Photodynamic therapy uses photosensitizers (PS) to kill cancer cells by generating reactive oxygen species like singlet oxygen (SO) - upon illumination with visible light. PS membrane anchoring augments local SO concentration, which in turn increases photodynamic efficiency. The latter may suffer from SOs escape into the aqueous solution or premature quenching. Here we determined the time constants of SO escape and quenching by target molecules to be in the nanosecond range, the former being threefold longer. We confined PS and dipolar target molecules either to different membrane monolayers or to the same leaflet and assessed their abundance by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy or membrane surface potential measurements. The rate at which the contribution of the dipolar target molecules to membrane dipole potential vanished, served as a measure of the photo-oxidation rate. The solution of the reactiondiffusion equations did not indicate diffusional rate limitations. Nevertheless, reducing the PS-target distance increased photodynamic efficiency by preventing other SO susceptible moieties from protecting the target. Importantly, our analytical model revealed a fourfold difference between SO generation rates per molecule of the two used PSs. Such analysis of PS quantum yield in a membrane environment may help in designing better PSs.