Why You Should Consider a Laser Facial

A spa facial is great, but you can really get one at home: wash, exfoliation, steam, blackhead removal, mask, lotion. What’s your bathroom not outfitted for? Laser facials. We spoke with Kelly Rheel, owner of Flash Lab Laser Suite in New York City, about why you might want to get zapped.

What Does a Laser Facial Do? 

There are different machines, but some of the most sought-after models shoot lasers at skin to boost collagen production to make your face look healthy and feel softer. Lasers can reduce acne scars, improve tone, and remove tattoos. The FDA-approved Clear and Brilliant machine is widely available and costs about $ 400 per treatment. You’ll notice a change after one session, but some people will want to do three to six monthly treatments. (Many spas offer package deals.)

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What Does it Feel Like?

It stings, but it’s over in about 15 minutes. Some treatments go deeper into the skin, and your technician will apply numbing cream half an hour before you get going. (Also, a pre-treatment whiskey helps.)

Will I Be Red in the Face?

Your skin will be pink and warm to the touch for up to 24 hours, then feel rough for up to three days. It’s not so severe that you have to hide out. Just hydrate and use a moisturizer with SPF.

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The post Why You Should Consider a Laser Facial appeared first on Men's Journal.

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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Laser Hair Removal

I took the plunge into Laser Hair Removal four years ago, when a friend that finished her treatments lifted her arm to show me the smooth softness that lay underneath. This was an underarm that had been to Laserland and come back rejuvenated, hairless and content. I needed to go to there.

As a medium-hairy Russian Jewess, body hair and how to remove it has been a preoccupation of mine since high school. I can’t even count the numerous nicks and cuts from shaving endured from dull razors, the painful aftermath of ingrown hairs, the red bumps and the overall itchiness. And how do I ever get past the trauma of having a strange woman pour wax onto my nether regions as I lay, vulnerable in a cold room, legs splayed out in the air, completely at the mercy of her yanking skills. There had to be a better way. And with laser, I was hoping to find it.

Like most people thinking about taking the plunge, I asked myself if would it be worth the price (it’s not even that expensive anymore), if it would hurt (sometimes, but not in the way you think), or if it would even work! (On specific body parts, it works wonderfully). Sure laser was permanent, more expensive and potentially dangerous (we’ve all heard the horror stories of scarring), but was my normal hair removal routine any better? If I never had to walk into another nail salon while a judgmental hairless Asian woman surveyed my bikini line with a sigh and shake of the head, it would be worth it.

Now, several years past that first treatment, I may be a few hundred dollars poorer, but oh so much smoother and so much happier about my body hair — or lack there of. All my friends that have gotten laser are thrilled with the results, including several men that swear by it (not everyone blessed with a full chest of hair wants that full chest of hair). With affordable salons popping up all over the city, this once costly option is now barely more expensive than a high-end waxing salon. So, for those of you thinking of joining me in Laserland, read on for helpful tips for embarking on your own laser journey.

