If you’re looking for a quick, effective, and non-invasive way to rejuvenate your skin, consider a laser facial. Laser facial treatments are highly effective and perfect for those who want to reverse common effects of aging, like excessive sun exposure, spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and even textural issues. Unlike ablative lasers that compromise the outer layer of the skin, laser facial treatments are essentially downtime free, quick, and painless. Plus, they are beneficial for a variety of skin types and tones, too. It’s important to know the laser facial process.
Here’s everything you need to know about facial laser treatments and the process before deciding on one.
How Does a Laser Facial Treatment Work?
Laser facials are quicker laser procedures that improve skin tone and stimulate collagen production. Lasers fall into one of two categories: ablative, meaning they remove the uppermost layer of skin, or non-ablative, which leaves the skin intact. The lasers used for laser facials are non-ablative and do not damage or compromise the epidermis. Instead, they bypass this layer of the skin and work directly on the underneath skin. Non-ablative lasers used for a laser facial are effective and don’t come with downtime or recovery like more aggressive lasers.
Modern-day laser facials work for various issues by rejuvenating the skin and penetrating deep throughout to provide results without compromising the skin surface. These treatments rely on light or laser energy to target damaged skin cells and pigment-producing cells while keeping other healthy skin cells intact and unaffected by the treatment. As a result, the skin can rebound quickly without any of the commonly seen effects of lasers.
Are Laser Facial Treatments Ablative?
Laser facials use a wavelength of energy to improve the skin. An IPL laser facial uses high-intensity light that breaks up pigment and enhances the skin’s texture, reducing unwanted hair, pigment, and redness from the surface. In addition, lasers often compromise the outermost layer of skin to penetrate the dermis, but the light emitted during a laser facial bypasses the skin’s surface and doesn’t damage the epidermis, making side effects less likely to occur and limiting downtime and recovery.
For a laser facial to do its job and improve the skin, the light emitted from the device’s handpiece is directed to pigmented cells in the skin that absorb it and then convert it into heat deep with the dermis. It’s the heat that breaks up the pigment in the skin.
How Do I Prepare for Laser Facial Treatment?
Laser facial treatments are an increasingly popular procedure for improving the skin and removing unwanted facial hair. However, if you are considering a laser facial treatment for either skin rejuvenation or hair removal benefits, it’s essential to know how the laser facial process and how to prepare for the best results.
To prep the skin for a laser facial treatment or laser hair removal, it’s best to:
- Avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before the laser facial. Sun exposure can cause pigmentation changes and increase risks during the procedure.
- Stop using tanning products for two weeks before your treatment. Tanning products can confuse the laser device making it harder to differentiate between pigmented and non-pigmented skin.
- Steer clear of skin care products with retinol or alpha-hydroxy acids, which can cause increased skin sensitivities.
For facial laser hair removal, it’s best to shave the area before your laser facial treatment so that the laser can penetrate the skin more effectively and reduce the risk of burns.
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
One of the many benefits of laser facials is that the recovery process is fast and easy, no matter the type of laser used or the depth of the treatment. Since most laser facials work on the superficial layers of the skin, there’s less downtime associated with the treatment. Generally, lasers that penetrate deeper into the skin require more recovery time. Laser facials usually don’t require any recovery time; if they do, it’s a few days at most.
Some laser facial patients may experience redness and swelling after the treatment, which quickly subsides. The first 24-48 hours after the treatment are most critical. During this time, keep the treated area clean and avoid wearing makeup or skincare products except for a gentle, bland cleanser, moisturizer, and basic sunscreen. If there is any discomfort, you can apply a cool compress to the skin or take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed. You’ll want to avoid scratching, picking, or playing with the skin, which can increase the risk of infection and scarring and delay the healing process.
How Many Sittings are Required?
The number of sittings required for a laser facial treatment depends on the concerns you wish to address. Laser facials are performed as a series, spaced several weeks apart. Therefore, doing just one laser facial often won’t garner the full results. To determine the number of sessions required, it’s best to schedule a consultation where we can assess your skin concerns and put together a customized plan for you.
Although laser facials can significantly improve your skin, the results are cumulative, and it will take time and several treatments to achieve the desired results. Every patient is different, but on average, you’ll need two to five treatments to eliminate your skin concerns. Additionally, maintenance sessions may be required to maintain your results over time.
What Can I Expect from Laser Facial Treatment?
The nice thing about the laser facial treatment process is that they address various skin concerns, including, but not limited to, an overall skin refresh to improve the tone and texture and even unwanted hair removal.
Some of the significant benefits of a laser facial treatment include:
- Less redness in the skin
- Fewer symptoms of rosacea on the skin
- Less noticeable facial veins and broken capillaries
- More even skin tone and texture
- A reduction of unwanted facial hair
- Reduce age spots
- Minimize facial veins and capillaries
- Improve wrinkles
- Soften scars
- Impart a healthy glow
The treatment eliminates unwanted hair by targeting the melanin in the hair follicle. When treating the skin, the device selectively targets the melanin. Since facial and body hair does not always grow at the same rate and can be at different points in the hair growth cycle, a series of treatments is needed to eradicate the hairs so the skin is fuzz free and smooth.
What Will My Skin Look Like Directly After a Facial Hair Laser Removal Treatment?
Immediately after facial hair laser removal, which takes about 30 minutes, the skin may be flushed and pink, almost like you have a slight sunburn, which will subside in a few hours. As the skin begins to heal, it may feel dry, tender, or raw, which is normal. Rather than picking, scratching, or trying to exfoliate off the skin, let it heal on its own. Forcing the skin to shed faster than usual can cause it to scar.
Following facial laser hair removal, keeping the skin well-hydrated and protected from the sun is best.
What Does a Laser Facial Feel Like?
Whether used to treat the skin or for laser facial hair removal, laser facials are generally well tolerated but can be uncomfortable. Topical numbing cream will help make the treatment less painful. Mostly, they feel similar to a rubber band snapping on the skin. You may also feel some warmth. The good part: the treatment is fast, and any discomfort will subside as soon as the laser is done.