Understanding Laser Skin Care Treatments

A comprehensive guide to in clinic and at home laser skin resurfacing and tightening treatments, risks and costs.

Written by Jessica Lacey - Reviewed by Dr Graeme Glass, PhD

10-04-2022

Lasers are a leading global technology in skin rejuvenation and can treat a vast array of skin concerns. But the world of laser skincare treatments can also be complicated and confusing.

Increasingly replacing the need for cosmetic surgery, laser procedures have advanced significantly in the past decade and both updated versions and entirely new systems are introduced to the market every year. 

What Is a Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatment?

Laser skin rejuvenation is an umbrella term for using light to stimulate skin regeneration and new collagen fibres, therefore improving the appearance of wrinkles, discolouration, acne scarring and many other cosmetic skin concerns. Light contains energy and it is possible for that energy to penetrate through layers of the skin, be absorbed into tissue and alter the cells' behaviour.  

What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing addresses the tone, texture and appearance of skin by treating the epidermal surface layer, whilst also heating the dermal layer just below it. This may be done through causing controlled damage to the skin, so as to trigger skin's internal repair response to create new skin cells or alternatively, through energy transference to reawaken dormant skin cells. 

The Beauty Truth

The truth about laser and light devices on the market.

READ MORE

Do All Laser Skin Tightening Treatments Involve Skin Resurfacing?

Laser skin tightening treatments can focus on either resurfacing; or they can entail Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), whereby light beams travel through the skin to varying depths in order to stimulate cell activity. The latter technology (LLLT), used in The LYMA Laser, is not considered a skin resurfacing treatment as it does not involve cell damage of the epidermis.

Can I Get the Same Results as Skin Resurfacing Treatments Without Pain?

Skin resurfacing treatments that achieve the quickest results often cause the most injury to the skin and longest post-treatment downtime. Softer approaches, such as LLLT do exist and can achieve the same impressive results over a longer time period. There are broadly two types of skin resurfacing laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers remove the top layer of the skin, while non-ablative lasers are used to heat up the underlying skin tissue without harming the surface itself. Both work by causing controlled thermal injury, which in turn promotes the production of collagen and cell renewal, (see below).

Why The LYMA Laser Is Different to All Other Beauty Devices

Microcurrent

Microcurrent disperses in the form of cell-damaging heat. The long-term effects of passing microcurrent through nerve and muscle rather than skin is unclear.

Near Infrared LED

Near infrared LED light does not penetrate the skin in the way that near infrared laser light does. LED is unable to reach the deepest layers of the skin

Diode Laser

At home diode lasers (between 5 and 20 mW) are designed to focus on water, and the by-product of this is heat. As a result this induces the body's own repair response to bring about the production of collagen and repair the dermis.

The LYMA Laser

Breakthrough ultra-diffused lens delivers targeted, controlled power through all the layers of the skin. It's 100x more effective than LED .

Skin Depth

Epidermis

Dermis

Fat

Muscle

In-Clinic Skin Laser Treatments

Skin resurfacing lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Both categories of laser cause thermal injury, or heat up the skin to distress it. Ablative resurfaces the top epidermal layer of skin and non ablative heats up the lower dermal layer. However, the level of impact and injury to the skin differs between these two categories.

Ablative Skin Laser Resurfacing

Ablative laser resurfacing causes superficial wounding to the skin, whilst also heating up the water molecules in its lower dermal layer to trigger the healing response. New collagen cells form to rebuild and repair, an action which consequently lessens the appearance of aging.

Having laser skin rejuvenation doesn't stop when you leave the dermatologist's office, there can be a full programme of pre and post-care as well as risks you need to mitigate.

Here we describe briefly the most popular in-clinic ablative lasers technologies:

CO2 Lasers: Fully Ablative

Carbon Dioxide lasers are classed as 'fully ablative' and as such, are surgical grade and remove the very top layer of skin, therefore treating the entirety of the skin's surface.

