Lasers can be ablative or non-ablative - both methods are delivered with a fractional laser and both work by damaging the skin cells to provoke a wound healing response, which in turn stimulates the growth of healthier skin.
“Stronger, ablative lasers are used for issues like deep wrinkles or pitted scars, as they superficially wound the skin while heating the underlying tissue. This stimulates new collagen and reveals healthier skin,” explains Kaur.
Non-ablative lasers are gentler and best for those wanting to improve skin texture and superficial lines. “They penetrate and heat the underlying skin tissue while keeping the outermost layer intact, so recovery time is minimal,” she adds.
Here are the latest lasers to help fast-track you to healthier-looking skin...
MOXIThis 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.
AVICLEARNo 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.
ULTRACLEARSkin 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.
ALMA HYBRIDThis superior, multi-tasking and FDA-cleared laser can be used to treat everything from wrinkles, stretch marks, scars and sun damage. It’s powered by three energies - the ablative CO2 laser, the non-ablative 1570nm laser along with ultrasound technology. All three can be combined and customised depending on your skin’s needs. The varying intensities means the practitioner has complete control of recovery time according to your requirements.
Mature skin requiring deep resurfacing should opt for Hybrid Lift which targets lines, deep wrinkles and pigmentation, while ultrasound ensures deeper penetration of products. If scarring is a problem, go for Hybrid OScar. SoftLift is the go-to option for refining skin tone and softening wrinkles non-ablatively. The number of treatments and downtime required depends on the skin issue being treated.
NANOFIRMNanoFirm is the latest import from South Korea that’s designed to brighten, tighten and lift skin with the help of laser, ultrasound and galvanic energy. The laser part generates nano-injuries in the skin to trigger new collagen production, while addressing surface irregularities. Meanwhile, ultrasonic waves shift impurities in the pores and galvanic energy targets the deeper superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) layer of facial muscles to lift and tighten.
No numbing cream is necessary and downtime is zero, since the built-in cooling mode keeps irritation at bay. Also suitable for the hands and neck, the triple energy approach leaves skin firmer, plumper and super radiant. It’s effective on all skin types and a course of three 30-minute sessions spread two weeks’ apart is recommended.
Bhavjit Kaur, Aesthetic Doctor
An aesthetic physician with over 26 years of clinical experience, Dr Bhavjit Kaur is the co-founder and director of...Book with Bhavjit Kaur