What Are the Benefits of a Photofacial?

By Chloé Baudin

Want smoother, more even skin but don't want to go under the knife? A photofacial might be for you. This facial rejuvenation treatment uses intense pulses of light to even out imperfections such as freckles, broken blood vessels and birthmarks. Photofacials have been offered at spas for years now, but they are still among the most effective and beneficial treatments that men and women of all ages can undergo to even out their skin tone.

Woman having a laser skin treatment
credit: danr13/iStock/Getty Images
An esthetician giving a photofacial to a client.


Delivered in a spa or medispa setting, photofacials use a light pulse from either a laser, intense pulsed light or light-emitting diode to heat and remove a portion of damaged skin. The best candidates for photofacials are people with sun-damaged skin demonstrated by age spots, liver spots and light freckling, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores or red and flushed faces, broken capillaries and loose skin. An added benefit is that the facial stimulates new collagen, resulting in smoother, healthier skin.


After one facial, clients should expect to see and feel smoother skin. Age spots initially become darker and then move to the skin's surface where they fall away as part of the skin's natural exfoliation process. Skin and pores feel and look tighter, while fine lines and wrinkles slowly decrease in size. For maximum benefit, five treatments spanning a year are recommended for most skin types.


There's no downtime after a photofacial. A temporary flushing that dissipates within hours may occur, but you can go right back to work, school or shopping after a treatment. Photo facials are gentle and don't cause pain.

Skin Types

Almost every skin type can benefit from a photofacial, depending on the need. Most commonly, the photofacial is used for anti-aging benefits, to address sun spots and superficial wrinkles.