Which Laser Facial is Best for Me?
One of the best things about skin resurfacing is the technology is constantly advancing, allowing us to deliver beautiful results treating SO many skin concerns. Would you believe that one of our favorite technologies, laser skin resurfacing, has been around for over 60 years?!
Though they all use similar technology, not all lasers are created equal. With so many options available that accomplish different goals, many patients around the Dallas & Ft. Worth area come to Southlake Plastic Surgery Med Spa already confused about which laser facial they need.
Below, we break down each laser facial available at our Southlake, TX med spa to help you understand what’s best for your unique concerns and why.
What is a laser facial and how does it work?
If you’ve done some research on laser skin resurfacing, you probably recognize the terms ablative and non-ablative (discussed below), and you might have seen the word fractional thrown around as well.
In this context, fractional means that only a portion of the skin gets treated, not ALL of the skin. All skin lasers on the market, including all the lasers at Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa, are fractional resurfacing lasers.
Fractional lasers work by creating columns of damage to the skin, rather than allover damage. This results in interspersed injuries throughout areas of normal, undisrupted skin. The ability to treat the skin fractionally is the key to providing the best and safest results. The damaged columns are enough to trigger your skin to regenerate and heal itself, resulting in fresh, undamaged skin coming to the surface while also not risking scarring or infection with open wounds.
When we talk about fractional skin resurfacing lasers, there are two types of laser beams we refer to. During your initial consultation, we will thoroughly discuss your options and choose the right combination based on the condition of your skin, your timeline, and your goals.
An ablative laser is considered the most intense or deep laser resurfacing treatment. Ablative laser treatments are typically performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia.
Ablative laser beams vaporize or remove layers of skin tissue to very precise depths and locations. Ablative lasers offer great skin tightening results, treat unwanted lesions, disrupt acne scars, and eliminate pigmentation irregularities.
Non-ablative lasers do not remove any skin. Instead, the energy they produce passes through the skin’s surface to deeper layers and causes thermal micro-injuries to kick your skin’s incredible healing abilities into overdrive.
We use non-ablative lasers to address fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and other visible signs of aging. Since these lasers don’t disrupt the skin’s surface, they’re associated with reduced discomfort and recovery times. We can use topical anesthesia with non-ablative treatments, though some patients find it tolerable with no anesthetic.
We have lasers that offer results compared to a deep chemical peel, while some only cause “micro-penetration,” and others fall somewhere in between. The differences between these lasers leads to different results and different recovery times. It also means that almost no two laser treatments are alike!
Remember: Your laser facial is only as good as your provider!
It is important to note that lasers, especially more intense ablative treatments, require a recovery period and carry certain risks. Depending on their treatment, most patients require 1 to 2 weeks of recovery time (though some of this may be more social downtime than time away from work or responsibilities). You reduce most risk to you by choosing a reputable laser provider, but these associated risks include:
- Excessive redness or swelling
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Arguably the results you get from a laser facial are more dependent on the person controlling the laser rather than which specific laser you use.
When finding a top-tier laser specialist, some considerations include:
- The provider’s experience
- Their relevant qualifications and certifications
- Ongoing training protocols
- Before & after photos
- Patient testimonials
- The cleanliness of the office and treatment rooms
If you consult with a provider who cannot readily provide the above information, think twice! We can’t overstate the importance of finding the best laser facial provider near you. Considering the risks we mentioned, you should never make this important decision based on who offers the lowest price or what specific laser platform they advertise.
Patients at Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa can rest assured knowing we only allow licensed medical professionals to operate our skin lasers. These specialists have performed hundreds of successful treatments and regularly receive ongoing education on industry-best practices. We also operate an on-site AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery center that’s overseen by board-certified plastic surgeons. We abide by the same rigorous sanitation standards in all our treatment rooms.
How to prepare for a laser facial in Dallas & Ft. Worth
Once you’ve completed an in-depth skin consultation with our laser specialists, you’ll know exactly which laser facial we recommend, what to expect, and what it’ll cost.
It’s important to be upfront with your specialist about your medical history as well as any medications or supplements you take, as certain medicines or conditions can affect how you react to a laser facial. Some could lead to poor healing or potential scarring and others can heavily impact the safety of the procedure.
Though you’ll receive specific pre-treatment instructions, we generally recommend that:
- Patients must not have taken anticoagulant medications or used Accutane within the last 12 months.
