Dealing with hyperpigmentation is not an easy battle. Often we turn to OTC treatments, which certainly help — but sometimes those spots are just too stubborn. So what can be done about the hyperpigmentation that just won’t go away? I headed to Facile Dermatology + Boutique to chat with Bell Yoo, FNP-C, about one of her favorite treatments for hyperpigmentation: the Clear + Brilliant laser.
What exactly is Clear + Brilliant?
Clear + Brilliant is used to treat hyperpigmentation, melasma, sun damage, pore size, skin texture, fine lines, acne scars, and sun spots. But what exactly is it and how does it work ? “Clear + Brilliant is a gentle [laser] resurfacing treatment that helps repair early signs of skin aging or mild sun damage,” explains Yoo. “The laser creates tiny microscopic wounds that stimulate collagen production and repair damaged skin as they heal.”
Another advantage of this treatment is that it can make serums more effective, which is why Yoo suggests incorporating them into the session. “C + B enhances skin permeability, so we can directly apply serums (such as topical tranexamic acid) to the skin after the laser, which can help to also lighten pigmentation.”
Who is a good candidate for treatment?
Laser treatments are not one size fits all. A person’s skin type and skin tone determines which type of laser and laser resurfacing treatment is right for them. According to Bell, “the beauty of Clear + Brilliant is that it is safe for all skin types.” She notes that a good candidate is “anyone who wants to get a head start in the anti-aging game or anyone with dull skin, enlarged pores, sun damage, or irregular or rough skin texture.”
And unlike some other lasers, Clear + Brilliant is a safe and effective option for deeper skin tones. “This laser is unique in that it directly targets the skin depth at which melanin resides, which makes it effective for treating hyperpigmentation and melasma while being safe on all skin types” explains Yoo. It’s also a good option for any age group.
What is recovery like?
The downtime for this treatment is minimal, according to Yoo. You may notice some slight redness and sandpaper-like texture in your skin, but you are free to resume your normal daily activities immediately after treatment. However, don’t jump right back into your regular skincare routine, especially those exfoliants — your provider will give you a gentle regimen and timeline to stick to (you want to help keep your skin protected and calm while it heals!). You can expect to see results after 2 weeks. However, Yoo recommends a series of 4 sessions for optimal results.
What else should I know?
While you might think that topicals can possibly replace the results of Clear + Brilliant, you should know that’s not necessarily the case. “Ideally you would use both treatments and topicals for optimal skin health and anti-aging benefits — together they will help improve skin and signs of aging,” Yoo explains. “You should be using a retinol regularly in your skincare routine and doing Clear + Brilliant laser treatments to supplement.” While this treatment is not a replacement for a good skincare regimen, it is a game changer for those wanting to target stubborn hyperpigmentation once and for all.