I am 41 and trying to stay in my early 40’s amiright? I have been a client of Charlotte Skin and Laser ever since I was in high school, seeing Dr. Rostan as my dermatologist and now for anti-aging. We decided to try a fractional laser this month to help with sun damage and pigmentation. I have done IPL once in the past (not at CSL) and had 3 sessions (I won them at a party) and only went for 2 because it was SO not comfortable. I wasn’t numb for it and it felt like a hot rubber band piercing my face all over. No thank you.
I was excited to try this laser because it reduces fine lines and erases brown spots. Here is a breakdown of the MD Laser below from CSL website.
Fraxel Re:Store Dual
Fraxel Re:Store Dual is a combination wave length laser that offers the convenience of non-ablative procedures with little to no down time. It treats deep tissue to target wrinkles, texture and collagen rebuilding. The upper layers are also targeted to effect brown spots and pigmentation.
First, your skin will be cleansed. Then, about an hour prior to treatment, a topical numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area. The procedure itself takes 15 to 25 minutes for a full face. After the treatment, most patients feel like they have a sunburn, which usually diminishes in 1 to 3 hours.
- Smoother, fresher, younger-looking looking skin
- Improved tone and texture
- Erasing of unwanted brown spots
- Reduced fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes
- Improved appearance of acne scars and surgical scars
Typically a series of 5 treatments is performed every 4-6 weeks. You may experience mild swelling and redness immediately following the procedure. Sunscreen and make up may be applied immediately following each treatment. Over a period of 1-3 months, improvement will continue to occur in skin—reduction in blotchy pigment, freckles and sun spots, improved skin texture and reduction of fine lines.–
Okay, now for the truth and how my experience went.
First, they get you good and numb. (whoop whoop!) Tiffany rubbed the medication on and I went off to the relaxation room for for about 30-40 minutes to let it do its job. They more dumb the better!
We then started the laser and they first round was no big deal. I felt it a bit but it wasn’t too bad. They then go over your face between 4-6 passes. As you can see in the second picture, I am red and already a bit swollen and the veins in my neck are popping out a bit. I always say, I gave birth to 2 kids, I can do anything! This was tough but doable and I kept thinking, please just give me 20 year old skin haha! By the 3rd round, Brooke ( who was doing my laser) remembered the fan hose that I could use to help blow cool air on my face and that helped tremendously!!! When we were done, my eyes were watery and I felt like I had a bad sunburn. CSL gave me 2 ice packs to help while I went back to mom duties of picking up the boys from school–
I also bought Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water spray to use whenever I felt hot and let me tell you, this was a lifesaver! On the way to pick up my boys from school, my face felt hot and very sunburnt. I didn’t feel itchy all night and the sunburned feeling lasted about 2 hours. The picture on the right is right before bed. The sun spots are already starting to rise and come out!
I look terrible. When I woke up, my lips, cheeks and especially under my eyes were very swollen. I was told that there would be little to no downtime and that was not the case for me. I was red, swollen and had a ton of brown spots that felt like sandpaper all over my face. I sucked it up, took a Benedryll and stayed inside! I used ice packs to try and help bring down the swelling, but not much worked. I wasn’t able to work out because they didn’t want the swelling to get worse, so I actually enjoyed the day catching up on the blog and resting. I didn’t have any itching and otherwise felt great. The tightness isn’t too bad either.
I am still swollen and called CSL to get a prescription for Prednisone. I am hoping this will help take care of the swelling around my eyes and mouth. Brooke, my technician said this was all very normal, especially for someone like me that has never done anything like this to my face before. I still have brown spots everywhere, but my boys said that I looked a lot better and man, they do NOT tell a lie! No itching and tightness is taken care of by the creams that I took home with me from CSL.
I woke up a bit puffy, took the rest of my prednisone and was much better later in the day. The boys (that don’t lie!) said that I looked a lot better and my “beard” wasn’t as obvious. It seems to have come off my chin, forehead and around my nose and let me tell you, that skin feels SO SMOOTH!! I can’t wait to see my cheeks when the brown “fluff” comes off!! Here is a picture of day 3. I felt comfortable to go to the store and out and about in my mask and just told people that I saw without my mask on that I had laser – I am an open book! All in all, we are headed to the light!!
Day 4 was Saturday and we had a lot on our plates – multiple football games and dinner out. I wore a ton of sunscreen (this one in particular, which I LOVED and didn’t break me out) and stayed out of the sun for their football games. I had some of the brown spots, but I wasn’t embarrassed and covered them up for dinner out with friends. We were in a dark setting for dinner which helped 😉 No itching and stayed hydrated with my skin with the products below.
Barely any brown roughage is left on my face and my face feels literally silky smooth. The thing about lasers is, to see a HUGE difference, you have to do the recommended amount. Ultra MD Laser recommends about 5 treatments every 4-6 weeks. It is a commitment, but if you want your sun damage gone, this is the way to go. The products that were recommended to me that helped me heal quicker was the ALASTIN Regenerating Skin Nectar and the ALASTIN Restorative Skin Complex. The Regenerating Skin Nectar is recommended to start putting on two weeks before you get laser or microneedling done to your skin. It clears damaged proteins, calms and soothes skin. The nectar reduces redness and also has antioxidants as well. The Restorative Skin Complex helps maintain skin for a youthful appearance and is recommended for fine lines and wrinkles, volume loss, thinning skin and helps maintain healthy collagen. YES PLEASE. With these products, I didn’t feel dry or tight at all. Again, these are recommended but not required and your technician can talk to you about what would work if these do not fit your budget.
Back to normal and skin is feeling amazing! I am so glad I tried this laser and it will NOT be the last time. I am going to take very good care of it and wear sunscreen everyday! Ladies, if you can, I highly recommend this laser but know you will have a few days of downtime unless you don’t mind going out in the world with a little 5 o’clock shadow….heck, NOW is the time to do it with masks being mandated! Book it now!