Since the dawn of time, men and women worldwide have had a respectful vanity for their skin, from skin-damaging sun tanning which became popular in the early-mid 1900s, to the artistic flairs of the tattoo industry which really came to light when celebrities began donning visible tattoos in the 1970s.
The latest, and arguably the healthiest, skin trend to come to light is that of skincare. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of the dreaded ‘maskne’ (acne caused by excessive mask-wearing), people have taken to in-depth skincare mapping, specially curated skincare regimes (bonus points if it contains naturally sourced ingredients) and the use of laser/phototherapy like those offered with laser genesis and light therapies.
Laser therapy in skincare has become hugely popular over the last 10 years, with some clinics even opening in major shopping centres - did someone say lunch break laser treatment?
Since our skin is our largest organ, it is worth looking after it and investing some time and maybe a little bit of money to have it looking and feeling its best.
Two types of laser therapies are used in skincare treatments globally – ablative and non-ablative.
- Ablative laser treatments remove (or ablate) the surface layer of the skin to promote healing.
- Non-ablative laser treatments go below the surface of the skin to heat underlying skin tissue to promote the production of collagen and improve skin elasticity and ‘bounce’.
Lasers can tackle skincare concerns such as unwanted hair growth, fine lines and wrinkles, acne, dark spots, and surface damage from excessive sun exposure.
Laser therapy is very effective when paired with some skincare products and treatments and is a very popular choice for people of all ages and genders.
Non-ablative laser treatments (such as red or blue light therapies) may be used alongside more ‘traditional’ skincare procedures such as microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is the physical exfoliation of skin cells that get suctioned up and away from the surface of the skin. The suction of the microdermabrasion tool also helps to increase blood flow and promote skin healing, improving light scarring, discolouration, and even stretch marks. The use of a non-ablative laser alongside microdermabrasion can further improve these results. Lasers are generally heated and this gentle heat can help to rejuvenate the skin by stimulating the production of collagen, which is needed for skin firmness and that youthful ‘plump’.
Another type of laser therapy, and arguably the most commonly known, is laser hair removal. Laser hair removal 1https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/beauty-hair/a14414109/laser-hair-removal-facts/ became popular in the mid-late 1990s and has only grown in popularity. Whether it be for your legs, bikini line, or that dreaded moustache (because who likes a sweaty ‘stache?!) Lasers can remove it for you. With laser hair removal, an ablative laser goes to work to heat, destroy and ablate the hair follicles to reduce the speed at which the hairs grow, sometimes being a permanent solution. Hair growth is annoyingly different from each follicle so not all follicles grow at the same time and at the same rate, because of this, one session is never enough to completely rid you of that unwanted body hair. Multiple sessions will likely be required to see results.
Not everyone will be a suitable candidate for laser either, unfortunately! The darker and more coarse your hair is, the better this treatment will work for you. The laser used in laser hair removal emits a light that is attracted to the melanin in the hair (melanin is what's responsible for the colour of your hair, skin, and even eyes. The more melanin you have, the darker your features will be). People with more melanin or people with darker and more coarse hair tend to see better results with laser hair removal than those that have fairer hair. If you’re unsure whether you’re an appropriate candidate for this treatment, speak to the specialist at your chosen clinic.
Using lasers on your skin might sound like a scary prospect, however, it’s a very common practice and can even be a relaxing experience. Lasers can help you get the most out of the actives in your skincare too, by giving you the best canvas and the freshest skin for the actives to penetrate the surface of the skin and do their best work (such as vitamin A, collagen, vitamin C etc.). However, these actives shouldn’t be used until at least 48 hours after treatment as your skin is the most sensitive in those 48 hours and you could do more harm than good.
When considering laser treatments as part of your skincare, ensure you go somewhere reputable and licensed to avoid unnecessary potential damage to your skin. If you’re unsure what treatments will work best for you, speak to your local clinic and their nurses or dermatologists to find the best solution for your skin type.
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