The last few days I’ve noticed something I can only describe as miraculous when I look in the mirror. No, I haven’t morphed into a supermodel just yet, ha-ha. But this is still pretty darn good!
It almost looks as though my skin has been airbrushed or Photoshopped so that my nagging little flaws are gone! It’s as if someone put one of the prettiest Instagram filters on my face overnight that just completely erased those pesky little broken capillaries around my nose. The small amount of melasma that remained on my cheeks is imperceptible now, and I totally forgot about a reddish acne scar that had been hanging out on my chin. I actually ran out to the post office today sans any makeup whatsoever–and wasn’t nervous about who I might bump into! (Of course, I always put on my sunscreen. I’m not about to invite any of those spots back!)
Okay, so back to this amazing transformation of mine. What could’ve caused such an improvement? The Aerolase LightPod laser. I had my second Aerolase treatment at One Aesthetics in Winter Park, Florida about a month ago. I knew that these were some of the results the Aerolase promised, but I honestly didn’t expect this much improvement after only two sessions!
You see, this wasn’t my first foray into the world of lasers. About three years before doing the Aerolase laser, I had done a four-treatment package of what they call the Broad Band Light (BBL) laser at my local dermatologist. It worked well to lighten up my melasma and acne scars but definitely required all four treatments. It did nothing for my broken capillaries sadly, and I would be remiss to not mention that it hurt like nobodies’ business! I’ve been told I have a fairly high pain tolerance, and this was close to torture for me. (It was so bad I almost considered ditching out on my last two prepaid sessions.)
My experience with the BBL laser is why I was so surprised to see these kinds of results so quickly. AND why I was shocked when I wasn’t continuously and repeatedly shocked by the Aerolase laser. I was way off base thinking I could draw any comparison between the two.
Amie (owner and Non-Surgical Beauty Specialist at One Aesthetics) was the one who suggested I try the Aerolase. The Aerolase laser is FDA approved for a variety of concerns, including lax skin, hyperpigmentation or melasma, unwanted hair, broken capillaries, cystic acne, rosacea, scars, wrinkles, and more. It’s unheard of for one device to tackle such an array of issues—and to do them all so well!
In addition to being useful for such a variety of concerns, the Aerolase works on all skin tones. Many lasers simply target any contrast or darkness in the skin. When someone’s skin is too dark to provide enough contrast with their blemishes, hair, or irregularities, these lasers are not only ineffective but dangerous. Increased melanin content puts you at a higher risk of developing side effects with these types of lasers, such as burns, and hyper/hypo-pigmentation. This isn’t an issue whatsoever though with Aerolase. Aerolase is actually the safest laser in the industry for darker skin types or tanned skin.
I try not to get deep into scientific terminology (I find it boring and/or confusing to read myself), but after my extraordinary and painless results, I had to know what makes the Aerolase different. In the simplest terms possible, here is what I learned:
The Aerolase LightPod is an Nd: YAG 1064 nanometer laser with a 650-microsecond pulse duration. As illustrated below, the 1064nm wavelength is superior because it is capable of reaching targets (flaws or cells in need of rejuvenation) in both the dermis and epidermis. This wavelength is powerful and versatile, yet safer than other wavelengths due to its minimal interference with melanin. (Making it great for those with darker skin.)
What really makes the Aeorlase novel is this 650-microsecond pulse duration business. The high-energy pulse from the Aerolase LightPod handpiece is delivered into the target with an extremely short pulse. 650-microseconds is shorter than the “thermal relaxation time” of your skin, which means your skin has time to cool itself between pulses. The heat is confined to whatever targets have absorbed it. Basically, the targeted structures within your skin (such as blood vessels, acne, scars, unwanted hair, etc.) retain the energy from the laser while your surrounding skin never becomes hot or uncomfortable—all because of the swift 650-microsecond pulse. Longer pulses lead to heat retention in the surrounding skin which can make treatment extremely uncomfortable as well as potentially lead to burns or changes in pigment.
For my first Aerolase treatment I was in the trusted hands of my favorite physician, Dr. Gerald Pierone. I was quite nervous, nonetheless. I hadn’t read about the comfortable 650-microsecond pulse yet. Painful memories were still forged in my brain from that dreadful BBL laser experience. That stinging, hot, rubber band snapping sensation–yikes! Dr. Pierone assured me that the Aerolase wasn’t painful at all though, so I put on a brave face as he helped me put on the protective eyewear.
As Dr. Pierone started moving the warm light beam over my face, he told me that his wife refers to the Aerolase as “magic pixie dust.” I thought that was a perfect description because it felt pretty wonderful! (Though in retrospect she may be referring to the amazing results; like a magic wand was waved over your face.) There was no “zapping” nor any hot snaps that I had to brace for. The soft warmth from the laser was comforting and I felt as though I could fall asleep.
“The laser energy is pulsed across the skin’s surface in a carefully controlled manner, gradually vaporizing old tissue to stimulate the growth of new skin and collagen for a smooth, evenly toned and youthful appearance.” This is what it says on the Aerolase website, and I’d say that’s an excellent description. The LightPod handpiece itself never makes contact with your face.
The whole treatment couldn’t have taken more than fifteen minutes, but I couldn’t say for sure. I was so relaxed I lost track of time. Dr. Pierone had me sit up and look in the mirror when he finished. I was surprised to see that my face wasn’t even pink. There was no swelling to speak of. Last time I left a laser treatment my face was red and a bit angry. As it turns out, you don’t need to leave with skin that looks swollen and irritated to expect results.
That night I did a thorough examination of my face in the bathroom mirror. It seemed a couple of the darker spots on my face already looked lighter after only one treatment.
It is recommended that you do up to 6 treatments; one a month for six months being ideal.
I could still see some of the broken capillaries around my nose, but I knew it was too soon to make any judgment on those; they can take up to a month to resolve. As for the issue of laxity and fine lines, the Aerolase website explains that it can take up to six months for new collagen and elastin to grow. You won’t see the full effect overnight. I was very impressed with the brightening effect I noticed right away, though. I scheduled a second Aerolase treatment for the next time I visited Winter Park.
For my second Aerolase treatment, Becky at One Aesthetics took care of me. She bumped the power level up very slightly from the last time I was treated. Becky took her time and paid special attention to my problem areas; giving them a second pass at the end. She warned me to expect some possible dry skin, and just as she said, my skin began to peel that evening. After washing my face, the majority of the dry, dead skin had sloughed off, leaving smoother, fresher looking skin underneath. It was almost like I’d had a peel.
I definitely noticed a brighter overall complexion and some fading of my melasma right away. A few weeks later I caught myself off guard in the mirror due to the disappearance of certain flaws I’d become so accustomed to. Which, come to find out is exactly the way it works! Most of the improvements you’ll see from the Aerolase Lightpod Neo aren’t instantaneous.
I still have about five months for the collagen and elastin in my skin to continue to respond and grow from my last treatment. Should I stumble upon anything else amazing in the mirror between now and then, I’ll be sure to let you know!
**My first Aerolase LightPod treatment was in October of 2017, at which time this blog was nothing more than a brainstorm. This is why I never took a proper “before” photograph for use here. Luckily, I found a photo on my phone that did show some of the melasma on my cheek. Unfortunately, my broken capillaries weren’t really obvious in any of the photos I was able to dig up. As with many flaws, they were something that I would see right away, but to the camera (and likely to most people) were less obvious.
I will be sure to take proper before and after photographs for our purposes in the future.