Whether your favorite products just aren’t enough for the results you are looking for, or you are ready to take your anti-aging skincare to the next level, there is a veritable arsenal of treatments out there for you to ponder. With keen interest I watch my email to see what new treatments my dermatologist has, and a few months ago my curiosity was piqued by a new procedure called Allumera Photodynamic Therapy. The treatment consists of a topical light absorbing cream (Allumera) that’s activated by exposing the skin to a source of light determined by your healthcare professional.

This treatment is aimed at restoring a youthful and even-toned appearance without surgery. Possible benefits are an overall improvement of the skin, even skin tone, smoother skin texture, decreased pore size, and lessening of fine lines.

Although I’m always keen on the idea of an overall skin improvement, I was hooked at the mention of decreasing pores - my area of concern is the nose. So as soon as I saw the email offering the Allumera at an introductory $400 (regular price, $600 per treatment) and checked out the before-and-after pics on the company’s website, I made my appointment.

The first step was to apply the Allumera cream. So then I just chilled out for an hour to allow it to absorb into my skin. Right after application there was just the very slightest bit of tingling, lasting only a few minutes. After the hour had elapsed I washed the cream from my face, ready for the second step of treating the area with an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser. Since I’ve had IPL treatments before, I knew to expect it to feel quite warm with an occasional slight sting as the IPL delivers the light pulses, but it was not uncomfortable. Immediately after the treatment my skin was a very light pink (like a very mild sunburn). The slight redness disappeared after a couple of hours, but there was no downtime or pain afterward. However, you must use sunscreen and avoid any sun exposure for 72 hours afterward. The only after-care is a gentle cleanser followed by a light moisturizer and sunscreen.

Treatments are recommended four weeks apart with up to three treatments performed, determined by you and your provider, with full results seen by three months after completion. I had two treatments spaced four weeks apart. Now that I have crossed the three-month period after the last treatment, I felt confident to share my results. About two weeks after the first treatment I did notice a lighter overall appearance to my face and even more so about a week after the second treatment. The slight ruddiness of my skin was gone and my skin did appear brighter and fresher.

Although not a huge improvement, I have noticed a slight diminishing in the pore size. I can’t really say I see a difference in fine lines; however, my skin texture is visibly smoother and softer. Perhaps a third treatment may have bumped up the overall results. Are the improvements I personally see worth the treatment? Yes - and I would do it again. (Note: This treatment is not for dark-skinned individuals and not recommended if you are pregnant. You can check out the Allumera website for more information.) Pleased with the results, I would recommend this treatment for guys or girls to freshen up your appearance.