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The best lasers for Black and brown skin

Yes, melanin rich skin can take advantage of the benefits of laser treatments - these are the ones that work best for you

It used to be that laser treatments were a no-go for Black and brown skin, meaning that only fair complexions could take advantage of the line reducing, texture smoothing, hair removing benefits of laser beams. Fast forward a few decades and the industry has made inclusive strides.

Lasers come in two forms, non-ablative and ablative, with the former being the most safe for Black and brown complexions. Why? Unlike ablative lasers, non-ablative lasers don’t target the top layers of skin (which is dark skin tones can result in damage and hyperpigmentation), but instead they target the deeper within the skin where collagen and elastin live.

When it comes to targeting line and wrinkles, or pigmentation results can take longer, but in terms of other skin treatments like hair removal and acne control non-ablative lasers work as effectively as their counterparts.

Read on to discover the best lasers for Black and brown skin…

For Acne
No matter how mild or severe your breakouts are, this FDA-approved laser treats everything from pustules, cystic and comedonal acne. AviClear is dubbed a game changer amongst skincare professionals due to its ability to tackle all types of acne on the face and body. The non-ablative, 1726 nanometer wavelength beam precisely targets the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce less spot-causing oil. This not only reduces existing acne, but also prevents intense future breakouts.

It’s one to consider if you’ve tried prescription medications, but failed to see results. You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s suitable for all skin tones, plus it’s low pain and low downtime thanks to a cooling control. Three rounds, a month apart are recommended for optimum results - which can last for up to two years.

For texture issues
Skin texture issues like sun damage, scarring, uneven tone and even wrinkles can be improved with just one 20-minute round of this fast-acting, FDA-cleared device. UltraClear is a first-of-its-kind cold ablative laser, which simultaneously delivers cold fractional ablation and dialed-in coagulation, put simply, it applies less heat to the skin resulting in a pain free procedure that, in most cases, won’t require anaesthetic cream.

This also makes it dark-skin friendly, as it significantly minimises the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Benefits can be seen after one treatment, but further sessions may be required depending on your skin concern.

For early signs of ageing
This is the perfect entry level laser for younger patients wanting to maintain healthy skin or blast away early signs of sun damage and ageing. Safe for melanin-rich complexions, the non-ablative diode laser gently creates tiny micro-injuries in the skin to bolster its collagen-stimulating response.

It only takes 20-minutes to perform a full-face treatment and it can be used on the chest, arms, hands and legs too. A dose of numbing cream is required to ease the mild prickly sensation and any post treatment redness should subside within 24 hours. Expect brighter, evenly toned skin around a week after treatment. Three to four rounds may be recommended for some.

For hair removal
When it comes to laser hair removal, traditional lasers work best on dark hairs and light skin tones, while for Black and brown skin the 1064-nanometer Nd:YAG lasers work best.

This type of laser also targets pigment but rather than targeting the surface of the skin, it gets to work at lower levels - homing in on hair follicles, which helps to avoid damaging the skin surface and triggering hyperpigmentation. Like other hair removal lasers, this laser will reduce hair density but won’t get rid of hair forever.

What to ask before booking your laser treatment

Be sure to enquire whether the person you’re seeing for a laser treatment has ample experience treating Black and brown skin and using the particular laser they are offering. There is nothing worse than being a guinea pig for a new device in someone’s clinic who hasn’t had a lot of experience treating your skin tone. Even if the device works on Black and brown skin - often times practitioners need to be savvy regarding the levels at which they should use the machine and this often comes with experience.

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