Immediately after your procedure, you will feel a sensation of heat or stinging that can last 45 minutes to an hour – during this time you will cling to your ice packs which will bring you sweet relief. If you’ve applied numbing cream, remember to take breaks to avoid a cold injury: I recommend 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off and you’ll hear me reminding you of this. When I treated myself, I really liked a refrigerated SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Masque as a plush barrier between the skin and the ice pack.
After a few minutes icing, we will pause to smear some SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic on your skin. Yes, it smells like hot dog water, but this goop is the OG Bentley of antioxidants and we have evidence suggesting it improves results (1, 2). If you have melasma we may choose to smear a tranexamic acid concoction, such as SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense, over the affected areas.
By the time you get home, the stinging will have stopped and you may be red and swollen. Here’s when I like to relax with a good show and my SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask which has non irritating botanical extracts that can soothe and calm some of that inflammation.
The next day, you may wake up a bit swollen with a rough sandpapery texture on your skin. Look really closely and you’ll see tiny brown dots — this is the fractionally treated tissue working its way out. Now is when I love the Alastin Regenerating Nectar. It feels really smooth and we have data suggesting it may improve the appearance of sun damage more than a drugstore moisturizer when used after a procedure (3).
Over the course of the next week, the bronzed sandpapery dots will slowly exfoliate themselves off in the shower – get used to seeing tiny brown dots on your towel! You don’t need to do anything special or rub roughly. I would try not to rub too hard; your usual post shower toweling should suffice.
And under the bronze layer you’ll see your reward – the smoothest freshest skin you’ve seen in years. You will want to maintain your hard-earned result with meticulous sunscreen use during the day, and resuming using your retinoid at night. Repeating the procedure about every year will kickstart collagen production and keep you glowing as the years fly by. After doing it myself and seeing my baby-faced results, I understand why our patients love this procedure so much.
Thanks for reading and see you in clinic!