There’s a new anti-aging laser in town and its called Clear and Brilliant. Its from the same company that developed Thermage and Fraxel— and sometimes Clear and Brilliant is described as ‘babyFraxel”. I’m already a big fan of “baby botox” so this laser is right in my comfort zone. In addition to smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production, this new anti-aging tool reduces age spots and some types of acne scars.
Like its big sister Fraxel, Clear and Brilliant is an anti-aging laser that delivers energy in a grid pattern. However true Fraxel goes deeper, can be uncomfortable and requires 3-5 days of healing. By contrast this new rejuvenating laser is never painful and the skin recovers within hours. Since baby steps might as well be my middle name, I was eager to try it out with my super derm, Dr Ellen Marmur. ( Before proceedure pix below)
To keep me comfortable, she used a wooden tongue depressor to apply a thick, 1/4 inch layer of lidocaine numbing gel. I remembered using this product for laser hair removal with another dermatologist. That doctor told me to start applying it an hour before the appointment and reapply it every 15 minutes until treatment . I followed the instructions to the letter, delicately dabbing on little blobs on my chin and upper lip. But the instant the laser touched my skin it felt like I had been kicked by a horse. When I saw the thick layer of numbing goo used this time, I realized that I just didn’t apply enough. Now I know.
After 30 minutes of numbing, Dr Ellen scraped off the lidocaine gel. My face felt quite numb. Not as numb as a shot of novacaine, but definately numb. As per my request, she choose the lowest intensity and started passing the laser tip over my face. I could feel a slightly warm tingling sensation, but nothing even close to uncomfortable. To show me the differrence, the doctor moved the laser to an area without numbing cream and it was still comfortable. She continued to move the laser tip over my face for about thirty minutes. My skin felt warm, like a mild sunburn, but when I looked in the mirror I was surprised to see my face was bright red and swollen. ( Unflattering pix on the right)
When I went left the office, I noticed that the cold winter weather had definitely warmed up. I took off my scarf and unbuttoned my coat. I walked a few blocks until I realized that it was the heat that seemed to be radiating off my face that was keeping me warm. Dr Ellen promised that the redness would fade within 3-4 hours — and almost on cue it did. By the time my husband came home, I was just a little pink– like I had spent an hour or two in the sun. The next morning, my face had a healthy glow. ( pix on the left in a red sweater)
A week later there was, as promised, a subtle radiance. I think the best way to describe the change was to compare it to the way the skin looks after a great facial. But unlike a skin facial where the glow lasts only about a day, Clear and Brilliant radiance last for months– and seems to get better over time. ( One week later pix on right) This “lunchtime” laser works by
stimulating collagen production and evening out skin tones. I was excited to learn that it can be especially helpful for the neck area. This winter I have a big anti-aging plan for my neck that starts with another date with Clear and Brilliant.