Risks and realities of the Er:YAG laser:
Fully ablative lasers create thermal damage in the epidermis, strip the surface layers of the skin and are therefore the harshest, most invasive clinic treatment approach. The intensity of these lasers causes extreme discomfort during treatment so a local anaesthetic is generally required as well as intravenous sedative medication. Skin may take as long as six months to repair fully and the recovery time takes from a month to 6 weeks. There is also a high risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from healing, especially to dark skin.

Erbium Laser

Erbium lasers can be ablative or non-ablative. Their biggest appeal is that they are highly attractive to water and therefore able to quickly deliver wavelengths of laser light into the dermal layer to vaporise skin's water content. The Erbium laser's ability to target a specific treatment area of concern means Erbium lasers are regularly chosen for skin aging concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. This increased accuracy in the treatment area is also why Erbium lasers are often favoured over CO2 lasers.

Risks and realities of the Er:YAG laser:
The recovery with Erbium resurfacing is easier than with the CO2 lasers and requires slightly less downtime however, Erbium is still an intensive clinic laser treatment for dramatic rejuvenation results so can be acutely painful. The recovery time can take up to 2 weeks.

Fractionated Lasers

So named for their ability to deliver both heat and light in a pixelated manner, fractionated lasers can be seen as a mid-way point between ablative and non-ablative laser treatments. Fractionated lasers' ability to isolate the exact area of skin that requires treating has made them a hugely popular choice in dermatologist offices because they're able to accurately pinpoint scars and pigmentation patches as well as fine lines and wrinkles. By far the most commonly used is the Fraxel that has two different wave-lengths for treating various skin conditions such as dullness, sun damage or fine lines.

Risks and realities of the Fraxel laser:
The popularity of this laser puts it at risk of being misused by untrained technicians and the discomfort during treatment may mean patients abandon the course before completion, therefore never achieving the results they were after. Also, there is a chance of aggressive breakouts due to high skin cell turnover and darker skin tones are at higher risk for developing excess scarring from collagen overproduction. Expected downtime is between 3 to 5 days.

Non-Ablative Skin Rejuvenation Lasers (In-Clinic)

Non-ablative lasers work by heating up the water in underlying skin tissue without harming the surface and the body responds by producing new collagen cells. The skin therefore appears firmer, more even and rejuvenated. Non-ablative lasers cause less cosmetic damage than ablative lasers because their energy is directed much lower into the deeper tissue but take more sessions to achieve similar effects.

Here, we describe briefly the most popular in-clinic non-ablative laser technologies:

Nd:YAG (Neodymium)

Neodymium is the crystal the laser passes through and is a non-ablative laser resurfacing alternative to the Erbium Er:YAG laser. With both longer wavelengths and longer pulse durations than the Er:YAG, the Nd:YAg has a lower risk of skin trauma. Generally speaking, the longer a wavelength, the deeper it penetrates and because the Nd:YAG beam is capable of travelling deeper into the skin, bypassing melanin cells where pigmentation lies, it is far more effective for people with brown or deep skin tones. Nd:YAG lasers are used to treat a variety of concerns, such as spider veins, scars, wrinkles and most notably hand wrinkles in which clinical trials found the non-ablative Nd:YAG to outperform the ablative Er:YAG.

Risks and realities of Nd:YAG
Most Nd:YAG lasers have a built-in cooling tip to blast freezing air and counteract the burn of the laser zap but pain is not insignificant so local anaesthesia is still administered. Multiple treatments may be needed to achieve an optimal outcome. The recovery time is around 7 - 10 days as skin goes through the healing process. Scabs will form and then naturally drop off. 

Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT)

LLLT is a rapidly expanding arena of laser skin treatment due to its minimally invasive nature, the widely reported more positive patient experience and affordability per session.

Experts report on the ability of Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) to stimulate, regenerate and repair tissue without causing any thermal damage in a process called photobiomodulation. Although LLLT is being introduced in many of the more advanced dermatology clinics, The LYMA Laser is the only proven at-home LLLT device on the market. 

