As a 60-something female, Kate Swanson is well aware of the challenges facing women throughout their life in health, beauty, and fashion.
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
Chrissy on August 23, 2020:
Can't get photon to light up!..screen shows working. .but it isn't.
Gina Beard on August 01, 2018:
I bought the skin physics and I have seen a difference,but I think it’s because I don’t follow their rules , I use clean skin ,no product . Instead of using 4 min on whole face I use the full 4 min on one side of the face so I do the 4min 4 times in a sitting sometimes I will do a few extra and I definitely see a difference especially if I use it a few times a week . Also I must admit the button is fiddly it has to be in contact with the skin to work and sometimes have to press the button twice
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 08, 2014:
I'm sorry @Alwayssummer, your comment went into my spam folder and I missed it! Depending on where you live, the store where you bought it may bear some responsibility and you may be able to get your money back from them - they sold an item which was not "fit for purpose".
Alwayssummer on September 14, 2014:
I purchased the Skin Physics Product about 4months ago the machine just did not work after one month. I called a consultant to report he told me once again to try. It has never worked and I am unable to contact the company I have submitted the case on their website (http://skinphysics.com.au) numerous times and I sent the machine back to their address. But they never returned my call or my machine back. i have tried to call on numerous occasions and have waited up to 20 minutes on the phone one time. A guy answered and he said he doesn't understand why I call so often. He said he cannot do anything for me.
So I am afraid I have my doubts about the company, it was a very expensive exercise for no results. I lost my time and my machine with them. They just sell and run away. Worst customer service I ever experienced.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on December 10, 2012:
I'm so sorry to hear that. As I said in my review, I'm a big fan of the science, but not so sure about the Skin Physics machine in particular. Yours is not the first report I've heard of poor customer service which pretty much puts the icing on it!
maree guthrie on December 09, 2012:
I purchased the Skin Physics Photon Led Phot system about 6 weeks ago, the machine just did not work, I called a consultant to report she told me once again to try. It has never worked and I am unable to contact the company I have sent emails and they are returned unable to be delivered. i have tried to call on numerous occasions and have waited up to 30 minutes on the phone and no answer.
So I am afraid I have my doubts about the company, it was a very expensive exercise for no results.
lafamillia from Soutcentral Europe on October 19, 2011:
Collagen is something that is really important in our skin, and skin is interesting to research as THIS HUB IS TOO! I really enjoyed reading this hub - and really, it is nicely written and easy to understand.I like medical topics, in general. Try reading mine hubs, some of them are also medicine-related ones.I hope you'll like them.
I didn't see that you've mentioned any of pro-vitamins or vitamins in skin? - and their function ... Like pro-vitamin D that's responsible for activating melanin which gives us that beautiful nice tan.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 15, 2011:
Tessa, the red light is what heals and promotes the growth of collagen, and is the original light used in the photorejuvenation system. The infrared is meant to boost its effect but I haven't seen much scientific evidence of its value.
Linda on October 09, 2011:
Botox & fillers work & last for 2 years if your lucky.
Its expensive but worth it. A good sunscreen & hat you cant go wrong.
tessa on October 04, 2011:
i have a omnilux MD NEW U it has 2 lights infra red and red what are the advantages of 2 lights and what's the differents between them also they recommend 20 mins for each section is this nessasary
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 21, 2011:
@Karen, you're the second person who's told me their Skin Physics Photon stopped working and they had trouble getting it fixed. Not good!
I'm sorry you didn't see any improvement. I'm not sure what benefits you were hoping for in your hands? I noticed one advert for the Photon claiming it will help pigmentation, which is misleading because you need an amber (not red) light for that.
Karen on September 20, 2011:
I bought this at the start of the year. I treated one of my hands hand but not the other as well as my face. There was no difference. I was still using it in hope that it works until September when it stopped working. Don't waste your money.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 08, 2011:
Good to know, Beevenomcream.
Beevenomcream from 5 Belgrave Terrace, South Shields, NE332RX (Will post creams out, on request) on September 08, 2011:
Hi, I,m an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, Botox cant be "flushed out" by photon therapy.
Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on August 07, 2011:
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on August 07, 2011:
Trish/Ann, I haven't had any luck finding out about a stockist in the UK,hope you have better luck.
Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on August 06, 2011:
This certainly sounds like something to look into!!
Are they available in England? ~ I'll have a check.
ANN MAYOR on May 19, 2011:
Can anyone please help me locate the British distributors of the Skin Photon Physics
facial machine shown in the video above. I have been really impressed with it but
mine has now decided not to work , none of my attempts to e mail Australia where they are made has worked and I cant find the number in England of the British outfit that
Kate on February 07, 2011:
IM 25 yrs old is it too early to start using photon skin physics
Gayleish on December 15, 2010:
I too am in my forties, a grandmother but only look about 35. I have been using my Photon since mother's day, and swear by it. My skin looks fresh and dewy (if that's a word) I look healthy.
Artoflegendindia on September 08, 2010:
Nice hub.I liked your hub. your hub is very informative.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on August 12, 2010:
That's a very good question, Kathi. My therapist at the beauty salon warned against using it with Botox, because phototherapy clears toxins from the skin very effectively - that's why it gives you such a nice clear skin - and since Botox is a toxin, it's likely to get flushed out.
Fillers are inert so they should be OK, although she hadn't had experience of using it on someone with fillers at the time.
kathi on August 12, 2010:
can you use this if you have had botox? will it affect it ?or fillerts ?
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on August 01, 2010:
Bella, I detailed the benefits of photorejuvenation in my other article on the salon version:
As I said in that Hub, I wish I had thought to take before and after photos, but I really didn't expect to see such a dramatic improvement from a painless, no-risk treatment.
I can honestly say it took ten years off my face - but as ten years ago I was in my mid-forties, that doesn't mean I look like a supermodel! It had a dramatic effect on my wrinkles, replumped my cheeks, and reduced the sunken look around my eyes and mouth. It got rid of pigmentation and gave my skin a younger, glowing look.
Realistically, you can't expect something that costs less than $300 to reverse gravity. My jowls improved slightly but the only thing that will really fix that is a facelift.
bella18 on August 01, 2010:
Hi, what are the specific benefits of using this machine ? What do you mean by 'improved skin tone'. What affect does using it on your jawline, your jowls? Are they smaller in appearance? Have you got before and after photos? If this machine really works, I imagine you'd be looking younger than before using it. I'm sorry, but 'improved skin tone' is not enough evidence to convince me to buy the Skin Physics Photon.
Sally6767 on July 13, 2010:
amazing hub! keep us posted with the newest information!
OldenbuzzDotCom on July 12, 2010:
Great review. Very detailed.
ezzy1512 on June 09, 2010:
Great hub. It's good that you share this.
nikipa from Eastern Europe on June 07, 2010:
Thank you for sharing! It was quite useful and interesting!
Earth Angel on June 07, 2010:
Thanks for a GREAT Hub Marisa!!
I too, had been thinking of making this kind of investment!! Your clear information came at a perfect time!! Thank you for sharing!!
Blessings always, Earth Angel!!