Katelyn Tan | A Singapore Beauty, Travel and Lifestyle Blogger

[Review] CO2 Fractional Laser

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Here is a full review of my Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fractional Laser in Singapore! I undergone a total of 3 rounds of CO2 fractional lasers with at least a month between each treatment.

What is CO2 Fractional Laser?
I'm no pro at this and info was shared by the doctors. CO2 Fractional Laser is a technology that helps to correct many skin conditions. As the laser "burns" the surface of the patient’s skin, it will create thousands of micro-thermal zones in the treated areas. This helps promote the production of new collagen, resulting in healthier, smoother and younger-looking skin.

Will your skin become thinner?
What I was told was that NO your skin will not become thinner. A person has 5 skin layers, how the laser works is that a top layer of skin will be "burnt" off. Now you might think that "there the skin becomes thinner!". But no, cause a new layer will grow underneath your previous 5th inner layer. If you think logically, a person only has 5 layers of skin. Generally it takes about 5 treatments for optimum results. Other than having a new layer of skin formed, it also makes your skin produce more collagen! That's why it's said that CO2 laser treatment works for anti-ageing too! :)

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My Experience and Review #1 (May 2013)

I had my numbing cream on for an hour. I have to say, this one hour numbing cream was super super worth it! Cause when I was having the laser treatment, I didn't feel pain at all. It might also be because a lower intensity was used (advised to use a lower intensity to test the skin on a first treatment).

After my numbing cream was removed, I was brought to this room to have my laser done!
CO2 Laser Machine: to laser my skin (duh hahahas)
Cool Air Machine: constantly blows cool air onto my skin

During treatment I didn't feel pain at all due to the numbing cream, so if you are thinking of doing the treatment, do not skip that step!

This is how my skin looks like right after the treatment. I can capture all the white dots by taking an upclose shot. After the treatment, I stopped using all skincare for a week and only my prescribed cleanser, oily liquid moisturizer, toner and sunblock. Plus, I had to avoid the sun and carry an umbrella everywhere.

About 15 minutes later, my face was super super red hahas, like lobster. So that day I became lobster vampire - my face was super red and I have to hide from the sun. I was told that the skin will get even redder and it will start to feel warm and have a sunburn feeling.

This was how my face looked like when I reached home, it got even redder and really oily. Normally my skin isn't even this oily.

Next day, the redness on my skin was almost gone and I started seeing scabs forming on my skin. Before the whole treatment, I just keep hearing people say how horrible the scabs will look like. But actually it’s not. At least it isn’t for the first treatment. Cause first treatment they can’t use a laser that is super super strong. They will use a lower intensity laser to test your skin’s sensitivity first. So… the after effects wasn’t that horrible. I couldn’t even see the scabs in the photos. I have to look super super close to the mirror then I can see the super super small little scabs. So not to worry, you can still got out and meet people :) Just don’t stay too long under the sun or use a UV protected umbrella if you have to.

Here's how my skin looks the next 7 days after the laser treatment!
3 photos taken each day at 7am, 2pm, 9pm

Day 1
Redness subsided a lil. Felt some itchiness, but problem was easily solved after using the oily based moisturizer :)

Day 2
Totally no more redness and scabs formed. The scabs are super super small. You can't even see them from this photo! Will have a zoomed up photo later ;)

Day 3
Some scabs started falling and there were still some redness on my skin (either due to scabs falling or dry skin).

Day 4
More redness appearing on my skin. Face wasn't itching anymore. So those redness were due to new skin forming :) Face became alot oilier due to dry skin. A few pimples popped up cause I can't use my usual skincare routine yet.

Day 5
Still the same, more scabs gone :) Some pimples subsided after I applied pimple cream! Face became less oily cause I started using my toner.

Day 6
 More scabs were gone, lesser redness but there were still some bumpy spots. Skin started feeling smoother though.

Day 7
Went back to the clinic on day 7. Was mad happy when I was told my skin improved quite alot :) It was smoother and more supple! No more scabs left :)

Here is the gif file of all the photos taken on all 7 days!
Super zoomed up so you can see all the changes.

The top photo is how the laser marks look like (right after I left the clinic). The bottom photo is how the scabs look like (super zoomed up). After 7 days, the scar on my nose flattened a lil and most of the spots on my skin flattened. Escpecially those on my forehead! Skin became alot smoother and supple. That’s all I have to say about the laser treatment :)

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My Experience and Review #2 (June)

Here's my "Top Secret" folder for my second treatment! Okays not really top secret, just my Day 0 to Day 9 skin photos ;)


For this 2nd CO2 Laser treatment, the downtime was longer as the laser was of a higher intensity. The treatment was also more painful than the first. But it was still bearable. It was super painful on my cheeks when that area was layered twice. Usually he only laser the whole face once and don't repeat any areas. But this time round he laser my cheeks area twice to attack the pores problem.

