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Fraxel might just be one of the most mysterious skin procedures available.
If you’ve heard of it, you probably know it as one of the most effective yet intensive procedures in both experience and results. However, it can sometimes garner a bad reputation, with rumours of ending up like Samantha post-chemical peel in Sex and the City. You know, the time she gets sent home from Carrie’s book launch.
The questions that Clear Complexions, which offers Fraxel Dual Laser treatments, get asked most are ‘how much will it hurt?’ and ‘how much downtime will I need?’
We dive deep on the myths and realities of Fraxel.
Fraxel Dual Laser is, as you might expect from the name, a laser procedure—it targets pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles and surface scarring. Fraxel resurfaces the skin, shedding layers of dead skin cells built up by sun damage and accelerating cellular turnover.
“This is the only laser resurfacing process that penetrates the top layers of your skin a fraction at a time via hundreds of thousands of microscopic columns that stimulate the production of new skin cells and collagen,” says Suzie Hoitink, of Clear Complexions.
“By leaving most of the surrounding skin intact, your skin’s natural rejuvenation process kicks in, smoothing wrinkles and scars, eliminating pigmentation and creating clearer, healthier skin.”
WHO WOULD SUIT FRAXEL?
Fraxel can make a significant different for those who have sun damage, dull skin tone, irregular texture, acne scarring, pigmentation and sunspots. However, due to the intensive nature of the treatment, a skin analysis is necessary to determine whether someone is a suitable candidate for Fraxel.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS DURING A TREATMENT?
First up, you’ll have a consultation with one of Clear Complexions’ expert practitioners at a Canberra clinic that is most convenient for you.
Your face will be photographed with special equipment, which allows the practitioner to see below your skin’s surface, to where sun damage and pigmentation lurk.
Then, a skin treatment plan is drawn up and, if it includes Fraxel, the practitioner will talk you through exactly what is involved with the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
Sheena is a 48-year-old mother of three. She takes us through why she chose to look into Fraxel.
“In a younger life I worked outside in the sun a lot with not a lot of sun care. I have fluctuated in weight over the years, so there has been strain on the skin there. I’m also post-hysterectomy and have been for two years.”
Sheena explains that her skin was never a priority and except for basic skincare (i.e cleansing and moisturising), she didn’t pay it much attention.
“Later in life there was sun care and—like everyone—I wish I had worried about it earlier. I have a few brown marks on my face which were not sinister but were sun damage. I also had acne as a teenager and later in life was susceptible to ingrown hairs on my neck, which has left some scarring. I’ve always wanted to have nice clear skin.”
Fraxel is a full-face procedure, with the face treated in sections which are lasered individually, one after another. The Fraxel Dual Laser can also be used on any area of the body, however, in Sheena’s case it was recommended for her to first undertake Fraxel on her face, and in the future, target the sun damage on her neck and décolletage with a second round.
When undertaking Fraxel, numbing cream is applied to the entire face, which is left to take effect over 45 minutes. After this, The Fraxel Dual Laser travels over the skin in microscopic columns, stimulating new skin cells and collagen production.
One of the myths about Fraxel is that it takes a long time—including a period of downtime—but Sheena says that’s not the case.
“I work near the Woden Clear Complexions clinic. So, I left work at 3.30 pm on Friday afternoon and was out of the clinic post-Fraxel by 5.30 pm.”
All up, a Fraxel procedure takes 90 minutes.
As for downtime, Sheena was cheering on the sidelines of her daughter’s rugby game on Saturday and back at work on Monday (though the Clear Complexions team notes that some clients factor in a couple of days of downtime from work and social activities).
HOW IT FEELS
Pain is another hesitation when it comes to Fraxel, so we asked Sheena to give her honest opinion.
“The team thoroughly walked me through the procedure beforehand and I was told there would be some discomfort, which was the only thing I was nervous about,” she says.
“I do believe I have a high pain threshold and having had hair removal and laser before, I wasn’t naïve that there wouldn’t be any pain involved.”
“There was more discomfort than I was expecting, because unlike when you have a tattoo and when the tattoo gun is lifted the pain eases straight away, this one doesn’t.
“It was a little bit more than I had anticipated—they gave me a squeezy ball and I was definitely squeezing that; however, the actual process of lasering only took 20 minutes or so.”
Immediately post-treatment, Sheena’s skin felt as if it was “badly sunburnt” and “for the first two hours after I got home, I found lying down with a cold face washer was the best way of having some relief until the heat subsided.”
However, she says that the heat did subside, she enjoyed her weekend without issue.
Naturally, post-care is very important when it comes to Fraxel. Skin is sensitive and red for up to four days and will begin to dry and flake off, revealing the skin, smooth skin underneath. Post-care involves cleansing morning and night with specially provided products and making sure you are protected from the sun.
Speaking to us four days after her treatment, Sheena says she has some dry, flaky patches on her face, but also a lot of baby smooth ones where she can see the new skin created by Fraxel.
For Sheena, the discomfort of the treatment is very much worth the results.
“At the time when I was driving home from the treatment I thought ‘I’m not sure if I could have any more done’, but now seeing the results I certainly will.”
“It just makes me realise how much more I should have looked after my skin with sunscreen.”
HOW MUCH IS FRAXEL?
Clear Complexions is currently offering a full face Fraxel Dual Laser treatment for the discounted price of $899 until 31 August 2018. This is a limited time offer and is dependent on suitability, so contact Clear Complexions on (02) 9158 0613 or see their website for more information.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Clear Complexions offers one-hour consultations, which include a comprehensive skin analysis and treatment plan, for $50, which is redeemable upon any treatment.
Call (02) 9158 0613 to book into one of their four Canberra clinics.
This is a sponsored post but opinions remain the author’s own. The interviewee received her treatments free of charge from Clear Complexions for review purposes.