Clear + Brilliant laser treatment is renowned for turning dull skin to bright skin. (Photo: Getty Images)
Article from Yahoo Beauty, 10/15/15
About two months ago I had the pleasure of hanging with a major tabloid confidant who gave me some inside scoop on a treatment called Clear + Brilliant that was so good at turning dull skin to bright skin, that it was actually being written into movie contracts. I pressed her for names and got Hailey Baldwin, but with deeper research found that the list was much longer and spanned a ton of the A-listers admired for their beauty and relative agelessness. I was fascinated, so I did my best journalistic research to find a local doctor with a celeb-patient roster to let me have a crack at it and hopefully share some names.
I headed into Plastic Surgeon Dr. Stafford Broumand?s office a few days later to try it for myself because life is short and I wanted my skin to be so glowtastical that onlookers would wonder if I had swallowed that fluid they put in neon signs. ??I can?t name patients, but a lot of our patients have graced magazines, TV shows and movies? he told me. Through some sleuthing I know his list includes model Chrissy Teigen. If he was responsible for her glow, I was totally game and hitting myself for not finding out about this earlier.
I had to ask exactly how the treatment would work. All I knew at the time was that there was no downtime and no pain ? basically enough for me. ?Using a fractional laser technology, Clear + Brilliant addresses early signs of aging and refreshes skin from the inside out. Treatment typically takes about 20-30 minutes, and can benefit men and women of all ages. Our practice utilizes both the original and new Permea hand pieces for our Clear + Brilliant procedures. The Permea treatment can be combined with a topical antioxidant, and is able to penetrate millions of microscopic areas of the skin for comprehensive replacement of damaged cells,? he explained.
Before treatment, Dr. Broumand issues a deep cleansing to remove traces of dirt or makeup. (Photo: Bryce Gruber)
Fractional laser technology is basically the same stuff that Fraxel lasers use to get rid of very serious pigmentation, wrinkles, and even some scar tissue. Clear + Brilliant is in the same family of lasers, but should be thought of as the much gentler baby sister of Fraxel. Specifically the nicer, painless baby sister with a cheery attitude.
My treatment started with a deep cleansing (much like a facial at a spa) to remove any traces of dirt or makeup before getting down to the sci-fi skin lasers. Within a couple minutes of that I was being marked for the zones to cover in a specific order. The treatment started? I was making fists so tight with fear that I could?ve crushed pure rock into diamonds. Lasers sort of scare me even if a doctor tells me flat out that I won?t feel any pain. About 15 seconds into the treatment, I realized it didn?t hurt, and at best it felt like a very mild rug burn.
The redness was gone within an hour of my treatment ending. They warned that my skin may feel a little rough or sand papery for the first day or two following treatment, because of the natural exfoliation that would occur. It was true? by the time I woke up the next morning I had a sort of grainy texture to my skin that nobody (even me) could see, but I could definitely feel. I was shocked to find that the invisible, grainier texture to my skin actually held my primer and CC cream like never before. It was basically an anchor and I had the best made up face I?ve had in years for the following 2 days.
Somewhere around the 3rd or 4th day post-treatment, my skin was back to being baby smooth, but, I still had minor hyper-pigmentation and my skin wasn?t totally radiant yet. I started to lose faith because I had assumed that if the skin-sloughing process didn?t leave me with instantly brightened skin, it wouldn?t work at all. What I got was a lesson in patience. By the end of a week I was getting compliments left and right. Everything from you look really well rested to what?s the new makeup you?re using, you look so dewy was thrown at me, and I loved every single line from coworkers, friends, and my husband.
After treatment. (Photo: Bryce Gruber)
The only bad news was that my skin seemed to gradually go back to normal after about a month or so, just minus a portion of the hyper-pigmentation and sun damage I had before treatment. Apparently my single treatment was just tip of the usual skin-brilliance iceberg. Right around the time my face started looking regular in terms of radiance was the time I should?ve headed in for a second treatment. ?Results from Clear + Brilliant can last for months depending on the patients age, skin condition and their skin car regimen. My office suggests completing a series of six treatments spaced 2 to 3 weeks apart to see optimal results. Patients can see results after one treatment. Patients notice smoother, brighter skin a few days after treatment, but it?s recommended to do a full series for longer lasting results. The laser is known to give patients even skin tone, reduced pore size, softer and smoother skin.?
Whoops. I missed the get-a-few-treatments memo, but was impressed by the results after a single treatment and can understand why mega celebs look to it as a workplace essential. Frankly, if my face was about to be blown up in high res and high def I?d want more pores and cells handled on a more regular basis.
Right now doctors tend to use Clear + Brilliant on the face, neck, d?collet? and hands to give an overall refreshed, youthful, can?t-figure-out-if-you?ve-had-work-done kind of vibe. Dr. Broumand?s NYC office charges $500 per session and discounts for a package of several, making it far pricier than the average wash-tone-hydrate routine. Worth it? If your face and skin are crucial to your career, than yes, but I still wish the lasting results happened after just one visit.