Also, this time round I encounter swelling :( It lasted from Day 1 to Day 3. The swelling slowly subsides and was fully gone after 3 days. I was told that it might be Edema. But anyways I'm happy that it was gone after 3 days. It wasn't a super horrible swell, not painful at all. My face was super puffed up on Day 1. But it made a significant difference to my face since my mum could tell without me saying. There was more swelling at my cheeks area maybe cause that area was laser twice.

Comparing my before (Day 0) and after (Day 9) photos, my skin looks a lot fairer and smoother after my second laser treatment! Nonetheless, there were some breakout at my chin area as it was the time of the month. P.S I flew to BKK on Day 5, that green top was my pj in BKK =P

Here's how my skin looks like on Day 12, when I went back to the clinic for a review. Only had eyeliner and my brows drawn. No foundation or powder at all!

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My Experience and Review #3 (September)

This time the laser intensity was alot higher. I could feel the pain during the treatment and the nurse was patting me to comfort me.

Here's how my skin looked light right after the treatment, before it turned red. So fair! That's the supposedly new layer of skin! Anyways, still can smile means the pain was still bearable ;)

Day 0 to Day 7 after laser treatment!

Row 1 (left to right): Day 0 to Day 3
Row 2 (left to right): Day 4 to Day 7

Scabs: Started fully formed on Day 1, fully gone by day 7
Redness: This time it lasted till day 4
Swell: Lasted till day 4 as well

This time the laser marks were alot more obvious. The downtime was similar to the past, maybe my skin got used to it already or my skin can now regenerate faster? The redness and swell lasted longer. I guess it is due to the increased intensity. But I'm okay with it. People just thought that I had sunburn. So oh wells ;) The swelling can be a lil irritating though cause the face is all puffed up hahahas.

Btw, that dot on my nose is not a pimple. It's a past scar which was left behind by a pimple. Got the doctor's help to burn it off for me.

Day 0 was a Friday. I always go for lasers on friday so that I can use Sat and Sun to hide at home. So... Day 3 I went to school with a red and slightly swollen face. Think the swell was less obvious then already. My friend only asked me why my face so red and if I had sunburn hahas.

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That's all for this really long review. Above is how my skin looked like in November 2013. I had no makeup on but it was taken under low light and my skin looked really smooth (with a few new hyper pigmentation). I think CO2 laser is really useful for those who are looking for a faster treatment but with a longer downtime to achieve smoother skin. The treatment should help remove hyper-pigmentation, improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of pores. Note that pores and pits cannot be removed, they merely appear smoother as the top layer is remove and the pointy end of the pit is closer to the surface.

I hope this helps those who are considering doing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fractional Laser! One important thing to note is to find a reliable doctor, one who will assess your skin condition and not one who forces you to take up a package / encourages you to go back in less than a month as it might end up harming your skin instead! Always seek a second opinion if necessary! Hope everyone can achieve the skin condition they want! :)

57 comments:

  1. I had goosebumps when I see the white dots ans the scabs!!!! How u survive through those days!!

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    1. Hmm only first day had white dots. And the white dots aren't that visible. It was very obvious in that photo cause I took a close up. From far it was ok. And when those white dots turn to brown scabs, then can't really see them on my face already. My colleague had to come very very close to my face before she could see the scabs :)

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  2. wow amazingly detailed review! xx
    #giglove

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  3. Very detailed and that's true your skin has improved a lot. well done!
    xxx
    mari from www.ilovegreeninspiration.com
    #GIG love

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  4. Great journey. :D I haven't tried laser treatments, good thing you were able to survive the redness on your face :)

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    1. Thanks! Hahas yes. Thank god the redness was only for a day ;)

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  5. OMG! Those white scabs looks scary :( I especially loved how you documented it - great review!

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    1. Hahas yes it looks scary when zoomed up. Luckily it wasn't that obvious in real life. Thanks for the compliments :)

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  6. wow that is totally amazing! that's a great documentation, i am truly amazed with the effect :)

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    1. Hello Carizza :) Thanks for the compliments and yes I'm loving the after-effect of the laser treatment too :)

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  7. I love all the pictures - What an amazing journey! :)

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  8. Amazing what a laser treatment can do :) Wonderful result, your skin glows.

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  9. Wow, I can really see the improvement of your skin. I would be so nervous too!

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  10. That was a long process! Whew! But it obviously did a great result! :) Love, Cynthia

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  11. wow! there's so much of improvement!

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  12. wow, that looks like it really works! once its clear will it be gone forever?

