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Last week I did a Fraxel laser treatment at my go to medi spa, Dermafina. I was terrified to say the least because it’s known as the “big daddy” laser. One that requires about a week of downtime, meaning you look a little crazy and like you have a terrible, peeling sunburn. I have done Clear & Brilliant many times, another laser, known as a “lunchtime laser” and always loved the results. When I saw my dermatologist, Dr Krasney, owner of Dermafina, he suggested and almost urged me to “toughen up” and try Fraxel. 

For reference, I have done Morpheus 8, layered with clear and brilliant 5 times in the last 18 months and am truly blown away with the results. So when he tells me to do something with this much conviction, I trust that I should listen. 

I felt a similar feeling trying Fraxel as I did about trying Morpheus 8. Nervous. The unknown feels scary and when you look online everyone looks pretty scary too. However, with both treatments, the results truly speak for themselves. With Fraxel, the results are seen much sooner than with a treatment like Morpheus 8. I was truly blown away by the whole experience, which I will share in detail. 

Before I get into my experience, let me just break down what Fraxel Laser Treatment is. 


What is Fraxel?

Fraxel is a non-invasive, microscopic laser that quite literally changes the surface of your face by penetrating your skin to encourage new collagen and elastin growth. Fraxel only targets a fraction (fraction, Fraxel—get it?) of the skin at a time, which is why it’s also known as a fractional skin resurfacing treatment.

What is Fraxel good for?

Fraxel smooths wrinkles and scars, fades brown spots and hyperpigmentation, and basically resurfaces your entire skin tone. Fraxel is one of the more aggressive lasers offered at most dermatologist offices, which is how it’s able to get rid of things like pitted acne scars. 

It’s important to mention that I did a “baby fraxel” meaning the energy and intensity they used on me would not be suitable for pitted acne scars. The level and treatment I did is more suitable for resurfacing, removing pigmentation etc… 

Ok… so my experience. 

I got to the office, numbing cream was applied to my face and I left it on for an hour before we started the treatment. Once I was nice and numb, we were ready to laser away. They covered my eyes with protective goggles and went to work. You have cold air blowing, pretty intensely at your skin to keep you comfortable. They even offer laughing gas to help ease the tension. 

They pass the laser over the skin in sections, they do 8 passes, after 4 or 5 it starts to feel uncomfortable. I wouldn’t call it painful, more irritating than anything. The whole process takes 20 minutes total, it’s very quick. When you’re done and the cold air is turned off you are quite literally, on fire. Not intolerable but your skin feels warm and feels like its pulsing. Think, major blood flow rushing to the skin. It’s not the most comfortable feeling but it’s also exactly what you want. Funny enough, when you leave you are actually the best you will look over the next 5-6 days. 

See photos: 


Within 2 hours of the treatment that pulsing feeling started to subside, the heat was still there but again, not intolerable. I also was advised against using ice because you are wanting the skin to react, this is how the magic happens. That night, I took some of my turmeric tincture and a homeopathic remedy called Apis, that my homeopath Virginie recommended to me.  



My skin was still quite red but not as hot and pretty swollen. I actually wasn’t as swollen as I thought I would be, because I had been warned it’s normal to wake up pretty swollen the following day. The thing I noticed most was that my pigmentation had really come to the surface of my skin. Almost like it had been lifted up. Later in the day certain areas were starting to lift and dry up a little. You kind of start to look like you rubbed coffee grinds on your skin. I did also have some hot flashes here and there where I felt bouts of heat. 


DAY 3 

My skin felt tight today and as though I couldn’t moisturize enough. The texture of my skin was definitely more on the rough side, think sandpaper-ish. I would say this was the day I was most dry and irritated by how tight my skin felt. I also was having hot flashes here and there and definitely looked a little frightening but chose to still go about my life and go to appointments etc.. By the end of the day I had started to peel ever so slightly near my chin/ mouth area. Dr Krasney said this was pretty quick and not to try and rub or scrub the skin off. You really need to allow the skin to shed its layers and do its thing.. which is hard for someone like me but I listened! 


DAY 4 

I woke up to a lot of peeling skin, overnighted I shed a few layers. Mainly around the mouth and nose area. The contours of my face were still very dark, and looked like a bad sunburn turned tan, that is half peeling. The fresh skin was really red and truly looked like neon red baby skin, I continued with my post treatment skincare, lots of SPF and went about my day. Later that day, I had shed more skin and more fresh red skin was coming through. I still felt dry and tight in the areas where I hadn’t peeled so I was misting my skin all day with rose water to help hydrate and calm the redness. 


DAY 5 

This is the day my skin really took a turn for the better, I woke up and had shed a lot of dead skin. My forehead and outer edges of my face were really the last to peel, but with the tinted SPF I was using it wasn’t overly noticeable. I definitely looked more “normal” and even attended a lunch, showing off my new baby skin. A friend made a joke and said it looked like I was holding onto a tan from a beach vacation for dear life.  By the end of the day I had shed most of the skin on my face, and some of the dead skin on my forehead. 



My skin was really starting to look good, super glowing and radiant. I still had a bit of that dark dead skin around the top of my forehead and near my hairline. I really listened to Dr K and didn’t rub or push the skin away. Every time I wash my face or moisturize more and more would come off on its own so I let it do its thing. That day I put on a tiny bit of makeup under my eyes and was truly in amazement at my skin because for the first time in a very long time I didn’t feel the need to cover anything. Virtually all my spots had disappeared. 



My skin was back to normal, and better than ever. I was still a little swollen and a little rosy, which is completely normal and expected. I am beyond happy with my choice to do this laser now that the “bad” part is over. 



I went back to Dermafina for a silk peel, where they removed all the remaining dead skin and really resurfaced the skin to get all the little layers off.  

I am currently on day 10 and amazed at my skin, I have no need for any makeup. I just wear my tinted sunscreen and maybe a little bronzer and blush. I am so happy I chose to do this and will be adding this into my yearly beauty routine for upkeep, and to get rid of the sun damage and pigmentation year to year. 



I do think post procedure products are important to use in order to heal. I have also had some experience with these heavy duty treatments so I know what works for my skin and what doesn’t. I know that Aquafor (which is recommended by most clinics to use post procedure) really makes me break out. I chose not to use it and didn’t break out. 


I used this day and night, its chock full of antioxidants and really makes a difference in healing of the skin. It is meant for post procedure to encourage new skin growth.


I used this on top of the skin nectar, morning and night. Its super rich and nourishing without being heavy or clogging the skin.


This SPF is incredible and truly was my saving grace. It has a nice tint and coverage to it that really helps neutralize the redness and even out the skin tone. I am really liking it.


I layered this on top of my moisturizer and would sometimes apply this over my face in the middle of the day when I left I really needed extra moisture. It replaced the Aquafor for me but doesn’t make me breakout. I also like that it is rich in Vitamin E which really helps speed up healing.


Katherine Garbarino, AKA KGMTL, has been building her online presence for the past 3 years. An open book about almost everything, KG’s voice has become a household sound, with an incredible and dedicated fanbase; obsessed with her knowledge of health, wellness, fashion and fitness.

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Girls Living Well