Skin care to optimise laser results

Optimised Skin Care,at A Glance

  • Best ResultsImmediately
  • Treatment Recovery0 days
  • Procedure Time1 min daily @home
  • Skin SpecialistDermal therapist, nurse
  • Duration of ResultsLong lived
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkImmediately

Skin care to optimise laser results

Optimal skin care using basics such as retinol, niacinamide, ascorbic & alpha hydroxy acids can optimise & prolong the results you have received from procedures such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels. A targeted yet simple skin care routine augmented with no downtime clinical procedures can maintain skin health. The future of biostimulation (collagen induction) lies in biostimulatory injectables as they amplify the results from lasers & skin directed treatments.

FactsFacts on Skin Care to Optimise Laser Results

  • Simple scientifically proven skin care will optimise results from any procedure
  • Timing post procedure is critical to reduce skin irritation
  • My go to ingredients include antioxidants, retinol, & vitamin B
  • Vitamin C, AHAs & specific skin brightening against are then added
  • Augment home skin care with clinical procedures to maximise gains
  • Biostimulatory injectables can amplify your laser procedures

Why is skin care important before & after procedures?

A well formulated skin care routine will give you longer lasting results from any skin directed procedure. This includes lasers, peels, skin tightening, dermal fillers, muscle relaxants & even surgery.

The aim of any skin care routine is to protect, preserve, supplement & correct. Read more on how to integrate sunscreens, antioxidants, vitamins & skin care acids.

What does retinol do?

Retinol is the most frequently prescribed skin vitamin. This is a form of vitamin A (which forms the ABCs of skin care). Retinol has the following benefits-

  • Increases turnover of skin cells, hence acts as a chemical exfoliant
  • Reduces pigmentation production, hence can improve dull skin
  • Increases collagen & hyaluronic acid production, reducing wrinkles
  • Minimises pore size via stimulation of collagen
  • Reduces oil production useful for breakouts

The most important concept to understand is that powerful skincare products will cause skin irritation; the threshold of irritation depends on factors such as your skin type (& threshold) & the concentration of active ingredients. In reality there are many other factors that come into play including your skin’s barrier function, application site, the addition of other chemicals such as propylene glycol to aid in absorption, hydration of epidermis, molecule size, as well as a host of other biological factors.

Refer to the hints below as to how to start retinol. Remember, formulations really do matter. 

Why do I prefer retinol over prescription retinoids?

The majority of people will not know how to sensibly titrate prescription retinoids, especially if you are using other skin care products such as AHAs, ascorbic acid, & pigment correctors. Retinol will have a better side effect profile (especially in combination with other products). Exceptions apply.

Prescription retinoids including tretinoin, retinoic acid, adapalene, & tazarotene are best for mild to moderate acne. They can be used by experienced patients who understand their skin’s threshold & do not suffer from sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea. Be guided by your skin care expert regarding your skin’s suitability for retinoids.

How soon can you start or restart retinoids after a procedure?

Start retinoids after your skin has completely healed. I suggest use every alternate day at half the normal concentration. You can dilute your usual application amount by half mixing it with your moisturizer of choice. This is a guide as to when to restart your  retinol – retinoids –

Very gentle lasers & procedures: Pico, nano, Spectra,HIFU, RF, Dermal Toning: Restart 24 to 72 hours

Gentle lasers & procedures: microneedling, Fraxel, C+B, LaseMD, IPL, BBL, HALO laser, retinoic acid peels, glycolic acid 50-70%; restart day 4-6

Medium downtime procedures: microneedling RF, Genius RF, Infini RF, Morpheus 8 RF, Fraxel HD, Fraxel-IPL, CO2 fractional lasers, erbium fractional, restart day 5-9

Heavy resurfacing, deep peels: CO2 & ablative laser resurfacing, deep chemical peels. Restart day 8 to 21

Davin’s Viewpoint on Skin care to Optimise Laser Procedures

Really easy concept to understand- when you see a dentist for teeth whitening and a clean & scale, you maintain the results with bruising & flossing. Same applies to skin.

Procedures including laser resurfacing & chemical peels can markedly improve skin texture & quality. These procedures remove DNA damaged cells, allowing new cells (with less damage) to replace older cells. The source of these new cells comes from the hair follicles. Cells that lie within the deeper confines of follicles have had less DNA mutations, hence act as ‘stem cells’ that re-populate the epidermis.

It is thus paramount to maintain your results. The timing of when to start really depends on the procedure you had. As a guide, for level one resurfacing (pico, Clear & Brilliant), you can start ‘actives’ at day 3-5 post laser. For fully ablative resurfacing, namely level 4 -5, waiting 8-16 days maybe prudent. This of course is modified if you have prepisosing skin conditions such as rosacea, sensitive skin, flushing & blushing etc.

So what is the best way to maintain results? After photoprotection & antioxidants, my go to is a retinoid, followed by niacinamide & lastly ascorbic acid (not because I don’t like vitamin C, but because it is the hardest to titrate, given the low pH). Augment your routine with clinical peels, every 4 to 8 weeks. My choice is retinoic acid peels, 1-5%. This really supercharges your skin. For a more intense approach, laser assisted dermal delivery can convert a superficial retinoic acid peel into a deeper mid-layer peel. This is not for everyone, discuss with your allocated nurse/therapist about this procedure.

If you understand your skin’s threshold & know how to subdue irritant contact dermatitis, you can add a strong AHA/BHA formulation every 7 to 14 days. This functions as an exfoliant & as a priming agent. I personally prefer higher concentration with a lower pH, less frequently, compared to a toner – wash- scrub on a daily basis. I do think the high percentage/low pH formulations do so much more than a sub-therapeutic, sub-irritant method of daily application.

Once you have achieved your goals, maintain you skin care with suitable procedures, these include-

  • Pico or nano laser toning to reduce pigment pores, wrinkles & fine lines.
  • Laser genesis for improved skin quality, especially if you are prone to redness.
  • RF with Tempsure/Pelleve to maintain collagen production.
  • Fraxel, Lase MD, C&B for maintenance of skin quality & texture

Biostimulatory injectables offer a significant advantage over laser procedures (to help maintain collagen) as they-

  1. Have little to no downtime
  2. Stimulate collagen efficiently
  3. Address skin quality issues
  4. In some cases can be tiered to improve volume, depending on the agent and mix

collagen stimulation biostimulator injections

For more skin care advice,  book a consultation with our dermal therapists or nurses @cliniccutis. More complex cases of sensitive skin are seen by our medical team. Please note I do not give skin care advice as my work is procedural.

Skin care advice in Sydney is done via Louise at Dr Van Park’s clinic in Woollahra. For biostimulatory injectables, you can see me or Dr Kate. Please email the practice for more information as to availability.


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