Let’s have some REAL talk about Halo laser! We do a lot of Halo/BBL treatments (like several each week). This combo treatment has nearly replaced the Halo as a stand-alone treatment. This is because the intensity of the Halo is lessened for the combo treatment, making it more tolerable post-procedure, but still producing great results. Adding in the BBL to the treatment allows for extra help with pigment and extra help for collagen stimulation, with the Broadband Light helping to reach the deeper layers of skin. This blog will focus just on the Halo portion of this combo treatment. (Halo as its own treatment is wonderful. Kit can help you figure out which is best for you during your consultation).
One thing I have noticed is that no matter how much preparation is put into the pre-treatment education for Halo and Halo/BBL, people can always feel surprised or under prepared after they actually have the procedure.
Possible reasons for this are: this is a first-time laser treatment OR excitement for ultimate results overshadows the knowledge that there is discomfort and downtime immediately following the treatment.
SO! Let’s be super transparent about what it feels like, why it feels like that, and how to better prepare yourself for the healing process.😊
I’ve had a Halo. It was not my first laser treatment…I’d had a Whisper laser treatment about 5 years ago. Plus I’ve had many Skin Pen treatments, an IPL, a BBL, a Nano Laser Peel, and multiple chemical peels. I mention these other procedures just to highlight that I am familiar with the varying degrees of discomfort that come with effective skin treatments, even when numbing cream is applied.
These treatments can be uncomfortable because they are really changing your skin – all those procedures, the Halo included, are in some way stimulating collagen in the deeper layers of your skin. That can’t be accomplished through light chemical peels or by using products. Products and chemical peels CAN help brighten and hydrate your skin and even help improve fine lines and texture, but real remodeling of the skin (whether diminishing pigment, retexturizing deeper lines and acne scars, or stimulating collagen) must be achieved through more aggressive treatments.
That said, if you haven’t had many laser treatments, listen very closely to all the pre-treatment instructions and prep that you will receive during consultation. If the healing time frame is 5-7 days, be ready for a FULL 7 days of healing. That doesn’t mean that’s what will happen, but you should definitely be ready for that to be the case. Everyone heals differently. And everyone has a different intensity of treatment. If you have a lot of pigment and a lot of texture you’re wanting to improve, your treatment will be more intense than someone who has less issues they want to target. And with greater intensity can come a longer healing time.
DO EXPECT that healing from Halo or Halo/BBL can involve redness, peeling, feeling dry, and some people swell. I didn’t swell but it’s something to be ready for, or even expect. There is also something called MENDS that you will have. It looks like tiny dots and it’s all the nasty stuff leaving your skin. All these things are SUPPOSED to happen and are part of healing and part of why the treatment works. Even swelling is your body healing itself. (All this info will go home with you on your pre and post-procedure instructions).
You might also have some skin breakouts after the Halo. The Halo treatment causes controlled damage and swelling to the skin around the pores, which can cause the pores to close up temporarily. Once the pore is closed from the swelling, the bacteria deep in the skin can cause acne. This reaction may also occur if you are using occlusive ointment post-procedure. Breakouts are generally mild and resolve without treatment.
DO NOT EXPECT to wear makeup after your procedure. You’ve got newly exposed skin and you do not want to place makeup on top. Several days after, you will be peeling or flaking and makeup will not cover that. It really may be 7 days before you can wear makeup. Your skin needs time to heal, so be gentle to it!
DO EXPECT that, once healed, you will have wonderful, long lasting results that will give you a glow that most others don't have! DO EXPECT to have smoother, tighter, brighter skin with less visible pores, fewer lines, and better clarity for a long time to come.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE? I won’t lie, when I had the Halo, I was ready to be DONE with that treatment by the time we got down to my neck. Most of the treatment was really tolerable: it just felt a little scratchy with some stinging sensations. But towards the end it started to feel hot. And the heat lasts about half an hour after the treatment is done. HOT. But we do use a chiller that helps dissipate that heat, and you can ice your face too. I promise that heat doesn’t last! After half an hour – POOF – it was all gone. The rest of the day my skin was sensitive, a bit like a sunburn. You may feel some level of sensitivity throughout your healing time.
HOW DOES HALO WORK? Halo is marketed as a less intense form of laser resurfacing. So why does it feel intense? Halo is being compared to its older counterpart, a fully ablative laser treatment: a treatment that removes the top layers of skin, and healing can take 2 weeks or more. They are much more painful than Halo and often involve having bandages on your face and having to go get them changed out every day while your skin heals.
Technology has developed though to provide alternate ways to accomplish the same results. Halo ablates the top layer of skin to help with texture and pigment, but it also sends laser energy down deep into the skin to stimulate collagen regrowth for improvement in skin elasticity and firmness WITHOUT having to remove multiple layers of skin. The collagen regeneration takes time though and those results are seen in a few months. So to say Halo is “less intense” doesn’t mean it’s pain free with super quick healing time.
The Halo/BBL treatment CAN be a one-time thing, but if you have a multitude of issues you’re wanting to correct, you made need more than one treatment.
If you’ve made it to the end of this then you’re probably not scared off! This is an amazing treatment with great results, but you will need to be patient with your healing skin. Feel safe in the knowledge that everything happening in your "downtime" post-treatment is exactly right: it's your body healing itself, making new collagen to give you the results you are looking for.