Nov 30 , 2022
It’s laser season!
Fall & Winter is when people often contemplate resurfacing treatments to remove sun and environmental damage brought on by time spent outdoors.
It is a great way to more deeply smooth out skin texture and acne scars, diminish lines/wrinkles, lighten or remove sun spots, freckles, hyperpigmentation.
Resurfacing laser treatments work by heat and go to different depths of skin tissue to obtain results. It works by stimulating natural collagen in our skin.
The most commonly used lasers for this include Ablative and Non-ablative.
Ablative lasers, like CO2 and Erbium, work by taking off the outer skin layers. These often produce the best results and last 1-5 years typically. However, they involve a higher degree of risk and a longer recovery time (1-3 weeks) due to notable redness, swelling, blisters, acne, scarring, pigmentation changes and possible infection.
Non-Ablative lasers such as Fractional lasers and Pulsed-Dye lasers are much less invasive. They work by heating up the skin without actually destroying it. It often requires 3-5 sessions to achieve the desired effect. This works by stimulating the collagen in your skin to help fill in lines and wrinkles. It usually involves no downtime and has milder effects of redness, swelling, blistering or scars.
It is best to see a doctor who performs esthetic treatments. This person will be able to recommend the best laser treatments as well as skin care programs for both before and after. Sometimes they recommend a pre-treatment with a hydroquinone based product to suppress natural pigment of the skin. This limits the laser from targeting natural skin pigment as it heats up and lightens sun spots or hyperpigmented areas.
Help prepare for this with a few skin care essentials.
- Before and especially After laser, it is really important to keep skin clean with a gentle or ph balanced facial cleanser. (such as Skin Sutra’s Rebalance pHacial Cleanser) This cleans skin without irritation and keeps bacteria off skin.
- It is also very important to keep skin moisturized as your skin will often feel dry and tight after treatment. (We recommend Skin Sutra Replenish Collagen Peptide Moisturizer) This is a powerful moisturizer that will help enhance stimulation of natural collagen. It does not clog pores or cause breakouts like heavier moisturizers might. This should be applied at least twice daily in the first few weeks after treatment.
- Vitamin C is ideal to apply after laser resurfacing. The fresh surface of the skin is ready to absorb the benefits of a Vitamin C serum. (Try our ReVitalize C serum.) I usually recommend waiting 72 hours after the treatment so it does not sting. This can be used twice a day for the first two weeks and then once daily.
- After any laser treatment it is always important to protect skin with sunscreen and avoid any further damage or photosensitivity. Make sure to wear sunscreen whenever outdoors at SPF 30 or higher. (We suggest our Resist SPF 30)
Laser Resurfacing can definitely have a place in your skin health program. Be sure to keep up with your skin care before and after any laser treatments on an ongoing basis.