5 Lasers To Try This Winter For Your Brightest, Clearest Skin By Summer
There’s a reason why winter is commonly referred to as “laser season,” and that might have a little something to do with “hot girl summer.” If you spent May through August soaking up rays, living your best sun-kissed life (slathered in SPF, we hope!), then you’re probably due for a skin reboot. Excess sun exposure can trigger dark spots, newly-developed fine lines (we see you, crow’s feet), and dry, uneven texture, so if you’re experiencing any of these skin concerns, there’s a laser treatment out there that can help.
Why Is Winter Laser Season?
So why wait until winter? “All lasers are safer to do throughout the winter months due to less exposure to harmful UV rays,” says Kim Nichols, MD, FAAD, celebrity dermatologist and founder of NicholsMD of Greenwich, CT. “Freckles and sun spots will often come out during the summer months from exposure to the sun without sunscreen, but these sun spots become more apparent during the winter season when sun exposure is less frequent,” she adds.
Since some lasers can also be a bit invasive, Nichols points out that your skin may be more sensitive and vulnerable post-treatment. “You need to allow the skin to heal in an optimal environment with little to no direct sun exposure.” And we’re not just taking laser facials, either. The best time to begin any sort of laser hair removal is also during the winter – just as long as you don’t have a tropical vacay booked in the middle.
So without further ado, here are five of the best laser treatments to try during the long, dark days of winter to be glowing by spring and summer.
The Best Laser Treatments to Try in the Winter
1. Fraxel Laser for Resurfacing
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According to Nichols, this non-invasive, non-ablative laser skin treatment resurfaces damaged skin, revealing more youthful-looking skin underneath. It’s also a fan favorite to help diminish acne scarring and can be completely tailored to a targeted area of concern – anywhere on the body. “Fraxel provides fast clearance of pigment, immediate progressive results, and can treat multiple areas of the body in one session with minimal discomfort using a topical numbing cream,” she explains.
Price range: Between $325 to $1,500+ depending on the areas treated (targeted areas vs. full face)
2. Candela Gentle Max Pro for Laser Hair Removal
“Although this treatment can be done year-round, it’s best to schedule it during the winter months when your skin is pale and untanned,” says world-renowned dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, Dr. Dennis Gross. “The reason for this is because the laser cannot differentiate between the pigment in the hair follicle and the pigment from a tan, which increases the risk of potential skin injury and can reduce the efficiency of the treatment.” This means you could end up shelling out more money for more treatments down the road when you could have been finished sooner had you waited.
Price range: Between $350 to $1,000 per area, per treatment
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3. Intense Pulsed Light Photofacial (IPL) for the Face
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Gross is also a proponent of IPL in the winter to reverse the damage that accumulated over the previous summer. “Although I have found that most of my patients are very diligent about wearing sun protection, spending too much time in the sun can lead to sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and redness,” he shares. “IPL is the gold standard professional treatment for treating sun damage and hyperpigmentation for a brighter and more even complexion.”
Price range: IPL generally costs $1,000+ per treatment
4. Nd:YAG Laser for Redness Reduction & Collagen Production
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With multiple locations in the US, UK, and Middle East, Skin Laundry is known for “making laser facials a thing” – custom, 15-minute laser facials to be exact – so even if you’re not sure what type of treatment you need, you’ll be in good hands.
“When you come into Skin Laundry, our Registered Nurses will evaluate your skin and provide a recommendation based on your individual skin concerns. However, our Signature Laser Facial [$250] is great for all times of the year, while Nd:YAG is perfectly suited for winter,” says Regional Head Nurse Christine Tuite. “The new nd:Yag laser will reach the 2nd layer of the skin, applying a controlled amount of heat, which in turn helps tighten and brighten the skin, stimulate collagen, and reduce redness that will give you a natural glow.”
Price range: Skin Laundry membership prices range from $150 to $450/month
5. Lutronic LaseMD Ultra for Low-Downtime Laser on the Face & Body
“This is our favorite laser treatment,” says Melissa Pulcini-Buttine, PA-C, and founder of Elivate Medical Spa in Greenwich, CT. “It’s a low-downtime laser that resurfaces the skin and is great for all ages and skin types. The results are brighter tone, improved texture, and a decrease in fine lines, wrinkles, and sun spots, but the best part is, it only takes 10-20 minutes depending on the area, so it really is the ultimate ‘lunchtime facial.’” Pulcini-Buttine suggests a series of three treatments, even though you can begin to see an amazing improvement after just one session.
Price range: Between $600 and $1,620 for a series of three
Pre- & Post-Laser Care Tips
If you waited this long to try a laser treatment, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your radiant results by seeing the sun too soon. “We recommend no sun for two weeks before and two weeks after laser and UV A/B sunblock daily with SPF of at least 30,” instructs Pulcini-Buttine. This means it’s also time to break out the hats, sunglasses, umbrellas… and avoid strenuous exercise, harsh exfoliants, and makeup for 24 hours post-procedure.
Another thing Tuite swears by is extra hydration. “After having a laser facial, you want to keep your skin full of moisture by adding nourishing cleansers, serums, and moisturizers into your post-facial routine,” she advises. Skin Laundry’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, $35, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $70, and Vitamin B5 Antioxidant Moisturizer, $34, are our top picks for application after the treatment.”
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