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Beauty, Dr. Stevens, Education, Featured

Laser and Light: How We Resurface Skin

Whether you want to maintain or overhaul, we have solutions.

Two of our favorite ways to improve the skin are with a light and a laser.

The first, Forever Young BBL (Broad Band Light) /IPL (Intense Pulse Light), is able to treat a broad range of skin conditions caused over time and by sun exposure—or “photo aging”—that shows up as fine wrinkles, sagging skin, pigmentation and tiny broken blood vessels. The light heats the upper layers of the skin, which triggers a healing response that genetically restores the skin to its natural state. Treatments take about 15 to 30 minutes per session, and you can see results in as soon as a week.

We like Clear + Brilliant as a maintenance and prevention option. For best results, it helps if you work this 20-minute gentle laser treatment into your regular beauty routine, as you would a visit to your hairdresser. Essentially this fractional laser treats millions of tiny spots on the skin’s outer layers, and the older tissue is replaced with healthy new tissue. Results from clinical studies include better skin tone, smoother texture and a new radiance.

Ideally you’d start working on serious maintenance in your 20s. It’s never too early to start thinking about these treatments—don’t wait until you start to notice problem areas. We all know you can’t stop the hands of time, but you can fend off the effects of sun and environmental factors while you maintain and improve the skin you’ve got.

We talked to OrangeTwist’s co-founder and medical director, W. Grant Stevens, MD, F.A.C.S., a world-renowned plastic surgeon and a pioneer in facial rejuvenation, about how the treatments work.

Question: Forever Young isn’t technically a laser—it’s a broadband, intense pulse light. Tell us more about that. 

Dr. Stevens: It is a visible light, and we use it for eradication of red and brown spots, as well as improving overall skin texture. As we age, our skin’s elastin and collagen deteriorates, making way for dyschromias or color changes. An IPL is the best treatment for this. You can use photothermal energy on your chest, the décolletage, your shoulders, your back, arms and even hands. It’s really safe and effective and non-traumatic—there’s no ablation and you’re not losing skin.

Q: Tell us about the ideal patient for Clear & Brilliant, which is a laser treatment.

Dr. Stevens: Clear & Brilliant is what we think of as a laser on training wheels—it’s incredibly mild and safe. There’s minimal down time, and it’s extremely effective at preventing the aging process, so it’s ideal for younger patients and those who want to use it as a maintenance treatment for minimally damaged skin. It improves texture and pore sizes and brightens skin. People in their 20s and 30s, and even some in their 40s, can use this. There are more dramatic laser treatments that require recovery time but not this one. Though you may feel mild discomfort, which we treat with an analgesic, you can go to work the next day—no issues. Treatments last about 20 minutes and you’ll start to notice results in four to six weeks.

Question: Who is not a good candidate for Clear & Brilliant and Forever Young?

Dr. Stevens: After these treatments, you want to stay out of the sun for a week or two—or have full head-to-toe protection. So someone who works in the sun might be wasting their time and money unless they want to stay inside. I’d also advise people not to plan a vacation that involves outdoor activities in a sunny place. Sun avoidance and sun protection are very important.

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