There is more to skincare than just having a good at-home routine. Sometimes, you need an outsider’s opinion to help deal with more stubborn issues. A trend we are glad is gaining popularity is beauty enthusiasts being more informed and maintaining lasting relationships with dermatologists. Plus, heading to a skin spa or clinic once or twice a month takes the pressure off from having to do everything on your own. One of the services that has been the driving force of this trend is laser facial treatment. Chances are one of the many skincare junkies on your Insta feed has already mentioned it, because we have been hearing it being discussed a lot lately. But instead of participating in idle chatter, we decided to gather proper info on the topic from a dermatologist, Dr. Sravya C Tipirneni. Here’s what she had to say.


1. Results of a laser facial treatment

Results of a laser facial treatment

“Laser facials, as the name suggests, use different sources of light in a concentrated manner to give you something of a medical-grade facial, which is much better than a salon facial. The word facial itself means that it is going to be non-ablative, very gentle, can be a lunchtime procedure and will leave you feeling very good about your skin. There are different types of laser facials available targeting different skin concerns, so the ideal dermatologist would take a very good history of your skin and your skin concerns to determine what type of laser facial is best suited for results that you expect,” elaborated Dr. Tipirneni.

What has been popularly termed as ‘Facials 2.0’, laser facials have proven to have multiple benefits for your skin. Here’s everything you need to know about them, according to a dermatologist…


2. Types of laser facials

Types of laser facials

There are different types of laser facials in India. At the core, they are divided into ablative and non-ablative, but laser facials are usually the non-ablative types of treatments. They do not cause any breakage, damage or superficial burns in the skin; thereby causing no bruising or redness. Which means you do not need any downtime post-procedure and can go home with your skin feeling very supple, dewy, hydrated, and considerably brighter. These lasers consist of mostly IPL treatments or Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers to address different skin concerns.


3. Benefits of laser facials

Benefits of laser facials

As seen above, a laser facial treatment can give you visible results, while being good to your skin. Some of the factors that makes it so desirable are:

  • It is simple and short in duration It requires no downtime, so you do not have to take leave from work (or other chores)
  • It needs to be done only once or twice a month for lasting results
  • It helps your anti-ageing regimen by reducing, or delaying the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • It reduces the appearance of age spots by decreasing the pigmentation and the melanin in your skin
  • It stimulates elastin and collagen production in the skin

4. Procedure followed with laser facials

Procedure followed with laser facials

The usual step-by-step procedure to get a laser facial is as follows:

1) Pre-procedure:

Pre-procedure does not require too much effort on your side, other than coming in with very clean skin and not applying any cosmetics or makeup to the actual clinic. Prior to that, about 2 to 3 days, you need to discontinue all the glycolic acid and retinol formulations which you may be using already. They tend to be light-sensitive and can dry out your skin a little, leading to possible irritation during the procedure.

2) During the procedure:

During the procedure, make sure to relax and trust your dermatologist with the process. Just come with clean skin and without any applications on, so that you don’t react wrongly to anything.

3) Post-procedure:

Post-procedure you can either put a little bit of ice if you have redness or just apply a good SPF if you are required and instructed to for a few days. Do not use very harsh active ingredients or serums for the next 48 hours. You can get back to a good moisturising regimen as well as your usual skin regimen within 48 hours of the procedure.


5. Laser facial aftercare

Laser facial aftercare

Dr. Tipirneni recommended some expert tips for laser facial aftercare as well. Your skin requires good hydration, proper cleansing and very good moisturising. Use an SPF and try to be very regular with it. If you had a laser facial session which resulted in a little bit of ablation, then you require some downtime for healing. Moisturising the affected area helps heal it faster and also aids the scabs to fall away quickly. However, if you've got the much gentler IPL or Q-switched Nd: YAG treatment, which is non-ablative, there is not much after-care required. That’s the beauty of this facial - that it’s less cumbersome and less time-consuming. If you’re regular enough with your sessions, your skin will look wonderful!


6. Possible adverse effects of laser facials

Possible adverse effects of laser facials

Every clinical procedure comes with its own sets of contraindications and adverse effects. Some of the possible side-effects associated with laser facials that you need to be mindful about are:

1. Inform your dermatologist about pre-existing issues like cold sores, skin sensitivity, breakouts, breaks in the skin, any kind of wounds, or flakiness caused by any kind of strong active ingredient before you go in for the procedure.

2. This way, your dermat can take a call on either postponing your procedure or waiting for the particular skin condition to subside. Sometimes, they themselves will recommend solutions for these skin issues. This precaution is needed because laser facials can make these skin conditions worse and have other adverse effects on them. The temporary side effects of any facial would be a little stinging sensation, slight irritation, redness or a burning sensation. These can easily be tackled by applying an anti-inflammatory cream right after the facial. You can also opt for ice cubes or ice rollers that will help subside the inflammation in 24 hours or less.

3. You need to be careful with regard to the equipment and personnel as well. If the settings of the machine are not adjusted, you can suffer complications. Furthermore, if you are in the hands of an inexperienced dermatologist, an inexperienced technician, or a non-board certified beautician, it might not bode well for your skin. Inexperienced personnel usually do not know the physics of all the advanced and complicated machinery. This leads to a lack of understanding in the settings for different tones and types of skin. The pulses, frequencies and wavelength of every laser has to be uniquely tailor-made or tailor-adjusted to the skin type of the patient in particular. So, if any of these go wrong, you could end up with serious burns, other long-term consequences and long-term damage.


7. FAQs about laser facial treatment

FAQs about laser facial treatment

Q. Does a laser facial treatment hurt?

A. While laser facials are non-ablative and show instant results, they can have a little bit of stinging sensation, slight irritation, redness or a burning sensation during the procedure. But the pain is minimal; often compared to the sensation you get from snapping a rubber-band on your skin, and you will get used to it after a while.

Q. How do laser facials make your skin brighter?

A. Laser facials can help remove irregular and damaged skin cells from the picture and replace them with newer cells. The action results in a complexion that is significantly brighter, with reduced dullness and more even skin tone after regular sessions.

Q. How long do laser facials take to get done?

A. The duration of laser facials is usually short and depends on the specific skin concerns you are trying to target. Some can be as quick as 30 minutes or could take up the time of a whole lunch break.