I’ve gone through skin issues my entire life. As soon as I hit puberty, my skin was pretty much f*cked. Luckily, I’ve gone down a path that has worked for my skin and it continues to improve. If this is your first time reading any of my skincare posts, I definitely recommend reading previous posts. Here you can read about my experience on accutane about 4 years ago. Then I also share a post about my normal skincare routine and the lasers and treatments I do regularly, including a quick breakdown about my first profractional experience.
The first time I did the Sciton profractional laser, I only did it on part of my face and I didn’t share a ton of my experience in that post. About a year later, I decided it was time to go through the process again, but this time on my entire face. And today I wanted to tell you about the full process, why it sucks, but also why I can’t wait to do it again. I strongly believe in this laser treatment and after doing it only 2 times, I’ve already seen a huge difference in my skin. But before I get into that, let’s break it all down!
What The F*ck Is Profractional?!
A profractional laser treatment is laser that resurfaces the skin to help minimize wrinkles and pigmentation and helps improve the skins tone and texture. It’s great for treating scars, wrinkles, fine lines and sun damage such as skin discoloration. The profractional laser penetrates deep into the skin, removing the top layer. This triggers the body’s natural response to heal wounds, which in turn stimulates new collagen and elastin production leaving you with smoother, softer, more even skin. And even after the skin has healed in a week or so, it continues to produce new collagen and just gets better with time, up to 6 months after the treatment!
What Is The Treatment and Recovery Like?
The day of the treatment, your esthetician will give you a topical numbing cream about an hour before. I’ve heard from others that they don’t think the profractional treatment is painful, but I DO NOT feel that way. The first time I did profractional, I was quite surprised how painful it was and it took me about a year to get the balls to go back and do it again. That being said, I contacted a friend who is a nurse and she was able to give me a nerve block in my face to help with the pain the second time around. So not only did I have numbing cream, but I also had a nerve block where I could barely feel around my mouth and cheeks which definitely helped. Let me tell you, I looked realllll cute slobbering my way through the treatment.
Depending on the areas your esthetician treats and treatment settings, it can take 15 to 30 minutes. I think my treatment took about 20 minutes for my entire face. And yes, it was painful even with the numbing and nerve block. There’s just no getting around it if your esthetician is going deep with the treatment settings.
After the treatment, the healing process is pretty rapid compared to other treatments such as chemical peels. With chemical peels, it just gets worse with time before it gets better, but with profractional, it gets better each day. Throughout the first day of treatment, the skin is swollen, red, and may bleed. This is by far the worst day because it’s uncomfortable and feels like you just have a huge open wound. You won’t want to leave the house and I recommend sleeping with a towel on your pillow because your face will be oozing a bit. Right away, my esthetician applied Venus Biocel which has a similar feel to petroleum jelly but has anti-inflammatory ingredients to help the healing process. For about 5 days, I used this Venus Biocel every few hours, as soon as my skin became dry. The whole point is to keep it moisturized so it can heal faster. By day 5, I was using Venus Post Treatment Recovery Kit which includes Renewal Cleanser, Stem Cell Therapy Serum, Stem Cell Recovery Complex, and Stem Cell Therapy Accelerator and I used that for about a week. These products are incredibly helpful when it comes to the healing process and speeding it up. I didn’t use these products the first time I did profractional and I definitely noticed a difference with the healing!
After the first day where you’re a bit uncomfortable, the next morning is a little easier after you wash your face and remove the excess blood. I was DEFINITELY still swollen on the second day but the skin doesn’t feel like an open wound by then. Below is a day by day photo collage of the healing process. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, then Day 6 with light makeup on. By Day 3, I was able to put on makeup and go out in public even though I was still brownish-red. Luckily, I don’t give AF so I don’t mind being in public, but if you get embarrassed easily, you may want to stay in until Day 4 when makeup can really cover up some of the lines from the laser and the redness.
What Have You Noticed The Most From Profractional?
When you get to about day 3, you feel like your skin may never heal…even though it’s only been 3 days. I definitely recommend doing day by day photos because this was a great reminder that my skin was healing much faster than I thought. After the first week, I instantly noticed the fine lines around my mouth and some of the icepick scars on my cheeks had reduced or almost disappeared. And many of the dark spots on my forehead that pop up as soon as I hit the sunlight had completely disappeared. After your treatment, your skin looks and feels like you’ve slept on sandpaper. And even after your skin has healed and looks normal again, you can still see some of the sandpaper look if you see the skin close up. It’s been a couple months since I did my last treatment and the skin still looks a bit texturized which means it’s still producing new collagen and rebuilding. Like I said above, the skin continue to heal and rebuild new collagen for up to 6 months so it’s continually improving!
I’m doing profractional treatments for 3 reasons:
- To keep my skin looking younger and smoother with time (because genetics aren’t doing it for me)
- To improve my acne scarring from the cystic acne I went through before accutane
- To improve fine lines and wrinkles
And even though I think this treatment is painful and it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to have your life at a standstill for a couple days, I THINK IT IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. I plan on doing it every 6 months which means I’ll be doing it again in the spring and I’m so excited to see what my third experience looks like! These photos below are about 4 or 5 years apart. The first one is before I started accutane and the second one was taken just a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier with the difference. My skin is smoother, softer and the scars are continually getting better with time!
How Much Does Profractional Cost?
Depending on the size of the treatment area, profractional can cost anywhere $500-$1800 and I’m sure it can be more expensive depending on the area you are in.
At the end of the day, you have to find an esthetician you trust and who knows what they are doing. I’ve gone to Shawn Haviland (Cherry Hills Facial Aesthetics 720-459-7960) for a few years now and I could not be more thankful to have found her. If you are not in the Denver area and you are trying to find an esthetician near you, she recommends finding a technician that has state required laser training in addition to training from Sciton along with at least 3 years experience. I found my esthetician by simply asking a friend who had beautiful skin who she went to. Word of mouth can be the most helpful sometimes. But if you are in the Denver area, CALL SHAWN and prepare to have your skin and life changed! She even offers 50% off your first profractional laser if you mention that I sent you!!
Because of this laser, my skin has become more even, smoother and many of the pigmentation issues I deal with have completely gone away! I remember years ago when I was dealing with cystic acne just wishing and praying that I could walk outside without makeup on and feel confident and I am finally to that point! But it took hard f*cking work. I couldn’t just go the hippy, paleo, organic way. Yes, I had to work on my diet and I had to drink more water than I knew possible, but I also had to turn to modern medicine and treatments to truly see a difference. And I’m so glad I went that route.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below!! I really hope this post helps you with your own skin care journey in some way!