Flawless complexions once were only inherited or faked with cosmetics. Now, medical spas have a veritable arsenal of devices to make glowing, youthful skin a reality for anyone who walks through the door. Among the most effective tools are lasers, which have been a popular choice to truly transform skin. According to the latest Plastic Surgery Statistics Report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, laser skin resurfacing continues to experience steady growth. “It is an extremely exciting time in the world of laser and light therapy in the anti-aging industry,” says Lauren Abramowitz, founder and certified physician assistant at Park Avenue Skin Solutions (New York City) and clinical educator for Allergan Facial Aesthetics. “Lasers and light therapy technologies change as fast as the apps on our iPhones.” Here, our experts shed some light on the lasers they rely on and how light therapy can paint a bright picture for your business and your clients’ skin.
BioPhotas Celluma LED
Jesse Mitchell, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists (multiple locations in California)
Ideal client: Anyone interested in a non-surgical facelift and willing to commit to the treatment schedule can benefit from Celluma. Results are fast, and it’s completely non-invasive with minimal or no side effects.
Conditions and concerns addressed: We’ve seen excellent results with acne, rosacea, and wrinkles.
Recommended course of treatment: For maximum benefits, we recommend a 30-minute treatment twice a week for four weeks. We then review progress and design a new series as needed for maintenance.
What are the results? Many conditions show improvement almost immediately, including severe acne, dull skintone, and uneven texture. Fine lines can take a little longer, but a brightening of the skin is apparent quickly. We see results holding well over time with maintenance treatments.
What innovations and changes have you noticed? LED light therapy is a hot trend that we have found to be effective, therapeutic, and well tolerated by our patients. As our clients become more educated on the benefits and safety of light therapy, it will become more mainstream with more and more skincare facilities offering quality LED homecare devices.
Sciton Joule Platform with the Contour Tunable Resurfacing Laser
Sachin Shridharani, M.D., plastic surgeon, Luxurgery (New York City)
Ideal client: The ideal client is someone who is looking to achieve overall improvement in skin quality and can take a few days off to adequately heal.
Conditions and concerns addressed: This device treats multiple signs of aging on the skin, including laxity, wrinkles, pigmentation, and more. It can be used on its own or as an adjunct to a facelift, a neck lift, or cosmetic eyelid surgery.
Recommended course of treatment: A typical appointment for a facial resurfacing procedure lasts around 60 to 90 minutes and requires slight sedation to ensure patient comfort. Patients go home shortly after the procedure and come in for a follow-up two to three days later to make sure everything is healing well. For less aggressive treatments, there is no need for any anesthesia or downtime, and my patients can come to the office on a lunch break and are done in 20 to 30 minutes.
What are the results? With the aggressive treatments, one can see the skin tightening happen immediately, especially on the lower eyelids. The improvement over time is heavily dependent on how well my patients adhere to using sunblock, avoiding smoking, and taking care of their overall health. The results are visible within a matter of days.
What innovations and changes have you noticed? The most exciting is the improved technology that allows us to maximize results with fewer treatments and less downtime and reduced risk of burns or scars. Also, innovation in less invasive treatments like broadband light can give someone a nice glow for the weekend and help stimulate collagen growth without extensive downtime.
InMode Fractora and Lumecca
Lauren Abramowitz, founder and certified physician assistant, Park Avenue Skin Solutions (New York City), and clinical educator, Allergan Facial Aesthetics
Ideal client: The ideal candidate for these treatments is one who is interested in the health and beauty of their skin and wants to achieve and maintain glowing, radiant skin.
Conditions and concerns addressed: These lasers address various skin conditions, such as sun damage, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, melasma, acne, acne scarring, rosacea, stretch marks, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. These state-of-the-art laser treatments are safe for a majority of skin types.
Recommended course of treatment: The Lumecca, which is an IPL, non-ablative treatment, takes approximately 20 minutes for a full-face treatment and 45 minutes for the face, neck, and chest. I recommend all three areas, because it looks odd when somebody’s face does not match their neck and chest. A full face and neck treatment with the Fractora, a fractional ablative laser, takes approximately 60 minutes.
What are the results? Results from the Lumecca include smaller pores, even skintone, tightened skin, and diminished acne scars. The Fractora improves wrinkles, pitted acne scars, stretch marks, and pore size.
