Laser treatments are popular for a variety of skin purposes. These services include everything from increasing collagen production and smoothing fine lines to treating hyperpigmentation and skin tightening. Planning for these in-office skin treatments, however, is tricky. They usually involve some sort of downtime, which means your skin can go through a stressful time where it’s red, scaly, and rough. This is exactly why it is becoming so popular now to layer multiple treatments in one session. You’ll get better results overall, while minimizing any potential disruption to your schedule. “Overlay treatments, also known as combination therapy, can be a powerful method of maximizing benefits, minimizing side effects and even saving clients time,” says Sam Pang, aesthetic nurse practitioner at SkinSpirit.
Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Julius Few sees these intertwined non-surgical treatment combinations as “the future of aesthetics.” He calls them “Snackable Treatments”, a term he coined that calls for their synergistic and complementary use. “By layering innovative peels, injectables, laser treatments, ultrasound technology and advanced skin care, the ‘Stackable Treatment’ approach simultaneously targets the three main components of aging: skin wrinkles, volume loss and sagging, “says Dr Few to Coveteur.
“You’re already going to be down once, so let’s go ahead and take advantage of the downtime and improve the effect of all the treatments,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, certified dermatologist. “As long as we don’t do anything that is detrimental to the other treatment or too aggressive [for the skin], we know that we will derive additional benefit from the synergy of the different technologies used at the same time. This could mean opting for microneedling, which promotes collagen production in the skin, alongside radio frequency, which firms the skin by stimulating elastin production.
Going forward, we’re chatting with skin care experts to break down four of the best layering treatments that will have the biggest impact on your skin.
Clear and shiny + Microneedling with PRP
“My favorite treatments to layer on the same visit are Fraxel or Clear and Brilliant, PRP injections and microneedling,” Pang explains. “This combination stimulates collagen, improves the appearance of fine lines, pores, [and] pigmentation and gives the skin a healthy glow. ”
Lasers, like Clear + Brilliant, create tiny channels in your skin that allow topical products, like your serums and moisturizers, to penetrate deep into your skin, says Dr. Hartman. “This is why this is the perfect time to apply PRP,” he adds. “We know that PRP is great for stimulating the growth of collagen and elastin. When we enhance this effect and deepen it into the skin, we know we will get a more robust effect.” In addition, there are two forms of Clear + Brilliant laser. If reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation is a goal for your skin, be sure to seek out Clear + Brilliant Permea.
Microneedling promotes “maximum stimulation of collagen with reduced risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation while being safe for all skin types,” according to Pang. This combination therapy is great for rejuvenation and maintenance, and the downtime isn’t bad – you should be fully healed in five days or less.
For a more aggressive treatment to treat deeper folds, smooth out rough texture, or treat acne scars, consider switching to the Fraxel laser. “When treating acne scars or deeper wrinkles, I like to combine Fraxel with microneedling,” says Pang. “This allows aggressive treatment with a reduced risk of negative results.” She adds that the downtime will include two to four days of intense redness and swelling, with a pink lingering for about 12 days.
BBL Hero or BBL Halo + Radiofrequency + Microneedling
When it comes to removing pigments, firming skin and promoting collagen, Dr. Emer’s Signature Bright and Tight uses a radiofrequency and microneedling device to stimulate collagen above and below the surface. skin. This is followed by Sciton’s BBL Hero; this is an intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment that treats the surface pigmentation caused by sun damage, so it is ideal for removing unwanted browns and reds from the skin. Additionally, BBL Halo treatment can be used to smooth texture and fade acne scars.
After this treatment, PRP is applied as a serum to the skin to promote healing and reduce inflammation. Oh, and also, if you are planning to try this combination of treatments, it’s important to keep in mind that IPL treatments are not recommended for people with melasma or those with darker skin.
PicoSure by Cynosure + PRP
“For melasma, combining a PicoSure laser with PRP and then following a good topical diet between treatments is a great way to manage it,” says Dr. Hartman. Due to the risk of melasma being triggered by heat, you may want to avoid IPL, Fraxel, and Clear + Brilliant treatments. PicoSure is the only laser approved by the FDA to treat melasma because there is less chance that heat or light will adversely affect your skin.
“We also experimented more with microneedling,” says Dr. Hartman. “It may be beneficial for the treatment of melasma; there has been an increase in the number of studies starting to examine the effectiveness of microneedling.” He also notes that microneedling has helped restore color to hypopigmentation – the loss of pigment due to sun damage or tattoo removal.
Tri-L for Anti-aging
According to Dr. Ben Talei, a board certified plastic surgeon, he saw the most significant skin improvements from the Tri-L treatment. It’s a combination of radiofrequency skin tightening treatment, laser resurfacing and plasma therapy, he explains. This trio of treatments work on the deepest layers of your skin, as well as its surface, to treat fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation.
Towards the end of the procedure, your blood is drawn and the fat is taken from under the skin of your abdomen to create a serum that is then injected back into your skin, several layers deep, says Dr. Talei. Tri-L is definitely not for the faint of heart, and it requires a bit more post-TLC post-intervention than other treatment combinations (the CO2 laser alone takes up to 10 days of downtime.) According to Dr. Talei, after three months you will notice firmer skin as well as improvements in pigmentation and texture.
Are layering treatments right for you?
“It’s important to remember that not all treatments can be combined,” says Pang. However, when the right treatments are together, they can help address a range of specific skin goals. Depending on your skin tone, type, diagnosis and desired results, your cosmetic nurse, dermatologist or plastic surgeon will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment.
It’s also important to remember that taking care of your post-laser skin care routine is also important. The diet that you follow at home long after you have finished your sessions is what will determine the long-term success of your treatments. (And, yes, that includes being diligent with your application and reapplication of sunscreen.) But for dedicated skincare enthusiasts, the effort they put in is definitely worth it.