Skin Physics Photon Review: Does It Work?
I've had impressive results with salon phototherapy treatments, so when I bought my Skin Physics Photon kit, I understood the technology behind it. Used regularly, red-light therapy is the best thing I've found for keeping wrinkles at bay, but all those salon visits were getting expensive, so I thought I'd get a home system.
I bought the Skin Physics Photon simply because it was the only one available in my area. I felt more comfortable buying it in a major department store than shopping online. That turned out to be a foolish move because I now wish I'd done more research and ordered a different brand.
Do I Recommend It?
I recommend photorejuvenation salon treatment without any reservations whatsover. It's a gentle, safe treatment that works. It's not going to give you the same results as a facelift, but it does revive and de-wrinkle better than an ordinary facial or expensive face creams.
So I was disappointed with the results from using my Photon. I was really looking forward to recapturing my "Omnilux glow". But it didn't happen.
To be fair, The Photon has had some effect, even if I can't see it. I kept my purchase a secret from my husband and quietly did my treatments when he was out. A few weeks after I bought it, he looked at me over the breakfast table and said, "you're getting younger every day". So clearly, it is doing me some good! Or was it just coincidence?
I do wonder whether the Skin Physics Photon is really "professional strength" as it claims since the benefits are definitely less noticeable than my salon treatments.
I'm now wishing I'd paid a bit extra and bought the Omnilux Nu U instead. The reason? Omnilux are easily the biggest name in salon therapy and they're a worldwide brand with a good reputation. I know their salon machine works, so I have confidence their hand-held will work too.
Whereas Skin Physics doesn't produce a salon version of their product at all.
Why Am I Doubtful?
Firstly, the head isn't as bright as I expected. The Omnilux salon device is so bright you can't look at it—even with goggles on, the extreme brightness gives you a shock when the LEDs are switched on. The Photon is bright, but not that bright, which means its claim to be "salon strength" has to be questioned.
I wrote to Skin Physics to ask for the figures on the power of the Photon, and they refused, saying they were "commercial in confidence". Strange—you only have to look on Amazon to see reputable competitors like Norlanya quoting power figures, so why is Skin Physics so coy about it?
Secondly, the 4-minute setting (the one used for your main treatments) is a pulsing (flashing) light. It's annoying, especially near the eyes, and could even be dangerous for people with some medical conditions. Skin Physics say their tests have found it works better—but if that's the case, why do all the salon photofacials use a steady light? If they've done tests to prove the flash is better, why won't they share the results?
Serums and Creams
Finally, the kit includes a special serum that you apply to your face before treatment. Go to a salon, and you'll find that photorejuvenation is always done on a thoroughly cleansed face. The aesthetician will use a neutral lubricating jelly (like the one used in ultrasound), just so the wand moves easily. If it's a full-face screen, no creams are put on the face at all.
So again, the special serum and other creams are just a gimmick (and a way for Skin Physics to keep earning money off users). Why does the Photon need gimmicks if it works?
I can't afford to upgrade right now, so I'm giving myself more frequent treatments, and I've modified the instructions to make up for the lower strength.
How I Use the Skin Physics Photon
The instruction book recommends you start with a "preparation" phase. You apply the serum, set the device to 3 minutes, and gently move the device over your whole face. Next, you divide your face up into six sections and hold the device still over each section for 4 minutes.
Take a look at the photo below. The treatment head is big, but not big enough to cover each entire section. So if you follow the instructions, you'll miss half your face!
If you divide your forehead in two, the device will treat the wrinkles above your eyebrows—but you've missed that pesky central frown line! So you need a third section, in the middle of your forehead.
Eyes and Cheeks
Sit the device square on your cheek, and you'll completely miss treating the crows' feet on the side of your eye. If you angle the treatment head to cover your crows' feet, you've missed half the skin on your cheek and your under-eye circles. Clearly, you need two treatment sections to treat this area adequately.
Use the device in this section to work on your sagging jowls—but what about your naso-labial folds (the lines that run from your nose to the corners your mouth), or the tiny lines above the lips? Most older women will want to devote time to that area as a separate section.
Apparently, it's not advisable to use phototherapy over the thyroid area, so you can't treat your neck—but if you have a double chin, you may want to add sections along the jawline.
So, to cover your whole face, you have to cover a total of 12 sections—which will take you about an hour to treat. That's not unreasonable really—my salon facial took well over an hour, by the time I factored in travel time. So I'm still saving time as well as money by doing it myself. And I'm saving a lot of money!
Having said that—it's just too boring! And your hand gets tired, too.
I bought the Photon because I found a discounted one in a sale. I am currently saving so I can afford to replace it with the Omnilux New-U. Based on my experience of the Omnilux salon product, I expect their device to be less gimmicky and more powerful. The square shape of the Omnilux will make it easier to get into the corners around the eyes and nose, and the larger head will save time because there will be fewer treatment areas.
I did consider going for one of the panel-style devices. In the salon, you just lie there under the light panel and let the process work—using a hand-held home device is quite hard work by comparison, so the idea of buying a panel for home is tempting. There are several available on Amazon but I've decided to stick with Omnilux because of my good experiences with them—I'd hate to make another mistaken purchase!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Kate Swanson