We like to think of in-office treatments, facials and minimally invasive procedures as the foundation to beautiful skin.
As the aging process progresses and the skin becomes less plump, smooth and radiant, no amount of ‘miracle cream’ will be able to effectively fend off fine lines, poor texture and discoloration as well as injectables, lasers and aesthetic facials. Sorry, ‘Botox In A Bottle,’ but you just can’t. Yes, doctor-prescribed skincare is super-important in maintaining the results you get from fillers, toxins and the like, but when it comes to minimizing those concerns in the first place? We say, leave it to the big guys.
Skin resurfacing is a subject we don’t often talk about at HintMD (shame on us, we know). But the good news is this is all about to change due to our new-found love for Clear + Brilliant, a non-ablative, fractional laser that has been, ‘clinically proven to fight the effects of aging skin’ (even if they do say so themselves!).
One of the gentlest laser treatments available, Clear + Brilliant fights the visible effects of aging such as poor texture and an uneven skin tone. So, how does it work and is it for you? Here’s the lowdown…
How Does Clear + Brilliant Work?
Using a gentle light that’s emitted through a small roller-like device, Clear + Brilliant is a skin resurfacing treatment that makes microscopic injuries to the skin. These tiny injuries (which are pretty much invisible to the naked eye) forces the skin to heal itself which therefore boosts collagen and results in vibrant, healthier looking skin.
What Makes It Different To Other Laser Treatments?
Skin resurfacing lasers come under two banners: ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative lasers use high energy lasers such as C02 and erbium, which are like super-intense workouts for your skin and not only remove the damaged outer layers of your skin, but also stimulate collagen production underneath. These lasers are able to target the skin on a pretty deep level, making them super-effective, although slightly uncomfortable and with a fairly long recovery period.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing such as Clear + Brilliant neither removes, nor damages the skin’s surface. It works by producing microscopic zones of heat-induced injuries while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. This makes it less expensive, less aggressive and able to target smaller areas with fewer side-effects. It does require between three and six treatments, however, and is often thought of as having less dramatic results.
Whose Skin Does It Specifically Target?
“Clear + Brilliant is a safe and effective way to refine skin texture, soften fine lines and reduce sunspots with minimal down time,” explains HintMD partner and board-certified internal medicine physician Dr. Sheena Kong, who regularly treats patients with Clear + Brilliant at her San Francisco Med Spa. It’s perfect for younger patients or anyone looking to boost radiance or smooth the texture of their skin, but if you’re looking to treat more serious sun damage, pigmentation or acne scars, you’d be better off with something like the Fraxel Dual Laser, which works on a much deeper level and offers more dramatic results.
What’s An Average Clear + Brilliant Treatment Session Like?
In a nutshell, quick and relatively painless. Each session takes 20-30 minutes and involves numbing your skin with topical cream beforehand to eliminate any discomfort you may feel during the treatment. The Clear + Briliant device is then gently worked repeatedly over your face to deliver precise laser energy to your skin, and it can be specifically concentrated on areas of concern like a blackhead-prone nose or discoloration on the cheekbones. After about 15 minutes of active treatment, your aesthetician will then apply an antioxidant treatment serum to your skin, followed by a hydrating mask to boost healing and reduce redness. And honestly, that’s pretty much it. Lunch break here we come.
Does Clear + Brilliant Offer Immediate Results?
Four or five sessions are recommended for the best, most visible results, but just one session can definitely leave your skin noticeably smoother and more radiant.
Is There Any Downtime?
Immediately after your treatment, your skin may look a little red and feel slightly itchy (almost wind-chapped or how it feels after a day’s skiing), but these symptoms will go away in a matter of hours. Our advice? Don’t arrange a first date, interview or night out with your mates straight away – these can wait for at least 24 hours. Also, try not to apply makeup until the next morning, as you want those post-procedure treatments to do their job without any interference. You may also notice a slight roughness to your complexion over the next few days as those micro-injuries scab over and heal. Don’t worry, this sounds a lot worse than it really is – just because you can feel these scabs, they’re so tiny you won’t be able to see them.
The HintMD Verdict?
Clear + Brilliant does exactly what it says on the tin – it leaves your skin clearer and more radiant with very little of the downtime often involved with other laser resurfacing treatments. While it won’t miraculously make scars disappear or smooth deep, etched-in wrinkles like other, more intense procedures, it’s definitely an effective way to maintain youthful-looking skin.
In a nutshell, it totally gets our vote and as part of a personalized treatment plan? We give it a big thumbs up.
Written by: Georgia Gould