WHAT IS LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
You’ve likely heard of this procedure, but what is laser skin rejuvenation? Also known as ‘laser skin resurfacing’, these terms refer to a non-invasive clinical skin procedure where various types of lasers are utilised to target skin concerns such as pigmentation, wrinkles, dull skin and more.
While there are many laser skin rejuvenation benefits, possible candidates for this procedure should ensure they fully inform themselves about possible side effects, risk factors and the recovery process before making a decision. This guide to laser skin resurfacing will answer some of the basics about this clinical skin procedure, such as who it’s most suitable for and appropriate targeted skincare advice for during the recovery period.
WHAT IS LASER RESURFACING?
Laser skin resurfacing has become a popular in-clinic procedure for people looking to even out their facial pigmentation, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, or generally rejuvenate their complexion.
This procedure targets the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), while also working on the dermis to create skin benefits simultaneously from the inside and outside.
HOW DOES SKIN REJUVENATION WORK?
Skin resurfacing (or rejuvenation) utilizes heat energy to disrupt imperfections on the skin’s surface while also stimulating collagen production within the skin’s deeper layers.
There are many different types of lasers that can be used for skin resurfacing, each of which works a little or a lot differently. For example, one common type is a pigment seeking laser which targets dark spots, spider veins or acne scars on the skin’s surface, while simultaneously heating water molecules in the collagen layer of the dermis. These molecules become hot enough to create a microthermal zone, tricking the skin into triggering a healing response where more collagen is produced.
WHAT DOES LASER RESURFACING DO?
Laser skin resurfacing benefits include minimizing the appearance of hyperpigmentation for a more even skin tone, visibly smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin concerns caused by sun damage and helping manage scars from acne-prone skin. This procedure can also help with enlarged oil glands and sagging skin.
As with many anti-ageing clinical skin procedures, laser skin rejuvenation before and after comparisons can be visually impressive. However, the benefits vary widely depending on which type of laser is used.
WHO CAN HAVE LASER SKIN REJUVENATION?
Due to the different types available, laser skin resurfacing procedures are suitable for most skin types. Despite this, there are several contraindications for this procedure necessitating a consultation with a professional to determine your suitability. If you have active breakouts or excessive sagging skin this procedure may not be suitable. Likewise for those taking acne medications such as isotretinoin, or smokers.
While the notion that only those with lighter skin tones can have laser is a myth, those with darker skin tones should consult with their practitioner to find the most suitable laser option to suit their skin.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LASER SKIN REJUVENATION?
There are many variations of laser skin resurfacing depending on the type of laser used, whether the laser is fractional and whether layers of the skin’s surface are ablated.
Fractional laser resurfacing involves targeting only a scattered portion of the procedure area, whereas non-factional lasers target the entire area. Ablative laser resurfacing removes surface skin, while non-ablative laser does not. Read on for more info about these two key types of resurfacing.
ABLATIVE LASER SKIN RESURFACING
Skin resurfacing using an ablative laser is used to target concerns involving texture on the skin’s surface such as scars, deep wrinkles and warts. Lasers are ‘ablative’ if they use CO2 or erbium to remove some of the skin’s surface, meaning they create more dramatic results after just one procedure compared to non-ablative lasers. This type of laser skin rejuvenation requires much more aftercare than non-ablative and up to three weeks recovery time.
NON-ABLATIVE LASER SKIN RESURFACING
Non-ablative laser doesn’t remove any surface skin and is best suited to target concerns such as rosacea, acne-prone skin and spider veins. The recovery period for this type of laser is usually closer to a few days than a few weeks and the required aftercare is more minimal.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
Depending on which type of laser treatment you’re booked in for, your clinician may advise you to come in for a series of procedures done several weeks prior to your primary appointment. This will help prepare your skin and minimise the risk of side effects. Otherwise, be sure to follow before-care advice from your clinician and arrive at your appointment with a bare face.
WHAT TO DO AFTER LASER SKIN RESURFACING?
Depending on your procedure, the recovery period may vary between as few days and a few weeks. Common side effects include sensitive skin, bumps, sensations of burning, swelling and possible scabbing. So you may need to have follow up appointments depending on your procedure.
Follow these simple aftercare recommendations to help make the recovery process as simple as possible and maximize the benefits of your procedure.
STAY OUT OF THE SUN
Your skin will already be undergoing a healing response from heat, so exposing your skin to heat stress from the sun will only prolong the recovery period. Try to stay indoors, wear protective clothing or seek shade during this time.
MAINTAIN YOUR HYDRATION LEVELS
Staying hydrated is always important to maintain plumped, healthy looking skin, but it’s especially important as your skin heals. In addition to hydrating externally with facial serums, we recommend drinking plenty of water to help your skin heal from the inside out.
AVOID WEARING MAKEUP
Although it might be tempting to use makeup to cover redness from your procedure, doing so can hinder the healing process.
SKIP THE GYM
Sweating and flushing caused by strenuous exercise can exacerbate inflammation and increase infection risk. Try to stick to low impact workouts during the recovery phase.
IMPLEMENT A SKINCARE ROUTINE WITH SKINCEUTICALS PRODUCTS
It’s important to adjust your skincare routine as your face heals from laser skin resurfacing, as your regular products may not be gentle enough. We recommend using a hyaluronic acid serum like our Phyto Corrective Essence Hydrating Mist to protect against dryness. Follow up with a glycerin enriched facial moisturiser like our Emollience Rich Hydrating Moisturiser. Most importantly, apply a sunscreen like our Ultra Facial Defense Sunscreen SPF50+ frequently.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
Now that you’re educated on the question of ‘what is skin rejuvenation’, you may wish to speak with a skincare professional regarding your suitability for this clinical procedure or post-procedure skincare advice. Find a skincare professional near your location.