ACL is around the corner, Halloween decorations are out, and our first cool front came through….Med spa translation: it’s officially laser season. All those brown patches and freckles that showed up from time on the lake, at the beach or just out in the sun as a weekend warrior can now come off. Cooler weather and shorter days make for a perfect environment to heal from heat and light-based treatments.
What is hyperpigmentation? Everyone has some form of hyperpigmentation, melasma or sun damage. It occurs when the skin produces more melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. It presents as spots or patches of skin that appear darker than surrounding areas. It can also look like tiny spots we often call age or liver spots.
Uneven pigmentation can also come in the form of melasma which looks similar to sun damage but is generally due to hormonal changes. If you do have melasma, hydroquinone, a prescription topical, can help suppress it. If you have melasma, it is mandatory to be on this product prior to doing a laser or light-based treatment.
Here are the treatment and product options we offer for treating pigment issues and brightening skin tone:
Photofacial with Broad Band Light (BBL)
BBL is specifically designed to treat pigmentation issues like general sun damage, age spots, freckles, and vascular irregularities. This treatment works via light energy that seeks out discoloration in the skin to lift it up and out.
BBL targets more variations of color than the older IPL technology, including both brown and red pigmentation. While we CAN do a standard BBL treatment, we almost always recommend doing what’s called the Forever Young BBL. Forever Young BBL is a slightly longer session where your skin receives additional collagen stimulation. This treatment has been scientifically proven to stop further skin aging, down to the genetic level. You can read about that research here.
Expect for the treated areas to turn dark and flake off in a few days. If you have quite a bit of sun damage you will probably need a series of treatments to reach your goal. Keep in mind that non-facial areas take nearly twice as long to heal.
Halo Laser Resurfacing
Halo is both an ablative and non-ablative laser treatment, so it can treat multiple issues at once. The ablative portion targets the upper layer of skin and focuses on improving pore size, lines, and textural issues. The non-ablative portion targets the deeper layers of the skin, addressing deeper sun damage and other pigment issues, and most importantly, stimulates collagenesis (collagen regrowth). Typically, Halo (or a combination of Halo/BBL) would be your treatment choice if you want to simultaneously target more issues than just pigmentation.
Microneedling is best at helping with skin texture issues and for treating acne scarring. However, it can help with skin clarity and with uneven tone. It works by creating microinjuries to the skin that stimulate healing and skin cell turnover.
Hydrafacial with Britenol
Hydrafacial is a great maintenance skin care treatment but it can also be corrective if you add on the booster serums. We have several to choose from, but the one that targets pigment issues is called Britenol. Main ingredients that help with brightening are Alpha-Arbtin, Vitamin C and Bearberry extract. You would need to start with a series of 3 sessions about 1 month apart.
At-home skincare is essential if you’re investing in skin care procedures. We carry several products that can help with pigment issues:
Skin Ceuticals Phloretin CF
Skin Better’s Even Tone
Revision’s C+ Serum
Phloretin CF combines phloretin, vitamin C, and ferulic acid to not only diminish pigmentation and brighten, but also protect against continued atmospheric damage.
Even Tone: is a non-hydroquinone, non-retinol formula that provides a visibly dramatic reduction in the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It works by targeting the inflammatory pathways that lead to discoloration, and mitigates not just brown discoloration, but yellow and red as well.
C+ Correcting Serum: This product is all about brightening. It contains their MelaPATH technology (a blend of antioxidants) that helps illuminate and refine the skin. It also contains vitamin C for extra brightening, along with a prebitotic to help support the skin’s microbiome.
If you are new to Body Tonic or new to laser/light procedures with us, we require a consult before booking them. This is to ensure that you schedule the correct treatment for your needs, and that your healing time won’t conflict any events you may have. If you are wanting a BBL or Halo before the holidays, jump on the schedule soon – October is already filling up!