With a zap here and a zap there, these non-invasive treatments can turn back the clock.
We will all get older; it's a fact of life. But do we all need to look older? The answer is no. Now, more than ever, laser treatments are available that are painless (or only mildly painful), require little downtime and look natural, so no one ever need know you had "work" done.
Fine lines, redness, brown spots, broken capillaries and acne scars: It's possible to combat them all! There are dozens of different treatments, from chemical peels to lasers, and here's what they're generally most useful for.
Chemical peels: An application of lactic or glycolic acid exfoliates the skin and stimulates new collagen and elastin production for a softer, smoother appearance.
Micro-needling: Tiny needles rolled over your face injure the skin to encourage the proliferation of new cells and increase blood flow, resulting in healthier-looking skin.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): A handheld device pressed onto the face at various points uses heat and light to destroy the pigment that causes dark spots and acne scars. It can also minimize diffuse redness. IPL requires a clear differentiation between skin colour and brown spots, so it is not recommended for tanned or dark skin tones.
Fraxel: Fraxel is just one of many lasers on the market. It penetrates the skin to stimulate collagen and resurfaces the top layer to minimize fine lines and sun damage. It can also target pre-cancerous cells, making your skin much healthier.
Pain and downtime: You'll experience minimal pain from these treatments, but some do come with side effects. Peels and Fraxel may cause light flaking and redness for up to a week; IPL will cause brown spots that will darken for up to a week; and micro-needling can result in redness or swelling for a couple of days after treatment.
Cost: $120 to $500 for a chemical peel; $250 to $400 for IPL with two or three treatments required one month apart; $500 for microneedling with four to six treatments done every other week; $1,000 for Fraxel treatment with two or three treatments needed two to three weeks apart.
To learn more about laser treatments, read our guide to facial lasers.