- Patients with a history of Herpes Simplex (e.g. cold sores) must notify their provider during their consultation to receive a prescription anti-viral medication (Valtrex) to use prior to the laser treatment.
- Avoid sun and UV exposure for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment and plan on continuing to avoid UV exposure for another several weeks.
- Arrive on time for the appointment with clean skin. Do not wear any makeup or skincare products.
- Start arnica supplements a day or two prior to the appointment to help reduce bruising and swelling.
- Halt use of topical retinoids for at least one week prior to the appointment.
- Avoid medications or supplements that affect your natural inflammatory response (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), aspirin, vitamin E, or ginkgo biloba in the week before and week after your treatment. Patients may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) to manage discomfort or other non-laser related aches and pains.
- Patients should bring large sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to wear home.
What face lasers does Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa use?
At Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa, we are proud to offer laser facials using lasers built by Sciton, a renowned industry leader with a proven record of safety and efficacy.
Your unique skin type, condition, and goals will dictate which laser facial (or combination of treatments) we recommend for you. Keep reading to get to know our laser facials in Dallas & Ft. Worth!
The world’s first Hybrid Fractional Laser (HFL), Halo revolutionized laser resurfacing facials with its ability to deliver both non-ablative and ablative wavelengths to the same microscopic treatment zone.
During a Halo laser treatment at Southlake, we apply tunable non-ablative and ablative wavelengths simultaneously to achieve great results with minimal downtime. Halo improves the appearance of numerous skin conditions, such as sun damage, aging, and acne.
The epidermis (outermost of the skin’s 3 layers) heals quickly after Halo treatments because the dermis (middle layer of skin) remains intact. This well-established treatment minimizes aged tissue with less thermal injury so you can get back to your life sooner.
As we discussed above, the Halo is a hybrid fractional laser that works both below the skin as well as on the surface. This improves wrinkles, scars, texture, rosacea, acne, dullness, and skin laxity—wow! You truly can’t go wrong with a Halo laser facial from our specialists at SPS!
Downtime, specifically social downtime, is personal to the patient—some folks will not leave the house looking anything less than 100%. Normally, a little tinted moisturizer is all you need to look like yourself the day after a Halo laser treatment.
Who is the Halo laser best for?
Anyone who is unhappy with early signs of aging or rough skin texture may find that just one Halo laser facial in Dallas & Ft. Worth addresses many of their concerns!
Our Halo laser most effectively addresses:
- Sun damage
- Mild fine lines & wrinkles
- Enlarged pores
ProFractional laser is our most intense laser facial in Dallas & Ft. Worth. The ProFractional laser treatment uses a technique to “aerate” skin tissue and stimulate natural collagen growth. The depth we choose will be based on your skin condition and your goals.
In this treatment, a portion of the skin is left intact which drastically reduces the healing time. The ProFractional laser facial is ideal for improving textural issues such as deep wrinkles and acne scars. Because a large portion of the skin is left intact, healing time is much faster than other ablative laser treatments.
Conditions we address with the ProFractional laser include:
- Moderate and severe wrinkles
- Pitted or “ice pick” acne scars
- Sun damage and dark hyperpigmentation
- Enlarged pores
- Poor skin tone
- Rough texture
Downtime while your skin recovers varies based on the depth of your treatment and your skin’s unique healing process. Some patients might take 3 to 4 days of social downtime while others may take up to 12 days until they feel comfortable with their healing status—perfect for working from home!
The MicroLaserPeel®, sometimes referred to as “The Weekend Peel,” is a very precise way to treat bothersome fine lines, wrinkles, keratosis, uneven skin tone, and sun damage without the discomfort and downtime of harsher laser treatments.
The MicroLaserPeel dramatically rejuvenates the skin by removing a thin layer of damaged skin cells, allowing a smoother, clearer complexion to shine through. Like Halo and ProFractional treatments, we can also customize the laser depth based on your skin damage, desired results, and amount of downtime you have available.
Due to the customizability of the MicroLaserPeel, we can provide our patients in Dallas & Ft. Worth with treatment depth options that range from a light laser peel to full skin resurfacing, allowing for all skin types to be treated.
Results & recovery
Patients can see a dramatic improvement in their skin within just a few days of a MicroLaserPeel laser facial. Once skin peeling has occurred (usually after 3-5 days), many areas of discoloration, sun spots, and fine wrinkles will be minimized, along with a generally brighter skin tone.
What makes BBL laser facials unique?
