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Of all the skin resurfacing lasers, Clear + Brilliant (Solta Medical) is one of the most gentle, which is why it’s often described as the “starter” laser. Its intensity lies between receiving a microdermabrasion treatment and a more aggressive Fraxel laser resurfacing procedure.
Like Fraxel, Clear + Brilliant is a non-ablative fractional laser, but it penetrates at a lighter depth. “A fractional laser beam comes out like little pixel dots and affects only a percentage of the targeted skin,” explains dermatologist Robert Anolik, who uses Clear + Brilliant in his practice at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. This means that instead of damaging all the cells in a treated area, only a fraction of them are destroyed, leaving behind a smattering of healthy cells that will be the heroes and initiate a robust healing response. The regenerative action provided by the non-damaged tissue left behind is what actually rejuvenates the skin.
Clear + Brilliant offers two different treatment options: Clear + Brilliant Original reduces pore size and fine lines, and improves skin texture, elasticity, and tone; Clear + Brilliant Perméa also helps with fine lines and pore size, but corrects mild pigmentation discolorations like melasma and sunspots. “The Permea is a slightly shallower laser than the Original, so it more effectively addresses uneven pigmentation,” explains Dr. Anolik. The Perméa treatment also enhances skin permeability, increasing the benefits of topical skin care products applied immediately after treatment.
Clear + Brilliant is great for the 20 or 30 year old who wants a more advanced treatment than her current skincare regimen, but doesn’t need the full transformative benefits of a more aggressive laser skin resurfacing procedure. It’s perfect for reversing and preventing early signs of aging and correcting minor sun damage. Those with moderate to severe concerns should opt for a more advanced laser treatment like Fraxel.
While Clear + Brilliant is great for those seeking preventative skincare, it is also great for those looking to maintain results of more transformative procedures.
“Clear + Brilliant can help with uneven skin tone, where the skin looks a little lighter and darker in areas, but it does not address redness,” says Dr. Anolik. For those with redness concerns, read up on vascular lasers like Vbeam.
Certain medical conditions and medications may increase risk of side effects, so it’s always important to talk to a trusted doctor about your medical history. Browse The Book for the best experts in your city. Of note, “We don’t want anybody to be on Accutane too soon before a resurfacing procedure,” says Dr. Anolik. Also, if you have experienced abnormal scarring, such as keloids, which grow well beyond the area of the injury, you should discuss this with your doctor. Patients with psoriasis and vitiligo will be closely analyzed before being approved for treatment.
There is a mild discomfort level of a Clear + Brilliant treatment that requires a topical anesthetic be applied 20 to 40 minutes before treatment, but further pain management is not necessary.
A Clear + Brilliant treatment requires you and the doctor to wear protective eyewear. Once the skin is cleansed of the numbing cream, the doctor slowly and evenly glides the handheld laser device over your skin, causing a mild to moderate sizzling feeling for approximately 15 minutes.
Once the laser treatment is finished, a cooling mask is applied to minimize the sensation of residual heat and is removed after 10 to 15 minutes.
As a final step, Clear + Brilliant has teamed up with SkinCeuticals to boost results. Now the laser treatment is quickly followed by an application of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $157, a combination of potent antioxidants that protects against damaging free radicals and replenishes lipids to speed up recovery time and improve results.
$500 to $1,000
“Typically, a patient will be pink for about 6 hours after the treatment. The next morning they’ll feel a little bit dry, but they won’t look like they’ve had a treatment at all,” says Dr. Anolik.
In some cases, redness may persist for up to 2 days. More severe side effects are extremely rare; they may include prolonged swelling and redness, scarring, blistering, hyperpigmentation, or mild bruising (purpura), which are usually a result of being treated by an unqualified technician.
The results from a Clear + Brilliant treatment are both immediate and progressive, as improvements become more visible with additional treatment sessions.
A few days following each treatment, skin appears smoother, clearer, brighter, and more even-toned, with a noticeable refinement in pore size, fine lines, and texture. Your skin tone will look more illuminated and radiant.
Best results are realized after a series of 3 to 5 sessions, scheduled 3 to 4 weeks apart. The going forward, you only need a touch-up treatment every 4 to 5 months to maintain results.
You should only visit an actively board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). Plastic Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Both of those boards are part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards and specializes in this treatment. For more information about how we choose our providers, please read Credentials We Abide By.
Clear + Brilliant is a great starter laser treatment and ideal for younger patients who need a real boost from too much partying or sun exposure (or both, if you’re lucky).
Unfortunately, one of the first signs of aging is larger pores. Fortunately, this treatment shrinks them back down to size.
Clear + Brilliant may be mild, but it’s still a laser. Following pre- and post-treatment protocols will ensure the best possible outcome.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers