I have the best skincare secret of all time… I’m not kidding, this treatment has been skin-changing, life-altering and most importantly FREEING. From February to July I underwent six Clear + Brilliant Treatments courtesy of Dr S Skincare and Solta Medical.
The Clear + Brilliant is a laser treatment designed to improve the look of fine lines, reduce pore appearance improve skin tone and texture as well as overall appearance.
The Consultation: January 15th
My first appointment at Dr S Skincare was a consultation to determine what handpiece would be best suited for my skin. We determined that the original handpiece would suffice as I wanted to treat mainly my skin tone and pore size. The other handpiece option is the Permea which is a deeper laser.
The standout from this consultation was that my aesthetician Stephanie asked me what my allergies were (including food) to ensure that the post-treatment care didn’t contain anything that I would be allergic to and cause a reaction.
The First Treatment: February 8th
Upon coming back from NYC for my birthday I headed out the Hamilton to have my first Clear + Brilliant experience. I was definitely nervous going into my first treatment, not knowing what to expect of the treatment or the aftermath.
Face cleansing – the first step every time I went into treatment Jada (the aesthetician who conducted my treatments) would wash my face. The cleanser she used smelled like grapefruit and the whole process of having your face washed was really relaxing.
Numbing cream – after my face was cleansed, numbing cream was applied to my whole face (even up into the hairline which 10/10 would recommend getting your aesthetician to do if they don’t) and I was left to chill and watch Netflix for about 40 minutes.
Numbing cream removal – after the numbing cream has set in, they will remove the cream from your face. This honestly was one of my least favourite parts of the treatment as it genuinely feels so weird.
Eye patches – once the numbing cream was off, my eyes were covered with patches to protect them from the laser (cue nap time)
Alcohol wiped – right before they begin they will wipe your face down with alcohol (do not breathe while this is happening… learn from my mistake)
The laser – the actual laser treatment takes about 20 -25 minutes, the aesthetician will begin moving the laser across one section of your face (Jada always started with my forehead) either vertically or horizontally and then go over that section in the opposite direction that they started to make sure they get every inch.
Aftercare – right after a section is completed a serum was applied to help soothe the area. Once the whole face was completed a cold phyto mask was applied to my whole face and as part of the later treatments an ice-cold sheet mask.
Home care – I was given more phyto mask to take home and use as needed as well as a steroid cream to use in the instance of swelling.
The First Experience:
This treatment was by no means comfortable but I wouldn’t say it was uncomfortable either. If you’ve had laser hair removal before I say that it levels on that discomfort. If you have a really low pain tolerance I would recommend talking to the presiding dermatologist about pain management.
I was definitely very red after I left the clinic. I went grocery shopping afterwards and oh man did I scare some people. I have to say, it felt like my skin was almost windburned (it didn’t help that it was February and was incredibly windy).
The redness went down by the time I went to sleep and I had minimal discomfort once I got home and was out of the wind. Beyond the facial redness, I had no pain and only a little bit of heat coming off my face.
The Days After:
The next day after my treatment, I didn’t feel anything too different with my skin except it was a little tender and needed some extra moisturizer.
After 36 hours my skin did begin to develop a sandpaper-like texture which was to be expected. Do not pick, exfoliate, rub etc. at this texture!!!! Just let it slough off naturally.
I did experience a lot of dryness around my nose which did crack a little. I found that adding my heavy eye cream to that area really helped soothe the dryness.
By the 4th day, my skin was baby smooth and soft and my makeup applied beautifully.
Below are my before and afters so you can see where my skin began and what the final results were. Keep reading for the full breakdown of my treatment!
The Second Treatment: March 11th
I was much better prepared for this treatment and found it much more comfortable this second time. Once you know what to expect, you can prepare yourself for the discomfort and I found that it made the process easier.
I was a little less red after I left the clinic, maybe my skin was a little bit better prepared or just mentally I was better prepared which helped my skin freak out less. I’m not sure, but this was definitely the easiest treatment out of my set.
The Days After:
I began to get the sandpaper feel on my face as soon as I woke up the next morning.
It took the same 72 hours to slough off, and this time I didn’t experience any severe dryness.
Once again, my makeup applied better than ever and my overall skin tone seemed to even out.
The Third Treatment: April 15th
This was by far the most painful treatment of the set. Just a small heads up, the closer to your time of the month this treatment is, the more discomfort you may feel.
My face was the reddest after this treatment, so much so that I had to go home and didn’t want to leave the house until the redness settled.
Right when I got home, I immediately spritzed my face with some cold Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist for some added relief and then I applied the steroid cream that I was given.
The Days After:
I was still very red the next morning, so I added more of the steroid cream and topped that up with some of my regular moisturizer and a healthy topping of SPF.
48 Hours later my face was still super red…. the mild swelling and the heat/discomfort had subsided by the redness was very much still present. Along with the sandpaper feel it was not cute.
72 hours after, my skin had sloughed off and it was back to feeling amazing but the redness was still there!!! At this point, I sent a quick message over the Stephanie at Dr S Skincare and she assured me it was nothing to worry about, just my period likely making my skin more sensitive than normal.
It took a full week for the redness to settle down, luckily I could hide the redness with makeup, but was definitely unusual for it to last so long.
The Fourth Treatment: May 13th
After the difficulties in the aftermath of the third treatment, I was a little nervous going into this treatment, but it was fine! Weirdly enough, my nose didn’t turn red with the rest of my face and it took an hour for it to change colour to match the rest of my face.
The Days After:
Luckily this treatment had very standard post-treatment results. My face was red until I went to sleep and then in the days following my skin turned sandpapery and sloughed off leaving the best tone and texture yet.
The Fifth Treatment: June 17th
This treatment had the most discomfort throughout the treatment process, but I was surprisingly less red.
The Days After:
The days following followed the same pattern as the other treatments. Now though after 5 months had passed from my initial treatment I was really beginning to see results.
The Sixth Treatment: July 16th
My final treatment also had higher than normal discomfort through the treatment process but unlike the fifth session, I was quite red leaving the clinic.
The Days After:
For my final treatment, I had really standard redness and sandpaper-like skin.
I am so happy with my overall results. I’m wearing less and less makeup and some of the more chronic breakouts that I had been struggling with prior to getting this treatment done have totally cleared up.
As you can see from the before and after pictures, my skin tone is overall so much more even and way less red!