So let’s start with that time you looked in the mirror and said, “Where did all these brown splotches come from?” Or, “What is all of this redness in my skin tone?” Studies have shown that discoloration and unevenness of the skin can appear more aging than wrinkles. Let’s face it, the longer we are on the planet, the more that time and the environment take it’s toll on our skin. That is just a natural progression. And let’s not forget lifestyle. Years of sun exposure, inflammatory foods, alcohol consumption and not enough hydration are key factors as to why laser treatments have sky rocketed in the last decade. Not to mention that the treatments are far less invasive than they were in years past.
Jennifer Aniston touts it and so do the multitude of clients that I see on a regular basis… laser treatments. There are more types of devices and services available than I can count, but two treatments that I have found to be extremely effective and widely popular are the laser photo facial and laser skin tightening. I am fortunate enough to work with one of the best lasers in the industry, as it is the newest in technology and is very patient friendly, the Sciton BBL. Years ago people heard the word laser and automatically thought that meant pain and downtime. Well, not so much anymore! For some clients, laser treatments are a part of their skin care routine as a means of maintaining even skin tone, texture and even tightening. I have been performing laser treatments for several years now and have really learned how to hone in on specific skin issues. I must say, my love for laser comes from seeing significant results and extremely happy clients.
So let’s break it down and discuss just the photo facial in this post. The photo facial… in my opinion, is hands down the best way to even the coloration of the skin. This means that the browns, be it good old sun damage, also known as hyperpigmentation, or even that pesky malasma, (dark splotches in the skin due to the combination of estrogen and sun) can be dramatically reduced. In a series of treatments, a month apart, at approximately 30 minutes each, the laser can lift the dark pigmentation to the top of the skin and in about a week it literally flakes away. Yes, it looks worse before it gets better, but the overproduction of melanin in the skin has to lift to the surface before it can flake away. After each treatment, I am able to assess the progress after the flaking, and adjust the laser settings so that with each treatment we see a continual dercrease in the dark pigmentation. And… as for pain and downtime… minimal! Most of my clients are able to go on about their day, after a little icing in the treatment room, and cover the darkening pigmentation with concealer. However, this is always based upon the amount and depth of the hyperpigmentation.
And how about that redness? Broken capillaries and even Rosacea can also be reduced. This part of the photo facial treatment is vascular, meaning it has to do with blood flow. This setting of the laser is aiming to treat those little capillaries on your face that are becoming a little more obvious, whether it is hereditary and/or thanks to things like too much sun exposure, heat, alcohol and even spicy foods. I hate to break it to some of those die hard yogis out there… but 100 degree rooms in a downward dog position, are wreaking havoc on your facial capillaries. Between the heat and the blood flow rushing to your face, those little veins are crying out for help! They can only take so much before they finally burst. I’m not by any means saying that hot yoga is bad… exercise is a big part of my life… I’m just saying that possibly mixing it up a bit could be in your favor when considering your skin. For those with Rosacea, (a skin condition causing redness in the cheeks, nose and chin) the vascular half of the photo facial can be a real game changer. For those who have it, not knowing when those reds are going to flare up and trying to cover them, can be a real chore. Knowing that there is a treatment more effective than topicals is a relief to many people.
I get asked quite often how long the results of laser treatments will last. Quite frankly, that is up to you. These two skin conditions, hyperpigmentation, and broken capillaries, are a lifestyle. I always tell clients that my guarantee is only as good as the treatment room. By this I mean, the sun is still going to shine, so sunscreen of at least 45 spf is a must, every single day no matter what the season. And as for the blood flow in your body… well, it’s going to keep on pumping through those veins, so be mindful of certain variables. Avoid extreme heat and direct sun, drink a little more water and a little less alcohol and try to turn down the spice factor in your food. I know! I know! This is asking a lot for some people, however, it can make the difference in your skin and your overall health as well. The laser can provide some pretty amazing results… but the ultimate condition of your skin is truly based on the choices you make.
The laser… that big device with the little hand piece, that purrs like a boss when you turn that switch… that can literally change the appearance of some of your most annoying skin conditions… Who knew that over time it could become such a integral part of your skin care routine when considering the most obvious…. the coloration of your skin… that even, clear tone that allows your palette to look more youthful and healthy…. Who wouldn’t want that? As Jennifer Aniston would say…”its all about laser love, my friends!”