Laser hair removal works best on light skin and dark hair. I swear by the Candela laser, but there are many other brands, including newer ones for dark skin and dark hair, like the Yag laser.
Can I get it — anywhere…? Almost. As far as I know, eyebrows or any other hair near your eyes is a no go, but the rest of your bodacious wonderland is fair game. This includes Brazilian, that pesky nipple hair and even the anus (which surprisingly didn’t even hurt) TMI? This is a post about removing body hair, so, yeah.
How much is this going to cost me? I’ve found amazing Groupon deals ranging from $ 99 – $ 300 for six sessions on a medium to large area. Buying in bulk will serve you best, as a la carte options range from $ 50 a session (underarms) to $ 300 (Brazilian) — Yikes! However, with salons popping up everywhere and a deal to be had on numerous discount sites, I really see no reason to pay full price. Just commit and buy a package already – if you end up backing out, gift it to your best friend — s/he will thank you.
You will need to shave the area you want lasered a day or two before your appointment. So if you are going Brazilian down there, get cracking and don’t forget your, um — crack. Some places charge a fee for shaving you — yes, I did just write those words. Wouldn’t you prefer to just shave yourself — it will be one of the last times you will ever have to again!
Pain factor I found the first four or five sessions to be quite manageable. However, waiting too long between subsequent sessions increases the pain tenfold, so stick to the schedule discussed with your technician (usually 6 weeks between treatments).
How does it feel? I can only describe it as a rubber band snapping followed by a cooling sensation. Plus, they give you orange tinted safety goggles to wear while you’re being zapped, making it easier to go to your happy place where pain does not exist. More intimate areas hurt more. If you really can’t handle the pain, most places offer numbing lotion you can put on beforehand, but it costs a pretty penny.
Can I go during my lunch break? A laser treatment is surprisingly quick, depending on your technician’s style and how many breaks you need due to how painful you find it. I’ve been in and out in under three minutes, while Brazilian can take about ten – fifteen. Each zap kills a hair in a second and no area is zapped twice, so even if it hurts, the laser quickly moves on to a new place.
Results Will Vary. I’ve gotten my bikini line, underarms, arms and legs lasered to varying results. I’m told laser treatment is most effective on very dark, coarse hair. I have had less successful results on my arms (too light and thin) and medium results on my legs (it grows in patches). However, my underarms and bikini results are a godsend and it is amazing to throw on a bathing suit, wear a tank top or change in a public area without having to worry about any hairy surprises.
Tanning & Laser Don’t do it at least four weeks before and two weeks after a treatment. I recommend starting treatments in the fall, as it will take about a year to get the recommended 6-10 sessions in before you want to be on the beach with the new, smoother you.

Make sure you read the reviews of the salon you choose to frequent — you definitely want a place with licensed technicians that know what they are doing. In New York City, I can personally vouch for Pulse Laser and Satori Laser salon, two clean places with pleasant and qualified technicians that often run great promotions.

I wish you luck on your laser journey — should you decide to take it (which, if you haven’t already garnered from this post, I highly recommend you do). Because unlike that N’SYNC tattoo you got when you were in high school, the permanent results from laser hair removal are something you will never regret.

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Is a Walk-In Laser Facial Really a Good Idea?

Is everyone getting Skin Laundry’s facial laser treatment without me? Apparently everyone with Internet access is gushing about the dewy glow, shrunken pores, and smoother skin the treatment promises. But no review so far has answered three important questions: What exactly are these $ 65 laser treatments? Who’s doing them? And do their claims actually hold up? I took it upon myself to find out.
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Skin Laundry Lands in NYC: One Vogue Editor Test Drives the 10-Minute Laser Facial

Irving Penn Laser Facial

When I first heard about Skin Laundry, the recently opened New York City treatment center devoted exclusively to ten-minute laser facials, I immediately made an appointment. After debuting in Los Angeles last year, it quickly became a cult sensation. The premise is simple: In less time than it takes to get crosstown in a cab, the high-tech skin service claims to to remove your blackheads, shrink your pores, and reduce blotchiness without any recovery time.

At the moment, my biggest beauty pet peeve is my pores. Over the past few years I’ve seen them, well, grow, which has also resulted in a lot of blackheads. As a result, I’m always on a hunt for the latest pore strip or clay mask to clean and shrink them—anything to keep them in check. So at 8:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, I went to see if Skin Laundry could provide the aforementioned quick fix.

The company’s Flatiron location looks like a very clinical beach house, which makes sense given its California roots. When I arrived, I had to answer a series of questions regarding my medical history before meeting the physician’s assistant and registered nurse who would administer the treatment. Had I undergone any past surgeries, for example? Yes. Any scars on my face? One—a small mark near my lower lip that I’ve had since I was five. Everything was noted in my file for consideration—and they were definitely paying attention.

Finally, it was time to get started. First, a tech washed my face with the in-house cleanser (but left my eye makeup on!) and covered my lids with a pair of those funny, plastic goggles people wear in tanning beds. The first part of the treatment involves running a Yag laser over the skin—but although I had totally psyched myself out about the potential pain factor, it just felt like a series of tiny pinpricks. There was also a funny burning smell, which, the tech mentioned offhandedly, was the smell of my blackheads and dirty pores being vaporized by the laser energy. It’s totally worth mentioning that the dirtier your pores are, the more you will feel the zap of the device, but it doesn’t actually hurt.

