I am very happy to launch my first interview with one of the best Laser Specialists there is in Minnesota. AMY CHAPMAN . She will clarify for all of us the different types of lasers for hair removal, hyper pigmentation – age spots, treatments against cellulite and the newest technology for face-lift. ENJOY!!
- How and when did you start doing lasers?
I became an Aesthetician in 2001 and practiced traditional facials, waxing, etc. In 2005 I realized that I wanted more for my clients. I was hired by a MediSpa in Eden Prairie where I had my formal laser training and Medical Aesthetic Training. I have been practicing since 2005. In 2011 I joined the MediSpa at Life Time Athletic Eden Prairie. I helped develop their laser training program and had the privilege of traveling around the country training the Laser Specialists for Life Time.
- Could you explain some of the different lasers?
There are a lot of laser companies on the market. I have worked with almost all of them over the years. If you are looking for:
Laser Hair Removal-Look for:
- ALL SKIN TYPES -Diode Lasers: can treat all skin types (light and dark skin). They are more forgiving when you have summer color (a tan) so you can continue your course of treatment.
- DARK SKIN TYPES -1064-YAG : this works best on tan skin or dark skin types. It can do a pretty good job with fair skin but not the best.
- FAIR SKIN -755 Alexandrite: If you have fair skin this the best. You have to be careful as a technician with the 755 Alexandrite as it can possibly turn the skin darker (hyper pigment) the skin. What we use at Life Time is the Alma Soprano Super Hair Removal System. It’s a Diode device that does a great job at removing hair safely and effectively.
- Brown Spot Removal-There are some great options on the market but it can be confusing. People have heard of BBL, IPL, AFT and Photo Facial They all use a Broad Spectrum of Light with a filter that breaks up the melanin in your skin. The pigment turns dark for 7-10 days and then sloughs off. I have worked with several of these devices and they all work similarly. They each have a few nuances that the technician has to learn but ultimately I have had the best results with the BBL and AFT devices. We use the Alma Soprano AFT system at Life Time.
- Vein Removal-Veins are tricky. I usually recommend that people see a vein specialist to determine what is causing the “leaky” veins that result in spider veins. Lasers can do a nice job cleaning up the small red spider veins but they usually come back if the cause is not taken care of.
- Resurfacing: -There are quite a few devices that resurface the skin. Some take off the top few layers; others ablate some tissue and leave healthy tissue too. Others take off a significant amount of tissue. It all depends on what you are looking for the results to be. I like both the Micro Laser Peel, which removes the top few layers of skin; it’s great for fine lines, wrinkles and small imperfections in the skin. I also like Profractional devices such as Pixel, which is like aerating your lawn. It removes some of the tissue but leaves healthy tissue behind, resulting in a faster healing time. This is great for deeper wrinkles, acne scarring, and overall texture and in some cases melasma.
- CO2 lasers: This device is more aggressive and can leave you raw for up to 2 weeks; those are usually done by a physician while you are asleep. We use the Alma Harmony Pixel at Life Time.
- Body Contouring/Cellulite Reduction-To heat or freeze fat…that is the question. There are several options when it comes to body contouring. Cool Sculpting uses cryo technology that freezes your fat cells and destroys them. Radiofrequency devices Heat the fat to destroy it but also tighten the skin. Multiple treatments are needed to achieve the end result and keep in mind; these are non-surgical procedures, which has non-surgical results. We get a good amount of circumference reduction but expectations need to be realistic. I love the Venus Legacy system as it uses Radio Frequency and vacuum suction to destroy fat cells, tighten skin and smooth cellulite.
- Ultherapy : Non-surgical face lift- is the BEST for this! It uses Ultrasound technology to treat above the muscle in the face, neck and décolleté to lift the skin. It is amazing for jowls, brow lifts, loose skin under the chin and other concerns. It is a treatment that usually lasts 12-18 months depending on the patient. It is a gradual change in the skin over 3 months which many people like. It also has little downtime.
3-What does it mean when people tell me about downtime?
Downtime in our industry means the amount of time your skin looks different than before the procedure. So, for some treatments your brown spots will be darker brown for 7-10 days. But this is downtime that is easy and safe to cover with makeup. Other services have downtimes that have a distinct pattern on the skin, which is harder to cover with makeup, and can’t be covered with make up for 2-3 days. I always err on the side of telling people a longer down time so they aren’t surprised or plan something where they won’t look their best. I hear from a lot of patients that they weren’t told prior to a procedure that they might look strange; I would rather have people overly prepared and happy when they heal more quickly.
4- What is SkinPen and the benefits?
Skin Pen is a device that uses needles to create controlled injuries in the skin resulting in a more youthful function of the skin. We apply a topical numbing cream to the face (or neck, décolleté, hands, body) prior to treating, and then remove prior to treatment. We have specially formulated products that are applied to the surface of the skin and then we use the SkinPen over the area to be treated. Your skin after the treatment is red, like a windburn or sunburn for 24 hours. It feels tight like a windburn too. You can only apply special products (that come in a post care kit) to the skin for 24 hours after the treatment. It is a treatment that addresses lines, wrinkles, pore size, pigmentation, scars, stretch marks and melasma. It is a great treatment for almost everyone that improves the overall health and function of the skin. It’s a great natural treatment as we are “kick starting” your body to perform the way it did when it was young.
5- Will my skin be more sun sensitive after a laser?
After any type of a treatment such as laser or even SkinPen, your skin is more photosensitive for up to 6 weeks. Because your skin is healing itself after a procedure, when there is sun exposure, you run the risk of damaging the skin in this delicate state. Be cautious when you are having the treatments done and disclose any trips or warm vacations you may have coming up. Also, invest in a good sunscreen to continually protect your skin. Look for products with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide in them. I currently use Skin Medica’s Total Defense and Repair to protect my skin daily.
6-How many treatments will I need for Laser Hair Removal? Sun Spots?
Laser hair removal takes a series of treatments done at specific intervals to be effective. While every BODY is different most people take 8-10 treatments to achieve a 70% reduction in their hair. That being said, the hair and skin must have enough contrast for the laser to work and some people may need more or less treatments. I also tell my patients that they should plan at least 1 treatment per year to maintain their results.
Sun Spots vary for each patient and are dependent on lifestyle, amount of damage, depth of damage, etc. I always start people with 3 treatments, done 4-6 weeks apart and then reassess their skin. Most patients need 1-2 treatments a year to maintain their results because each time -you are out in the sun; the spots could come back. Discuss this with your practioner!
7-Overall how to make skin healthier?
It takes a combination of in office treatments and good home care to achieve healthier skin. Good home care means products that are prescribed to you by a professional, not purchased at Target, or at Macy’s. Professionals are those of us who went to school for skin, studied skin at length and understand how different ingredients act and react in the skin and with treatments. If you are investing in these types of procedures, invest in the products that will enhance and keep moving your skin forward. Combinations of treatments such as SkinPen, Photo facials, Pixel and Chemical Peels will keep your skin looking it’s best for years to come.
You can contact and/or visit Amy at:
MediSpa at Life Time Athletic Eden Prairie
755 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
1 Saturday per month 9:00-12:00
FOLLOW AMY ON INSTAGRAM @amynchapman