LED Light Therapy

LED light therapy involves various wavelengths of light, most often red and blue light frequencies, able to transfer energy to epidermal cells to optimise their function, causing them to behave like younger cells. This type of cosmetic light therapy is often referred to in clinics as a Photofacial and most commonly used to treat acne, inflammation and fine lines and wrinkles.  

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

When it comes to widely accessible skin treatments, many people consider IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) as a reliable mid-point option. IPL uses broadband light and is able to reduce the signs of sun damage, spots, rosacea, veins, wrinkles and most cosmetic concerns. Although there is no downtime following IPL treatment, IPL does not sidestep pain, nor does it avoid causing irritation and redness to the skin.  

Risks and realities of IPL treatment
IPL and Photofacials are not legally required to be carried out by medical professionals. Thus, there may be a lack of training and misuse of powerful light devices.

At-Home Skin Laser Treatments

For safety reasons, at-home devices operate at a much lower power than in-clinic systems. This is the case for all except one device, The LYMA Laser which is entirely unique in that it is the only at-home skin rejuvenation machine that emits a medical-grade laser beam that's completely safe to use yourself.

The main types of laser or light devices that you can use at home are:

At-Home LED Devices
LED light therapy masks are made up of different light frequencies, most commonly red light to increase blood circulation and blue light to combat blemish-inducing surface bacteria. There is a theoretical risk that LED light therapy masks can damage your retinas and dermatologists have raised concern at their prolific and unlegislated use.

At-Home Infrared Devices
Infrared light is a frequency of light that's beyond what the human eye can see and near-infrared is one frequency closer to visible light, but still invisible to the naked eye. Infrared is used to stimulate photobiomodulation; a process that increases the ATP in skin cells, (a measure of energy within fibroblast cells) and promotes collagen production within the skin.

The LYMA Laser

The LYMA Laser is widely considered by independent experts to be the most effective of all at-home devices on the global market today due to its near infrared technology and remarkable ability to support the photobiomodulation process. As the first light-weight, handheld device that matches all the capabilities of substantial laser systems found in top dermatology clinics, The LYMA Laser has caused a seismic shift in the laser skin rejuvenation treatment world.

The LYMA Laser achieves medical-grade results on many types of conditions, including:

Wrinkles

Scarring

Rosacea

Pigmentation

Stretch Marks

Melasma

Spider/Thread Veins

Bruising

Cellulite

Joints, Ligaments and Muscle Repair

Dr Graeme E. Glass, a craniofacial, cosmetic and plastic surgeon, as well as an associated professor of clinical surgery has called The LYMA Laser, “one of the most exciting and innovative products to have been developed for the purpose of skin rejuvenation”.

Independent scientific trials show The LYMA Laser technology is a proven holistic approach to treating pigmentation, acne scarring, rosacea, skin sagging and thread veins as well as more in-depth tasks such as muscle repair in just a matter of months. Customers report that in as little as a few weeks, their skin feels and looks smoother, firmer and overall, more vibrant.

How Much Does Laser Skin Rejuvenation Cost?

Laser Type Average Cost per session Average Sessions Needed p.a. Estimated Total cost over 5 years
Fully Ablative CO2/Erbium Laser £2723* One-off treatment £6,808**
Non Ablative/Fractional Laser £338* 3-6 sessions £5,070***
IPL Rejuvenation £153* 4-9 sessions £3,825****
LYMA Laser (LLLT) £1999 (one time fee) Daily use £1,999
Average Coat per session
Fully Ablative CO2/Erbium Laser £2723*
Non Ablative/Fractional Laser £338*
IPL Rejuvenation £153*
LYMA Laser (LLLT) £1999 (one time fee)
Average Sessions Needed p.a.
Fully Ablative CO2/Erbium Laser One-off treatment
Non Ablative/Fractional Laser 3-6 sessions
IPL Rejuvenation 4-9 sessions
LYMA Laser (LLLT) Daily use
Estimated Total cost over 5 years
Fully Ablative CO2/Erbium Laser £6,808**
Non Ablative/Fractional Laser £5,070***
IPL Rejuvenation £3,825****
LYMA Laser (LLLT) £1,999

