Let There Be Light (And Laser): We Tried Clear + Brilliant
My skin may be young (I’m 24 years old), but that doesn’t mean it’s problem-free. From adolescent acne to eczema, and now adult acne (it just keeps getting better, right?), hyperpigmentation, scarring, and reoccurring blemishes are always on my list of skincare concerns to tackle. When I learned about Clear + Brilliant, a gentle laser treatment that evens skin tone and boosts radiance with no downtime, I was ready to sign up like a new bride at a wedding expo.
Clear + Brilliant is a non-ablative fractional laser that’s considered the most gentle option of all resurfacing lasers, but four to five sessions are recommended to see full results. I’ve been receiving my treatments at Russak Dermatology, New York City, and am currently on session three. Thus, I’m eager to share my Clear + Brilliant laser review with all.
How It Works
The treatment is performed using a laser device with a small roller attachment. The attachment is outfitted with tiny plastic bumps that push into the skin and allow the laser to make tiny injuries to the skin. These micro-injuries force the skin to heal itself, boosting collagen production and generating clear, healthy skin.
Once the laser treatment is finished, which takes about 20 minutes, your skin’s permeability is greatly enhanced, which is why protocol calls for SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, $157, to be applied immediately, delivering a potent cocktail of antioxidants deep into your skin to calm redness and nourish new regenerating skin cells. Following that, a relaxing, hydrating mask is applied, promoting healing and reducing redness.
How It’s Done
Before the Clear + Brilliant is performed, a numbing cream is applied to the skin. Christina Biscardi, the practice’s celebrated aesthetician and Charlotte’s Book approved skincare expert, explained that the numbing cream eliminates any pain that the laser treatment could produce. Thanks to this, I never felt any discomfort during the treatment, but only the faintest feeling of static rolling across my skin. After the numbing sets in, Christina gets to work on your face. At my last visit, I told her, “Beat me up!” She responded with an affirmative and repeatedly went over the areas that desperately needed a jumpstart to the regenerative process, namely my cheek which was discolored by blemishes and riddled with clogged pores.
Christina doesn’t miss a spot, getting the hairline (where women often break out from sweating or hair care product residue), the jaw line (another problem area from talking on the phone or resting your face on an unclean hand), and the blackhead-prone nose area. Following a thorough canvassing with the Clear + Brilliant laser, she applied SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $157, followed by the restorative mask.
Your skin will look slightly wind-chapped afterwards, but the calming mask that tops the treatment off takes care of most of that, allowing you to leave the office with a rosy glow. However, don’t schedule any events for the night of your treatment as you’ll want to delay putting on any makeup, thus allowing your skin to soak up the antioxidant-rich solutions applied post-procedure.
The next day, your skin should look completely normal and you can return to your regular makeup routine. You may notice a sandpaper-like texture to your skin, which is a result of the tiny scabs covering the micro-injuries made by the laser. Be disciplined with your skincare in the following days, especially with moisturizing, to continually nourish and hydrate the new skin that is forming. Christina suggests using a granular exfoliant a few days post-procedure to slough off those micro-scabs and reveal the healthy skin underneath. Also, avoid skincare products that contain acids or retinol for three days after treatment to avoid irritating your skin.
You may experience an unexpected breakout, but don’t think that means your skin didn’t benefit from Clear + Brilliant. Because the treatment tightens pores, it essentially squeezes out trapped sebum or congestion, causing it surface in the form of a pimple. Schedule a facial a week or two after a Clear + Brilliant treatment to expertly clean out any congestion for overall healthier and more radiant skin.
The Bottom Line
I’ve seen significant improvement in my acne and my skin is noticeably clearer and more even-toned. I even go without foundation on most days (a big step for me). While blemishes do pop up, the lifespan of the breakouts has been greatly reduced. My blemishes are less cystic, red, and noticeable. While a difference can be seen with just one treatment, for ultimate results, try Clear + Brilliant for the full run, and you’ll be singing its praises soon as well. For more details on this treatment, read the full Clear + Brilliant description in The Treatments.
WORDS: Gloria Cavallaro