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  13. Amazing review!. Seems like it works great on you.
    Although I don´t know how you survive to that!.
    xo,
    Gime from http://www.coolrunwaystyle.blogspot.com #GIGBloggers

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    1. Thank you.
      Hmmm actually it wasn't that horrible. It's obvious only because the photo was zoomed up ;)

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  14. Great review! This looks like it worked really well for you!

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  15. that was amazing!! what a wonderful change and so happy they sponsored you! i don't have acne but i know how hard it can be on someones confidence so im super glad you got ur skin back!
    xo,
    Dee http://hautefrugalista.com

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  16. wow! big difference! good thing you are now flawless and it will boost your confidence.. :)

    - from gig
    www.swirlsandscribbles.com

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  17. Very glad that your skin improved :) xoxo #GIG

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  18. I can definitely see the difference! I'm glad this treatment worked on you! Your skin looks much better :)

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  19. Very detailed and that's true your skin has improved a lot. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Alison Clarke
    obagi nu derm starter kit

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  20. Hello. Can I check with you for the waiver of the consultation fee is valid until when?

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    1. Hi Shirley, the waiver of consultation fee is valid until further notice :)

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    2. Thank you so much! So I just have to all and quote your name will do? It is valid for all doctor or only dr David?

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    3. You're welcome :) Yupps just quote my name when making an appointment will do. It's valid for all doctors except Dr S.K Tan.

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  21. hi katelyn,
    i am super new to your site but i am loving it.
    you write well and you explain all the pros and cons well. Unlike other bloggers, you dont 'fluff' things up unnecessary and you are honest. I like that.

    I am a fan!

    And your skin has improved so much, i am happy for you.

    Michelle

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    1. Hello Michelle,

      Thank you so much! Your message really brightens up my day! :)

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  22. hi can I check how many times do you need to do the CO2 laser treatment or does it depend on skin type? thx =)

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    1. Hello :) It actually depends on skin type and skin condition.

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  23. Hi, I'm really keen on the trial but my threshold for pain is really low. Do you think it will still shows results even the laser setting is not too high? $600 includes the numbing cream and gst? Will the promotion be valid next month? If I decide not to go ahead with the trial after consulting the doc, do I still need to pay for the professional fee?

    Thank you!

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  24. Hello katelyn! I just made an appointment over the phone today but i did not quote your name as i thought i will have to do it over the counter. So isit still possible to quote ur name and get the consultation fee waived when i am there ? Thanks and good review ! :)

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    1. Hello thanks for the compliment! :) I'm not very sure about how the quoting works actually. I think it should be ok for you to quote on the day of your appointment. But if you are worried, you give them a call on monday to let them know that you are quoting my name for the free consultation and on that day of your appointment remind them again. Just in case ;)

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    2. Hello Katelyn ! Thanks for the reply ! Just to let you know your readers can actually quote your name to receive free consulation upon registration for new cases ! :)

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  25. I went for consultation today and did not go ahead with the laser treatment. I was shocked to learn that I need to prep my face for 3 weeks before going for this laser treatment. Also it is a must to buy their whitening/lightening cream. I'm not willing to buy the lightening cream which contains Vit A that I'm allergic to. I was then recommended to buy another lightening cream which contains hydroquinone. Of course, I refused too. I was asking doc if I could just go ahead with today's treatment since I've taken the whole week off. He gave in and said that he will go with the lower setting which I am fine with. I proceeded to a room and the nurse was explaining the products to me again. In the end, I decided not to buy any products and because I did not buy their lightening cream, I was not allowed to go for the laser treatment. How arrogant!

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    1. Hi, I'm sorry to hear that. I guess they wanted you to use the products to prep your face for laser and also to protect and improve the skin after laser. Patients who choose otherwise may not get maximum efficacy from the treatment and they won't want you to waste your money too. I think every clinic has their protocol for different treatments? Usually they won't be pushy with their products at all.

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  26. ^^Hi, dear Katelyn. Thank u for ur great review. And I am planning to do co2 laser also. But I really worry about it. Because skin will be very sensitive and fragile, and they said skin will become dry also after treatment. A lot products from market u can't use them, only can use products from Doc. And would u mind I ask u does there any side effects after u do treatment?

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    1. Hi Doris,

      Thank you for the compliment.

      I think it is very important to find a doctor who can be trusted. They need to be experienced so they know whether your skin is suitable and what settings to use.

      After my laser treatment, I was advised to only use sunblock and a lotion, nothing else so as not to irritate my skin. Also, please avoid sun exposure too! I didn't notice any side effects though.

      Hope that helped! :)

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    2. ^^Hi, Katelyn! Thank u so much! It is really helpful!

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