*Rounded average prices based on figures displayed on the websites of 5 UK skin clinics on 20/10/2021

**Total cost estimation based on the assumption that on average patients would need 2.5 sessions over 5 years.

*** Total cost estimation based on the assumption that on average patients would need 15 sessions over 5 years.

****Total cost estimation based on the assumptions that on average patients would need 25 sessions over 5 years.

Who Should You Speak to for Advice on Laser Skin Treatments?

It is vital to consult the right advice before choosing a laser treatment. Even the best professional aestheticians will have some bias, so make sure you book free consultations from several skin clinics before making a decision.

If you'd like further advice or have a specific question regarding The LYMA Laser and how it could benefit you, please contact Concierge who will be more than happy to advise and assist you on your journey to your best skin.

Results in as Little as 12 Weeks

Acne

TargetAcne and facial infection, and scarring

ProtocolUse daily for 3 months, then twice a week maintenance

ResultAcne no longer present, infection cleared, and scars have faded

After
Before

Wrinkles

Target75-year-old woman, anti-ageing face treatment

Protocol1 hour daily for 4 months. Results can take up to 6 months dependent on skin condition

ResultReduced wrinkles, improved muscle tone and reduced pigmentation

After
Before

Scarring

TargetHistoric acne scarring

ProtocolUsed 45 minutes daily on affected cheek areas for 3 months

ResultRegeneration of skin to improve appearance of scar tissue

After
Before

Rosacea

TargetTreating rosacea

Protocol15 minutes daily for 4 weeks, can take 3 to 6 months for results

ResultReduced appearance of the symptoms of rosacea

After
Before

Body Scars

TargetTreating an historic heart surgery scar

ProtocolUsed for 3 minutes over each scar section, daily for two months. Can take 3 to 6 months depending on scar type and age

ResultRegeneration of skin improves appearance of scar tissue

After
Before

Sagging

Target47-year-old, knee lift treatment

Protocol15 minutes daily for 3 months, can take up to 6 months for transformational results

Result Vastly improved skin texture, skin elasticity and cellulite reduction

After
Before

Expert Reviews

"The LYMA Laser is the breakthrough beauty product of the decade"

Dr. Graeme E Glass

PhD, Plastic, Craniofacial and Aesthetic surgeon, Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery

"The LYMA Laser is the breakthrough beauty product of the decade"

Customer Case Studies

What really counts to us is the opinion of people using LYMA every day. And it makes us proud when we hear how LYMA is improving our customers' lives. Read some of our customers' experiences with LYMA Laser below.

Chris' face scars testimonial

"I've been using The LYMA Laser since the 15th May and every day I feel like it's making more of a difference."

Jancee's rosacea testimonial

"The LYMA Laser is replacing my need for prescription rosacea creams."

Jenny's surgical scar testimonial

"It's giving me more confidence and has contributed to a growing sense of inner strength."

Penny's scarring testimonial

"I've returned to modelling now and my confidence is back too."

What's in the Box?

The LYMA Laser Starter Kit includes the 500mW near infrared LYMA Laser and a 30 day supply of Active Mist and Priming Serum, travel pouch, accessories and an authenticity card which gives LYMA Membership and access to member only pricing. Price £1,999/GBP, including worldwide express delivery.

Shop Laser

How to Treat Your Skin With a Laser at Home

Dr Graeme Glass video

Your Questions About Laser Skin Renewal Treatments

How Much Do Skin Laser Resurfacing Treatments Cost?

The cost of a full face fully ablative laser resurfacing treatment is on average £2723* per session in the UK. Treatments vary greatly in price, both per session and how many are required based on the skin concern and the area being treated. After purchasing The LYMA Laser, it can be used daily, for as many times as required without any further expense.

