Confession: I Tried This IPL Photofacial Every Month For 5 Months

Before I start, you might be wondering what the big deal is about. IPL or not, it’s just a facial, right? If it was just a facial, perhaps, but the Illumi facial I tried at the SW1 Clinic is one of their signature hybrids, where you get to try a facial which combines the comfort of a spa treatment and the efficacy of a clinical treatment as well. So what really makes this hybrid facial stand out from the rest?

Illumi Brightens Up Any Dull Complexion Immediately Without Downtime

My therapist was Rae, who removed my makeup and cleansed my skin. She then covered my eyes with a set of goggles. Then she applied a cold, clear gel to my face before she applied the first zap of IPL on face, starting from my jawline. I read that IPL can be painful, but I am happy to report that the Illumi facial was anything but that. As the treatment progressed I did feel the handpiece warm up, but it was very gradual so I wouldn’t even say it was uncomfortable. Rae went about the IPL “photo shower” very deliberately, giving my cheeks an additional pass – she had noticed that I had small red vessels and mild pigmentation on my cheekbones.

After the IPL part, Rae performed a refreshing face massage and then applied a hydrating mask to soothe the skin. The facial ended with sonophoresis of a vitamin cocktail of skin brightening and anti-aging ingredients. Sonophoresis uses ultrasound vibrations to temporarily create little spaces in the outer layers of the skin, allowing more rapid and intense absorption of the applied product.

My skin was much brighter immediately after, pores were also noticeably smaller and the skin looked more firm and supple.


Illumi Is Like Yoga For Your Face

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and fans of Yoga will tell you it is a total workout and it does more than just shaving off pounds and toning your muscles. In a way, IPL is like a workout for the face because the light penetrates deeper into the dermis where it stimulates cells called fibroblasts to produce more collagen. For those who don’t know, intense pulsed light (IPL) rejuvenation has been around since the 1990s and started off as a treatment for hair removal, but soon found its niche for various skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, pigmentation and redness.

Rae told me after the first session that regular 3 to 4 weekly Illumi facials will improve the appearance of my skin and I should notice an improvement in my pigmentation, brightness of my skin, a textural improvement and even smoothening of fine lines on my face because of the regular stimulation of collagen. This is perfect for someone like me, who describes scrubbing the face as doing something “aggressive” but feels its time to start caring for my skin because of general ageing concerns.

5 months later and 6 Illumi facials later, I realized that my photos show a more refreshed appearance. I used to get compliments about how “radiant” I looked within the first week of each Illumi facial but by the third session, I noticed that the results were lasting longer and longer. I now combine the Illumi facial with either a gentle lactic acid peel or an LED Red treatment recommended by one of the SW1 Spa’s managers, for further glow and rejuvenation.

I highly recommend the Illumi facial for anyone who has anti-aging concerns and is looking for a hybrid spa and clinical treatment for a softer, smoother and long-lasting brightening of skin tone that really punches above its weight (and price)!



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