Welcome to Klog Chat, a series where we ask you to tell us how you do skin care and beauty. Today we’re wondering: Have you ever tried laser skin resurfacing and did it work for you? What’s your favorite skin treatment to splurge on?
Hi Klog readers, Sarah here. “Beauty is pain” is a phrase I used to say a lot. If I couldn’t feel a product, it wasn’t working, I thought. I’ve since learned, thanks in part to discovering the many gentle yet effective K-beauty offerings out there, that skin care doesn’t have to inflict discomfort on my skin in order to deliver results. However, last week after receiving my first ever laser resurfacing treatment, I found myself repeating the saying in my head as I iced my swollen, inflamed face.
I was invited to visit Union Square Laser Dermatology in NYC to learn about the latest in skin care innovations and to try a treatment for myself. Because the practice specializes in laser procedures, I settled on Clear and Brilliant. The laser treatment addresses skin texture, firmness, elasticity, and pore-size appearance associated with early signs of aging. Dr. Claire Chang, my dermatologist for the day, called the glow-inducing treatment a “starter laser” since it’s gentler than other resurfacing procedures like fraxel and doesn’t require downtime. Some patients even come in to get it on their lunch breaks, she told me.
To minimize any potential pain, my face was covered in numbing cream and once it kicked in, Dr. Chang got to work with the laser. It felt as if tiny rubber bands were being snapped on my face, which was slightly uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t say it hurt. The entire procedure took about 30 minutes.
Now, I have sensitive, reactive skin and often leave even a facial with redness so I was expecting to look a little pink. I didn’t expect to look into the mirror post-treatment and see a tomato staring back at me. My skin was freaking out. Not only was I bright red all over, but my skin felt hot, prickly, and like it was severely sunburned. Dr. Chang assured me that the reaction was normal for someone with sensitive skin and handed me some ice packs to help calm things down. I spent the rest of the day hiding in my apartment icing my face, which remained a shade of scarlet until the next morning and a bit splotchy for a couple of days after that.
Once my complexion returned to its normal color, I experienced the second potential side effect of the treatment: extreme dryness. My skin felt like sandpaper for several days, no matter how much RE:P PhytoCELL Cell Revival Cica Cream I slathered all over it.
About five days post-laser, I finally started seeing positive results and the skin compliments began rolling in. My complexion felt completely smooth and looked radiant and even. Now, a week and a half later, I’m thrilled to report that the glow is as strong as ever. I’ve cut down on the amount of foundation I use and have stopped wearing highlighter because it looks like I have it on naturally (yes, #Iwokeuplikethis!).
So did the results make my day of isolation, inflammation, and ice packs worth it? If you had asked me in the hours after leaving Dr. Chang’s office if I would ever get a laser treatment again, I wouldn’t have been sure. Now, of course, I can’t wait to go back for my second round (four to six treatments are recommended to see full results).
Curious about laser treatments? Stay tuned because next week, we’ll be walking you through various different types and what they do.