Fraxel laser

Thinking about laser? For softening lines and wrinkles, it's a great beauty fix but read our expert advice first before dialing up your derm...

This week, Cape Town-based dermatologist Dr Dagmar Whitaker gave us beauty journalists a little refresher course on the latest that laser technology has on offer: Fraxel Laser.

a woman who has done laser treatmentsThings certainly have moved on from laser treatments that meant your face looked like a horror Halloween mask and you needed two weeks of recovery time before you could face the world again.

In the nutshell, Fraxel Laser creates tiny little areas of injury to your skin to promote healing and skin regeneration (the theory is that these tiny injuries encourage the skin to repair itself and so the 'normal' skin around those injuries is repaired too). The 'pain' is quite tolerable and the entire face literally takes just minutes to laser.

Also, good news is the downtime – or lack thereof. This is a 'laser in your lunchtime' type of treatment and healing time is just a few days.

Who Is This For? If you're unhappy with your sun-damaged skin or wanting to shrink enlarged pores, this one's for you. But if pigmentation such as chloasma is your skin issue, think again. Ditto stretch marks. And watch this space… Clinique is about to launch a correcting treatment product that is an alternative to laser.

So, if you're 'not quite there yet' but are concerned about sun damage, the product peeps are listening and skincare is getting seriously clever. Oh, and if you're going the Fraxel Laser route, Dr Whitaker begs you not to forget proper sun protection. Her best advice is to always (laser or no laser) cover up with a balanced UVA and UVB sunblock – and nothing below a factor 30!

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