Next up in our series of skin procedures: Fractionals. We spoke to Dr. R. Stephen Mulholland, MD, FRCS(C) Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, founder of SpaMedica in Toronto, about this complexion-evening procedure and what you need to know before you take the plunge with a fractional laser.
What it is: A laser that emits light energy to specific targets, in this case, water, bypassing the skin itself.
What it does: Smoothes out wrinkles and evens out texture.
What it costs: $250-500 per treatment.
How it works: “[The laser] targets the water beneath the skin and heats it up, stimulating new collagen production,” reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and promoting a more even skin texture.
Side effects: “If a laser is targeting water, for example, fraxels, generally heating up that water to a sub-boiling or boiling point that causes an injury, then you’ll have a day to seven days down time depending on the energy of the actual laser,” explains Dr. Mulholland. After a couple of days, you’ll be able to resume your daily skincare and beauty regimen, though there may be a some tenderness after the treatment.
Before the doctor: When it comes to helping smooth out uneven skin texture or helping reduce the visibility of wrinkles, there are lots of at-home products that you can try with before going to the next level with in-office skin treatments–try starting with these. Dr. Mulholland suggests using a Clarisonic device(if you haven’t already), as it helps give a deep clean and even out your skin tone in conjunction with products that contain salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is one of those underrated (not to mention unheard-of) ingredients that aim to fill fine lines, helping to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and promote a smoother, more even skin texture. Pair it alongside some products that have hyaluronic acid, which helps keep skin hydrated and lock in moisture, and you’ve got the recipe for some wrinkle-reducing magic.