Allumera: Cosmetic Photo Dynamic Therapy

Dermal Distinction, one of Australia’s premier cosmetic skin clinics providing treatments to enhance natural beauty, restore confidence and protect the skin, talks to Beauty Biz about the Allumera phenomenon. Here’s everything you need to know. 


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses a drug called a photosensitizer and a particular colour of light to activate it. When exposed to a specific wavelength of light, a form of oxygen is produced that kills nearby cells. 

PDT has long been used to medically treat pre-malignant conditions like actinic keratoses, some superficial skin cancers, and other skin conditions like psoriasis. The first clinical study for humans was conducted in 1978, and in 1999 PDT became an approved treatment for medical use.

Essentially with PDT, a pharmaceutical drug is applied to the skin and allowed to slowly diffuse through the skin for around an hour or so. This pharmaceutical is then activated with the use of laser or LED light (a specific wavelength/colour of light). After the medical PDT treatment, the damaged cells in the area of concern are eliminated from the skin, after being destroyed by the PDT drug activation. 

PDT is particularly successful since the pharmaceutical involved has a high affinity for damaged cells, leaving the healthy cells surrounding the area undamaged. Post-treatment, skin is left looking youthful. 

Some astute practitioners noticed the side-effect of youthful skin and then began using PDT for ‘off-label’ cosmetic treatment to achieve a rejuvenated effect – ‘off-label’ meaning the treatment is not listed with the drug company or TGA. So instead of treating a pre-malignancy, practitioners are instead using it for its rejuvenation properties.


As such, the industry was in dire need for a cosmetic-grade of PDT that was able to satisfy the cosmetic rejuvenation arena. Enter Allumera. 

Allumera contains a drug called Hexyl Aminolevulinate (HAL) and adopts a similar concept to PDT, but is classed as a cosmetic treatment thanks to the lower concentrations used, but with equally stunning results. 

There are a number of medical ‘split-face’ studies that have been undertaken using Allumera, so there is no short-lived beauty hype. Rather, Allumera is scientifically proven to work. When tested on one side of the face only, results show a remarkably more youthful appearance than the other side for up to six months after treatment. 

Medical studies also show that Allumera improves blood flow in the deeper tissues, meaning an increase in hydration and delivery of nutrients to the skin. Ultimately, damaged cells absorb Allumera particularly well while the rest of the cells benefit from the increase of blood flow. 


The qualified team at Dermal Distinction are dedicated to delivering the best results possible for its clientele. Prior to the Allumera treatment, staff fully cleanse and exfoliate the skin. This means the infusion will deepen, and the LED light will have a better absorption rate. 

Where they know patients are using great skincare products, Dermal Distinction adopts a more intense treatment since they can more accurately predict the outcome. 

Dermal Distinction Steps for Allumera

Allumera PhotoDynamic Therapy in beauty Biz magazine
  1. Activate the Allumera cream within its self-contained packaging
  2. Apply it to the cleansed skin and leave in position for 60 minutes
  3. Remove the Allumera cream from the face, and then activate the photo-initiators with LED blue or red light for around 10-20 mins. This is a relaxing and pleasant experience with no discomfort experienced by clientele
  4. Apply post-care serums as required for the skin-type of the patient
  5. After the procedure, the skin looks instantly brighter and fresher, but results will improve as the skin surface turns over and the newer cells are revealed.

For best results, Dermal Distinction recommends a minimum of three treatments, four weeks apart to intensify the texture and quality of skin. 

Allumera can be used for:

  • Reducing the appearance of pores
  • Refreshing the skin for a younger, clearer appearance
  • Reducing fine lines, especially around the eyes
  • Improving firmness of skin
  • Improvement in the skin texture overall
  • Particularly useful for people that have mild to moderate sun damage

Dermal Distinction has solutions for skin pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, general ageing, cosmetic enhancement procedures, skin tag and capillary removal. With exceptional standards reflected in its qualified and experienced team, Dermal Distinction sets the standards for in-clinic experience with a professional boutique environment. 

This article, written by Dr Giulia D’Anna, was originally published in Spa and Clinic Magazine in 2019.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Giulia D’Anna

BDSc (Melb), MRACDS, Honorary FIADFE (NY), Graduate Diploma Dermal Therapies (AACDS), Cert. Practice Man (UNE), Editor APJ (APAN) + | + 3 Belmore Road, Balwyn North, Victoria, Australia 3104 + | + Founder of iDental and Dermal Distinction

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