When Monarch Plastic Surgery reached out to me about partnering to blog about their MicroLaser Peel, it was an easy yes! As a 43-year-old busy working mom, I rarely devote the time and attention to myself and the self-care I need. Prior to my treatment, I noticed the age spots and sun damage to my face and was excited to see how this treatment could improve the overall look and feel of my skin.
This was my first time having a MicroLaser Peel. I’ve had microdermabrasion treatments periodically over the years which have sometimes coupled with a peel but this was so much more. The MicroLaser Peel is a treatment that precisely removes the outer layer of skin, replacing the dead skin cells with new healthy cells to improve texture and clarity. The best way I can simply describe the results is to get ready to get your glow on and truly feel that you can put your best face forward!
The most important thing to know going into the MicroLaser Peel is to be sure you schedule it when you can go without make-up afterward for 72 hours. If you have a wedding or event you are doing the treatment in advance of, I would recommend the treatment at least one week, possibly two, prior to your event. My skin was extremely red for 2-3 days after the treatment, peeled on days 3-5 and continued to flake off a small amount a full week after my appointment. The end results make this recovery seem insignificant once you have your luminous glowing skin, but be mindful of that recovery time when scheduling.
Walking into Monarch Plastic Surgery for the first time, I was immediately greeted with kindness and felt welcomed from the moment I walked in. I completed a small amount of paperwork and was in a room for my treatment within 5 minutes.
Brittan, my aesthetician, was amazing! She did a beautiful job explaining what I should expect. She also spoke from a place of experience as she has had the treatment herself. I appreciated that perspective so she could be sensitive to my questions.
She began the treatment by applying a numbing balm to my entire face. She explained that I would rest on the treatment bed/table for one hour to allow the numbing to completely take effect. For a person who rarely stops to sit down, one hour to myself was fabulous. The numbing process felt a bit strange but it was not painful or uncomfortable in any way. I worked from my phone while the numbing took over and one hour later, we were ready to get started.
Brittan shared that what I might find most bothersome would be the noise from the laser. She was absolutely right, it sounds like a bug zapper. After the first zap sound, I quickly became used to it. The experience was a bit surreal, like visiting the dentist when they numb part of your mouth. You can see and feel what is taking place, but the numbness prevents you from feeling any pain. Brittan utilized the laser small section by small section across my face. I was extremely surprised that I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. The entire peel took about 20 minutes. Following the treatment, Brittan applied a thick balm across my face with the consistency and feeling of a petroleum jelly. This felt very soothing. She gave me after-care instructions which I followed carefully to ensure I protected my sensitive skin. From start to finish, the entire process took one hour and 30 minutes and then I was off to pick up my kids from school.
During the drive home, the air conditioning on my face felt amazing as my face felt warm but not uncomfortably hot. My face was extremely red following the treatment and the balm made my skin look shiny and glossy. I dropped my kids off at soccer practice that evening and stayed in my car to watch as I didn’t want to be in public with my red, shiny skin and needed to stay out of the sun.
For the day of my treatment, Brittan recommended that I avoid hot showers and sun exposure. I did not want anything touching my face or skin so I decided to wait until the following morning to wash my face. The numbness lasted several hours after the treatment. They suggested that I could take a pain reliever if needed but I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. For sleeping, I would suggest using an old pillowcase to avoid getting the Elta Laser Balm on your bedding.
The morning after my treatment, I utilized the gentle cleanser and treatment balm they sent me home with. First thing in the morning, I splashed cold water on my face, still feeling nervous about touching my face due to my worry for the sensitivity. I used the cleanser they sent me home with me and very gently lathered it in circles around my face. The thickness of the balm did not wash off entirely but my skin felt refreshed with the splashes of water and the cleanser. After washing my face I VERY gently patted my skin with a clean, dry, soft towel. I then applied a film of the laser balm which felt like a wonderful protective shield. My skin was still red the day following the treatment.
My post-care continued with the gentle facial cleanser and application of the Elta Laser Balm both morning and night for three days after the treatment. The redness diminished over the course of each day and was gone by day 4. The team told me that I could apply makeup after 72 hours but even at that time, my skin was continuing to flake off and I was able to avoid makeup while working from home for a full 5 days. On day 4, between the balm and moisturizer, my face felt ready for a good scrub in order to feel fully clean. I knew I needed to be gentle but also felt the extreme desire to get all of the residual balm off of my face. I used a makeup removing wipe on day 4 which irritated my skin a bit and incited some flaking and peeling. I immediately applied a thick moisturizing cream which felt incredible and soothing. I continued to have flaking on days 5-7 and utilized a thick moisturizer and SPF each day and began wearing makeup again on day 7.
Now let’s talk about the exciting part. My age spots and pigmentation look remarkably improved and I have a gorgeous glow to my skin. The dark pigmentation on my cheeks and along my jawline and hairline was reduced significantly. I actually feel for the first time in more than a decade, that my skin looks luminous, and I might even choose to go without makeup or with minimal make-up. That’s how good my skin looks after one week. I’m sharing this selfie so you can see my skin right after I showered and applied a facial moisturizer. I don’t have on any makeup here because I wanted you to see the full results. I’m 43-years-old (with Dysport injections to reduce forehead wrinkles) and this peel easily takes my skin back at least 5 years, possibly 10, by reducing the pigmentation and giving my skin a fresh, dewy look.
The team at Monarch Plastic Surgery can customize the depth and strength of the laser. With this being my first experience, Brittan and I talked about going a little lighter for me, which I appreciate. I love looking at my skin now both with and without makeup. My skin looks more even and youthful with a radiant, healthy glow that I am loving thanks to Monarch Plastic Surgery and Skin Rejuvenation Center.
I had such an amazing experience at Monarch Plastic Surgery that the team invited me back to further reduce and remove age spots, sun damage and broken capillaries with BroadBand Light (BBL). They recommended that I allow at least four weeks between the two treatments. The best part about this treatment is that it requires no downtime so you can go back to work or events without any recovery time. Sciton BBL Photorejuvenation can also help with rosacea and other skin imperfections.
One difference between the MicroLaser Peel and the Sciton BBL Photorejuvenation is that they numb your face for the MicroLaser Peel. The BBL is less invasive and while it’s not painful, it is not a pleasant feeling. Of course, the results make the process totally worth the mild to moderate discomfort of the treatment which lasts about 15-20 minutes. The treatment involves small zaps with the Sciton device which feels like your skin is being thumped with a rubber band. After the first minute, your mind and body begin to get used to this and it no longer feels uncomfortable. Brittan, my aesthetician, moved the device around my face, targeting the areas of imperfections. The targeted tissue responds to the heat energy.
Brittan was incredibly helpful in explaining what I could expect in the days following the treatment. With this being my first BBL, she shared that I should expect my skin to “pepper” a bit. She said this is completely normal because hyperpigmentation darkens prior to falling off. And that is exactly what happened. In the areas where I had the most skin damage and pigmentation, I had what looked like tiny pepper spots in the days following that fell off or went away in less than one week. I was able to easily apply makeup over these spots so they were not visible when wearing makeup. Brittan recommended utilizing BBL quarterly for the most amazing results. And as always, she emphasized the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect my skin.
Within just a few days of the treatment, my skin looked smoother and noticeably younger. One week after, you could clearly see the reduction and even elimination in some areas of age spots and broken capillaries, giving me the appearance of more radiant, younger looking skin. The best part of both treatments is that I now feel comfortable going places with less makeup or even no makeup and my skin is looking better than it has in more than a decade!