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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54 thoughts on “What To Expect From a Profractional Treatment (video!)”
I loved this…you are too funny! Definitely thinking of doing a light profractional to start with! Thank you!
light profractional is easy peasy and still gives you good results!
I’ve been a follower for a while and never realized how bad your acne was. These treatments (along with your diet and products you use) have done wonders. I’m glad you were able to find something that works and makes you feel better. Your skin looks amazing.
thanks so much Jennifer! it’s been a long road, for sure!
I am just blown away by your last before pic compared to the present. You have worked so hard, and it definitely shows! Like you, I’ve been on Accutane (twice now), cleaned up my diet (for the most part), and take advantage of some spa-medical treatments to help. Unless one has suffered from acne and its devastating impact on self-esteem, they can’t understand what it feels like to present that face to the world. I get frustrated when women who have no idea what that experience is like see fit to judge other women for doing all they can to eliminate acne and/or other skin issues from their lives. I for one am empowered by you sharing your experiences and treatments. Thank you so much!
people truly don’t understand if they’ve never gone through it. it’s insane what an impact it can make on your life when you’re going through it. it was such a tough time. but it’s amazing to be able to look back at those photos and see how far i’ve been able to come, inside and out!
The video was hilarious!
I didn’t watch the video, but I am glad you have the confidence to post it and the photos. Good for you and you look great!
You show the difference between now and when you had acne, but do you have pics of you after each treatment? Is it a noticeable difference after each session? How long would you say it takes to actually see the results? Day 7, your skin has healed (on the outside) but would you say that your skin is continuing to heal deep down? I would guess that after a certain amount of time the collagen boost you got starts to return back to normal levels… love reading your progress! My husband would think I’m crazy for doing this! He laughs and rolls his eyes when I wear a mask! But he didn’t know me when I had bad acne. I took accutane my freshman year of college and it was a God send!
i wouldn’t definitely need to do some digging to see if i could find the photos to show the difference. and yes, it’s a very noticeable difference after each session. i’m impressed every single time. and on day 7 once your skin is pretty much back to normal is when you can truly see the difference already! and yes, the skin is continually healing after day 7 and you’re building new collagen for the next 6 months. after 6 months, i’m usually ready for another treatment and more results!
Woah! I have never even heard of this before – SO cool. I’m in PT school so I’m all about that collagen synthesis and tissue remodeling…just usually more in terms of muscles, ligaments and what not 😉 Thank you for sharing!
I definitely want to try the light treatment once I graduate and am making ‘big girl’ money again haha.
Have a wonderful rest of your week 🙂
it’s the best!
Thanks for sharing this! Such an interesting/terrifying treatment. I was one of the lucky ones (if that’s a thing) that didn’t get acne until adulthood and I’ve done everything wrong learning how to deal with it. It’s more or less managed now but the spots! Whyyyyy?
Thanks again for always posting such fun, thoughtful content!
i feel ya girl! so frustrating!
Your skin has made such an amazing transformation!! Also, I NEED more of these videos in my life. You are you the best!
thank you Nicole!
Are you still micro-needling ?
I love how you tell it like it is and don’t sugar coat things. I feel like so many bloggers are candid about their skincare “secrets” and don’t disclose their real routines or procedures they have done. It is refreshing how genuine you are! I am thinking you should do this next year on Halloween so you can leave your house and be in public if you want to lol!
i don’t understand why people wouldn’t divulge what they have done. i would want people to help me out if i had questions and was struggling with my skin. so that’s what i hope to do for other people!!
Ah! Thank you for posting this! I have been on the fence about getting pro fractional done for my acne scars, and I think I’m going to go for it! I’ve seen some places offer the PRP treatment done after the laser. I was curious if you’ve ever had this done and if it was really worth the price. Thanks!!
it is truly amazing! i honestly have no clue about the PRP, sorry i can’t give you any feedback on that.
Any recommendations for a place in Miami to do profractional?
nope, but i did link to the website that helps you find a doc wherever you are
Do you know how many microns or how deep your esthetician goes with the laser?
160 microns 22% density with some overlapping in problem areas, no coagulation because i have a tendency to hyperpigment
I just had my first profractional yesterday, and found your video while sitting on the coach thinking, what the hell have I just done!! Your video was hilarious, watched it twice. I’m excited to see my results. Thanks for sharing your experience!
omg the next few days after profractional are so tough and it’s a constant battle in your mind to remind yourself that it’s worth it!
Thanks so much for sharing! I have a very similar experience with accutane multiple times and scars. I looked into lasers multiple times but always chicken out. Just had my second babe and feel now along with the acne scars I have wrinkles that exploded on my forehead and eyes. ??… I met with a Med Spa today to discuss the profractional laser resurfacing with a profractional laser peel, did you do both? They said many times it’s done together but you can get just one or the other. They also said for the first time they recommend 3 treatments 8 weeks apart, but by your post doesn’t look like I would need to do that. I have been disappointed when trying to find someone to do it in MN, you really want to get someone good like you found but you can’t really find reviews on specific estheticians just clinics. When I’ve met with the clinics they don’t even have me meet with the estheticians, both times I met with the front desk ladies, who although informative feels weird not to meet with the professional prior to procedure. Thanks again for sharing, it was helpful and hoping to find someone I feel comfortable with to do the procedures!
i’ve done a nano peel with a profractional laser and the results were AMAZING. 6 months apart has been a great experience for me. the treatment is a bit traumatic so having time in between in really nice. and the coagulation and within the skin works for 6 months after the treatment itself.
Loved your video. Thank you for sharing with the world!
Now that you’ve done this treatment 3 times, do you notice any volume loss in your face, i.e. fat loss? I had CO2 laser done a few months back, and recently I noticed that there are new sunken areas where I didn’t even know I had old acne scars. Just researching online, I learned that the sunken areas could be from “cooking off” the fat cells underneath. I’m thinking about doing profractional and wondering if you have any regrets now that some time has passed. Thanks!
i haven’t experienced that myself! and i definitely don’t have any regrets, I really love that treatment! but I have been doing microneeling lately, and I think I’m loved that treatment a little more because it’s helped even more with fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars! you can check out my experience and before and after photos here – https://paleomg.com/my-experience-w-microneedling-why-im-obsessed/
Love your video! I had HALO last year and didn’t get much out of it. Today I had a very intense profractional and am excited to see the results. I plan on doing it once a year, too.
How many microns deep do you typically go with your profractional? If you’ve done different depths, have you noticed a difference in the changes they produce in your skin?
Thank you for the video. I just had profractional done yesterday and my face looked like yours on day one. I want to go back to work on day 8 so hopefully I can recover as quick as you. I’m always more optimistic on downtime than what actually happens.
I’m doing it for aging and will most likely do Ultherapy too but want to see how this turns out first. Again, thank you so much for the video and all the insight. Charlie
you will definitely be good to go by day 8! hope you are healing quickly! it’s such a tough process but so worth it long term!!
Hi! I’m booked to get my first profractional facial and my scarring isn’t terrible but it’s there. Will I see a decent result for Christmas with the reduction in my scarring on my face?
i would ask your esthetician about that! i can’t speak to that since i’ve never met you nor do i have any understanding of your skin or your regimen
This was hilarious but it was so true. I am on healing day 6. I referred to it as Satans hell fire burning off my face.
omg for reallllll. hope you’re healing quickly!
What is the difference between Profactional and Fractora? Which lasts longer?
i’m not sure, i haven’t hear of fractora, but it may be just a different type of laser that does the same thing
Omg my fractional was $3500. I need to come to Denver!
holy shit!! that’s INSANE!
I swear a left a comment on one of your pages with a question, but now I can’t find it! So, re-asking here: how many μm deep did you go with your profractional? If you’ve done different depths with laser, what differences have you noticed in your skin? Thanks!
i honestly have no clue, but i know she does different depths throughout my face
YOU are hilarious…Thank you for this!! I lol 🙂 Is this different then CO2 laser resurfacing? Thank you so much. 🙂
yes! similar, but a bit different
Hi! Off topic but your eyebrows look bomb- even during profractional recovery. What is your secret with them?
microblading and filling them in! https://paleomg.com/my-experience-with-microblading-aka-permanent-makeup/
So first off, my BFF since 5th grade is named, Juli, as well!! 🙂
Second, this was incredibly helpful!! Thank you! You look great!!
Hi! I know this post is a few years old but I just had my first treatment done. Was curious, did you take ibuprofen for the swelling? Thanks!
no, but I only really take ibuprofen if it feels like an emergency, just personal preference!