I’m going to be honest with you: I’ve tried injections, Skin Pen, facials, and chemical peels over the last year for pigmentation, scarring and and elasticity issues. But this past winter, with just one Halo skin laser treatment, I got the results of all of those procedures combined. They say when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but this could be one of life’s exceptions to that rule — at least in the beauty world.
The Halo fractal laser is a “hybrid fractional laser” that restores skin’s youthful glow — hence the “halo” name — by telling the practitioner precisely how deep to go in the skin for optimal results. You can go as low as 5-10%, or as high as 20-30% depending on your circumstances. The deeper you go, the more obvious the results, but keep in mind the discomfort rises with higher percentages.
Suzanne at Urban Retreat performed a Halo session on me at about 15%. She began by applying a numbing gel for about 20 minutes, and then a topical gel that helps the laser slide more easily across the face. As the laser moves across, it beeps to tell her when to move to another area. The discomfort, at least for me, was highest across the forehead, and above the lip. It feels like half the pain of a tattoo, if that helps. People always say most tattoos feel “annoying” if anything. That was my experience with Halo. Often people ask if you’d do it again to gauge whether or not it was worth it. Considering the results, it’s a yes.
After the procedure, your face will feel like a very active, hot sunburn. The burning sensation goes away after a few hours, but you’ll likely want to sit with a wand fan close to your face for at least 20 minutes after. When I was ready to go, I happily drove with the windows down to keep the cooling sensation going. My appointment was at 7 p.m., and by 9:30, my face only felt swollen and tender — the burning was gone.
The morning after, I woke up with what my husband called “gray face”. All I had to do was use the products provided by Suzanne to gently slough off the discoloration. At Urban Retreat, they will provide you with an after-care care kit by IS Clinical, which includes an incredibly gentle but effective cleanser, moisturizer, and serum. They’ve become some of my absolute favorite skincare products to this day!
I had the day after my treatment off to allow my skin to breathe without makeup. I was in no pain, and my skin was just pink and blotchy. By the third day, I wore a bit of makeup comfortably. Day 5 was when the “sandpaper skin” started, but despite how rough and dry it felt, I was able to wear makeup and go to dinner with a friend without him noticing anything was different. The downtime with Halo is truly very minimal, if nothing at all, and the skin doesn’t peel. It will just slough off rather undetectably.
By Day 7, my skin felt amazing. I could see that Halo glow everyone talks about. Makeup looked so much better on smooth, cleared skin. Though I have sensitive skin, I never had acne reactions. The only thing I noticed is that because the skin is so new, it is much more dangerous to pick at the skin in this stage. When I did, I noticed it left behind marks that quite honestly looked like tiny red freckling. By week 2, I was spending so much less time on covering imperfections that were honestly no longer there. My pigmentation (freckles) and acne scarring was not gone but hugely improved, and the overall appearance of my face was definitely more youthful, glowing, smooth.
Ultimately, The Halo laser is perfect for people who want a “one and done” treatment (best annually, in most cases) rather than multiple treatments. Don’t let the $1,500 price give you sticker shock — if you’d spend that much annually on cosmetics to cover things up or on less serious treatments, just pull the trigger with Halo and save yourself the time and energy. It’s worth it.
Questions? Call Urban Retreat and they’ll be happy to answer any questions, or you can feel free to tweet me about my experience at @jen_boyles .