What innovations and changes have you noticed? Lasers have revolutionized what we can do for the aging face. Preventative medicine is the new norm these days in health and wellness, and that includes the health of the skin.
LightStim 2-Panel LED Light
Susan Beal, clinic director, Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts (Los Angeles)
Ideal client: One of the many advantages of LED light therapy is that it can be used on any skin type. It does not discriminate, because it works by stimulating healthy cellular function.
Conditions and concerns addressed: Amber and red wavelengths of LED improve the skin’s tone and texture, minimize the appearance of pores, and help diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Blue wavelengths treat acne. Wavelengths in the red and infrared ranges are effective in reducing inflammation from a wide variety of conditions.
Recommended course of treatment: Because all skin types can benefit from LED, I like to start clients out on a series of six to eight treatments within a four-to-six week time frame to maximize the benefits followed by one to two treatments as needed for maintenance.
What are the results? There is noticeable improvement with fine lines and wrinkles. Overall, the skin appears brighter and rejuvenated, imperfections and blemishes are reduced, and the skin is left with a beautiful, healthy glow.
What innovations and changes have you noticed? There are now more options available to customize results based on the client’s skin type and desired goals. New technology has more precise delivery systems and settings, which treat a wider range of skin types. Additionally, many laser treatments now target multiple skin conditions in a single session, optimizing both results and time.
Alma Lasers Harmony XL
Norman Rowe, M.D., board-certified plastic surgeon, Rowe Plastic Surgery (New York City)
Ideal client: We are able to treat a variety of patients and skin concerns. A thorough medical history helps us to determine if a patient is an appropriate candidate for each procedure.
Conditions and concerns addressed: I use the Harmony XL for skin resurfacing and pigmentation concerns. This includes photodamage, wrinkles, acne scars, broken capillaries, and many others.
Recommended course of treatment: Depending on the laser and skin condition, I recommend one to eight treatments, and each one can last 15 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the area.
What are the results? Results are visible in one to eight weeks. Lasers turn back the clock on aging, but they do not stop the aging process. Results can last anywhere from a year to a few years.
What innovations and changes have you noticed? All laser technology has been advancing. We can offer a broader range of patients safer treatments, better results, and less downtime after the procedure. The most exciting and effective update is the ability of lasers to help tighten skin and improve skintone.
Clear + Brilliant, Fraxel Restore, and Sciton Halo
Ellen Marmur, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, Marmur Medical (New York City), and associate clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology and the Department of Genetics & Genomic Research at The Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York City)
Ideal client: Ideal patients can be of any skin type as long as they are not tan. That means for two to four weeks prior to the treatment, they should not be at the beach or in direct sun. Darker skin types can benefit from laser, but they require a knowledgeable dermatologist to set the laser parameters for a safe result.
Conditions and concerns addressed: Sun damage, aging, a variety of scars, superficial red vessels, and brown pigmentation can be treated with fractional lasers.
Recommended course of treatment: Laser treatments themselves take about 20 to 40 minutes after customized numbing 60 to 90 minutes prior, as needed. A series of fractional laser treatments is best, and I recommend two to five sessions over 12 to 18 months.
What are the results? Results become visible after three weeks and tend to maximize at six months. Results are better after a series of treatments, because fractional lasers are able to treat a percentage of the surface of the skin each session.
What innovations and changes have you noticed? Combination lasers are the most exciting and effective new technology for facial services. Fractional lasers are the key to these treatments. They drill tiny little pinholes through the skin with laser light, and the body sheds those columns of sun damaged, older skin and replaces it with new collagen and elastin for smoother, healthier skin. These, in combination with radiofrequency or ultrasound deep-tissue tightening, target the deep collagen for a 3D lift.
Check out these companies to enhance your medical spa menu with innovative laser and light services.
Alma Lasers www.almalasers.com
Apira Science www.igrowlaser.com
Asclepion Laser Technologies www.asclepion.com
Ellman International www.ellman.com
Focus Medical www.naturalase.com
InMode Aesthetic Solutions www.inmodemd.com
Palomar Medical Technologies www.palomar medical.com
Solta Medical www.solta.com
Syneron Candela www.syneron- candela.com