Which laser treatment is best for you?
The skin landscape can be overwhelming, I know. Some questions that may run through many patients' minds are “is it best to invest in a skin care regime, or lasers, or both?” Or “which laser will I get the best results with?” Lets’ dive in further and answer these questions below.
First things first, what is the difference between a laser treatment and a light treatment (IPL and BBL)?
The industry can be overwhelming. Most people refer to “laser skin treatments” even when light treatments (IPL) are being used. So let’s quickly go over the difference between a light device and a true laser device.
A laser treatment uses a very narrow, specific beam of light, this is known as a wave length. A laser targets a specific area within the skin. We set the laser wavelength depending on the concern of the patient. Think of it this way, if you were to point a laser beam on the wall, it casts a very specific point of light on one target only.
When comparing lasers and light treatments, the laser is always going to be much more targeted than a light treatment (IPL). However, this doesn’t always mean that a laser treatment is better at solving your skin concerns. That’s why it’s so important to consult with a professional and ask questions prior to receiving treatment.
A light treatment (often referred to as “intense pulsed light” or “IPL” treatments or “ broadband light” “BBL” ) uses a spectrum of light (think of a rainbow, multiple colors target multiple depths and pigments within the skin (browns/reds/acne). Another example - think of a flashlight on a wall, it casts a wider spectrum of light illuminating a larger space. This means that a light treatment can cover more areas of the skin at once. Although light is not as strong as laser, a light treatment can offer beautiful results that resolve many skin concerns at once during one session.
Should I invest in a skin care regime or lasers?
Without seeing your skin, the short answer is usually “both” but I understand that this doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget.
Why is it often both skin care and treatment? Because the best laser results are achieved with a medical grade skin care regime. The skin is prepped, in tip-top shape, hydrated, and can soak in the benefits of treatment. This will also result in minimal downtime and faster healing. Lasers are attracted to water in the skin, so it is important for your skin to be hydrated and not have any trans epidermal water loss. Think of your cells as a tire. When your skin is hydrated the cells are like a full tire. When your cells are not hydrated they resemble a flat tire. Getting your skin cells hydrated is crucial to getting the best results from your treatment.
There are certain conditions that we find better results with a tailored, high quality, long-term skin care plan (for example, rosacea). However, there are other conditions that we get the best results from lasers (for example, veins).
And to make things a little more complicated (don’t worry, I will break it down for you in this blog) with some conditions I see incredible results from both a skin care regime and laser treatments (for example, pigmentation). However, more often than not if the skin is just in a state of emergency, suffering from environmental aggressors or the wrong products, skincare may be all you need. Again this is why I always suggest a consult. In the end you will save money and time.
Everyone’s condition is unique. This means every skin is best treated with a tailored plan. This is why I will not treat or put a laser to anyone's face without first booking a consultation. This is a place where we can speak openly and I can get to know your concerns, goals and lifestyle. I can then direct you to the best options whether it is skin care or both skin care and treatments and what treatments will be required to get you to your skin care goals the fastest. This is my goal, this is my passion.
Reminder: Consultations with are 30 minutes and can be done in the studio or via video. The fee is $100 and can be used as a credit towards in-store skin care or treatment purchases. Click here to book a consultation.
Which laser treatment is best for acne scars?
Acne scars typically represent either red/brownish spots or “ice pick” texture on the skin. Depending on what type of scars you have we often recommend a series of Laser Genesis or Halo Fractional Laser, keeping in mind your skin will be need to be prepped for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment starting.
For pigmentation in darker skin types, PIH (post inflammatory hyper pigmentation) or melasma (browns) or all skin types with rosacea (reds) we find the best results with Laser Genesis. Laser genesis targets redness on the skin and safely breaks up browns. It promotes skin health turnover which reduces the appearance of pigmentation/redness associated with acne scarring or pigmentation concerns.
Laser Genesis is one of our most popular treatments at Raw Canvas. It’s comfortable (I often hear clients say it feels like a nice warm sensation). The treatments are done in 20 minutes with zero downtime. We usually recommend 6 treatments, 2 weeks apart, and results can be seen in as little as 4 weeks.