What Types of Skin Conditions Do Lasers Treat?

Laser skin resurfacing can be an effective treatment for superficial skin concerns such as pigmentation, sun damage, age spots, acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin and uneven skin tone. Working on a deeper level, the unique technology of The LYMA Laser is also able to treat joint and ligament pain as well as to repair muscles.

Is Laser Resurfacing Permanent?

The effects of laser resurfacing treatments vary in their longevity. Often, the more intensive the treatment, the longer the results will last.

Is Laser Treatment Good for Skin?

In-clinic laser treatments that cause intentional and controlled damage to trigger skin's healing response are not good for overall skin health, especially for darker skin tones. The LYMA Laser however, causes zero damage to skin and improves skin cell function as a whole.

Does Laser Resurfacing Hurt?

Laser resurfacing can be painful both during the treatment and afterwards as the skin heals. The level of discomfort is dictated by the intensity and power of the laser as well as the size of the surface being treated. Incorporating breakthrough laser energy dispersion, The LYMA Laser can achieve similar results without inducing any pain nor damage to the skin.

Can I Go Out in the Sun After A Treatment?

In the case of clinic laser skin treatments no, direct sun exposure is highly damaging to newly treated skin and should be avoided. However, due to its zero-damage approach, The LYMA Laser puts no limits or restrictions on sun exposure or any element of your lifestyle.

What Downtime Is Required After Each Laser Treatment? Will I Need Time off Work?

Some laser treatments require weeks of downtime, whilst others require a few days but taking time off work is highly likely. Alternatively, LLLT lasers such as The LYMA Laser can be used in leisure time and in the evenings with no downtime required, so do not require any disruption to daily life.

How to Repair Laser Damaged Skin?

Skin that's been injured or compromised by ill or overuse of laser techniques needs to be treated with a bespoke skincare or medication plan. A trustworthy professional will be able to advise you on how to repair laser damaged skin. To avoid any skin cell damage, use The LYMA Laser for skin rejuvenation.

Can I Use Skin Treatment Lasers on Darker Skin Tones?

Darker skins have long been excluded from laser treatment due to the potential of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring. Research also suggests that many lasers struggle to detect darker skin tones, making options limited. Conversely, The LYMA Laser has proved highly effective on all skin tones without any damage or associated risks. 

Which Is Better; Chemical Peel or Laser Resurfacing?

Both chemical peels and lasers can be used for skin resurfacing, one using chemicals and the other, light. Whilst chemical peels come in different strengths and treat the entire face, lasers are better at targeting specific areas of concern. Side effects also differ but research suggests that chemical peels are more suited to darker skin tones as they do not carry the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or scarring associated with laser treatment. The LYMA Laser is an exception to this rule however, as it is perfectly suited to any skin tone and proven to work safely and effectively on darker skin.  

Can Lasers Remove Active Acne as Well as Scars?

Research shows that 95% of people who've suffered from acne, have residual scarring and lasers are a hugely effective method of minimising that scarring. Lasers encourage skin rejuvenation so can heal active acne but aren't right for cases of cystic acne. Blue LED lights are very effective at killing the bacteria that cause acne and this is the reasoning behind blue LED lights being engineered into The LYMA Laser.

How To Treat Age-related Blemish Marks?

Age-related blemishes often leave scarring and pigmentation marks. The LYMA Laser has been proven to be highly effective at reducing and removing age-related blemish marks and pigmentation within just a few months of daily use. Visit the dedicated laser for pigmentation page for more info.

How Can I Boost Collagen Production Without Going Through Ablative Cosmetic Procedures or Surgery?

Non-ablative lasers, red and infra-red light can all stimulate collagen production within the skin, without causing the harm that ablative lasers and surgery do.

LATEST STORIES

The quest
for better.

Sign up to our mailing list to discover the future of beauty and wellness.

Which areas of your life are you ready to improve?