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What To Expect From a Profractional Treatment (video!)
It’s been about a year since I had my last profractional treatment and I was so pumped that it was that time again. This was my third deep profractional treatment and each year my results get better and better. I shared my last experience back in January but I thought this time around I would video the entire day-by-day experience AND answer your questions that you had on instagram stories! I couldn’t answer all the questions in the video since I didn’t want it to drag on, so I will answer them below. But first up, watch this video!
Now let’s get into all the nitty gritty details about profractional –
What is profractional?
A profractional laser treatment is laser that resurfaces the skin to help minimize wrinkles, 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 are the benefits?
Since Profractional builds new collagen and elastin and has minimal downtime, you’re going to see pretty amazing results even with just one treatment. It helps improve skins tone and texture, fine to deep lines from aging, sun damage, keratosis, pigment and scarring. I personally use it to improve the scarring from my cystic acne I had in the past, to minimize fine lines that have starting popping up from aging, and to improve my skins texture and pigment.
What is the pain like?
The pain really will range person to person depending on how deep the esthetician goes with the laser treatment and the pain tolerance of the participant. You numb up beforehand which definitely helps, but I find it pretty painful, during and after. On a pain scale, I would give it a solid 7 out of 10. It feels kind of like a sharp rubber band is hitting you all over, but the sound along with feeling some of the blood dripping down your face can make it a bit more traumatic. If the esthetician is doing a lighter profractional treatment (which I have done once before), you can barely feel it at all and you also won’t bleed. So it truly does depend on the the depth of the laser treatment. After the first 2 days, your face no longer feels raw and it’s more annoying than anything.
What is the cost?
It really depends on where you live, how deep the esthetician is going and the surface area they are covering. In Denver, it could range from $500-$1800 (that’s based on my own esthetician who doesn’t try to steal people’s money).
Is it covered by insurance?
Not that I know of. I’m not sure if insurance would cover it unless there was some sort of injury that left scarring, but from what I know, it’s an elective treatment that insurance could give an F about.
Is Profractional right for everyone?
Absolutely not. You first need to talk to a professional to find out if it’s right for you, your skin, and honestly your mind. People with active acne should not receive this treatment. Or someone’s skin just might not be right for it. It’s also important to remember that this treatment can be traumatic, both during and after. It’s painful, but it’s also tough to see yourself the next few days. Your esthetician will be able to tell you if it’s right for you.
Is this the vampire facial?
No. This is not the vampire facial that Kim K did. A vampire facial includes a blood draw, then they run the blood through a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. Then you go through microneedling and the blood is slathered on your face. Profractional includes no blood slathered on your face. The blood that is on your face is caused by the ablation of the laser, but heals within that same day.
What is the aftercare like?
You esthetician should give you some sort of product to put on your skin. You definitely stop using all your normal products and won’t be able to use them for about 7 days or more. My esthetician had me use Venus Skin Bio Cel (which is a post procedure occlusive gel) along with Venus Skin SCR (stem cell recovery complex).
How long is the downtime?
This is one of the main questions I get whenever I do this treatment. And in my personal opinion, I think a solid 4 days off is needed. And I say this when talking about work. I worked out the morning before the treatment so I would only have to do 2 days off, then I was in the gym on day 4, able to put on makeup by day 5. So if you were able to take a long weekend off of work (Thursday-Sunday), you would be able to wear makeup and be good to go by Monday. You’re still flaking and peeling a bit, but it’s not that noticeable to other people.
What does your husband think?
I have an awesome husband who is incredibly supportive on anything I want to try. We were also first dating when I was going through cystic acne, chemical peels and then accutane. So he’s seen it all and he knows that I love and believe in this treatment. So he just laughs with me and tells me each day how much better it’s looking. I’m lucky he is so supportive with something that has been so life changing for me.
Why would you get this done? Your skin already looks great.
Girl, no. I have NEVER had great skin. I started getting acne at age 12 and it still hasn’t fully stopped. And because of that acne, I have scarring. I also have lost a lot of collagen in my skin from simply aging, being in Colorado my entire life (dry climate), and not having great genetics. So this treatment is life changing. Here’s a picture of what my skin use to look like years ago during my cystic acne days. It’s taken me years and years, seeing an esthetician regularly, to get to the point I am now.
How often do you have to get this treatment? Will you do it forever?
You can do this treatment as often as your esthetician recommends. I get it once a year because it’s pretty challenging to do more than that. And I plan on doing it every year until a better treatment comes out. I see treating the skin just like eating healthy and working out. For me, eating healthy and working out is a life long commitment. That’s because I want to feel my best and I want to create the healthiest environment for my body to thrive longterm. Sure, I could do this treatment once and see results. Or I could do it regularly and continue to build new collagen and see even better results longterm. So I plan on sticking with it year to year!
How do I find an esthetician to do this?
If you’re in Denver, definitely contact my esthetician Shawn Haviland at Cherry Hill Facial Aesthetics (720-459-7960). She will change you life! If you aren’t in Denver, not a problem. The profractional laser was created by a company called Sciton. And on their website, you can find providers based on your area code! Click here to find one near you!
Now I’m going to walk you through day by day what this treatment looks like and what to expect! Remember, this is my own personal experience. I’m not a doctor, I’m not an esthetician, I’m just a person who has done this treatment 3x now and I love it so damn much. Everyones experience with Profractional is different. If you are thinking about getting this treatment done, TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL.
Day 1 is definitely the hardest. After you numb up, the treatment is still painful and it definitely sends your body into a bit of fight or flight. My heart was racing after the treatment and I needed to sit down for a few minutes to relax before I drove home since I was a little shaky. The first day feels like a super bad sunburn. Your skin is swollen, tender, and obviously bloody. I slept on the couch so I could sit up a bit when I slept, with a towel on my pillow to make sure I didn’t get bloody anywhere.
Day 2 is already extremely better. Your face still feels a tad raw and still swollen, but you can wash the blood off with water. What is difficult at this point is that it’s kind of tough to open your mouth very wide since everything feels pretty tight. But all you can do is keep your skin hydrated with your products and let it heal.
Day 3 is honestly f*cking annoying. Your old dead skin on top is tight and it’s getting ready to crack and peel. So if you move one piece of your face, the entire face moves. You look about a million years old. This is the day you’re thinking, “What the hell have I done to myself?!” and you’re starting to freak out. But your skin is no longer in pain, it just more so itches since your entire face is a scab.
Day 4 begins to give you some freedom! Your skin will begin to crack, revealing your new red skin underneath and brown cracking skin on top. Day 4 sucks because you’re getting some cabin fever and you just want it to be over. Makeup is tough at this point since you’re peeling so much. However, I still left the house, went to the gym, went to brunch and went grocery shopping. You just have to not give AF and you’re good to go in human civilization.
Day 5 is FREEDOM! Most of your skin has cracked and peeled and you can use a warm washcloth to buff away some of the dead skin, revealing new red skin. But at this point, you could do full makeup to even out some of the discoloration you have.
Day 6 is even better because some of the redness has begun to calm down and almost all of the peeling has ended. At this point your skin just feels a little different and textured, but you can easily wear makeup and no one would have any idea you had the treatment done.
Day 7 is when you are almost all back to normal. Some redness is still happening, but all swelling and peeling has subsided. This is when it gets really exciting because now you can start to see some of the results. For me, this is when I could see that the scarring on my cheeks looked tremendously better. And the fine lines around my mouth have improved immensely as well!
After a full week of healing, all that is left is a bit of redness. The skin has begun to clear up, fine lines look less defined, pock marks from scarring look and feel more full, and the skin overall looks younger!
I’m simply obsessed with this treatment. And that obsession most likely stems from never having good skin. I think it’s hard for some people to understand if they grew up having minor skin issues. But since I have almost always had skin issues that led to even more skin issues, this treatment has changed my life. Just like working out and eating healthy, it’s just another step of consistency to create a happier life for myself. I hope this post answer some of your questions about profractional after seeing my sketch ass bloody face on instagram stories! If you have any other questions, I’m happy to answer them below in the comments section! And I just want to give one more shout out to my esthetician Shawn Haviland of Cherry Hill Facial Aesthetics (720-459-7960) for changing my life. She’s a miracle worker!
And if you want to read more about my skin journey, check out these posts! And if you’re dealing with acne, remember there is freedom from it! It just takes hard work and perseverance
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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