In the realm of cosmetic facial procedures, lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) remain two of the most popular methods of skin rejuvenation. Both can help minimize the appearance of excessive pigmentation, broken blood vessels and wrinkles. Newer technologies offer physicians a variety of laser and IPL tools designed specifically for various skin conditions and cosmetic concerns.
For instance, Dr. Richard Moore, medical director of The Lifestyle Center, says the most popular facial laser procedures in his practice utilize the Matrix RF (fractional resurfacing), FotoFacial and triniti Skin Series. “In some cases the FotoFacial is going to be a better choice, but under certain conditions the Matrix RF or triniti is a better value,” Moore says. “This is best sorted out during a personal consultation.”
IPL treatments and MicroLaser peels, which use laser light to remove the outermost layer of skin, are among the most popular facial laser procedures performed by Dr. L. Mike Nayak, director of facial plastic and cosmetic surgery at Nayak Plastic Surgery and Skin Enhancement Center. “Intense pulsed light effectively reduces brown spots and redness without any significant recovery period, while MicroLaser peels effectively remove old, dead skin, improving fine wrinkles and making topical skin care products work better by penetrating better,” Nayak adds. “We have begun doing some of the more intense laser peels under light sedation, yielding a huge improvement in patient comfort.”
Plastic surgeons agree that patients should ask about the physician’s experience with a particular treatment, including before and after photos of previous patients, when considering a particular treatment. “Experience counts,” Nayak emphasizes. “It’s like frying pans. Just owning a good frying pan does not guarantee a great meal; you need an excellent chef using the tool.”
And new frying pans—so to speak—are always being developed. “The industry is seeing many procedures that once were invasive and painful now becoming more tolerable due to the technological advances made over the past couple of years,” notes Allie Israelson, a licensed aesthetician at Radiance Medspa.
“Many treatments today allow the client to come in on a lunch break, undergo a procedure and return to their normal daily activities with little to no downtime,” she adds.
Among the new developments is an at-home treatment that may help improve the appearance of skin under the eyes. “This sensitive region is frequently off limits due to complications that could arise during incorrectly administered procedures,” Israelson says.
The Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System, released in January, involves “sonic micro-massage, which creates soothing, gentle vibrations that infuse anti-aging serum into the epidermis where it begins to work immediately,” Israelson says. “In clinical studies, women reported seeing an immediate reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and firmer, brighter, more hydrated skin in just one minute. The results typically last for hours and benefits improve over time.”
While lasers are a high-tech approach to keeping your face looking young, Israelson reminds clients that the basics still matter. Daily cleansing, sunscreen and a healthy lifestyle are among the advisable steps, she says. “It’s never too late to integrate a proper skin care regimen and routine. You can’t replace the skin you’re in, but you can still nourish and pamper it to protect it for the future.”