For textured acne scars, Halo Fractional Laser is going to have you covered all around. It’s going to target the top layer of skin to clear the texture of acne scarring, as well as address deeper pigmentation.
What can you expect with a Halo treatment? We numb you for 30 mins before the treatment starts. The treatment itself will take another 30 or so minutes depending on the area treated. It can feel a little spicy (hot) during the treatment which we help cool with a zimmer (cooling air device) and cold compresses. After 2 hours the spiciness will subside. Some people experience swelling around day 2 but most find it manageable and get back to work and life within a few days post treatment.
Before and after 1 Halo Fractional Laser treatment
Not a laser treatment but microneedling is also one of those treatments that pack a punch! Client’s see drastic results and it soon becomes a treatment that they routinely book a few times a year to keep their skin looking fresh.
What can you expect when you book in a microneedling treatment? We numb the skin for 30 minutes before starting treatment. We gently run a “skin pen” over your skin which uses very tiny needles to create “micro-wounds” within the skin. Treatment lasts 30 minutes (after numbing) and results are typically achieved within 4-6 treatments.
Which laser treatment is best for acne?
First things first, active acne is one of those conditions that NEEDS a good skincare routine. Skin care products are like the acne’s “diet” and laser treatments are like acne’s “workout”. Laser and light treatments can speed up and significantly enhance acne results but a good skincare regime is the foundation of solving acne.
For client’s who are experiencing severe acne, Forever Clear is a BBL (broad band light) treatment that is our go-to treatment to clear the skin.
BBL Forever Clear attacks acne on all fronts. It uses a blue light to eliminate bacteria deep down in your pores. A yellow light reduces the inflammation and redness that are the most visible signs of acne. And finally, a red light pass is added in to stimulate the body to start healing those active acne “wounds” or scars. 6 treatments are typically recommended 2 weeks apart. Treatments are a relatively quick 30 minutes and downtime is minimal if at all.
For client’s who are experiencing moderate acne with a few very deep pimples, we often recommend our Active Acne treatment. Active Acne Treatment is a more controlled spot treatment. The laser uses controlled heat deep down to kill the “P acne” causing properties at its root deep under the skin. The result is a visible reduction of texture, redness, and scarring associated with acne. The treatment itself feels a bit like deep pressure on the spot being targeted. This treatment also encompasses multiple passes of Laser Genesis as well targeting the scarring and texture. It is quick and effective. Similarly to BBL Forever Clear, 6 treatments are often recommended 2 weeks apart. Treatments are a quick 20 minutes, and downtime is minimal if at all.
Which laser treatment is best for pigmentation?
There are a few treatment options for pigmentation, depending on the type.
Halo Fractional Laser is going to give you the best results when you are looking to significantly decrease the appearance of pigmentation. If you really want to push the limits, you can combine Halo with a BBL Forever Young treatment and you will no doubtably notice clearer skin and a reduction of freckles, sun spots, and age spots. The benefit of Halo is the anti-aging aspect - you’ll also see more firm skin with less fine lines. Yes, Halo is a commitment, but you won’t regret it.
Before and after 2 Halo Fractional Laser treatments
If you only have mild sun damage, aren’t too freckly, or under the age of 40, a series of BBL’s might be just what you need. In this case, BBL Forever Young is usually the answer. The treatment is highly sought after and recognized worldwide for it’s consistent results. BBL Forever Young literally “turns back the clock” on your skin. Forever Young BBL not only removes age spots, sun spots, and freckles but also addresses small blood vessels, rosacea, and firmness. You’ll literally see the sun pigmentation come to the surface of your skin and slough off. We can confirm from experience, it is very satisfying!
Photo Facial is also another great option for pigmentation. What is the difference between a Photo Facial and a BBL Forever Young? Photo Facials strictly target brown pigmentation. BBL Forever Young treatments target browns, reds, veins, and angiomas. However, if browns are your problem, the results of a photo facial will be significant for you. All marketing jargon aside, it is all about what’s best for YOUR skin type and concerns.
Which laser treatment is best for rosacea?
