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 tiny 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–unconcerned about who I might bump into!
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!
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 required all four treatments. It did nothing for my broken capillaries sadly, and I would be remiss not to mention that it hurt like nobodies’ business! I’ve been told I have a relatively high pain tolerance, but 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 assaulted by the Aerolase laser. I was way off base thinking I could draw any comparison between the two.
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!
The Aerolase works on all skin tones. Many lasers simply target any contrast or darkness in the skin. But when someone’s skin is too dark to provide enough contrast with 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 with Aerolase. It’s the safest laser in the industry for darker or tan skin.
After my extraordinary results and pain-free experience, 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 irregularities in both the dermis and epidermis.
It’s more powerful and versatile, yet safer than other wavelengths, due to its minimal interference with melanin. The high-energy pulse from the Aerolase handpiece is delivered into irregularities 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 between pulses. The targeted structures within your skin (freckles, blood vessels, acne, hair,) retain the energy from the laser while the surrounding skin never becomes hot or uncomfortable. Longer pulses lead to heat retention in the surrounding skin which can make treatment extremely uncomfortable or lead to burns or changes in pigment. The swift pulse makes Aerolase entirely safe for those with darker skin.
For my first Aerolase treatment I was in the trusted hands of my favorite physician, Dr. Gerald Pierone. Despite my trust in him, I was quite nervous. I had no idea about the comfortable 650-microsecond pulse yet. Painful memories were still forged in my brain from that dreadful BBL laser experience. I thought that the stinging, hot, rubber band snapping sensation awaited me. 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 Aerolase website accurately describes the experience as follows: “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.” The LightPod handpiece itself never makes contact with your face, but you feel the warm light beam pulse across your face.
The whole treatment couldn’t have taken more than thirty minutes, but I was so relaxed I lost track of time. Dr. Pierone had me look in the mirror when he finished. I was surprised that my face wasn’t even pink and there was no swelling. My last laser treatment left my face red and a bit angry. As it turns out, you don’t have to leave with swollen and irritated skin to get results.
That night I examined my face in the bathroom mirror. It seemed a couple of the darker spots on my face were already looking lighter.
It is recommended that you do up to 6 treatments; one a month for six months, ideally.
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.
Becky at One Aesthetics administered my second Aerolase treatment. She bumped the power level up slightly from the last time I was treated. Becky took her time and paid particular attention to my problem areas; giving them a second pass at the end. She warned me to expect a little bit of dry skin. 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 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. Most of the improvements you’ll see from the Aerolase Lightpod Neo aren’t instantaneous.
Acne treatment: before and after, courtesy of Spade Skin Care and Aerolase.com. The Aerolase is highly effective at treating acne.
**My first Aerolase LightPod treatment was in October of 2017, at which time this blog was nothing more than a brainstorm. Which is why I never took a proper “before” photograph. Luckily, I found a photo on my phone that did show some of the melasma on my cheek. Unfortunately, my broken capillaries weren’t apparent in any of the images 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 noticeable.
I will be sure to take proper before and after photographs for our purposes in the future.