5 Skincare Tips for Post Laser Treatments
Laser skin resurfacing has come a long way. The latest tech gives you options to dramatically improve your skin while minimizing downtime and side effects.
To ensure you get the best results, though, it’s important to know how to care for your skin post treatment! In this blog, we’ll orient you to the basics of laser skin resurfacing, then share 5 things to help you get the most out of your laser treatment.
What does laser skin resurfacing do?
Cosmetic lasers use light-based technology to improve the look of your skin in an outpatient, non-surgical procedure. They can be used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, pigmented lesions, keratoses, and uneven tone or texture. They also help to tighten the skin.
Laser treatment does carefully-controlled damage to your skin in order to take advantage of its healing mechanisms.
Laser treatments typically work by damaging skin is a highly-targeted way to stimulate the skin’s own healing and rejuvenation process. Lasers can also reach deeper layers to promote the formation of new collagen—that’s the component of your skin that gives it elasticity and keeps it plump and hydrated.
What is recovery like after laser treatment?
Laser resurfacing procedures vary widely and are finely-tuned to the individual patient’s needs, which means recovery will look different for each person.
For more mild treatments, you’ll likely experience some redness and sensitivity that will subside after only a few days. More aggressive treatments can offer dramatic results, but do require a longer recovery time, during which you may experience peeling skin as the dead outer layer is shed.
In either case, by the time two weeks have gone by you should be seeing the results in younger, healthier-looking skin.
Tips for a successful treatment
So what can you do to make sure you get the best results from your laser skin resurfacing treatment? Here are our top 5 tips.
1. Prepare for success
What you do before your treatment matters, too. One area you particularly need to watch out for is the sun. Even though it can be tempting to get outside and enjoy the weather, it’s best to avoid sun exposure for at least a week before your procedure.
You should also avoid anything that would be harsh on your skin, like chemical peels. Laser treatment makes your skin very sensitive and you don’t want to head into treatment with it already irritated.
It’s also a good idea to stay on top of hydration and healthy eating—your skin needs plenty of water and nutrients to generate more collagen and reap the full benefits of laser treatment!
Laser treatment makes your skin sensitive, and you don’t want to head into treatment with it already irritated.
2. Post treatment, focus on being gentle & clean
Laser treatment does carefully-controlled damage to your skin in order to take advantage of its healing mechanisms. You don’t want to put it under more stress as it recovers. That means treating it as gently as possible.
After your laser procedure, we will provide detailed instructions as to when you can first use cleansers and apply products. When you do, be sure to start with an extremely gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and dry your face with a newly washed towel. After cleansing, apply a mild, nourishing moisturizer that won’t irritate your skin. And definitely skip all exfoliants until your skin is fully recovered! (When you have a laser treatment here at the Swan Center, we’ll be sure to check your products and offer expert recommendations.)
When you’re ready to leave the house, you might wonder about cosmetics. We recommend starting with fresh foundation and cheek products (old products can easily harbor bacteria) and only using mineral makeup. This is also a great time to get out new brushes, or thoroughly cleanse yours, since they are often full of germs.
3. Be religious about post-treatment SPF
If it is important to avoid sun exposure before your procedure, it is even more crucial afterwards. For the initial recovery period, you’ll want to stay out of the sun entirely. If you do have to be outside, wear a broad-brimmed hat and a high-SPF sunscreen. For extra protection, we recommend you wear sunscreen inside as well, as UV rays pass through glass windows—where there is daylight, there is UV!
Even after healing is complete, you’ll want to continue to use a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect your renewed skin and help your results to last.
4. Don’t touch
After treatment, your skin’s protective layer is compromised and, as we mentioned before, it is more vulnerable to bacteria, so you’ll need to avoid touching your skin. It can be very tempting to feel your skin’s progress or disturb peeling skin, but you must resist the urge! Besides the risk of infection, scratching, rubbing, or picking can also increase irritation and inhibit healing, and even create new scars. Let your skin rest.
One other way our faces can pick up bacteria is from our smartphones, so consider giving yours regular wipe-downs with a sanitary wipe!
5. Get some sleep
What does sleep have to do with your skin? Actually, a lot. It isn’t just that sleep is important to healing in your body in general. A lack of sleep also causes stress, which leads to inflammation. Stress also raises cortisol levels in your blood, which contributes to the aging and damage of skin.
Enough sleep is also important for the production of collagen, which laser therapy is intended to stimulate.
Experts recommend 7-9 hours a night for adults; give yourself permission to get the rest you need. Your skin will thank you.
Atlanta laser skin resurfacing at the Swan Center
As with any aesthetic treatments, the practitioner makes a big difference. At The Swan Center, our highly-trained aesthetics team uses the latest technology to achieve great-looking results with minimal downtime. If you’re in the Atlanta area and are interested in exploring what laser treatments can do for you, we invite you to get in touch for a free consultation.