Sent via the FutureDerm.com Facebook page via private message:
What are your views on the Clear + Brilliant laser? I have to say that I don’t see much of an impact in the before and after pictures in the company’s own brochure, but my friend had it done and her face certainly “glowed.” Is it supposed to actually correct anything (i.e., light lines or wrinkles, acne, improve collagen/elasticity, etc.)? It’s quite expensive (as they recommend multiple treatments) but of course I am tempted by something that might prevent or delay the need for something like Fraxel later. Thanks for your objective insight! I love your website!
Whether Clear + Brilliant laser treatments are beneficial for someone depends on what they’re looking to gain (or lose). Clear + Brilliant works over four to six sessions and is a non-ablative, fractional laser, which makes it most effective for the 45-and-under crowd suffering from early signs of aging. Essentially, it works best to counteract the earliest signs of aging as well as scarring, rather than to erase full-blown wrinkles and other signs of aging in the manner of traditional resurfacing lasers.
How Lasers Work
Lasers essentially work by causing damage to the skin. By wounding superficial layers of the skin — the dermis (middle layer of skin) and sometimes the epidermis (top layer of skin) — laser treatments force the underlying layers of skin to produce new, healthy skin. This also stimulates collagen production, which makes the skin tighter and more youthful (Beautiful Skin). Some lasers are also able to combat the hyperpigmentation and discoloration that happens with age and sun damage. But there are several kinds of lasers that are better fits for certain people.
Clear+Brilliant vs. Ablative Lasers
Non-ablative lasers often get categorized in the “lunchtime” category because they’re known for their fast recovery time (The DERMAdoctor Skinstruction Manual). Ablative lasers remove the epidermis and cause residual superficial thermal damage within the dermis. (Clinics in Dermatology)
On the other hand, Clear+Brilliant non-ablative lasers selectively heat up and damage the dermal tissue while sparing the epidermis. Liquid nitrogen is used to maintain the integrity of the epidermis while a non-ablative laser targets the dermis. Unfortunately, it’s also less effective for serious signs of aging (Journal of the German Society of Dermatology). Because it doesn’t do as much thermal damage and doesn’t remove as much tissue, it’s not as intense a treatment as the ablative lasers.
This means there’s less time needed for healing — one to three days for Clear+Brilliant non-ablative lasers versus up to two weeks for ablative lasers.
Clear + Brilliant is Better than Ablative Lasers for Skin Tone
The Clear+Brilliant also does better than ablative resurfacing in regards to skin tone. Non-ablative resurfacing — though it works best for fair skin — works better than ablative resurfacing for darker complexions. A study done of atrophic scarring — which is particularly problematic to treat with lasers for dark skin — shows that non-ablative treatments are safe and effective for darker skin (Laser Surgery and Medicine).
Clear + Brilliant is a “fractional” laser – what does that mean?
To avoid the amount of damage — and thus the amount of downtime — caused by traditional lasers, fractional lasers target only portions of the skin. Because all the tissue isn’t targeted at once, the healing time is much shorter. In a study done with ablative fractional lasers, there were found to be few negative side effects (Skin and Allergy News). Complications — which were minimal — were more common in darker skin types, with postinflammatory hyperpigmentation lasting an average of 50 days.
The Bottom Line
The ablative carbon dioxide laser remains the top as far as effectiveness for laser resurfacing for skin. However, has more complications and a longer healing time that Clear+Brilliant because it is a more intense procedure. Clear+Brilliant’s non-ablative, fractional laser technology gives it a short healing time, fewer complications, and makes it better for darker skin tones. It’s ideal for someone with fine lines and sun damage who wants to prevent the earliest signs of aging, in the 25-45-year-old range. This would be the procedure you get at an age before you would need traditional resurfacing. So, Clear+Brilliant laser procedures are worth it for someone in the 25-45-year-old age range with mild wrinkles and sun damage looking to treat their skin for early signs of aging.
Editor and Contributing Writer Natalie K. Bell spent years mining the depths of the Internet, asking doctors absurd questions, and experiencing the unfortunate trial-and-error of adolescence to accumulate beauty and make-up knowledge. Natalie holds a degree in English Writing and Cultural Anthropology. She enjoys cooking and eating exotic food, spoon collecting, both high-brow and trashy literature, unrealistic romantic comedies, bad horror movies, and vintage jewelry.View all Natalie Bell posts.
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