Why Skin Types and Summer are No Longer Off Limits
Laser skin treatments can do a lot for your skin – from reducing fine lines and wrinkles to minimizing acne scars, from fading dark spots to improving the tone and texture of your skin. In the hands of a skilled aesthetician, a laser is a powerful device to treat common problems associated with sun damage and aging skin.
Laser treatments can literally give your skin a brand-new surface. Most lasers achieve this by causing precisely controlled damage to the skin, forcing the skin to regenerate healthy cells and produce collagen.
In the past, laser skin procedures have not been recommended for everyone. Even though there are dozens of different lasers on the market, not all of them are appropriate for every skin type. Also, fall and winter are traditionally considered “laser seasons” or the best time of year to get laser treatments. But that’s all in the past. Revolutionary new laser technology means now some lasers are safe for use on every skin type, all year round.
Types of lasers
There are hundreds of cosmetic lasers on the market. As a result, patients often end up confused about what laser is best for their skin type and the problems they want to correct, how often they should get laser treatments, and when to get the treatments, summer or winter. To make it easier for you to understand your options, let’s take a quick look at the different types of lasers and their benefits.
Lasers use a concentrated beam of high-energy light that is focused on the treatment area. They can be used to treat skin conditions like wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, acne scars, pigmentation, dark circles, sun spots, sagging skin, birthmarks, unwanted hair, and tattoo removal.
The key difference between various lasers is the wavelength (color of light), which determines how the energy is absorbed by the skin. Ablative lasers target the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Non-ablative lasers target the middle layer of skin (dermis). Some common cosmetic lasers are listed below:
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are older ablative lasers that are associated with a longer recovery time and a higher risk of side effects. They are still occasionally used to treat severe signs of facial aging such as deep wrinkles, sun damage, and sagging skin.
- Erbium lasers (Er: YAG) are also ablative lasers that target the top layers of skin. They are used to treat acne scars, pigmentation, sun damage, and moderate wrinkles.
- Pulsed dye lasers are non-ablative lasers that target the middle layer of skin and stimulate collagen production. They are used to tighten and improve skin tone and texture and treat problems like rosacea, spider veins, birthmarks, and vascular lesions.
- Alexandrite lasers use heat to destroy lesions. They are used for laser hair removal, tattoo removal, birthmarks, pigmentation, sun spots, and prominent leg veins.
- Fractional lasers act on both the upper and middle skin layers. They are gentler on the skin than ablative lasers and are used for problems like scars, wrinkles, and pigmentation.
Why skin type matters
When lasers first began to be used for cosmetic skin treatments, not all skin types were considered ideal for these procedures. In general, the rule of thumb was the lighter the skin and hair color, the better the results and the fewer the side effects. This is because older lasers can cause damage and discoloration in people with darker skin tones.
The risk of hypo- or hyperpigmentation in people with darker complexions is lower with non-ablative lasers. But the results are slower, and you need more sessions. Ablative lasers, on the other hand, are not generally considered suitable for darker skin tones due to a risk of pigmentation changes. They also require a longer downtime or recovery time.
Does that mean people with darker skin cannot benefit from laser treatments? Not at all. Fractionated lasers have been game-changers in laser skin treatments. These devices bridge the gap between ablative and non-ablative lasers and make it possible for people with all types of skin to benefit from laser treatments.
Why seasons matter
Skin treated with a laser is more sensitive than usual to UV damage. Too much sun exposure after laser treatments can negatively impact the results of the procedure. This is why fall and winter are traditionally considered the best seasons to get laser treatments. There is less risk of sun exposure during these months.
The other reason why seasons matter is that people tend to be tanned in the summer. Sunlight targets the pigment cells in the skin and hair follicles. When there is an increased amount of melanin (pigment), the laser cannot distinguish between hair and skin, making treatments like laser hair removal less effective. Also, tanned skin is more prone to complications like discoloration, wounds, and scars after laser treatments.
Recent advances in laser technology and the development of fractionated lasers have fixed this issue. Now, laser treatments can be safely offered year-round.
MOXI laser: Safe for all skin types, year-round
MOXI is a revolutionary fractional laser that’s gentle on your skin. It delivers laser energy in a pixelated manner. Meaning it divides the skin into microscopic treatment zones like pixels in a photograph. Instead of damaging large areas of skin in the treatment zone, MOXI targets tiny pixel-like areas, leaving the surrounding skin intact. This allows quick healing because there isn’t trauma to 100% of the laser-exposed skin. As a result, MOXI is safe for all skin types, including darker skin tones. It also means MOXI treatments can be offered year-round, including the summer months.
MOXI technology was developed for individuals who are looking to correct the initial signs of aging and sun damage. It is also a great choice for people with deeper skin flaws who want to maintain the results obtained with more invasive laser treatments. A MOXI treatment takes less than 30 minutes to perform and can revitalize your skin, no matter the season, your skin type, or your age. Talk to our amazing aesthetician, Tabatha, today about upgrading to MOXI.