Skin Care Series: I Had Laser Treatments and Here’s What Happened

A few months ago, I shared a story about being intrigued by the possibilities in laser skin rejuvenation – especially as a thirties-close-out party was quickly approaching. If I could go back in time, I’d scare my younger-self into protecting my skin (especially my face!) from the sun. Since I can’t do that, I jumped at the opportunity to test out cutting-edge lasers including the Cutera excel V, Clear + Brilliant Permea, and Alex TriVantage lasers.  In the hands of an expert, Jennifer MacGregor, MD at Union Square Laser Dermatology, I began laser treatments to address small facial blood vessels, sunspots, sun-damage, overall complexion improvement, brightening, plus more. Three months, and three different lasers later – I’m ready to share my results.

Rockaway-beach

After my initial consult, Dr. MacGregor went after the small facial blood vessels around my nose with the Cutera excel V laser. Let’s just say, instant gratification after seeing those little squiggly red lines around my nose dissipate. The full details about this laser and consultation are in a previous story. Dr. MacGregor also treated me with two other lasers:

CLEAR + BRILLIANT PERMEA LASER: 

The Clear + Brilliant Perema laser is a non-ablative laser to stimulate collagen growth and produce an overall brighter complexion, smoother texture, and even color. Often called “baby Fraxel” – this laser is super popular since it has little to no downtime. Dr.MacGregor frequently uses this laser pre-weddings and on patients requesting fantastic skin for a specific event. I had two separate appointments several weeks apart. First, a numbing cream was applied, and Dr. MacGregor went over my entire face, I found it to feel warm and not painful at all and expected to be redder than I was when the treatment was over. My skin was then treated with SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, and sunscreen before I left the office. I could have put on makeup right away but chose to hop on the subway make-up free after all of my appointments (check out a flawless cover-up immediately post-treatment here).  I actually really liked the post-treatment feel of the numbing cream and slightly hot face. Call me strange, as I hear that most don’t care for the numbing cream sensation! Dr. MacGregor recommends the Clear + Brilliant three weeks before an important event – with a series of sessions based on specific need. I, however, found the sweet spot at the one-week mark. During the days-post treatment, my skin was dry and a bit rough but not peeling. If anything, I noticed the dryness around my crows-feet until I woke up to glowing skin a week after my treatments. I also appreciated that two lasers fit into each appointment. I had the Clear + Brilliant laser after the excel V laser in my second appointment, and again after the Alex laser (detailed below) in my third visit.

ALEX TRIVANTAGE LASER:

During my initial consult, Dr. MacGregor discussed the possible need for a laser stronger than the Clear + Brilliant to remove specific stubborn sun spots. After carefully examining the photos taken at the beginning of my third appointment, she lifted particular spots with the Alex TriVantage laser used to treat sun posts, freckles and age spots. She left the natural looking freckles on my nose and miraculously removed the spots that appeared in my late thirties, including pools of spots in my under eye area and several on my cheeks and cheekbones. This laser wasn’t painful, but it does require downtime to heal completely. When I left the office my sun spots were raised, swollen and angry! I noticed women on the train looking at me, and it was hard to not overshare my excitement about my laser treatments with total strangers. During the next few days, the spots became darker and more pronounced before flaking off. It looked like I had tiny flakes of mascara on parts of my face – but I went out to dinner the following day. As the spots began to lighten, I couldn’t’ believe the overall improvement in my skin.

Check out my before and after photos from October 2017 to January 2018:

To say I’m thrilled with the results is an understatement. Although it may not be evident in these concealer + foundation free photos – having the sun-spots removed under my eyes and in specific areas of my face makes me look healthier. Even with concealer, my sun-spots contributed to the look of dark circles under my eyes. I also noticed a significant improvement in my skin’s texture and complexion, as well as the lines around my eyes. I’m still the same me with much better skin!

Here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t Go for the Groupon Special:

These lasers require protective eye-wear, numbing cream and sometimes recovery. Some of the sunspots targeted with the powerful Alex laser were just centimeters away from my eyes. I can’t imagine undergoing medical treatments like these with anyone other than a sought-after expert. Laser treatments are not the time to go for a non-reputable bargain. Save that for a hobby class!

  • Choose Your Provider Wisely:

It’s important to see a highly-skilled provider to customize the right treatment plan. Dr. MacGregor closely examined the photos taken before each session in addition to my skin to tailor my treatments with specific lasers. If I went for a Clear + Brilliant only package from another provider, my outcome would not have been the same. Union Square Laser Dermatology employs the latest medical technology, including the newest lasers and energy devices catered and adjusted to each patient. Dr. MacGregor also set me on the right at-home skincare path as an essential part of the process.

  • Think of Your Desired Outcome: 

While a trip to a posh spa may leave me feeling relaxed – a lovely-feeling facial has never provided me with any sort of lasting results. For me, lasers are effective and are a much smarter investment.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or ask them in the comments below!

Thank you to Union Square Laser Dermatology for services.  Opinions, as always are my own. 

 

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Skin Care Series: I’m Giving Laser Treatments a Go

Thank you to Union Square Laser Dermatology for sponsoring this post.

Over the years, I’ve racked up my share of sunspots, and have also become increasingly cognizant of the fine lines that look like they’d like to take permanent residence on my face. With a 30’s close-out party soon approaching in the New Year – it’s time to prioritize things that make me feel good, nearly ten years into motherhood.  I’ve been curious about improving my skin with lasers, especially the ones with minimal downtime.  I was lucky enough to recently undergo treatments with Dr. Jennifer MacGregor, a highly sought after and respected New York City dermatologist, practicing at Union Square Laser Dermatology.

Union-Square-Laser-Dermatology

During our initial consultation, I took to Dr. MacGregor and her minimally invasive approach immediately.  While, I pointed out sunspots, small red veins, dullness, and freckles, she said “We’re not trying to erase what makes you-you” while advising on the optimal approach to treat my skin. Her first step?  A session with Cutera’s excel V laser to tackle the small facial blood vessels below my nose.  I also got quite the education on the proper at-home care. While I thought that I was the winning the sun-damage game with my everyday use of sunblock and a hat – it turns out that my system was ALL wrong since my block didn’t contain physical blockers (or mineral sunscreen) like zinc oxide.  I left her office with the proper products to keep me on track.

I hightailed it to Dr. MacGregor’s beautiful office, perched above Union Square on a Friday afternoon – excited to begin.  After going over the process with Dr. MacGregor and her helpful team, I soon had on protective eyewear, while she worked wonders with the excel V.  After a few super quick zaps, the area around my nose was done.  I didn’t find the treatment to be very painful although my head twitched a tiny bit with each pass of the laser. Dr. MacGregor continually checked on my comfort level – and before I knew it, I had soothing ice packs applied to calm any post-procedure irritation.

Union-Square-Laser -Dermatology-Dr. Jennifer-MacGregor

Dr. MacGregor giving a patient a laser treatment.  Image via Union Square Laser Dermatology.

When I got home, I examined my face under our bright bathroom lights.  Although those tiny red blood vessels didn’t bother me terribly, to begin with, I couldn’t believe the overall improvement once they were gone (yes GONE!).  One excel V laser session with my favorite new doctor provided instant gratification.  I no longer have the urge to dab concealer under my nose, and continue to be pleased with the overall self-esteem-boost that zapping away a few red squiggly lines provides.  Follow along on my skin-care series (the Clear + Brilliant laser is next!), where I’ll soon be revealing close-up before and after images to highlight my results.

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