Rosacea is another one of those treatments that needs a solid skin care routine to achieve and maintain the best results. Once that’s established (usually after a couple weeks) we recommend Global Genesis aka Green Genesis. A combination targeting deep redness and surface redness. Global genesis targets redness, inflammation, and vessels to establish an even-toned canvas. This treatment is like Laser Genesis’ sister, but to diffuse redness like rosacea. The treatment is similarly comfortable (like your face got nice warm healthy sun for 20 minutes). We often recommend 6 treatments 2 weeks apart to achieve desired results.
Laser Genesis is also a gentle treatment for rosacea. The difference between Laser Genesis and Global Genesis? Laser Genesis will help pull out deeper reds (for example, if you are also struggling with red acne scars) as well and change texture of the skin by promoting collagen deep within the skin.
Our Diffused Redness treatment is also commonly recommended to patients looking to calm the visible signs of rosacea/matting. It specifically targets surface level reds. I will assess your skin in a consultation and if I notice reds mostly on the top layers of the skin then the Diffused Redness treatment will take care of bringing down that redness and inflammation.
And last but not least, our fan favourite Forever Young BBL is also great for rosacea. BBL, short for “broad band light”, is just that. A broad band light that covers a larger area of the skin. So, as opposed to Laser Genesis and Global Genesis, the light itself isn’t as powerful as a laser but it will cover more area to target reds, veins, and browns as well.
Before and After 3 Forever Young BBL treatments
Which laser treatment is best for veins?
Our vascular treatments use our Excel V laser to treat veins such as: broken capillaries, spider veins, cherry angiomas, and more. These veins will appear as red, blue, or purple in colour. This treatment specifically targets the vein with the appropriate wavelength based on color of the vein. The body then naturally eliminates the veins to restore your natural skin tone. We often recommend 3-4 treatments to achieve desired results approx 1 month apart.
Which laser treatment is best for aging skin (sagging and wrinkles)?
The best laser treatments to address aging and prevent future aging are Halo Fractional Laser and Forever Young BBL.
Both of these treatments are clinically proven to turn back the clock on aging. The best results are achieved when client’s maintain a routine of getting these treatments a couple times a year (we can advise how many treatments per year would do you best).
Halo Fractional Laser treatment is an anti-aging beast. The Halo laser treatment delivers ablative (removes surface layer of skin) and non-ablative (delivering heat to the underlying layers of skin) treatments to the skin all in one sitting. Yes, Halo is a commitment. It is not always known to be the most budget friendly or comfortable (just being honest!) but I have never heard anyone say it wasn’t worth the effort. Choose your treatments wisely. If you maintain a Halo treatment yearly, for example, you will age beautifully and maintain clear healthy looking skin.
Before and after 2 Halo Fractional Laser treatments
If you are really serious about ramping up your anti-aging game, you can combine a BBL Forever Young treatment with a Halo Fractional Laser. The BBL treatment takes place first, then the Halo. Seems intense but it’s really not - and the results can be shocking.
What treatment is best for laser hair removal?
Let’s start off by saying… we’ve heard it all. Clients come in all the time saying “laser hair removal doesn't work. I tried it 5 years ago and all my hair is back”. These clients have almost always either been treated with IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal OR didn’t stick with their treatment plan.
Most people don’t know that there are different types of laser hair removal and the type of machine being used makes a very significant difference. “Laser hair removal” is the coined term for this treatment, but not all machines use an actual laser. At Raw Canvas our laser hair removal uses laser technology, not light (aka IPL) technology.
A laser cooks the hair at its root. A light essentially gets the hair very hot and bakes it, so to speak. A light will thin your hair and may decrease hair for a period of time. A laser will permanently remove the hair follicle. However, don’t forget that you must stick to your treatment plan of laser hair removal every 6 weeks. This is important to remove the different cycles of hair growth. If you don’t stick with it, your hair will grow back.
If you are interested in Laser Hair Removal, we have an option to book a consultation specifically for laser hair removal. They are super quick and easy and give you an idea of the budget and timeline.
Don't be a stranger, contact us with questions!
And don’t forget, if you have any questions feel free to email, phone, or DM us, but it is always best to book a consultation. I pride myself on being the know-all of skin and can help build a treatment plan that fits into your budget and lifestyle.