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 and eczema to now adult acne, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and reoccurring blemishes, my list of skincare concerns is a long one. 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.
What Is Clear + Brilliant
Clear + Brilliant is a non-ablative fractional laser that's considered the most gentle option of all resurfacing lasers. Four to five sessions are recommended to see full results. I’ve been receiving my treatments at Russak Dermatology in New York City, and I'm currently on session three.
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 create micro-injuries that prompt the skin to heal itself, boost collagen production, and generate clear, healthy skin. Once the laser treatment is finished (it takes about 20 minutes), your skin's permeability is greatly enhanced, which is why protocol calls for SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic immediately afterwards. It delivers a potent cocktail of antioxidants to calm redness and nourish new skin cells. Following that, a relaxing, hydrating mask is applied to further promote healing and reduce redness.
How It’s Done
Before the Clear + Brilliant is performed, a numbing cream is applied to the skin. Charlotte's Book-approved skincare expert Christina Biscardi explains the numbing cream eliminates any pain the laser treatment could produce. Thanks to this, I experienced zero discomfort and 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 attention, namely my cheek, which was discolored by blemishes and riddled with clogged pores. Christina doesn’t miss a spot, focusing on common problem areas like the hairline, jaw line, and nose. Following a thorough canvassing with the Clear + Brilliant laser, she applied SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, followed by the restorative mask.
Your skin will look slightly wind-chapped afterwards, but the calming mask takes care of that, leaving you with a rosy glow. But don't schedule any events for the night of your treatment. You'll want to delay putting on makeup to allow 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. Be disciplined with your skincare in the following days, especially moisturizing, to continually nourish and hydrate the new skin that's 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 that doesn't mean the Clear + Brilliant didn't work. Because the treatment tightens pores, it essentially squeezes out trapped sebum, causing it to 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, they don't last long and are less cystic, red, and noticeable. While you can see a different after just one treatment, try Clear + Brilliant for the full run for ultimate results. You’ll be singing its praises soon as well.
Read this next
Find beauty and wellness experts
Read client reviews, book appointments, and get advice from the experts in Charlotte’s Book. Only the best cosmetic doctors, skincare gurus, nutritionists, and fitness and wellness professionals make it into our book.