Growth factors work by promoting the body’s production of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, both of which are key for maintaining skin elasticity, but are also crucial components in skin regeneration. Some dermatologists believe the most effective way to utilize growth factors on your post-laser skin is from a PRP treatment made of your own bio-serum.
As for active ingredients like epidermal growth factor (EGF), these tend to work over the long-term; thus, there is no reason to rush them into your post-laser regimen per se. Feel free to introduce a growth factor-containing product into your regimen, along with retinol, after the seven- to 10-day healing period has completed to provide structural support to the collagen and elastin in the skin (which are responsible for preventing wrinkles and sagging, respectively).
Because the skin will have begun significantly healing after two to three days, you can wear makeup if you have to run an errand or take a Zoom call. “Opt for mineral makeup during this time,” Shamban says. “Often we don’t realize that the chemical compounds or ingredients we are trying to avoid in our skin care may be present in our makeup. Don’t undo the hard work, effort, and expense [of your laser treatment].”
You can also consider a touchless makeup application system, or a makeup brush cleansing device such as Brushean Makeup Brush Sanitizer, to minimize post-laser skin to viruses and bacteria.
One Week to 10 Days Post-Treatment
“At about one week, we tell people they can return to their serums and skin-care regimens,” Frank says. If you are still nervous about applying deeply-penetrating exfoliators like glycolic acid or sensitizing retinoids, you can consider using a less abrasive exfoliant like polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), anti-inflammatory salicylic acid, or gentle enzymes. But eventually, you will want to resume your pre-laser regimen.
“Antioxidants and retinoids, which build collagen, are absolutely essential after laser treatment,” Henry says. “They protect and prevent the skin from further damage, while slowing down the aging process and enhancing overall skin tone. I tell my patients to start using both antioxidants in the AM and retinoids in the PM once the skin is completely healed.”
After the healing process has completed, prepare to head into the office for your next round of treatment in approximately four to six weeks, after which time you can begin the healing process all over again until the series is complete. Lastly, although these experts helped us delineate the healing process for the skin during the first week after treatment, always follow the advice of your board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
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