An Expert Guide To Laser Facial Treatments
An Expert Guide To Laser Facial Treatments

An Expert Guide To Laser Facial Treatments

Seeing as a single session can boost collagen production, treat uneven tone, minimise enlarged pores and renew better glow, it’s no wonder laser facials are suddenly so popular. But how do they work? And what do? Here, leading expert Debbie Thomas explains…
By Rebecca Hull

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Can You Explain What Facial Laser Is?

“Lasers are light-based devices that use concentrated filtered light to trigger – or cause – several reactions within the skin. Our skin is photosensitive, which means light triggers a reaction, in the same way sunlight stimulates vitamin D synthesis. While we generally think of lasers as being for the face, they are in fact suitable for use all over the body, it’s just that facial treatments are by far the most popular right now.”

Let’s Break Down The Different Kinds Of Laser…

“There are several subtypes of laser, and it’s worth knowing what each one means. ‘Non-ablative lasers’ mean they don’t break or physically remove your skin. There are lots of different lasers in this group and, depending on the subtype, you would be targeting pigmentation, veins, rosacea, open pores and fine lines. The process triggers reactions to boost collagen, reduce sensitivity and promote overall skin health. 

“Non-ablative lasers are the most popular as they require barely any recovery time and have very low risk attached to them. Then there are ‘ablative lasers’, which physically blast layers of skin away. They can either be gentle or incredibly aggressive. More popular in recent years, they work by burning little pinpricks of skin rather than entire layers. However, this gentler option does mean results take longer. This type of laser is often used to improve skin quality and texture. 

“Finally, IPL (intense pulsed light) is the third type of laser which has interchangeable filters to target a variety of issues. The only downside is that it’s a bit more unpredictable, so it does need a very experienced practitioner. It is also unsuitable for darker skin tones, except in very rare cases.”

Do Laser Treatments Work For All Skin Types?

“One of the best things about laser treatments is that they are tailored to your individual needs. With this in mind, they work for most skin types. Within just one session, you can stimulate collagen production while zapping issues like spider veins and pigmentation. In short, it’s possible to sort out several issues in one go. There’s no doubt laser improves skin health – I mean it when I say that my clients who have laser facials definitely age slower than their friends.”

How Long Is The Typical Recovery Time?

“To understand the potential downtime, it pays to know how lasers work. Each type of laser allows a specific wavelength of light to hit targeted areas of the skin. One of three reactions is then triggered: a thermal reaction, a mechanical reaction or a chemical reaction. The most common is a thermal one; this is when a selected part of the skin is targeted and, the light is then absorbed within this area, turning it to heat which either destroys or cauterises the specific cells. Likewise, the heat can be used to trigger the regeneration within the skin, resulting in more efficient skin renewal – think more higher levels of collagen and new, healthier looking skin cells. With all this in mind, There is some recovery time involved, but it varies between types of treatment and the areas that are targeted. Skin often settles down between 12 and 72 hours later, although with some treatments you may have to wait five to ten days for skin to recover fully.”

Is There Any Pain Involved?

“Modern laser treatments are much more precise. This means less collateral damage and less discomfort for clients, as well as minimal recovery time and better results. That said, don’t expect a spa treatment. There will be certain points when you’ll experience some uncomfortable zapping sensations. For the majority of laser treatments, this ‘hot elastic band flick’ sensation is over as quickly as it started.”


How Many Sessions Do You Need To See Results?

“It does often take a course of treatments to see results, as well as maintenance treatments, though this is more likely if you have a condition like acne. Typically, the number of sessions depends on what’s being treated, but for things like boosting collagen and bounce, I would plan for six sessions at three-to-six-week intervals. I’d expect to start seeing results after the third session. There are always exceptions to the rule, though, so make sure you find an experienced practitioner.”

Can Everyone Try Laser Facials?

“The only contraindications for these types of treatments would be those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or undergoing medical treatment – unless permission is obtained from the treating physician. However, bear in mind that certain types of lasers are only suitable for certain skin types or tones. As there are so many devices on the market, the best way to ensure you’re getting the right treatment for you is by going for a consultation with an experienced professional. They will assess your skin and concerns, then discuss which options are right for you.”

Finally, Is There Anything Else To Consider Before Booking?

“Don’t think of laser as a magic wand. While it is possible to get some incredible results – and quickly – it’s more likely you’ll get results over a number of sessions, so have some patience. Also, go to someone experienced. It doesn’t matter what machine is being used, if you don’t have a good practitioner, the treatment won’t be worth it. It’s also important to see a specialist because, if there are any reactions, they can manage the recovery process. To find someone good,  go to at least three clinics for different consultations. This will help you get a good feel for who is most in tune with your needs. Look for a clinic with several different devices, too. If they only have one, it will be much harder for them to treat a selection of concerns, so treatments could be limited.”


Debbie Thomas Specialist Skin Clinic,

Dr Maryam Zamani Aesthetics, 

Skin Laundry Laser,

Sk:N Clinics Nationwide,

Dr. Alexis Granite, 

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily