I've fallen in love with the Clear + Brilliant permea laser treatment because it's helped to clear up my melasma and has improved the tone and texture of my facial skin. It's taken me 3 months to write this review because I had a series of treatments done and wanted to wait to see my results before blogging about whether it worked or not. I made a short video documenting my treatment and the visible changes in my skin. Also, there's a $200 Mizzfit reader gift code towards Clear + Brilliant or any other suitable laser treatment, so keep reading to get that :)
Watch the video below or link to it here: How I Got Rid of Melasma on My Face | My Clear + Brilliant Experience
I'll start off by telling you that around May 2017, my skin developed some pigment issues. I had brown patches and splotches of large freckles on my cheeks, around my lips and across my nose.
I never really had freckles before, other than the few that would appear on my nose in the summer. Family members started to inquire "what's on your face?" and my dermatologist blatantly stated "yup, you have melasma".
At this point in my life, I've gotten used to the signs of aging popping up faster than I can blink. It's almost like "what don't I have?" because if it's not one thing, it's always another. I decided to consult several doctors about the melasma on my face before getting too worked up about it. I even hoped that it would perhaps fade away on its own.
What I discovered from the doctors I consulted is that melasma is common in people with olive skin tones. My ethnic background is Hispanic and it turns out melasma is pervasive within my heritage. Melasma can also be caused by too much sun exposure, as a reaction to high temperatures, as a symptom of birth control use and even in response to hormonal changes, pregnancy and fertility treatments.
While I don't know which one of these factors set off my melasma, I'm going to guess it was a combination of them all. It probably doesn't help that I spend a lot of time on the beach in the summer and that I practice hot yoga twice a week. I mean...I guess I'm doomed, because I could never give these activities up. But on the flipside, I'm always willing to try a skincare treatment that will help reverse or mitigate the damage that's already been done. This is what led me to Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City where I decided to give Clear + Brilliant a go.
I went to see Dr. Jennifer Chwalek who recommended 3 sessions of Clear + Brilliant scheduled about a month a part. She's amazing and walked me through what to expect from the laser during and post-treatment.
Before getting started, my face was numbed up with a numbing cream for about 15-30 minutes. This definitely helps, but I'm going to be honest and say you can still feel the laser.
I cannot describe it a painless because you do feel a prickly sensation like your skin is getting zapped. Overall, though, I'd say it's bearable. I didn't have to ask Dr. Chwalek for a break in between passes, and I don't think the treatment lasted more than 10 minutes if that. If you're serious about your skin, you can definitely handle this!
Right after my Clear + Brilliant treatment, my face was bright red and slightly stingy. But not to worry because the color slowly fades within an hour. Twenty-four hours later you can expect your skin to feel a little rough, kind of like sand paper. The tradeoff, however, is that it begins to develop a beautiful glow!
This is literally what I looked like the day after my 1st treatment. I do have a little foundation on as well as lipstick but that's all!
Dr. Chwalek gave me a special foundation to wear post-treatment that provides coverage but still allows your skin to breath and repair. I swear by it now and will even wear it to the gym. It's called Oxygenating Foundation by Oxygenetix.
If you don't mind me getting detailed...the way Clear & Brilliant works is that it punches microscopic holes into the epidermis, stimulating collagen growth. The results I noticed within days were...
- Dramatically reduced pigmentation.
- Smaller pores.
- Smoother skin texture.
- More even, uniform tone.
- A healthy glow/radiance to my skin.
Since I know you're wondering about cost, the answer is that Clear + Brilliant pricing differs from city to city and country to country. In the United States, the cost of a full face treatment ranges from $400 to $650.
If you're thinking about getting Clear + Brilliant, make sure you see a cosmetic dermatologist who understands the condition of melasma but also the nuances of the permea laser. I felt extremely confident being treated by Dr. Chwalek. She typically recommends up to 6 treatments spaced out within 3-6 weeks apart. For my at-home routine, she suggested that I swipe my skin with hydroquinone 4% pads every morning and apply a pigment correcting serum called Lytera 2.0 by SkinMedica at night.
I've been religiously using both products and especially love the hydroquinone 4% pads by ReBrightalyze (available on Amazon here). Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching topical. It works very well when used consistently but it's not meant to be used for an extended period of time. Overuse can reverse and worsen it's effects so it's important to ask your doctor for customized instructions.
My post-treatment pictures really say it all and I'm so glad I discovered Clear + Brilliant. I'm forcing myself to wear SPF more often because I want to maintain these incredible results. I have a tendency of only using SPF in the summer or when I'm vacationing somewhere warm and sunny. Any dermatologist or estetician will tell you that SPF should be worn every day--even when it's cloudy. I'm doing my best to take heed of this advice.
Here's your chance to experience Clear + Brilliant too! Use my special reader gift code MIZZFIT to get $200 off any laser treatment scheduled at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York.
I hope you enjoyed this review, the video and my before and after pics. Let me know what you think and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!
XO, Bianca Jade