Next, the skin is treated with IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, which I now know is a really bright red flashing light you can see through your closed eyes and your plastic tanning bed goggles, and is used to help even the skin tone and kill acne-causing bacteria. The whole procedure is then repeated a second time. And that’s it! At the end, you are handed a mirror to see your results.

Immediately post-treatment my skin was slightly red, but that flushing was gone by the time I walked out the door five minutes later. It seemed that my pores really were smaller and cleaner, even if the effect was subtle. There was no downtime afterward, although my technician cautioned that I might experience some photosensitivity and applied their in-house brand of sunscreen just in case.

In the days that followed, I actually saw a slight increase in breakouts, which, the company explained, was the effect of the skin purging any buildup. The ten-minute treatment is gentle enough to do every other day and, with repeated visits, there are also longer-term benefits. You may see changes in the size of your pores, redness, acne scarring, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation over time.

It is worth noting that the treatment is not for everyone, including (and most notably) those who are pregnant, use prescription face treatments such as Accutane or Retin-A, or who have darker skin tones (due to an increased risk of hyperpigmentation).

I, for one, have already booked my next five appointments.


Skin Laundry New York
3 West 16th Street
Three treatments, $ 150; for information: skinlaundry.com

The post Skin Laundry Lands in NYC: One Vogue Editor Test Drives the 10-Minute Laser Facial appeared first on Vogue.

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I Tried A 10-Minute $100 Laser Facial And Here’s What Happened

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out on why I’m convinced this facial treatment is worth every penny.

Over the years, my bathroom has become a black hole of skincare products. I’ve tested just about every cleanser, moisturizer and mask in hopes of achieving a flawless complexion. In general, I know that my face will always look brighter and feel much smoother after sticking to a strict routine for two weeks or so. But the stress of a two-hour commute, not enough sleep and eating greasy foods like French fries end up reversing some results.

I was out of patience, so a 10-minute $ 100 laser facial promising instant results was a gamble worth taking. So I went to Manhattan’s newest express spa, Skin Laundry.

skin laundry

What Is It?

Founder Yen Reis came up with the concept for Skin Laundry’s non-invasive laser and light therapy while living in Asia. She saw firsthand how advanced technology worked effectively to target pimples, acne scars and sun-damaged skin. But she couldn’t wrap her head around the astronomical costs of these treatments. “Doctors simply charge that much because they can,” Reis told HuffPost Style.

When she moved to the United States, Reis saw an opportunity to introduce a treatment that was much more affordable and required less downtime. “Laser is more effective as it allows for deeper penetration into the skin to reduce inflammation, as well as gently vaporize surface dirts, makeup and dead skin cells,” she explained. “We have taken the traditional higher settings of the laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) and reduced it so you are still getting the benefits. However, we are not traumatizing or effectively hurting you skin. Not many creams or superficial treatments can compare to the benefits of this technology in such a gentle manner.”

Safety is a priority for Skin Laundry as it is, after all, a medical business. While the vibe of their clinics has a low-key, Cali feel, I was impressed by the preliminary health evaluation check and well-trained registered nurses who administered the facial treatment.

How It Worked

The medical staff minimized the intimidation factor by explaining each step thoroughly to a laser novice like myself. I simply laid on a table, wore safety goggles and moved my head from left to right as instructed during the process.

I won’t lie: The first laser pulse did get my heart racing. But it was quick, virtually painless (felt like getting pinched) and there was a slight burning odor. A gel was applied to my face before getting the IPL and then cool compresses were used to reduce minor swelling.

Before even looking in the mirror, I could feel a difference in my skin. The laser facial helped to clear my clogged pores and give my complexion a dewy glow. I’m pretty sure that R.N. deep-cleaned a decade’s worth of dirt that drugstore facial washes just can’t accomplish.

To get the full Skin Laundry experience, I followed up my treatment at home with the brand’s signature skincare line. The star product in my opinion is the cream cleanser. Free of irritating soaps and sulfates, it cleanses without leaving skin stripped of natural oils. Plus, the fresh scent is absolutely soothing.

While I may not splurge on 10-minute laser facials more than three times a month, I think it makes more sense to invest $ 100 in weekly treatments with lasting effects as opposed to, say, spending double that for one hair salon visit without lasting results.

Skin Laundry provided a complementary laser facial for review purposes.
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