Though it doesn’t technically use lasers, broadband light (or BBL) is a popular light-based treatment that often gets brought up with lasers. We LOVE both of these powerful treatments and the fact that they address unique skin concerns while improving overall skin health and appearance.
Let’s explore BBL and how it differs from the laser facials we’ve discussed so far!
Forever Young BBL™
It’s understandable why many assume BBL is a type of laser, but broadband light photofacials are actually different from laser facials! Lasers use one specific wavelength of light to deeply penetrate into the layers of the skin to a fixed depth. We customize BBL to penetrate a variety of depths within your skin’s layers.
- Aging skin
- Sun damage
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- Redness and rosacea
- Sagging skin
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scars
- Enlarged/visible blood vessels
Fixed depth lasers like Halo or ProFractional penetrate much deeper than broadband light (BBL) reaches. That makes most laser facials more aggressive than BBL photofacials. While a more aggressive approach can lead to significant results more quickly, it also means more downtime and discomfort. Most people feel comfortable going about their day as usual after a BBL photofacial.
Forever Young BBL harnesses BBL energy, which penetrates the skin with quick pulses of light energy. This energy then converts to heat to increase collagen production and promote cellular turnover. As a result, collagen fibers continue to rebuild the framework of your skin, meaning your skin will continue to improve as time goes on!
Fun fact: Forever Young BBL is the only device that can change genetic expression related to aging.
There’s no exact answer to how long Forever Young BBL lasts, but many patients can make the amazing results last for years, especially with proper skincare and regular maintenance treatments.
Forever Clear BBL™
Regardless of which type of acne you have, BBL for acne, also called Forever Clear BBL, targets clogged pores and discoloration for clear, smooth skin.
Forever Clear BBL delivers a unique, cutting-edge acne treatment that is unlike any other BBL treatment available on the market. To fight acne, inflammation, and other side effects of acne, your skin undergoes a comfortable three-step process:
1. Skin is first treated with blue BBL light to target and kill acne-causing bacteria deep in the pores at the source
2. Skin is then treated with a yellow BBL light that helps reduce inflammation and acne-associated redness for healthy, luminous skin
3. Finally, we treat skin with infrared light in rapid, gentle pulses to signal the body to begin its natural healing process
Following the completion of a series of Forever Clear BBL treatments, along with maintaining a healthy skincare regimen, you can expect to clear up to 80% (if not more) of your actively inflamed lesions, not to mention the prevention of future breakouts.
When should I consider my surgical facelift options vs. laser facials?
We feel the need to clear up a common misconception. No one has to choose between getting a laser facial and a facelift! To compare the two would be like trying to compare apples and bicycles. They just aren’t the same thing!
These two common anti-aging treatments are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the two treatments complement each other very well and can make your face and skin appear at least a decade younger!
Laser treatments work from the outside in and, depending on the type of laser, can help repair damage on the skin’s surface, strengthen the outer layers of the skin by increasing collagen production, and even tighten loose skin to a degree.
A facelift, on the other hand, is very different from a laser facial because it is a surgical procedure. A facelift addresses loose and sagging skin on the lower part of the face, including the cheeks, jaw, and neck.
To achieve the most natural, long-lasting results, a facelift involves a meticulous process that requires quite a bit of time and a surgeon with a great deal of skill. At SPS, Dr. Mason repositions a facelift patient’s skin while re-supporting the underlying muscles and removes excess skin and fat.
Since facelifts do not significantly affect the texture or pigmentation of the overlying skin (besides removing wrinkles and creases), lasers can provide improvement in areas where facelifts just can’t, especially when it comes to sun damage, scars, broken capillaries, and other pigmentation issues. Laser and photofacial procedures complement the results of surgical facial procedures.
When patients come to us to consult for med spa treatments or plastic surgery procedures, we make sure to understand their skin and their concerns to make the appropriate recommendation.
Let our team of laser facial specialists in Dallas & Ft. Worth help you achieve your goals
Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa is dedicated to providing the best plastic surgery and medical aesthetics procedures in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and surrounding areas.
Our expert team of talented aesthetic professionals is here to help you look and feel your best.
Additionally, our AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery center in Dallas is headed by our medical director and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Mason. He has been helping patients for over 20 years and holds surgical privileges at several hospitals in the Dallas area.
Contact us to learn about your laser facial options and schedule a one-on-one consultation to determine the best course of action to treat your concerns.
Use our instant consultation to tell us about your areas of concern, or schedule your first consultation today.