In addition to helping people look and feel their most beautiful, one of the many things cosmetic laser technicians love about their job is how dynamic it is. This is an industry in which laser technology constantly changes and improves and in many scenarios, technicians enjoy more flexible schedules than typical 9 to 5 jobs.
Just for fun, though, we asked several cosmetic laser technicians to tell us a few things they always find themselves saying to their clients—and we’re sharing them with you!
1) Stay out of the sun!
While any type of laser treatment can make skin more susceptible to sun damage, cosmetic lasers and IPL also have the potential to heat up the skin. Until skin has fully healed, sun exposure increases the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown spots). Plus, why add new sun damage to the beautiful skin you’re working so hard to improve?
2) Any Botox or dermal fillers recently?
There are different opinions regarding getting Botox or dermal filler injections before, at the same time, or after cosmetic laser procedures. While some medical professionals say best results are obtained when injections are given a minimum of 7-10 days and up to three weeks before a laser/IPL treatment, others are concerned that lasers and IPL may break down the injectable material. Some say Botox should be injected before a laser procedure and fillers should be injected after (again, with appropriate time in between). Still others say best results are achieved when Botox and dermal fillers are injected after a laser/IPL treatment, but they should be done only after skin has healed.
Your best bet to alleviate any potential concerns is to talk to your injecting physician or nurse about all of your cosmetic goals and concerns, when to schedule for best results and why. And always be honest with your cosmetic laser technician! J
3) Do you use retinols or retinoids?
While these can actually be helpful in preparing skin for laser or IPL treatments since they increase skin cell turnover, most experts agree they should be stopped about a month before treatment. Each person’s skin is different and of course, the type of treatment may also be different. During the healing period, it’s best to avoid retinols and retinoids, and also other ingredients such as glycolic acid that promote peeling. Stick with gentle cleansers and plenty of sunscreen until skin is back to normal.
4) Don’t get overheated!
Lasers and IPL, particularly when used in anti-aging treatments, cause inflammation of the skin—but it’s that inflammation that starts the process of increased collagen production, which then helps correct wrinkles and reduce scars. With inflammation comes new blood vessels, and anything you do to cause vascular flushing can cause too much inflammation. Of course, it all depends on the type of treatment you’re getting, but when your laser technician tells you to stay out of saunas, gyms, hot yoga classes and fitness boot camps until skin has fully healed—be sure to listen!
5) Time to put our goggles on!
Some classes of lasers have the potential to cause eye damage through both direct and something called reflected impact, and should NEVER be operated without proper protective eyewear. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to do your homework when choosing a cosmetic laser technician, to ensure she or he has been properly training not only in laser usage but also safety precautions.
6) Are you wearing makeup?
While it’s safe to apply makeup after some cosmetic laser treatments such as hair removal, other treatments will require you to go makeup-free until skin has had a chance to heal. For the treatment itself, though, skin should be clean and makeup-free for best results.
7) First, let’s do a test spot.
A well-trained cosmetic laser technician will possess both a superior laser education (didactic knowledge) and cosmetic laser training (operational skill)—but everyone’s skin responds differently to treatments. Be sure your cosmetic laser technician does a small test spot on you first, before proceeding with the treatment. Always better safe than sorry!
For more information about National Laser Institute’s cosmetic laser training, fill out the form on your right or give us a call at 800-982-6817.