without going under the knife. How? With non-invasive treatments like IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), better known as the FotoFacial.

This treatment, which has become one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in North America, is one that many Hollywood stars swear by, crediting it for the renewed health and vitality of their skin.

When I was given the opportunity to undergo this treatment, along with other treatments including Forma, Fractional 1540 and Sonopeel (more on these later) from SpaMedica in Toronto, I jumped at the chance to see if it would really do what it claims: transform my skin and take five to six years off my age.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be reporting on a series of these treatments, including what they are, what to expect and the results. First off, I’d like to share my experience with SpaMedica’s Fotofacial RF Pro treatment. This ‘souped up’ form of FotoFacial goes a step further than regular versions by also tightening and firming skin. What I personally expect to gain from the procedure is to rid my face of brown spots, repair sun damage, erase fine lines around my eyes and reduce the redness in my cheeks. Before I get into the procedure and what it feels like, I’d like to explain what it is.

What is a FotoFacial?
The FotoFacial RF Pro sends intense pulses of light, laser and RadioFrequency deep into the dermis. All this energy acts synergistically to repair collagen (the building blocks of your skin) and elastin, help reduce wrinkles, and rid skin of discolorations and brown spots. It also helps to smooth out skin.

The process encourages the production of collagen ‘ which we lose as we age ‘ a natural protein that fills in wrinkles, making the skin smooth and supple. The procedure can be used to treat the face, neck and body.

With the FotoFacial RF Pro offered at SpaMedica, IPL is combined with Infrared laser and Radiofrequency, which gives optimum performance and maximum results to rejuvenate your skin and fix problems areas such as rosacea, fine lines, brown spots, sun damage and uneven skin tone.

What to Expect During Treatment
Before the procedure begins, you are given a numbing cream to help alleviate any pain caused the little ‘zaps’ coming from the treatment wand applied by the medical aesthetician. I waited 30 minutes to let the numbing cream set in before I entered the treatment room. I was also given goggles to wear to protect my eyes from the flashes of light. The aesthetician then washed the numbing cream off my face and put on a gel. She then began to use the device around the areas of my face (see image below), using single pulses. It felt like zapping pinches or what the industry refers to as ‘elastic band slaps.’ Personally, I felt next to nothing during my first round. I only felt mild twinges in certain areas of my face and nothing in other parts. I also felt a slight warming sensation with each pulse. But since everyone’s skin is different, and some may feel more heat or discomfort than others. Once the devices passed over all the areas of the face, it’s passed over a second time. Overall, the procedure lasted about 15 minutes.

It is suggested that patients complete five to six FotoFacial treatments (depending on your concerns), about three weeks apart, to get the best results.

Recovery Time
There is generally no recovery time for this procedure. Once the procedure was complete, the aesthetician washed my face and applied sunscreen. I was good to go. My face had a mild flush, (see my no makeup selfie below!) as if I had a workout, and felt a little warm throughout the day.

I was told to notice more brown spots coming to the surface of the skin and to expect the appearance of ‘coffee grinds.’ These little grinds are actually the darkened spots ready to flake off. I had a few speckles, which disappeared within two days of treatment.

Overall, it was a great experience and one I look forward repeating. I have 2 more FotoFacial RF Pro treatments to complete, plus the other treatments I mentioned earlier. I will continue to post progress over the next few weeks and end off with a before and after, which I’m excited to see.

Stay tuned for next week, which I will report on the Forma procedure and how it can tone and tighten your skin; like getting a face-life without surgery!